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Jacco Van Der Kooij, Dominique Levin: The SaaS Sales Method Fundamentals; How to Have Customer Conversations


Winning By Design Communication Technique

Below are keys to customer-centric communication. TALKER.

  • Tone of voice
  • Ask questions
  • Listen to what your client says
  • Keep notes and include your customer’s tone words
  • Elaborate by digging deeper with the intent to understand
  • Repeat back what you have learned

Question-based selling is simply the most powerful way to understand the customer’s real pains, if there is a critical event, and the impact it has on their business.

Questions that control the speed of a conversation:

  • Open-ended vs. Closed-ended Questions.

Questions that control quality of a conversation:

  • Situational vs. Pain Questions.

Situational questions deal with facts about the customer’s existing circumstances. Because they usually give you simple background information, they are often close-ended. These questions are used to understand:

  • If the customer is qualified.
  • Their level of understanding of their own problem.
  • How much knowledge they have about potential solutions.

Aim to ask 3-5 great situational questions for every qualification call, or every discovery call to confirm that your research is accurate or if their circumstances have changed since your last conversation.

You have to earn the right to prescribe a solution through proper diagnosis. These questions are about them; both for their business, and to establish personal priorities.

It’s important to note that your customer will not give you the underlying pain and impact until you have built rapport and trust. That is something you have to earn through the conversation.

Impact questions are the meat and potatoes of a great sales conversation. Impact questions identify the impact that gets delivered by solving the pain.

Help your customer realize the impacts to their business beyond just the symptoms of the pain, and then link the problem to other potentially bigger issues they never considered to encourage eagerness to find a solution.

The value is the impact on their business! And the impact is what they are buying.

Refrain from asking Impact questions before you understand the most important pains and relevant situation for the situation the customer is in. Too early, and an Impact question can come off as too aggressive and pushy. Impact questions are typically done after a few minutes of thoughtful discovery.

Note-taking is a key skill that sets apart professionals from amateurs. The primary reason you need note-taking is because your brain is fooling you.

Your memory recalls the first and last topic they mentioned, but often you will forget all the things you talked about in the middle.

Elaborating is the art of following the conversation with the intent of better understanding it.


Writing an email is a skill.

Making sure that your emails are always customer-centric. Here’s how we break this down:

  • Preparing to email: You need to do research to understand your customer.
  • Selecting valuable insights: Offer your customer something of value to them.
  • Writing an email: Write high quality, personalized emails.
  • Using video in your email: Stand out and save time with a short video.
  • Measuring engagement: Learn what works, so you can do more of what does work and stop doing what doesn’t work.

The key to a great customer-centric email is providing value, and resisting the urge to sell.

Calling and leaving voice mail

The proper structure of an outbound email consists of the following RRR:

  • Relevance. Demonstrates research of the person or company, and references something similar.
  • Reward. Offer value, such as a link to valuable insights, a relevant blog post, video etc.
  • Request. Call to action based on situation (time, event, date etc.).

Calling – The Conversation

In B2B, when a customer makes a decision, they may think about trade-offs that impact their job, their career, and potentially the future of their family. In comparison, in B2C, the impact of a decision is primarily transactional.

WARM calling – the new approach to outbound sales calls. The key to using these levels of outbound sales calls to your advantage is to create what is called a WARM call.

  • W: Address the customer’s confusion with three questions The “W” in this acronym is all about addressing the customer’s confusion. You do that by answering three important questions, that they are most likely thinking, as soon as possible on the call: Who are you? Why are you calling me? What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)
  • A: Ask questions, instead of pitching.
  • R: Establish relevance.
  • M: Make it happen for the customer. At this point, you are trying to provide some value to the person you are speaking to, ensuring that you are making their life easier.


In the conventional sales world, it was all about the one decision maker. Now, decisions are made as a team. There are several stakeholders at play, so it is important to understand their priorities are in line with the prescription you have helped define.

There are two kinds of engagement:

Passive: Likes, Nudges, etc.

Active: Directly mentioning, referring or addressing your customer.


The latest way customers prefer to buy is through short and to-the-point communication. Long emails are never fully read, and rarely get the desired response.

More and more, we will see real-time messaging playing a vital role in Sales Development, Sales and Customer Success. What is real-time messaging? When a customer visits your web property, such as your website home page, you have a unique opportunity to start a conversation.

Setting Up a Meeting

As you prepare for the meeting, identify your ideal outcome of the call.

Write down the name of everyone who will be attending the meeting, and do 2-3 minutes of research on each attendee before the call.

Outline of an ACE opening:

A – Appreciate. Appreciate you joining our call today.

C – Confirm end time. We are scheduled until the bottom of the hour, does that work?

E – End Goal. The end goal of this call concludes with {X or Y}. Does that sound like a good use of our time today?

You now need to confirm the agenda, by asking each person in the meeting what they are looking to get out of today’s meeting. Make sure you write it down, and make sure that you address each and every one on the call. If there are more than 4 people on the call, we recommend you do this with your champion as outlined in the call-before-the-call. You then summarize what your champion has told you and ask the group as a whole if they want to add anything.

Following up after the meeting is critically important, as it secures the progress you just made. You write the summary, not aimed AT your champion, but FOR your champion.

Meeting steps

  • Schedule. Do not delay – Does this afternoon work?
  • Invite. Send out invite – Included executive briefing, monitor accepts.
  • Confirm. Confirm 24hr/5mins. If more attendees, set up sponsor call.
  • Prepare Research. Customize. Sign-up. Download. Follow. Like. Share.
  • Meet.
  • Follow-up.
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