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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





When you think of a sales person, do you envision a used car salesman with greasy hair and a gold chain? If so, this episode will completely change your perspective.

In this episode, Lisa Proeber joined me to tackle the often negative reputation of sales. We discussed the common mindset that sales is a “dirty word”, and reframed it as a way to help people make informed decisions. Our conversation emphasized the importance of changing perceptions around sales to focus on finding the right solutions for customers. It’s all about helping, not selling!

We delved into her accidental journey into sales 20 years ago and how she now views it as a way to help people make great decisions – not pushing people into something they don’t really want.

Tune into our conversation to hear more about:

  • What gives sales the reputation of being a “dirty word” and how we can change that in our own businesses
  • How we can use the Predictive Index tool to understand behavioral relationships and optimize talent
  • Explaining the 80/20 rule in sales – and why follow up is key
  • Tips for how to use your unique point of view in a sales conversation
  • Breaking down the core selling competencies to empower you to sell with confidence

Lisa’s approach to sales is truly transformative, and I believe it can change the way we all think about selling. Tune in to learn more about how you can apply these principles to your own business journey.


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

Take the Predictive Index

Chloe’s Predictive Index results

Who Not How by Dan Sullivan & Dr. Benjamin Hardy

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell


West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.themiddlesix.com

Instagram: @themiddlesix

LinkedIn: @lisa-proeber

Email: Lisa@themiddlesix.com


Lisa Proeber (00:00:00) – I’ve really seen and heard this notorious sales word with people thinking about the used car salesman with the gold chains and the slicked back hair, and somebody trying to force them into something. I think that just changing the reputation of sales to helping people find the right solution really needs to be communicated, because the world would not go round without sales. Every organization is a sales organization, whether they like it or not, they’re selling a product or service.

Chloe Dechow (00:00:33) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business. This is the Bright Voices and Business podcast.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:13) – Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today I am joined by Lisa Proeber. Lisa is a innovative sales leader and business development strategist who is determined to change the mindset that sales is a dirty word. She is a driving force behind the Middle Six, a sales consulting firm that is redefining in standardizing sales. Hi Lisa, thanks so much for joining. Thanks for having.

Lisa Proeber (00:01:46) – Me, Chloe.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:47) – Yeah, I’m excited to bring you on because I know in my past episodes I’ve talked a lot about thought leadership, but that can kind of be a challenging and vague thing if you don’t have a practical example. And so knowing you and the fact that you have strong opinions on sales and also have a lot of your offers informed by those opinions, naturally, I think you’re a great example to show what a point of view looks like in day-to-day business. And so excited to have you come on and talk and share what you do and how you do it.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:19) – That sounds.

Lisa Proeber (00:02:20) – Great.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:20) – Well, before we get started into kind of the beliefs and point of views and one of your offers and kind of dissecting what that looks like, can you share a little bit about The Middle Six, what you do, how you got to doing what you’re doing today? Yeah, I.

Lisa Proeber (00:02:35) – Actually fell into sales by accident 20 years ago because of a little two question assessment from predictive index, which I, you know, had you take prior to this podcast. But I, you know, went to school for fine arts here in Milwaukee. And then I moved to Arizona sight unseen, followed a guy out there and was going to go transfer to ASU and ended up having to get a job. I saw an ad in the paper for La-Z-Boy and it said 40 to 60,000 a year. And I thought, oh my gosh, that’s so much money. I’m 20 years old. And they hired me on the spot because of that two question assessment, because it told them that I was naturally wired to be great at sales.

Lisa Proeber (00:03:20) – I spent the first three months at ten bucks an hour learning how to sell, and then my fourth month was a 100% commission paycheck for $18,000, spent four grand on a dog, and then the rest in Vegas in 48 hours. And that’s been my life ever since chasing that high.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:41) – Wow. 18,000. That’s a lot for a 20 something totally reckless. Yeah.

Lisa Proeber (00:03:47) – I thought it would happen every month, and I was just going to be so wealthy, but.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:51) – Oh, we all learned the hard way sometimes. Well, can you share a little bit about what The Middle Six is all about? I know you’ve mentioned the predictive index, which we’ll get into a little bit more, but what is it about? Like what about The Middle Six is different than other sales agencies out there?

Lisa Proeber (00:04:08) – Yeah. So first of all, the name the middle six everybody always asks me about. So I should probably start with what that means. It has everything to do with the 8020 rule. So for sales purposes, it means for every ten sales you’re going to lose two, no matter what you do, you’re going to win two if you do your job.

Lisa Proeber (00:04:28) – Okay. But it’s what you do with The Middle Six that really matter and changing that status quo. So after, you know, a long career in sales, I spent 11 years growing through the ranks at La-Z-Boy and to sales management position. I did, you know, some business development here in Milwaukee. I worked for a construction company that had never had sales, business development or marketing in house and and really found this place in the world for small businesses to really optimize what they’re doing, whether it’s on the process and technology side of things or the people side of things. So half of our business is done, you know, setting up a plan for small businesses and then helping them execute that plan by architecting and implementing CRM. We use HubSpot. We love it. We do fractional sales. So for companies that don’t need a full time sales person or maybe just need to supplement their current sales team, we have part time sellers on staff. We also do sales, talent acquisition, and fractional sales management.

Lisa Proeber (00:05:36) – So we coach and train those new sellers because generally small business owners don’t have the capacity, nor that thought leadership that you mentioned earlier to do that kind of thing. And then the other half of our business is done using the predictive index tool to help sales teams inspire design and hire amazing sales talent. So we do sales coaching and training using the predictive index for companies of all sizes.

Chloe Dechow (00:06:02) – Wow, that’s super cool. Yeah, I’m curious. So I know even in your bio, right, there’s this concept of sales isn’t a dirty word. And I’m curious, like where you started kind of developing these points of view around sales and like what kind of drives that for you? That’s a great.

Lisa Proeber (00:06:19) – And when I got into sales 20 years ago, I was naive to the reputation that sales had. I genuinely found my calling, and I had so much fun helping people make great decisions on their furniture for their homes. And I asked so many questions. And La-Z-Boy had such an amazing process to, you know, discover those clients needs and put them in the right solution.

Lisa Proeber (00:06:47) – And so all of my clients were always very happy. But the second client would walk in, there was always a wall. So I think over the past 20 years, I’ve really seen and heard, you know, this notorious sales word with people thinking about, you know, the used car salesman with the gold chains and the slicked back hair and somebody trying to force them into something. And really, at the end of the day, I know that myself and and no other sales professional in the world is trying to sell somebody something they don’t need. That’s impossible. Why would we sell them something they don’t need or want? So at the end of the day, I think that just changing the reputation of sales to helping people find the right solution really needs to be communicated, because the world would not go round without sales. I think that everybody really needs to understand that every organization is a sales organization, whether they like it or not, they’re selling a product or service.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:46) – Yeah, absolutely. I recently had kind of this parallel drawn for me that even when we’re not in a typical sales conversation, we’re always selling.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:55) – So an example would be, you know, trying to come in to my toddler to eat the like, bite of broccoli or whatever it might be. We don’t really think of that as a sales conversation, but it really it is. It’s about persuasion and like trying to help somebody make the best decision for themselves. You know, in this case, it’s nutrition for my toddler. But we tend to think of sales as this big thing, and it’s really something that’s happening in our daily lives.

Lisa Proeber (00:08:20) – That is a perfect example. I do believe that everybody’s a sales person, whether they like it or not. Like you said, selling toddlers could be the hardest sales job in the world. I’ve got two of my own and it is the art of negotiation really gets honed that skill. But you know, you and your partner talking about where to go on vacation, talking to your boss about a race like everything has to be positioned to sell the right solution. If you believe it’s the right solution, then you need to really understand that you’re selling.

Lisa Proeber (00:08:49) – And everybody’s got different sales strengths and potential caution areas. And that’s why I love the predictive index to help with that conversation, because it attaches a data piece to the people piece of things. So you can kind of have that self-awareness piece and understand, oh, I don’t maybe like talking to people. How can I set up some automations that help me avoid that? So I think everybody has their own little niche of what sales means and how it could be done in a way that makes them happy.

Chloe Dechow (00:09:27) – Yeah, it sounds like playing to their strengths. Yeah. So let’s talk about the predictive index. Since we’ve mentioned it a couple times. What in the world is that? Lisa. What is the predictive index?

Lisa Proeber (00:09:37) – It’s magic. The predictive index is an incredible tool. It is two questions. Takes five minutes, maybe less to take. And it tells you who you inherently are as a person. It tells us who you are this week, the work you’re doing now, it tells us how you make decisions and it’s scientifically validated.

Lisa Proeber (00:09:58) – In fact, it’s one of the only tools available to assess behaviors that is legally binding and protecting for organizations against discrimination charges when used the right way. So they invest a ton in scientific validation to make sure that the assessment does provide that strong data analysis. I had you take the assessment before.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:25) – Yeah.

Lisa Proeber (00:10:25) – I didn’t send you your results.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:27) – Did I know it’ll be a good reveal.

Lisa Proeber (00:10:30) – I have it right in front of me. We are both shocker considered mavericks, innovative, outside of the box thinkers who are undaunted by failure. It’s a really interesting thing to meet other mavericks, because we generally are the best at having easy, breezy conversations, getting stuff done. But where we fall off on the sales track, maybe follow up process, and that’s where our opposites would be. Somebody called an operator who’s all about process and precision. They might hate speaking on a podcast like this, loathe it, but doing all the work in the back to get it set up and flawless is their special place. To shine.

Lisa Proeber (00:11:19) – So when I use the tool for my small business owners that I’m consulting with, I use it to help them understand their behavioral relationship to sales and where we can best position them in their strengths to enjoy what they’re doing and who else we can surround them with that can pick up those other pieces that they may not find as much joy in. I think one of the big things is everybody can do anything. It’s just asking somebody that’s an operator, that process and precision person to do a podcast like this, they could do it, but it would be like asking them to write left handed. If they were right handed, it would be uncomfortable. They wouldn’t be able to do it for long and they may not be great at it. So it’s really helpful to understand where that person’s strengths are and how to capture them and and position them correctly.

Chloe Dechow (00:12:16) – Yeah. When you’re talking, it kind of reminds me of the energy it takes to do something and leaning into the things that are energy giving, so to speak.

Chloe Dechow (00:12:25) – So for me that it would be having conversations with people and going on a podcast. So it’s really cool to see how accurate this is. And I find things like follow up and email and stuff like that, like definitely more draining because it’s just another thing I have to check off the to do list, and there’s not necessarily that personal connection that I thrive in. To me, those things are energy taking, and so kind of leaning into what is going to maximize that person’s energy as well as kind of comes up for me as you’re talking.

Lisa Proeber (00:12:56) – Yeah, I’m going to show you your results. Okay. So the top graph here shows me who you are inherently as a person. This shows me the work that you’re doing now. And the bottom one shows me how you make decisions the further apart your dots are from the middle of the line, the more strong your behavioral preferences for that drive, the closer they are to the line, the more flexible you can be. So as you can tell, you’ve got a couple really strong traits.

Lisa Proeber (00:13:24) – The first one here your A, this is your dominance. This is your preference to lead. So you have a very strong preference to lead people with lower A’s. They want to collaborate. They want to talk through something, get their checks and balances. The B is your extroversion. So you prefer to have that people time. It fills your battery as opposed to drains it people on the low side of the line, they can do it. They just need a couple days off afterwards to really recharge their battery. The C is your patience. You’re fairly moderate with your patience, but technically low patience, which translates to a high sense of urgency, which makes for good salespeople because we want to close the deal. If it’s the right solution, we’re going to be asking for it. And then the D is your attention to detail. So your D is extremely low. It’s probably your most prominent behavioral drive. You’re very flexible and free. And it makes a ton of sense to me, even just in the limited time we’ve known each other.

Lisa Proeber (00:14:30) – People with high D’s have to make sure that their eyes are dotted and their T’s are crossed. You and I both signed the contract minutes before we started this podcast, so that shows me that maverick trait shining through. It’s something we have to check, but it’s not something we’re thinking about. Your middle graph shows me that you’re living your best life. Most people’s graphs are not as aligned as yours are if they’re stretched in different capacities, that’s where that uncomfort zone is happening and where we need to try to fix it. And then the bottom that e being on the high side shows me that you’re an intuitive decision maker. If it was on the low side, it would mean that your objective or wanting that black and white data. But because you’re so close to the the middle of the line, you can go back and forth. So that’s really a quick synopsis of what the data shows us. And then from there, we slice and dice and use it to coach and inspire people.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:27) – That’s really cool.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:28) – I’ll have to include my results in the show notes, so people can take a look and see the charts and graphs. I don’t mind if they get an inside peek into how I work. but that’s really cool to see how. I mean, it literally was like two questions and they got all of that data from that. So it’s amazing.

Lisa Proeber (00:15:46) – And I used predictive index for the first 11 years of my career as a client. I used it to coach my salespeople, to hire the right salespeople, to make sure I had the right people on the team. So when I started my business, the first call I made was to predictive index saying because I wanted to buy a seat of it so I could use it for my clients, and they said, we don’t want you to buy it. We want you to sell it. You’re the perfect person to sell it. And so for the first time in my life, I’m selling something that I’m obsessed with.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:16) – And that makes a huge difference to when you’re.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:18) – Are absolutely obsessed with and believe in what you’re selling.

Lisa Proeber (00:16:21) – I think that leads to your thought leadership topic. Again, when I think of thought leadership, I think of the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Have you read.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:31) – It? I have not read that one.

Lisa Proeber (00:16:33) – So basically he’s talking about the 10,000 hours of mastery. And I think that that has a lot to do with thought leadership. So they talk about how right place, right time, Bill gates, Steve Jobs, they were basically granted access to the first computers the world had ever seen or had at universities in California and Oregon. So they were the first people to have that 10,000 hours of mastery or thought leadership in computers, which position them ahead of everyone else for success in that market. So, you know, I think for me and my obsession with sales, I think that has really given me that thought leadership piece. I’m definitely not a thought leader and anything else that I can think of, but I really think that that thought leadership and sales has really set me apart.

Lisa Proeber (00:17:28) – And that’s how I help my clients, because they don’t have the time to become thought leaders in sales, and they never will. There’s not any training out there for you to become an amazing salesperson. You can’t go to school to be a salesperson. So that’s why a lot of my services are really there to teach people how to sell, using simple terms and keeping it easy.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:51) – Yeah, it’s a shortcut for them. They don’t have to do the 10,000 hours like you did to get the skills and expertise. So love that. Would love to talk about how you take the predictive index. You take this method of looking at sales not from a dirty place, but as a opportunity to help transform people and help them make the best decisions for themselves. How do you take that and kind of break down those kind of bigger picture topics or questions into an offer, like your sales boot camp? I know that’s one of the key offers that you have. So how do you kind of take those big sweeping notions and make it into an offer?

Lisa Proeber (00:18:29) – Yeah, that’s a great question.

Lisa Proeber (00:18:31) – And our sales bootcamp is certainly our most celebrated service. It goes back to that training piece. I over 20 years have been so grateful to have pretty much any sales training available given to me. A lot of it is super niche, a lot of it is only relevant to certain industries. So I’ve really created content that talks about core selling competencies. So our bootcamp goes over five different segments, and the first one is the science of selling. And we really focus on the predictive index results for each individual person and identify those strengths and potential caution areas, and how they can leverage those to be a better salesperson. We then dive into the psychology of selling and how people’s minds work and what is most helpful to gain trust using psychology. We then go into the art of selling. I think one of the biggest things I’m passionate about is breaking down the silo between sales and marketing. I believe that marketing generates leads and sales converts leads, but sales has to be a part of the strategy so marketing can execute the strategy.

Lisa Proeber (00:19:50) – So when we talk about the art of sales, we talk about the visual concepts, how 65% of people are visual thinkers. So the stories that we tell have to have stories and pictures attached to them to really resonate and stick. Then we talk about in-person selling. There’s nothing in my 20 years that has taught me anything about how to network, but there are rules to follow. And then we talk about digital selling. In this digital age, I think one of the biggest things people forget is that we’re always selling because of our digital presence. So how we can really capture that funny story. When I started my business, I met with a bunch of my competitors just because I needed to know what my value proposition was, what I’m doing differently. And one of the people I met with was an older man, and he sat down across from me and he said, oh, you’re going to be a sales consultant. You’ll struggle. And I was like, why? And he reached across the table and he touched my hair.

Lisa Proeber (00:20:53) – And he goes, because of that, people don’t want your youth. They want this old gray hair like this. You don’t have enough experience. And that’s when I knew that I was going to be successful. Because what I do have is plenty of experience, 20 years worth. But I also have a deep appreciation of technology and how that can support sales. Sales will always be relationship based and people focused. But in today’s day and age, opening doors requires knowing how to sell digitally and so they have to work together.

Chloe Dechow (00:21:32) – When you said that, I like was like, that’s an interesting we could dive into that, but we we won’t. But yes, I could see how someone’s assumptions about you actually led you to your competitive differentiator, which is pretty cool. Probably not their intention, but yeah.

Lisa Proeber (00:21:49) – And we do love technology. I mean, I know there’s a lot of sales consultants out there who will continue to preach that it is a one on one relationship, and that’s all that matters. And I agree for the most part.

Lisa Proeber (00:22:02) – But I believe that that sales is 50% in art and 50% of science. And anybody can be a great salesperson if they’re given a roadmap and a process to follow. La-Z-Boy was a lean sales organization, so I was trained in lean sales management. Lean is the practice of process improvements and improving the work and reducing waste and saving time. So we attached process to everything we did in sales to standardize best practices, and almost doubled our company’s revenue in four years without adding any employees, any locations, just by standardizing sales best practices. So that’s really what I’m all about is really standardization.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:46) – Yeah. And I think when we think about solopreneurs or small business owners, like, the more we can standardize and automate and be able to, you know, set things up to delegate, the more we can spend time in those parts that do light us up and give us energy, whether that is a sales conversation or some other element of the sales process. So I love that you’re a big believer in that, because it’s so easy to go from day to day and not have those things lined up, and then you’re in a world of hurt when you get busy.

Chloe Dechow (00:23:22) – Yes.

Lisa Proeber (00:23:22) – And mavericks like us, we respect and need that process more than anybody because without it, we’re bad salespeople. Before I had my own HubSpot set up for my company, I had a horrifying, devastating situation. I had an awesome opportunity that my accountant brought to me. It was a perfect client for me, and I put together a proposal, sent it over, and then never followed up with them again. And they had said to my accountant when she asked if they ended up hiring me, she goes, no. She sent the proposal and never followed up. And for a sales person, I don’t think that was showing off her skills. And I was like.

Lisa Proeber (00:24:06) – No, no, no.

Lisa Proeber (00:24:09) – I mean, and I do know that sometimes the cobbler has no shoes, but that was a really triggering experience for me. And I think one of the biggest things our clients have to learn is that follow up is king. People need you to follow up with them. It is not scary.

Lisa Proeber (00:24:29) – They need it. Every time I hear the word they ghosted me, I’m like, they did not go see you. This is not dating. This is business. It is your job to follow up with them. They need you to follow up with that.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:42) – Yes. It’s so funny because with my PR background, I draw a parallel towards the follow up process of pitching to journalists, and it’s usually the second or third follow up that gets the response that leads to the story. It’s very rarely the first time you email the journalist, because at the end of the day, what we’re offering as a sales person or what we’re offering as a PR person with a story, it is not the only thing this person on the other side is thinking about. They have a business and a life or a job that they’re trying to do. And so the key is really in the follow up in those conversations. I’m curious from your perspective, like if somebody doesn’t do follow up, how much are they leaving on the table? Like, what is the opportunity they’re missing out on the middle six?

Lisa Proeber (00:25:31) – Yeah, I mean, one extra opportunity can change your entire business.

Lisa Proeber (00:25:37) – I’m a big fan of the data behind sales and tracking things. So, you know, if you know your average ticket or average sale amount, just converting one additional sale by being better at follow up will probably change your entire trajectory for cash flow. So yeah, The Middle Six baby.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:00) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:01) – So a lot of opportunity is what I’m hearing. Yes.

Lisa Proeber (00:26:04) – And everybody asks me how much follow up is too much follow up. And I say it takes seven no’s to get a yes. So the absolute minimum times that you can follow up with a client are seven. That’s my golden rule minimum. You can definitely go more. You need closure. If they don’t want to work with you, they’re going to tell you. If you had that initial conversation and they gave you time, they will certainly tell you if they’re not interested.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:37) – Yes, it’s a it’s not a no until it’s a no. I’m curious now that we’ve kind of talked about how you apply your point of view, your thought leadership into an offer like the sales boot camp.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:50) – Do you have advice for other business owners who are like, maybe they have similar to you have had experience in the field. They have some strong points of view. Maybe they take them a little bit for granted because we’re very good at thinking everybody knows what we know. But I’m curious if you have some tips on how they can use their points of view in a sales conversation, or in a way to influence somebody to purchase their program or their offer?

Lisa Proeber (00:27:16) – Yeah. So one of the things that I teach in my sales bootcamp is how to ask strategic questions. So if you’re in an initial conversation with somebody, again, it’s attaching process to make sure that you’re providing that same excellent experience every time. But I think how you ask your questions and what questions you ask really help position you as a thought leader. I think one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give everyone in that initial call is to not tell the client what you do and just ask questions about them. People don’t care about what you know until they know that you care.

Lisa Proeber (00:27:59) – So I, I genuinely believe that that first discovery call is, is really there to establish a relationship and ask a bunch of questions. If there’s time to kind of tell a little bit about your thought leadership, great. But I think there should be a moment where you really sit back, digest all the information that you received, and package it for that person in a way that really speaks to them and that tells them that you actually listened. So I think a lot of us small business owners that have thought leadership in a certain category can get stuck talking in shop talk, like I said, CRM at the beginning of this call. And I regret not saying a CRM is a customer relationship management program that can help organize your relationships and automate follow up and track your pre-sale business. Because I often forget that that is bright, shiny new information for people. And if you talk to people in your shop talk, they’ll probably black out because they have no idea what you’re talking about. And they don’t want to seem stupid.

Lisa Proeber (00:29:08) – So they’re just going to nod and they’re going to smile. And then at the end of the call, they’ll be like, I have no idea what that person was talking about. So simplifying things, asking questions, and really understanding your audience and speaking to them not like they’re your toddler because man, those toddlers, they need a lot of explanation, but just really not making them feel stupid by talking to shop talk.

Chloe Dechow (00:29:33) – Yes, it’s such a good reminder because as a person with a marketing background, I’m like, oh yeah, I know what a CRM is, but not everyone does. And again, it’s that taking for granted what we know and simplifying it for people. So instead of sometimes it’s like when I think about talking about public relations, which is my background, like not everybody knows what public relations is. So how can I talk about the press and podcasts and things that are a little bit more tangible for people that are definitely part of PR and similarly like CRM, you know, other types of sales, sales or even words related to a specific offer.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:11) – How can we simplify that so that it takes the guesswork out of what we’re doing?

Lisa Proeber (00:30:16) – Yeah, I have a lot of marketing people come through our sales bootcamp and that, you know, I think when I started doing it, I was afraid to have marketing people in there because there is crossover and marketing. People think they’re selling and salespeople think they’re marketing and it’s messy.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:32) – It’s messy.

Lisa Proeber (00:30:33) – Marketing is such a big word. It’s I mean, it includes so many different niches and specialties. It’s it’s PR, it’s digital, it’s websites, it’s branding. I mean, it is so, so so much. And to the normal average Joe consumer. They only know the word marketing and I don’t know what they think. Maybe they think advertising, who knows what they think. So I think that clarity is huge, and being able to help the client visualize what it is, exactly what you do. So many marketing people start off the day and our sales boot camp telling the room of people who have no idea what they’re talking about, what they do, and everybody’s like, And by the end of the day, you know, they’re walking out, being able to simply explain it and get those referrals.

Lisa Proeber (00:31:25) – I think that’s a big part of sales is business development. So business development is the art of getting referrals and connecting people and making relationships. And I think that’s a big sticky point in sales that people maybe don’t understand is that business development is not about trying to find the right person to buy your product. Business development is about having conversations with people, explaining what you do, and finding out if they or anyone they know might be a good fit. And then how can you help them meet the right person that they should know? I think that’s one of my favorite parts of my thought leadership is that connecting piece. I mean, I think my initial conversation with anybody is pure curiosity to find out what they do and who I can introduce them to. It’s not at all a selfish moment in my history. It is who do I know and who can I send their way? Who should know each other? And that’s that’s where the good business development happens.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:36) – Yeah, I love that. Leaning into curiosity first and foremost and then being a connector for people because that goes a really long.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:44) – I find a lot of joy in that too. Maybe that’s a maverick thing is such a maverick thing. Yeah. So I love connecting people who I feel could collaborate or learn from each other or whatever it might be, because at the end of the day, I do feel that connection is one of the core reasons we exist on this earth, and being able to help people make those connections that support one another and grow their business, or contribute to their life in some way, shape or form, definitely is energy giving for me. So I love that. That is for you too.

Lisa Proeber (00:33:14) – Yeah, Mavericks are. Without getting deep into the science, we are on the top part of the world of work, we’ll call it, and people at the top half of the world of work. When there’s a conflict, we’re focused on the people and not the task. So half of the world focuses on the person, and half the world focuses on the task when there’s conflict. So not necessarily just conflict, but, you know, a problem to solve.

Lisa Proeber (00:33:42) – So you and I are connecting the people where half the world is solving the problem based on the task. So I think there’s this huge understanding piece that comes into the science of people, in that everyone is so different and you can sit there and try to connect people, but if you’re talking to somebody on the lower half of the quadrant, it’s not going to hit. So really you have to be a chameleon in sales. You have to really be thinking about the other person and what they need and want and what drives them, and how they receive information and how they want to be communicated with.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:16) – Yeah, that’s a really good point. I’m curious, Lisa, have you read the book? Who not how sounds familiar.

Lisa Proeber (00:34:24) – Maybe. Maybe not. I read a ton of books.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:28) – If you haven’t, you should add that one to your list because I think it’ll resonate a lot. It’s by Doctor Benjamin Hardy, and it’s a lot about. Finding the right person to solve the problem versus trying to figure out how to solve the problem.

Lisa Proeber (00:34:43) – I love that when I started my business, I did a zone of genius exercise, and everything in my zone of genius was facilitating, connecting people, talking, blah blah blah blah blah. And I looked at my business coach and I was like, oh my God, who’s going to pay me for that? And she was like, me, I don’t want to do any of that stuff. So we all have our own special place in the world and we need to delegate everything else. Completely agree. I don’t do anything but sell, facilitate, make people happy. And that’s my job.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:15) – Yeah, I love it. Definitely. It makes me feel a little bit better because I love having conversations with people and connecting, and it’s easy to feel like that’s not doing something or contributing in some way. And so it’s a good reality check.

Lisa Proeber (00:35:29) – It’s a superpower. We talked about those operators that would bring half the world so much anxiety, doing what we’re doing right now. And just having this simple conversation like this would destroy many a person.

Lisa Proeber (00:35:41) – So it is our superpower. And I think, you know what’s also great about the predictive indexes. It’s not only a self-awareness tool, but it’s also seeing who else is on the team and and maybe why there’s conflict or why they wildly respect the other person because of how different they are. You know, just really that understanding of how different everybody else is.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:01) – Yeah, I’m playing to their unique skill set versus maybe putting people in roles where conflict is more likely to happen as well. Okay. If somebody wanted to learn more about you, more about the predictive index, more about how you could support their business, where could they find that information?

Lisa Proeber (00:36:19) – Head to our website, www.themiddlesix.com. We’re also really active on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. I’m thinking of getting into the TikTok world. I’ve got some really fun potential content ideas, especially around selling to a toddler, because let’s be honest, that is the hardest part of selling.

Lisa Proeber (00:36:38) – But yeah. Send me an email to Lisa@themiddlesix.com. I’m always down for a sales conversation.

Lisa Proeber (00:36:43) – Prefer in person if you’re local, come grab a coffee with me.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:46) – Yes, and Lisa is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area for any listeners who might be nearby.

Lisa Proeber (00:36:51) – I’m constantly traveling though, so if you want me to come to you, please let me know. I’m all over the United States.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:57) – I love that. Yes, I’m a huge fan of checking out coffee shops in different local areas, so it’s a good excuse to get out and do that. Well, thank you so much, Lisa, for coming on, sharing some big picture and some more practical, tangible ways of demonstrating thought leadership and turning that into something that’s sellable or presentable within your business. Because, again, thought leadership can be vague, it can be ambiguous, and it doesn’t have to be. It can be something that you take your point of view that you’ve gained over the years, and then digest it and put it into something that you use in your business. So thank you so much, Lisa. It’s been a pleasure to have you on.

Lisa Proeber (00:37:36) – Yeah, thanks. Have a wonderful day. You too.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:43) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram at West Haven Coaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at West Haven coaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

Rethinking the Way We Approach Sales Conversations with Lisa Proeber

June 13, 2024

sales leader, business development strategist, sales mindset, thought leadership, Predictive Index tool, sales consulting, behavioral relationships, Sales Bootcamp, sales reputation, thought leadership impact, sales consulting firm, The Middle Six, 80/20 rule in sales, sales management, business development, Predictive Index assessment, thought leadership in sales, mastery in sales, Sales Bootcamp offer, selling competencies, sales and marketing strategies, technology in sales


Business, Mindset

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