Christopher Decker joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast. Let’s hear from Christopher as he talks about his sales journey from the act of simply selling and cashing out to understanding what it means to provide value when making a sales pitch.
Christopher Decker is the faith-driven entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Salescast who uses his gifts everyday to share messages of hope, unity, and ethical sales to his family of clients at Salescast – a place where visionary entrepreneurs and b2b sales leaders produce podcasts.
As an artist, Chris sees the beauty in digital experiences that connect people to their purpose and serve communities through impactful content.
As an author, Chris recently published his first book, PROF!T earlier this year, a spiritual calling to share his recovery journey from addiction, and way to redefine profit to the business world – he calls it his first “bad book” so he could clear the way for actually writing something good.
As a spiritual leader, Chris is a group leader for Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 step recovery program which welcomes people from all walks of life and addictions to seek a new life free from the shackles of the world.
On the volunteer side, Chris is the past president and founder of Orange County Tech, a founding ministry member of 119:9 an anti-pornography and sex-trafficking ministry and serves as a crew member for Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within Events.
Find out more and reach out to Christopher Decker and Salescast through the following links:
Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300!
If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. If you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.
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Episode 99 - Christopher Decker
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transformed the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. This is a special live episode. We're going live on LinkedIn and I have none other than my co-founder Christopher Decker of sales cast. And we're going to jump in and learn a little bit about his experience.
[00:00:49] And he's going to tell us about the sales cast method and. I'm excited to have him on today. Boom, Christopher Decker. Welcome to sales hustle, man. That is a bad-ass intro. I've got to up my intro game there. I mean the intro kind of explain what we're going to talk about. Do we even need to go any further?
[00:01:11] No, that's it. The episode's done. Yeah. But this one in the can. Um, all right, man. So those who maybe don't know who you are, uh, just give them a little bit about yourself and then give us like a short version of like your first experience with selling something and what that was like. My name's Chris Decker.
[00:01:31] I'm the co-founder here at sales cast with Colin, uh, have the, the, the awesome pleasure of getting to work with you day to day. Um, um, I have a wife named Taylor, a one-year-old son named Luke he's running around and, uh, those two are really the joy of my life. That's why I do everything that I'm doing here.
[00:01:51] I'm really involved in church and ministry type stuff. Um, and, uh, But, but sales cost is the passion here. So, uh, and tell us a little bit about like you ha I know you have some sales experience and what was your, you know, experience in sales early on, and then let's kind of take it from there. So I'm going to share like a very early sales experience.
[00:02:17] I'm not going to go all the way back to selling expired candy door to door with my brother. Cause that was definitely a hustle, but I'm going to pass expired candy. Yeah. So, um, we, we knew this business owner, so he w he would. He was like the middleman for it to distribute candy and like other goods to like convenience stores and stuff.
[00:02:38] And he would give us his old inventory cause he was dating my mom and his name was Mark. He would give us his old inventory and uh, my brother and I would just go door to door like, Hey, do you want to buy this really disgusting, like pixie stick candy stuff. And we were just these two cute kids. Like we were, we were living a pretty crappy neighborhood, um, kind of dangerous there, there were gangs.
[00:03:01] Um, But we would go door to door, smile. We had this like expired, horrible candy. We would sell it for a dollar. Um, and that's how we made money. All right. So I got you to tell us the story. Anyway, I was not going to let that one slip by sales experience. Number one, because they are either going to buy it.
[00:03:18] They're not home, like, like sometimes, you know, the dog would answer. Yeah. Yeah. And in a neighborhood that was not safe, like that's a hustle. It was not a safe neighborhood. I'll put it that way. I wouldn't want my son doing that same thing if I'm really thinking about it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my, my first, my first, uh, thing that I sold as a kid was we used to.
[00:03:44] Go to these stores and buy these, um, uh, little, they call them cronies, but there were like these little caps that you put on the air valve of your bicycle tires. There were shiny ones. There was ones that looked like skull and crossbones. There was ones that, you know, uh, we, we sometimes purchase those and sometimes we.
[00:04:05] Didn't purchase those. And then we sold them to people at school service-based business. I have, I had a little bit of a service-based business in there, which was at the time, um, Gameboys are out. Do you remember Gameboys? I do. And, um, Pokemon was very, very popular on Gameboys. And, uh, I had a friend that was extremely good at getting you, um, through this last part in the game that just, it sucked to go through this part and he would, he would do that.
[00:04:35] So I would recommend clients to him. They would pay, you know, sometimes just a couple of bucks. He would get them through it. He would take the game boy, and then have it. At that next level overnight, I guess that was some of my first like service based businesses. I mean, here's the thing, people like me and you, that they grow up with the sort of backgrounds that we have.
[00:04:53] We, we can get pretty creative. There's always a way to make money. There's always a way. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and when it's out of necessity or your back's against the wall, or you're not going to get whatever that may be, thing is that you want as a kid, uh, you can get pretty creative in, you know, finding a demand for something and finding a way to sell it.
[00:05:14] Um, so all right, let's fast forward a little bit and, and, and more in a professional, uh, setting business setting, uh, what, what's your experience as sells? What are you selling and, and tell us a little bit about that. Yeah, I really, I really grew up in my sales career around middle school. So this is when things really started to take off.
[00:05:35] Um, uh, they, they had this big, this auditorium, they, they, they had this, this meeting where they brought all the kids to this meeting. This guy came out in a suit. He's like super confident they're playing music, he's successful. And he's telling us about all these awesome things and all these awesome prizes, uh, like skateboards and.
[00:05:57] And Nerf guns and, um, coupons for pizza. And there was this grand prize, which was going in a limo to universal studio, city walk and having lunch at the hard rock cafe. I didn't know what was next, but then he's like, We have world's finest chocolate right here. Come grab a box after school and, and sell them.
[00:06:21] And if you sell X number of boxes, I forget how many boxes was like, had to be 40 boxes or something in order to, to, to, to be in that top tier. And so I'm like, are you serious? This is like, this is I, I want that. I wanted that so badly. Um, mostly like just for the bragging rights. Right. And so I go, I pick up a couple of boxes after school and I go talk to the manager at Ralph's and I asked him, can I, may I please stand outside your store and sell this chocolate?
[00:06:49] And he said, absolutely. They had known us from the neighborhood. And that's what I did every single day after school stood outside of Ralph's selling the chocolate, sometimes a dollar. That was what we were supposed to sell it for sometimes too. I would get through the case a little bit faster. If I sold two, I would get to keep one of the chocolates for myself and, uh, I got to go.
[00:07:09] And I, I remember they, they picked me up. They picked you up out of class. They're like they had someone come to the classroom, like, okay, Decker, it's your time to go? Boom. There's there was a limo. It was me and four other people. They brought us to universal studios, city walk. I had a hamburger at the hard rock cafe and it was, it was the coolest experience.
[00:07:31] But if in hindsight, It was definitely child labor. They were making a lot of money off of my work. Now I can't help, but think that like, okay, you went from selling expired candy to, to, to chocolate bars, to, to win a trip. Um, it kind of makes me think of like, Oh, you, you went legit, legit. Correct. She got a real product to sell, but take away their sales.
[00:08:00] Hustlers is like, have a reason. For have a reason. For, you know, that you do what you do have a good reason for why you do what you do. Right. And if you have a good enough reason, you'll have that drive, you'll have that motivation. That's going to get you to president's club or that trip, or in this case.
[00:08:22] Hard rock cafe with a burger at universal studios. There was another lesson there too, which is go find the traffic. I found the traffic. It was Ralph's because people are coming in and out of the store all day long. Um, no matter what time up until 10 in the evening, the foot traffic was there. And so I found the traffic got the permission, had the product, there was a product market fit.
[00:08:48] And if someone was walking into the store and they made a soft sell, like I would S I would soft, close them. They're like, okay, let me get cash on my way out. I'll buy it. I held them to that. If they were on their way out, I'm like, did you get cash? Let's go. And, and as funny as this sounds, this example that we're breaking down here, there's actually quite a lot of lessons in it.
[00:09:10] Um, and, and as you're. You know, talking about that, that soft sell or, you know, building that rapport on the way in and getting the clothes on the way out. Um, there's another lesson that came to mind it to me. And this is, is, is, you know, selling it for two bucks instead of one, a lot of sellers are so quick to discount.
[00:09:27] So quick to give a concession, just to get the deal. You know, if you are not quick to discount or quick to make a concession, or you aren't fully valuing what you do, it's, it's. Twice. It could be twice as much work to get to the goal. I, I agree with that. And sometimes people would just give cash only and not expect any chocolate back.
[00:09:51] And I would probably do it a lot differently today. Like I would then maybe donate the five bars or something to someone else, but in this case I was just, I was a selfish kid and I kept it for myself. So I I'm, I, I will not lie to you about that. All right. So, so I mean, you, you learn to hustle early on as a kid, mostly out of necessity, right?
[00:10:16] I mean, this was many times like whether or not we were going to eat that day. This is where we able to go home. All right. So let's. And, and that's similar to myself, you know, I think, I think, and I like performing when my back's up against the wall, you know, uh, if things get too easy, it gets a little boring for me sometimes.
[00:10:37] Um, and I think that you kind of perform under pressure obviously as well, right? Yeah. I, I don't shy away from, from anything that other people would say as hard or. Wait. Well, isn't that too competitive? Isn't that? Isn't that difficult? Like why would you do none of that phases me, in fact, it, it excites me.
[00:10:57] It makes me want to do it even more. Cause I, I love winning. I love to win. I have the, I have this mental illness where I will do anything to win. Um, and you know, in the past, like I cut corners to win. Like I, I definitely, I'll just I'll. I'll be real where I definitely bent the rules, uh, when I was a lot younger.
[00:11:20] But today, um, it's, it's winning with the, the, the highest moral and ethical playbook in mind, like my sales playbook, at least. Yeah. In terms of how I think about it has little to do with like, Okay. What stage of lead are they in? Like, what position is their soul in? Like, is this really a good fit? Like, will this benefit and transform their life?
[00:11:44] Are we truly providing a value here and just the, the highest moral and ethical standard? Uh, but I was, I was not that way when I was younger, but definitely I'm today. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, and, and I think a lot of people start out that way and a lot of sellers can easily, you know, break some rules or, you know, tip toe on the line early on, because they're just desperate to get those.
[00:12:09] A sale or they feel the pressure or the stress of needing to perform. Um, and as you kind of mature as a person, as a business professional, as a seller, uh, you start to, you know, get more in line with what feels right to you. And you start to understand that serving is selling. Right. If I can genuinely help somebody, if I can genuinely add value or I really believe that they need what that I have, what I have, then I feel comfortable selling this to them and being disciplined enough to be like, Hey, maybe, maybe this is not for you.
[00:12:44] Maybe this is not a good fit. I don't think this is going to serve the goals that you're trying to achieve. Yeah, I learned an interesting, uh, so when I was 19, I went to work for a business coach named Jonathan gold Hill. And I learned a very interesting lesson. I would see what he would charge for coaching, and it was a lot of money based on the amount of time that was being put in.
[00:13:07] But he explained something to me that I never forgot, which was. You have to get someone to, to, you have to get someone to pay in order to take it seriously, the level of growth that they want. Um, you, you find out the level of growth that they want and, and, and you kind of, you base your pricing on that as, especially as a coach and the true lever of transformation can happen, even if, even if his time that he's spending is minimal.
[00:13:36] If during that time he's helping them achieve a seven figure result. There's no reason why he shouldn't be making six figures, even if it only took, you know, a, a condensed period of time, but no one had ever seriously taught me that lesson. The, what you charge is dependent upon the value you can transfer.
[00:13:55] It has very little to do with the amount of time. And so I've been obsessed with this, how to, how to make something so valuable that, that it sort of bends and compresses time where it's not just like, okay, I'm going to bill you for 10 hours of work. It's like, no, you got. $50,000 of, of benefit out of this, you know, 5k is not too much to ask for.
[00:14:19] Um, and when, when that, when that shift started, um, uh, I think it, it just, it made me better at identifying those opportunities. Yeah. And I think it comes down a lot to sellers or, or entrepreneurs, you know, really understanding the value that they're providing. Right, because I think so many people are, are quick to undervalue themselves.
[00:14:44] And you know, a lot of times that's just due to lack of confidence or fear of not getting the deal or all of these things that, you know, just everybody struggles with when you truly understand the value that you provide. And you're confident with yourself just as a person and as a seller or as an entrepreneur, um, You then feel comfortable asking for what you're worth.
[00:15:09] You know, it's interesting. I just, I went to the chiropractor this morning and, and, you know, it got rid of some back pain that I was having some lower back pain. Um, he may be did two and a half minutes of work, but it costs, it costs me 50 bucks. Right. And, but the, the value of like my body functioning properly.
[00:15:31] Is is, is worth it. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, people are willing to pay for it. People are willing to pay for it if they see the value, right? So as a seller, you have to help them understand the value, right? Because they may not understand the value of what you're doing and it's your job to connect the dots and say, Hey, you know, if you don't.
[00:15:59] See the chiropractor, then you're going to have back pain for. X amount of days or weeks or months, what is that worth? G what is that worth correct? Right. Concept here, if you don't mind me sharing it, um, uh, I'm, I'm, I'm literally like none of these thoughts are my own, like, like really, really smart people who cared about me in the moment, shared these things with me and I, and like I owe my entire life to them.
[00:16:24] One of those guys was guy named Bob Waldorf. Um, he had very, very successful company, very successful company idea, man. And, uh, they were the biggest promotional products company out there. And he had, he had one sign on every one of his sales people's desk. What do you think that sign said you're worth it?
[00:16:46] It said businesses are built on profit. All of his sales reps, how to sign that says businesses are built on profit. And he explained to them, if you can sell more profitable deals, You, you can send your kids to college. Our company grows, your commission checks will grow, everything works and, and you know, it's, it's interesting.
[00:17:10] Call-in how so fast in the sales conversation, profit just goes out the window. Because we want to like close a deal, but that profit and that margin creates the longterm sustainability. If a company cannot sustain the product and delivery, or if it's not profitable to do so, it may create a problem six months down the line.
[00:17:32] But that problem is very, very painful, especially to the, to the executives where. Now they're having to make a call. Do we lay off a group of our employees? Do we, do we fire this client and ruin our reputation in the marketplace? Like profitability in the beginning has to be considered in my opinion, at least that's what Bob taught me.
[00:17:54] Yeah. And, you know, and, and your, your, your customers, your prospects, your clients, they don't care about all those details. What they care about is what are you going to do for them? How are you going to help them? What problem are you going to solve for them? And what is that worth? What is that worth for that?
[00:18:12] What is it worth for them to solve those problems? Right. Bob gave me a book. Okay. So I have, I have an answer to that. So I asked him that exact same question. I said, so then, you know, how, how do you create that profitability? And he gave me this book by his friend, righteous wood who trained the, the, the, you know, the sales team at like Coca Cola.
[00:18:33] Like they were like the biggest, you know, these are like, Seven figure accounts. Um, but Roy should re Chitwood wrote this book called world-class selling. I'd asked Bob, can you give me a framework? Like how do you sell? And world-class selling really talks about, um, uh, talks about the close end. He talks about.
[00:18:52] You know, a prospect having the case of the funds and the frauds, his fears, uncertainties, and doubts. And I remember this so vividly. If at any point you ask for a close and by the way, and it recommends asking for a close at least five times, um, If any point you ask for a close and there's any hesitation on price, it is only because you haven't communicated enough value is only because you haven't communicated enough value or as Josh Braun would say on LinkedIn, it's because you haven't created the budget yet.
[00:19:24] You haven't shown them like how much money they'd be saving or like what the real consequences are here of not going with a much better solution. So, you know, it's like, Uh, apply a little bit of pressure to it. So is there any reason why we shouldn't move forward? Boom. You get more fears, uncertainties and doubts.
[00:19:41] Customer asks. Well, the price is a little high while you say, well, here's what the, here's what the, here's what the problem is really costing you. Like how much is this costing you on a yearly basis? Two years? How much is it going to cost you 10 years down the line. If you don't, if you don't address this right now, maybe 10 years is too long of a.
[00:19:57] Event horizon, but you get the point and if you really keep going through this exercise, you don't have to get all the way to five. But if it's truly someone that you've identified that needs what you're selling, um, eventually price just kind of disappears as long as you are delivering the value. Um, um, and if there's ever any hesitation on price, I'm telling you, just go back to showing them the value and, and, and you'll, you'll win every time.
[00:20:27] Yeah, I love how you broke that down. And there's so many nuggets in there. Uh, and, and, and the thing is, is, is there's two things to know about that sales hustlers. Number one, don't ask for the order too early, because if you have an uncovered, the fear, the uncertainty and the doubts, then. You don't earn the right task for the order yet.
[00:20:51] Right? If you haven't thoroughly learned as much as you possibly can about them, as much as you possibly can about the problem that you're solving and made them maybe think about some things that they hadn't considered. Um, and, and what it looks like to not move forward or to move forward and help them see that if you haven't properly educated them on why moving forward is the right.
[00:21:16] Move, if it is, and maybe it's not. And if it's not, don't fill your pipeline with a bunch of fluff that you're going to then have to constantly be in that wheel of follow-up that's never going to close. Well, then you're never going to trust your pipeline at that point. If it's full of BS, you'll never as a business owner, I'm talking to the founders here that sell to like the, you like you like you like me and Collin here.
[00:21:39] You're in the same position, the founders that sell and, and eventually those numbers just don't mean anything. You have to be able to, to get to like real pipeline numbers. Um, anyway, um, go ahead. So many people, so many sellers don't understand that qualifying people is equally for them as it is for the prospect.
[00:22:01] Like it's for you, the seller for your time, for your time. So that you don't waste your time on followup so that you can find the people that actually do need your help, that you actually can serve, that you can add some value to because qualifying them as just as much, if not more for you, it is as it is for them.
[00:22:21] Like, you need to find a, like, is it a fit? Do you have a problem? Do they value solving that problem? And if it does then. Then they make it to the next stage of your sales cycle, which involves more time. Right. And if, if don't you need to disqualify early. Right. And so, and then I want to go circle back to a point, cause we talked a lot about price and value and you know, most people that buy.
[00:22:44] Do not go with the least expensive option. No, they don't. Nope. Because many people actually want to buy the more expensive option. And don't, don't ask me. I mean, it is, it is a as a true thing. If you can create scarcity, I mean, don't do this falsely because it is very powerful. You have to actually do this well.
[00:23:06] But if you make your product or service harder to buy, it is limited in quantity and the price is much higher. Yes. It's a different market. It's a more luxury market, a more high ticket kind of offer. But there are some customers that there are some people that only want to work with higher ticket because.
[00:23:26] It, it you're dealing with a different kind of person. You're S you're solving very similar problems, except there's more zeros attached to it, but it's still at the essence. And this is something called and says all the time, it takes the same energy to sell a 10 K deal as it does to sell a one K deal.
[00:23:41] And if you really boil that down, it's, it's, it's true because you, you think about the conversations and the time it's just talking to a different. Person. Um, but I wanted to address this, you know, as the salesperson really qualifying it either way. Um, and this is another, another person that taught me something later in life, uh, Richard Burt, and he introduced me to this concept of relationships in sales.
[00:24:07] And he, he, he, he introduced me in, in the following way because anytime I would. I would have any sort of issue come up. W he had come in as a vendor, uh, for my agency at the time he was selling us data. Um, but he, he was just so smart. So wicked smart about everything that I just came to him about advice in almost any area of the business.
[00:24:28] And he always knew somebody who he had known for over a decade was highly trusted and he had them on sale. He dial. He always knew someone for every single problem. I'm like, how did you do that? Um, and he gave me a very simple answer. He explained that people will throughout their careers, be at a variety of different companies.
[00:24:48] The person you're talking to at IBM is going to end up working in Microsoft at some point, then they're going to go to Oracle. Then they're going to start their own company and, and. To understand that the person that's buying from you is a person that you need to develop a relationship with. Um, and that relationship will span time because the real currency in sales, at least at the level that he was playing with, like, He was playing with a hundred million dollar kind of budgets.
[00:25:17] Um, the, the real currency is trust and it is so hard to build trusted relationships nowadays that when you have them hold onto them, nurture, cultivate them, keep watering it, let it grow. Um, I'm only now getting started with that process. It's, it's very similar to growing a bonsai tree. It takes forever, but it's a discipline.
[00:25:41] And the end result is, is really, really beautiful when you've properly done a bonsai. Um, and, and, uh, it was just a, it was a very interesting lesson to learn, um, which is don't burn any bridges. There's no point. Um, there, there, there, there's no point, um, maybe they can't buy it from you today, but there'll be able to buy from you for a year from now when they're in the procurement department at a, at a, another company that you could potentially work with and then you'll have a different job.
[00:26:08] You'll be doing something different five years from now. Um, anyway, yeah, th this is a really important piece sales hustlers, and this is something that really lights me up because relationships are our key to being successful in sales. Right. And, uh, you know, sales, hustlers. I say this all the time, you know, the goal as a seller is to make sure the person that you're speaking with or, or whatever the case is.
[00:26:36] If they're a prospect, a customer, a client, a past client, make sure you're delivering a good experience, regardless of the outcome, treat them like people, not commission checks, treat them like people, you know, not transactions. You know, these are people and they, they will, they will remember. How you made them feel, regardless if they do business with you, they don't do business with you.
[00:26:59] So many sellers dropped the ball on this, you know, as soon as they find out, Hey, you're disqualified, they dismiss you. And that I challenge you to not do that as a seller, if you're doing that today. And what I mean by that is make sure you give them a good experience. If they're not a right fit. Try to still add value in some way.
[00:27:20] Is there something you can leave them with? Is there maybe you're not the best option and somebody else is point them in that direction, you know, try to maybe educate them on something that they weren't aware of. They will remember if you left them with a good experience that we remember how you made them feel.
[00:27:37] I mean, we've experienced this here, even as sales cast, where there was somebody who didn't have a budget and we helped them out and. They sent they've sent us several referrals. You know, sometimes it does work out that way, but not always, not always just do the right thing, treat people right, deliver a good experience.
[00:27:54] And I, a hundred percent guarantee it will pay off. Not all the time, not when you want it to, but overall it will pay off. And, and here's just a quick litmus test for if someone like doesn't have the budget, but you like you, you still want to help them. Anyway, you have to be absolutely crystal. Freaking clear that they will benefit from whatever you do and that they understand that they need to be on their absolute best freaking behavior.
[00:28:25] I know that sounds kind of strange, but like setting that expectation upfront. Okay. You are, we are literally doing this. At a 80% discount. We don't do this for anybody. We're doing this for you, but here are the ground rules and just, we might have to cut that piece. I don't want to tell anybody to give an 80% discount.
[00:28:44] I'm not saying that I'm not, I'm not saying that you could take that. Literally. Let's let's say that. Let's say that you were, you were, you were donating service or like you were making a significant, significant cut in price because you really wanted to help someone is that you, you have to be absolutely certain that they understand that they're going to have to put in the work too.
[00:29:07] And that they're, there, there is a balance in this equation. Um, so, and there's a lot of options there. You can discount, you can ask for a case study, you can ask for some reviews on any sort of review review sites that you're trying to build your presence. Uh, and, and, and don't, don't forget sales, hustlers.
[00:29:27] I said referrals with an S not referral. So ask for multiple referrals or, you know, maybe. Get them to send you some referrals first. Hey, is there anybody else that you think could use? And then, you know, if we can maybe get a couple of people, we can give you a group discount, like be creative. Um, and you know, if, if they absolutely are a fit and the budget's not there and you've, you're sure of that and you can still help them and they can benefit from it, be creative and find a way to maybe make it work is what we're saying.
[00:29:55] And people will remember that. Because then it's almost an investment. And so I hope you don't take that 80% thing out because sometimes it would, it would be true where you would even consider fully comping somebody some times, some times. And in the same way that a hotel would like, okay. A hotel at a casino would say, okay, Mr.
[00:30:19] Whatever your last name is, you've been playing the floor for the last six hours. Um, we're going to go ahead. We're going to comp your hotel room. We're going to set up a bottle of champagne and enjoy the buffet on us because it's, it's creating a longer term LTV because then they're going to stay there longer.
[00:30:37] They're going to keep playing. They're having a good time. They're going to make more money in the long run. And everybody wins. When someone like that, a high roller is like going to Vegas. They want to have a good experience. You know, I believe that, but they're going to come back again, next time they're in town and they're going to tell all their friends about how great the experience was go to the wind or go here or there, and that little investment, um, very similar to like how zappos.com.
[00:31:07] Um, I I've, I've read the book, delivering happiness a couple of times now by Tony Shay, you know, rest in peace, my friend. Um, but they did something very interesting and they made this decision even very early on in the company, which was to randomly upgrade people. This was before the time of Amazon where it's all like free shipping, both ways.
[00:31:27] This was when shipping was very expensive. Um, if someone bought seven day shipping, they would automatically upgrade them to overnight. Forever. Like they would just do it randomly for people. And, and they consider that an advertising expense and a marketing expense, because whenever they did that, for someone, they would immediately go on the website, write a, write a review of five stars, send all their friends.
[00:31:52] Um, and like this was the best experience I've ever had. And maybe it cost them an extra 50 bucks. Maybe they didn't make any money on that actual order. Maybe they broke even. Um, maybe they, maybe it, maybe they only made 20%, whatever it was. It was, it was, it was an investment. Um, and so when I was making that point, it's like, make sure that the other person understands too, especially if you're you're, you're in a business that, that, that, that it makes sense only if it makes sense.
[00:32:24] Um, You know, kind of, kind of create like at least subtly that, Hey, you know, we're helping you, you know, please, you know, please, um, consider us and, you know, consider all these things, referrals, et cetera. So, um, I'm going to get off that soapbox now. All right. So I want to go back to a little bit, you know, when you talked about.
[00:32:45] Some of the things that you learned from, from Richard Bird, who I I've had, uh, have the pleasure of interviewing myself before and, you know, talking about the relationship, right. And, you know, earning people's trust. Right. And it's really what we believe here at the core of, of sales cast and, you know, have used the podcast platform to.
[00:33:11] Build what we like to call the relationship funnel. So I want you to just break that down for the sales hustlers that are listening and probably have no, never heard it before. How much time do we have we're at about 33 minutes. Yeah. W w we have some time we can, we can, we can go deep on this. Okay, I'm going to, I'm going to break it up by putting one more experience story in here.
[00:33:31] If you don't mind. Um, this was when I was, I was, um, so I had a, I had a joint role. I was the in-house COO at a venture capital fund. So like they would attach me to, uh, the companies in the fund and the accelerator. Um, as well to sort of like either grow them or just kind of like put me anywhere they needed.
[00:33:54] But simultaneously I was running an independent consulting practice, um, doing this for other people. And I was in a Facebook group called bad-ass marketers and founders. And there was this guy in the Facebook group, Josh factor. That would share these growth hacks, these like these exact playbooks to, to implement, to like turn into lead generation strategies, especially as it pertains to B2B.
[00:34:18] And every time I would try one of these things, it would work. It was pre-vetted, it was awesome. Other people would post their guides. Like it was genuinely a community that I felt proud to be a part of. Um, cause I felt like I was in on something like, like the rest of the world didn't know these things.
[00:34:34] But, and so I, I had sort of developed this relationship with this person through his writing style, through, uh, through the community. I was like really a part of something. I felt like I was a part of something like to call myself a growth hacker felt really, really cool. And, uh, then I saw that, um, him and another gentleman by the name of Houston went on to start an actual company, went on to start an agency.
[00:34:58] And I saw a lot of my own story in them. Um, from when I started my first agency right out of college, I actually dropped out of college to, to pursue that. Um, and so I saw a lot of that story and I really wanted them to succeed and they would post and, and bring me into the story of the company growing.
[00:35:15] Um, and, uh, and I, I just really was, was rooting for the success of this company. And I never really considered because I'd been so entrepreneurial. I never really considered that. I would ever like go work for a company. I never thought that I would actually do that. Um, but in this case, um, I, I just, something called to me at the time.
[00:35:38] I'm like, I want to go see what this is like. They had started up in Venice beach. I had loved Venice. Uh, I, I lived there. When I was able to escape the San Fernando Valley and, uh, I wanted to go see what this culture was all about. So I, I, I, I messaged everyone that worked at the company on LinkedIn. Um, you know, they, they, they brought me to the next step, which was to do some assignments, some writing to show what sort of email sequences I would do.
[00:36:06] Um, and I took it so seriously. I took it as seriously, I would for any client. Um, and, uh, and so boom, invite me into their office for an interview. Um, I didn't, I didn't expect this, but, um, uh, Josh and Houston, the two co-founders were the only people that were ever on any sales calls. It was founder led selling, even though they were at, you know, 20 plus employees.
[00:36:30] And originally I thought that I, I would go and like be a writer for them. I applied for like a writing position. And then Josh looks at me. He says, dude, I, I think you should do sales. And I'm like, what are you talking about? He's like you get the agency world. Um, you have all this content experience and marketing experience.
[00:36:47] I think you'll be able to understand the needs of our customers. Um, really well. And I guess as a founder, like I had, I always had to do the sale in order to get the work. But, and as a consultant, I like, I always had to do my own selling. No one was doing that for me. Um, and even in the agency, I was always a part of the part of the sales process, but I never considered myself like a sales person.
[00:37:12] Um, but they, they hired me as the, the first sales person to represent the company and to grow them. And I remember being so nervous to get on some of those first initial calls. Cause I was sure that okay. Um, you know, they're just expecting, they're going to talk to the sales guy and they're just going to instantly hang up the phone.
[00:37:32] They're not going to want to deal with me. I'm not going to hit, I'm not going to sell anything and they're going to fire me next month. Well, actually the opposite happened. They were extremely stoked to meet me. They're like you work at bam, what's it like, how's Josh. What's the deal. God, did you see that?
[00:37:49] And it was th they were so excited. I'm like, this is weird. This is super weird, but it didn't stop by the top. All I would do, um, uh, you know, I'd run cold email campaigns to people that had filled out forms. Like there was a good inbound funnel going. Um, anytime I would get on a call, people were stoked to talk to me and they were, they, they were just.
[00:38:10] Joked to hear about what's going on at the company. They wanted to know that we had just gone surfing earlier in the morning, like they wanted to be in on the culture and the community. And it was, it was fascinating. Um, and I don't want to say it was easy to close because I, I ha I empathized with, I found out what their problems were.
[00:38:30] I just did what I would normally do as a consultant. I was not a traditional salesperson and I helped them. I helped prescribe a solution based on the different services that bank. It did. And it worked exceptionally well, like deals closed and they closed regularly. And, and all of a sudden, like I'm sort of like moving up and, and, uh, you know, it's it, it's, it's working.
[00:38:55] And I really enjoyed, um, I enjoyed the people, I enjoyed the atmosphere, but the most interesting lesson was all of that work that went into building the community. Um, at the time, like there was 30,000 people in the Facebook group. It was so interesting that because all that work had been put into developing influence and community, um, and putting out tips and tricks and best practices that the actual sales process being inside sales.
[00:39:27] Was so seamless. There was no rapport building it. It was already there. There was no, um, there was no trust building. It was already there. To to them. I was an influencer too, just because of my association with the community. And so I skipped the entire trust funnel because they had those things in place.
[00:39:49] I'm not going to take credit for any of the things that they had in place, but I will take credit for the, the, the, the ability to, to sort of funnel that there are people that I, you know, I'm like, this is just not really the best place for you. Um, but, but then there were others that. I'm like, okay, let's see what we can do here.
[00:40:06] Um, but th there were times when there would be, you know, six hour closes and it was, it was unbelievable to me. I'd never really seen this before. Um, and, uh, yeah, it was, it was just, uh, it was an interesting, let you fully understand. That in the moment, or I'd never been hired, like I'd never been hired in a sales position or role.
[00:40:30] So I assumed that my close rates as a consultant would be my close rates working there, because if I talk to three people, three people became my clients. Like that was the necessity based selling that I had and I would always make it work. Um, and so that's the same sort of approach that I took to this.
[00:40:48] I just, I don't think I'd ever had any bad experiences that made me afraid of it. But I'm curious, did you understand in the moment that the trust and rapport was already built by the time you got to talk to these people? It was not apparent to me until probably six months later. Like, I, it didn't really click for me.
[00:41:14] I thought this is just how things were done, because it's how I had operated. I just thought this is what you do. Um, because prior to that, I was in the events, business, throwing events every single month, having people come to my meetups, three, 400 people. And anytime people will come up to me, they already knew my name.
[00:41:32] They'd come to 10 of my events. They know exactly what I did. And so they would either become a sponsor. They would write a check the next day, or they would become a client at literally whatever I was doing. I just thought this was the way to do it. It just made sense to me. You know, what, why, why, why wouldn't you want to nurture a thousand people at the same time?
[00:41:52] Like it, it made sense to me. Um, and, and so. For, you know, sellers that are thinking like, you know, how can I replicate that? That seems impossible, right? Maybe at that scale, right. Maybe you don't have the time or the resources, or even the knowledge or expertise to replicate that. Um, but you can do it on a smaller scale and there's a couple of options, right?
[00:42:20] So social media, number one, like LinkedIn, you can build. Trust and rapport, right? If you are a seller and you're already doing this, you've probably experienced when you get on a sales call and the person already feels like they know you like your instant friends, the trust and rapport is already somewhat there.
[00:42:44] Right. Um, and, and then, so obviously the other option is our personal favorite, which is hosting a show. Hosting a podcast and having somebody on your show highlight, highlighting them, letting them share their story. Genuinely being curious about getting to know them and showcasing. Maybe their area of expertise builds a foundation for that relationship, that kind of replicates, you know, building skipping that.
[00:43:20] Rapport trust building process and go straight into your relationship funnel, which then ultimately leads to either a customer or a referral, or I agree. And here here's the, the, here's the super interesting part. And here's where you've changed my mind recently. Actually, you, you, you have changed my mind where I used to believe that you should never, ever, ever do outbound sales.
[00:43:49] I thought that the only any reason to ever do outbound, anytime ever was to invite somebody to something because there should never, ever, ever be just a cold conversation. You should invite them to something where they can see you in the best light and get to know your tribe first, because like I had the privilege of nobody teaching me the wrong stuff.
[00:44:10] I didn't have any like bad experiences because I I'd had great mentors and great experiences and like, I've just been, I've been blessed to like learn things the really, really, really, really freaking hard way. Um, but, but no one ever taught me the wrong things. And so th this is, this is the important part anyway.
[00:44:28] So I'll go back to that. I used to think that there's the only kind of sales and inbound sale. Does the only kind that someone should do. And, and it was, I, you know, I considered a demand generation. You, you, you create so much demand for the product that people can't help, but reach out to you and want to buy it because I'm like, that's the most efficient way to sell the intent is there they're ready to go.
[00:44:51] They know who you are. Like it's, it's, it's so much less work than trying to convince somebody to sell. I could go door, knock a hundred doors and like, Yeah, I'd have enough money for in and out later in the day, but like the, if I'd figured out how to build a true inbound funnel for that, people would have been ordering candy off my website, you know, and, and that would have been a much, a much better hustle.
[00:45:16] But then you, you changed my mind a little bit here calling where if you can truly match a message to the, what the person needs in the moment, then there, there is a reason to have that conversation, but something interesting happened. With, with podcasting. And this is where the, you combine that outbound approach with a value-driven approach.
[00:45:40] This is how we're able to skip that trust funnel. And I had always been wondering what the missing the missing piece was in order to justify any sort of outbound approach, because I've always been just like, I don't, I don't agree with it, but I agree with it when a podcast is involved because you're.
[00:45:56] You're elevating the other person, like when I was doing speaking events and I brought a big guest speaker to speak, um, that guest speaker would pretty much do at least one favor for me after that event, because ni like there is something positive that happened from that experience from them. You're in front of a large group of people.
[00:46:16] You deliver a good speech. Like someone's going to do something with you. Someone's going to buy something from you. Someone's going to invest. Like something's going to happen. And so they were also the key, the key there is you've already added a significant amount of value to that person too. So they almost kind of feel like they owe you one, right.
[00:46:34] It feels like they owe you want a little bit because they, they did receive the value. Um, and I'm, I'm not saying that, you know, you look at all of these things as like, like. Oh, I give and therefore I expect to receive back. I'm not saying that I'm just trying to get you to be smart with social currency and to understand these things a little bit better.
[00:46:53] Um, now if you want to go earn a big fat bank account of social currency, start a podcast, get a following for that podcast and invite people onto the show that you want to do business with. Um, or the people that know the people that you wanna do business with. Um, and even people in your existing.
[00:47:11] Relationship Rolodex. Yes. I'll just use the word Rolodex. You bring them on you continue. It's another touch point to cultivate the relationship. Hey, come on the show, share your story. Um, we want to get this out to the audience and every single time, if you are doing your job effectively and truly like delivering that value for them, um, It costs you a little bit of money for production costs you a little bit of time for doing some of the outreach.
[00:47:39] And it worked every time initially I was doing that one-to-one et cetera, et cetera. In fact, this is how sales cast even got started. As Collin was a guest on my show, I was really just trying to like reopen that relationship and researcher it when he's like, dude, how do I do one of these? Because he'd had such a cool experience and you can recreate that.
[00:48:00] And then to infinity, you can do that every single day. And here's, and here's the challenge that I'll throw out there, right? Let's say you're in sales. I don't care what position, role level founder that sells SDR, BDR, AE, E whatever, don't care, whatever you are. If you sell something, a B2B product,
[00:48:22] you should have a target account list. You should, you should have your target account list. You should have your dream list, your whale list, whatever you want to call it. Here's the people that if I did business with them, it would change my life. I've got an example. Let's say you're selling IBM cloud.
[00:48:41] Let's say you're selling IBM cloud or like Watson. I think they used to call blue mix or something. Here's exactly what I would do right now. If I was in your shoes and I had to go open up a book of business, I would go find the most successful customers using IBM cloud, the existing customers that are having a good time and bring them onto your show.
[00:49:01] And create this electromagnet of positivity around your product that simply cannot be ignored. Simply cannot be ignored. Do that for 50 episodes, create buzz and momentum and speed. Unlike anything you've. Possibly imagined and then go to your target account list and invite the buyers onto the show because they're going to be excited to be on your show.
[00:49:28] They will be excited to be on your show and guess who's going to follow up the next day with, Hey, you know what? I really would like to talk about this. We've been, we've been considering using Azure, but I want to know more about what you're doing. Boom. You're in there's there's one, there's one play.
[00:49:46] Right? And so in the other option is, is you take that target account list and don't even have a show yet. Just test this out, see what happens. All right. Take 50 people off that list. Let's say you have a hundred, I don't know. Maybe you have a thousand people on your dream list. Maybe you have really big goals and you're very ambitious.
[00:50:05] Okay. Whatever it is. Take 50 names off that list. Okay. And you've probably done some outreach before, and let's say 90% of the time you probably got ignored and got zero response. Yup. Take those same 50 people, whether you've reached out to them or you've never reached out to him and say, I have a sh know, I have a podcast or I have a show or a video series, whatever you want to call it, I don't even care.
[00:50:31] Okay. And we are highlighting this, or this is what we're talking about. Kind of, you know, figure out what a little bit about what the format is or what the reason is that, you know, they're going to, you would want somebody like them on the show no longer than two sentences and invite them on your show.
[00:50:48] Okay. And, and, and the way I view this, as these are highly qualified, highly targeted sales conversations, these are people that you want to build relationships with, that you want to skip the trust and rapport, and you want to have relationships. They might not do business with you tomorrow. They might not do business with you the day after the episode airs, but at some point.
[00:51:12] If you, if you solve a problem that they have, and you're, you, you, you follow your sales process, your chances of doing business with those people, or even ever, even having a conversation with those people are significantly higher than you do whatever else that you're doing today. If it's not that. I'm going to give you some advice.
[00:51:32] So when I, when I was using the, the, the IBM example, I was using it because they were one of my sponsors for events. Um, one day they wrote me a $20,000 check. It was more money than I've ever seen in a single check. Um, and. And it was, um, the guy that represented the money was a gentleman by the name of Rick Smith.
[00:51:51] And he, he was a blue, a blue mix, like he was selling blue mix. Right. And, um, he, he just gave it to me. So matter of factly, uh, we were in his Ford F-150 truck. We adjust visited one of the target accounts. He asked me to do a drive along so I could be a part of the conversation. Cause I knew the relationship and made the introduction.
[00:52:13] And then he just told it to me so straight. He, he, he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and he called this his list. He's like, he pointed to the top of the list. He's like this. Is my a list. These are the people that make me money and he had a list of names there. Show me another piece of that paper.
[00:52:31] This is my B-list. These are people that could make me money. And then he's got his see list. These are the people that are costing me money. He's like I tried to every single day. Make a relationship or make a touch point with someone in my list every day, no matter what, um, go through the list. Like find someone you can just send a text to, or make some sort of interaction and keep the AA list.
[00:52:57] So happy the B-list maybe once a week. And then once they get to the ALS, then they're in that then the constant nurture cycle. When I first heard this, I was a little bit shocked. Like how could you, how could you sort of. Benchmark people this way, but then I realized. It, it made, it made a lot of sense because it, it, it w he, he only had so many hours in a day.
[00:53:22] And so what, where was he going to go spend his time with the seas that are, that are, that are costing, or is he going to spend time sort of, uh, trying to, to, to make the B's A's or keep the A's happy, happier, and happiest so that they continue to bring in more A's um, I was just an interesting lesson.
[00:53:44] Yeah. Anyway. So the question there is, if you're a seller, do you know who your, a, B and C list, and I'm guessing in that example, since he wrote you a $20,000 check, you, you might've been on the C list costing him money. No, I got, I got onto the AA list. I got onto the AA list because, because, because th the, the, the lead, the generation machine got turned on.
[00:54:08] And what was interesting is if I had had a podcast back, then he would have been a recurring guest. As on my list, he would have been a recurring guest, um, because my, my ALS is where I want to continue to make touch points all the time. And then the, the, the, the B-list like, it still needs to continue to be, be warmed up.
[00:54:28] Um, this has worked for me tremendously. Well, even in personal relationships, I have my really, really close friends, like. Like family first, then like a few calls, friends. Um, and then the, the, the, the, the circle starts to slowly go out. And I, and, and I would say that's also a mistake I've seen. Some people make is they, they, they mistake people that really should be in an outer rung, like, and they bring them into clothes, but like, they're like maybe.
[00:54:58] Dragging you down a little bit and it's okay to let that fade out because you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And that's tough feedback for some people to hear. Um, but, but I understand that so deeply now. Yep. All right. Let's wrap things up here, Chris. Um, where can sales hustlers follow you?
[00:55:21] Find out more about what you're doing. You know, I really want to start sharing more about like the, the science and the art behind what we do. Um, and so I want to start picking up like maybe another video series or a blog or something like that, specifically on like the sales cast method, the formula that we use that works.
[00:55:41] So freaking well, like it, it feels like it's almost like the secret ingredient that they have in a vault at Coca Cola. Like, I don't even want anybody to know it, but like I like, but I probably should share it with the world, but I'm also like, but it's the secret ingredient. So we got to keep it in the vault.
[00:55:58] But, uh, so I'm not sure LinkedIn's a great place, but honestly go to sales, cast.co um, there's, there's a button on there that says free podcast strategy session. When we say free, we mean free, like you, this is a call where it's not a sales call. It's not a sales call, which is literally strategy. So, um, I think most of the time it's calling to literally 45 minutes of all of our best ideas of what we would recommend for you to start a show.
[00:56:27] Now, whether you want to start a show on your own, whether you want us to help you start a show, whether you want us to manage the show for you. Those are all things that can get answered later, but it's 45 minutes of all of our best ideas of what a show would look like with a proper strategy to drive revenue for whatever it is you do.
[00:56:46] Yeah. Like literally the first half of the call, we just ask one question, which is what's your story, you know? And so it's a genuinely fun experience. You want to come, hang out, want to have some fun? Uh, that's a, that's a great way to do it. Uh we'll we'll hang out virtually that way. Um, you follow either calling her I on LinkedIn, I've got a lot more stories here.
[00:57:07] Um, and, and Collins encouraging me to, to, to share more and more of these. So. If you've got a good show and you want me to kind of go deeper on any of these stories or methodologies or, or, or things that, uh, I believe so deeply in. And, you know, and I'm not saying that I'm totally unique, but I am definitely the product of a lot of interesting people, a lot of interesting stories.
[00:57:28] So I'd love to share that. Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on today, Chris. Appreciate it had a lot of fun. This is probably by far our longest episode ever, but we had a lot to cover, uh, sales hustlers. If you enjoy today's episode, write us a review. Please share it with your friends. And as always we're here listening for your feedback as always.
[00:57:51] Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional? Looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales, cast.com, check us out. And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host, Colin Mitchell.
[00:58:15] And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review and share the podcast with your friends.