There's a sea of sales frameworks kicking around, but only one is out of this world.
In this episode, Darryl's guest is Michael Hanson, CEO and Founder at Growth Genie. Join them as they discuss how Growth Genie's COSMIC methodology positions you as the helpful advisor you are, just what COSMIC stands for, and how it'll help you and your buyers.
Find Michael on LinkedIn, or at growthgenie.co.
COSMIC stands for Challenges, Open, Spiritual v Material, Influence and Cost (of inaction).
Connect with Darryl on LinkedIn.
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Ah, my friends, you're back. There was much discussion. Would you come back for another episode of the inside inside sales show and you did. I never doubted it for a moment. Welcome. I am so glad you're here. Now, if this is your first time ever listening to this episode, to this show, to this podcast, I can only guess it's because you saw in your little podcast app.
You read in the show notes who today's rockstar speaker is, and you're like, I gotta get me some of that. All right? If that's the case, don't give it away. Keep it yourself. Let everybody else wait for the mystery to be revealed. Ah, how's your week going? You guys feeling good? You you enjoying life? You enjoying the job?
Still the job frustrating you. You're hitting your numbers. You're not hitting your numbers. I. It is stressful. I think I'm doing okay these days. It's a busy time of year, right? As we're, we're kind of, we're now full fledged moving into that last push for the end of the year. And of course, if you've got a sales cycle that's like four months or longer, basically your year's already done, you're, you're gonna have minimal impact.
So that can be depressing. But if you've got, like I say, a 30 or 60, Sales cycle, even a 90 day sales cycle, you to gotta push hard to get this all said and done. Which is interesting because today's topic's a little bit on, on a related note about getting stuff done. It was interesting, my wife and I the other day, we were, we were talking about, I won't name names, but we were talking about some of her clients.
So my wife, for those who don't know, my wife is an interior. Right. So she makes houses pretty? No, Our house is not pretty. Just so we're clear on that. We are at the cobbler's kids, but she makes houses pretty for her clients and some clients are very hands off. They're like, Just do it. Just just sign up the trades people and just make it all happen.
So I come home one day and that's like the last five minutes on the HGTV where they do the reveal and they go, TA life is grand. Other clients, they're the ones, if it was an HGTV show where it's a fixer upper and they wanna save some money and do it themselves. And what's always interesting is this.
They, they don't wanna spend the money to get the result they want, but they still want the result. And now they're going to my wife and saying, What do we. What do we do? I can't do it. I don't have the skills, but we don't have the budget. What do we do? Which I always personally find that weird because it's like, well, if you don't have the skills, you don't have the budget.
The answer's pretty straightforward. You just don't get the result you want. I mean, that is what it is. That's life, right? It's full of hard choices. But my wife, God bless her, she always wants them. To have that look, this is what makes her so good at her job, She cares. And she said, Well, you know, it's not that hard to do.
Like, you know what you wanna do. It's really easy to do. Like, you know, you want me to do it. And then my wife, she is not afraid of wearing a tool belt and making herself handy, but I would not claim her to be the world's most handy individual. It's let me clarify that, but she's very good at what she does.
But you know what she's good at? She's good at kind of saying, How do we do this? And then going on YouTube or whatnot and, and studying it. So recently she had a client who they were building, they were redoing the whole living room and they wanted to put in this custom fireplace. There was no fireplace before.
So she, my wife worked with the designers and they speced out a custom design, a fireplace, and the mantle in the box and everything else. And they bought this very compelling electric fireplace, apparently quite life. And they, the problem was the project grows as every project does. It grew. And so they, they had to put the, the box in the fire, into the fireplace, into the, the mantle.
But the, the, the homeowners didn't know how to do it. This is literally just, you know, slide it in and screw it and you're done. That's, that's as simple as it was. But then, then all of a sudden they wanted to put a TV in top the fireplace that was new, that wasn't in the original plant. And to do that, they needed to, to put an electrical level that.
And they were like, Oh my God, where do we get electrician in these times? Tradesmans are three, four or five, six months booked in advance. We really want this done. What do we do? And, and I'm like, Isn't there an electrical outlet, like literally just, you know, near the, you know, maybe a foot off the floor that you can just run a line up to you pop into the box in the wall and, and just literally it's a straight run.
The, the stud that you're like, This is easy. This is like so easy. And she's just, I know, but they're scared. And I'm like, Honey, I can't, You know, we go back a few years. What did we do when we were young and had no money? Was we bought a book. And the book literally said, Step one, do this, Step two, do that.
Step three do this. And we just followed the steps and that's how we learned. But today, it's even better. Today we have YouTube. And there's videos. We can pause and rewind and play and we can study and it shows us exactly step one, step two, step three, and we follow all the steps. And boom, there's a plug installed and boom, the TV's mounted and boom, the fireplace is installed and boom, the LI room's redone.
And we've saved ourselves a lot of money and it's a glorious, epic final five minutes of home and garden TV as we do the reveal. And we said, we did this, we achieved our goals and all we. Boys and girls was follow the steps. There was a framework, there was a methodology to our madness that we were unaware of until we decided that we needed to achieve an outcome, and then we sought out the methodology.
We studied the methodology, we applied the methodology, and lo and behold, we got the outcome we wanted. So you're saying to yourself, Darryl, it feels like you're trying to get somewhere you went for interior design to methodologies. I'm onto you, brother. Where are you going with this? And the answer is very straightforward.
Is that in sales, there's all these different methodologies that are out there. You may know them. Bant, medic med, pick whatever you want. The list goes on. What are they? Why should we follow them? What's the consequences if we don't follow them? And what's stopping us from doing it in our everyday practice?
Cuz I'll be honest with you, this is one of the biggest issues I see over and over again is we don't follow a defined framework, even though it's put. To tell us and show us exactly what to do to achieve the outcomes we want. So where do I go for that? Well, boys and girls, I have got the one, the only, the CEO, the Founder of Growth Genie, Mr. Michael Hanson here with us today, and he's gonna talk all about frameworks and in fact, he may reveal his own. And we're talking, we're gonna use that as a framework. See what I did there to talk about frameworks. So Michael, how you doing, my friend?[: [: [: [: [: [:
Conversations, and of course you do those conversations so you can drive the pipeline. One comes before the other. And for that to happen, frameworks are really important. So talk to me about your experience, Michael, with the frameworks. What do you see working and talk to me about the framework you guys have put forth.[:
Some of some parts of those are great and they're kind of like eternal sales things, but we thought there was a little bit of emotion actually missing in, in some of those. They're a bit cold. So I'll come onto what ours is after. The reason we came up with this framework as well is whenever we do training sessions, a bit of an icebreaker we use, this is one, if you if you're meeting people for the first time and you work in sales, one I recommend is, what's the thing you love most about sales and what's the thing you hate most about sales?
Well, I'll actually start with the hate most about sales. People normally say being seen as like a sleazy salesperson that's just interested in commission. And normally what they say for love is I want to be seen as someone that's helpful. And it's having a positive impact on them, right? So those are the two most common answers we get for what you love.
And what do you hate most about sales? So essentially, most sales people actually want to help people, right? They don't want to just make their commission check. And at all costs, most sales people are there to help people. So what we are trying to do at Growth Genie, Is give them a framework that's gonna allow them to do that, to be seen as advisors and helpful versus like sleazy sales people that are just interested in commissions.
And essentially the framework that we've come up with is a thing called COSMIC which I can, I can come onto I'm sure you may have some questions on what, what I just said.[:
You know, guys and gals, think about that. If your customer is successful, what are they gonna do? They're gonna refer you in your service or your offering to all their colleagues. And we know referrals are something you should be asking for, right? This is my way of saying you're asking for them, right? So and you wanna ask that.
You want, you want them to be happy, but you also. You know, one of the things that you may not fully understand is buyers talk to other buyers about their buying experiences with you. And what they'll often talk about is not, I mean, sure they'll talk about Bryce cuz you know, in the end of the day it's always a budgetary, budgetary thing, but they'll actually talk about.
The buying experience, you know, you know, Michael was, I really liked working with Michael. He really listened to me. I felt like he got my situation. You know, I had Michael in that I was talking to and I was talking to Sally and I was talking to, to, to Joey, and I was talking to Mary. And so I had four different vendors, but Michael really asked probing questions he made me think, and because of that, I felt like I could trust Michael and the folks at Growth Genie.
All right, so what's driving all of that? What's driving the fact that they talk about the buying experience? Cuz it was so incredible. What's driving that is the actual. Sales methodology, the sales framework, because it's actually telling you what to ask them. It's, it's like, it's like a GPS on your phone. It's telling you which way to turn, depending on which way to nav the conversation. Flows. Alright. Oh, there's a, oh, they said this. Turn here and explore that route a little deeper. That's the beauty of doing it. If you don't do that, then you just sound lost and like you, you don't know what to ask for. So that's why I like frameworks.
Let's talk about COSMIC. I love the name. It's the marketer in me, loves the name. It's Incr. There's so many things I can do with this from a promotion point of view. For those to make sure we're understanding COSMIC in this case, C O S M I C. And it's a nice easy acronym to remember. And these are the kind of things like when I have a framework in my mind, another one that I've used before.
Successfully, Medic, med pick, band, spin spiced, you know, why they work for me and some work better than others. I wanna be clear on that. Is if it's easy to remember what the letters stand for and the heat of the conversation, it will prompt me. I won't have to be struggling for it. It will prompt me to say, Okay, I need to know.
I need to go explore this avenue of questioning now. So let's. COSMIC, let's explore it. Help us understand why it's different cuz you said it offsets some of the weaknesses of other frameworks you've seen. And help me understand, you know what I gain. By asking, you know, for each line of questioning, the C, the O, the yes, the am, the I, the C, and what I lose if I don't ask those questions.
So let's start with that. So COSMIC, let's start with a letter C. What does C stand for? And and, and, and drill down on it for me.[:
We'll come onto the ones that make us more unique later, but to give you an example of why challenges are important, At the moment in the uk we've had this heat wave, right? So it's been like 40 degrees Celsius. So I think in Fahrenheit that's 103, and that's not typical for us. So there may be people listening in like California, where that's, you know, normal weather.
But for us that that's not normal. And what it means, cuz we don't normally have that type of weather, is a lot of people don't have air conditioning. And what's happened is, you know, they can't sleep at night. They're really hot working from. So loads of people went out and bought a fan, so they didn't go out and buy fans because fans of a really quick speed and they look a certain way.
They bought fans because they were sweating in bed. They weren't able to sleep, and they were like, I need to do something about this. So they're buying because of that challenge that, Oh, I'm feeling too hot in my house. I need to cool down. I need to sleep better. So that's an example of why challenges are important, and that's why buyers generally buy more on challenges than features.
And that's why it's to see in our in our COSMIC.[:
Because remember the challenge is never the first answer they tell you. And Michael talked a bit about that, right? We're having a heat wave. So you know, you went and got a fan while you having a fan while having a heat wave. If I stopped there. Oh, so the challenge is the heat wave? No, he said, Well, what's the heat?
Why is the heat wave problem? Well, because I sweat a lot. Well, why is that a problem? Because when I sleep, I'm sweating and the sheets get wet and I, and I, I can't have a solid sleep. And what does that mean? That means wake up the next day and, and I'm underperforming cuz I can't focus everything else. Oh, so you, the symptoms would be, The sweat and the heat.
But the real challenge is that it's the lack of sleep affecting your performance and your productivity. So if I could bring you sleep back, even though it may still be a heat wave outside, that would make you able to focus again. Therefore, that would allow you to be a former productive, make more money, make better decisions, whatever it might be.
So that's the issue. That's the challenge. Yes. Okay. So the challenge is we need to get you to. Nothing to do with the heat wave at all. Nothing to do with sweating. Those are your symptoms. That's brilliant. Cause now you start to understand the, the, the meat of the problem that you can then start addressing about your product, right?
But remember with the framework, too many of you follow in this mistake of soon as you get an answer, you don't drill down like we just talked. And then B, you go into the, Let me tell you how my product is gonna help you sleep more. As nobody cares just yet. You have to go through the whole framework before you can then take a breath and say, Okay, I now understand all the issues.
Let's either set up a follow on meeting or a custom demo, or right now if you have time to talk about specifically how I can address your challenges, et cetera. So, Mistakes people make, have some patience. I love that. So C is for challenge. O what is O for?[:
So being open about actually what you are not good at, and taking it a step further, asking your buyers, what are the main objections you have? Be open with me. I'd like to have very transparent relationships with everyone. And then I always give this example, I think, Kevin Dorsey on LinkedIn first made me aware of this, which was around if any of you have seen the film Eight Mile.
There's a scene in it at the end where e and m's having a rap battle against one of his rivals. And the rival gang, essentially one of his friends had slept with e and m's girlfriend and his friend had shot himself. And what M does is he goes first in the rap battle and he says all of these. He passes the microphone over to the other person and the other guy's got absolutely nothing to say because Eminem's already said all the things that, that the guy was gonna say to him in the rap battle.
So rather than your prospect bringing something up that you know you're not very good at, bring it up proactively. So like in our case, we know one of the biggest objections we got is, Oh, how are you gonna understand our product? How are you gonna be experts in our. So getting ahead of that, I always say, Look, we are never gonna be the experts in the product.
You are. We are just experts in sales process and sales structure, and we are gonna ask you questions to understand the pains of your buyers, which you are then gonna be able to put into a, into a framework. So always be proactive about the objections that your buyers have. So you raise them rather than.[: [:
The online people are like, Oh, we are best of read. We are the market leader. We are top on g2, et cetera. And it lacks a bit of authenticity. So essentially it's just saying, Look, we are not perfect. Nothing's perfect. This is what we are not good at. And then it also, if you do that from an early stage, and that's really important for them.
Then, you know, they're not a good fit for your service. You don't have to go through like a three month sales cycle and find out at the end, or even worse, once they become a customer and they're not a good customer, it actually saves you a lot of time as well.[:
To me, reps are like, But, but I can maybe close it, and I, and I haven't had a lot of conversations, so I'd rather not do that because I already need this deal. Here's what's gonna happen, that client's gonna churn, and then they're gonna claw back your commission and they're gonna yell at you, right? And then it's not good.
It's just not good. You wanna avoid that instead, respect your own time, all right? If you're not selling to them, you're selling to the next person. It's inevitable that the minute you ditch one conversation, there's another active conversation right there. It's amazing how often that happens. What I like about Mo, Michael saying on the open side, I love that he said, Listen, we're not good at this.
I'll never be the product expert You are, but I'm really good at this. When you are authentic, he's in Michael's term. What you're actually doing is building trust, cuz now they're feeling like you're being, you're shooting straight with them. You literally said, I'm weak here. I'm not as strong as you might like me to be, and I'm full disclosure by doing that.
Everything else you say, I am good at this. They've actually believe you, 10 x as opposed to if you'd have said that without being vulnerable and authentic. It's all about trust. Remember, when you're having a, when it's you against the competition, we talked about earlier, you know, three other vendors, it's it often, often there will be at least two vendors whose solutions are comparable, whose prices are comparable.
So which way do they lean? They lean to the person they trust the most. And that if you're open will be you. That's the power of Open. The thing I love about Open is it's so relational. You're making this like a heart to heart conversation between you and the individual as opposed to doing what Michael just said, which is dumping your chest and saying, We're the best.
Look at all these stats out there. Well, you meet with the best, but that doesn't mean you're the right person for me. I need to feel like you're the right person for me. So relationships are a big part of it. That's the C, That's the O. Next one is the s. Or the s and the m if I recall. So what are we talking about with this one, Michael?[:
Material goals that they're trying to get to. So obviously in sales as an example, we're trying to have a certain target for pipeline, maybe generated from marketing or revenue generated from sales, right? So that's what we call a material goal, and that's something, say I'm doing a discovery call, I may ask that, right?
What targets do you have for your sales team? How close are you getting to those at the moment? What's the current situation? So that would be the material. And then from a marketing perspective, if you're looking at case studies, right, it often focuses on the results. We help this company achieve x amount of revenue, 20 million revenue, whatever it is, right?
So that's the material side. Most sales trainers will, will talk about that. Now, the, the s is where things get very different and where we think we are very different from everyone else, which is spiritual. So the spiritual goals of the company you are selling to. The term spiritual is sometimes something that that freaks people out.
But the way I'd like to think about this is what's the higher purpose of the company you're selling into, which normally is related to the mission and vision. So one, you can go on the company's website, have a look at the mission and vision, see the impact they're trying to make, and ask them directly like, what's the bigger impact you're trying to have here?
What's the impact you're trying to have on the. And that's where the COSMIC, the whole letter together comes into play, which is what's that impact on society? And then even if, if I give you an example here, cuz this is an abstract concept, imagine I'm talking to like a chief marketing officer, a chief revenue officer, which is kind of what we do on a daily basis at Growth Genie.
And what we find is, yes, they have the material targets, which is we need to get to X revenue by the end of this year or end of this quarter. But also what drives them is people development. So when they're managing teams and those people get promoted and they're successful and maybe they even replace them in their job when they leave, and that gives them a real sense of fulfillment that they've had a really positive impact on these people's lives.
So that's another example. So yeah, that's the, the spiritual and material, which is a bit of a, a yin and yang thing.[:
Cause you, Because you're right. I don't know. I don't know if I can think of another methodology that talks about. What you're talking about with the, Yes. So what's the consequence? How will that impact me if I don't do that?[:
It's more of like a cold transaction, whereas if you find out that higher purpose, that why, why are they a chief revenue officer at an individual? And why does the company exist? What kind of impact are they trying to make? You're creating a much stronger human relationship, and I think that marketers often think about this.
They're like, How do we make people feel right with our messaging, with our videos, et cetera? But I don't think sales people think about this enough. So it's really connecting with them on like an emotional level, connecting your higher purpose to them. And then really like what's the impact we're gonna have here, aside from just making money for all of us?
Who else is gonna benefit from this?[:
But, you know, I'll throw another s your way if, if, you know, spiritual I think is a better s but another S might be soft. So you have, what's the material? Is, you know, things that are measurable and then what's the softer impact, right? So whether it be employee satisfaction or, you know, we want to change the world, but either way, I think spiritual's better.
But if you're not comfortable with that, I'll throw an S for soft. And and by the way, fully expect Michael to completely ignore my suggestion. So that's just mean a. Us listeners here on the Inside, Inside Sales Show. So that's the S and the S. We have the C, the O, the S, and the Am right now we have Cosm and we need the I.
So what's the I stand for my friend.[:
And again, even if you're doing like B to C knocking on people's doors, the wife may need to convince a husband or husband, convince a wife, or, you know, so it's, it's still related in there. But essentially it's around how much influence do you. Within the company you're selling to, right? So are you speaking to the decision maker?
Are you speaking to the influencer? Are you multi-threading? So that essentially means are you just speaking to one person or are there multiple people involved? Anyone that's worked in B2B for a long time knows that if you just got one person involved in a deal, It's not as likely to close. So it's all around that, around how much influence do you have within the company at a wider level and not just with one person.[:
And, and the numbers are huge now. In fact, even the term buying committee has now gotten replaced the other terms because buying committee suggests there's a defined. Number of people that are involved in the decision. The reality is there's a whole boatload of people who are influencing. They may not be active in the committee, but they, their opinion yields influence.
And if you're not talking to them, then you're kind of screwed if the competition is talking to them. We see that happen all the time where you get talking to maybe, A user who's the person who's really loving your product, cuz they can see how it fixes their job. But nobody ever talks to the economic decision maker or the technical decision maker.
And then suddenly the objections come up at the last minute. Well, this doesn't work with our stack, or this doesn't have the integration we needed these other tools, or this wasn't budgeted for, even though everybody loved the tool and all Greeds gonna do what you promise it would do if you.
Multi-thread the account. If you don't focus on who has influence, you will lose that deal. Especially in the competitive cycle. This is the one area I see people over and over again lose deals on. It's cuz they don't understand influence. All right, last the letter C. Where it cause me, we're bringing it home to cause m.
Emphasis on the C. What is the, what is, We started with a C, which was challenges ending with the C. What is our last C?[:
Cuz this is often a big thing you'll get with companies. You don't lose them to a competitor, you lose them to that they don't do anything. Right? And in this situation, you've always gotta think about the cost of inaction because you need to think if they're saying, Let's do this in three months, and you need to think, well, if you don't do anything within three months, like what's gonna happen?
So again, if I give you the example of the fan, The cost of inaction is for the next two weeks, you're probably not gonna get any sleep cuz you didn't get any sleep the last two nights. So I've had a look at the weather forecast and it's gonna be 40 degrees for the next two weeks, so you're just gonna continue sweating in your bed.
So that's the, the cost of inaction. And then related to that, you brought this up as well, like the next day. You're gonna be really tired at work, and then you're not gonna be able to perform at work and you're in sales and then you're gonna get less commission. Right? So it's thinking about what's that, that cost of inaction if they don't use your solution.[:
The spiritual and the material elements do not get addressed. And what does that mean for the organization? What is the cost of no decision? And that is a really, really, really, really big thing. So, you know, Michael talked about how the sleeping continues to be. The cause of of inaction which can have a roll on effect across.
Imagine you get two weeks of, of bad sleep. What's gonna happen? Well, you become a bear, You become impossible to live with in you, your, your boyfriend or your girlfriend is tired of you being. Difficult and they leave you and then your job says you're a moron. So they fire you all because you didn't get sleep.
Now I'm making that as a bit of an example, but it's not that far out folks, and that's your job. So, There we go. This is COSMIC. This is brought to you by our good friends at Growth Genie, Growth genie.co on the website. And of course you have Michael Hanson, the CEO and founder of it. So a couple things I would do is I would go to the website, check him out, I'd go to LinkedIn and follow him if you haven't done that already.
Cuz he's very active on social, by the way. So he's got all these incredible sound bites. But today's conversation wasn't so much around COSMIC, although I love it because it's different, especially the spiritual element, hugely distinguishing. It was the importance of using the framework to drive the conversations, to position yourself for success.
So remember how we started, We started off with people not knowing how to install an electrical box even though there was a video on it, and it could have been very straightforward. And if they'd have done that, they'd have saved you some, some money. They wouldn't have had to wait three to six months to get a trades person and their living room would've been done, and they would've had the great reveal, the outcome they wanted to, but they didn't wanna follow the f.
For the methodology because they were scared or was awkward, it wasn't something they had done before and it was foreign to them. It didn't feel good. It felt icky. Therefore, I'm sure keep on doing what I'm doing, which isn't working so well for me. You don't wanna do that. The methodology, the framework is there to make you successful.
And ironically, it's there. And Michael alluded to this, to make the customer. Successful as well, because they talk about the buying experience and they're gonna give referrals to you and what you do. So it's the gift that keeps on giving. And it all starts with, with the framework. So I wanna know, folks, what do you think of COSMIC?
Do you like it if, if you do. Shares in the comments whether it be social, YouTube, what have you. Is there another framework you that's worked out well for you? If you've not used the framework or the methodology, what have been your consequences? And by the way, I'll be shocked if somebody doesn't say, Well, I missed my number over and over again, or I lost my job over and over again.
So if you like, I bet you Michael and the team can actually train you on it. Talk to us a little bit about Growth Genie, Michael. I, I gave the kind of the quick and dirty, but, you know, where do you guys really excel and how would I know I might be a potential candidate to engage the folks?[:
But essentially what we saw is the outbound. It's becoming harder because there's loads of email automation happening. People like yourself, Daryl, will get like hundreds of of sales emails a week and, but the SDR role is generally given to like the least experienced person in the company. So you saw there's like a bit of a gap that you give something really hard to, to someone really junior.
And on a spiritual level, it's really disheartening, right? Just getting those all the time. So we felt there's a big gap in the market when it comes to, to training and enablement. So that's essentially what we do at Growth Gen, and there's two sides of it. One is we work on messaging. So looking at things like the material goals, the spiritual goals that, that you are trying to reach.
The challenges that, that you help solve. And then after that, once we've built that messaging, it's training and coaching your sales team how to use that. So that's our that's kind of the story of the company.[:
So there you go folks. That's another episode in the can. Did you like it? Did you have fun? If so, go be COSMIC today on your next sales call. In the meantime, my name is Dar. I'm here on the Inside, Inside Sales Show. We'll talk to you soon. Take care. Bye-bye.
This episode was digitally transcribed.