Lisa McLeod: How to Start Selling with Noble Purpose to Drive More Revenue

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Why are so many big companies now jumping on the “good business” bandwagon? Because that’s what the market wants! But how do you do it? We spoke with an expert, Lisa McLeod about her work helping big companies make the transition and why it’s so important to their sustainable success.

Lisa McLeod is the global expert on purpose-driven business and the bestselling author of Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud. Lisa has spent two decades helping leaders increase competitive differentiation and emotional engagement. Her work debunks the myth that money is the primary motivation for most employees. She developed the Noble Purpose philosophy after her research revealed, salespeople who sell with Noble Purpose, who truly want to make a difference to their customers, outsell salespeople who focus on their own targets and quotas Lisa is a former Procter & Gamble Sales Leader who founded her own firm, McLeod & More, Inc. in 2001. She helps leaders at organizations like Cisco, Roche, Volvo, and Dave & Busters drive exponential revenue growth. Lisa has keynoted in 25 countries and authored over 2,000 articles. She has made appearances on the Today show and the NBC Nightly News, and her firm’s work has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.

Learn more about Lisa and her work at > https://www.mcleodandmore.com

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Transcription of Interview

(Transcribed by Otter.ai, there may be errors)

Adam G. Force 00:03

Welcome to the Change Creator podcast where entrepreneurs come to learn how to live their truth, get rich and make a massive difference in the world. I’m your host, Adam force co founder, Change Creator and co creator of the captivate method. Each week we talk to experts about leadership, digital marketing and sales strategies that you can implement in your business and life to go big, visit us at Change Creator comm forward slash go big to grab awesome resources that will help drive your business forward. All right, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the show, I hope that you’re doing amazing we have some good stuff today. I’m excited because we’re going to be talking with Lisa McLeod, okay. She is a, an expert in something that we love, purpose driven business and selling. Okay. So she’s she is known around the world as an expert in purpose driven business. And she’s actually the best selling author of a book she wrote called selling with noble purpose, how to drive revenue, and do work that makes you proud. Now, she spent a few decades working with leaders to increase their competitive differentiation. And here’s what’s really important emotional engagement as well, all right. And she kind of breaks down this whole process for these big companies and how to put more purpose into their business, get them on the right track, not only just for the field goodness, and protecting the planet, protecting people doing the right things, but because doing that is actually more profitable. And there’s evidence out there, we’re going to talk about these things today. So you can really kind of get your head wrapped around like the direction business is going from the top down. I mean, it’s started with like this whole transition to social entrepreneurship and small businesses. But now it’s just kind of starting to boom, and it’s starting to vibrate through all size organizations. And so this is an exciting conversation and how she broke in and started actually consulting on this is pretty cool. So lots to learn through this conversation. Now, if you missed the last episode, Amy and I spoke about how marketing is not just about numbers and big audiences. Alright, so this is an important conversation, because we kind of get wrapped up in the wrong things, especially when we’re running a solo business or just with a founder. And we’re kind of like, in our own world. And we’re so wrapped up about numbers and big audiences, it leads to bad decision making bad decision making leads us to being stuck, because it’s usually based on asking bad questions. Okay. So definitely an episode, go back, check it out. If you haven’t yet, I think you got a lot of little gold nuggets out of that. Um, so lots of exciting stuff going on here at Change Creator, we’re going to be having kind of like a big revamp across our general network. And we’re still running a lot of content on Change creator.com. So guys, don’t forget to visit there, you can just go to Change creator.com forward slash, go big, and grab some of the free assets that we have to help you out. But also, that’ll lead you to the rest of our website, we do lots of good reviews of tools, guys. I mean, we are all about brand stories, okay, so we help people get very clear on their brands and their identities and the stories that they’re telling. Because this is so important. It’s the backbone of your business. And we have to be able to deliver those messages, right. So this is where the tactics come in. But first, we got to know what those stories are. All the tools and things we’re doing. This is your presence. This is your world to deliver your stories. Alright, so we get deep on those things to help you guys make good decisions on that. Alright guys, let’s dive into this conversation with Lisa. There’s just so much good stuff here. We’re going to cover so let’s do it. Okay, show me the heat. Coming to the Change Creator, podcast show, how are you doing today?

Lisa McLeod 03:52

I am awesome. Despite social unrest and a pandemic, I’m still awesome.

Adam G. Force 03:58

Yeah, the pandemic that’s a we can go off on a tangent on that one. But let’s not do that. So we are here to talk about you know, meaningful business right, you know, selling with a noble purpose as your your latest book is titled, and we’ll get into that more. So before we do, just tell everybody a little bit about what is going on in your world today and your business like what’s the latest and you know, a little bit of background on how you got there.

Lisa McLeod 04:28

So, as you said, I’m the author of a book called selling with noble purpose and like a lot of people my story to get there had a lot of twists and turns. And so I’ll say the thing about my backstory is what selling one noble purpose did was it brought together my super hyper competitiveness about wanting to sell and help companies sell along with wanting to make a difference in the world. And it relates actually to the pandemic and all this social unrest because the thing works. Seeing in our business right now, I work as a consultant that I do a lot of training for sales organizations. And we’re seeing this fundamental question that people are starting to ask, which is, you know, who am I? Why am I here? And why does this job even matter? And so what’s happening is that is coming at the same time that customers are saying, Why are you here? Are you just trying to close me? Or are you trying to actually help me? And so you have customers that are starting to question intent? And then you have people in sales jobs that are starting to say, does this even matter? And if you can’t answer those two questions, you’re going to be out of luck.

Adam G. Force 05:39

Yes, I love that. And I love that you brought up the intent because one thing I’ve been saying for a while, and now I got some backup I hear from you is like, I’m always saying, guys, yeah, the customer, you they want to know, we call it with them, what’s in it for them? Right? And but I go, it’s much more than that today. Now, they’re gonna look at you and say, well, what’s in it for you? Why are you doing this? Yeah, I think we’re seeing that more. But a lot of people aren’t really taking notice of that, because you still see a lot of promotion of marketing, like, Oh, it’s all about the customer. And what’s in it for them, forget everything else, focus on the benefits for them and all that stuff. I’m like, it’s going beyond that. Now, don’t you know, and that sounds like you’re feeling the same way.

Lisa McLeod 06:18

I am. And it’s more than just you and I feeling that way, there’s actually hard data that tells us this, I want to go back to what you were saying about the wiffen what’s in it for them. That’s sort of sales 101, you know, to get away from here’s my product, and just the spray and pray. And I’m old, I’ve been in sales like a really long time, I’m not going to give a number but a lot older than you. And that old sort of wisdom thing was based on this, if I could show you a way to save money and do this really preachy inauthentic model, and so now, customers are reading your true intent. And what the data tells us is sales people whose true intent is to improve life for customers, not just toss out some with them. So Cz, here’s your little benefit, but whose true and noble intent was to improve life for customers do a couple things. They outsell salespeople whose internal talk track is focused on their own targets. They also this is really important for this time, put for more effort. And they have more tenacity. Because if you’re just in it for yourself, I mean, you just mentioned to me in the warm up that you have a five month old, so you have definitely experienced this. If you’re just living life for yourself. At a certain point. You’re not going to make the extra effort. But if you know someone else is counting on you, that’s when we go the extra mile. It’s part of our DNA or hardware that way. And so the sales people that felt like their customers were really counting on them. And they were doing something valuable, put forth more effort over time, and they could rebound in the face of setbacks.

Adam G. Force 07:56

Yeah, I love that. And I would actually love to know where this hard data comes from. Can I get my hands on it?

Lisa McLeod 08:05

Absolutely. So the best place is in our book selling with noble purpose. And I’ll tell you, it comes from a couple of places. One, there was a real breakthrough study out of Michigan State University by Dr. Valerie Goode, who this was actually her PhD dissertation that she did this across multiple industries. And she was able to through interviews, discern what the mental talk track was of the salespeople, whether they were thinking I’ve got to hit my number, I’ve got to close this deal, versus whether they’re thinking how could I improve life for the customer. And so she was able to discern that those who had that second talk track were the top performers and have more tenacity. There’s also organizational research, there was a huge article in Harvard Business Review. And a former I used to work for Procter and Gamble, a former p&g colleague of mine, Jim Stengel, also study this, that organizationally, when you have a purpose bigger than money, you outperform the competition. Stangl study said by 350%, by the HBr study said you also outperform the competition on not just sales, but also employee engagement, and customer retention.

Adam G. Force 09:18

Yeah, that’s great. And I you know, so hearing those types of things it makes me think of, we call it money breath when you go as a sales rep, right? Yeah, you get money breath because you are concerned about hitting a number getting the sale, and not as concerned about helping that person which, you know, we have those mirror neurons that start firing and they people pick up on that, whether it’s whether they realize it or not, they’re picking up on that body language, facial expressions, whatever it might be, that’s sharing that kind of feeling that person has, right.

Lisa McLeod 09:53

That’s exactly it. I love I’ve heard it called money breath and quota breath and it’s kind of like onion breath. Yeah, yeah, if I ate for lunch, I might not have onions in my teeth. But if I’m breathing them on you, you know I hadn’t? Yes. And so the here’s the important thing to recognize is, we uncovered this several years ago that this different mindset was the difference between average performance and top performance. But here’s what organizations unknowingly do. They are literally doing the equivalent of feeding their employees onions at lunch, because if you think about the average way an organization communicates with their sales people, they don’t say, how can we make a difference to customers? unless there are top performing organization? Most organizations say hit the number, hit the number hit the number. So then that person is out there breathing, as you call it, money breath on the customer? That’s because that’s what their company fed them for lunch.

Adam G. Force 10:50

Yeah. Yeah. Hundred percent. I mean, it’s, it’s it’s a symptom of the model.

Lisa McLeod 10:55

Right? Is the model. Yeah, it’s the ecosystem around the seller.

Adam G. Force 10:59

Yeah. And it’s a product of desperation. Sometimes.

Lisa McLeod 11:03

It can be. And I really understand that. And so when I say this, this is what they fed them for lunch. I say it with great empathy. Because I have run a business where we were worried about money during the recession. And it’s horrible. You lie awake at night thinking, How can I pay my people? You know, can we make payroll Friday, it’s a terrible feeling. And so what we wanted to do in the book, Simon noble purpose is actually the second edition, because we’ve learned a lot since the first edition, is we wanted to show well intended people, how you can create an ecosystem in your organization, and how you can create the mental tenacity in yourself to always be focused on improving life for the customer, because it’s easier said than done. Because everything in a traditional business model points you the other way

Adam G. Force 11:52

It does and it is easier said than done. And I can see so many roadblocks for that. Because, like we said product of that ecosystem, or just system in general, because people are always stressed about money if they’re not making enough one way or the other. And because we live in that kind of a system, you’re you’re kind of stressing about, you put all your energy on that. And so now you get into a mode of just, I gotta get this money, I got it. And that’s all you’re focused on. So it’s hard to flip the script, because you have, you have like, and you’ve been indoctrinated to feel and believe certain things based on everything that’s happening around you.

Lisa McLeod 12:29

That’s right. And it something monumental happened last summer, that was not noticed by a lot of people outside the corporate world. But the CEO Roundtable, which is several hundred of America’s top CEOs put a stake in the ground, and they renamed the purpose of a business because up until that point, we had been in what folks refer to as a shareholder primacy model, which is, the purpose of a business is to make money. And what these CEOs saw was, if that’s your Northstar, not only do you run the risk of unethical behavior, hello, Wells Fargo. But for most people, most people aren’t going to be unethical. But what happens is, you don’t create competitive differentiation. Because all you’re thinking about the money, you’re not thinking about customers, you don’t create emotional engagement. And so the CEO said, the purpose of a business is to provide a return to stakeholders at the top of the list is customers. And so it was an important thing. But what we made it our practice to do is particularly for organizations that are sales driven organizations, is we identified 10 places within the ecosystem where you can flip the switch, to make it easier for people to focus on making a difference to customers.

Adam G. Force 13:48

Interesting. And so this is the consulting that you offer, right? You go in and you kind of have a blueprint have areas that are pivotal to look at, diagnose and optimize in order to get new results.

Lisa McLeod 14:02

That’s right. And one of them is so simple

Adam G. Force 14:06

Give us an example, you guys have to read the book or whatever to get the details. But let’s let’s get a little taste of what you got going on.

Lisa McLeod 14:13

So I’ll give you a very specific example. So one of the things that we know is the way you run your sales meetings, is again, you got to run your sales meetings differently than traditional. So we were working with a client and this is all public. It’s in the book. It’s on our website. It was a bank, out of Atlanta, a commercial bank called Atlantic capital bank, great bank, nice people, several hundred people, profitable bank, but they said we want to up our game. We want to be differentiated. We want to stand out in our space, and we want to become a best place to work. So one of the things we did a number of things, but one thing we did was we changed the way they ran their sales meetings. And so instead of starting the sales meeting the way we usually do, here’s the numbers. Here’s what the pipeline looks like. Here’s what we need. Close, all important things. Sure. Instead, what we taught them how to do, and every single person the bank knows how to do this is they start their meetings with a customer impact story, a story about how they made a difference to a customer. And it can be as simple as, here’s this customer we loaned money to, for their chain of dry cleaners, there are now 15 people employed there. This is what they do, this is how they do it. Here’s a photo of the owner, we’re making a difference. This wasn’t just money that went out the door, what we’re doing is we’re fueling their prosperity. What that does, when you start your Start your meetings like this, you fire up a totally different section of people’s brains. There’s neuroscience on this, because now everybody’s frontal lobes are fired up, empathy and compassion are fired up. They’re saying, Wow, we make a difference, we have this higher purpose, you can literally make your team more confident and more authentic by telling these stories in every meeting. And that’s one thing that we did, and you can like anyone listening to this podcast, you can start doing this, like in a half hour from now

Adam G. Force 16:04

Yeah, I mean, it’s a very simple adjustment. But you might need to really, it might first mean that the team has to actually focus on those things to get those stories because they might not even be paying attention to that yet.

Lisa McLeod 16:18

Well, that’s the part telling the stories isn’t challenging, finding the stories can be challenging. And so that’s a lot of the work that we do with companies is finding their stories, because in organizations, we tend to have two kinds of stories, we have the wind story, we closed a million bucks, we’re awesome, whoo, this bomb, yay, or I guess elbow bump now. Or we have the product story. Here’s what we make and how cool it is. What we do is we put the impact that you have on customers at the center is very different than a lot of companies will say we want to be customer focused, but that tends to be nonspecific. And so selling with noble purpose goes beyond pleasing customers. It’s about improving customers. And that seems nuanced. But you can probably hear the difference in it.

Adam G. Force 17:09

Oh, yeah, of course. And you made me think of Danny Meyer’s, I don’t know if you know who that is. He’s a wrestler. He’s like a world famous restaurant owner. And he has some of the most ridiculous restaurants in New York, like multiple Michelin stars, all that fun stuff.

Lisa McLeod 17:26

I know who he is. He has not cooked for me though…yet

Adam G. Force 17:29

Yeah, we I took my wife to 11 Madison for a lunch and it was like $1,000. So you know…

Lisa McLeod 17:35

Hope it was a good lunch.

Adam G. Force 17:36

It was a very good lunch. You know, he wrote a book called setting the table. And I was like, why would I read a book from a restaurant guy. But it was all about business. And his whole thing was going above and beyond for the customer. Like, for example, he had a call from somebody that he knew a potential like someone that comes to the restaurant. He’s like, Listen, can I have a big thing going on? And I want to know if you can open up the restaurant for this important business thing I have happening. And it’s like midnight or something. He’s like, Are you kidding me? But instead of like resisting and saying No way, he was like, Sure, I’ll do it. Not only did he do that, he found out information about the people that he was bringing, and what was going on. And he went above and beyond. And he made it an events that they would never forget, right. And he did this on a regular basis. He literally would Google people who made reservations. And he would sit them next to each other so they can start sparking conversation, like these types of things.

Lisa McLeod 18:35

And you’re giving evidence to how effective that is. Because you’ve eaten his restaurant now I can’t wait to eat as restaurant now we’re spending our precious air time talking about the guy and were enamored of him. And that’s what we find is when you have this clarity about what your noble purpose is, which is not making money, it’s beyond making money in that bet particular bank, it was we fuel prosperity, when you have clarity about what your noble purpose is, then you can get everybody in your organization lined up. Because the challenge is so often, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, you usually do have clarity. And you didn’t go into business, just because you thought it would be you know, a whim, you usually have clarity about how you want to make a difference. The challenge is cascading that down to customers, and to employees so they can cascade it to customers. Because what usually happens is, somebody has this great idea, oh, I’m gonna, you know, do this great restaurant, I’m going to make it this way and have this great customer experience. Then when it goes down to levels and that person isn’t in the room. You find yourself saying things like focus on the customer. Yeah, but that’s not exactly what he meant. What he What if I was to work with him and come up with his noble purpose. It would probably be something like we make memories that last a lifetime or something like that. If I tell the server, you’re making a memory, it’s gonna last last a lifetime. Well, that’s totally different. Totally different.

Adam G. Force 20:03

Yeah, totally different than focus on the customer. Exactly. Take care of the customer customer first, like that doesn’t really? Yeah. What does that mean?

Lisa McLeod 20:12

It doesn’t, it doesn’t provide you with the disk with a lens for decision making. And that’s what we’ve seen with our clients is, the noble purpose does three things. It seeds, your culture, it gives you something to stand for. The second thing it does is it provides a lens versus Dziedzic decision making. So if your purpose is make memories that last a lifetime, or fuel prosperity, or whatever it is, helps you figure out what to say yes to and what to say no to. And then the third thing is it drives sales behavior. And that’s where you get the huge economic win.

Adam G. Force 20:45

Yeah, I think that’s great. I mean, I love that distinction. Because the clarity is so important, especially when you’re trying to grow a team, and you want to stay true to the original intention.

Lisa McLeod 20:56

That’s right, it takes what we’ve done, we’ve worked with a lot of smaller and midsize organization, and it takes what is implicit in your business, and makes it absolutely explicit. So with that, with that bank, and they’re on our website, you can see the CEO talking, it’s what he and the other founders had in their heart. But yet, as they grew to several hundred people, it was starting to erode. So what we did was we put that stake in the ground. And I’ll give you another thing that you can do, that we talked about, we coach a lot of sales managers. And one of the things that we do is we anyone can do this is we insert what we call the game changing question. Okay. So the game changing question is, after you ask your salesperson, when are we going to close it? How much is it going to be? Who’s the competition? And when we get the money? You ask one single question, how will the customer be different as a result of doing business with us? And that one question will point your seller towards the customer, it will also tell you what your likelihood is of closing the business.

Adam G. Force 22:06

Yeah, I like that. I mean, you’re it makes you very focused on the result. Right, right. So it’s not? Yeah, I mean, it really puts the attention there to make sure that you’re walking away with the result that you intended.

Lisa McLeod 22:20

That’s right. Because if I ask a salesperson, how will the customer be different as a result of doing business with us? And they can’t tell me? They’re not going to be able to tell the customer? No. And so, yeah, so every product you make, every presentation you do, every coaching session, you have, should be aligned around answering that single question. That’s why we call it the game changer, because it totally, it shifts your focus from you to the customer. And it shifts your focus from trying to do something it’s nice to try and do some actually makes a difference.

Adam G. Force 22:55

Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. Now, tell me a little bit of just about you, you know, you’re you start working with these clients. I’m curious on, for example, let’s go back to when you decided, you know, you’re not working at PNG, you’re doing your own thing, and you’re getting clients based on the idea of this. What were some of the challenges you faced on locking in a partnership?

Lisa McLeod 23:22

So I’ll tell you, I left p&g many years ago, and I went to work for a small consulting firm. So I was very fortunate in that I could work for someone who already had some established thought leadership, we were in the sales and leadership space. And I could learn a lot there. And I started my own firm, I’ve started to be really honest about this. I know a lot of people start their own firm because they’ve got some big sexy idea or something like that. I started my own firm, because I was a VP of sales, who worked a 70 hour travel week, and I had a baby. And that was not gonna work. So it was really I loved what I did. But that was back in the days when you didn’t go to your boss and say, Hey, I’d like to work 20 hours a week. So I decided to do that on my own. But my biggest challenge in getting clients in the early days, especially around this idea of noble purpose, because I don’t have it quite as as clear as I do. Now. The biggest challenge was helping people connect the idea of belief and seemingly soft things with hard revenue. Because when I first started doing this, we know how to study for Michigan State. We didn’t have a front page of the HBr Harvard Business Review. It was. And so what we ended up with in the beginning was this handful of clients that said, yeah, we believe that will work and we didn’t have a lot of evidence. We had some psychological studies, but not any real hard business evidence. So for example, one of our early clients was Hootsuite. Yeah. And we started to work with them in early days. And then chief revenue officer Steve Johnson is pretty well known guy in sales, you know, heard me speak and said that thing, that noble purpose thing we got to younger on Salesforce, we need that. And it took off like lightning around the globe, they own their space. They grew revenue by 2,000% during the time that we worked with them. So after we started getting some hits like that, from people who instinctively knew that this was right, then we had the evidence.

Adam G. Force 25:30

Yeah, I mean, that makes a lot of difference. And I want to make a point of clarity for people listening is like, when you have these ideas, the fact that you weren’t as clear as you are now about really, you know how you were going to do this thing? Yeah, what it actually looks like you were kind of like working through it that didn’t stop you from reaching out and selling the idea, right?

Lisa McLeod 25:53

No, it didn’t. And I want to clarify, it didn’t stop me the lack of clarity didn’t stop me from reaching out and trying to sell the idea. I wasn’t always successful in selling it.

Adam G. Force 26:03

But that’s okay.

Lisa McLeod 26:04

But that’s okay. And that’s how you learn. And so what happens is, the essence of your idea will attract those early adopters, those people who were already thinking about this, so we had Hootsuite was an early client, company advocate, another company out of Canada, g adventures was an early client, we had a company called shelf Genie that makes glide outs for your shelving, you know, so so it’s easy to get to. And all of those, there were individual leaders who said, This is what I’ve been thinking, you’re naming what I’ve been thinking. And so it wasn’t new to them, but I had a little more clarity than they did. And so the the me that you’re interviewing now, is 10 years later, we’ve done this with, you know, over two dozen firms, we have hard numbers, but the me in the early days was there’s something bigger than money here. And if we can tap into it, I think we can do big things. And the lease and people listening probably have an idea like that stated that way. And don’t try to convince the skeptics go with the people who go, yeah, that’s sort of what I was thinking tooo. those are your people

Adam G. Force 27:15

Exactly. Yeah, it makes so much sense. And, you know, you got to let you got to go out there, get the feedback, see what people are responding to that data is just priceless. And I mean, how are you getting in touch with Hootsuite? How are you like, you know, getting leads for an idea like this just emailing out and pitching the idea? Like, how do you get someone’s valuable time to say, Hey, I have this idea, I can get you more sales. What was your strategy?

Lisa McLeod 27:41

It was content marketing. It was putting it out there and seeing what people responded to. And for, in my case, because I do consulting and training and speaking, it was speaking at a lot of conferences. And so when we traced back, all of those early sales, every single one can be traced back to something I put in writing, even if it was speaking at a conference which sign that Hootsuite even if it was that I was at that conference, because something I wrote.

Adam G. Force 28:11

Okay, so your content is people took notice, it was of interest and it got you recognized got it,

Lisa McLeod 28:18

right, one of our biggest clients read an article, founder of a global adventure travel company, read an article, he sent it to his VP of sales and said, This is what we need to start doing. And the VP of sales, read it and thought, well, I’ll just call her.

Adam G. Force 28:32

Exactly.

Lisa McLeod 28:33

And so that’s that’s the important thing. And most folks know this now, as it’s hard to resist the temptation to do marketing, early in your content, if you know what I mean. And it’s hard to resist temptation. Talk about yourself is not interesting to people. That’s not interesting. What is interesting, is your point of view your take on things, and also how you’ve helped people.

Adam G. Force 29:01

Yeah, yeah, I mean, something that we like to emphasize is, you know, we teach storytelling for marketing. And we talk about telling the right stories to the right people at the right time. There’s a time and a place for you to use your personal stories to demonstrate different lessons or experiences. And you’re right, you the timing factor, if they’re coming in, for the first time to read an article like what is that article going to be about isn’t going to make sense for them based on you know, where you are in that journey?

Lisa McLeod 29:29

Right. Because back to what we were talking about with sellers and with customers, people are starting to gauge intent in a much more skilled way. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. One, we have a whole generation of people who grew up as digital natives, you know, I’m old. So when I watched the news, I was like, well, it’s the news. It must be true. You know, and I had a hard time on learning that but you have a lot of people that are like your age, like My daughter’s age. She’s a first year school teacher. And they are looking for intent in everything that comes at them. Yeah. Yeah, completely different. So you have all these young people who are looking for intent. And then the other thing you have, and I don’t talk about differences between men and women very often. But in this one instance, it does apply. You have more and more women buyers, and women have centuries of learning how to gauge intent. And we can spot it.

Adam G. Force 30:32

Yeah, it’s interesting. Good, for good reason. for good

Lisa McLeod 30:39

reasons. Our lives depended on being able to assess intent. And those skills have been handed down to us for a long time. And I had I had one VP of Sales say to me, you know, about half our buyers now are women. And if I get one more complaint about my salespeople going on and on about themselves, I’m gonna scream.

Adam G. Force 31:01

Yeah, of course

Lisa McLeod 31:02

because they’re reading that intent. That aside, all customers are in a heightened phase right now. And and now that all sales are being done virtually, and we don’t have the come on in and shake my hand have a cup of coffee, all those necessities, people reading your intent in the first 30 seconds. 100%.

Adam G. Force 31:21

Yeah, I mean, and it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s a different dynamic, for sure. And I think a lot of people are struggling to adapt, but it’s gonna be interesting to see, you know, what happens over the next 12 months.

Lisa McLeod 31:34

Yeah. And it’s from where I sit, and what we’re seeing with our clients, that companies whose sales people can go out, and be clearly there to help customers and be excited and be compelling, are the ones who are going to win. And you create those sales people. You can’t create passionate, compelling sales people unless you have a passionate compelling story, inside the company, and desperate to hit our numbers is not a compassionate, compelling story. So organizations that really create that customer impact story, that noble purpose, and they infuse it into every phase of their sales process and their daily cadence. Those are the ones who are going to win. And they’ll be still standing a year from now.

Adam G. Force 32:19

And that’s the thing. And then you also create a loyal client or customer, whatever you want to call it. And so your your, the lifetime value of that client will probably go up as well. And the person with the best lifetime customer value is going to have the biggest marketing budget.

Lisa McLeod 32:38

That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And the things that we’ve seen with our clients that have embraced this idea of selling the normal purpose is they have increased customer retention dramatically. The bank I mentioned to you, their earnings were up 40%, that is a lot of money. They won a Best Place to Work award two years in a row voted on by their employees because their employees are on fire. And they were voted two years ago best bank in America, the CEOs on the cover of American banker. And it’s because once we get beyond food and shelter, human beings have two fundamental needs. We want belonging and we want significance, we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. And if you can capture that, as an employer, you don’t have to be curing cancer. I mean, if you are good for you, but I mean, we’ve had, you know, Hootsuite, they’re empowering human connection, this bank, they’re fueling prosperity, the people that make the glide out shelving are putting more joy and love into the home, because you’re not going to bang, throw your cabinets to get out your cookie sheet. I mean, it doesn’t have to be world peace. But if you have clarity that your work makes a difference. That’s how you create what we call the tribe of true believers.

Adam G. Force 33:53

Hundred percent. I love that. And you know, it’s interesting, because we’ve had like, similar pivots and people’s mindsets where we’ve literally had people join, like one of our programs, and they’ll go through and be like, after they go through this process, because we’re all about this intention as well. Right? Like, yeah, they meaningful and when they go through certain processes, and they start thinking about why they’re really doing things and who they are, are they aligned to their truth, all these things? It’s like, they’re like, wait a minute, I think I need to change my business. Like, yeah, well happens all the time. You know,

Lisa McLeod 34:25

It happens all the time. The thing that makes me so sad about that, is in a lot of cases, they might not have needed to change their business, because a lot of companies do really make a difference to their customers. But that’s not what they give voice to. Instead, the positioning, right. It’s not the positioning, it’s not the voice. Everything in business, pulls us too, talking about the KPIs talking about the numbers, and that then becomes the story. And those are important, but they’re not the story. They’re the result of the story. And so I see a lot of people discouraged with They’re companies. And oh, my work doesn’t matter. I had one guy Tell me after I gave a big speech, he came up afterwards. And he said, Well, this noble purpose stuff, it really resonates with me. But my wife is the one who has the real noble purpose. And I said, What does she do? He said, Well, she’s a preschool teacher. And I’m like, What do you do? And he says, I manage logistics for this huge company had 250 people working for him. I’m like, she has a noble purpose. I mean, I love toddlers. But come on, buddy. Like you’re managing 250 people, your words are affecting how they experience their life every single day. I think you need some noble purpose, my friend. If you’ve ever been in logistics, you know, getting your shit done on time kind of matters to a lot of people

Adam G. Force 35:45

Yeah, so many things come down to this perspective, and it drives our decision making. And you know, people always used to ask me when we first started, Change Creator magazine, what’s the difference between an economic entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur? And I was just like, honestly, the decisions that we make, that’s really what it comes down to.

Lisa McLeod 36:02

Yeah. Well, and I will tell you that our work has revealed the social and the economic are linked. And yeah, oh, yeah. They are absolutely linked. And if you’re driving forces to make money, chances are, you’re gonna make less of it.

Adam G. Force 36:19

That’s the thing. And you might make money like, yeah, sure you got wolf on Wall Street, he wasn’t out to help anybody made money. But there’s other downsides and cost to that one may not be sustainable to you may not be later on down the road feeling good or fulfilled with your life. And three, it may be short lived, you know?

Lisa McLeod 36:38

Yeah, it is usually short lived. And if you look at I use Wells Fargo, and as an example, there are a lot of really good people that work for Wells Fargo. But what happened in that organization is the CEO said, Our purpose is to cross sell. Our purpose is to increase the share of wallet, our purpose is to hit these metrics. And when the CEO says it, it amplifies down to then everybody every day is having a report on these metrics. Had he said, as our friends at Atlantic capital set, our purpose is to fuel the prosperity of our clients. Right? Right, they would have cascaded as we did with Atlanta capital, we cascaded down an entirely different set of metrics. That’s why they’re on the cover of American banker, not in front of Congress.

Adam G. Force 37:24

On 100%, you know, one last thing that came to mind that I didn’t get to pick your brain on before was what really intrigued me is like your early days of like getting this thing going, because I know a lot of people in our who are listening here, they’re, they’re figuring things out, right, and you got the you got the ball rolling with an idea that you had. But when you brought on early stage clients, I’m curious around the idea, like so you, you’re actually doing something very significant. Like you’re working with some pretty decent sized teams, you know, seven figure companies, they have sales teams, all these things set up already. And you have to go in, and as a consultant adjust what they’re doing. So at one point, this was just an idea with that you had no personal data, or evidence from besides like literature and research and things like that. So was it hard for you like, with your confidence to go in there and be like, Oh, my God, I’m gonna go in there. I hope this works. You know?

Lisa McLeod 38:26

The short answer is yes. The short answer is yes. Having said that, we had done enough research. So the the idea actually came out of some of the research that we had done early days, that wasn’t our idea. It was a client’s idea. They had a study their sales team, and identify what differentiated the top performers. And that’s how we actually landed on selling with noble purpose, because I thought I was just doing a project for a client. And what ended up happening was, we were able to through these interviews that we did with folks, we watched himself, he looks at product knowledge, all these things. But I’m really interested in what goes on in people’s brains. And it wasn’t even really part of the assignment. But I thought, well, I’m gonna be out with these people. I’m gonna have to have dinner with him every night. I want to figure out what’s what here. And so when we studied the sales team, what I realized was there was a certain percentage of people that had this completely different mindset. And so we went back to the company, and we had done this study, it was a blind study. And they said, Who do you think our top people are? And I said, I think these five are the top people. And I was right. And I realized it was because they had this sense of purpose. And so when you ask, how confident was I, I knew that what I had spotted was real. In the early days, what I wasn’t as confident on was the way that I would bring that to life with people who didn’t have it. That took only a solid decade. So I knew that I could I’d seen it. I knew this thing was real. And so the the way That I managed that, you know, as an imperfect human was, when I went in and tried to act, all bravado and I got this, that actually didn’t work as well, right as when I went in, and we decided early on that our company purpose was to help leaders drive revenue, and do work that makes you proud. And so what we decided those two parallels is we would go in and just start asking questions about Where’s your revenue? Now? Where are the opportunities? Where do you think it could be? What areas do we want to increase? What’s employee engagement? Like how well do your sales people tell a story, and so instead of acting like we had the script for everything, we started to co develop this with our clients. And the more we did that, the more confidence we built, the more we went in and tried to act like we knew anything, everything, the more people would poke holes in it and erode our confidence. So it’s kind of ironic. Yeah.

Adam G. Force 41:00

Yeah, I mean, going in and just being honest and genuine. And yeah, I guess putting on that front. It never ends up going, Well, people can, you’re right, they poke holes in it, and they’re gonna break it down.

Lisa McLeod 41:11

And it also kind of tends to be confrontational. And that was the thing. You know, once you have a new thing, you think it’s a bigger departure from what people are already doing than perhaps it is. And that’s natural. When you have a new idea, you want to be distinct, you want to be different. What I came to realize over the years of doing this is what we’re doing is taking what people are already doing, and taking it up a level.

Adam G. Force 41:35

Yeah, yeah.

Lisa McLeod 41:37

And those are going to be our best clients and people that say, yeah, we already are pretty customer focus. Yeah, we do have a good business. We hope those kinds of people take it up a level. And you know, now when I go in, I can confidently say, There’s 10 things we look at, let’s do this, let’s do this. But it’s still a collaboration with the client.

Adam G. Force 41:54

Yeah, yeah. Great. I love it. Thank you, Lisa. This is a lot of good information. So hope everybody listening, sees all the gold nuggets that I’m seeing, and I appreciate you sharing it and the work that you’re doing, just sharing it in the book and kind of helping these clients and that you have, do things the right way and think about business in the right way. I mean, that is the key. For us, too. It’s really how we think and approach business. So dictates the decisions that we make. Right?

Lisa McLeod 42:22

That’s exactly it. And they’re the thing for us that we’re working on now is scale of when we, when we look at what’s happening in the world, you know, there’s some areas we can affect, there’s others that we can’t. But one thing we know to be true, is that business crosses, the lines that divide us business crosses international lines, it crosses a lot of socio economic lines. And the way we are at work becomes the way we are everywhere. And if we can get people thinking in this noble purpose way, and out of their own head and the ability to see the other, whether it’s a customer or whoever it is, is not just a means to your own end. But as someone that you can help when you flip that switch. Your Business changes, but so does your life.

Adam G. Force 43:13

Yeah, 100%. That’s a good note to end on here. We’ll wrap up and let’s make sure people know where do they learn more, and you know, find your book and stuff.

Lisa McLeod 43:23

Google selling with noble purpose, you will find our website go on Amazon. It’s available. The new version is available right now. And I really hope I want people to take away we work as a consulting firm with a lot of big organizations. If that’s what you’re interested in, we’d love to work with you. But if you were an entrepreneur, we made this book so that you could implement it on your own because I was founded a small startup and I know you can’t hire people. So we made this book with scripts and task lists and lots of small actions that you can take so that you can do it. Absolutely on your own. Beautiful.

Adam G. Force 44:03

Thank you so much, Lisa. We appreciate your time.

Lisa McLeod 44:06

It was so great to be with you Adam. Take care.

Adam G. Force 44:10

Thanks for tuning in to the Change Creator podcast visit us at Change creator.com forward slash go big to get access to free downloads and other great resources that will drive your business forward.

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