What We Learned From Season 2 of “Pretty Big Deal”

ZoomInfo’s podcast, Pretty Big Deal, just wrapped its second season. The podcast shares stories of salespeople — from CEOs to financial planners to actresses — about how they landed some of the biggest deals of their career. Here are a few of the best lessons we learned from this great season.

1. Make a Good Impression & Focus on Relationship Building

Actress Andrea Lopez knows that impressions matter. In this episode of PBD, she tells the story of how the first impression she made on a casting agent for a role she didn’t get, ultimately helped her land a bigger role.

Acting is all about selling yourself, and good impressions can make or break you. For Lopez, that meant keeping in touch with a casting director after missing out on a part — and months later, seeing that person again as the hiring manager for another role.

“If it’s a closed door, it could lead to an open door. You just never know,” Lopez says. 

Not only did her first impression help land her the job, it added a level of trust and familiarity when coming up with the offer. 

“He was able to offer me more money just because he knew my face and he had seen me in another light … just goes to show you, the relationships you make early on can come back tenfold,” Lopez said. 

2. Trust That You Have the Best Product

Sometimes it’s tempting to talk down on your competition. But according to Spencer Carlisle, an account executive at ZoomInfo, it’s much more effective to play up the value of your product. 

When selling Chorus, Carlisle acknowledges that competitors have good products. But he drives home the importance of building a sales platform, showing prospects that the value of ZoomInfo is more than just the sum of its parts. 

This method helped him upsell one of ZoomInfo’s biggest deals. 

Carlisle uses Chorus alerts to flag when certain products and competitors are mentioned on sales calls. One day, he got an alert from a call with a current ZoomInfo customer that used a competing product for sales-call intelligence. Carlisle listened to the recording to find out what their needs were, and reached out to the account manager to get a demo on the books.

He demonstrated the value of the Chorus platform and its ability to integrate with the ZoomInfo data they were already using. Then he negotiated a great deal for the customer — and a new three-year contract with ZoomInfo. 

“A lot of companies we speak to use Engage as their dialer and automation, Chorus for their conversation intelligence, Chat is their chatbot, ZoomInfo Marketing, ZoomInfo Talent — everything is ZoomInfo. And then they have maybe Salesforce as their CRM,” Carlile says. “These two products [ZoomInfo and Salesforce] are all a company needs, and vendor consolidation and contract consolidation is really appealing for people that are looking to scale.”

Carlisle says the fact that ZoomInfo can be an ecosystem for sales professionals, marketers, and recruiters leads to upselling. He has no issue with acknowledging competitors’ success, or going up against them.

3. Be Patient

In the fourth PBD episode, Brittney Castro talks about how she had to trust her instincts when faced with an offer that was less than ideal. When she decided to sell her financial planning practice, she knew her personal worth and the worth of her business. She wasn’t looking to settle for an offer that didn’t value both.

But turning down a deal that was months in the making wasn’t easy. Looking for a buyer and conducting negotiations was turning into its own full-time job, and she knew she’d potentially have to wait a while for another opportunity to come along. But she knew it would be worth it and turned down the offer. 

A week later, she was approached by another firm wanting to purchase her business.

“It was just one of those things: we talked, it was easy,” Castro says. “I was very clear — here’s what I want and we’re either going to do it, or we’re not — and it just worked out.” 

Castro’s patience paid off. She was able to close a deal that really was right for her and her needs — and she was finally able to relax. 

4. Honesty is the Best Policy

In the eighth and final episode of the PBD season, Ken Hicks, dealer principal of Toyota of Mt. Kisco, NY, shares his philosophy around treating customers with honesty and respect. While the stereotype of a car salesperson is typically sleazy and untrustworthy, Hicks works to make sure he builds lifelong relationships with his customers. 

“You turn a client into a friend and a friend into family — that’s how my process works.”

said Hicks. “I was selling people cars when they got married and now I’m selling their children cars and their grandchildren cars.” 

He operates with this honest relationship mentality to maintain his customer base and credibility. He knows the only way to see long term success is if people trust you. 

“Anything that you’re selling, and anything that you’re involved in, it’s your reputation on the line. So you want to make sure you treat people right,” said Hicks. “When you’re doing something for four decades people have to trust you.” 
You can hear each of these stories, and more, wherever you listen to podcasts: Apple | Spotify | Website