The simple strategies get your customers to buy more



Bob Marsh

Keynote speaker and sales expert Bob Marsh spent his career in sales and sales leadership. Bob has been a sales leader and CEO at two category creating companies, has raised millions in venture capital, sold two companies, and has won and grew business from some of the top brands in the world. In addition to professional speaking, Bob is an active Chief Revenue Officer of Bluewater Technologies, one of the nation's leading audio-visual technology firms, which means he’s in the trenches of today’s business world. In 2022 Bob was selected as SellingPower’s Chief Revenue Officer of the Year, and a Top 25 Sales Expert to Learn From. He has spoken at industry leading events including Dreamforce, SaaStr, Sales 2.0, and HubSpot’s INBOUND, and been published in Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review.

Ever found yourself in the midst of a pushy sales conversation?

It’s no fun being on the receiving end of it… so why do we think we need to BECOME the pushy salesperson to successfully land a sale?

I don’t know about you, but it’s a big no from me.

There’s a reason sales have such a negative perception around them. Most salespeople?

They suck.

They’re trying to push a sale, all without actually understanding the person they’re talking to.

Their customer isn’t a human – they’re just another number, and another opportunity to make more $$.

Being good at sales DOESN’T mean being good at being pushy.

In fact…

… it’s the total opposite.

In this week’s episode of the Bringing Business to Retail podcast, my guest Bob Marsh takes the whole sales process off the table and reframes it: now, we’re giving customers the ability to make decisions about what they ACTUALLY want… and when they can do that, they BUY MORE!

Your job is to help your customer make a decision. It’s not to pull the wool over their eyes and trick them into spending money with you.

If you’re sick of feeling ‘salesy’, you can’t miss this. Enjoy this episode and leave the sticky sales agendas behind!


** There are 9 strategies I use when helping retail/e-comm businesses move their stock fast so they can reinvest that money into new business. Head over to to know exactly what those 9 strategies are and how I use them.


[0:00:02] – Introduction to the podcast topic of getting more sales and customers.

[0:00:52] – Why do people hate selling? Sales is about giving customers choices to make quick decisions. Today’s guest Bob Marsh will discuss strategies for this.

[0:01:38] – Bob Marsh introduces himself and says he’s excited for the conversation.

[0:01:46] – Salena Knight acknowledges her hoarse voice.

[0:02:07] – Bob Marsh discusses the negative perception of salespeople and how it’s a shame because not all sellers deserve that perception. Some perpetuate it though.

[0:03:22] – Salena Knight asks how Bob Marsh got into sales. He discusses his first job selling golf equipment where he realized he enjoyed helping people.

[0:05:53] – Salena Knight points out retail is about selling since people come to buy things. Bob Marsh agrees and says the goal is helping customers make decisions.

[0:10:17] – They discuss barriers customers face like too many options or lack of expertise presented.

[0:14:19] – Salena Knight provides an example of how online retailers can guide decisions through questions like a foundation purchase she made.

[0:24:37] – Bob Marsh says the biggest thing he’d change is the negative perception of salespeople so more focus on genuinely helping customers.


people, customer, walk, buy, sell, options, talk, salesperson, sales, decision, question, shoes, retail, store, buyer, give, choice, expert, good, salespeople


Salena Knight, Bob Marsh


Salena Knight 00:02

Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you’re looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you’re in the right place. I’m Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level. I’ll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action, ready to get started?


Salena Knight 00:52

Hey there and welcome to today’s episode of The bringing business to retail podcast. Now the funny thing is, retail is all about selling whether you’ve got a retail store or an e commerce Store, the simple fact is people are coming to you to buy stuff. But the number one thing that our retail and e commerce Store owners tell us is that they hate selling. So what if we take the whole sales concept off the table and kind of reframed it as giving customers choices and giving the them the ability to make decisions really quickly about what it is they actually want? What are they how to do it? Well, today’s guest Bob Marsh is going to tell us exactly how to do that. Hey there, Bob. Welcome to the show.


Bob Marsh 01:38

Hey, Selina. Great, thank you. Thanks for great, great to be here. Thanks for having me. I love your opening opening. It’s such a I’m fired up for this conversation.


Salena Knight 01:46

You’ll have to bear with my croaky. I’ve got kind of Phoebe from friends voice you know, when she had the cold? Was it the smelly cat episode? I don’t know, friends made a whole big.


Bob Marsh 01:58

Well, you sound great to me sometimes it sounds different our own heads, but


Salena Knight 02:01

okay, yeah, sales. Why does everybody hate sales?


Bob Marsh 02:07

You know, it’s funny, you’re talking about some of this in the opening? And then, you know, to that question, you know, if I could wave a magic wand over the world of business, and because I’ve been asked this before we can wait, what would you change, and I would say the whole perception of sales. And the reason for that is because there’s just this kind of this, it goes back. And it’s honestly probably well deserved in some cases where people just have this aversion to salespeople, because they’re worried that they’re gonna manipulate them, or they’re worried they’re just going to, you know, not let them go, they’re gonna keep talking to them, and they don’t want to be talked to, they’re just gonna try to twist them into something, they’re gonna nag them and never give up and get ripped off, you know, and it’s a shame. And you know, what, some sellers probably deserve that perception. And they, they kind of, they make it worse. But for the ones that are good, they don’t make it feel that way. And I always felt that way about myself. And it always was so frustrating. It’s frustrating the amount of time and effort it took just to get over the perception, and help someone realize that, hey, you can trust me, I’m just here to help you. So I think the world would be a lot easier. And we can help people a lot more if we just had that we could wave that magic wand and get rid of that perception.


Salena Knight 03:22

So you said you’ve been in this industry for a while, what made you get into this whole sales customers, like delving into this world? What, like, most people don’t decide they’re going to be a salesperson. So how did you and you’ve kind of even evolved after that, but how did you get into this whole sales realm?


Bob Marsh 03:46

When I was a kid, you know, whenever you’d have these sales, like we’d have to go sell for Easter around the holidays or something like that. Yeah, I look forward to that. And I remember like, I liked going and knocking on the door, my neighbors, and you know, ask them if they wanted some candy and also like to try to win the little competition. So I felt like and I remember my parents used to say this, and I was like, Jesus kids seems kind of wired for sales. And I always kind of found that interesting. But but really, my very first job in sales was in a retail store. And I was selling golf equipment. And I remember, you know, and I’ll tell you a little story about it, which kind of answers your question. So first, as background, I was a golfer growing up, I played competitively in high school, in college and I wasn’t great or anything but like, I loved the game. And so working in a retail store selling golf equipment, like I’m in my element, right? Like, I know, the game loved reading about it. I knew the new technology. You know, I love talking with my peers about it. Customers come in we can talk about golf, like, you know how great and one day I recall I remember there was a there was a another salesperson in the store that came up to me and she said She said, You know, I’m kind of new event and I’ve been here for a little while and I’m struggling. And like you’re a top salesperson in the store, like, can you tell me like how you do it. And I remember being so surprised because at first I’m like, I’m a top salesperson, I didn’t know that. I was, I was I wasn’t aware of how I was doing, because I’m just focusing on the job. But the thing that really stuck out to me and I remember this feeling, even today, is that comment almost made me feel like icky. Like, I’m, I’m the top salesperson, because I really all I felt like I was doing was helping people. So I’m gonna walk into the store. And that, you know, first I’d have to I had to learn, like, how do I overcome the resistance, you know, just be like, Hey, I’m here available, I learned how do I strike up a conversation to be more human like, hey, you know, I’ll go for a walk tonight, or been playing much golf lately. Like, just try to disarm them and make them know, like, you can trust me, I’m not just going to try to sell you something every minute. But you just


Salena Knight 05:53

didn’t, you didn’t have like a script that was like, welcome the customer when they came in, you were just having a conversation,


Bob Marsh 06:00

or having a conversation just like, you know, how’s your night going? You know, and try like to, you know, I would actually go out of my way not to ask a sales question like, Can I help you? Because I remember, you know, and maybe I walk into a retail store often and several companies say, Can I help you? And my natural response is Nope,


Salena Knight 06:16

I just walked in the door. Like,


Bob Marsh 06:18

I didn’t even know. Yeah, yeah. Like I would, you know, I would sometimes I do that even today. And then like, two seconds later, I’m like, why don’t I say no, I actually do need help. So it just, it’s this kind of so, you know, I just learned, yeah, have a natural conversation with somebody and let them and what I would do is I would do that, because that would want I would let them pull me into the sales conversation. Once they decided like, okay, I can trust this person. And then just like I would learn about their game and tell them about the new technology. And while the most expensive stuff isn’t necessarily the best, and the least expensive isn’t the worst about you and your game. So I just wouldn’t, you know, work with them to figure out what was right. And, you know, it turned out that approach of just genuinely trying to help people helped me sell a whole lot of golf equipment. So it made me realize, like, geez, maybe this ideas world of sales is something that’s, that’s up my alley.


Salena Knight 07:06

It’s funny, isn’t it, because I, I really struggle with the concept of retail ecommerce is about selling like someone is coming to you to buy whatever it is that you sell. If someone walks into your store, there’s a chance that they want to buy something. And I always use this analogy, which is, I’m never going to walk into a guitar shop. I don’t play guitar, I don’t have any interest in guitar. If I walked in there, I’m probably going to buy something. And so yes, even when people are browsing, they’re not going to come into a shop where they’re like, oh, there’s there’s nothing there that I would buy like that. It just doesn’t. That’s not That’s not the way that we’re wired. And so I’ve always taken the same approach as you, which is, if I can just help you make a decision, then, you know, it’s a win win. And actually, if you don’t allow a customer to make a decision, and they walk away empty handed, like you were saying, sometimes you walk in and you’re like, Why did I say I didn’t need help? When I do, you’re actually doing them a disservice if you don’t sell to them and help them make a choice, because then they walk away. And whatever they came in for hasn’t been solved.


Bob Marsh 08:14

I love your comment about helping people make decisions. Because really, I feel like that is the role. Whether it’s a salesperson or a web, that E commerce site or a store is the internet trying to make somebody buy something, I’m trying to help them figure out what they actually need. And so you think about, you know, that’s kind of where, you know, what I often talk and write about is what are the barriers, the mental barriers that customers have? And sometimes we have ourselves that get in the way of helping people make decisions. So you think about Yeah, sure. So Well, firstly, think about like what you said as though you walk into a retail or into a store, like you’re obviously there, because you want something maybe not right now. But you know, you’re clearly interested. So you’re in the funnel, right? So you’re interested in something. So if we can just help you kind of voice what you want, you know, Trumps that you can say what you want or not want, and we can kind of help you realize, like, this isn’t for you, or it is for you. So yeah, so you can see him. And so he asked, like, what are some of the barriers? Well, one of the things is I’d say that A is that is understanding this natural aversion that people have for salespeople. So if you just accept that, it doesn’t mean we have to like it. But if you realize that and to put yourself in the shoes of the customer, then you realize like the way to approach them is not can I help you today? What are you looking for? You know, it’s the now you’re instantly jumping to I don’t care about you. I just I’m trying to sell you something or get you to buy something because that’s my job. Were taking a genuine interest in somebody. And like I said, I would go out of my way not To ask a sales question, just to say like, oh, this is a good this is a human being, I can trust them, I can have a natural conversation, they pull you into the conversation. So that’s that’s the first one. The second one is, you know, a lot of times people like making decisions, but sometimes they struggle with it. Yeah. decisions


Salena Knight 10:17

because we’re hardwired, like we get, you know, the is it the dopamine or serotonin, I always get them wrong. Yeah. Let’s just call it dopamine. Don’t write in and tell me if I’ve got it wrong. You get that hit after it? You know, it’s like, I’ve checked something off the list. I’ve achieved something and just making those small decisions. Does that exact same thing in our brain? Yeah,


Bob Marsh 10:36

for sure it does. And so the whole thing with, you know, so So you mentioned in the opening, I know we talked about is this whole thing about options like that, like that is one of the biggest things. So you want to say imagine you walk into a store, or you go to an E commerce site, and you’re just buried with options, like so many different things like Oh, my God, like, I either know exactly what I want, I go go get it. Or I’m like, I don’t even know where to start. And next thing, you know, I’m scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. And then, you know, then you kind of start facing the information overload issue, and then you’re like, Ah, I’m just gonna go, I’m going to not buy this now. Not because I didn’t want to not because I wasn’t ready, not because I don’t want to spend the money. I’m like, I’m just


Salena Knight 11:18

too overwhelmed. And I just been here with a really good analogy. Yeah, it’s like going to the Cheesecake Factory. And the menu has 32 pages. And you look at it, and you look at it, and you order the same thing every time every time. Right?


Bob Marsh 11:35

Yeah. So you know, you think of So You Think about an A and that’s why, you know, the whole idea like design of websites and ecommerce sites, and then you think about store, like the importance of merchandising, like, this helps guide people through, you know, making making decisions. So, you know, that’s like kind of the one side of it, you bury people with too much information, and they just get lost. And, you know, there’s been I think we talked about it a week ago that research on the purchase of jam and are in a grocery store.


Salena Knight 12:04

Oh, I didn’t know that we did. I want to hear about the purchase of jam at a grocery store. Yeah. So


Bob Marsh 12:09

this is like, this was fascinating to me. So. So this was trying to understand people’s willingness and comfort making a making a decision based on the options presented to them. So this is the way that study works. So they use a grocery store, you know, something everybody goes to, and they create a giant display of jam. And so in stage number one, they they had people walk in and saw this massive display 24 different types of jam. So you’re thinking like that, like the thought was like, there’s every option, any flavor anybody would ever want. Like, isn’t this amazing? We’ve got everything available. But what happened was, a lot of people would stop and gawk and stop and look at all this and all this jam. So the numbers were 60% of the people would stop and look at the 10 look at the display. But only 3% of them would actually buy anything. And I wonder if they bought strawberry. They bought nothing. So yeah, those 3% Yeah, right. So and you realize like, it’s just there’s so much okay, so but that’s where kind of the proof is. So the next phase of the study, they said another display with only six jars of jam. Same flavors are in there, not all 24 But six, so much less impressive. So not as many people stopped to take a look at it. So in this case, I think it was 40% of the people stopped to watch a little bit less nothing crazy. But 30% of those who stopped and looked bought a jar of jam 10 times as many. You’re right. But again, no different than flavors, same jam, same price, same options, not as many But same thing. There were flavors that were still in there. 10 times more purchase made. So they realized what happened was it’s called The Paradox of Choice. What is the right balance of number of options to kind of give somebody but the reality is we all know this and I think it’s probably even worse today because we’re there’s we’re so inundated with information overload. Too many options will just plummet decision making but here’s the other thing, different study. A single option is probably the worst thing that you can do. As it’s, it’s called


Salena Knight 14:19

maybe, maybe I want something better. Yeah, maybe cheaper, right? You


Bob Marsh 14:24

get one option. And it’s the single option or version 97% of the time someone will wait it doesn’t mean they won’t buy it eventually. But do you do all those mental gymnastics in your head? Is that really what I want? That’s more expensive than I thought it was gonna be? I don’t know maybe let me just think about it a little bit. All kinds of is this person right? Are they just trying to manipulate me is is really on sale like you know all those different things that are just so silly. And


Salena Knight 14:48

everyone who has a bricks and mortar retail store will know the last one of something never sells never. Because when there is only one on the shelf. Why? If that wants to buy


Bob Marsh 15:00

it, yeah, it takes the perfect buyer, but that is going to be rare. Yeah, yeah.


Salena Knight 15:06

So we’ve got two two barriers so far. One is that to kind of, you know, in your face, can I help you? The second one is, which is which caught too much choice.


Bob Marsh 15:18

To me Yeah, too much. is really the the the balance of options too much versus too little, like figuring out the right number of options.


Salena Knight 15:25

What else have we got? Yeah.


Bob Marsh 15:27

Okay. Third one. And I love this, because I think there’s so many different ways to kind of bring this in. And that, you know, we talked a little bit about, like, kind of trust in the whole thing. So the other one is expertise, like really making helping the customer realize that you are an expert, and you know what you’re doing. And so so I’ll give you I’ll tell you a story that kind of relates to this, if you have you’re on a Road Runner


Salena Knight 15:50

Sports? No, I’ve heard of Road Runner, but not. Yeah,


Bob Marsh 15:54

that’s how I remember it, because I love Road Runner. So Road Runner Sports has been around for 40 years, they sold 40 million pairs of running and walking shoes, the largest walking and running shoe store in the world. So they’re on select areas, not everyone has really heard of it. So So I had. And so what they’ve done is they’ve taken this, this surprisingly complex process of picking out the right running shoes or walking shoes, because there’s so many options, and figure out a way to simplify that and speed up decision making in a very persuasive way. So So I learned about the store because I went through their experience. So many years ago, I walked into a I moved from Michigan, out to Northern California. So beautiful weather that all take up running. So I walk into a roadrunner sports and Walnut Creek, California. So I walk in the store and I walk in and I see this giant display of like 80 different pairs of running shoes. thing. I thought I just walk into a running shoe store that looks like any other shoe store that every path. How is this possible? So I’m looking, I’m like, I don’t even know where to start, or the inexpensive ones, expensive ones to all kinds of stuff. So a gentleman walks up to me, and he says, Hey, can you look a little overwhelmed? Can I help you? And I said, Yeah, you know, I just, you know, I’m new to running. I just need a pair of running shoes in order to even start. You said, Okay, well, let’s talk about and figure out what’s right for you.


Salena Knight 17:14

Well, I love that like this guy already.


Bob Marsh 17:16

I know, right? So he’s like, let’s talk about it and figure out what’s right for you. We’re like, this is something we’re gonna go through together. Not you know, the obvious ones like, well, what brand do you like? Or how much do you want to spend? won’t be like, Well, what does that have to do it? Okay, so he said, alright, well tell me a little bit more about you. So you said you’re new to running. So it might be safe to say like, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money. And I said, Yeah, that’s right. But you know, I want it I also don’t want to get go cheap. Like, I want to get what’s right. Okay, great. So So then it’s not revealing my budget, but he didn’t like kind of was like, what’s your budget, you know, kind of thing. So then, then he said, Okay, well, tell me do you plan on running inside or outside? I said, I thought to myself, well, that’s interesting. I guess I could see how that could have something to do with a shoe. I said, Well, definitely outside. I just moved here from Michigan. Okay. He said, great. So do you plan on running in the street, on a track on a trail? And I thought, well, this is really getting interesting. But it makes sense to me why that would matter. It could affect the tread of the shoe. I said, Oh, well, I live down the street and apartment. I’m just going to walk out I’ll run in the street. And I thought, you know, actually a trail sounds cool. Maybe Maybe I’ll do that, which I never did, by the way. So So I said, Okay, now let’s go outside. And I’m thinking, Okay, this is really fascinating. So we go outside, and, and then he said, Okay, I want you to get a light jog over that flagpole, and then come on back. So I did. And I came back and he said, Okay, so what I was looking at was how your foot strikes the ground. Because Atlanta the outside role in inside rollout is more neutral. It’s called supination. And pronation. And different shoes are better for different runners. It’s not good or bad. It’s just everybody’s different. Okay? Is it okay? Do that again from the side who watch me again. So instead, again, I’m looking at the zero foot strike the ground and your heel, your toe more neutral. Again, different shoes better for different types of runners and hey, by the way, try to get your shoulders back a little bit more, and shorten your stride a little bit has nothing that you that it will make you a more efficient runner. So I’m thinking like, wow, like He’s establishing himself as an expert. Had nothing to do with the shoe. He’s just being


Salena Knight 19:21

helpful. Now you like I’m just gonna, like if you can’t sell me something I’m gonna go I really disappointed if he told me that you did not buy any shoes. I’m gonna be very


Bob Marsh 19:29

process like he’s engaging me. I trust him. He’s helping me out. He’s giving me tips like, you know, now that don’t even have to do with him trying to sell me something like this person. Genuinely. This is what they do. Yeah. So we go back in the store and he said, Okay, here’s the three shoes that are right for you. So check them out. Great. Yeah, everyone loves three we can talk about. So. So but the point is like, what I loved about this is you know, so he kind of walked me through this experience together. It was cool. He had like a method to go through. But it felt natural. He was helping me out, he shared tips and the establishment was an expert, but in the end, relinquished all the control back to me. And that’s where we want, right? As a buyer, we want to be in control, we don’t want to think like I’m being manipulated or twisted, or I’m just buying what he’s trying to sell. Which, of course, could have been true, by the way, but, you know, I felt like, now the decision is mine, and he’s not part of it anymore. I’m just, he’s gonna help me try him on, and I’m gonna buy what I want to buy. So like, Do you think there’s any chance I’m gonna go to some other store at this point, not


Salena Knight 20:36

even if they’re charging more for it. Because this is what this is. I love you right now, because we talk about this all the time, which is, these are the reasons you can charge more for the same product is if you have this expertise, okay? You will get the show rumors who come and they take all your information, and then they get on to Amazon or whatever, and they try and buy cheap. They’re not your best customers just deal with it. But they’re the people who will come back and go, I’m going back, because you spent the time with me, you made me feel in control of the decision. And I’m prepared to pay for that. And like you’re saying, I would be disappointed for you right now, if you said they didn’t have any issues for me, I’d be like, what are you gonna do?


Bob Marsh 21:21

Right, exactly, yeah. And then think about, you know, anything about a place like that they actually can charge a premium and be like, we’re not going to be the cheapest, then you’re less likely to get the people that you’re talking about just looking for a deal. You’re like, Well, then don’t come here because it’s going to be more expensive. But then people talk about it, too. I mean, we’re talking about right now. Right Roadrunner sports, thumbs up, like, you know, it’s just it’s, so it’s. So that kind of goes back to the the idea of using your expertise through the process to build trust, and help someone make make decisions for themselves and feel safe about it.


Salena Knight 21:55

It’s funny that you should talk about that, because I was just thinking, How do you do this online. And the first thing that popped into my head was, well, you’ve got aI now. But even just, you and I were talking about this example, because I just bought something when we did our conversation. A week ago, before we came on the podcast, which was, I needed a new foundation, and the one that I like, is only available in America, the shade that I like, and they don’t ship to Australia, because they sell that same brand in Australia, but they don’t bring that color in. And so I was Googling and I fell prey to the Instagram ad that I’ve seen 470 to 5000 times. Like, I’ll click the button. And they went through a really good series of questions, which is, you know, you started off with like, what’s your skin type. And then when you picked your, when you get down to color, it was like, Okay, let’s refine that color a little bit more. And there was sort of four swatches, and then it was like, Let’s refine that color a little bit more. And I even went into my daughter, and I was like, which one of these do you think I am. And she, she reaffirmed my decision. So they kind of gamified this process, because you could do this via chat. But realistically, it’s much quicker if you can do you can build something on the website that does this. And sure enough, they are offering a money back guarantee, if you did not if the color didn’t match, they had a ridiculous amount of upsells and down cells in the cart, like kudos to them, they know their average order value, they know their customer acquisition costs, subscribe to the foundation, and you get a free brush or something like that. So they built everything in. And it came in it was great. And so that whole concept of that I can’t do this, if I’m online, kind of goes out the window in this day and age, I think just the the changes we have had in E commerce over the last three to five years. I thought about this concept 15 years ago. But the cost for someone to build it out for me was like $100,000 The cost to build something like this out now. It’s probably less than $1,000. And And what about the customer experience? It doesn’t have to be like you’ve got the expertise. It’s just putting it down. It doesn’t matter if you’re a gift shop, it doesn’t matter. If you’re homewares it doesn’t matter if your fashion. Your customers have a style or they have something that they’re leaning towards even a gift Who are you buying for buying for my grandson, you know, do they like building? Do they like drawing like you could you can? The questions you would ask in store are quite easy to ask these days online. Yeah. And so there’s really no excuse to not be putting that into play. And as a result being able to charge more for it. Yes,


Bob Marsh 24:37

yeah, there’s got to be there are ways to do that. And you’re right. I’ve seen I’ve seen this before to where it’s an online kind of builder or you’re going through some experience or ants asking questions. And sometimes you’ll understand like, Okay, this thing is a perfect fit, like Gosh, it sure is helping me narrow things down. Like he’s just gives you ideas like there’s a There’s a toy store right close to my house, that anytime I have to buy a gift for a birthday for a kid, I always go there. I know that place is expensive. But the thing is, I can walk in and say, All right, so here’s the deal. I got a birthday coming up. This is for my niece, she’s turning six. These are a couple of things that she likes, like, what should I get? What’s your ally me around? Yeah. And the walk me around and give me some ideas? Mike? Great. Let’s get that, you know, because I wrap


Salena Knight 25:27

it for?


Bob Marsh 25:28

What’s that? Did they wrap it for you? Yes, of course. Yeah, but you know, those are all the things that you said, you can charge a premium. And I walk away. As a, like, I walk out of there feeling confident, that I’ve made a good choice, there’s something there’s, um, because what we’re part of what we’re talking about, too, is that there’s a if you go through a process, and it can be different in retail versus ecommerce, but you know, everyone loves the idea of how can we eliminate the salesperson can can buyer just do things 100% on their own. And for some things, of course, like that makes a lot of sense. But for many for many purposes, and there’s probably some threshold dollar amount, I don’t know what it is. But the degree of buyer’s remorse that exists in a non salesperson environment is actually significantly higher. So for certain there’s a certain price point where where you can say if I’m buying from it’s 1015 $20,000. And example, if I if I have to make that choice on my own, with no salesperson helping me, the percentage of people that feel buyer’s remorse afterwards is extraordinarily high.


Salena Knight 26:36

So we’d speak because Why do you think that’s because the buck stops with them? And they can’t justify it.


Bob Marsh 26:42

They’re just wondering, did I make that just it’s the wondering, did I make the right choice? Yeah, like, I just kind of were just talking about like, I walk into that toy store. And I’m like, if I did I get the right thing is this getting into money is it is a good quality, where this person has recommended it to me, an expert helped me pick it out. I feel really confident about that. So I think that’s, that’s what it’s about is like wondering, because you question yourself, like, I’m not an expert in toys. I’m not an expert, whatever something else might be. But the idea of having someone walk me through it is really powerful. And I think that’s where having


Salena Knight 27:16

little things, obviously in store having sales, people who know what they’re talking about is huge. But also, even in E commerce, having, you know, a live chat function is fantastic. But even an FAQ bot, as long as you clearly make sure people know that they’re not speaking to a real person, because then they get really frustrated. But even having the ability for people to ask questions, like you said, we need to go through that decision making process to feel validated, I guess that’s that’s down to is my purchase has to be validated. And if no one else is asking me why I want this thing, then it is so easy to walk away. And especially if it is a large amount of money, because you come home and you’re like, oh, maybe I should have spent that money on bills. Or maybe I should have spent that money on my kids college education, like mate, there’s probably a lot of other things, I could have spent that money on money. But you probably wanted or needed the thing that you bought anyway. So what’s you know, why didn’t you why why you second guessing your own decisions? Right?


Bob Marsh 28:20

Exactly that. And that’s kind of where we want if we, if we know that an expert helped us make the right choice, then it makes us feel more confident decision. Because the reality is that, you know, we’re all as human beings, like we question ourselves, you know, we all want to have a lot more confidence, we all want to feel more sure about things. And we all know that’s not realistic a lot of times, but you know, someone kind of encouraging us or telling us we’re making the right choice, it just makes us feel better about it. And it’s one less thing that’s on our mind,


Salena Knight 28:51

I want to jump back into your three options, we have a little training inside of our programs called the rule of threes. And I don’t know if there’s some science behind it, I just kind of worked out in my years of serving customers that if you give people three choices, they’re much likely there’s not a top, there’s not a bottom, there’s like now I have three things to choose from, it doesn’t even have to be three different price points. But three just means it’s not this or that. It’s like, I feel like if I get to, I don’t really get a choice. I’m kind of stuck of like this or that. But when I have three, I truly get to make my own choice. So tell me about your experience with I’m gonna call it the rule of threes. Yeah,


Bob Marsh 29:32

so I generally love three. I agree. I think you’re right, though, I think I don’t know if there’s any magic between two versus three versus four. The and it depends on the scenario. I’ve seen scenarios and so but anyway, in general, I love that you have three but here’s the here’s here’s the thing that I feel like is important. Is that as the if you’re a salesperson, or you know, it’s really kind of you know what I’m talking about? I think you can figure out a way to make this Muller and an E commerce environment is that the buyer needs to know, those are three good options. And what I say that is because I hate this setting where it’s like, here’s three options, this idea is awful. This idea is right. And this is another terrible idea. So it’s like I gave you three options. So what, and let me bring it to life. So when in kind of a b2b environment, I think this can be true at anywhere, what I would do with I’d work with the customer to understand what they need, et cetera, I always present a three options and this business that I was part for a long time. And, and what I would always do is I’d say, Here’s option number one. And it was it was, I didn’t like good, better best. Because it implies like, do you want the bad one? Or do you want the good one, I just kind of felt like that was the kind of is making a customer feel bad. It’s like, I want to be three, it feels like three objective options. And all all of them are good choices. It’s about like, the things I knew are on their mind, which is things like budget and their goals. So I say, Here’s scenario number one, here’s what you’re gonna get. This is how it works. Here’s your goals. Here’s why I think this would work. And oh, by the way, this one’s actually less than the budget you shared with me. And I felt like what a great way to build trust, because I can tell them, you don’t have to spend as much money as you have. And I’m not here to just take every dime on you like, I want you to make the right choice, this is a good option that will give you what you want, it’s less money. Here’s option number two, it’s exactly what you need. It fits within your budget, it aligns with all the things that are here. And here’s


Salena Knight 31:33

a few extra things, right? Like the second one, the second one potentially has to make sure things. But now, we’re not even there yet. And I’m like, Well, I had a budget and I could get the extra things.


Bob Marsh 31:43

Right, I have the budget, I get those things like, oh, that sounds really good. And then I give them another option and say, Okay, this one, this is beyond the budget that you talked about. But it’s got some things that I think would be really powerful for you based on what your goals are. I don’t know if you can find your budget, but I just thought you should be aware of it. Because if you can, this would make a material impact on you know, your goals. So but the key is, is that those are the options. And I’m not in what I would do is I’d let the customer review and analyze on their own. And so, and I knew that the best scenario is if the customer said, What do you think I should do? And if because if they asked that question that tells me that I’ve really built trust, that they see me as an expert, and they want to know what I think. And I’m not. And I would say Well, first of all, it’s your decision. Like you have a better idea of how important these goals inside your company are what you want. I like option number three, because I think it gets you everything. But like, that’s a question. I’m like your budget, then some would be like, I think option two is really work. I think overall, that one’s best all things considered, you know, so that, to me was an I saw that work consistently. And it was another way that can continue to reaffirm like, you can trust me, I’m gonna take care of you. And ultimately, the choice is yours. Yeah,


Salena Knight 32:59

I love that. And I mean, we do that we do the same thing. When we, when we do a strategy session with someone, we give them advice, but we don’t tell everyone about our programs. Because there’s no point saying to somebody, Hey, we think you should come and join our program, when we know that they’re not a good fit. Maybe they’re not advanced enough in business, or they don’t have the cash flow to pay for it. Like, our whole goal is to get someone to walk away with some real good action steps. And there’ll be a whole bunch of people who never even know and sometimes they’ll get to the end of they’ll be like, so can you help me with that stuff? And like, Well, look, I can give you some free resources. But honestly, the stuff that that the programs that we’ve got a not for where you’re at now, but I’m gonna send you some things. And you know, when you get to that point, you can come back to us because like you said, no one wants buyer’s remorse. Nobody wants to sometimes the best thing you can do to something for somebody is to give them no choice at all. Yeah,


Bob Marsh 33:59

absolutely. You know, it’s, it reminds me like another point, we were talking a lot about the mind of the buyer. The other thing is, I think that we get in our way more than more than we should


Salena Knight 34:11

lead into that. So


Bob Marsh 34:14

So I think this happens in a lot of areas of our life, but in particular, and some of it actually comes from this perception. We talked about the beginning about how salespeople deal the perception of sellers and the whole thing, I think impacts the it creates this feeling of subservience. Whereas a seller, we almost feel like we’re here and the buyers there. And sometimes sellers can act like it. They act like they’re beneath. They act like they’re not good enough. And they kind of have feelings of that help makes them it makes them hold back. And what it does in a pizza conference when a seller doesn’t want that we just talked about the seller wants like helped me figure out what to do. Like I want you to tell me what to do, because you’re the expert in that.


Salena Knight 34:58

So but the buyer wants you to help To make a decision, yeah,


Bob Marsh 35:01

they want they want that from you. So there’s, there’s a fabulous book I read recently called, you have more influence than you think. And the and the summary of the whole thing is that people are twice as likely to say yes to our requests than we give ourselves credit for. Wow. So think about that. Like if you can get twice the amount of things that you want, if you are simply willing to ask, so And really, that comes down to like, we’re human beings, we have all these things in our head that we, you know, all they’re not going to want that, oh, I don’t want to be I don’t want to come off as too pushy. I don’t want to ask for the order. Because like, they’ll think I’m just being like a typical salesperson. I don’t want to answer that. Because then what are they going to think of me? And it affects like how we act, how we carry ourselves? The questions we ask the voice inflection, we use the way we dress, like, all these little things that get in our way. And ultimately, what’s happening, it gets in the customers way. Because they look, they’ll look at you, as someone who’s lacking in competence, doesn’t look like an expert doesn’t care themselves as an expert. And then it gets in the way of the customers ability to make a decision.


Salena Knight 36:08

We just had one of our strategy coaches on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, and she laughs that I always talk about her because she is one of our x retailers who went through our program. And I headhunted her when she sold her business to come and work for us. And she says, You always talk about me, and I’m finally on the podcast, I can defend myself. And the reason I talk about her and it’s not just her now that she has, you know, she has worked as a strategy coach, she realizes that so many people do this by giving discounts to people who don’t ask for them. And she said, Because we sold expensive food products. And I would be thinking, you know, oh my god, that person bought $70 worth of macadamias, they probably didn’t want $70 worth of macadamias. And it’s like, let’s I do one $70 with a macadamia I wouldn’t have bought 70. So she would like give them a discount, or she would throw something else in and I don’t I’ve kind of surmise that this is more of a female thing than a male thing. But I could be wrong. But she would be to be like, I thought that I would never pay that amount of money for that thing. So why would somebody else so putting our own money, he felt guilty that someone was spending $70 on macadamia nuts. And that’s like, but the conversation that we owe and I still remember to this day having the conversation which was something along the lines of so Who died and made you the customer experience God? And you said, What do you mean? And I said, maybe that person has been saving up for weeks to buy these macadamia nuts, and then by you discounting them, they’re gonna walk out the door going, was there something wrong with these macadamia nuts? Like, there were so many Why did I only pay 60? Not on like, and all of a sudden the doubt has crept in. So giving someone a discount actually can do the opposite. Instead of them walking away feeling great. They’re walking away thinking hold up, was this? Yeah. Are they nearly expired? Or what’s going on here? Yeah,


Bob Marsh 38:09

that’s a great you know, they’re I love what you said, because it’s about it, actually, we kind of have our own issues. And they make suddenly they have an effect on the customer. So you know what a shame. So getting getting over our own selves sometimes. And like being and having the confidence to speak up and tell someone what they need and all thing is really powerful. And the research around it. Some of the book is amazing. Like the examples of people’s unwillingness to speak up even in moments of crisis is like almost scary. So you think about if I’m not willing to speak up when the building might be on fire? How do you think you’re gonna act if you’re feeling a little bit less than the customer? You feel a little bit guilty? You’re feeling a little bit like, oh, I you know, I need to make the sale so I can pay the bills. Like, it adds up and suddenly you


Salena Knight 38:56

can smell desperation, can’t they? I don’t know what it is. But I know that those days when I had when it was like it had been raining for a week straight and no, I had a baby store and no one had come in because no one was taking their baby out. And you’d be like, Oh, Hi, can I help you? What can I do? And oh my gosh, Go away Go away.


Bob Marsh 39:16

Which doesn’t mean that you can’t feel desperate. Like we’ve been in situations where we feel desperate. The minute you let it come come across you realize like you’re getting in your way you’re going to have a customer’s way you know, it’s something to fight through.


Salena Knight 39:30

It’s funny you were just saying about how the you know some some sales people can feel subservient or feel less than and the first thing that popped into my head was all of those reality TV shows where and I haven’t watched them so forgive me if I’m not getting this right but you have the people selling the luxury real estate. And you know, they’re always dressed in their you know, Chanel and all the brand names, but I can see now when you said that I hadn’t really put you into together. But it’s that feeling of, I’m on the same level as you, like, I can trust you, if I’m not wearing the same brands as you, then you may not consider me an expert because you’ve got specific taste. And it’d be the same if you’re talking outdoor sports or ballet or something like that, like you want somebody to feel like they’re on the same level as you and I kind of never really put two and two together until you said that, and that was the thing that popped into my head was, we kind of, you know, we chuckle at the overly made up and all the labels and, you know, the Manolo Blahniks, shoes and all that kind of stuff. But actually, it’s all part of giving customers that stability and giving them that sense of you get me You understand what I’m looking for. Right?


Bob Marsh 40:49

No doubt, and hey, you know what, we’ve got to feel good about ourselves. And we’ve all heard the phrase, like dress for success, you dress good, you feel good, you know, there’s something to it. We have to be ourselves. Like, we can’t just suddenly dress up like some of them that we’re not, it’s got to be natural and real. But it matters. I’ll tell you a funny story. And I guess part of how I learned this. So early in my career. I remember I was starting to have a little bit of success. I was at a I was at a trade show, my boss was standing next to me. He loves telling the story, too. And he looks over at me because higher commission checks lately. And I said, Well, that’s actually pretty good. He goes, anything, he gave me a little look up and down, he goes, go buy a new wardrobe. Love kind of put in Zinger. And so his point his point was out, and which was funny, that was hilarious. And my wife loved it, because we went shopping and stuff. But his point was, he’s like, if you walk in to the room to go meet with a senior level person that accompany like, how do they perceive you? You want them to perceive you, as someone who is comfortable, and is regular, you can be in that room? Like what does the kind of person is in that executive boardroom that’s in that meeting room? It’s meeting with like, the top executives or whoever it is all these other peers in the whole thing? What do you think that person looks like? And so his point was exactly what you’re saying, look, the part. You know, you can’t not be something that you are. But if you don’t look the part, it gets in the customers way. And they start wondering like, is this person really an expert? I mean, look at Oh,


Salena Knight 42:24

yeah, it’s same as wearing the $3,000 suit in the golf pro shop. And I’d be like, you know, about golf like this this? Right? That wouldn’t make any sense, right? No, no, you might, you might go walk around the course and play. But I don’t think you really know what you’re talking about. Right? Exactly. All right. If there is one thing that you could change, when it came to giving customers the ability to make choices and giving them back the power, what would it be?


Bob Marsh 42:56

If there’s one thing I could change? Ah, I think that it would be that. So there’s a lot of salespeople out there that try to overcome these issues by just being more aggressive. And I think that that’s a shame for them. And it’s a shame for customers. So I was looking at something the other day 87 Isn’t the executive plays, but I think it’s true of any customer. 87% of executives, say they find their conversations with salespeople unhelpful. Think about that. 87%


Salena Knight 43:28

I feel like that is exactly the same when you go to an electronics shop.


Bob Marsh 43:33

I think that was my point is that that stat while it’s in the b2b space, I bet that’s true across all all industries. And so when you’re when you think about that what’s happening is, salespeople try to overcome it by just being more aggressive, sending more emails, make more phone calls. And that’s not the answer. And I think that if we could, you know, realize that that’s something that we as sellers can change, I hear the stat like that, and I think what a shame from what I’m saying,


Salena Knight 44:03

we’re doing it wrong.


Bob Marsh 44:05

Right. And just the second thing I think of is what a great opportunity, because it’s not that hard to stand out. Yeah.


Salena Knight 44:14

percent, the 13%


Bob Marsh 44:15

I can be a 13%. Like, it’s not that hard. So you just genuinely care about people being an expert, help them make decisions and make them swiftly and feel confident about them. It’s


Salena Knight 44:27

great to take their money. That’s that, to me, that’s the biggest thing is, it’s okay to take somebody’s money, you can do all those things. But if you walk away from the sale, are you actually giving the customer a choice because you kind of not, you’re actually taking all of their choice and their power away from them.


Bob Marsh 44:45

And on the other side of that, it’s okay if the customer doesn’t buy something. Yeah, if they don’t need it. Like then like, do you have the confidence and do you have the wherewithal and the expertise to tell someone they don’t need it? Because like you’re saying If somebody that maybe sometimes the customer just not a fit, and then spending money on I mean, I used to think about going back to my golf store analogy, I’d be like, man, like, I’m sorry, but you’re not a very good golfer, I wouldn’t say like that. But like you do not spend $1,000 on a golf club, this club note is going to make no impact on your game. Like, don’t waste your money. And so being willing to say something like that, and talk someone into spending less, or talk someone into, like, maybe this isn’t right for you, that takes some confidence. But the thing is, if you genuinely care about getting your customer the right thing, you would do that in a second.


Salena Knight 45:40

Course. Yep. And the thing is, that person will generally either bring your business from telling everybody else, or they’ll work up to that next level that they wanted in the first place. Yeah.


Bob Marsh 45:53

Yeah, I think like, how would you act if your brother your brother in law walked in and walked in there? That will just sound like oh, yeah, you need that? 1000? Of course, you don’t be like, Hey, man, don’t don’t waste your money. Don’t do it. You need some lessons? Yeah. Why


Salena Knight 46:09

don’t you just get the $100 $100 Golf Club? And then spend the rest on lessons? Yes. Yep. Bob Marsh, love the conversation. Love everything you had to share with us. If people would love to follow you or reach out to you? Where can they find you?


Bob Marsh 46:24

Yeah, thank you. I love the conversation as well. Thank you. So you can find my, on my website, which is Meet Bob So I talk about topics like this and many more through keynote speeches, companies hire me to come in and talk to their sales and sales organizations. So you can learn more there. And then also, I can easily be found on LinkedIn. Just search my name Bob Marsh.


Salena Knight 46:46

Thank you so much, Bob. I’m hoping that after listening to this going into the holiday season, our people are happy to sell and happy to give their customers choices. So that’s a wrap. I’d love to hear what insight you’ve gotten from this episode, and how you’re going to put it into action. If you’re a social kind of person, follow me at the Selenite. And make sure to leave a comment and let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it’s a win for you. A win for your community, and a win for your customers. I’ll see you on the next episode.



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