Business Prospecting on Purpose

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Sara Murray, the accomplished Sales Strategist from Sara Murray, Inc., sheds light on the art and science of business prospecting and shares proven strategies to help you book more qualified meetings.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Sara Murray, the accomplished Sales Strategist from Sara Murray, Inc., sheds light on the art and science of business prospecting and shares proven strategies to help you book more qualified meetings.

With 15+ years of sales experience, Sara has trained over 5,000 reps to maximize their prospecting efforts. Her Prospecting on Purpose framework builds pipelines faster by targeting ideal customers to elevate business outreach strategies with clear intent.

Sara is revered for her innovative approaches to sales and business development, having honed a unique methodology that aligns prospecting efforts with core business objectives. At, she has empowered numerous enterprises to enhance their customer engagement and sales outcomes.

Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.

Sara shares actionable insights on purpose-driven prospecting, illustrating how a clear, intentional approach can significantly augment your business connections and bottom-line results. Her wealth of experience and proven strategies are instrumental for professionals aiming to excel in their business outreach endeavors.
Get ready to learn how you can stop wasting time on low-value activities and start strategically filling your calendar with promising prospects!

Damon is excited to have Sara as his guest. He mentions that she has been a guest on the “Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series” with Curt Anderson and him. Today, the host is eager to know more about prospecting. He requests Sara to discuss her professional path and how it led her to her current role.

Sara discusses a significant pivot point in her journey that led her to success. She recounts her flying experiences with her family when her mother worked for Delta and how they often couldn’t sit together due to airline policies. As a child, she would strike up conversations with strangers on the plane, sometimes by asking for their snacks. This experience, she believes, instilled in her the “gift of gab” –confidence to talk to anyone. She considers this early experience of breaking the ice with strangers a pivotal moment, ultimately contributing to her confidence in conversing with people.

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

The guest further talks about a skill set that she didn’t initially realize she possessed but later found crucial in her career—confidence. She mentions her success in becoming a C-suite executive and accomplishing substantial deals by having confidence in her ability to add value to others. She cautions on the thin-line difference between being confident and arrogant.

In the most exciting section of the conversation, Sara puts forth a core concept she focuses on during the workshops she hosts for sales teams: “Always Be Adding Value” (ABAV). She contrasts it with the outdated “Always Be Closing” (ABC) mentality in sales. She believes the ABAV approach is more effective in today’s business environment because it emphasizes adding value to interactions with prospects, colleagues, or other stakeholders.

By framing interactions as opportunities to add value, it boosts confidence and builds a positive relationship with others. She argues that many salespeople struggle because they ask for something without making deposits in the “emotional bank account” by adding value.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

Furthermore, adding value includes reciprocity. People are more willing to help when there is a sense of give-and-take. This reciprocity creates a feedback loop where business interactions feel less salesy and more like mutual support.

Damon commends Sara for her approach and successful career built on these principles.

While talking about authentic voice in public gatherings, Sara recounts an interesting experience at a trade show where her sales director lost her voice. As a result, Sara engaged attendees in genuine conversations, opening sixty accounts. This experience taught her the power of bringing energy and authenticity to her interactions, differentiating herself from others.

Sara views authenticity as her strongest asset, and she advocates blending personal and professional selves to be open about vulnerabilities at work.

At Damon’s request, Sara reveals her most challenging business prospect ever. She shares a story from her experience in commercial construction sales, dealing with a high-profile developer on a massive construction project. She describes her attempts to win the project and difficulty engaging with a particularly tough client who shushed her during a presentation.

Despite her efforts, Sara’s team couldn’t win the project. Later, she had a chance encounter with the same client in a restaurant. She asked him why he was so tough to deal with. He explained that many manufacturers worldwide were pursuing the project, making it necessary for him to be selective and assertive in his decisions.
Sara discusses the value of perspective, persistent yet non-annoying follow-ups, and learning not to take criticism personally.

Damon raises a relevant question about building confidence in business development and prospecting, specifically for those who may not have complete confidence in what they are prospecting for.

In response, Sara advises that one of the most impactful ways to maximize your time and address situations where confidence may be lacking is to ask the other person questions, particularly about their business model and how they go to market. These questions are important, even though some might worry that asking such questions could make them appear less confident or knowledgeable. Instead, she believes it’s a game changer. By asking the client to explain their business model, you get valuable insights into their needs and business and create an opportunity for them to share information that might not be readily available on their website.

The guest believes asking questions and listening to the prospects are equally important. She narrates her recent experience with a software service purchase where the sales representative failed to ask her questions about her needs and simply assured her they could fulfill them. This led to a disappointing experience for her.
Sara’s approach in these situations is simple. It requires taking the time to ask, listen, and adjust your approach accordingly.

The sales wizard shares some piercing insights into where businesses often fail. She reveals that many salespeople lack proper training and education in sales techniques. When she started her business, she focused on creating structured content and workshops based on a comprehensive understanding of the prospecting process. It helped clients deeply understand their business models.

Sara also points out the common mistake of “product vomit,” where salespeople dive straight into talking about their product without building a relationship first. She suggests that creating a connection and building rapport before going into product details is a wise step.

The guest believes embracing her new role’s opportunities can open unexpected networking and relationship-building doors. She views networking and business relations as a filtering system and focuses on individuals who value genuine connections. She also points out that without the pressure of selling anything, she secured meetings with influential people, even old clients, in more relaxed and enjoyable ways.

Before closing the show, Sara talks about two virtual events she is going to host. The first is a free workshop, “Prospecting on Purpose Live,” which covers building confidence, understanding values, and approaching intimidating clients. The second event is a paid sales workshop, “ACE Your Sales.” It focuses on crucial skills of effective selling: action, communication, and execution.

“I just love hearing and hearing your stories,” says Damon. He concludes the Livestream by thanking Sara for her time.

The Faces of Business

Learn about the strategies that have allowed other business owners to overcome all kinds of adversities and limitations to achieve their business goals successfully.

All The Faces of Business episodes are


Check out this episode on LinkedIn
The Faces of Business on Twitter:
Listen to this episode of The Faces of Business on these podcast channels


Exit Your Way® provides a structured process and skilled resources to grow business value and allow business owners to leave with 2X+ more money when they are ready.

You can find more information about the Exit Your Way® process and our team on our website.

You can contact us by phone:  822-BIZ-EXIT (249-3948)   Or by Email:

Find us on LinkedIn:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Find our Companies on LinkedIn: Exit Your Way®,  Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions, Bowman digital Media 

Follow Us on Twitter: @dpistulka  @exityourway

Visit our YouTube Channel: Exit Your Way®

Service Professionals Network:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Facebook:  Exit Your Way® Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions

Other websites to check out:  Cross Northwest Mergers & AcquisitionsDamon PistulkaIra BowmanService Professionals Network (SPN)Fangled TechnologiesB2B TailDenver Consulting FirmWarren ResearchStellar Insight, Now CFO, Excel Management Systems  & Project Help You Grow

people, business, prospecting, adding, damon, talking, sarah, build, confidence, clients, product, work, business model, sell, sales, day, meeting, role, piece, give
Sara Murray, Damon Pistulka

Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I am your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am so excited for our guests today because we have none other than Sarah Murphy or Marie not Murphy, what the heck am I doing Sarah Marie here today? I was so excited from talking to talking with you earlier, we’re gonna be talking about business prospecting on purpose from the prospecting Guru, the person that I’m so admire your approach to prospecting. So Sarah, thanks for being here today.

Sara Murray 00:33
Thanks, Damon for having me. I’m really excited to be on the show and chat today.

Damon Pistulka 00:37
Yeah, it’s awesome. It’s awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, you’re on the manufacturing ecommerce success series with Kurt and I a while back. And I was like, man, we got to talk about prospecting a bit more, we got to get some some background story on you, Sarah. So Sarah, was like to start out learning a little bit more about you, and how you got into doing what you’re doing today?

Sara Murray 01:02
Well, yeah, it’s I go, it’s so funny, because I feel like when you start to look back at your life and your career, and like, find those little pivot points, I, when I was building my business, I think I had a little aha moment. Growing up, my mom worked for Delta, and we would fly quite a bit as a family, but we would never be able to sit together as a family. Because when you fly as an airline employee, kind of fill in the empty seats. So almost never did we sit together as a family was always sitting next to a stranger as like a kid. And I, you know, back in the days when they served nice plain food on nice plain food, but like meals, I one day, I asked someone next week, hey, excuse me, are you going to eat your chips? And I think they were so confused. This little kid is asking them for their chips that they’d give me their chips. And then if they didn’t give me the chips, that was also okay. Like, it just kind of opened the door to a conversation. And I look back, and I’m like, that’s totally we’re, you know, kind of the gift of gab comes from as the ability to talk to anyone because they really quickly learned. It didn’t matter if they gave me their chips, or not really, it’s like, you’re just having some type of icebreaker to start the conversation. So I think that gave me a lot of confidence at an early age in talking to strangers for good or bad, who knows, but like to look at it as good. So that’s, I think, kind of the the first pivot point was just flying on airplanes. And just chit chatting with strangers on the plane.

Damon Pistulka 02:26
Yeah, yeah. So we’re talking about that. And vn being the daughter of airline employee, what was the coolest place you flew to,

Sara Murray 02:37
um, we went to Italy as a family. And I thought that was really wonderful. Um, but right before I graduated college, I think trying to remember at what age you lose your, as a child of an airline employee, you lose your status, and we had a dog that was going to pass away, she’s really old. And so I was gonna stay home with the dogs and my parents and brother, were gonna go to Ireland. And my brother said, he didn’t want to go, all go. And it was my senior year of college, had a bunch of finals do and I was like, it’ll be fine. And I didn’t make the plane back from Ireland. So I’m pretty sure I landed back from Ireland drove straight to got to my campus and took my business law final. I got like a B plus on it. So it’s like, all right, but Ireland, Italy, you know, I like I like traveling. I like people. So very blessed. They’re

Damon Pistulka 03:25
very cool. So what is to you has been the most fun about learning how to be how to prospect, just the just the process of how to prospect I think one

Sara Murray 03:41
of the things that I didn’t really realize was a skill set until I started understanding how to teach it and share it with others, is, I think, that confidence piece that you hold on yourself, and finally, sharing with other people the ability on how to build their own confidence. I think that’s something that’s been really interesting, because in my career, you know, over the years, I’ve been able to get to very high profile decision makers, very accomplished professionals, a lot of household names that we’ve heard of, I’ve had success selling many, you know, multimillion dollar orders. And I realized that, you know, Sarah Marie, at whatever age could get a meeting, and I could get a meeting by having confidence in adding value to the other person. And so I think that’s something I didn’t really realize was a skill set. Until now I’m, I’m trying to look at different holes in the market and where people are struggling and where they’re asking for help. I think that confidence piece is a really important piece, but it has to almost come first, like this inner knowing that you know, you can do it. Even if you don’t know if you can do it, you know, and I think that’s the that’s the delicate dance that we do is having confidence in our efforts and what we bring to the table, but how do you show it in a way that’s not arrogant, that doesn’t turn people off and how can you do it in a way that connects with others. So I think confidence is kind of the first step internally, and then connecting with other people is the second step if you have confidence in yourself any other connection is not scary,

Damon Pistulka 05:14
huh? Yeah, right. So, yeah. Well you said building that confidence I think it starts with the confidence and adding value as you said from my own apprehensions of prospecting that if you don’t have that confidence in adding value, honestly adding value in that with that person, why it’s a hard it’s a hard thing to do to pick up the phone or contact somebody or walk up and talk to somebody. That’s

Sara Murray 05:46
a big part of what we focus on in the workshops that I host for sales teams is my acronym that I love to say all day long, it’s on every piece of playbook it’s post it notes on our office it’s a B A V always be adding value. You know, I think the old like ABC always be closing I like that too. I’m a hunter I like the sales process but that needs to be retired because I think that always be closing mentality is not how people want to do business anymore. And if you can kind of reframe it as A B A V always be adding value anytime you approach any type of interaction, whether it’s with the prospect, a colleague, another vendor, you know, however you’re interacting with people if you can frame it as how can I add value to the other person that’s just naturally going to make you more confident in approaching because you’re not asking for anything. And I think what we what we struggle with when we prospect is we’re asking for something from someone else, but we don’t have any I call you know, the emotional bank account, we don’t have any deposits in the bank account. So it’s really hard to go up and ask for something coming out of the account. And I think we see these examples every day like Damon I’m sure your LinkedIn and mailbox is full of people just offering you know asking you for business without offering anything and when you look back and think about the ones you respond to it’s usually the people adding value to you or solving a problem asking you’re not responding the people just trying to take from you without adding any value so ABB always be adding value that’s like the number one takeaway I’d want the audience to leave with is that it’s going to change your confidence in how you approach things.

Damon Pistulka 07:31
Yeah, and I liked that approach to a because I think you’re spot on people don’t want to be sold anymore they want to understand you know they all the other things to you but that always be adding value is so important because wasting somebody’s time is not only a waste of your their time it’s your time as well and when you really look at that and a sales or a business development role you want to be more effective right so if you can ensure that you are going to be able to add value in that situation before you’re in that situation it’s so much better and you’re right it’s it really the Always Be Closing thing you get the wrong customers to even if you do close I think

Sara Murray 08:17
agreed Yeah. Like to one of the things when we think about prospecting is we always think about customers that are new customers but a lot of times we can prospect within our clientele and the way that we do that is by always adding value you know if you contribute enough value and you know resources partnership collaboration with your client, very often the way I’ve been getting new business is referrals or someone just believing so much and what I can do to benefit their company that’s why I’ve been getting a lot of incoming business but it’s not by me going out and hunting for it really it’s about building the relationship with the contact that I have adding value and giving them enough eyes to almost go out and sell on my behalf to so you can kind of prospect for new business with with business you do not have or you can prospect within your existing clientele. And you know it’s a very reciprocal business people are happy to help if there’s reciprocity but if you add enough deposits now it’s like hey Damon, can you introduce me to so and so over here, you know, you have a deposit in my emotional bank account because you invited me to be on your show, you’re asking me for anything besides my time but it benefits me to to come and talk to you today. So it’s just one of those things where it’s this feedback loop and I think that’s where business ought to be and where people have a lot of passion and joy in it if we can get that that feedback loop because then it doesn’t feel salesy. It just feels like we’re helping build other people’s businesses.

Damon Pistulka 09:47
Yeah, yeah, that’s that’s so so clutch is so clutch and key that to really because we more than ever we want to build relationships in business, I believe and I Man, I’m gonna tell you I’m old enough to remember when it was the always be closing and just slamming and trying to do that and, and it, it is so much better when you can build relationships. And the one thing that I see happening in business today that I really, really do feel feel good about is we’re bringing the human element into business again, and we’re not trying to do this, excuse me bullshit about trying to, you know, leave your feelings at home in you know, we’re just look this week, we’re talking about mental health day, which wasn’t even a thing how many years ago, but we got people killing themselves and all over in any different situations. And we, this, the these relationships that we build are so important. And adding value can be as simple as just you talk to somebody today and ask them how it was going, you know, it’s, it’s, there’s so many ways that we can do that. And when when you’re in the business setting, and you’re in the prospecting, I mean, I and I now, I don’t say I enjoy prospecting, but I enjoy talking with people, just because I want to help them however I can. If business comes of it, well, that’s great. But if it doesn’t, I want to still be able to help them and leave them with some something. And that’s that’s what I always enjoyed about our conversations, because you have so many wonderful examples. Where are you? You’ve been able to do that. So as you’ve gone through your career, and now now you’re coaching, you’re doing webinars, and we’ll talk about that stuff later. But what are some of the things that you just that felt right? That you were like, well, maybe business, maybe not a business setting, but they really have have worked well for you over the years?

Sara Murray 11:58
I think yeah, I appreciate that question. But just kind of thinking back to our conversation of the pivot points. When I first moved to I grew up in Utah, I moved to Los Angeles, I think I was 23. So I moved to LA when I was 23. And I got my first job as a marketing role. And I enjoyed it. You know, I built the catalogs build our point of purchase sales, I do all the tradeshow stuff. And the first big tradeshow I went to it was more of a buying group show. So you have appointments, and the sales director had laryngitis. She full on lost her voice and could not talk. And I you know, I’d loved it because we ended up I you know, meet the people. Hey, where do you Where are you located? What do you do? Who’s your client? What did you know, just the normal chit chat. And I would open their account, send them down up Patricia with her last voice and she do all the paperwork. And we ended up opening like 60 accounts in two days. It was such a killer trade show. And at the end of the trade show, this man’s husband and wife team, I think they were based in Boulder, Colorado. He said thank you. Thank you so much, Sarah, I was like, What are you talking about? Like I need to be thanking you you just bought for me. And he turned my shoulders and he’s like, look around at all of these other booths. And all of the booths were just table literature, people sit down, talk about their product, you know, and this on our side of the table, we got rid of the chairs, we made them stand like we’re talking and I think that that was one of the things where I do think people get into autopilot mode. And if you can bring energy and authenticity that’s going to differentiate you and it’s a lot more fun to show people the real you and I think as I’ve as I’ve grown, my authenticity has been one of my strongest assets. And my client tells luxury hotel developers it’s very intimidating people and I just kind of feel like hillbilly serif over here, you know, doing that I’m not terribly well spoken, I’m not the you know, I wish I was a little bit more of a Polish diner, just in general like there’s you we always have these little insecurities but I found that if I could just be my authentic self then these people were intimidating if anything, I think it was a breath of fresh air for them because a you know, they’re all people too. They put their pants on one leg at a time and be one thing especially when it comes to prospecting and knocking on doors and trying stuff almost every successful person who got to that role that they’re in did the same thing. So if you have the guts and the confidence to go up and knock on their door very rarely have I had doors slammed in my face oftentimes I almost think they’re kind of like oh you’re one of us. Yeah, let’s talk it’s such a different vibe. But I’m going into it with trying to add value however I can whether they know I’m adding value or not. So I think just continuing to be my authentic self and I’m you know speaking of your comment about the human connection and people opening up more or not leaving in a work Sara and personal Sarah like we’re blending these two. I have found that if I am my authentic self and share certain In vulnerabilities, it just invites other people to do the same. And it’s such a different connection that we can build. And now if I need something from a business standpoint, I don’t, I don’t feel uncomfortable calling and asking for the favor, because it’s just that build up in that joint connection point. It’s at that point, it’s just business become seamless, because why wouldn’t they want to work with you, you know, about, you know, their struggles with their kid or their, you know, their aging parents, whatever that connection point is. But I agree, I think we need to open the door and be a little bit more human at work, because I think that’s what people are really craving. And that’s what helps connect us.

Damon Pistulka 15:37
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. So, as you’re when we’re, you’re talking. Mama back up, back up just a bit. Toughest prospecting you’ve ever had to do?

Sara Murray 15:52
Oh, my gosh, I have. And he would, he would let me talk about it too, because now we’re friends. But it was the largest construction project in the entire country. And I was chasing it hard. And the client is a very high profile developer, you know, second in command at a very well known hotel brand. And we’re doing the meeting and I’m pretty good at reading the situation. So I can be all chit chatty Sara at the beginning. But if the if the other person isn’t matching that energy, I saved my chitchat for the end. But I still find a way to do it because it’s important. But this particular gentleman was just so tough. I mean, so tough. And so we went through, went through the presentation, he kept trying to you know, I got shushed once, and that was a little, that’s a long one. Yeah. But I did it, you know, got through it. And I definitely I think having confidence in the product and your industry helps because I’ve, I’ve mastered how to keep control and stay in the driver’s seat. second meeting, I fly to the to the state, the city that this projects in, I set up this really big bag, spent a lot of money on this meeting or rented a room at a conference room, I accidentally gave him the wrong address. So he was an hour late shows up at the wrong address, he had a walk through a very hot city to get to my meeting. So there’s no time for chitchat there. We just went right into it. I apologized once I didn’t you know, grovel, but um, we ended up not winning the project. And this is such a small world story. Two months later, in Los Angeles, I happened to be at a restaurant and he was at the same restaurant visiting a friend, just from out of town. And so now, you know, I already didn’t win the project. And I said, Man, I have to ask like, you were such a hard ask, like, why were you so tough when you’re the toughest person I’ve ever had to sell to? And you said, Sarah, every single person, every manufacturer from the entire world is chasing me for this project. Yeah, like I had to come up with the filter system. And he just did it and maybe a more aggressive way than that I’m used to. But I think that having that little perspective shift has helped me even when I approach people, and he did say he said you were really good at being persistent without being annoying. And that’s also a delicate dance of pleasantly persistent. But if you’re always adding value, then that becomes a lot more easy to do. So I’ve definitely had, you know, I’ve commercial construction, I’ve been yelled at quite a bit. And you just have to learn that it’s not personal, I think, well, I had a mentor told me once because I’d get upset that I’m being yelled at for something that wasn’t my fault. And I told him what’s going to happen. One of the things that he said is just focus on the fax. And that always helps. And I think once you do it enough, usually if you go through some type of turmoil together with a client, you come out the other side, your relationship is that much stronger. So sometimes if you can look at some of those tougher deals and tougher conversations as a gift, because you’re going to learn from it. And then if you come out the other side together, you can always reference that back. Okay, remember when I saved your butt over here, you know, and yeah, find ways to make sure like, I’m not going to leave you hanging when shit hits the fan. And I think that is is a blessing and a lot of times sucks to go through it. But you come through on the other side a lot, a lot more connected.

Damon Pistulka 19:13
Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Nothing like a tough situation to build a relationship in business, that’s for sure. And when you’re when you’re consistently there doing what you need to do, that’s those those forge very nice long term relationships.

Sara Murray 19:31
Yeah. And I think when it comes to prospecting, especially with clients that were intimidated by, a lot of times, if you’re adding value, there’s nothing scary about reaching out. It’s like, hey, Damon, do you want to be on my podcast? Hey, Damon, you want to grab lunch together? You know, it’s like, if you don’t respond to me, at the end of the day, what are you going to say about me? This girl might have been a launch like, it’s as long as you’re adding value. It’s not ever going to come across as obnoxious or annoying. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 19:58
that’s a great point. So you talked about confidence in adding value. Now, some people are going to be in this situation where they’re doing business development and prospecting. And they, they may or may not have 100% confidence in what they’re prospecting for, what are some tips for them? Because I think that, you know, when you’re all in, it’s a different thing. When you’re in, I’m here, and I want to do a good job. But I might not be all in.

Sara Murray 20:36
You know, I think that’s a great question. And I think one of the biggest misses that I see, so I would almost say prospecting is like, up to getting the meeting, right? It’s networking, it’s calling people, it’s like getting the meeting. But once you get the meeting, what happens next. And I think one of the best ways and most impactful ways that people can really make sure that they’re maximizing their time and and navigating that situation that you just described, is it is okay to ask the other person. And I think most importantly, if you can ask about your clients business model, and how they go to market, I think a lot of times people assume that if they ask those questions, it makes them appear less confident, or it makes them appear that they don’t know the industry that they’re in. And it’s so easy, and it is a game changer. If before you start the meeting, it’s Hey, Damon, before we get going, you know, I researched your firm, I really excited to learn more about, you know, exit your way and understanding what you provide. But instead of me just assuming, would you mind taking a few minutes to tell me about your business model, so I can better cater my comments to your needs. Because what that does is then that gives you kind of the floor to give me the breakdown of what your business is. But you might share a lot of stuff that you’re building, or that isn’t found on your website, or that my product ends up becoming a great fit, too. So I think what happens, you know, I was I’ve been in construction for a long time, they say you’re going to present to an architecture firm, and you do your research on their website, and they build a bunch of hotels on their website. So you go to the presentation, happy to be here. I’m Sarah, and you do your whole pitch around hotels, maybe they don’t have any hotel projects. Right now. They’re working on hospitals and higher education, but you just wasted their whole hour talking about something that doesn’t apply to them. So I think that’s where I see, you immediately step in a pothole, when you could just take one minute and ask your business model, what are your roles like who’s in this room, that’s going to be a game changer on how you overcome your confidence. And sometimes your product might not be a great fit. And that’s okay, too. I can’t tell you how many times a guy walked away from the Minnesota Vikings new stadium because I knew the product I was selling wasn’t a fit. And that that decision maker respects me so much. The next project that I got, that was a fit, I was his first phone call, because I didn’t sell him something that would have been a poor fit. So even if it’s not the right fit, it’s okay to walk away, because you’re adding value and part of that value is not giving them a product that they’re going to be unhappy with.

Damon Pistulka 23:14
That we just need to just need to simmer on that a little bit. Because that is one of the biggest things, I think long term success really depends on that is if you truly want to add value, you’re gonna say we’re not right for this, right? Yeah, so good. So good. Actually, I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago on a post on LinkedIn, because you need to turn people down. Yeah. And even if they want to, and they’re in, you know, they’re not the right fit. And like many companies in the beginning, we we took a lot of clients on that were questionable. Not a lot, but we took some clients on there were questionable and you know, even if you’re doing your best work, even if you’re doing everything you can, you still can’t bridge that gap. If they’re not the right right in the first place. And never comes out that your products or services, it’s always that you’re it’s always your deal. That’s why I’m just saying it’s always your deal. Why by not not stepping back on that at the right times.

Sara Murray 24:18
And that’s that’s where like asking questions and listening really helps because I just bought a software service. And I told the sales rep exactly what I wanted to do. He asked me no question just said, Yeah, I can do all of that. And it has been a really unpleasant experience. You know, I got a call with him. The other day, I was like, I’m this close to doing a podcast episode about what not to do, but I wouldn’t ever do it without talking to leadership first, because if he had just asked me or probed a little bit more, he would have set that expectation. And then I would have had my expectation set like it’s just a little bit of questions and listening is just not that hard. It’s not that difficult. If you just take the time. Ask, listen, and pivot accordingly.

Damon Pistulka 25:00
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And I love listening to you talk about it because you know how it should be done. And that’s great because you can see you can spot it from a mile away.

Sara Murray 25:10
It’s so funny being on the buyer side now. I mean, I’m like getting a crash course and some people do awesome. So people are super pushy, but I’m okay with pushy, but then I refer him to someone and they don’t like appreciate it. It’s just kind of interesting to be on the other side of it.

Damon Pistulka 25:23
That is for sure. That is for sure. So you’re out and about you’re teaching people how to how to sell better be better prospectors figure out their prospecting their companies, what are some of the things that you see out teaching people right now that you feel that a lot of companies are missing?

Sara Murray 25:45
Yes, that’s a great question. I think one of the biggest takeaways that I have seen, and part of part of was that hypothesis before I started the business, and now I keep getting confirmation. I think many times people fall into sales roles. And there’s never been any real structure, or tactics or strategies on how to be a successful or effective seller. I think that a lot of times people end up in sales roles, because they were good at XYZ, or they’re the owner of their own company, and they have to be a salesperson. But nobody is really out there teaching the how to do it. And so I when I started the business, I kind of sat and I thought, okay, if I was going to explain to someone who’s never heard of it before, what is prospecting? I literally drew a tree branch and your tree, I wrote like all the different branches of the tree, like how would you do it? And then I put it in an order. And that’s how I kind of started building out the content. And the structure for the workshop was around from day one, if you didn’t know, how would you do it? And what order would you do it? And so I think that just the fact that people don’t, they just learned by doing which is fine. And that’s really important. But that’s not the most effective way to go out and strategically surround a project, surround a sale, communicate the right way, speak to the business model, like that is a missing piece. And that’s where I’m, you know, I’m putting all my chips in that missing piece because I quit my job and started a business. And that’s where I want to focus because it’s an area it’s a big gap that I see.

Damon Pistulka 27:18
Hey, I think you’re right, first of all, and be the question I have to that is what were some of the things that you had just thought everybody knew that you when you’re building this tree, that you go, you didn’t even maybe even didn’t even think about writing it down on the tree at first. But now you’ve gone back and and did some additions. What were some of those things that you said, Yeah,

Sara Murray 27:51
I’m gonna give one that’s going to make some people squirm. But I think the I when people say that they’re terrible at names are bad at names, I just think that’s so rude. And if you’re in a sales role, and your job is to convince someone else to influence somebody else to buy your product or service, and you can’t remember their name, and not only don’t you remember it, but then you tell them that you’re bad at names like So paying if you are bad at names, but there’s different ways you can work around it. There’s different ways you can say that phrase. So I think that’s something that, like if you’re in a sales role, you have to be comfortable using people’s names you it’s just rude not to I’m sorry, it just telling the other person that you’re not worth my time or effort to try to remember your name. But also do you want to buy my product, you know, it’s just so it’s just such a miss for me. So I think if you’re genuinely interested in others, one of the easiest first steps is using their name in a thoughtful way. Virtual selling is so easy. I just have a notepad and I write down people’s names. And then as we’re going through it, I just look at my notepad because there’s so many workarounds for it. I have a podcast episode on it’s like 25 minutes long, all about tips and tricks. So we can we can put that in the chat. But it just like that’s one piece. I think that I’m in sales too. We just go into what I call like product vomit. Oh, yeah, no, and it’s an everyone does it. You walk a tradeshow floor and you are just standing there and all of a sudden, somebody’s coming up talking to you about this widget manufacturing industry is quite guilty of it to assume if you’re standing in the booth, you’re interested in the products like that is the biggest miss. You’re at a tradeshow you have a badge that says the person’s name. Hey, Damon, what do you do in Seattle? What brings you to the show I call them like mild icebreakers like that one second of time, is going to change the way that you communicate to that other person. So I think just I think people think sales is just being really good at knowing your product, and that’s part of it, but it’s a huge miss. If you don’t take the time to build the relationship first, because it’s gonna turn people off. People are going to let all that stuff roll off their brain. It’s so I think that’s another piece that people just regurgitate Product facts instead of weaving in stories, understanding their business model and fitting in solutions to it. So your product vomit, not knowing people’s names. I think another huge, huge piece that people miss is it’s I’m just gonna use a networking event as an example. Because I experienced it when I when I left my job and started the business. Now, you know, I didn’t have a manufacturer attached to my name, because I was representing myself. And I’d meet people and they’d realize I wasn’t another vendor, or it wasn’t a potential client, and they’d walk away from me. And I think that not leveraging your network of understanding how you can add value to others, but then eventually take that deposit back. Like, I just, it blew my mind, because I’ve had so much success by friendships with other vendors. Right? Okay, you might have a contact, I need, hey, let’s do a joint event together. Hey, you know, it boggles me that people would just blow me off because I didn’t have a company name, you know, Inc. So I think that’s another piece is we assume a lot about other people. We don’t ask questions to understand why they’re there or what they do. And then we also, don’t spend time if we don’t deem the other person worth our time, and that translates very, very clearly to the other person. So if you can approach every conversation as How can I add value to this person, then that’s really what’s going to be the pivot point. Yeah. A bunch of my pet peeves, Damon,

Damon Pistulka 31:35
sorry. That’s awesome, though. That’s awesome. No, it I think that was funny because I mispronounced your last name. I had it written down here. Sorry.

Sara Murray 31:48
Murphy, various okay. No, but that’s okay. But it’s not a big deal. You know, it’s like we’ve

Damon Pistulka 31:55
given you a bad time. Yeah, I got far. I got, I’ll screw up 10 times more before we’re done today. So the when we got we got talking, you know, yet one thing that I think is really something because I, I, I’ve seen a lot of people that that worked for companies where when I pulled my business card out, it’s got a name on there that opens doors. Oh, yeah. So what your experience in both sides of this? Yeah. So what were some of the realizations that you said first people might walk away? But I mean, when you’re out in the out and doing what you do? What are some of the things that you think that people that are going in that situation, right, I used to work for, just say, just pick company, big, you know, whatever you want to do I work for Apple, or whatever, Google or just pick one that you feel like, and now I don’t know, I’m working for a startup that nobody knows. And I’m selling? What? What are some of the things that they need to be prepared to do that they didn’t do before? Yeah, I

Sara Murray 33:07
think that’s a great question. And I wish I had prepared a little bit more for it, because I wasn’t expecting to be you know, so poo pooed on from people that I’m like, All right, you don’t know who I am, I was a little like, your ego, I think number one would be check your ego and make sure that, you know, you’re not, you’re not, it’s gonna suck. Like, it’s just gonna suck. And I think just like, be aware, it’s gonna be tough, but at the same time, I

Damon Pistulka 33:34
think she’s gonna suck,

Sara Murray 33:37
does more about the other person than you like about the other person. So I just leaned in hard to the people that didn’t care if I didn’t have a name attached, you know, enterprise Corporation attached next to my name, I lean into those people. And I use it almost as a filter system, like, Alright, man, I’m not going to help you. I’m not going to waste my time on you, I’m going to gravitate towards the people that don’t need that name attached to me. That’s one piece. I also think I’m okay, so leaning towards the people that they don’t care or the except it. I actually think in some ways, I personally feel like I’m able to get different meetings now. Because I’m not trying to sell them anything. So they think, and I’m been pretty surprised by what type of seats at the table I can get now that I don’t have the other name attached to me, because now I can approach people. I’ve been approaching old clients, and they’re in influential roles, but now I’m not selling them anything per se. So obviously a lot easier to get the meeting and more relaxed to get the meeting. So I think that you can lean into that and enjoy what you’re what this new role is giving you. It might open a lot more doors that you would have never expected.

Damon Pistulka 34:55
Yeah, yeah, that’s true. I think you make a great point because there We’re going to be people that snub you, because you don’t have the big name on your business card. But there are also going to be people that would snub you with the big name or walk away because they think that’s not for us that you know, or it’s not a good fit. So that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Because I, I see a lot of people that can that sell for big companies with big names, right? You see him walk around. And you really wonder how that would be for them if they weren’t in that in that situation?

Sara Murray 35:34
Well, it’s funny, I went from a small company to a big name company. And one of the biggest things that I didn’t realize, and I didn’t appreciate, I mean, I have experienced it. So tell this group too, if you have a big name company where you don’t have to do the little elevator spiel, like I used to sell a smaller product that was a bioethanol fire fuel source. So I’d call someone and be like, this is Sarah calling from so and so. It’s bioethanol fuel, that that that like, I’d have to do this whole spiel to get them to understand where I was calling from to then start the reason for my call. When you work for a big name that people know. It’s like, this is Sarah from someone’s other, oh, what do you need. So I think if you have that luxury, and that benefit, make sure that you appreciate it. And if you’re on the pros and cons, if you’re gonna go work for a smaller firm, honestly, it might make the list because you’re gonna have to figure out your elevator speech. And I would recommend, if your product solves your product solves a particular problem. I would just focus on that, like when I sold bioethanol fire, I would just cold call walk into firms, and I just say really loud, vent free Fire. And people would perk up and I’m like, Oh, I have a fire. I’m having a hard time venting it like find what problem your product solves. And find a way to weave that into your little spiel, because that’s gonna get them mentally there quicker.

Damon Pistulka 36:51
Ah, the problem that solves? Yeah, great, great, great. So as you’re going down the road here with your own business, we talked about this a little bit getting a get before we got on. You’ve you’ve kind of found what your Y is. Let’s talk about that a little bit. What really brought you around and kind of showed you more about that? Yeah, I think

Sara Murray 37:24
I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you, because I think you’re the perfect person to talk about it with and I kind of only had this little epiphany a couple of weeks ago, but you know, when you start a business, and you’re hiring consultants to build your branding, and you reading the business books and everyone, everyone, I can’t tell you how many people said it to me, what is your WHY find your why, what’s your why figure write a paragraph on what your y is, like, they happen all the time. And it was stressing me out because I I mean, my wives seemed so self serving, it’s like, well, I have the opportunity to build a business around my passions. And I’ve always wanted to build a business, and now’s a good time for me to do it. But like, they were all about myself, I want to make money, I want more freedom, like they were all self serving, I didn’t really have a y that felt authentic. And I’m not gonna put something out there if it doesn’t feel real and authentic, just for the purpose of having a why like, I read the book, I get the I get it. But I just didn’t really have one. And I think one I just finally figured it out very recently. But it didn’t happen on day one. And I think that’s something I almost wish somebody would have said is you don’t need the Y on day one. Number one, it’s going to change over time. And you only find it by continuing to take action. And so I you know, I’m looking back at all the different steps I’ve taken in the year and some change that had been in business. I did a workshop a couple weeks ago, it was a full day workshop for a team of 12. Everyone, you know, more been in the industry a long time but excited to learn new tools. Everyone was super engaged with such a great, great day. And we took a break because we’re all sales professionals. So I build in time to answer emails and get back to customers because I you know, laptops down, but will you have time to get back to clients. So I think our first break was around 90 minutes in the day. So you know, start at nine at 1030 We have our first break. And I walk into the owners office I said hey, how do you think everything’s going like how’s the team responding? And she looked at me and she said, You are changing people’s lives, you are changing their lives. And that was not what I was expecting. I was like, Oh, great to hear you know, like I didn’t have a good response. And so then I walk outside the office and someone in the group pulls me aside and they said I just want to let you know you’ve changed my life already. And I’m like, like it’s almost I would teach about being prepared for objections in the in the shop and I wasn’t prepared for

Damon Pistulka 39:51
this the opposite side of that.

Sara Murray 39:55
They handle it very well because it was like Oh, thank you so much. I need to have almost over script to respond. And that because it’s such a heavy thing to be told, and I’ve never, I’ve never been told that before. And I, you know, someone called me the other day, and they took a really big risk on a VP job with equity. And they said to me, they said, I bet on myself and I learned how to do it by watching you. And I told him, I said, Oh, my gosh, I gotta tell you two days ago, all these people told me I was changing their lives, and I didn’t know how to handle it. He was, well, you’re teaching people how to make more money. You know, if you’re more effective at sales, the company wins, you ideally, as an individual win, because your commission or your bonus, or your you know, you progress in your role if you’re an effective seller. And if you make more income that does change your life. So I feel like now, now, I have more confident when I’m going on selling the program to people because I know it can change people’s lives. But I didn’t start the day ones like I’m gonna change people’s lives. Like it just it’s one of those things where, you know, it’s an object, it’s a it’s not an objective black and white thing, but it’s been very fulfilling, very rewarding. And so I want to just keep chasing that feeling. And that’s really my why is to find those things that fuel me and motivate me because that is that is a lovely way to spend a career and I feel very grateful to be doing it.

Damon Pistulka 41:13
That’s awesome. I just, I just I tear up when I hear hear you tell that story. Because when it hits you, it hits hard, and you don’t know what to say, yeah. Oh, you know, I want to say, I,

Sara Murray 41:25
I got a I got a gift from a podcast listener with a two page know about how much I’ve changed her prospecting game, her confidence she sent me she makes swag products. So if anyone needs swag product, let me know and I’ll connect you. But um, I you know, I got this whole box of swag product and a two page letter and I’m just crying and I have it on my whiteboard. So it’s it’s been very rewarding because that’s an effect I didn’t realize was going to happen. And and one of the biggest shifts for me in this type of business versus a sales role, more more traditional sales role is I had a shift from having like an income business model where you’re measuring on quarterly goals, like numbers were my driver. Now I’m trying to pivot to be an impact business model, how many people can have impact and that’s, that’s been a shift that you have to go through. But you only go through it by taking the action and it’s been fun because then I get to talk to people like you on a on a lovely Thursday afternoon. So it’s been very fun. You never know where the road is gonna take you.

Damon Pistulka 42:21
So awesome. So awesome. I just love hearing and hearing your stories, Sarah and and how you’re helping because it is you’re helping people do something that can help them change their lives. And and it’s a triple because the business has benefit from it, too.

Sara Murray 42:38
Yeah, exactly. Win Win Win is always the goal. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 42:41
yeah, that’s for sure. So you got a couple couple events coming up. What you got coming up?

Sara Murray 42:46
Yeah. So I have two virtual events really easy. Do it from your own home. So I have a free workshop. It’s called prospecting on purpose live. That’s November 3 at 9am. Pacific Time, excuse me, 9am. Pacific time. 12. Eastern, it’s on Zoom. It’s one hour, we basically go through the tools that we’ve been talking about today. Daymond, but very like structured like, how do you build confidence? How do you have your values? How do you then bridge the gap with your intimidating clients? How do you be more confident approaching them. So it’s a jam packed session. It’s super fun. There’s lots of prizes. It’s really fun. So that’s a free event. It’s on Zoom, November 3 at 9am Pacific 12. Eastern. And then prospecting on purpose live is like the precursor. It’s the pre work to a paid sales workshop called ACE your sales. It’s three days, November 7, eighth and ninth, that’s Tuesday through Thursday, to one hour day. So really easy time commitment, we go through the seven crucial skills of effective selling day one is action. Day two is communication. And Day Three is execution. So if you want to learn more about that I can drop it in the chat. But it’s Sara Forward slash November and all the details can be found there.

Damon Pistulka 43:58
Very good. Sarah without an H Forward slash November to check out the webinars. She’s got coming up. That sounds incredible, incredible stuff there, Sarah. So and you’ve dropped it into the chat as well. So good stuff there, Sarah. Well, thank you so much for being here today. And I just just appreciate you appreciate you coming by and sharing your thoughts about prospecting your thoughts about life and just hearing your progress and, and how you’re helping people with their prospecting skills. And I’m sure you’re gonna help a lot more people. Thank you.

Sara Murray 44:39
Thank you, Damon. I’m happy to be on faces of business.

Damon Pistulka 44:42
Yeah, that’s so awesome. And I want to say Christian, Christian 40. Yes, I know you’re gonna baseball. i Yes, I might have been on the baseball boards a long time. I can’t hit a baseball anymore. My son. He’s struck me out so many times. I can’t even tell you so and Ahmed, thanks for be in here today as well and everyone else that was listening. Thank you. Thanks. We love it when you can when you can go back hit the replay. Sarah did drop so many golden nuggets of information here to help us really always be adding value as you said. And in that prospecting, Journey journey when you’re doing that. You get confidence because you’re adding value and it really helps you to bake, build better relationships and do things that will help your career. Thanks so much, everybody. Thank you, Sarah. Just hanging out for a minute and we’ll catch up

Schedule a call to discuss your business goals and answer your questions on growing business value, preparing for sale or selling your business.

Check Out Posts Talking About Sales.

Related content

These posts may also interest you

The Faces of Business Live Schedule

The Faces of business Livestream / Podcast episodes are conversations with interesting people sharing life and business experiences to entertain, engage, build community, & help others succeed.

Putting Your Soul Back into Your Work

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Cari Jacobs-Crovetto, executive coach, and the mind behind The Force Majeure / Cari Jacobs-Crovetto discusses how she helps professionals reconnect with their true selves to rediscover who they are and lead more meaningful lives.

Stand out by Writing Your Own Book

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Michael Levin, the visionary behind the Michael Levin Writing Experience and New York Times bestselling author shares how writing your own book can help you stand out, demonstrate thought leadership, and help you break free of the commodity trap.