How to Sell Like You Live in the 21st Century – In Just 7 Minutes with Anthony Iannarino

Check out episode
  • Find out how to help yourself and your team become ‘value creators’
  • Learn Anthony’s two-ingredient recipe to become the trusted expert
  • Discover how to enable your team with the mindset, skill sets, strategies, and tactics to win sales



Anthony Iannarino is a highly respected international speaker, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and sales leader specializing in the complex business-to-business (B2B) sale.

In this episode, Anthony shares how he focuses on helping salespeople and sales organizations grow, develop, reach their full potential and achieve transformational breakthrough results by learning the old school way of selling like it’s the 21st century — through value creation and trust.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:13 – Anthony’s ideal client: My ideal client is a company that’s trying to transform its sales from a transactional approach to a consultative approach.
  • 01:48 – Problem he helps solve: Relevancy.
  • 03:12 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Anthony: They say no to meeting and knowing your company. The symptoms are irrelevance, people won’t have a meeting, they’re not interested in engaging with you, and your commoditized.
  • 03:48 – Common mistakes people make when trying to solve that problem: They rely too heavily upon company history instead of being the value creator.
  • 06:01 – Anthony’s Valuable Free Action(VFA):Check out Let Me Google That For You:
  • 07:25 – Anthony’s Valuable Free Resource(VFR): Join the Sales Blog Newsletter:

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“You only need two things to be a trusted advisor—trust and advice.” -@iannarino Click To Tweet

Info about our correspondent host: Travis has a background in sales, marketing, and strategy, and left the corporate world several years ago to start his own agency. As a copywriter by trade, his biggest skill is putting the right words, in front of the right people, at the right time. Travis has developed go-to-market strategies for grassroots apps to Fortune 500 and helped optimize up to $50k per day in Facebook Ad spend for one of the biggest startups in Asia.

(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Travis Bennett 0:09
Hi everyone and welcome to another edition of Marketing The Invisible. My name is Travis Bennett and I’m rocking it to you out of Yangon in Myanmar, proving you can build a successful business anywhere in the world. I’m joined today by Anthony Iannarino. Anthony, a very, very warm welcome.

Anthony Iannarino 0:24
Well, thank you for having me.

Travis Bennett 0:26
And where are you hanging out today?

Anthony Iannarino 0:28
I’m in my home in Western Ville, Ohio, which is a suburb of Columbus. And not a lot of people know, Columbus if you’re outside of the United States. But we’re the 14th largest city in America.

Travis Bennett 0:39
Very cool.

Anthony Iannarino 0:39
And that’s where I call home.

Travis Bennett 0:41
Very nice. Very nice. And for anyone who doesn’t know Anthony, he’s a writer, an author, a speaker, business philosopher, a sales leader, and he’s been writing a blog every single day for 10 years. That is insane. Anthony, it’s great to have you on the show today.

Anthony Iannarino 0:57
Well, thank you for having me.

Travis Bennett 0:58
And we’re going to be talking about, “How to Sell Like You Live in the 21st Century”, explaining everything in just seven minutes. Anthony, I’m going to start our time now. And question number one, who is your ideal client?

Anthony Iannarino 1:13

My ideal client is a company that’s trying to transform its sales from what I would call a transactional approach to a consultative approach.

And you know this well because of your background and your history. So, if all you have is a transactional sale, the internet, it’s going to eat your lunch. I mean, you’re not going to be Amazon at transacting, you’re not going to be Alibaba at transacting.

So, if you’re in sales, the strong pull is towards being what I would call super relational, which means you have to create value for the customer. Otherwise, I don’t need to talk to a salesperson.

Travis Bennett 1:48
Okay, cool. And then question number two, what’s the problem that you solve for these target sales reps and the clients that you have?

Anthony Iannarino 1:56
I’m going to say it in as few words as possible because we have seven minutes. Relevancy, you know, and salespeople are used to showing up and saying something like, let me tell you about my company, we’ve been around for 100 years, then we have these products and these services and look at these logos of the companies that we’ve won in the past. Trust us, we’re really good, you should buy our stuff.

And for buyers now, that’s like, who cares? I already have somebody that sells me what you sell me already. And you don’t sound any different than anybody I’ve ever met before. So, there’s nothing interesting about you. But if you come in and you say something like, I can help you acquire the customers that you need, with the highest lifetime value faster than you’re acquiring them now. Then people are like, ok, well, how do you do that? Now we’re having an interesting conversation because people, there was a guy named Theodore Levitt, who was a marketing professor at Harvard that said, people don’t buy drills, they buy quarter-inch holes. And if they could get the hole without the drill, they just take the hole. So, you focus on what’s the outcome that they’re really buying, instead of what it is that you sell.

Travis Bennett 3:01
Okay, that’s very good. So then question number three, we’ve got five minutes left. We’re still doing good for time. What are the typical symptoms that people experience when they don’t have this relevancy as a sales rep?

Anthony Iannarino 3:12
There’s so many. So, the first is no one will have a meeting with me. Well, why do they say no to the meeting? Because you say something like, I’d like to introduce myself and my company and learn a little bit about you, which means great, you’re going to talk about you, that should be interesting for all of like, 15 to 20 seconds. And then you’re going to tell me about your company’s long history. And if I can stay awake long enough to get through that, then you’re going to ask me your $64,000 question, what’s keeping you up at night so that I will disclose to you how I’m dissatisfied. I mean, if that’s your approach, you’re not going to be relevant.

So, the thing that I tried to teach is to start by saying something like, I want to share with you the four trends that are going to have the biggest impact on your business, over the next 18 to 24 months.

Some of the decisions our clients are making, and how you might think about making some of those changes, whether you do it with us or with somebody else. So, you have to trade enough value to even get into a meeting. And if what you say doesn’t sound like it’s worth my time, I could spend today washing my hair or something like that.

If I have hair, you know, you’re just going to get a lot of no’s. So, the symptoms are an irrelevance, people won’t have a meeting, they’re not interested in engaging with you, and your commoditized. So, unless you can get out of the commodity trap, you know, it’s a tough road.

Travis Bennett 4:31
Okay. And then I guess, when people are trying to break out of this commodity trap themselves, what’s the mistakes that they normally make?

Anthony Iannarino 4:38
Well, I listed some of them off.
They rely too heavily on instead of me being the value creator, as the salesperson in the room with you, I’m going to rely on my company’s history, or I’m going to rely on our product, or I’m going to rely on this slide deck the marketing gave me.

And marketing gave me this slide deck and said, go through all these, and the first eight slides are all about you. Those are the symptoms.

The truth is you start and you work backward from there like the proof providing really comes later on when I decide whether or not I’m going to buy from you. So instead of that, you talk about ideas.
So, the symptom is, the salesperson in my world has no business acumen.

It doesn’t know how to have a business conversation. Isn’t aware of what’s going on in the client’s world to have the context, to have a good conversation about it, and really can’t create enough value to be relevant and to be somebody that they prefer to work with. So, I have this thing I say, you only need two things to be a trusted advisor, trust and advice.
Alright, so if you don’t have the advice, you have a simple two-ingredient recipe and you’re missing one whole ingredient. So, you got to figure out how to get the advice.

Travis Bennett 5:43
Okay. That’s very good advice. Building on that, for everyone listening in today, what’s something that you could share with them that maybe that they can start to take some of this action to themselves? How can they start building trust or advice and taking it away for them to implement in their business?

Anthony Iannarino 6:02
I get a lot of questions about well, how do I get the trends? How do I understand the implications of not changing and this vertical or that vertical? And there’s this site, I think it’s called LMFYG, Let Me Google That For You.

And I always send them the Let Me Google That For You, which actually just takes you to a Google link so you can go into Google and type it in. But you go out and you say something like 10 trends impacting lead generation. And you’re going to come back with 14,000 links where people wrote something about that. And then you can start looking at it and saying, which of these do I see affecting my clients? How would I help them understand what’s going on in their world? How would I show them why what they’re doing isn’t working? And you know this because of the work that you do. People have a lot of opinions but then reality doesn’t really care about your opinion or your feelings.

It’s not working. Well, why isn’t it working? Because you don’t know these things and we have to teach them to you so that you understand how to get the results that you want. So, your job as a salesperson is in part to be a teacher, and to be able to help them understand what they have to do to get the result. So, you start there, start by figuring out how do I teach them what they need to know to get the better result.

Travis Bennett 7:11
Perfect. Perfect. And then for anyone who may actually want to take action on this, where would you send people where they can learn more about this problem? We’ve got 30 seconds left with question number six, so we’re okay. But where should they go to learn more?

Anthony Iannarino 7:25 will take you to my Sunday newsletters, my favorite piece of work every week. And then pick up the book, Eat Their Lunch, that’s got the whole framework for how to do that right in the first three chapters. If you never got past that, you get your money back 100 times over.

Travis Bennett 7:42
Awesome. Awesome. And with that, Anthony, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time today.

Anthony Iannarino 7:47
That was fast.

Travis Bennett 7:48
It was, it was fast. Cheers mate.

Tom Poland 7:52
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out

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