Liston Witherill Guest Info
Liston Witherill is a sales trainer, speaker, author, and podcaster who helps client services professionals sell more services. Liston’s work is based on psychology, behavioral economics, and his own sales experience. His mantra is “Serve Don’t Sell,” and he believes selling should be an ethical, win-win arrangement 100% of the time.
Prior to creating his training business, Liston was the owner of a boutique marketing firm, and ran business development and marketing for a $12M consulting firm. He podcasts 3x a week, and runs 3 times a week, and lives with his beautiful wife, cat, and dog in Portland, OR.
Possible Interview Topics
The following topic ideas are intended to serve as a starting place for our conversation. I approach every interview as a conversation
Topic 1: How to Have Better Sales Conversations
How to lead successful sales conversations by understanding questioning strategies, particularly during discovery, to establish your clients problems, goals, and values.
- PGV Is the Key: why identifying your client’s pain will tell you everything you need to know about how to sell
- Listening Is the Most Underrated Skill: use open-ended questions, silence, and follow up questions to learn crucial insights that’ll improve every sale
- Using the IKEA Effect: asking your client to participate in creating the proposal and offer increases buy-in
Topic 2: Creating a Sales Process From First Contact to Close
Getting more leads is wonderful, but it only solves part of the problem. Everyone needs a sales process and strategy to follow so they can transform conversations into clients.
- The Process Imperative: to get better at anything, you need to first create and follow a basic process, then repeat it to eventually improve it.
- The Art of the Next Step: you can only keep the process going if there’s always something next, and there’s an easy way to make it happen.
- The Repetition Imperative: some sales conversations shouldn’t end in a sale. Regular and systematic follow up creates repetition, which builds trust, familiarity, and credibility over time, increasing the likelihood of a future sale or referral.
Topic 3: Why Service Is the Future of Selling
The entire sales profession is rapidly changing. Buyers don’t need sellers to take orders anymore, and sellers need to respond by providing world-class service from the first interaction.
- The History of Selling Leads Us Astray: sales started out as a way to reach, educate, persuade, and transact with the market. None of that requires a one-to-one human interaction anymore, and sellers need to respond.
- Redefining Your Goals: it may sound counterintuitive, but your goal should be to serve, rather than sell. Once you reset your goals, you’ll be playing on the same team as your client, and sales (and referrals) will come much easier.
- Get Excited, Then Get Patient: all kinds of tensions exist in modern sales. The hardest is that you need to be genuinely excited about working with your clients, but also remain patient. Big sales take months and involve 5 or more people – keep serving.
Personal Questions You Might Like to Ask Liston
- Why did you decide to run a half marathon after only 7 weeks of running in your entire life? And what was it like to run a marathon?
- Did you actually rap at your Master’s Thesis defense?
- What’s this about you being a rapper?
- Is it really that gray in Portland, Oregon?
- Why’d you make the switch from marketing to sales?
- You’ve lifted over 500 pounds off the ground?
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