Changing the Context of Sales
Let me ask you this how many of you love to sell it's pretty much what I thought this watch this watch cost more than most of your cars you know how I got this watch not by being afraid to sell I got this watch by closing deals see, the thing is buyers don't know what they need fact I don't really care what they need my job's a sales person is the close deals and get the money I'm going to teach you the a b c's of selling and it's going to be the most important lesson in this entire program right now so take out your pathetic notebooks and write this down a always be see closing always be closing that's your job miss got so where you going? Sit down coffee's for closers and I don't see a single closer in this group now the company at great expense paid to generate leads and so over the course of this programme I'm going to teach you how to close these leads. In fact we're going to hold a sales contest first prize a brand new cadillac eldorado second prize a set of steak knives third pr...
ize you're fired now we ask you another question think anybody's attention yet how about out there did I get anybody's attention yet you got everybody's attention all right so now we can actually start the program because here's the thing but that idea of selling closing, of convincing people to get things that they maybe don't need or begging people to buy our products and services is actually what causes a great deal of the stress around selling it causes people to say, oh, I don't like selling right, and so a great deal of what I want to do is help you change the context. Specifically, this segment is about helping you change the context of how you think about selling, but more importantly, over the course of this programme, what I want to do is help you understand that you have to actually change the context of how your buyers, your prospects, your customers think about you as a person selling, you have to change the entire context of what it means to sell to your buyers, to your customers, to your prospects and that's really, what we're going to cover over the course of this problem, and that will be the measure really of success is if you shift, you have a complete mind shift about what it means to sell so that at the end of this program, if I asked you, how many of you love to sell, you all raise your hands, because now you know what it actually means a few years ago, a virtuoso violinist, joshua bell who? Maybe some of your classical music fans know who he is. If you've seen the red violin he was actually the violinist in that movie problem or people saw that a cz well he played a sold out standing room only very high dollar ticket show in washington d c that received thunderous applause innovations at the end of the show the next day he took the same million dollar stradivarius violin into the d c subway and played as passer. Byes came just on their way to work and those same that same music that same complex from some of the most complex music ever written played on one of the most expensive violent ever made in the context of the subway I was not appreciated. And so the context in which your messages in which your brilliance in which your genius is brought to the market has brought to your prospect has brought to your customers makes all the difference in the world and how it's appreciated. So you have to make that shift first before you can then bring that shift to your customers. So one of the things that a lot of people tell marketers and salespeople is you need to find a way to stand out in the crowd, right? You probably heard that and to some degree, you know every everything that's ever been written about marketing and sales, you know has that message but I'm going to give you another way to really flip this around in this entire segment is really hopefully going to break some of your paradigms or some of your preconceived notions about what marketing and sales actually is, because the problem with trying to stand out in the crowd is that it ends up making us use images like this in our marketing grocers, right? I know nobody in here is use I don't know nobody out there has used images like that, but that's really the mentality that says that we need to we need to say we're different as opposed to actually be different, or maybe this one maybe use that image before and that's what happens when people really think in terms of that's, my goal is to stand out in a crowd. What I want to suggest is that your goal actually is to avoid the crowd is to be actually so completely different that there is no crowd, that you actually make the competition that you're trying to stand out in irrelevant, and that takes starting this process of marketing and sales way, way before anything that you've probably ever conceived I could see the problem with trying to stand out in the crowd is it makes us born, right? We start doing what we see everybody else doing, I think it makes us predictable. We're trying to we're essentially copying what we see other people in our industry doing I'll give you a little exercise andi really this is great for anybody out there do this you can do this while while I'm talking you know at some point if if you are a tte the brakes go to your website, copy the first paragraph of the content on your website and put it on you know where doc or something you know whatever you use whatever word processor you used and then find five or six competitors or five or six people that maybe you're kind of like your business you know if you don't have it really identified competitors and and take the first paragraph of their website and pasted on that same page now go through him blackout any reference to an actual name of a company now if you have staff if you have people if you have customers on your really bold pass that around your customers and see if any of them can identify you from what everybody else is saying and you may not find this but experience tells me after doing this hundreds of times is that it will be the clearest indication that you're actually saying the exact same things about how special your products or services how you're changing you know this about that how you're getting benefits and features that nobody else has you're all saying the exact same thing maybe you'll find that you're different, but experience tells me that that is absolutely what you're going to find and if that's not indication enough that you really need to be thinking about how to avoid that crowd, I don't know what else is and finally, I think that trying to stand out in the crowd makes us change who we really are as a business, because in the end, if you're delivering exactly what you were meant to deliver to exactly the people that were meant to get that benefit, it's, the only way to stay truly authentic to what you're doing to what, why you started your business and trying to find ways to sell more, trying to find ways to advance your your business, trying to find anybody who will pay you anything you know, for your products or services makes you change really who you are, and I get it it's hard, like, I know I heard a couple of you starting out are, you know, how many customers yet right? You're you're trying to find somebody who actually will exchange value with you. So in some cases, that really makes us chase after things that maybe we shouldn't be chasing after, and maybe in the beginning, you have to do that just to pay the bills to keep the lights on, you know, I totally get that but ultimately you have to decide who you want to be what you want this business to be why you do what you do and we're gonna spend some time on that this morning here's the trapped a lot of people fall into the belief that creating customers is mostly about the right customers choosing you and that's what we do right we go out there we put our stuff out there we say hey, look at me look at me please buy from me and we hope that people actually do they actually choose us right and that's where I think one of the first traps in marketing and selling the business begins I'm going to tell you in this first segment a couple stories so when I first started my business I've actually had my own business for over twenty five years. When I first started my business I fell into that trap right I went out and said, hey here's what I do some would call me up and say, well, can you do x and I said, how hard could it be right sure we do that right and took anybody who would choose me no one day um an agent with the fbi showed up and apparently one of my customers had been doing some things that they were investigating and they wanted me I got this special invitation to come and testify before a grand jury now the good news is I didn't have anything that they found interesting, right? And so I was in and I was out now, ben uses this customer actually went to jail, was brought up on felony charges and went to jail. Now again, I didn't know anything really to share that was interesting. I didn't have anything that that that the agents found interesting did I know frankly that they were doing some things that I didn't really want to know about maybe, but it was really the day that I decided that I would never, ever again work with customers that I didn't respect, and it completely changed, really, how I thought about marketing and how I thought about selling and how I thought about even building a business because it was the day that I decided that creating oil customers is mostly about you choosing the right customers and that wrap your head around that, and that will be one of the most freeing things. Hopefully that you here because it is up to you who you work with so many of us now, it may not feel like that in the beginning, it may not feel like that is you're trying to get started, but ultimately you have to decide that you have to move towards that or you will get sucked into really having the life sucked out of you. So that has to be a significant component of really, how you think about this whole idea of marketing and sales will tell you about a couple companies now that I think are really incredible examples of this there's, a janitorial services company in cincinnati, ohio, called jan kona, and they were really, by all outward signs, they were doing several million dollars in business, had fifty, sixty employees on dh again, really, from and outward standpoint looked like a really happen in business, and yet the owners felt like complete fan that's because they would show up to every day to the office, about thirty or forty people short of the work that they had committed to. They couldn't actually get the work done that they had said yes to because they had a people problem, so they decided, you know what? We need to solve this people problem. So they went to the library, like all entrepreneurs, typical entrepreneurs on a saturday, andi checked out every book they could on on retention and hiring, and you know what? What do you do to, like, keep really good people, and they came away with some nuggets. One of them was that that you need to make it easy for your employees to get to work or to get to the job site or wherever they need to be. So they said, well, go out and buy a van so the next day they bought a van the janko a company shuttle was born and they started going out picking up their employees and taking his job sites it was actually the owner of the business actually was this was the shuttle driver, you know, for the first couple weeks and was actually one of the first times that he had actually able actually ventured into the neighborhoods where his employees worked and saw the loss of hope and saw the poverty and saw the lack of of dreams that really existed see apparently not that many people dream about going into the janitorial services business, and so of course, the people they were attracting where people that this was just another stop along the road they had lost all hope they had lost really their dreams. So they said, you know what? If we to solve our people problem become a company about making dreams come true? And what if we create an entire level of management in our organization will call them dream managers and their entire job will be to make sure connect with every single employee and make sure that we can identify some dream that they want to achieve doesn't matter how big or how small you get a g d send their kid to college, go on vacation that didn't matter they connected with every single employee to try toe not only identify but then help them work towards making a dream come true and it changed everything about their business it changed everything about who they were able to attract, who they were able to retain and fast forward four five years after they started the dream manager program and have been written about in every publication just about across the country their revenue it was up about four hundred percent there turn over was really down to next to nothing in in an industry that quite frankly has to the pirates frontline people over again almost every ninety days but what they'll tell you the things they're the most proud of is it jan cohen now is the company you goto work to four if you want to get out of the janitorial services business so they took a janitorial services company and disguised it or created around making dreams come true and it changed everything it became their why for every single thing that they did in their business every decision that they made in their business and that idea having crystal clear clarity about why you do what you do who in very very specific terms you are going to do with four and what regardless what everybody else in your industry says makes you unique in a way that that ideal client values and so while this may not sound like marketing and sales this is actually the foundation of what marketing really is. This is what a tracks people think in your own instances the companies that you support or the causes that you support because you get there, why you support you back, you want to be part of the story of why they do what you do. So this is the first chance I'm gonna I call on you all again. I know it's early in the program and people are shy, so I'll go to you guys to pose that question out to the internet world as well. Have you connected with why you do what you do? Is there a driving sort of single minded purpose around why you do what you do and does that so that's part one of the question part two of the question is, does that drive what you communicate in the market? So in other words, it's it's one thing to know why you do what you do, it's. Quite another thing to actually use that as the the core message for why people come to your business, why they stay with your business and sometimes that takes guts right? A lot of people lot of all of you are as I listen to you, talk about your business is your you're doing things that that ultimately impact people's laps changed people's lives in some cases but have you connected with that yourself and that that being the driving purpose for what you do so I'm going to put some, I'm not going to try to let you volunteer and, um, if you don't volunteer, I will volunteer you so let's start you wantto, since since you raised your hand first, so can you give us a sense of why you do what you do or have you or or are you struggling with that let's let's? Just hear that? Sure, no, I'm not struggling with why I know the why very well, I'm a father of two boys, fifteen and twelve, they're both athletes, sports is very important to them, and I want to make sure that they play, uh, the best that they can and that they approach athletics and life really from a place of confidence, of strength and composure. I'm also a big fan of yoga. I've been practicing yoga for about four years. I know the incredible, powerful benefits of a good yoga practice it's not just for girls in spandex, in ponytails on it's, not just about stretching our meditation there's a tremendous, challenging physical aspect to yoga and it's just it's not a secret anymore, like the professionals use yoga so that's the why I want to take that incredible gift that professional athletes use and bring it to nationwide, high school, middle school athletes, youth athletes, colleges, too, so it's part of their athletic training program, so come taking that that message and I completely agree with, you know, I was funny, I had a a little older than some people in this room, and so back when I was in high school, you know, thirty some years ago I actually had a football coach that and I was at an all boys school on dh that really implored us to take ballet, which, you know, I don't think yoga was you were hippie somewhere, you know, doing yoga, maybe, you know, if you were doing it somewhere, but, you know, I always thought that was amazing, you know? Of course, I don't know how many people actually took his advice, but I just always thought that was a amazing advice thirty years ago to be talking to a bunch of, you know, testosterone charged guys yu know about taking ballet, andi think that's I think so. So how have you taken that message? Because I heard you and you're in the introduction talk about trying to make it cool, right? That's everything when you're talking about fourteen to eighteen year old, so how are you? How are you making it cool then, so that your why gets cross sure, so what I say is we replaced the sanskrit with science we're taking out some of the esoteric messages of yoga and we're kind of what we say is we're going to ninja the effects of yoga on kids so the way you make it cool is we brand it with a really awesome logo it's kind of dirty and grunge it's the own symbol we use cool music, you know, some rap hip hop and and we have really nice shirts. I have to tell you, the best indication that I was on target with this was the other day I was at high school and I saw one of my son's friends, one of the most popular kids at school and he was wearing our shirt, maximum performance yoga like he chose to wear that shirt. I see the effects they think it's cool. They liked to wear the shirts and the brand. So it tells me that we're on to something high school that's like a the endorsement, right? It is, yeah. So who else wants to share on dh that's? Great. Thank you so much for doing that. Who else wants to share kind of there? Why? And I know this, you know, for some people this could be really personal. It is for me to tell you, too, that fbi story that I told you it took me fifteen years to start sharing that with people because you know it it was a painful moment for me but I realized that it could be actually really informative or illustrative you know point of view for people asai started sharing but it's sometimes this why you know is something that we don't feel comfortable sharing but I will tell you that and I think I probably used it later in the programme my favorite mr rogers quote it's hard not to like someone wants another story and I think that we probably as marketers one of the best things we can do to be more attractive and I'm using that innit attraction of of sales and opportunities is to tell our stories more so uh with the video your surprise it started out of a conversation of love and it might sound really cheesy but it's really what motivates us because you see these videos and you see these experiences that people put so much into planning you know they want to create something memorable and they want to give something which is this beautiful sentiment and then they want to share it and the ways that it's been shared a lot of times is through social media and really what it comes down to that the video isn't it's not clear it's not capturing the moment and you don't get to relive it and you don't get teo preserve that memory and so what we want to do is help people create and preserve that memory and make it as special and as beautiful as possible so that that's what we do and and it's nice to have something that you care so much about witches that connection with people and love and get to apply that teo your business and it really is I mean you are in a bit I mean really it's happy moments for the most part right which were fun and you know you probably all seen those you know, the bruno mars invitation you know video that's been shown you know, sixteen billion times on dh so it really is I mean one of the advantages you have is I mean one of the things we have to do to build momentum in sales and marketing is we have to have people share things and you have a business that's all about really sharing I will tell you though that I've been married over thirty years and I'm so glad that I don't have to propose or asked me to prom right now because like jesus the bar's high for doing that kind of thing now so how do you bring that idea? I mean I can see it sort of beaming out of you you know this idea when you talk about love it's not cheesy at all that's you know that's an awesome thing to be able to say that's what we help amplify so how do you communicate that that's really what we're here to figure out what the best way to do that is and and who to reach in and what you said about you know choosing your customers really important because we you know everyone loves surprises and everybody wants to do that but how we choose those people who we work with is is really why I'm here tio help figure that out I have an ideal person in mine which is just somebody who is wonderful and everyone wants the customer was easy to work with but like you said I see there's a market grocer wonderful people only about love I think anyone who wants to give something to somebody is a wonderful person but the other thing is like you said it's a no incredibly stressful moment if you're planning a proposal oh my goodness you know it's just it's it's scary and so what we want to do is make sure that the process as as stress free and easy and kind as possible and what we plan on doing is taking care of all the details so you got to tell us your beautiful idea and then we make it a reality and we film it for you and we have this amazing video afterwards that you get to share but you get to experience that you're not bogged down in the details and that means that it's your moment too so we're going to come back to you for two things one is to talk about like who you don't want is a customer because there are also wonderful people that I bet you're very good customers so we'll narrow that sum but also in some point we were going to want to maybe here like the most over the top one you guys have never seen done is there any anybody out here that wants to come in on this why they do what they do are you getting getting some that you want to share from from out there in the and this way have some coming in now this one comes from curio so and they say my mission to carry other's burdens because the other's burden is so much easier to carry than your own so they say I get people in small business unstuck with my skills in software development graphic design and photography so they can focus on what they really want. Teo yeah and you know I love that that one of the things that the why this focus on the wine helps you do is I think it actually helps you better understand what you really sell you know, I think when we get caught up in the soul of product or I saw a course or I sell this I mean what we sells an outcome is a result I mean if we're really doing it right and when you start thinking about it that way all of a sudden you know, I tell people this all the time that they really have this like fear of selling is that you know, if if all you're really doing is getting somebody excited about a result or an outcome that is mutually beneficial that can never ever be anything evil in that right on dh so I think that's what you really have to focus on one more from from the internet? Sure ten twenty three design says my business was started accidentally was a hobby that people kept wanting to place orders and it turned into a business I didn't really know who or where I was in the business other than a person who makes things and recently I embraced the fact that I am an artist and this is my art that people are buying and I realized my value now and then is kind of funny too because a lot of times we start a business because we get good at something or we got fired from our last gig so you know, it was like, oh, I better take my what skills I have and you know, tournament to a business and you get like, running down the road and you get on the hamster wheel pretty fast anybody feel like they're on the hamster wheel yet right and we do tend to lose touch with why we do what we do, what we believe. You know what we the impact we want to make on the world and that's. The part that I think has to be on the front end of really any of your marketing considerations. So where you getting a sense that I'm trying to change some paradigms about marketing and about selling? Starting here?