Another long episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell, he's joined with Larry Levine, Best Selling Author of Selling From The Heart, podcast host, founding member of Talent Champions Council, and co-founder of Social Sales Academy.
This episode talks about how you as a seller can try and sell from the heart. Joining Larry in his movement as he talks about how in a world of empty suits there is an opportunity to be had by being genuine, sincere, and authentic to your customers.
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02:31 Larry's quick introduction to the sales world and how he started
05:13 Hiring a business coach at 40 years old to transform Larry into someone better
08:05 Switching to a podcast, sipping coffee in the lobby of the Bellagio, Selling From The Heart
14:12 Actually giving a rip, genuine care, that comfortable feeling: Making it all about the customer
19:20 Bringing the small things into sales, being genuine, authentic, honest makes it easier
22:57 Trust and credibility in sales is really low for a very long time
28:50 In order to be you, you have to get to know you: Being true to yourself
36:52 Uncovering your gift that comes easy and natural
45:15 Final thoughts and how to reach Larry
04:37 "What concern about salespeople today is that they're afraid to try new things ... I was always open to trying new ideas, new ways to help me grow. I held myself to a higher degree of a standard than anybody else."
10:49 "But you know what, that's how you learn, that's how you grow. You gotta be willing to try new things. Because anything I can part on your listeners is the only way to grow is try new things. And you gotta be willing to do it, and you gotta be willing to s*** at it and learn from it."
18:19 "Whatever you do in your career, don't ever half-a** your sales career. Go at it 100% because if you can't do the small things correctly, you'll never be able to do the big things correctly."
21:51 "Six percent of people will remember what you said 10 minutes after you leave ... your buyers and your current customers are gonna remember six percent of what you said after you leave the room or the virtual room. However, they're gonna remember 100 percent of how you made them feel ... the message matters so much in sales."
26:47 "I lacked confidence, I lacked believability in myself, maybe I had low self-worth at that time and I go 'I just can't do this.' However, where I really started to understand is when I started to bring care and appreciation in all this to the forefront ... 'Listen, I'm putting me out there. I'm providing a level of service and experience you're not getting with other people, there's a cost associated with that."
29:08 "In order to really be a truly great sales professional out there, you gotta really get to know who you really are. You gotta get on the road to self-discovery, acceptance, self-acknowledgement, and self-care. You really gotta do the hard work."
33:36 "If y'all wanna have an overflowing sales funnel, you gotta build a network flowing relationship funnel. And the way you build relationships is through conversation. And you understand what makes that person tick."
37:30 "I'm a big believer of if you want to get to know somebody, you got to be willing to go first. And I go first all the time. I share something of me to get the ball rolling. And it doesn't have to be deep dark secrets or anything like that, just a little piece of me to somebody."
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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 today. I've got a special guest for you. It's my good friend, Larry Levine. He is the. Podcast co-host sales coach of selling from the heart. One of my personal favorite books, one of my favorite podcasts on my feed. And we've done this a few times, so I know that this is going to be packed with a ton of value.
[00:00:44] Uh, grab a pen, get ready to take some notes. Larry, welcome to the show. It's always good to see what is going on. Call. Yeah, I know you're busy, dude. I just got always, I got to invite you on the podcast. If I want to have a conversation with you, stop it, dude. Come on man. You know what, so everyone who's listening.
[00:01:03] Colin and I actually live probably with no traffic. Maybe 35 minutes, if the foot's a little bit on the gas pedal and we've never met, we have to change that one of these days. We we've met one time. Oh yeah. It wasn't that memorable. That's right. It was in San Diego now I remember, but we haven't. I mean, since it's all been virtual.
[00:01:25] Yeah. And the last change since then, so, um, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I got way more gray hair now and a lot more kids. Oh, I think I had one kid. I think I had one kid at that time when we met in San Diego, uh, it was the print audit event. And, uh, it was the weirdest because I like, you know, when I have, when you have young kids, it's hard to get away, go to events and things like that.
[00:01:52] Um, and it was like the first one that I'd done, I dunno, in a long time. And then of course my kid get my son, Jackson, he got really sick and my wife was kind of like freaking out while I was there and I was almost going to leave. And it was like, he got some weird rash or something like that, but he was totally fine.
[00:02:08] Hey, so everyone who's listening, we are going to talk about stuff. We're just kind of like reminiscing. So. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Deal with it. Um, so all right. And I mean, your book is honestly, uh, you know, genuinely mean it, uh, one of my personal favorites, it's reshaped, you know, how I think about sales and a lot of ways, and I know it's had a huge impact on a lot of sellers.
[00:02:32] But let's just go behind, behind the curtain for a second and just give us the, you know, Larry Levine, where did it all start for you? And let's take a little bit into you, your story, your experience, and then we'll kind of put a bow on it with the awesome work that you're doing. No, I appreciate it. I mean, I mean, you know, call them, but I spent almost 30 years in the office technology channel.
[00:02:53] So all in Southern California. And when I say Southern California, I'm talking about Ventura county, LA county. Just get more geo-specific but just let everyone know. I mean, I was, I was a copier guy through and through from when I graduated college all the way up until 2015. So I sold from the analog, you know, pre-internet days all the way now through where everything's connected onto networks.
[00:03:15] Um, I just, I, you know, I, I think. Where I found my niche in the office technology channel is I was always willing to try new things and stand out and be different. And we all know that it's a high, it's a highly competitive dog eat dog sales channel, lots of turnover. Um, I always say that's the land of broken promises and busted dreams, but it's just my way of expressing that things could be a whole lot better.
[00:03:43] And I learned a long time ago that the way I was going to stand out and really carve out a very successful career is I couldn't make it about product. I could make it about company because in my opinion, they all did the same thing. It was just a name on the outside of a copier that was different. But what made me different is I was willing to roll up my sleeves.
[00:04:05] I'm a highly emotional guy. Relationships mean the world to me, I just placed that up on a petal. And what, I mean, place it up on a pedestal. I placed it up on a pedestal. I wasn't the smartest guy out there in the copier channel. I wasn't the most strategic, but when it came to carrying out out care, anybody, and it propelled me very successfully through a very long career in the copier channel.
[00:04:29] And I always say, you know, we have aha moments along the way. And again, I was never afraid to recreate and reinvent myself. And in my forties, I reinvented myself again in the copier channel, hired my first business coach. My business coach taught me and I'm going to use the exact phrases that he used on me is he taught me how to play in the online sandbox.
[00:04:52] And what I mean by that is I'm I'm, you know what concerns may a lot with salespeople today is they're afraid to try new things. Yeah, they are so afraid to try new things. We get set in our ways, right? I'm not here to disrupt by, by the way, I'm going to preface this. I'm not here to disrespect the sales world in no means because I love every aspect of sales, but I believe the reason why I was successful in the copier channel is I was always open to trying new ideas, new ways, new ways to help me grow.
[00:05:25] I held myself to a higher degree of standard than anybody else. And when I hired my first business coach, that was the big transformational moment in my career, 40 years. Because I had to now how to, I had to learn how to play in different mediums and different channels now. And I grew up in a face-to-face analog world.
[00:05:46] Now I had to learn how to grow up and replicate that and be congruent with it in an online world. And it propelled me in the latter part of my career to a very successful what I'll call Twilight in the office technology channel. And then in 2015, I find myself then looking for what's the next app. And that next avenue was, I could have just stayed in the copier channel.
[00:06:09] It could have been a VP of sales in the copier channel and wrote out to a very complacent sunset. But I said to myself and I had conversations with my wife. Maybe it's time to do something else. And I started to tap networks. And this will probably play out inside of our conversation at some point in time, in our time together.
[00:06:28] But I started to tap my network in the very first person that network I tapped was now, which you know, is a near and dear friend of mine at my, the co-host of my podcast. And we're attached at the hip. I say, it's selling from the hearts Daryl. And I just reached out to Darrow. I shared with them the situation I was in and I said, Hey, who do you know?
[00:06:46] Who knows somebody who knows somebody again, I'm, I'm looking for influence inside of Darryl's network. And he goes out, give me a couple of weeks. I'll figure it out. Well, lo and behold, it took him like an hour after our first call and he goes, Larry. I think this is the time you go do something else. Why don't you share what made you, you and the copier channel and start coaching sales leaders and sales teams on how you recreated and re transformed yourself.
[00:07:11] If that's a word I just made, if it's not, I just made it up. Colin retransform. But, um, I just caught myself. That was a peer that was up nevertheless, but he goes, you got to go out and coach salespeople. And what made you. I had no customers. I'd never spoken in front of crowds before. Um, I sucked at being a sales manager when I was in a copier channel, and now I'm going to go out and do this, but I just packaged it all up again, always open to try new things and started could, that's how you and I met Colin is I just started coaching copier sales, you know, dealerships and their sales teams on headache.
[00:07:50] Great. The power. So. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, you know, it, wasn't fun. I'll admit it wasn't fun at all. But again, you know, Bo is open to try new things. I just said, Hey, Daryl, let's just start a podcast. Maybe it'll get our voices out there and so forth outside of what we know, which is the comfort zone of the channel.
[00:08:10] We grew up. And he goes, nobody's going to listen to a podcast from two X copier guys. It's not going to happen. And I go, gotta tell them, you got to tell the story of how you recorded the first podcast. Okay. Okay. So, so I'll rewind just a little bit. So I was getting ready to speak at an event in Las Vegas at one of the hotels.
[00:08:30] I think it was the blog. Yeah, and this is where, again, I wasn't, you know, I was paying the bills, but it just, I wasn't used to making the money that I was making. And I'm not saying that money is everything, but when you're used to a certain lifestyle and you have to go backwards for a little bit, it's humbling.
[00:08:47] And I ate a lot of humble pie in the first couple of years of doing this as I exited the copier channel. But again, I said, you know what, maybe starting a podcast would get our voices heard outside of the places that we're comfortable. So I'm sitting there having coffee with Daryl. And, uh, in fact, our members at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, and I'm having coffee with him and I said, Hey, you want to start a podcast?
[00:09:11] And he goes, no, not really. And he goes, where, where are you go? You go, so where are you pulling this one from? And I go, I don't know. Maybe it's just time to get our voices heard. And he goes, oh, okay. But what are two X copier guys going to talk about the anyone? Okay. Remotely, listen to. I said, I don't know.
[00:09:28] We'll figure it out along the way. And he goes, okay. And he starts to take a sip of coffee. And he goes, as it's like the, as the, as the mugs, almost to his lips, he goes, what are we going to call this podcast? He goes, cause you got to come up with a really good name or you're doing this by yourself. And I go, he didn't just starts taking a sip of coffee and I go, we're going to call it selling from the heart.
[00:09:47] He goes and he spits coffee out all over the place. He goes, where the hell did you pull that name out? And I go, well, Daryl you've known me. Right? Cause he worked together in the dealership that I had. And I said, I just brought sincerity to the forefront. I'm a deeply emotional guy. We're going to bring sup to the sales world that I don't think has been brought to the forefront.
[00:10:10] And it's all gonna, it's all gonna hinder around authenticity, heart sincerity, business, substance, all this, he goes to it. He goes, I'm all in. So the neck, the next selling for the heart moving. The book, the movement, the work that you do, all star. The podcast, it all started with the podcast and we had no clue what we're doing.
[00:10:32] Right. You're a podcast pro at this calling, right? I mean, so here we are. We get to blue snowball mics. We got bumper music that I think costs us 25 bucks on Fiverr. Right. So I'm giving you the, a peek into all of this, right? Yeah. For all those who think like you gotta have all this big production to start the podcast.
[00:10:50] I think Darrell did the bumper music on a garage. On his Mac and the voiceover cost 25 bucks. The first podcast I'm telling you is so bad. If anyone goes back and back and listen to the first podcast and now listen to it, you're going to laugh, but you know what, that's how you learn. Yeah. That's how you grow.
[00:11:10] You gotta be willing to try new things. And if that's anything that I can impart on your listeners is the only way to grow is to try new things and you gotta be to do it, and you gotta be willing to suck at it and learn. Absolutely. And you've brought that up multiple times and I love that because if we even go back to the beginning of your copier sales career, you were selling differently, you were trying something new selling in a way that felt comfortable to you.
[00:11:42] That was not what was being taught to most copier salespeople, correct? No, correct. So I started my career in the tail end of 1986. And my first year selling copiers was 1988. So, um, for all the, all the P all your listeners, the internet, wasn't even a thought of an ADA. If it was then no one really knew about it, but everything back then was product centered.
[00:12:10] Was service centric. Something still tells me it's going on still to this day. But you know, that's a topic of another conversation, but there was a lot of old school, old sales, methodologies, and so forth was how I was training things that people hate about salespeople. Exactly. But was the sales training, but that's, that's just the, I mean, no fault.
[00:12:31] That was just the time and the place and the decade that I happened to start selling in, because none of this that we're living in today, But to me, you know, I, I was, I was really cognizant of my surrounding. And, uh, you know, call it 6 cents. I think we all have that, that 6 cents just innately in us somewhere.
[00:12:52] And I was cognizant of how everyone was talking in the bullpen and I was on field ride outs and things like that. And I go, there has to be a better way of doing things. And again, I'm highly, highly, highly curious person. I love asking questions and I love the art behind conversations. And as I started to build up a small little customer base, my first year, I'd go back to my current customers and I'd ask them things like, you know, why'd you buy from me?
[00:13:18] Why did you really buy from me? Nobody was doing that. Nobody would, nobody was doing that. You know, what do you like, what do you don't like about salespeople based on what you know of the industry I'm in? What do you like? What do you don't like? What would be a great experience? What would be a crappy experience?
[00:13:35] And I just started to package this all together. And again, this isn't rocket science. When I say this, all I did was the complete opposite of all the negative things. They said, I flipped those and I did the complete opposite. I just went back and I routinely visited my customers. I showed that I cared. I knew more than one person in the account.
[00:13:59] I always made them feel good. I always put a smile on their face. Just little simple things. It's and what's interesting is a lot of these things sound very simple and they, they, they sound like they should be the norm, but even now, today, They're still not, there's still a lot of people and I quote you on this a lot, um, in, because it's such a great point.
[00:14:27] I love when you say it too, is you actually give a rip. Right? Right. Yeah. So many people just, they don't give a rip or they pretend to give a rip and it's obvious. Um, but like actually just genuinely caring about your prospects and your customers and the experience that you deliver. Is so important and should be priority.
[00:14:44] Number one, in so many cases, it's not. Yeah. You know, I, I w given a rips a polite word of, you know, we could replace that with a bunch of other things, but w you know, giving a rip, it just conjures up all kinds of words, right. That go into people's heads and so forth. But one of the things that I caught this a long, long, long time ago, when I say long time ago, I'm talking decades ago is, um, I use the word comfortable and awful.
[00:15:11] In. And when I start, when I, when I'm in conversations like this on other people's podcasts, even when I'm working with sales teams and sales leaders is the more comfortable I made somebody feel. And it was just, I started seeing this unfold right in front of my eyes is the more comfortable I made somebody feel about me, the more comfortable they started to open up about things going on in their office that they weren't sharing with other.
[00:15:38] 'cause I'm a big believer that perception's reality. That's just how that's I just, as a sales person and still to this day, I'm very, very aware of perception and I'm aware of the perception of salespeople. And I knew that even back then in the eighties and nineties, that the perception of salespeople is, was just as negative back then as it is today.
[00:16:00] But I knew that the more comfortable I may call and feel about me, which means I had to make it all about him. Yeah, I had to talk about things that were important to you calling. So the more comfortable I make call and feel about me, I knew cause I saw it unfold. The more comfortable calling started to open up about things in his office.
[00:16:21] And it was the things in his office that I could use to help him do better business. But I knew the things that. Made Colin comfortable. Weren't things like me talking about products and how great I am and how great my company is and how great my service is. That was the fastest way to disconnect. But the fastest way to make somebody feel comfortable about you is to make them feel comfortable enough by talking about them.
[00:16:48] That it was that simple. Again, I keep going back and I use the phrase. It's not rocket science. It's really not, but I remember, Hey, can I share a quick story? Because it kind of brings us to the fourth. Yeah. So, um, I'm dating my wife. So I'm happily married now almost 30 years. So when I, when I met my wife, this would have been 31 years ago, right about then, okay.
[00:17:11] Somewhere around 31, 32 years ago. And her parents knew it was getting pretty serious, but this is, this just drives this point across calling in, in everyone. Just key in this, because it's the small thing. As the story unfolds, it's the small things. So I'm dating my wife, her parents know it's getting serious.
[00:17:29] We're sitting at the dinner table and her father just passed away over the summer. But her father was from Oklahoma. Her mom's from Mississippi. Okay. And put, put them together both together. They probably have a sixth grade education, but that's just the way it was at the time. Just good, hardworking blue collar.
[00:17:50] So we're sitting at the dinner table and, um, my wife, well, she wasn't my wife, but y'all get the picture. Go back in time with me. And she knew it was getting serious. So my wife's mom goes boy, right? Cause she calls me boy, boy with a Mississippi Twain to it and I'm not going to do as a safe bar. Right. And that's the extent of how I'm going to do this.
[00:18:12] And she says, I know it's getting serious between you and Robin. Robin happens to be my wife's name. And she goes, I'm going to pass down some things that were taught to me and my brothers and sisters from my parents. I think it's about time. You hear that. 'cause I think it's getting serious and I want you to take care of my daughter and I go, okay, cool.
[00:18:32] And I'm getting kicked under the table and she says, whatever you do in your career, don't ever half ass, your sales career go at it a hundred percent, because if you can't do the small little things correctly, you'll never be able to do the big things. Correct. And I think this is, this is just, this brings to light.
[00:18:59] As we're sitting here, you know, talking together. If we look at where we're at today, We live in this digitally crazed world, the technology crazed world, where relationships are built through the Internet's, the Reno, we make connections through social networks and all that. However, if you can't do the little things correctly, the small things correctly with discipline, with consistency, my opinion, you're going to struggle with the big things.
[00:19:32] And how does this all tie into the Salesforce? Is, if you can't bring small things like care and sincerity, respect, appreciation, being genuine, being real to the forefront, making it about your customers and not about yourself. You're going to struggle. Not only are you going to struggle in your professional career, you're going to struggle in your personal career calling.
[00:20:01] Yeah, I mean, it's. It's such a valuable piece of advice for anybody. It just in life in general, you know, and it doesn't, it doesn't cost anything to be a good person. If you're authentic and honest in your, you know, relationships with your prospects and your customers. It's actually a lot easier if you don't have to remember what you told them, your thing's going to do, because you know, you were trying to get the sale.
[00:20:35] Right. And you know, something that you mentioned earlier, which I want to touch on, which is so important is, you know, you, you mentioned something about you realize, you know, the more comfortable you could meal, the more comfortable people could get. You know, the better in those relationships, which would ultimately land to, you know, long-term customers.
[00:20:55] And it's because of this simple fact, which, you know, I think a lot of people know, but don't necessarily implement in their, in their sales walk. Right. Which is people. Remember how you make them feel, they they'll forget, you know, your products, your features, your benefits, your logos. All the crap that you told them to try to get them to sign on the dotted line, but they won't forget how you made them feel.
[00:21:20] Uh, it's so spot on which, which brings up, um, my business coach, his mentor wrote a terrific book. Um, his, my business coach is Dave Sanderson and his mentor. It's a guy by the name of Don Barden, Collin and Don Barden wrote the book called a perfect plan. Some an amazing, amazing book, but in a he's a B he's a behavioral economist by education, very highly smart guy, ex wall street guy.
[00:21:50] And he talks about what you just said in the perfect place. And here's, what's interesting. Cause it's it's so it's so counter, it goes against the grain of how we're coaching salespeople right now. I believe my opinion. He goes on to say this in the beginning of the perfect plan, he said 6%, 6% that low 6% of people were, remember what you said 10 minutes after you leave.
[00:22:20] So this, bring this down to a sales centric conversation for a second. Hey, salespeople and sales leaders out there, your buyers and your current customers are going to remember 6% of what you said 10 minutes after you leave the room or after you leave that virtual call. However, to Collin's point, they're going to remember a hundred percent of how you made them feel.
[00:22:45] Think about.
[00:22:50] So you got to choose what you say carefully to deliver a positive experience and it, and it's why words and message matters so much in sales, because that's just, that's just think about it. If. Whether it's the Edelman trust barometer, or any other barometer out there. That's, that's, that's going, that's looking at where trust lies.
[00:23:14] That's just face it. Trust is at an all time low at sales has been like that for a long, long time. And that's sad. Right? Trusting credibility and sales is really, really low. I mean, there's even people that go as far to say that it doesn't even matter. Yeah, which is a whole nother topic that we, we have to reschedule for that one.
[00:23:34] But, uh, you know, and, and maybe, you know, if, if I'm, well, this is bring it up and I'll, I'll just hit it head on if I'm buying things on Amazon, right. Or if I'm, if I'm in the B to C. Maybe trust and credibility really doesn't play out. I think it still does. Right. I'll give you a perfect example. Why do you think people go to Starbucks over seven 11 for coffee?
[00:23:57] I'm just using those two extremes. We can build trust and credibility in there. I trust it. When I walk in a Starbucks, I'm going to get it consistently. Good cup of coffee. I'm going to get a great experience. People know who I am and so forth. So I'm willing to spend $3 in some sense for a grand day, Americano at Starbucks.
[00:24:16] Knowing that it's going to consistently taste the same regardless of where you go, you know? So there's that trust established. And then here's even another example that I think you'll appreciate, um, car salesman, right? This is commonly referred to like, Hey, people don't like salespeople because of this and the way the sales tactics that are used in that industry and blah, blah, blah.
[00:24:35] Right. People buy cars still in spite of the car salesman, like regardless of the experience, but there's the trust in the brand. Yeah. And that's why they make those purchases because they trust that. Okay. GM makes a good quality car. That's reliable. That's not going to break down. That's going to be inexpensive to fix, or maybe they buy a Honda or Toyota.
[00:24:56] Cause they know it's going to drive 300,000 miles. Right. There's trust, establish. With the brand and those purchases are made in spite of the sales person. And so there's still trust. That's a factor because I was even talking about this. My wife's like, why still buy cars? Even though sometimes the car sells and I was like, yeah, but you trust the brand.
[00:25:12] And she's like, yeah, you're right. Yeah. Okay. So, okay. So let's peel this back, even, even in the E that's a say you're in some sort of a complex, mid complex B2B. Trust and credibility play out. Right? If, if I'm a, if I'm a C-level executive mid-level, decision-makers somebody who's right. Who has the authority to issue budget and then sign on the dotted line somewhere.
[00:25:41] I'm a firm believer in this trust and credibility play out in the very beginning. Yeah. If, if I might trust the company, but I don't trust the sales person or I don't think they're credible. What do you think starts to happen? Well, also with that trust piece is consistency, right? Are you the same person at the later stage of the deal that showed up in the beginning stage of the deal?
[00:26:06] Right? Are you showing up in the same way or, you know, have, have things changed, so, so that it does matter, and this is why. If trust in matter, then people would just always go with lowest price all the time, no matter what. Yeah. And they don't know, they typically never go with lower price. I mean, there's some, sir, there's some situations where people do go with lower price, but more often than not, they don't, I mean, a lot of the deals that I've sold, I've never been lowest price.
[00:26:33] And I think you've probably have a similar experience yourself. So, so it, so it's interesting that we're, that we're talking about this. Cause I remember this goes back early on in my career. I would be afraid to put a lot of profit in deals. I really would. I'd be afraid. I didn't want to be the highest priced I've full disclosure, man.
[00:26:53] I would always go, Hey, I can save you a buck or two, right. And so forth. And I'm keeping it simple for this conversation. I was really afraid of it. I think a lot of it has to do the reason why I was afraid of it is I lacked confidence. I lacked believability in myself. Maybe I have low self-worth at that time.
[00:27:10] And I go, I just can't do it. However, where I really started to understand this is when I started to bring care and appreciation and all this to the forefront. And I started to make it about them. I go, listen, I'm putting me out there. I'm providing a level of service and experience. You're not getting with other people.
[00:27:30] There's, there's a cost associated with that. Cause you know what y'all are going to get with me. And it goes back to being consistent and being disciplined around. And I think if there's, if there's anything to be said, you know, it goes back to the small little things is I think the reason why the sales professions, where it's at, I mean, we got off course a long time ago, but when we started making it about us and not about them and we start breaking our promises here, here's, what's interesting.
[00:28:04] Try pulling all this shenanigans off in your personal life and see how many friends you really.
[00:28:10] But why do we, why do we do it in sales? And it goes back to, um, you know, I write about in selling from the heart when I write about sales, chaos, and all these things going on is so many of us in sales and fortunately lack congruency, does the walk match the talk? It's a mix of that. And then also. People trying to true, trying too hard to serve anybody and everybody that they interact with and showing up in different ways to try to adapt to those people.
[00:28:43] Right. Um, and it's something that's taught to salespeople of like, oh, be a chameleon, you know, you know, meet your buyers where they're at or speak their language or, you know, and so I think it's, it's a mix of that and that's hard work. That's exhausting. It's hard to keep up with and, and you need to just be you and you're not going to be a good fit for everybody and that's okay.
[00:29:04] And the sooner you can get on board with that, you will have much more success it's so spot on. Right. And so in order to be you, you have to get to know. Yeah, right. And so many people say, well, I'm just being myself. Are you? And I'm not here to say right wrong or indifferent, but again, that's why I wrote the book.
[00:29:23] The way I did is, you know, in order to really be a true, great sales professional out. You got to really get to know who you are. You going to go on the road to self discovery and self acceptance and self acknowledgement and self care. You really got to do the heart work. H a R T that's the hardest work.
[00:29:41] Anybody who owns sales will do. And a lot of them just don't want to go down that road. I'm just being me. Are you, I'm not here to say, you know, and, and challenge everybody on this, but just that just open up our minds for a moment. I've I've, I've grown more in my fifth. Than I did in my twenties, thirties and forties.
[00:30:01] I know more about may and what fulfillment means to me in my fifties than I did in my twenties, thirties, and forties.
[00:30:12] Yeah. And in doing that work, uh, can be a scary place for some people. They don't want to do that self discovery. They might, they, they can be a little, um, freaked out of what they might find out. Yeah. But again, personally, call them, that's how you grow in. And I want to touch on something that you just said about you can't do business with everyone.
[00:30:32] I remember I did this exercise about 15 years. Is I white boarded this out in an office that I had at the time I wrote down my top 25 customers. I just listed them all out. And my top 25, these are the, my, my, my a accounts, right. Everyone has their, a accounts and I listed them all out. Then I went one step farther and I go, what vertical markets do they belong into?
[00:31:00] And I put that. And I, then I went even one step farther. Why do I think they still do business with me? And I put, and I started white boarding, all of this. And what I found out is there was all common themes in there. Right. And those common themes were that they were industries that were near and dear to me.
[00:31:22] So it was not for profit, educational, uh, religious organizations, a big business. Cause I geek out on big business. But then if I peeled it back even more is there is what I call value alignment, my values aligned to their values. And when I was out prospecting for new business and new conversations, I just went out and I tried to find people in organizations that mirrored the people in the organizations I was already doing business.
[00:31:54] Because I knew they shared the same values and they were similar markets of what I was currently working on. Again, can't do business with everybody.
[00:32:06] That's a great exercise. I think a lot of sellers. I could invest in and start to really cause a lot of people throw around ICP, ICP, ICP. This is my ICP. And ICP is typically like this vertical, this geographical area, this size, this industry, this buyer title, and that's surface level ICP. But what you're saying is even deeper and you know, there's even, you know, A lot of information out there about, you know, the psychographics of your buyer persona, like people are going to buy from Larry that have, like you said, the same values as Larry and, you know, in aligning yourself with those people, building those types of relationships, they're actually going to go somewhere.
[00:32:54] Um, and it's actually more enjoyable. Rather than trying to do business with something where there's some conflicts. Yeah. Cause it's, it's so funny. Ask a group of sales people. What are you prospecting for? Just ask a question like that. And so tell me, what are you prospecting for? What are you looking at?
[00:33:17] And looking for anybody who will book a meeting, anybody who, anyone who book a meeting with me, right. With a pulse they'll get on my calendar. Exactly. I said, what would it be like if you started prospecting for people that share the same values, right. That are in markets that you value. And some of you guys that are listening might be gone.
[00:33:38] Well, that's going to take some time. Yeah, it might. It's not talking about Larry there there's, there's no sales navigator search filter for that. No, it's just, it's just me. Right. But I always, I always go, I I'll say this until somebody proves me wrong. Colin, if you all want to have an ever flowing sales funnel, you got to build an ever flowing relationship funnel and the way, and the way you build relationships is through conversation.
[00:34:04] And you understand what makes that person tick. And so to me, the whole point behind prospecting is to open up conversations with people. Hardest thing for salespeople to do is open up a conversation that doesn't involve sales because in the very beginning, in the very beginning, Colin, obviously doesn't know me.
[00:34:26] Don't even know if he likes me. Don't even know if he trusts me. We're having a conversation. It's up to me to earn the right to advance that. And that's why I'm a big believer. We got to get trust and credibility out on the business table as fast as possible. And it was so funny. I remember my very first business coach, you know, I asked him, you know, what's the, what was the key to your success?
[00:34:50] If you giving me one bit of advice, knowing I'm, you know, I'm in the world of sales, what would you give me? It was soak calling. It was so simple. It was just, it's kind of hilarious and comical. This was a, this was a first line stop acting like a sales rep. Right. Yeah. Yeah, no, you're in sales, stop acting like a salesperson.
[00:35:14] Yeah. And, and, and then, you know, there's people who are like, have this negative spin on in, in getting the sales or you, you come across a lot with like entrepreneurs, founders, things like that, where they're like, Uh, you know, I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't like to do sales because I don't want to be a salesperson.
[00:35:34] Well, then, whatever it is that you didn't like it about experience that you have with a salesperson, do the exact opposite, do it differently. Do better. First of all, everybody's in sales, everybody's in sales, right? Yeah. I, I, I, I, it's just, it's just, it's so funny. Cause I, you know, I'm back to traveling a lot.
[00:35:55] So, you know, when you, when you go out to dinner now and the waiters or the waiters, trying to upsell you on certain things, everybody's selling something they're influencing you one way or another.
[00:36:12] Yeah. And, and, and they're even, they're either doing it where it's a good experience or a bad experience. Right. Which is, which is, which is because they're not necessarily gonna remember what you're selling or how you're trying to sell it or what your point is, but they're gonna remember and you made them feel it and just goes back.
[00:36:29] I mean, I spent 28 and a half years in the copier channel. I still read, I still vividly remember this. I still don't know the inner workings of a copier don't even care. Don't even care because most people, they really don't care. Sorry, anyone who's listening who's happens to be selling copiers. Nobody cares.
[00:36:51] Yeah. Stop telling them about the speeds and feeds. They don't care. They don't. Right. It's just to help me solve the issues and challenges, right. That I have going on. Help me do better business if it happens to be around your product. Great. But, you know, I, I'm just, I'm just a big believer that, you know, we've all been given a good.
[00:37:14] I think each and each one of us has been given a gift. We got to uncover what that gift is. Something that comes easy and natural. It just so happens along the way I uncovered what my gift was. My gift was is how easy it is for me to connect and relate to people. How easy it is to open up and share things with people.
[00:37:32] I bring vulnerable. And you know, I'm writing about a lot of this right now. I mean, you see it cause I know you and I have conversations about this. I bring vulnerability, authenticity, all his, I bring it right up onto the business table, right up on the business table. I'm a big believer, man. If you want to get to know somebody, you gotta be willing to go first.
[00:37:52] And I go first all the time. I share something about may to get the ball rolling. And it doesn't have to be deep, dark secrets or anything like that. It says, I just share a little piece of may with somebody says, Hey, you know what? I can relate to that. I've experienced that before. Oh yeah. Tell me, what's it like, would you experience
[00:38:22] yeah. That's. Stop acting like a salesperson. Yeah. I mean, they already know you're in sales. They already know at a certain point in time something's going to happen. You're going to make an ask. That's okay. Not in the very beginning. Not in the very beginning. Here's here's what's funny. Here's a great exercise.
[00:38:42] I love doing this with salespeople. Yeah. Five minutes in a conversation. It's the first meeting you have with somebody. Very first meeting. You got five minutes. To capture somebody's attention. And you can't talk about your product, your service, your solution, or company, and you've got five minutes to do this.
[00:39:02] What are you going to do? It's pretty scary for a lot of salespeople because they're so conditioned to, they've been so trained on the first five minutes to talk about things they're comfortable with, which are all the things that no one really cares. Yeah, they haven't earned the right to talk about this.
[00:39:23] Yeah. Oh yeah. So if we lack trust and credibility in the sales world, how do you think building trust and credibility goes when the first five to 10 minutes of that meeting is all about you, your company, how great you are, your services, your products, where you positioned in the marketplace and all that, how many clients you were with, nobody cares.
[00:39:41] And you're trying to overcome trust and credibility issues by talking about that stuff. Yeah. I mean, it almost. It does the exact opposite of what you're hoping it will do. It hurts your trust in your credibility and your rapport. Yeah. You know, just to just imagine for a moment, right? This is all think about this for a second.
[00:40:04] Just imagine if you walked into that, that room or face-to-face, or you walked into that virtual room and you open it up, I'm a big believer. Leave the small talk. A little bit later down the road. Now this is going to probably go against the grain of what some people may think. I'm all about small talk, but are in the right to have the small talk, but imagine walking in and, and there's, you know, executive decision makers, they're key influencers, right?
[00:40:33] Mr. Mrs. Decision maker. And you say something like, Hey, it's a pleasure, right? It's a pleasure to have this opportunity to have this conversation with you. I've really been looking for. You know, as I reflect upon the last 90 days in working with people, just like you we've been tackling these issues, issue one issue to issue three.
[00:40:56] Hey, I'm just curious as we get started, any of these issues resonate with you and if so, which issue resonates with you the most? Can you imagine a sales person calling roll in that out in the very beginning until I'm here to tell you this want to change the course of the conversation, try that out and watch what happens.
[00:41:14] Talk about trusting credibility is going through the roof. Try it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's a great, it's a great way to do things differently than I think a lot of people have been. Um, and then they can build from there. Right. And it changes the whole trajectory of the conversation and relationships. It does.
[00:41:38] It does because it shows that you know something about right. People just like them. It shows that you're having conversations with people just like them. And you're bringing to the forefront, the issues and challenges of people, just like them, that you're working with. Talk about being relevant in their.
[00:42:01] Talk about relevant things, talk about things that they can align to that they understand. Yeah. And I think the biggest thing to get for sellers to get to that place is to stop making so many assumptions. Don't assume that everybody cares about your product or even need your. Do the work to find out, ask those types of questions, reframe the conversation to maybe, or maybe not get to a point where you earn the right to then talk about those things.
[00:42:31] Yeah. So it's, it's all, I always say slow things down a little bit to actually speed them up. Yeah. So, so guess what you have one or two extra meetings, right? So be it want to have a full sales funnel building ever flowing relationship funnel. The more, you know, the more you grow, the more you learn, the more you earn it's that simple, but yet it's so difficult.
[00:42:59] Yeah. I love that. Slow, slow them down to speed them up later. Cause, cause this, this think about it, right? Uh, it, we, we try to fit things in tight windows. It's just how we've been coached. Right. If I go back, I go, I go back to my whole, you know, decades in the copier channel. We look at things through 30 day glasses, right?
[00:43:19] Quarterly glasses, semi-annual annual glasses. I get it. I understand it, but it's not about our journey. It's about their journey.
[00:43:32] And why does the, why does that deal have to fit in our perimeter?
[00:43:41] I'm just throwing it out there. I think that's yeah. Yeah. I think that's a hard pill for maybe it's a hard pill for him. It's a hard pill for a lot of people to swallow,
[00:43:55] but it, but it just, it just, it just goes it, gosh, it just goes back to right. The more I know about them, the more I grow with. The more I learned from them, the more I earn from them, little rhyming thing, but it just draw, it just paints a picture that, you know, we gotta be willing to ask really great questions.
[00:44:17] We gotta be able to listen and really intentionally lists. I always say this right. But I re I remember we had a guest on the selling from a heart podcast, and this goes back a couple of years ago and they S and this person said something as you know, no offense to salespeople out there, but y'all live in a commodity driven world.
[00:44:37] Right. Y'all do just like you think your product's better than somebody, else's your competitors coming out with something even better. Right. They're coming, they're coming out with some better. So yo, you all live in this highly commoditized world. And I, and we just started playing on it and we started playing on it some more on the podcast and I just popped off and I said, you know what?
[00:45:00] You want to really get somebody open up. The faster sales person gets to somebody's heart, the faster they will open up. Mark my word. It's all about speed to heart. And to bend to me and to me, products, product centric, conversations, service centric, conversations, solution centric conversations. Don't have a heartbeat.
[00:45:26] Boom. I think you just dropped the mic right there.
[00:45:33] Oh, full transparency here. Glaring. I recorded an episode. Couple of weeks ago and there was a technical issue and, you know, we just had fun having a conversation. I don't even fully remember what we talked about and we're like this time, you know, round two, we made sure the right Mike's plugged in all that good stuff.
[00:45:55] And 1000% I can tell you, this is this episode. Fire compared to not that the other one was bad. He says that this one is fucking great. So good. I appreciate it, man. Um, any final thoughts? What are we gonna include in the show notes? So people can get into the selling from the heart. And movement. Well, a couple, a couple things.
[00:46:19] Um, I'd say, first of all, listen to our podcast. If you want to know what's up to date and current, if you want to know what's going on inside the selling from the heart world, follow the selling from the heart podcast on whatever favorite podcast platform or app that you listened to it. But a couple of quick things.
[00:46:36] Starting on November 11th, just depending on when this drops call him, but starting November 11th, we're kicking off a small cohort. I think there might be a Cedar to too left of it. It's an intensive chest. So we came out in early October. We came out the. Uh, trust challenge. So it was five days. We brought in, you know, thought leaders and authors, and we talked about trust and how to overcome lack of trust in the sales world, which is kicking off a trust intensive.
[00:47:03] So we're going to do a deep dive into how to build trust with client management, how to build trust inside the selling process and how to build trust with prospecting. So that kicks off November 11th. If you want to know more, you can go to, um, Intensive dot 2021 trust challenged.com to learn more. And then, um, just to put on your radar in early January, mid January, January 17th, to the 21st we're kicking off our 2022 authentic selling challenge and the speakers are gonna blow your mind on this one.
[00:47:39] All right. We will include the links there in the show notes for everybody so they can check it out. And the link to the podcast, the selling from the heart podcast as well. If you enjoy today's episode, please write us a review. Share the show with your friends really does help us out. And we are always listening for your feedback.
[00:47:59] You can always go to sales, transformation.fm, drop us a voice DM, and we will get back to. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you're serious about your own sales transformation. If you're tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same path, head over to sales, cast.community, and crush your numbers on your leaderboard.
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