Mark Boundy has grown businesses in a variety of industries for 25 years, amassing wide-ranging experience in sales, marketing, new product development, and product management. He helps his clients find, win, and keep more business—more profitably. He’s led firms to be value – and price – leaders in a wide variety of product and service industries.
Check out Mark's Book on Amazon Radical Value.
Growing businesses within W.L.Gore & Associates (makers of Gore-Tex®), Lucent Technologies, and GE Capital, Mark developed highly differentiated, premium-priced offerings in some thought-to-be-commodity businesses (like electrical cable and money). He started Boundy Consulting, LLC, to leverage his expertise to clients, mostly in the sales performance area. Ultimately, he formed ValuClarity, packaging his expertise into courses and consulting methodologies available electronically and through affiliates.
Mark holds a degree with high distinction in Business Administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, father of two grown sons. He is an avid mountain biker and culinary hobbyist.
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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone, this is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to The No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:36
Hello, everyone. Today I have the privilege of talking with Mark boundy, the author of Radical Value. Mark, welcome to the program.
Umar Hameed 0:44
Umar, thanks for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:46
We met like a week ago at the Sales 3.0 Conference, where some of the best sales thinkers on the planet were on the stage sharing and how we can grow our revenue this year, and especially with all this chaos with the virus.
Umar Hameed 1:04
Absolutely. It was a really great meeting and I was pleased to have met you and to have listened to your work on mindset.
Umar Hameed 1:13
Thank you. One of the things that stood out on the conference was one of the speakers I forget his name came up on stage. And before he started, he wanted to thank his mentor in the audience. And he says I have a gift for you. And up until then everyone is fretting about the virus. And so this lovely assistant comes with his valore pouch. And as the mentor reveals what's in the pouch, it was a can of Corona extra beer. And of course, he opened it 10 in the morning, and took a big long pole. And the thing I liked about it was that it just let everybody relax about the whole thing. And I thought it was a funny but really effective because it's all about mindset, right?
Umar Hameed 1:55
Absolutely. How are we going to lean into it, and it's life isn't about what happens to you life is about how you respond to it.
Umar Hameed 2:04
Absolutely. And one of the things I want to start our conversation off with this thing from the Toma that kind of comes to mind, it's goes something like this, you know we do not see the world as it is we see it as we are. And in sales all too often. Our our managers or manufacturers or sales people are drunk the kool aid, and they only see the value of their offering through their eyes. And oftentimes that that causes issues in closing business. Mark, your thoughts on that?
Mark Boundy 2:34
Boy, that's the reason I wrote my book are one of the reasons I wrote my book, that sales people are really good at describing the capabilities of their product. in their own words, we sales trainers call that features, man benefits. And the one thing that salespeople are the worst at, and this is based on the observation of over 100 consultants who have been coaching over 100,000 opportunities with their clients, the thing that salespeople are the worst at is understanding what the customer thinks they're getting. And that is the core of sales, it's the most important thing on sales. So salespeople are the worst, at the most important thing, because they're selling within their own mindset to what their product means to them. And as a salesperson, you're responsible for applying that product to your customers business and helping your customer achieve outcomes in their business. And...
Umar Hameed 3:38
Oh, absolutely. And one of the things that's kind of interesting Mark is, you know, sometimes you've got a couple romantic situation. And sometimes the guy doesn't really want to know what she thinks because she might think this is not working out, so they won't ask. So we come by this reluctance, honestly, in all our human interactions. But when we apply to sales, we really don't want to hear what the value truly is. Because what if the customer says I'm not getting value? And it seems counterintuitive, but you know, that's kind of like being human right? So tell me about your book. How do you help organizations and salespeople really have those true conversations to figure out where the opportunity really lies?
Umar Hameed 4:23
Well, it starts with a combination of understanding your customer business and and there's a whole couple chapters in the book about the fact that you can't know the customer's business until you know business and you can't know how your product impacts your customers business until you've got a basic business acumen. So I start there.
Umar Hameed 4:45
Can I pause you right there just for a second? What would really help the audiences if you can talk about a company you were working with and how they saw value and the insights you got them and how they saw differently afterwards and kind of the impact of That would really kind of ground this information in a way that people would go, oh my god, I need to do this for my company today. More importantly, I need to get this book.
Umar Hameed 5:09
Yeah, and it's a great illustration, because I have a client that sold commercial carpet, and their carpet wares longer than the competitors carpet. And customers, when you hit them with that feature wears longer, they do an internal calculation of dollars per year, if it lasts 25% longer. And if I believe it last 20% longer, I'm willing to pay 19% more for that carpet. What customers don't do and what a salesperson needs to draw out of them and have them paint a picture in their mind is the fact that every time you replace that carpet, there's a huge business dinner disruption, I've got to pull all the furniture, all the computers out of my 24 by seven customer service area, replace the carpet, put the furniture back and then listen to a week of complaints that you know, you lost my dog, my granddaughter picture and you broke my Clemson University mug and that business disruption costs the business more than the entire price of the carpet. And customers don't naturally gravitate towards that aspect of it. And it's a salespersons responsibility to open their eyes to it.
Umar Hameed 6:25
Absolutely. And I think one of the things to do in that particular example is obviously, you know, tell me about the last time you change carpet, and sometimes the the real gems of what's going on for them. They've already forgotten. It's like women being pregnant. They forget about the pain and the anguish, just after the birth. And they do it again.
Mark Boundy 6:43
Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. And it turns out that that business interruption is a big deal when it's underneath your 24 by seven customer service. It's a big deal to the department manager when it's in finance. And it's a big deal to almost nobody when it's in a conference room. Because that conference room, you can you can replace that carpet over two days during the weekend. And the only person bothered is the people who have to work overtime on that particular weekend. So value to the customer is very different, even when it's the same carpet to the same customer in the same building.
Umar Hameed 7:21
Because sometimes companies see what they want to see. So how will this book help them to kind of step back and take a more broader approach to go, Okay, if we can get this value thing sorted out that this would allow us to get more customers bigger customers and do it faster?
Umar Hameed 7:42
Well, customers don't naturally see the value of your offer. And so one of the things I need salespeople to do is become better at helping a customer see all of the value available. And there is understanding your customers business, understanding your situation asking better questions, asking more insightful questions, and then connecting and being enough of an expert in your solution your product or service, to be able to apply that to communicate what your product does uniquely Well, in the customer's language in the language of customer outcomes.
Umar Hameed 8:21
Umar Hameed 8:23
And outside of sale. We know outside of sales, medium and large companies have started to silo themselves into crazy number of silos, I have a medium sized business client, Dubai has 15 different departments that touch the customer, three of them, you have sales roles, but then there's other ones like client success installation, technical support, technical sales engineer, and all of those, when we first started, those departments were told, if you find a customer value, if you find a customer outcome, don't interrupt sales with that, just stay in your lane. So think about 30 years ago, when there might have been five departments talking to the customer, you could say that and not lose out much because sales still had the majority of the customer contact. Now sales is a minority shareholder in that customer relationship. And the idea that you're losing and purposely cutting off all of those insights that all those other departments get is getting more and more ridiculous.
Umar Hameed 9:36
So it comes back to like that human condition again, like if you wrote this in a book, people would say that, get out of here, Mark, that would never happen in real life. But that stuff happens all the time because it's that you know, our departments important we need to justify ourselves. Because at a logical level sales should want to know everything and people like holding that stuff back. doesn't make any sense. But that's the battle. You're in are in right is how do we get people to be successful? Despite that human nature stuff? Give me an understanding of because you have to be at Herman Miller before starting your own consulting firm, right. So you've seen a lot of companies with a lot of issues. So if you were going into a company that and you were going to revamp the sales department from the ground up, what are the critical things you'd make sure get done right out of the gate, that would ensure that this sales department is highly successful?
Umar Hameed 10:34
Um, some of the things other than, you know, doing the diagnosis of what's working well, and what are the biggest gaps is understanding how agile an organization is about change how well they value. They're people how much they want to invest in their people, and how important they believe sales management is in that whole thing. I am a huge believer that sales managers are almost they are the key to making thing making any change initiative work, because they're the ones that coach and change the behavior. To sales training. There's there's two kinds of training in the world. One is information transfer. That's how do I operate the CRM, where the bathrooms located? Where do we keep? How do I get literature out? How do I prepare a quote? That's simple information exchange, but how do I change my sales behavior, the sales training, there is introducing the behaviors that I'm going to expect out of you. And now in order to actually change that behavior. There is a whole raft of work that follows that kind of training to make it
Umar Hameed 11:52
And it's also tough in my experience, that when you have sales management, sometimes that human condition comes in and they dig in their heels, you know, I'm the professional, I know what I'm doing. That's my job, Mark, why are you coming in here telling me to do things differently? So sometimes, getting them to get that mindset shift is critical to get them to actually do the job they really should be doing? How do you get sales leadership to really get that shift, so they kind of embrace the new way of being?
Umar Hameed 12:22
Boy, that's, you know, we had one of the other speakers at sales 3.01, who said, I thought being a manager...
Umar Hameed 12:29
Umar Hameed 12:30
...was all about creating clones of myself. And he finally actually got fired as a sales manager, because he was creating too much chaos. In creating clones of himself, the manager has to figure out what's important, and how to get each of his people to wear what's important to wear it in their own style. And to be able to give salespeople the the comfort, and the coaching to understand which is personal style, and which is the important behavior that I want you to practice. And that takes somebody who's very secure in themselves, and deeply understand what's important about selling, and can leave the personal style stuff behind because sometimes that's an ego exercise, isn't it?
Umar Hameed 13:26
And we come by it, you know, nationally, it's, you know, we're biologically hardwired to kind of hold on to what we know as if it's the only way and because the leaders job is very much how do I get the best performance out of my people? So Mark has these areas that he's phenomenal at. And if I could just get mark to be bolder in this area, that it would have a significant impact on his sales performance. So how do we take mark down that journey to get that shift? And I think that comes from trust relationships, and also skill set on how to do that, because there isn't really a course in you know, like, MBA course on being human?
Umar Hameed 14:09
Sure, is it. One of the things that I work with some of my clients is, the idea of value is first you have to understand what the customers business, then you have to apply it to your customer imply whatever your offer is the customer business, then figure out what their outcomes are, and then figure out how many dollars that outcome is worth to the customer. And as a sales coach, if you simply ask the question about the end of that big long chain, what's the dollar worth? And if the salesperson can articulate, here's their business, here's what it means to them. Here's what they would have to do instead. And here's why there's how many dollars it's worth. You know that that salesperson has practiced all the right behaviors. If they can't articulate those, then you have to do some diagnosis but asking them did you get to the finish line on understanding value? You lets them where the questioning and where the discovery in their own style. If you get to the right endpoint, I don't care how.
Umar Hameed 15:11
Yeah, and I think it's very much kind of reminds me of grade nine math, where on the exam, if you got the right answer you got, you know, 30% of the marks. But if you showed your work, you got a much higher mark, even if you got the answer wrong. And I think what you're saying is just by going through the process, salespeople can uncover hidden gems that would be critical to making the sale, because what's valuable to me if I'm one of your customers, and what's valuable to customer B, might be two different things all the way buying the same thing from the same person. And that's the sales person's job, to build that trust and to have those conversations that those insights get revealed. And sometimes they get revealed to the customer themselves. So they go oh, I guess that's what's important to me. So I'm glad you wrote the book. It's been out a whopping less than a week, right came out last Friday.
Umar Hameed 16:04
Yes, came out last Friday. Made Amazon number one best seller in its category. So excellent. That, and I've had some really positive feedbacks that I am now in that stage where I'm building the number of Amazon reviews, because that's really important to Amazon's algorithm. So is working really hard for that at that part.
Umar Hameed 16:29
Yeah, it says the writing the book, you know, people say it's so hard. It's like, no, it's that is hard, but actually marketing it is like a Herculean effort to do,right?
Umar Hameed 16:41
Yeah, you know, I thought I knew a lot about the sales business. And one of the things I pride myself is, I've been in a bunch of different industries. And so I pride myself in being able to come up to speed on a new business on a new clients business very rapidly. And I had to learn the book promotion and book publishing business. And it's not just writing a book, it's learning how to promote and sell a book and being in the business, not just being a passive author.
Umar Hameed 17:12
One of the most horrible experiences I ever had was when I was trying to write my first book. And I showed it to an editor. And they said, Well, let me just show you in this first page, I color coded the ideas. Notice that you've got this over here, it was like such a horrible experience. He was like, I stopped writing for six months. But once you get through it, and you get to share that content, and as start getting feedback from your fans saying, you know, "Hey, Mark, you changed our company, it makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it."
Mark Boundy 18:57
I couldn't agree more. I was had a session that yesterday, as a matter of fact, with a client, we were doing it virtually and the Vice President of Sales for this particular sales organization, had the brand new CEO on to kick the thing off, and said Mark has been working with us for the last year and he's a big, what he's done with us is a big part of the great results. And they had, this was an account management team. And they had had a really high customer churn rate before that, and they really turn the corner on that customer churn rate and to have them you know, whether it's true or not to have them trust me enough to be able to give that kind of praise to the CEO was that was really heartwarming.
Umar Hameed 18:57
Brilliant. So obviously, people can find the book on Amazon and I'm gonna put all your contact information and social media links in the show notes. So listeners, please go there. Mark, how can people get a hold of you? So if they just listening on a treadmill, they can find you.
Mark Boundy 18:59
My last name is Boundy as you said before, it's almost like the paper towels, B-O-U-N-D-Y.
Umar Hameed 19:04
Should not so absorbent apparently.
Umar Hameed 19:07
I am not the quicker picker upper. At least I haven't been since done miss you said so in seventh grade. And so firstname.lastname@example.org. or you can just browse boundaryconsulting.com and hit the contact form.
Umar Hameed 19:29
Mark, it's I think this book is going to add a lot of value to a lot of companies and I'm intentionally you know, playing on words there because ultimately, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you think it matters what your customers think. And I just want to thank you for writing such a brilliant book.
Umar Hameed 19:44
Umar, thanks a lot for letting me come on and talk about it. Go on the big A, Amazon and just search Radical Value. And I really appreciate your order and your and any feedback that you can, that you can muster. Crude oil is okay too although maybe you want to send that to me directly.
Umar Hameed 20:04
Brilliant. Mark, have a great rest of the day.
Mark Boundy 20:08
Umar, thanks a lot for having me on and you too.
Umar Hameed 20:15
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.