38: Todd Caponi: The Transparency Sale

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On this episode of The Manage Your Message Podcast host Jim Karrh speaks with Todd Caponi – an award-winning sales leader, a self-described nerd for sales methodology and decision science, and the author of The Transparency Sale. Todd is also the former Chief Revenue Officer of PowerReviews, which during his tenure was the fastest-growing tech company in Chicago. He has held leadership roles with 3 other tech companies including ExactTarget, where he helped lead the company to a successful IPO and eventually an acquisition by Salesforce.com.

PowerReviews helped retailers and brands collect ratings and reviews to display on their websites. So, as you might suspect, Todd learned a lot about reviews. Among the insights discussed:

  • The vast majority of consumers look at online reviews before making a purchase
  • More than 80 percent of consumers actively look for negative reviews
  • Most importantly, the “sweet spot” for ratings is between 4.2 and 4.5 on a 5-point scale

That 4.2-4.5 range relates to consumers’ desire for authenticity—and when a seller shows negative or mediocre reviews, that tends to validate the totality of reviews in the minds of most consumers.

Todd discussed the research he conducted for the book, starting with a neuroscientist at DePaul University. A consistent finding is that we as consumers tend to make decisions based on emotion, then use our neocortex “to back it up.”

Todd also mentioned the impact of Dr. David Rock’s SCARF model – one which outlines five key domains that explain our behavior in social situations. SCARF stands for:

  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness

Considering his years of experience of “being sold to” (when almost every potential vendor would come to him with a bunch of logic-dominated, self-focused Powerpoint slides), Todd says he wants listeners to start thinking like reality makeover show stars. Why?

  • They help the individual see that their problem is not only worse than they thought, but also more urgent
  • They are disarming but also educational, injecting emotion and not just logic
  • At the end, those individuals being helped “can’t wait to run through a brick wall”

Links:

Learn more about Todd Caponi and The Transparency Sale:

http://www.transparencysale.com/

Find Todd on LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddcaponi/

Follow Todd on Twitter

@tcaponi

An article explaining the SCARF model from Dr. David Rock:

https://www.strategy-business.com/article/09306?gko=9efb2

Learn more about Jim Karrh

https://jimkarrh.com/

Follow Jim on Twitter

https://twitter.com/jimkarrh?lang=en

Connect with Jim on LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkarrh

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