How to Sell More Effectively with Liston Witherill

March 14, 2018

I’m really excited about this episode because today we have sales and marketing pro, business coach, and good friend of mine, Liston Witherill on the show.

Liston and I have known each other for a couple of months now. It all started when I was invited to be a guest on one of the episodes of his podcast.

Now the tables have turned, and I brought him to today’s episode of The Social Media Growth Show.

Liston owns a freelance coaching business where his main goal is to help freelancers and consultants sell with confidence. This often turns into talking about their direction and the reasons why they might not be achieving their goals. He's is really keen on coaching and teaching people on how to sell more effectively.

Liston studied Environmental Science and focused on environmental consulting after university, since then he has run multiple successful businesses. Maybe more surprisingly,  we discover in this interview that he’s also a rapper. You can check his tunes here.

When it comes to his work, Liston’s perspective is quite different to the rest as he’s more interested in the psychological aspect of sales, human cognition, and how people make decisions.

When I asked him about what made him want to become an entrepreneur and run his own business, he said:

“That’s a good question; that’s, like, a question my therapist would ask me.”

What’s Today’s Episode All About

  1. Liston’s Short Bio
  2. Liston’s 8 Keys on How to Sell More Effectively

Liston’s Short Bio

Right after finishing grad school, Liston got a job as a Marketing and Business Development Director in a company with about 80 employees where he was responsible for the company’s marketing and sales efforts.

Liston was in charge of his companies digital marketing efforts and while doing that he discovered that something as simple as an email can totally change a company.

In his words:

“I said, we have 5,000 people on our website; what would happen if we just send them an email?”

It turns out the company’s president wasn’t really excited and didn’t share his mindset. On the contrary, he felt that nobody would want to hear from their company and they were actually lucky they got work from people.

But Liston did it and soon after, from that single email came a $50,000 project they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

It wasn’t really the content, he says. What worked was that they reminded their customers they were around and could solve their problems.

And that was the beginning of everything. From that moment on, Liston dug deeper and found out he could use everything he’d learned about digital marketing, social media, and sales to sell more effectively.

Liston’s 8 Keys on How to Sell More Effectively

Liston comes from an entrepreneurial household and to him, his upbringing gave him the mindset he needed to become an entrepreneur himself.  He started freelancing while keeping his day job and soon after, his consulting business overtook the earnings from his day job.

Don’t Take a No for An Answer

Liston says that it was his parents who gave him his willingness to become an entrepreneur. They have run around 8 businesses in their lives, and 6 of them were failures while 2 worked pretty well, which is a nice rate of success when you think of it. The key here is that they never took no for an answer. Make sure you know what you want and let others know, and that will make you sell more effectively.

Learn Who You Are

Also by looking at his family, Liston realized that having his own business would give him control over his own destiny. He could now do something for himself and by himself, which was a part of what made him make the leap. Also, when you start your own business, you really learn who you are, what you can do, and the best way to do it. Besides, it’s really rewarding to understand yourself better and can bring you tons of benefits.

Serve Your Clients

Liston’s biggest achievement has been turning clients into subscribers rather than just one-off or occasional projects. To him, the goal of a salesperson isn’t to sell but to serve. If you can’t serve your customers you have nothing. If you change your clients into subscribers and promoters you’re doing something right. And that feels awesome.

Get Networking

Liston is currently doing what he calls “a LinkedIn experiment.His experiment consists of having tons of conversations with people and sharing loads of valuable content. By talking to not only clients but also with other people like him, he finds out how he can help others and tailor his services.

Beware the 80-20 Rule

One of Liston’s stories led us to talk about a person he was talking with. This guy said to him something like: “I don’t know if I can continue in my own business because I lost two big clients and all of the receivables that they had pending.”

To Liston, this is a problem because most of the time 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers and this happens to lots of companies, regardless of their size. The issue with this is that your business is at the risk of other business.

To illustrate this he shares a story. He says “I sold a big, nearly 5-figure monthly subscription to them and what happened was that they weren’t clear about their goals and it turned out there was nothing we could do to make them happy.”

They dedicated 40% of their bandwidth to the client, and after they lost it, it really hurt the business because after dedicating so much time to one client they had no time to market themselves.

The bottom line is that we need to beware the dollars’ siren songs because, eventually, that client is going to go away.

Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People

The sooner you can find people with whom you can share your goals, the better. Because as individuals, we’re not good at giving ourselves advice or holding ourselves accountable. And that’s, Liston believes, the role of the coach, which is a person that will help you learn, grow, and improve.

Be Clear About Your Goals

In sales, we’re used to asking our leads about their intentions. But when you’re selling, you should ask yourself about your intentions. Are you selling to make a quota or because you really want to benefit this person? That’s a different approach, and it really feels different, helping you sell more effectively because you’re actually helping your clients. To Liston, and his brand, it’s all about honesty.

Limit Your Distractions and Plan Your Day

Liston’s routine involves waking up at five, going to the gym for an hour, getting back home and powering through his inbox —Liston is an inbox zero guy— so he can start writing as soon as possible to limit his distractions.

All before 10 AM.

By doing his routine, Liston effectively achieves more than most people would in a day. And it’s all a matter of discipline, which has a multiplying effect because it boosts your day and you get more done and sell more effectively.

Also, another thing about Liston is that he doesn’t switch tasks. Task switching kills, guys, and it’s such a terrible thing to happen while you’re working because it limits your productivity.

Key Points of Today’s Episode

  • Make sure you know what you want and how you’re going to get it.
  • Know yourself and what you can do
  • Turn your clients into subscribers
  • Share your goals with like-minded people
  • Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket
  • Don’t let distractions run your day

That’s it for today, guys.

If you ever want to get in touch with Liston, go to You’ll find tons of free content for you to check and learn how to sell more effectively. And if you want to get some of that sweet coaching from Liston, head over to the Work With Me section of his website to get the ball rolling.

Now, if you liked this episode, you’ll absolutely love the next one. I interview the founders of Quuu, one of the best content suggestion tools out there and I can’t wait to show

Stay tuned and see you next episode!

And, now that we’re at it, why don’t you subscribe to the Social Media Growth Show?

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