Boring meetings come alive when you infuse the language of purpose. Learn how to bring this lens to the table even if you're not the one running the meeting.
- Have you ever sat through a meeting and found yourself thinking, what's the point? That's what happens when organizations lose sight of their customer. Three years ago Patrick Hodges was the sales director for a single division of Blackbaud. They're a software company out of Charleston, South Carolina that serves the non-profit world and Patrick made the decision to embrace and leverage purpose. Over the next two years, Patrick led his team to double digit sales growth.
They were outpacing the industry and the rest of the organization. Patrick's portfolio increased to two divisions and he drove even bigger results. Today Patrick Hodges is the chief sales officer and he reports directly to the CEO. Patrick you're one of my favorite sales leaders, I'm delighted to be with you today. - Thanks for having me Lisa. - So Patrick, most organizations stand up in a sales organization, they put up the big sales number, they say let's go crush the competition, let's kill them, let's beat this number, you all do some of that, but you do something additional.
Tell me about how you bring client impact into your meetings. - Well you know we talk about it, that's the main thing and we always link our success as a company with the success of the organizations that we call on and serve which as you know in this case is exclusively non-profit organizations and their missions are well they're incredible as you know. Non-profits are doing most of the heavy lifting in our country of people in need whether it be vaccinations, or cancer cures, or whatever it might happen to be and as a company we have a huge focus on keeping that front and center with our employees.
Just last week we had our large quarterly meeting the entire sales team as well as everyone in the company is listening in around the country, really around the world and we had the leader of the Ronald McDonald House that participated in our quarterly meeting to talk about the impacts that the Blackbaud products and services has had on their organization and their objective this year is to grow their housing by over 15 percent, which for them is quite a bit. And really it's their relationship with Blackbaud as well as our products and services that allowed them to be able to do that and if you're sitting in that audience listening, that is very powerful to hear that message come directly from one of our clients.
- So this is amazing at Blackbaud because you've got these great non-profits that you can put in front of your team, but what advice would you give to someone maybe whose clients are software firms or accounting firms or something like that? Would the same thing work? - I think it would, grant you, it's significantly easier for Blackbaud, I do think that calling exclusively on non-profits there's a very easy link there back to their missions but the link is there, it really doesn't matter what industry that you serve or who you sell to, you've just got to take it far enough down the line in order to be able to see that.
- Patrick thank you so much for your time with us, it is so exciting to see so many people, so passionate about going to work. - Lisa as always it's great to see you, great to talk to you I love sharing our noble purpose stories and I appreciate your time today. - Thanks. Did you notice, Patrick and his team don't ignore the sales metrics or the operational deliverables, but they're always animating their meetings using that thread of customer impact because it reminds everyone what the end game truly is.
And the way he does that with his team is by focusing on specific customers and including a lot of rich, qualitative and nuanced emotional details about those customers. So if you're running a meeting, or even if you're just participating in a meeting, use customer stories to ignite and animate the conversation.
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