Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Oct. 29, 2021

#183 S2 Episode 52 - 15 Years in Mission Work to B2B Sales Leader Selling with Dignity with Harry Spaight

In this episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell, he's joined with Harry Spaight, a writer, speaker, coach, and author of his new book called "Selling With Dignity".

In a world full of competitive salespeople, not all can say they still have the dignity or would like to be as transparent as they'd like. Not for Harry, he talks about how his early missionary life affective how he approached sales when he eventually got the chance to and not be swayed by the high pressures of the sales world.

Want to read rather than listen? Here's a two-three minute read that covers an important sales topic: How To Create Brand Ambassadors 🚀


01:36 Harry's early life as a missionary and how it all transitioned for him in sales

09:36 Jumped on in B2B sales despite not having any experience besides doing missionary work 

13:40 Placing missionary principles into sales and how it worked for Harry

16:12 Treat others the way they want to be treated

24:50 What people expect on Harry's book as well as closing statements


10:34 "I will succeed with love. So here I was a missionary work was all about serving people, and I'm going to bring love into the world into the corporate environment."

14:55 "Simple things like, listen before you speak, would be one example, right? Showing that you had empathy. So, I would listen to others who would ask questions and It would be a question, response, next question."

15:28 "Sales conversations are, you know, people are so quick to look for the silver bullet or the perfect script, questions, or this is how you run discovery. And the reality is every person, every situation, every company, there are just too many things that are dynamic to have one size fits all in every situation."

19:11 "So a lot of sellers think 'oh I can only ask for referrals if somebody bought from me. That's not really true, if you do the right thing and you help people you can actually build people who want to help. Build an army who want to help you."

21:56 "People don't buy that anymore, that high pressure super urgent urgency close. And also it devalues you, the seller, your company, the solution or the product or service that you sell. And ultimately it just pisses prospects off."

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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell, and this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.

[00:00:24] Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. As always today, I've got a fantastic guest for you. Uh, I've got Harry spate. He is the author of selling with dignity, and we're going to dig into Harry's experience. Harry's a keynote speaker, coach, author of selling with Digney your formula for life-changing sales results.

[00:00:43] So we are definitely going to get into that. And I know we're going to pull lots of learning lessons out of Harry's experience, Harry, welcome to the show. Oh, Colin's great to be here, man. What's a good word. Ah, man, just a really, uh, pumped to talk about the book. Um, you know, Yeah. I feel like you're talking about the book and then boom.

[00:01:02] The book was out. Yeah. There's no messing around. Of course the book only consists of three pages. So it's pretty easy to write. I mean, did you write it in a week, over a weekend or what? No, it was actually a nine month process. So I thought writing a book would, uh, actually I had no idea, but I mean, I was thinking it's going to take a year.

[00:01:25] The next thing is going to take a few months and then it worked out to be almost a year. So. Nice. Nice. So, so let's dig into your story here a little bit. What, uh, what was, what was the early, early career of Harrison? Well, thank you very much. First of all, for having me on your exciting program, I think you're a real pro and anyone that's working with you, uh, is doing great things.

[00:01:50] I'm sure. Based on your influence. So early Harry spate, uh, out of high school shortly after high school. Became involved in mission work. So I had a calling that I listened to, um, which eventually led me to, uh, great places like, uh, east Berlin to chip away at the Berlin wall. Uh, the former Soviet union, which was St.

[00:02:16] Petersburg, Russia. But at the time there also known as Leningrad. And then, uh, after that experience, those two, um, I convinced my lovely bride of, uh, six years to move to the Dominican Republic. And there we did mission work there for a couple of years, um, which was a great experience. So that was, uh, the early life.

[00:02:40] And then when, uh, Children thing came up. Uh, yeah, I had to get a real job. And so that the thing I knew best was how to converse and communicate. So that was an natural for sales. So here. Wow. Okay. How many kids do you have? So we have three and they're, uh, now a young adults age, 1921 and 23. So we started, um, most, most people by age have grandkids.

[00:03:13] So when they find out, uh, I still have a 19 year old home. Is this your first marriage is like, uh, yeah, I just was older when we started having kids. So, but it was a great, it was fun. I recommend it right. Instead of having children right away. When you get married, um, travel the world and do some fun things together and get to know your spouse and, uh, good things can happen.

[00:03:35] I know my, my, my wife will, uh, I mean, I love my kids. I got three and I got four number four on the way. Congratulations. Yeah. Thank you. And, uh, I wish we would have took, I, you know, I wish we would have took a little bit more time to enjoy each other. We were just like, just, you know, did the kids. Pretty quick.

[00:03:54] Um, my wife wanted to wait and I was like, oh, let's just try. See what happens. It was like take years, right? Yeah. Well, you know, we had a lot of friends that it just wasn't didn't happen so easy for them. And we didn't know, and we thought, Hey, let's give it a shot. And they were like, oh wow, this is happening now you're a kid.

[00:04:12] Is it all are all, they're all really young. And they're like kinda close together in age. Right? Is that if I recall close together, Yeah, my first two are 15 months apart. They're like best friends when they're not beating on each other.

[00:04:29] That's great. And how old are they? 6 5, 3, and then new one coming in March 20, 22. All right. So it can grow. It's going to be a even louder house. Um, uh, I don't know, projecting, but yeah, it's exciting. Good for you. Yeah, it's hard. It's already hard. It's hard to find a quiet space now, but, um, all right. So, so after, so after the mission work, which, you know, sounds like you had some, some great experiences there and you clearly already had a knack for sales, convincing your wife.

[00:05:00] Travel around and do some crazy things right. And marry me. Yes. Well, yeah. Yeah, of course. Yeah. You'll have to tell me the truth, but, uh, so, so then you, you, you just kind of went into. And, uh, what was your experience with that? What were you selling, you know, was there, what did, what did you find anything difficult about it?

[00:05:23] Well, I think the most difficult thing. So a couple of things. One is I, uh, for a minute I took a, a, a job, cause I didn't know anything about business. I, I had a small janitorial business house, painting business, just support the mission work. So. I w you could not say I had business acumen. That would be a real stretch.

[00:05:45] Right. I worked hard. I did my, you know, whatever I was doing, I did it to completion and I was pleasant with people, but having business acumen, knowing anything about a computer. Microsoft. I had to have someone help me with a resume, all of that stuff, but like my first quote, unquote sales job, I ended, I was in a hotel room and I know that sounds bad, but there's, it's like a conference room and everyone breathing that wants to spend $300 to get a sales job selling.

[00:06:19] Got the job. So I did that for a few weeks to realize that, you know, big in people's homes at night was not what I wanted to be doing. So I ended up trying to get a job in B2B sales and with no, now you can experience this, but times were different. I had no college degree and we're talking in the. Late mid, mid nineties that was really frowned upon.

[00:06:48] So whenever I was interviewing the first day they asked was, you know, what's where did she go to school? You know, what's your degree. And, and I, uh, I did mission work. Does that help? Uh, not necessarily real sky sales. It sounds like you're a nice guy. Sales is proudly out for you. I mean, that's a chapter in my book.

[00:07:12] There's one lady that actually tried to talk me out of sales and she says, you're too nice for this. Right. And that's what she kept saying. And, you know, boiler alert, I hadn't even read the book. Yeah. So, but it's, it's common, right? I mean, I've interviewed people and I've wondered, you know, as I became a sales leader, You could be super nice, but you still need to ask for the order and some nice people.

[00:07:40] I mean, I consider myself dice. You're nice, but I'm not afraid to ask for the order. How about you? Yeah, no, I don't have trouble asking. Definitely not. Um, but you know, I, I wrote a blog recently about, you know, uh, I was more talking about, you know, turning people into brand ambassadors and about referrals and, you know, you got to earn the right to ask for referrals at the same way.

[00:08:04] You got to earn the right to ask for the business. So, you know, anybody can, anybody with a pulse can ask for the order, but if you haven't done the work prior and earn the right to ask for the order, pretty good chance. You're not. Yeah, absolutely. But you know, on the other side of the coin, Collin, you probably have experienced, this is that people are so servant minded.

[00:08:24] They just want to serve, serve, serve, and then they actually let someone else get the order, which. You know, uh, it's the challenge with those types of people is I don't want to hear the word. No, they don't want to just be disappointed. They're such people pleasers, but that's the fine line, um, that we can please people, but we still have the right to ask for the business.

[00:08:50] Yeah. Yeah. I, I, th somebody told me once the difference between people who want to actually want to help people, uh, or want to please people, or actually serve people versus wanting to please people is the difference between somebody that will, uh, you know, not it won't tell you if you got something stuck in your teeth.

[00:09:08] Well, wait a minute now, do I need to check your mic? Could be nervous. Note to add it there. All right. So that spinach I had for lunch, you noticed, okay. People that are people pleasers, they won't tell you. They'll just let you walk around with. Foodie and your teeth, but you know, people who genuinely want to help and serve, they don't, you know, they don't mind those uncomfortable moments or situations where they might say, Hey, you know, you got something already or your fly's down, you know?

[00:09:41] Um, all right. So, so you, uh, You told me about the story there in the hotel is I was a little concerned what direction,

[00:09:52] but so you, you then got into B2B and, and, and what was your experience there? I mean, you had no sales experience prior, other than that short stent in something you realized you didn't want to do, you know, what was, what was, uh, challenging for you? So in Southern former world of being a missionary. And coming out into sales, someone handed me a book called the greatest salesman in the world by Augman Dino.

[00:10:18] Are you familiar with it? I'm not. Okay. Uh, I highly recommend it. It's, uh, 4 million copies are in, been produced over the years, a whole bunch of languages. And in that book, um, there's a, it's a, it's really an, uh, a story about a young man who. Cleaned up after camels wanted to become a salesperson. It was given to some scrolls to read, eventually got the gig and he was given a bunch of squirrels to read.

[00:10:50] And one of the scrolls was I will succeed with love. So here I was missionary. It was all about serving people and I've got a bread you love into the world, into the corporate environment, so you're going to match it. All right. So I'm probably 10 years older than virtually everyone else in the room, including managers.

[00:11:11] So if you think of Wolf of wall street, classic bullpen stuff, right. Pursuit of happiness, Glengarry Glen Ross bullpen activity here, I was, I'm like, wow. Talk about culture shock. And I tried to buy into it, you know, just the pressure of the calling, you know, and then I would listen to a sales rep, say things like that.

[00:11:36] They'd be at their manager's door. And I was right outside the manager's office. And I would hear things like we got to close them, you know, we're going to drop the price, whatever we need to do. And those were the things that were being done. And I'm like, man, I'm not sure I could do this. So that was a real challenge for me to say the least.

[00:11:57] Um, and then ultimately I don't want to keep going here too much, but you know, I figured out that I could do things differently and that's where. That whole bringing, you know, those ancient principles from the mission worked into sales, uh, helped me to take off to say the least. Yeah. So, uh, when everybody that you're around was doing things, not the way that you were comfortable doing.

[00:12:26] Um, how did everybody else feel about that? Well, I, yeah, well, so. In the beginning, I was like, Olfer right. Every month I was writing zeros. So, you know, again, a lot of weird things are going on. Me learning a new business, constantly being asked by the owner of the company. What are we going to write today?

[00:12:51] How many machines? So I was selling printers that cost anywhere from $20,000 to a hundred thousand dollars. And how many of those are you going to sell today? And I didn't know. I mean, I didn't know what was normal. What did good look like? I was pretty sure zero was not good. So at the end, uh, uh, at the end of every month, um, for like four or five months, I had.

[00:13:16] So that was not fun. You want me to sell multiple of these a day? Exactly. Yeah. I was thinking I might be able to sell one for the month or what for a year. I mean, I had no idea. I can't, I had no business acumen. I had to learn how companies would even use such a beast. Right. So you're talking it's 600.

[00:13:38] Long printer that way, you know, 500 pounds and was going for, you know, $50,000, you know, that's not like everyday shopping, right? Yeah. Yeah. And so what, what, uh, and so something you mentioned that I know is probably covered in the book, but what are some of those principles from the mission work that you brought into the way that you, uh, you know, sold in the, in your relationship with your prospects and your customers?

[00:14:06] Uh, all right. So have you ever been told Collin that you act and sound and look like a salesperson or do people say things like, you know, I like you because you don't act like a sales. Uh, yeah, I mean, I can tell you, people are usually pretty nice to me, to my face. I don't know what they say when I'm around, but what, however, you know, I, early on in my sales experience, uh, I learned a lot of bad habits in sales and I was a commission breath, transactional what's in it for me type of seller.

[00:14:39] And that's because I was the environment that I was in. Uh, and you know, I had some successes. And then, uh, you know, kind of got so far in, hit a ceiling and didn't really love the way that I was feeling about how I was, um, Not really building relationships with people, but just very transactional mindset.

[00:14:59] And so I had to unlearn a lot of those things and sort of seek out new ways of doing things that felt more aligned for me. Yeah. And so those same things are probably the same principles that I got out of the mission life. So simple things like listen more than you. Would be one example, right? I'm showing you that you had empathy, right.

[00:15:22] So I would listen to others who would ask questions. And it would be question next question. Right? Question response. Next question. Not question response, empathetic conversation. Right. You know, and that's those types of things where sadly, even today are sadly missing with people. Yeah. I mean, sales conversations are, you know, people are so quick to look for the silver bullet or the perfect script or the perfect set of questions, or, you know, this is how you run discovery and, and, and, and the reality is, is every person, every situation, every company there's just too many.

[00:16:02] Things that are dynamic to have, say one, one size fits all in every, absolutely. So there are so many variables in the, you know, the each selling opportunity, each relationship. So that concept of an again, it's the golden rule. We all know it. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. And someone recently said, how about we treat others the way they want to be treated?

[00:16:31] Which I like even more so I should change that chapter in my book, but it's, you know, as being relatable and relating to other people, you know, understanding what their challenges are versus I'm here to sell you something. Right. And that's where I think a lot of people miss it in sales. Yeah. And it's even deeper, like their challenges, their challenges may.

[00:16:56] Or may not tie back to what you do exactly. You know, and yeah. So what do you do with that? Right? What do you do in this day and age compared to what you did years ago? So let's talk a little bit about what most people do, which is more wrong, right? You know, they go through their questions and you know, their, what, what is most important for them to solve right now is not relatable to their product or can't tie back to their product or their service.

[00:17:24] They typically dismiss those people and move on like, Hey, you know, it sounds like, you know, that's not a priority for you. Goodbye. See you later on, you know, they're just in hunter mode, hunter, hunter, hunter, hunter, hunter, hunting for, you know, somebody that has a little bit of an inkling of a problem that can tie back to their product.

[00:17:42] Right. Um, or, or they try to force. Right. So there's two, two different, you know, possible scenarios of how sellers approach that situation, uh, in, uh, not in the not right way. Okay. And so the right way to actually do it is to help them regardless if it ties back to your product or service, now you can't always do that.

[00:18:05] Um, I'll give you a perfect example, right? So what do I do? We sell podcasting services. We manage produce, promote, grow, launch consult. Get people on shows, whatever podcasting is our world. Um, and I reached out to a prospect that had had some interest at some point. And, uh, he's like, Hey, we really do want to start a podcast, but it's in, you know, Q1 of next year is really kind of, we've got other priorities.

[00:18:32] Right. So in that scenario I could move on. Cool. Hi, I'll check back in. I'll check back in Q1. Right? Typical salesperson. No. I said, what type of people are, you know, what, what are your priorities right now really need to, we have this problem of delivering what we do and we need to hire this particular type of person to solve that.

[00:18:54] Great. What is, what skills does that person have? What are you looking for? And I introduced him to some people that would be good candidates to fill that role. And so. Which had nothing to do with what I do, but when that particular person is, does need what I have, there's a pretty good chance. I'm going to be the first person he thinks of.

[00:19:16] But even better than that, if he comes across somebody that needs what I have or what I do, pretty good chance, he's going to send them my way regardless if we ever even worked together. Right. And so a lot of sellers think like, oh, I can only ask for referrals. If somebody bought from me and it's not really true, you, if you do the right thing and you help people, you can actually build people who want to help build an army of people that want to help you.

[00:19:46] Absolutely. That's great stuff. And you know, the, uh, you know, w my belief is that even if the person never reciprocates, maybe that person doesn't give you your. You benefit right. By being that type of person, right? Your, your mindset, for instance, you know, when I see you on social and I see what you're doing based on the fact that you're constantly giving.

[00:20:13] Advice helping people, you know, you're a guy that a lot of us would want to do business with. It's not just, it may not be at the moment, but it's definitely, you're building a pipeline. What you may not even realize that someone's in the pipeline because they, they're not indicating they want to buy from you, but because of the acts of kindness and the good things that you're doing, people are saying in the back of their mind, that's a guy I want to do business with someday.

[00:20:40] Yeah. And sellers are starting to wake up to the fact that like their reputation matters and doing things like this matter, the problem is it's not trackable for the sales bosses for the, for the dashboard jockeys. Um, you know, they can't track. Hey, Harry was, Harry was a good person, 15 times today, and that created 22 opportunities.

[00:21:05] Exactly. That's not trackable in the CRM. So it's typically not part of the sales training program, right? Yeah, that's it, it's, uh, you know, that is a challenge and, uh, I had to face a similar, you know, similar things. Um, but know, it's depends on where you're working, you know, what is the culture like? And, you know, some are going to buy into it and others not so much probably.

[00:21:33] Yeah, dangerous thing. A lot of the sellers that I talked to that I feel are doing sales the right way. Uh, there, they typically have a similar story to yourself where they're like, I just did exactly opposite. Yeah. I did take a lot of the goods. So, I mean, there was some great things I've learned, but it was the style and approach.

[00:21:57] Uh, That I just wasn't. I was never going to take away the sale in a sense that this is the last day. This offer is valuable, a valid right. To see, I know the month end of the quarter. I never believed that stuff. So I couldn't say it right. And people, people. People don't buy that anymore. That high pressure, you know, super urgent, urgency close, you know, uh, and also it devalues you the seller, your company, the solution, and the product or service that you sell.

[00:22:33] Like. And ultimately it just pisses prospects off. Cause they're like, geez, Harry, why didn't you give me that deal? When he originally sent it over, like, you know, there's, it creates a lot of distrust. I mean, everybody likes a good deal, but you know what? They, like more than a good deal is a good value for, from, from you and your company.

[00:22:53] And, and, and, and you can do that without discounting. Without question, I just had this funny experience, um, Related to, you know, the, the world of office technology, printer sales. And I still work with a company couple of days a week. And one of my associates, uh, someone I've worked with for years outside of our company said, look, can you come help us with copiers here?

[00:23:22] And long story short, the person who was selling competitively was selling the same gear, same equipment that I was. The price difference was somewhere around $1,500 a month, or was that a $90,000 difference on the exact same equipment on stuff that should go for around? $50,000, they were selling for $140,000 to give you an idea.

[00:23:53] That's the selling was sleaze, not selling them with dignity. And when the person found out that there was competition, I E Harry spate in this situation, you know, I was doing a favor of this person for the, the buyer. And she mentioned to him, he dropped his price $50,000. Then he's described as a mistake, right?

[00:24:17] There was a mistake in the first proposal, I'm going to drop the price. Then there was a promotion that was another $25,000. And then, oh, as fate would have it, there is yet another promotion I uncovered. There's more. I mean, it's like, there's more that's right. But can you pull it? There's nothing in the world.

[00:24:38] I mean, yes. Mistakes, you know, if you're making a $50,000 mistake, come on. So this is the nonsense that goes on within some sales organizations, they just do not care about the client and they're going to take advantage of them at every step. And, you know, God bless them, but that's not the way I feel like sales should be.

[00:25:01] Yeah. Yeah. So tell, uh, give us a little bit, um, give us a little bit of a high level overview of what people can expect in the book and then tell them, and then we're going to make sure to include a link in the show notes so that people can find the book, but give them a little sneak peak. What can they expect in selling?

[00:25:19] What does. Yeah. So the selling with dignity is really coming from a place of service. This is all about serving others first and providing value. So what that means is I compare it to the server in a fine restaurant that is going around taking care of your at dinner. They're offering cocktails wine list and so forth service mentality, but they're still.

[00:25:47] And that's really the approach that we can take in sales. And then I compare it to virtually every aspect of sales is how we can serve first. Then the sales will eventually follow and it covers, you know, how to handle people's concerns. Um, the use of questions, how to listen, empathetically, how to ask for an order, how to close for next steps.

[00:26:12] You name it. It's really a. A to Z hands-on guide. Um, but it's done not with tactics it's done with really just having core, uh, values that show that you care about others. So that's kind of what it is. And, um, so far the reaction has been very positive, so I'm very excited about. Awesome. I'll make sure to drop the link so that you guys can get your copy of the book in the show notes.

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