InnovaBuzz Episode #97 – Ian Altman, Same Side Selling

Ian Altman, Same Side Selling

Ian Altman on Same Side Selling

In this episode, I’m excited to welcome back to the InnovaBuzz podcast Ian Altman, author of two Amazon #1 best sellers, “Same Side Selling” and “Upside Down Selling”, host of the Grow My Revenue podcast and founder of the Same Side Selling Academy.

We had Ian on the podcast in Episode 39, and Ali McGill on Episode 70 suggested we get him back, so it’s great to catch up with him again and find out what’s transpired in that time.

Of course, we talked about selling and an alternative model to do “selling” in a way that it serves your client and builds a partnership. To find out more and to learn about what Axis Displacement Disorder is (and how to get over it!), listen to the podcast.

It’s not about you. It’s about your client’s problem that needs to be solved. @IanAltman on #InnovaBuzz Share on X

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Show Notes

Key points and take-aways from this episode with Ian Altman of the Same Side Selling Academy include:

  • Selling is a framework with a structure.
  • The “old fashioned” sales metaphors are a game, where there is a winner and a loser, or worse, a battle metaphor, where the loser dies! Modern selling is more like a puzzle metaphor, where the seller and buyer work together to solve the puzzle (problem) at hand.
  • The Same Side Selling process: It has three components which are Entice, Disarm and Discover. Enticing is sharing the problems we solved, with dramatic results. Disarming is making it clear that we are NOT there just to sell something by acknowledging that not everyone is a good fit for us. Then we trigger a discovery phase to learn more about their situation and see if we can help.
  • As a business, it’s critical to fully understand why your customers need what you do; more so than what it is that you do. Understanding how the clients would talk about this is very important, and the closer we get to using their language in our message, the better it is.
  • When we shift our focus on solving issues and problems, not on selling something, we’ll get much better at sales.
  • The idea of an “Elevator Rant” – what’s the problem for the client that’s front of mind. The pitch then becomes “Our clients come to us when [elevator rant]. For the right organizations, they tell us we deliver amazing results, but not everyone we talk to is the right fit for how we approach that. I don’t yet know if we can help you, but if that’s something you need to solve, I’m happy to explore that more with you to see if we can help.”
  • For your product or service, articulate what problem it solves, why they need it and what is the likely outcome or result.
  • The sale is not the finish line! The result is the finish line. Once you realise that, your sales conversation will be much more productive to both parties.
  • The Same Side Quadrant – a note taking structure that helps get really clear on the need and helps build a business case for solving that need. The quadrants are: Issue; Impact/Importance; Results; and Who else is impacted.
  • When you follow up, follow up on the things that are important to the client, rather than those that are important to you. If a client doesn’t get back to you, don’t assign meaning. Things may have happened that have nothing to do with you. Don’t fall into the Axis Displacement Disorder syndrome (listen to the podcast to learn more about that!)
  • The Client Vision Pyramid – a tool that helps position your solution in the mind of the client.
  • When a client pushes back on the price, you need to focus on the results. If they want lower price, they need to sacrifice results and then you have to ask yourself, are you a business that wants to sacrifice results you provide to your client.
  • Work with your clients to put a system in place to hold both of you accountable for achieving the results.
  • Develop content and use that content to answer sales questions and in your follow up.
If your client is not getting answers from you, they're getting them from someone else. @Ian Altman on #InnovaBuzz Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Ian’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  • #1 thing to be more innovative – Be entirely focused on what problems your clients need to solve.
  • Best thing for new ideas – Constantly listening to your audience and clients and getting feedback.
  • Favourite tool for innovation – In terms of productivity, Contactually. Another one is from Neen James who gave a powerful piece of advice saying, “Every day, the first task that you should do is on a post-it note, write down the three most important things that need to get done that day. And don’t get distracted with other things. Don’t do anything else until those are done.”
  • Keep project / client on track – Have the results in mind. By focusing on the results, you can make sure the everyone is on the same page.
  • Differentiate – Know what problems your solve: be hyper-focused and be incredibly specific on the problems that you solve.

To Be a Leader

Know what problems you are solving for your customers and why.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Ian via his website or Twitter – @IanAltman.

Suggested Guest

Ian suggested I interview Neen James on a future InnovaBuzz podcast.

So Neen, keep an eye on your inbox, for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Ian Altman, from the Same Side Selling Academy.

Links and Books


Cool things about Ian

  • Ian has helped some companies achieve staggering growth recently, so much so that the owners sold their business for a lot of money.
  • In early 2017, Ian lost his voice, which as a professional speaker, is a very humbling and debilitating experience. Fortunately he is now fully recovered.
  • Ian wanted to be a physician when he was younger, but didn’t like studying chemistry!
Show me someone who wants the cheapest solution and they'll probably be solving it 2 or 3 times. @IanAltman on #InnovaBuzz Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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