Everything I do starts with words on a page. Well, words on a screen.
These days video rules. Everyone wants the instant gratification video provides. I love video too but at heart, I am a writer.
Today, I started a column on Medium, and I write about how daily writing helps keep you sane.
If you like writing or you are a fan of good mental health, join me for this conversation.
Specific emotional benefits to daily writing:
Putting things down on paper (or on a screen) helps order your thinking. Rational thinking leads to better decisions.
If you read something you’ve written, it helps reinforce your commitment to the idea. Commitment leads to action.
A Record of Your Growth
If you want to see how you’ve evolved over time, writing down your thoughts provides a way to track your growth.
Length doesn’t matter. Frequency does. You think every day. You feel every day. Take a few moments and put down what you think and what you feel. You’ll be better off as a result.
Here is a link to the article on Medium titled: Daily Writing Prevents Nervous Breakdown
What was your greatest success last month?
Today is Monday, May 1, 2017. It is the beginning of a new month. The beginning of a new week.
Friday I had meetings with clients with two different points of view.
“This is the last work day of the month. Thank goodness. This has been the roughest month of my career. I’m glad it’s over. Let’s talk about what I need to do to get through next month.”
“This was my best month ever! I know it sounds cliché, because I say it every month, but I keep building on my previous success. Here are the things I think I need to focus on to continue my growth.”
The obvious contrast is not just with results but also with attitude. One of these clients is in survival mode and the other is growth oriented.
If it takes all your energy just to get through the day, you’ll have nothing left to give to your family or the significant relationships in your life – and that’s the reason you work – to be able to provide more/better options for those you care about.
Here are three things you can do today, right now, to make this month your best month ever:
Catch Yourself Doing Things Right
Think back to the past day, week, month, and year. What did you do that was outstanding? Think about your biggest “win.” How can you replicate it?
Did you close a huge deal? Can you do the same with a competitor or a complementary business?
Start keeping a journal of your successes. I use Evernote and I write down the things that go RIGHT every day. Each week, on Monday, I review what I did well the week before and I build on those successful habits. Each month, on the first work day of the month, I summarize my successful activities from the past month and try and build upon them.
This has two dramatic effects on my attitude and performance:
First: I focus on the positive. This keeps me from wallowing in any setbacks.
Second: It provides me with a guide to replicating best practices so I can replicate success.
Dictate Don’t Negotiate
Who is setting your priorities?
If it takes time and energy to get your kid to clean his room or to convince an employee to do a reasonable work-related task, you need to make some immediate changes.
List three major priorities for today. Decide who you need to help you accomplish them. Communicate the urgency of these tasks clearly. Do not relent until they are accomplished.
I’m not saying you need to do everything yourself. Delegate to people you trust. But do the important stuff before you do anything else or make sure it gets done before you do anything else.
Give Yourself Permission to Be Successful
As a business owner and entrepreneur, you set investment priorities.
“Do I lease the car for an extra $300 per month or put that money into my contingency fund?”
The main reason your business and personal growth have plateaued is because you have not invested in personal development in quite some time.
I know you have bills to pay, we all do.
I know there are 50 things you can do with the money you have in your checking account or the credit you have available.
This is not just about money. It’s also about time.
If you want to advance to the next level you need to invest time and money in discovering new skills and knowledge. If you don’t, you’ll stay exactly where you are today – or regress.
If personal growth is not 10%-20% of your monthly time investment, you are falling behind – missing out on opportunity.
Have urgency about this.
Start today and budget 24 hours per month and 20% of your revenue toward discovering new strategies for growth.
Give yourself permission to be successful.
You do not compromise when it comes to paying your electric bill. You pay it to keep the power on.
Do not compromise to keep your personal power fully charged.
Opportunities for Growth
Here are three ways to give yourself permission to be successful today.
Entrepreneur and Sales Professional Coaching
I work with entrepreneurs and sales professionals on revenue and profit growth as well as the mindset necessary for success. Those coaching options are here.
This is the fastest way to boost your income. If you want to reorder your priorities, make more money and focus on achieving your goals, take advantage of this program.
One-on-One Direct Mentoring for Lawyers
This is a private relationship with me. I coach you through all aspects of value creation and presentation. We work together for a set period of time and you receive a minimum TEN TIMES RETURN on your investment.
Special One Day Session for Lawyers Only
If you are a lawyer and you want to unlock the secret to presenting value and making more money from the same client base, attend this event:
This is a one-day event designed to help you present fees exactly as I describe above. When your clients engage you they will think they’ve gone to Disneyland.
Join me in Miami on May 19, 2017. Breakfast and lunch are included and the fee is unbelievable reasonable – if you act now.
When I was ten- years-old my parents bought me an Atari Video Game system. I loved that thing. I was only allowed to play with it on weekends and holidays (so it didn’t interfere with my school work) and I looked forward to getting a new game each week and mastering it.
Of course, the first time I played a new game I would struggle miserably. I’d fail repeatedly but I never got frustrated.
Because on the far-right side of the game console was a lever I could push to reset the game and start over. If the game gave me three attempts at something and I was in a bad position, I’d reach for the lever and start again.
A fresh start was always within reach and that gave me comfort.
When the calendar moves from December to January you examine your progress and make changes. You want your future to be better than your past. You make lists. These lists include things you are going to start and they include things you are going to stop.
The New Year’s zeal begins to fade about a week into January. That’s when you get back to work. That’s when the kid’s go back to school. It’s when the snowfall from the “White Christmas” begins to take on the gray sludge-like shade you know will be with you through March.
The change you wanted – the change that seemed so attainable in your mind – now seems so far off in the distance, you are hardly able to muster the energy to take the first step.
Enthusiasm gives way to your old routine and that leads to melancholy.
But it doesn’t have to.
You don’t have to wait for the calendar page to flip to start something new. You can push a “reset button anytime.
Today, right now, you can start over. And if you are unhappy with the actions you’ve taken today, you can hit the reset button and start over tomorrow.
It is that simple.
If you are hesitant to start over, or if this feels uncomfortable, think about these things when preparing to start something new (a weight loss and fitness program, a new business growth plan, an attempt at acquiring new skills and knowledge):
Failure Does Not Exist: Whenever you start something new, you struggle. That is part of the learning process. If you learn, you are not failing, you are growing. In fact, the process of making mistakes is essential for growth. Do not fear failure, embrace it.
Ignore Comparison with Everyone Else: You are in a class by yourself. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Focus on what you want to accomplish right now. Comparisons lead to frustration, and frustration leads to complacency.
You see evidence of this in the world around you every day.
This past weekend my son, Nick, played in a baseball tournament for the first time (he has played recreational baseball for a year but tournament play requires a higher level of skill). Nick’s teammates’ play in the field far exceeds his ability at this point in his baseball career. They are more agile, have better situational awareness, and better command of the tools of the trade.
Nick played every inning of the tournament and gained extraordinary experience. He made many mistakes but also made a couple of successful plays. At bedtime, last night, we took stock of his performance and focused on how he had grown as a player in the past few months. There was no talk of his play compared to the other kids. That would have only served to demotivate him (and me). We agreed we were pleased with his growth.
This morning he enthusiastically announced he was looking forward to the new season.
Review your own progress and never compare yourself to others.
Enjoy the Process: You must find a way to appreciate the growth activity itself. Look for the positive feelings that come from any small success and celebrate.
If you start a fitness program and your muscles ache, recognize pain and soreness as a temporary feeling indicating progress. (Muscle soreness dissipates as your body begins to adjust to the new stress and recovers more quickly.) Appreciate these signs of progress as precursors to success and you’ll have a more enjoyable journey.
Your life is a gaming console just like my Atari. You have an opportunity to insert a new game anytime and, if you want to start over, just hit that reset button.
No calendar, no person, no situation, should hold you back.
Start over right now and enjoy the results…but more importantly…enjoy the growth opportunity each new day presents.
How to Get Ready for a New Year
This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is all about how to get for a New Year.
If you want to make sure you are on track to make the upcoming year your best, this is the show for you.
Listen now and follow along with the transcript below.
How to Get Ready for a New Year
Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo. With us as always we have Nancy Pop. Hey Nancy, how are you?
Nancy Pop: I’m good, how are you doing?
Dave Lorenzo: I’m doing great. Are you ready for 2017? Are you ready to go?
Nancy Pop: I am so pumped and ready.
Ah! Well, as we record this, there are just 20 days left, a little bit more maybe 21 days left in 2016. You’re listening to this now we’ve got two weeks left. You probably got less than five or six work days left to get ready for 2017. We’re going to help you do that today. I will tell you that I am the perfect guys to cover this topic and here’s why.
Earlier this year, we had the threat of a hurricane where I live in Miami. All my relatives came over my house. In fact, my wife’s family came over so we had 12 people, I think actually 13 people, and two dogs in my house for two days because this thing took forever to get anywhere close to us. Thankfully, it was a near miss because the storm had a 140 mile an hour winds. It was a little over 92, 93 miles off of the coast of Florida. One twist or turn and we could have had a category, I think it was four, storm hit us which would have been huge. It would have been catastrophic.
I tell you this because my home was the place to be. We were all shuttered, we were boarded up, we were completely prepared, and when my wife’s uncle said to me, “Man! How long did it take you to get ready for this?” I said to him, “Ten years.” The reason I said 10 years is because I’ve lived in Florida for 10 years and every year, I go through on June 1, which is the beginning of hurricane season, I go through and I check all my hurricane supplies. I check the batteries. In fact, I replace the batteries in, we have six lanterns we use. Every bedroom has its own light when there’s no power. We have ways to, not only cook, but we had bottled water enough for two weeks for 13 people, so I had a huge amount of bottled water on hand. I’m just a very prepared person.
In fact, today, one of the things I did when I first purchased my car is we, here at my house, we have a fleet of cars. The two cars that my family uses and oftentimes, we will have the two cars that my sister-in-law and her oldest daughter use and my mother-in-law’s car and I’d take care of the maintenance on all of them, and one of the things I realized was that I hadn’t checked the jack and the tire changing equipment in my car or my wife’s car in the last two years. I haven’t checked in since we bought the car.
I went out and I did that. I actually put everything together, I pulled the wheel on each car just to make sure I knew how to do it because I don’t want to have to learn how to do something in a pinch. I don’t want to have to learn to do it in an emergency. That’s how prepared I am. In our cars, we have fire extinguishers. In my home, on each floor, I have a fire extinguisher. In my garage, I have a fire extinguisher. I am prepared.
You as a business owner or a business leader, or a sales professional, need to be prepared at all times as well. When you walk in front of a client and a client asks you a question, that’s the not the first time you’ve ever heard that question. I went out of my driveway, jacked up my cars, put together all the … one of the cars in particular you got to crank down the spare tire. It’s under, it’s a big SUV, it’s under the car. You have to put together the crank and crank it down. I don’t want to be doing that on the side of the Florida turn pike at 2:00 in the morning for the first time. I want to know that I can do it and that I’ve done it before, and I want to know exactly how to do it.
When you’re in front of a sales prospect, you don’t want to think about answering a question that’s difficult for the first time. You want to be prepared for that. What do you do? You make lists of all the possible questions that could come up and you answer them in advance. That’s what professionals do. If you want to be prepared, that’s what you need to do, you need to get ready for each sales appointment, and as we head into a new year, you need to be ready for 2017.
Last night, I gave a terrific speech to a group of insurance executives. It was a little unusual. We were at a sports bar. There was alcohol being served. The more drinks they had, the funnier I was. It was a great, great event because I went on, an hour after, a speaker on insurance went on. I love insurance, I have a lot of insurance but a speaker on insurance sent people running in droves to the bar. By the time I went on, I was the funniest person in the room.
I talked about being prepared for 2017. One of the things that came up, one of the biggest issues that business folks have, business leaders, people who sell have is, dealing with the uncertainty they face in a new year, with a brand new presidential administration, and, if you’re listening to this in the United States, in a divided country.
What can you expect for 2017? The answer is nobody knows. We can’t give you a good answer. Here’s what you’re going to do. I’m going to give you five things to do, five things to focus on in 2017 so that you can be prepared and you can ensure that you’ll be successful. Number one, I want you to create a set of daily basics, create a set of daily habits, and I want you to stick to them. Give you an example.
One of the best habits that you can have is to get up early in the morning and do some form of exercise, whether it’s walking or something even more stimulating or with higher impact like running or going to the gym and working out. The reason that exercise is so important, and this I’m going to credit to a gentleman by the name of Charles Duhig, DUHIG, he wrote a book called, “The Power of Habit”, exercise is what they call a keystone habit. It’s one of the habits that influences your behavior in areas well beyond its specific focus.
If you exercise every day, there’s a very good chance, a high likelihood, that you will eat better. There’s a high likelihood that you will watch what you intake, your quantity of alcohol and sugar. There’s a very good chance that you will be focused on overall fitness if you start your day by exercising. I want you to create your own keystone habit in your business.
For example, one of my keystone habits is I start off every day by writing something. I sit and I write for 45 minutes, sometimes even a little bit longer, sometimes an hour. It could be writing the content for this show, it could be writing an article to go up on DaveLorenzo.com, it could be writing an article for a trade journal, or writing a chapter in one of my books. I write every day for 45 minutes to an hour. That clears my head, it focuses my thinking, and it makes me more productive because I’ve already got some mental gymnastics going. I’ve already got my mind primed for everything else to happen in the day that follows.
Create your own keystone habit. It could be something as simple as calling a client when you first get in the office, call one of your most important clients every day. It could be something as simple as sitting down and writing a thank you note to someone who has done business with you. Create a set of daily basics, a set of daily habits, starting with a keystone habit, something that has an impact on the rest of your day, and do it first thing in the morning.
The second thing I want you to do to get yourself ready for the uncertainty in 2017, I want you to go out as a business leader, an entrepreneur or a sales pro, I want you to go out and each week, connect with a new banker, with a new CPA, and with a new attorney. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking to yourself, “Dave, listen. I sell medical devices. I don’t have any use for a banker. I don’t need to know a CPA other than the person who does my taxes. Honestly, attorney’s I try to avoid them because if I’m getting involved with an attorney, that means that something’s going on. Either somebody is suing me or I’m getting divorced or something bad is happening so I try to avoid those people.” That’s what you’re thinking right now. I know that.
Here’s the reason why I want you to go out and meet one of these people each week. We develop relationships, we build our book of business, we build our sales, we grow our sales by developing relationships, and we develop relationships by solving problems. In 2017, people are not going to know what the tax code is going to look like. The tax code is going to change. If you sell to folks who are concerned about taxes, for example, if you sell to the affluent, they’re going to want to know what’s going on with tax policy. Another thing that’s going to change, laws are going to change left and right. The new administration is going to come in. They’re going to revoke a lot of the old laws that were put in place, particularly those that were done by Executive Order, and there’s going to be a lot of talk about the changes in the law that the new administration is going to push.
The third thing is business regulations are going to change. Baking regulations are going to change. Banks are going to be able to … they’re going to have more freedom. It’s going to be like the wild west. They’re going to be able to do whatever they want. Stop short of being able to do whatever they want but they will have more freedom to operate and new and exotic banking products will be developed. You can count on that.
I want you to go out and I want you to meet a banker, a CPA and an attorney each week because I want you to have people in your stable. I want you to have people in your book that you can refer your clients to when they have problems or when they have questions. Remember, you initiate relationships by going to people and talking to them about what’s going on in their lives, by going to them and asking them what’s keeping them awake at night, by helping them solve problems even if the problems have nothing to do with your area of expertise.
These people, a banker, a CPA, and an attorney are critical because the changes that are coming, the uncertainty that’s going to exist is going to exist in the world of banking regulations, in the world of tax policy, and in the world of changes in the law. You don’t need to know anything about these changes yourself, you just need to know the right people to connect your clients to when they have questions. Each week, in 2017, I want you to go out and meet a banker, a CPA, and an attorney.
By the way, just so you know, bankers, CPAs, and attorneys work with lots of business owners. They work with lots of people in powerful positions. They work with lots of people who are influential. Bankers, CPAs, and attorneys are fantastic for any sales professional to know because they can refer people and they understand the currency of referrals. If you want more referrals, and who doesn’t? That’s the best way to grow your business. If you want more referrals, you can invest your time in no better place than meeting with a banker, a CPA and an attorney each and every week.
Number three, I want you to create an action journal or an action log, you can call it whatever you want. Throw away your to-do list, come up with just three priorities everyday. You can remember three, it’s very easy, you can keep three things in your head. Do three things each day and I want you to create an action journal and write down each what you’ve accomplished. Do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed. You can do it at the end of the day before you leave the office. I do it in Evernote. If you’ve ever seen Evernote, it’s a program on the computer, it’s an app. You can use it on your phone. I use the date as a title and I just write down what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day.
Why do I do this? I do it because it makes me feel good about myself. When you list your accomplishments, I want you to list your accomplishments not only in the area that you work in but I want you to list accomplishments as a father, as a brother, as a sister. You play many different roles. You’re a business owner, you’re a father, a mother, a sister, or a brother. All the roles that you work in, all the roles that you have in your life, if you’ve accomplished something in that area during the course of the day, I want you to write it down. I want you to list the things that you’ve accomplished. You spent an hour and a half teaching your kid how to hit a curve ball? Write that down. That’s important. That’s probably one of the most important things you can down, spend time with someone you care about.
At the end of a week, you’ll review your action journal form each day and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished. Contrast this with keeping a to-do list and leaving the office with 50 things not checked off? You leave the office and you feel guilty when you have things on your to-do list that aren’t done. But, when you put your head on the pillow at the end of the night and you have 50 things on your list that have been accomplished, you feel fantastic.
Number four, honesty, transparency, and preparation demonstrate your ability as a professional and they will be at a premium in 2017. Honesty, transparency and preparation, why is this going to come to the forefront? If you look at what’s being talked about in the media right now, this is December, it’s the middle of December 2016, everybody’s talking about the Presidential transition and everyone’s talking about the lack of preparation. Everyone’s talking about the promises that have been made to win this election. There’s an article on the Washington Post published a couple of weeks ago. The President-elect of the United States of America has made 287 campaign promises, some of them are in direct contradiction with one another. Regardless of you political beliefs, you have to understand that that’s a problem because, obviously, if some of the promises are contradictory, they’re not going to be kept, some of them anyway.
Transparency is non-existent right now. The President-elect hasn’t had a press conference since the middle of June. His opponent didn’t have a press conference, had one press conference pretty much during her entire campaign. Transparency doesn’t exist in politics. I think that’s going to come to a head and people will place a premium on honesty, transparency and preparation because all they see in the world around them on TV is dishonesty, lack of transparency, and flying by the seat of one’s pants, proverbially.
I want you to focus your efforts on being honest, not only direct honesty, telling the truth, but I want you to be honest in what you choose to talk about versus omission. Sometimes you don’t lie because you don’t say anything but you know that by saying something you would have prevented something else from happening. That’s called an error of omission or being dishonest by omission. I want you to avoid that. I want you to be completely transparent in everything you do particularly with your clients and your employees. I want you to be prepared just like I’m preparing my jack in my car, I’m preparing for disaster with hurricanes, having fire extinguishers around, because preparation, honesty and transparency will be at a premium in 2017 and beyond. You can count on it because all you’re going to see in the media is the exact opposite. People will go out of their way to do business with folks who they believe are honest, transparent and prepared. Mark it down now and make it the cornerstone of your work in 2017.
Finally, I want you to be the voice of reason. There’s so much negativity out there. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone these days because our country is divided. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone because all you see on social media are people going back and forth at each other as if their lives and their income depended on the opinions they hold particularly related to politics. I don’t want you to be one of those people because people do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you’re out there picking fights with people or jumping down everyone’s throat when people don’t agree with you, no one will want to do business with you. No one.
Here’s what I want you to do. When you disagree with someone, when they say something you disagree with, I want you to say to the person, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That’s what I want you to say. Regardless of how stupid or how ridiculous what they say is, I want you to say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That is you opening up and showing empathy toward the other person. You’re not saying you agree with their point of view. You’re saying that their point of view is something you want to understand. As humans, that’s what we strive for. We strive to be understood, that’s what we want.
Instead of jumping down someone’s throat, instead of getting into an argument, instead of really going nuts on someone on social media or in person, I want you to just say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Let them open up and tell you, and at that point, if you want to change the subject, you can change the subject. But what you’ve done is you’ve shown kindness, you’ve shown empathy, and you’ve shown a willingness to listen and that’s what will make people want to be around you. Do not be a part of the problem, be the voice of reason.
Let me recap for you, the five things I want you to do to get ready for 2017. Number one, you’re going to create a set of daily basics. You’re going to start with a keystone habit and create some daily habits and you’re going to stick with them for all of 2017. Number two, each week, you’re going to go out and meet a new banker, a new CPA, and a new attorney. Why? Because things are changing and these people will have the answers to the questions that are top of mind for your clients. You need to be able to help your clients in these areas when they have a problem and you help them by connecting them with a banker, a CPA, or an attorney. Your clients will appreciate it, and the banker, the CPA, the attorney will appreciate it because they’re connecting you with people to refer to you because you’re helping them.
Number three, you’re going to keep an action log or an action journal instead of doing a to-do list. Why? Because it shows how much you actually get done, it boosts your confidence, it helps your self-esteem, and it makes you focus on the positive things in your life. Number four, you’re going to act with honesty, transparency and you’re going to be prepared because the whole world around us will not be honest, it will not be transparent, and people will not be prepared. That will be the dominant focus of the news, how people are not prepared, particularly at the highest levels of government, how dishonest people are, particularly at the highest levels of government, and how opaque people have become, particularly at the highest levels of government. Your honesty, your transparency and your preparation will make you someone people want to be around.
Finally, you’re going to be the voice or reason, you’re not going to start fights, you’re going to be open and say to people who say things that are stupid or ridiculous, “Hmm, That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Then you’re going to let them say whatever they need to say, you’ll be empathetic, you’ll be warm, and you’ll be welcoming, and you will be different than 90% of the population who is acting in the exact opposite way.
My friends, do not fear 2017, embrace it. It’s going to be a fantastic year for you. It’s going to be a fantastic year for all of us. With these five points, you are well-armed to march into 2017. Until next week, I’m Dave Lorenzo and I hope you, this week, every week, and into 2017, make a great living and live a great life.
Do you have a personal strategic plan?
If you’re like most people, you’ve never given this any thought.
Yeah, I know. You write goals each year. But by the middle of the following month you’ve completely abandon them.
You want to achieve them but somehow you always seem to get off track.
It’s not your fault.
Nobody ever showed you how to develop a workable plan to achieve your goals.
Answer these five questions and you will have a simple and powerful road map to follow to accomplish your key objectives:
Question 1: What do I want to stop doing?
Most people think about their goals from a perspective of obtaining something or achieving something. They don’t think about eliminating behavior that is making them miserable.
Here’s an example from my own life:
When I first started my consulting practice I was going to client locations to do the work. It didn’t matter if the client was paying me $5,000, $50,000 or $500,000, I’d get on a plane and fly there and meeting with him/her.
That is huge labor intensity with an unbalanced return on the investment of time.
I stopped traveling to my clients.
Skype, telephone and now livestreaming have taken the place of these in person meetings. I made the decision to stop and then I acted upon it.
Question 2: What do I want more of in my life?
You don’t want to be thin. You want better health and fitness.
You don’t want more money. You want the options money provides.
You don’t want more friends. You want the fulfillment of personal intimacy in your relationships.
This the outcome is what is important not the method of getting to the outcome.
Let’s tackle this concept as it pertains to money.
I like money because money provides me with options. When I make more money I expand my universe of options for many things in life – from medical care to free time and enjoyment.
When I look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, none of them is money. Money can help with some of the foundational needs – like food (physiological) and shelter (safety) but by itself money isn’t a need.
Focus on the end and not the means to the end.
Question 3: What is preventing me from achieving the results in question 1 and question 2?
The answer to this question requires the most personal reflection.
The reason you have the problem in question 1 is because you haven’t stopped this behavior already. Why is that?
The reason you want the outcome in question 2 is because you haven’t received it already? Why?
Look deep within yourself and determine the answer to each of these.
Question 4: Who can help me with these two goals?
There is someone out here on planet Earth who can help you get what you want and stop what you are doing. Figure out who this person is.
Question 5: What is my first step?
Don’t worry about listing all the steps necessary to achieve your goal. Only worry about the first one. Once you take that step, worry about then next one. After you take that step, worry about the third, etc.
The reason you fail to accomplish your goals is because you fall behind on the list of things you have to do and you feel overwhelmed.
Take the first step and worry about then next one after that.
Here is your action item:
Answer each of these questions and then act. Spend 20 minutes thinking about the answers and go.
Do not wait.
Good things are out here just waiting for you to come and get them.
The first step is up to you.
How to Sell In a Regulated Environment
Do you sell a product or service under strict scrutiny by the government?
Are you looking to make progress in the healthcare, medical or dental industry?
Isn’t it frustrating working with a long sales cycle?
Selling in a regulated environment is a challenge but it doesn’t have to be.
On this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show we speak with Leila Chang the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits. Leila helps us cut through the red tape and close the deal in a highly regulated industry.
Dave Lorenzo: Hi there, Workplace Warriors. I’m Dave Lorenzo. You’ve only got 60 seconds to make a first impression and I’ve got half that time to convince you to come with me to the place to be. It’s the place you know that will make your wallet grow. It is the 60 Second Sale Show. Welcome, everyone, to the 60 Second Sale Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and today we’ve got something really special for you. Today, we have an inside look at how to sell in a regulated industry. I know many of you out there are concerned because we’ve been helping you develop relationships. We’ve been helping you build and grow your book of business, and you’re focused on developing relationships, but you tell me, I hear all the time, I get emails, I get phone calls, I get text messages, I get shout-outs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, “Dave, look. This is all great and I have great relationships with my buyers but I’m in a regulated industry. I have no choice. I have to answer an RFP. What do I do?”
I heard you and we’re answering that today. I have the best expert on the planet or at least the best expert I could find to answer this for you, my good friend Leila Chang. She’s the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits. She’s out there right now, her staff … She’s out there pounding the pavement. Her staff, her sales team, they’re out there pounding the pavement every day looking to help the toothless population of Florida and she’s going to teach us how to sell in a regulated industry. At least, she’s going to give us some insight. She’s going to give us a window into how you can break through if you have to follow an RFP process or if you’re in a competitive industry or if you’re in an industry that is ridiculously overregulated, this is the show for you. Now, I don’t want you to tune out if you’re not in a regulated industry because we’ve got all sorts of great stuff for you today. We’re going to talk about the experience you provide to your clients. We’re going to talk about that right now, but before I get into that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t welcome in my partner in crime, the person who makes all this happen, the wonderful, the talented producer of this show, Nancy Pop. Hello Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy Pop: Hello, Dave. I am just not getting out of bed from Thanksgiving. How about you?
Dave Lorenzo: You know, it’s funny. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are … They’re gonna listen to this show probably seven days from now or even into the future, and they’re gonna be like, “Thanksgiving? What are you talking about? It’s sunny, I’m at the beach, I’m listening to this podcast,” and that’s fine, but as we’re recording this show today, it’s one week from Thanksgiving, seven full days. It’ll be seven full days tomorrow. I didn’t really have the tryptophan coma this year. I did fry the turkey. If you listen to last week’s show, we had my friend, Enrique Fernandez on the show last week and in addition to being an expert on developing systems, he also gave us some thoughts on how to fry a turkey. His insight was really, really good. I used a couple of his tips when I fried my own turkey on Thanksgiving. I think it came out pretty well. I’m gonna do another one next week. We have another group of people.
As many of you know, those of you who have been listeners for a while, we here in the Lorenzo house have a bed and breakfast that opens a couple of days before Thanksgiving and it closes a couple weeks after Thanksgiving. We have people just rolling in and rolling out, my wife’s family mostly. Last week, it was my family. So we cook extravagant meals from week to week. Next week, I’m gonna do another turkey and I’m gonna use what I learned in my Thanksgiving turkey fry and I’m gonna make the turkey even better. Those of you who missed it, you didn’t catch the turkey that I fried, you can go to Instagram, @thedavelorenzo on Instagram, and check out me pulling the beautiful, they say it was a 25-pound turkey. I think it cooked a little faster than that. I think it was probably more like 20 pounds. Maybe it was 25 pounds with all the guts inside before we took ’em out, but it’s a beautiful 20-pound bird. You can go look at it on Instagram. You can marvel at my capability as a fry cook. It worked out very, very well. My house didn’t burn down and everybody had a good time. So that was great.
Let’s talk about the experience that you provide now. As an entrepreneur, as a business leader, as a sales professional, there’s three things we provide our customers. We can provide our customers with a product, we can provide our customers with a service, we can provide our customers with an experience. Some of us provide all three, some of us just provide a service and the experience, some of us just provide a product and an experience but what we always forget about is the experience. My friends, this is where your competitive advantage really lies. You as a sales professional can create a competitive advantage with the experience you provide. Let me give you an example. Nancy traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania for her Thanksgiving and I’m sure that was a fantastic trip. How was your trip to Erie, Nancy?
Nancy Pop: One speeding ticket later, I’m safe and sound back in New York, and that’s all I have to say about that.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh, speeding ticket. New York state speeding ticket or a Pennsylvania-
Nancy Pop: Pennsylvania.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh, Pennsylvania. Wow.
Nancy Pop: Now I have to go all the way back to go to court if I do that.
Dave Lorenzo: Well, you could just plead guilty. How fast were you going?
Nancy Pop: I was just going 80 on a 70 mile per hour highway. It wasn’t even hailing yet.
Dave Lorenzo: Here’s the thing. How much is the fine?
Nancy Pop: $150, not that bad.
Dave Lorenzo: Don’t go. Don’t go.
Nancy Pop: Yeah.
Dave Lorenzo: Save up, pay the $150. Where was the ticket? What was the township of the ticket?
Nancy Pop: I was somewhere in central Pennsylvania, like in the boondocks somewhere.
Dave Lorenzo: Okay. Yeah, it’s not worth it.
Nancy Pop: Yeah.
Dave Lorenzo: Save up your money and just send in the $150 and be done with it. It’s not worth a trip. You’ll plead it down and what are you gonna pay, $75 plus court costs? You’re gonna save yourself $50, and then to drive to central Pennsylvania-
Nancy Pop: Even then, it’s gonna cost me.
Dave Lorenzo: I love Pennsylvania, but the drive through Pennsylvania in the winter time, to me, it’s not worth $150.
Nancy Pop: Exactly.
Dave Lorenzo: So I had an experience over Thanksgiving. My family was here, we were having a great time. My son’s birthday is a couple days before Thanksgiving. It’s between Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday and we’re all sitting around the table reminiscing, and my father gets a phone call. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away. So we ended up having to fly out, my mother, my father, and I. My parents were gonna stay an extra week. We ended up having to fly out back to New York. They had to flight out back to New York, I had to fly out with them for the services, and to pay our respects, and to comfort some family members, and for me, it was gonna be a quick trip because we had a ton of people here in the house and I didn’t want to leave my wife alone to have to deal with all of them. I flew up with them on Friday and I flew back on Saturday. The services were Friday night and Saturday morning and I was able to get all that in in 24 hours.
We fly up and back on American Airlines, and if you live in Miami, you know that American Airlines has an absolute stranglehold on the gates here at Miami International Airport. Thanksgiving weekend, the only flight we could get out of Miami into JFK, go up without incident, we’re coming back, and I go to the airport. It’s immediately after the funeral. I come right from the cemetery. I’m in a suit, I need to change, and I’m tired. I’m just kind of out of it. I said, “I’m gonna go to the Admiral’s Club. I’ll get a day pass.” That’s the American Airlines lounge. I’ll get a day pass and I’ll have to pay whatever I have to pay. At least I can change in a clean facility, and I can get a drink, and there’s wifi there. It’s free, it’s included, it’s fine.
I go and I approach the podium, and the woman says, “Hi, how are you?” I say, “I’m great.” She says, “Really? You’re great?” This is Concourse B, JFK. I say, “Yeah, I’m absolutely great. I’m going home and I’m thrilled to be going home.” So she says, “Hm,” and she types in the computer. She’s like, “First class to Miami?” I was flying first class. She said, “That doesn’t get you the lounge.” I said, “I know. I want to buy a day pass. I’m happy to do it.” I took out my credit card. She said, “Nope, no day passes. Lounge is under construction.” I just looked at her. I said, “Okay.” I kind of sighed and I put my wallet back in my pocket, and as I turn to walk away she looked at me and she smirked and she said, “I guess you’re not great now.” I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked that someone would say that to me. As a premium passenger, I paid first class prices for the ticket and the experience provided to me by American Airlines, and this incident in this instance was just absolutely awful. This is why I avoid flying American Airlines whenever I can.
The lesson here, the thing that I want to impart on you, the reason that I tell you this story today is because I want you to understand that when you are out there, everything you do from your first point of contact with your client, or your prospective client, or your referral source, everything you do, everything you do affects the experience the person with whom you’re interacting has with you, everything you do. Along the way, if you’re cold calling, you’re breaking down that door, you’re kicking in that door, if you call 15 times and you hang up and the caller ID has your name on it or the caller ID has your phone number on it, that person’s gonna know you’re calling 15 times and hanging up. If you’re sending 30 emails, that person’s gonna know you’ve sent 30 emails. Maybe that’s what you’re going for? Maybe you’re going for persistence, that’s fine, but if you’re pushing your way in, that’s the first impression. That’s the way you’re starting your experience with your customer.
The way we do things around here, our system, The 60 Second Sale system is about love at first sight for business. It’s about how we develop relationships with our prospective clients. When you go out and you look to initiate that interaction, are you doing so by extending value to that potential client or are you doing so with your own best interests in mind and pushing your way in? Think about the experience you’re creating. Think about the competitive advantage you want for yourself as a sales professional, as an entrepreneur, as a business leader. The experience you provide is everything. That’s your competitive advantage. When you’re selling, if you lead with value, if you lead thinking about the best interest of the other person, you’re creating a tremendous competitive advantage that other people will not be able to replicate because the experience you provide is unique to you. I’m gonna say that again. The experience you provide to someone else, the experience you provide to your client, is unique. No one else can replicate that because you’re you.
It’s a snowflake. Remember that? Everybody used to say when you were in grammar school, “Everybody’s like a snowflake. No two people are alike.” Your grammar school teacher used to say that to you. Fine, great. Let’s use that then. The experience you provide is like a snowflake. It’s like a beautiful gentle snowflake falling on your eyelashes. Perfect for the winter time, right? You are providing something unique, something different, and that’s your goal. Think about that on your approach when you sell and now, let’s think about the unique nature, the snowflake-like nature of selling in a regulated industry. How is that for a clumsy segue? Nancy, do me a favor. Read the marvelously impressive bio of our guest today and then we can get into a really interesting conversation with one of my favorite people.
Nancy Pop: So today, we have the marvelous Leila Chang. She is the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits, a dental benefits company headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida. Leila started her career in healthcare in 1988 working for a south Florida HMO. Leila has worked in all aspects for the dental benefits industry. Previously, Leila was a founder, investor, and CEO of Atlantic Dental Benefits, a manage dental care company in Florida. During her tenure, Atlantic Dental has returned a significant profit to investors and has grown the organization to more than 700,000 members and 2,000 dentists throughout Florida. Wow. Miss Chang is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami with a bachelor of science in computer science.
Dave Lorenzo: Leila Chang, welcome to the show.
Leila Chang: Hi, Dave.
Dave Lorenzo: Hey, look at that. You like that bell? That’s a new addition here.
Leila Chang: That’s awesome.
Dave Lorenzo: I don’t know how that ended up on my desk, but I figured I would ring it just for you. What’s happening, Leila? How are you today?
Leila Chang: I’m great. I’m great. I can’t wait to get into this.
Dave Lorenzo: So 700,000 members, 2,000 dentists. Let me ask you a question, Leila, and this is probably the most pressing question I’m gonna ask you, okay? Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend Trident to their patients who chew gum. What does the fifth dentist recommend? I think you need to go out to your 2,000 dentists and I need an answer to that question. Will you do that for me?
Leila Chang: He recommends not chewing gum. That’s what he recommends.
Dave Lorenzo: I don’t know what’s wrong with him. Anyway, a bunch of doctors used to smoke back in the 70s too. I don’t think they’re recommending that anymore either. Leila, here’s what I’d like you to do for us, if you don’t mind please. You have one of the greatest family stories that I’ve heard. Will you give us the two minute overview of your background and what brought you here to Miami?
Leila Chang: Sure. My dad was Chinese. He was born in Canton, and my mother is Cuban. My dad made his way to Cuba via the Philippines. He met my mother, and got married, and had me. When my mother was pregnant, my dad actually was able to exile himself in Guantanamo Bay to come to the United States so that he could claim us. Then we came here in 1966.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow. All right. Great story, and we are just a few days past a historic event. Those of you who are time shifting and listening to this at a later date, there’s no way you can possibly understand the impact on the Cuban community here in Miami as to what happened. Fidel Castro passed away just days ago. Leila, give us a sense for what that event means to the Cuban community and what it means to you personally.
Leila Chang: I can’t speak for the Cuban community. I can tell you what it means personally. My dad came over first, then my mom, my grandparents, and I came over shortly after. Actually, that’s not correct. I didn’t meet my dad until I was two years old, but we all lived in a little apartment, probably about 500 square feet, all five of us, and my parents, who had worked at businesses in Cuba had to come here. My mother had to work in a factory making wigs, and my dad had to work as a restaurant worker. My grandparents, who were well into their 60s, had to start working as well. My grandmother was a maid for Holiday Inn and my grandfather worked at the back of a cabaret type of show. He worked the coffee in the back. My family had to really start from scratch with nothing but what they could carry with them on the freedom flight. It was quite a struggle, but they made it happen. When people start talking about Castro and about the benefits that he brought to Cuba, it’s just difficult when you have firsthand knowledge and firsthand experience of the sacrifices that people had to make to leave the country.
Dave Lorenzo: I understand. Your family story is one that … It’s so important for those of us who have been blessed to be born here in the United States, those of us who really have this as our birthright, we take it for granted. These stories, anytime you have the opportunity to hear these stories or any time you have the opportunity to hear someone tell a story like this, you need to avail yourself of that opportunity because it is what makes up the fabric of our country. Stories like your family’s story remind us of how great this country is and the opportunity and what people will do in order to have this kind of opportunity, an opportunity that we, I, being born here, my kids born here, take for granted every day. We need to hear these stories as often as possible, so thank you. I appreciate you telling us this story. So how did you get to be CEO of Florida Dental Benefits? How did that happen?
Leila Chang: As I mentioned, I started in healthcare by mistake, actually. As Nancy mentioned, I have a computer science degree, but once I got out of college and started working in computer science, I found that I really hated it. A friend of mine was working for a local south Florida HMO selling Medicare door-to-door. She said, “This is a great opportunity. Why don’t you come work with us?” That was my first entry into healthcare, which was going door-to-door and selling Medicare products to the 65 and over community. I liked it, I liked the interaction, I liked being in healthcare, and then an opportunity came up in dental. It was a better opportunity. I didn’t have to go door-to-door, I was working in customer service, and just started, like I said, by mistake, just kind of fell into it and loved the industry. I like dental because it deals with healthcare but it doesn’t deal with all the catastrophic things that happen in medical. Like I mentioned, just kind of by mistake, and here I am.
Dave Lorenzo: All right. Well, we’re glad you’re here. Tell us about sales in healthcare, sales in the dental industry. What’s the process like and how difficult is it to sell? You have an enormous amount of regulations. Give us a quick overview of how tough it is to sell.
Leila Chang: You and I have talked about it. The sales cycle in healthcare is incredibly long. Everyone has what we call an open enrollment date. If you don’t speak to the person before the open enrollment date, you have to wait a year. Most companies renew their benefits in January or in October. If you don’t speak to them three to four months before that date, then you won’t have an opportunity in the following year. You might start a conversation with them that they might not be up for renewal that year. They might have a two or three year contract and so you’re speaking to them for two or three years before you even have an opportunity to quote on their business. It’s really about developing that relationship.
Secondly, this kind of business is pretty much controlled by the agent community. An agent will represent several lines of insurance or they might work with three or four different carriers, and they’re the ones who are presenting the information to the employers to make the decision. About 90% of the business is controlled by agents. The other-
Dave Lorenzo: So-
Leila Chang: Go ahead.
Dave Lorenzo: No, please. Continue.
Leila Chang: The other 10%, as you mentioned before, is controlled through the RFP process, the request for proposal process. That’s mostly larger employers, municipalities, and they normally go out to bid, I would say, every three to five years.
Dave Lorenzo: All right. So talk about the relationships. Who do you have to develop relationships with and how do you have your sales team develop relationships?
Leila Chang: There’s three ways that we develop relationships. The first way is we develop relationships with the agent community. An agent will control multiple employers. It’s a great way if you get a good relationship with an agent, he’ll quote you on multiple accounts. With dealing with one person, you can have access to a multitude of employers. That’s the best way. Secondly, is you can develop a relationship with the business and then they might have an agent that they work with, and then they can introduce you to the agent, and you can get in that way. The third way is the RFP process, which is normally done through a purchasing department, but again, if you wait to speak to someone, if you wait to present right before the RFP process, it doesn’t work. You have to develop the relationships way before the RFP is ever written or the RFP is ever sent out.
Dave Lorenzo: So if you have a good relationship with the purchasing people and the RFP process comes around, you have the opportunity to really shape the RFP, right? You can help shape the requirements and help them with crafting the way the RFP is worded. Am I correct on that?
Leila Chang: Exactly. Sometimes they might not realize that the way that they’re writing the RFP limits the people that can respond to it. So it’s important to have them understand that if they write it a certain way, only the, let’s say, top three or top three largest carriers will be able to respond. So they’re leaving out the local carriers. It’s important to have that conversation with them ahead of time. Again, if you’re waiting ’til the RFP is written, you’re never gonna have an opportunity.
Dave Lorenzo: What’s the farthest out you’ve developed relationships? In other words, how long have you waited for relationships to pay off for you?
Leila Chang: The longest sales cycle, I would say, is three years.
Dave Lorenzo: So you developed a relationship, and then you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and three years later, all of a sudden, 100,000 people jump on board?
Leila Chang: Exactly. Ours, we had 40,000 members, but it took three years, and this was over a relationship that I’ve had previously. So I’ve known this person for, I would say, 10 to 15 years, but they were very happy with their current carrier. We just kept the conversation going. I’d check in with them every three to four months to see how they were doing, and when they were actually thinking about going out to bid, we spoke and responded to it. Then we had follow up meetings and we were able to get the business three years later.
Dave Lorenzo: You said there’s three groups, right? How do you initiate new relationships with, let’s start with companies? In fact, let’s just focus on companies. You use companies, agents, and RFP process. RFP process, if you’re listening and you’re interested in learning how to develop business through an RFP process, there’s a ton of information on the website. I think I’ve done a couple of videos. We even might have done a podcast on it. That’s out there. I want to know about companies. So tell us how, Leila, you initiate a relationship with a company knowing that it could take three years?
Leila Chang: For example, I was just calling someone today from an automotive part company that has probably 200 to 300 employees. It’s about getting in, finding out who their HR person is. It’s about making cold calls, finding out who the right person to speak with, and then I use LinkedIn a lot. I use LinkedIn to see if there are connections that I can get to get an introduction to that person. Then it’s just about speaking to them, sending emails, following up until I am able to get information on who they have currently, what’s their effective date, so that I can put them in my tickler file and reach out to them six months before their effective date.
Dave Lorenzo: Give me a LinkedIn success story if you can think of one. How have you used LinkedIn to research and connect through to somebody?
Leila Chang: One of the big home runs for us is when we are able to get an HMO. A medical HMO will offer dental and most of the times when they’re offering dental, it’s not them offering dental, they outsource it. So they would outsource it to someone like us, like Florida Dental Benefits. I actually was prospecting on LinkedIn and the contact person on there, which was the Director of Provider Relations, I saw there was a connection with someone specifically from BNI, a business networking group that I’m a part of. I was able to contact that person, say, “Do you know this person? Could you recommend that they speak with me?” It took about three months out of the sales cycle, or at least the contact cycle because it was a warm introduction.
Dave Lorenzo: You went on LinkedIn and you saw the person you wanted to target, and then you looked through and saw who was a mutual connection, connected to you, connected to them, and you noticed that this person, who was in a business networking group with you, was also connected to both people. So you went to that person, you said, “Hey, I can provide significant value. Can you make an introduction to me? Here’s what I’d like to do for them.” They introduced you and they gave you a shortcut to the sales cycle by three months.
Leila Chang: About three months, exactly. I think it’s important to say you have to really … With LinkedIn, you might be connected with someone and they don’t know you. It’s really important to take that step to find out if that person knows them versus calling them and saying, “Oh, we have a common connection.” That doesn’t work. It’s really about doing your homework and reaching out to that middle person to make sure that they have a good relationship with the person you’re trying to contact.
Dave Lorenzo: Yeah, I completely agree. I find that LinkedIn, basically, is a trail of breadcrumbs that leads you home.
Leila Chang: Correct.
Dave Lorenzo: It’s not a map, it’s not the actual path, it’s clues, it’s hints. What I do with LinkedIn is I use it to figure out who the exact person is. Sure, if I have a first degree connection, I call them up and I say, “Hey, do you know this guy?” What I’ve found is nine times out of 10, they don’t know ’em and it’s just somebody who spammed them and they clicked on Yes or who is somebody who they spammed and that person clicked Yes, I’ll accept your connection, but if gives you a frame of reference. It gives you a place to start. The beauty of LinkedIn, you can upgrade your membership, but it’s free. You can connect to all these people for free and see who people know. It’s a great resource tool. Speaking of which, what other resource tools do you and your team use to find out who the ideal person is in a company?
Leila Chang: It’s religious trial and error. For us, the people that make the decisions are usually the CEO, an HR director, or a purchasing director, depending on how large the company is. Really, those are the three people that we’re targeting. Most of the times when you call, you’re able to get that information and those people are open to speaking with you or providing you the information, and most of them will refer you to the agent that they’re working with.
Dave Lorenzo: Okay, great. We have just a couple of minutes left. I want to ask you if you can remember the biggest success story you’ve had in sales, the thing that you’re most proud of in sales and selling. Tell us that story, if you can think of it.
Leila Chang: Hm. I think every time you close a deal is a success story. As long as I’ve been in business, it always surprises me how successful you can be if you just keep at it. You talked about persistency and you’re right, there’s a fine line between persistency and being annoying. It always surprises me. If you’re persistent, and you are professional, and you’re providing something of value, eventually, you’re going to get an opportunity. I think you were the one that said to me something about you don’t end the sale? What was that? You know what I’m talking about?
Dave Lorenzo: Yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. The client doesn’t decide when the sales process ends. You decide when the sales process ends.
Leila Chang: That’s one of my favorite things. I read that all the time.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s the thing. The sales process is over when you decide it’s over. If the client isn’t interested today, you simply haven’t shown them enough value or the right value. What you need to do is you need to figure out what problems they’re having and how you can solve them. Until you figure that out, you need to just keep coming back and asking them. Here’s the thing. If you do that in a way that is non-threatening and that is focused on them and benefiting them, few people will ever say, “No thank you. I don’t want help. I’m not interested in you doing something great for me.”
An example that I give people all the time is I’ll regularly talk to people and I’ll say, “What’s the biggest issue you’re having right now? If you could wave a magic wand and solve one problem, what would that be?” For example, with me, if it’s a problem with financing, I don’t have anything to do with finance. I help people with business strategy, productivity improvement, I can help you with a merger, an acquisition. I can help you sell more stuff, but finance is not my thing. However, I know a lot of bankers and I know a lot of people who can do some creative financing with really, really good results.
Somebody says to me, “I’m having trouble. I have to purchase heavy equipment.” Builder, “I have to purchase heavy equipment to buy a block of homes, and if I can’t get this equipment, I’m gonna be up a creek because I’m not gonna be able to build this new development.” Well it turns out, not only do I know somebody at Wells Fargo who does that kind of financing, but I also know a couple of people who will do financing short term for you ’cause you want to get started tomorrow. I got a guy who can get you the money tomorrow as long as you have a path to getting longer term financing.
That has nothing to do with me. I don’t have anything to do with that other than making the connection, but what does that do? It furthers the relationship. So when that person says to me, “Gosh Dave, I can’t thank you enough. You saved my business. I’m now gonna be up 30%, 40% for the year. Thank you so much.” I look at the person and I say, “You’re welcome, it’s my pleasure. I know you’d do the same for me, right?” They say, “Of course.” When you’re ready to sell those homes that you’re building on that lot, I want you to give me a call. I’m gonna help your team sell them faster than you sold out your last development. That’s how you handle providing value and developing relationships based on value.
The sales cycles may be three years, but the investment you make today will pay off down the road. That, my friends, is the big takeaway that we get from my good friend, Leila Chang. Leila, I thank you so much for joining us on the 60 Second Sale Show today. All of our guests here on the 60 Second Sale … This is my game show portion of the show, by the way, now Leila. All of our guests here on the 60 Second Sale Show receive two fabulous parting gifts. They receive the book Obsessed by Grant Cardone and they receive Million Dollar Maverick by my mentor, Alan Weiss.
I am going nuts with the bell I found on my desk today. Leila, thank you so much. Thanks, as always, to the wonderful and talented Nancy Pop for being our producer. That’ll wrap up our show for this week. Remember, if it is … Well, I don’t know. This show may not be on Wednesdays anymore, but if you’re listening to this show, it’s the 60 Second Sale Show. I can’t even speak. If you’re listening to the show, it’s the 60 Second Sale Show and I am Dave Lorenzo. Until next time, here’s hoping you make a great living and live a great life.
The reason people are not referring business to you is because you complain too much.
Your friends and family are probably sick of your negative attitude as well.
People want to be around positive people.
Here’s what you need to do:
Stop complaining and you’ll get more referrals.
It’s that simple.
Provide a great product. Offer excellent service. Make the experience people have with you outstanding and stop complaining.
For emphasis, I include this video I shot after getting off the phone with a particularly negative client.
Here’s the bottom line:
If I can’t stand to be around you, I certainly won’t refer you to anyone I care about.
Stop complaining get more referrals.
The best way to start a relationship is by having someone seek you out as an expert.
Think about it:
Who is in a better position the guy knocking on doors asking to paint your house or the instructor at the home expo demonstrating ten ways to add value to your home with color accenting?
Which personal trainer can command a fee premium: The guy at the gym interrupting your workout asking you if you want a free session or the woman teaching the class on low-impact weight loss training?
Who do you think gets to choose his clients: The lawyer with the weekly column on the business advice website or the attorney who advertises on the roadside billboard?
As a business leader and a sales professional, you are an expert in your industry and on the value, you provide. Leverage that expertise.
Do not cold call looking to force yourself on someone. Go out and look for opportunities to educate the audience of your ideal clients.
Writing, Speaking and Networking are the keys to demonstrating your expertise and having people invite you in to share your value with them.
- Blog posts
- How-to guides.
- At industry events
- At tradeshows
- To your clients’ teams
- At training sessions
- With your happy clients
- With evangelists (people who refer business to you)
- With affiliate partners
- With people in professions who typically use your services
Reallocate the time you spend cold calling toward developing educational opportunities and you will be amazed how quickly you can triple the number of leads you have.
Sales has changed. Your expertise is better than a cold call.
Sales success requires change. I’ve embraced that fact but it wasn’t easy.
In June, I received an unusual telephone call. It was from a media company. They wanted to know if I had an interest in working with them to develop a series of sales education products and market them via traditional and online media.
I said “Yes.”
This decision began a process of massive change. It started when I met with these folks for the first time. We had a long discussion about me and my plans. They described the process they use to develop the products and market them. They asked me some questions about my background and work history. When that meeting ended, we agreed to follow-up with an additional meeting a week later.
In the follow-up meeting, they gave me some feedback. All of it was fair, but some of it was painful to hear.
I needed to lose some weight, and I needed to change my hair.
They hated it, and they said everyone who saw me on video would hate it.
I set out to make these changes.
I revamped the way I feel about food and eating. My diet is now practical and for providing me with sustenance, not for emotional gratification. I also started exercising daily.
The weight came off.
I had worn my hair in a short buzz cut for years. I was used to it. It was easy. I thought it was part of my personality. I got haircuts at the corner barbershop, and it was easy and inexpensive.
Now I wear my hair in a messy look. It is “styled” in a fancy salon. I spend time making it look messy each day. When I look in the mirror I like what I see (it does look better) but I don’t always recognize the reflection.
Change is difficult to accept, but it is necessary for progress.
I know I will eventually embrace the new look. The positive comments from friends and family make me feel good. The weight loss has made me physically healthier. I know I’m on the right track.
But it wasn’t easy taking the risk of doing this work – making these changes – and hoping the result would be positive.
Each recommendation I make to you on DaveLorenzo.commay not be what you hoped but to move forward you need to take a chance on the person looking back at you.
Things you need to know:
The 60 Second Sales Show has a listenership that is EXPLODING! We’ve added interviews with interesting guests to the show, and in the last couple of weeks, we had two great shows.
Two weeks ago, I interviewed Pat Murphy – An Executive with Heartland Payment Systems. Pat helped us understand the value of relationship-based sales, and he demonstrated why his company (the top company in Credit Card and Payroll Processing in the United States) is making a shift away from cold call sales and toward relationship-based sales.
You can listen to the full interview here: The Inside Story of Relationship-Based Sales
This past week I interviewed Enrique Fernandez he’s an attorney who has embraced relationship-based sales and even has systems in place to make certain he develops new, profitable relationships.
You can hear my entire interview with Enrique here: Systems Enable Sales
Sales has changed
Earlier this week I published an article on the dramatic changes taking place in the world of sales. Many of them are not obvious to entrepreneurs and business leaders, but you need to sit up and take notice. If you don’t get on board with these changes, you’ll be left behind.
You can read the article here: Sales Has Changed
You Cannot Push Your Way In Any Longer
Along those lines, and among the dozens of videos I recorded and produced for Instagram, my website, and my YouTube channels, I did a 45-second video on why you cannot and should not force your way into a buyer’s office.
You may not think you’re forcing your way in, but if the client has no idea who you are or why you are in front of him…guess what….
You can find the video here: You Cannot Push Your Way In Anymore
American Airlines Sucks and You Must Avoid Them At All Costs
You need to know that American Airlines punched me in the gut as I was flying back to Miami from a funeral. This is just the latest in a series of horrible service encounters I’ve had with them over the years, but the thing that sets this apart from the others is the intentional cruelty of the American Airlines Employee.
I am pursuing my complaint to the highest levels of that company but while I do I am intent on reminding you (and everyone else I know) to avoid them at all costs.
You can read why I think American Airlines sucks in this article: American Airlines: I Guess You’re Not Great Now
That’s your summary of great information from this week.
Systems Enable Sales
If you want to sell more – and who doesn’t – you need to develop systems to enable your success. This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is all about replicating your sales success. Imagine duplicating your best performance, over and over and over.
That’s not only possible, that’s what the best people and companys do.
The best in any industry or profession create systems and processes to replicate success.
Today we speak with an expert on systems who will show us how to create these systems to enablesales.
The title of this episode is: Systems Enable Sales
Here is the transcript for this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show:
Welcome, everyone, to another edition of the 60 Second Sale Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and we are focusing today on systems and how systems help you make more money. That’s right, when you’re organized, you make more money. I know, it is shocking. Absolutely shocking that being prepared, being organized, having a plan, and executing that plan would help you put more cash in your pocket, but it’s absolutely true. On the show today, we have proof. That’s right, we actually have someone who has systems and who’s used systems, and systems help him make more money every day.
Before we get to that, I want to welcome in our fantastic producer, Nancy Pop. Hello, Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy Pop: Hi, Dave. I’m doing well. How about you?
Dave Lorenzo: I am absolutely wonderful. It is two days before Thanksgiving. We’re recording this just two days before Thanksgiving 2016. Everyone’s all fired up for the holiday. Nancy is ready to go eat turkey and drink eggnog or whatever it is she drinks after she drives 140 hours in a car to a very cold place. I, on the other hand, am preparing to deep fry a turkey. That’s right, for the second year in a row, I will be deep frying a turkey, and this is not just the second time I’ve done it. I was so successful at deep frying my turkey last year that I not only deep fried a turkey for Thanksgiving, I did another one the week after Thanksgiving, and I did one every week from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I am now proclaiming myself an expert on deep frying turkeys. I also have deep fried chicken. I’ve deep fried a leg of pork. I love to deep fry stuff. I just discovered that I love to deep fry stuff last year.
Now, the reason I think this is important, the reason I think you need to know about this, is because I have developed an entire system for frying a turkey from start to finish. The system began two days ago when I double-checked both the fire extinguishers that I put on either side of the area where we fry the turkey. You need two fire extinguishers, by the way, because deep frying a turkey is a two-person job. You always need one person keeping an eye on the oil, the temperature, and the flame, and the other person can actually keep an eye on the turkey while it’s cooking. If there is an incident and some oil splatters and it happens to catch one person’s pants on fire, you want a fire extinguisher next to both people so that if anything happens, one person can grab a fire extinguisher right next to them and put it out.
My system consists of a couple of days before, checking the fire extinguishers. Today, we set up the entire frying system, which is a propane frying system, and I tested it out with water. Tomorrow, we will take the actual turkey, and put it in the pot with water, and sore the side of the pot so we know how much oil to put in. Then, I have a checklist, step by step, on the day when we actually fry the turkey, which is two days from now, as to what we do, when we do it, and how we go about it. The reason that I created this is because I didn’t want to forget how I did it successfully, and I wanted to be able to replicate that process quickly next year. This was last year. I wanted to be able to replicate the process quickly last year.
For example, last year, to put the bird in and out of the oil, the bird goes on an apparatus, which it looks like a grappling hook. The grappling hook goes through the center of the turkey, and it has a little eyelet at the top. You have to get that. You have to put it in the oil and fish it out of the oil somehow. I, last year, wasn’t aware of this, so I quickly rigged, with duct tape, a coat hanger, and a broomstick, a way to fish the turkey out of the oil. Well, broomstick is wood, oil is flammable, not good. This year, we have an entire apparatus we’ve built, and it has a swiveling paint bucket hook on it. It has an eyelet that hooks it to a metal pole, and we have duct tape grips at either end of the pole so that we can raise and lower the turkey without ever having to get near the pot, nor worrying about anything flame up on us. We have a whole checklist, a whole system set up for frying the turkey this year on Thanksgiving, and I am thrilled. I could not be happier. I am ready to go.
The point is systems do three things for you. Systems, number one, help you replicate success. Systems help you replicate success. I’m going to replicate my success of deep frying this fantastic, beautiful bird from last year to this year. I’m going to be able to replicate it exactly. I’ll probably even enhance or modify the system to make it even better for the next time I do it. The second thing systems do is they give you the advantage of speed. Systems allow you to get going quickly. They allow you to make things happen at a rapid pace, because you don’t have to think about each step and think about the possible ramifications of what you’re doing. You’ve already done it, and it’s written down. It’s right there for you. It’s ready to go.
The third thing that systems do is they allow someone to step in your shoes. Let’s say that someone, one of my friends, has a turkey emergency, and I have to leave my house on Thanksgiving, and I have to go attend to this turkey emergency. Any one of the people who are here could step in and follow my checklist for frying a turkey and do just as good a job. They could follow my detailed instructions, my step-by-step guide, for frying the turkey, and they could do it just as well as I could, because the system is already in place. Systems help you make more money. Systems lead to success. That’s the point of our show today. Although you may not be frying a turkey while you’re reading this or listening to this, you will need systems in order to sell more.
Today, I have invited the person who is the best at creating systems, the best I’ve seen in my 20-plus years in business. This guy is a systems maniac. He has systems for everything from loading the toner in his printer. He probably has a system better than mine for frying a turkey. Nancy, if you’d be so kind, would you please introduce and welcome in our guest for today.
Nancy Pop: Yes. So, today we have Enrique J. Fernandez. He is a Miami native who is a veteran of the United States Air Force. After completion of his military service, Mr. Fernandez pursued his education, earning his bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Embry-Riddle University. He then attended the University of Miami School of Law, focusing on real estate, and earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 2006 and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2007. Mr. Fernandez has been in private practice representing clients in real estate matters since 2007. He represents clients in many types of real estate matters, including rental disputes, real estate purchases, code violation resolutions, lien mitigation, quiet title actions, short-sale processing, loan modification processing, and foreclosure defense.
In his representation of investors, Mr. Fernandez strives to develop a pricing structure that results in a mutually beneficial relationship that allows the investor to obtain quality, accessible legal counsel. Whether it be protecting the investor’s interests in the purchase of an asset, its management, or sale, Mr. Fernandez strives to streamline the processes involved and protect his client’s interest at every stage of the process. Mr. Fernandez is also an active member of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and currently the acting treasurer and the president-elect of the association. Sounds like we have a celebrity.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow, welcome Enrique Fernandez. That’s fantastic. Is there anything else that we need to know about you, Enrique?
Enrique: Yes. I’ve actually been frying turkeys for some 20 years now, and I can add a couple points to your process, if you’re interested. Just let me know.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh yeah, please do. Please do.
Enrique: Well, one of the things that I do is I fry a practice turkey before the turkey that I’m going to actually cook for the guests. What that allows me to do is get the oil up to temperature. It gets one turkey in, which kind of seasons the oil a little bit, and that first turkey we take out, and we actually carve it before most of the guests get to the house. We go ahead and put the meat into aluminum foil little turkeys and throw them in the fridge, so everybody has nice chunks of meat to go home with as leftovers after the meal.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow, that’s a great idea. That is an absolutely fantastic idea. We do one fried turkey and one baked turkey, because there are some traditionalists who like the turkey made in the oven. I love the idea of doing the practice turkey and giving people that to take home. I think that’s awesome. Fantastic. Now, do you have a system you use to get your turkey frying together?
Enrique: I mean, I do. You know, it’s funny. I actually started doing this when I was in the Air Force, and believe it or not, it’s one of those don’t try this at home things. I learned how to fry a turkey on the second-story balcony of a wood building in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh my gosh.
Enrique: Which is, now looking back, a crazy, very dangerous thing to do. We were, at least, smart enough to know how dangerous what we were involved in was and took it very seriously. We developed a plan and really some experience that helped us put together a procedure that I’ve been using now for 15, 20 years, I guess.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s terrific. I am going to do an entire video. I’m not going to do it on Thanksgiving, because there’s too much pressure on Thanksgiving for everything to go perfect. I’m going to do a video, probably, next week of how to fry a turkey. What I’d like to do is I’ll do the video, and then you and I can get together, and we can do live commentary on frying the turkey. You can give me some extra tips that you have for doing it. I’ve found that you would think you’d be able to find more YouTube videos, more really good videos, on how to fry a turkey, but there really aren’t very many good ones out there. There are videos of people burning their homes down.
Dave Lorenzo: There are videos of them spilling hot oil on each other, but there’s very few videos of people doing a good job frying a turkey. I am going to do a YouTube instructional video on how to fry a turkey, and we’ll lay it out step-by-step, and you and I can do the color commentary.
Enrique: Count me in.
Dave Lorenzo: Enrique, let’s do this. Let’s talk about the systems that you use, but what I’m interested in, we’re not going to sell people on using systems or standard operating procedures. What I want to do is I want people to learn, in the next five to 10 minutes, how to develop a standard operating procedure. Give us, if you can, a two-minute overview of the value of systems in your law firm. Then, after you give us that two-minute overview, let’s you and I get into a discussion about how to develop systems or standard operating procedures in sales and in marketing.
Enrique: I think it really comes down to two things that I despise when it comes to my business. I really cannot stand making the same decision more than once or on a repetitive basis, if you will, and I cannot stand making the same mistake twice. I’m not naïve enough to think that my staff is not going to make mistakes. We’re very, very careful about what we do, but my bigger concern is when we do have a misstep, no matter how minor it is, we make sure to look at the procedures and determine whether this was a breakdown in our procedures or was it something out of our control? That has been a huge help in what I do in making my business profitable.
I shouldn’t say mistake as much as a challenge. When we come across a challenge, is this something that stemmed from our procedures, or is it something that’s outside of our control? If it’s something outside of our control, is there something that we can put in our procedures to identify it earlier in the process in order to resolve it? Making the same mistake or having the same challenges come up is one part of the downside that we’re trying to address with the procedures here.
The other is the repetitive decisions. Hey, is it time to order tuner yet? In my business, we have to order searchers for closings. Should we order the searches now? If we don’t order them now, should we order them tomorrow? When should we order them? By writing down procedures and policies about all of those things, it keeps me from having to make, for instance, that decision on when we order a title search on every single file.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s fantastic. Let’s talk a little bit about how you develop standard operating procedures or how you develop these systems. What is your system for developing systems, Enrique? How do you get people to keep track of what they’re doing, particularly when it’s something that’s in their area of natural talent, right? How do you get them to keep track of what they’re doing? How do you test it and make sure it works for everyone? Give us the way that you develop your systems.
Enrique: From the most basic level, the policies and procedures, it’s a living document, first of all. One of the things I realized when I set out to try to accomplish this was I had documents scattered everywhere throughout my hard drive, on my desktop, all these different kind of notes I’d taken and checklists and these types of things. One of the biggest things that helped was putting them all in one single folder, one single place where you keep everything, and coming up with a little bit of a numbering system to identify and separate the different types of procedures, different areas within the company, those types of things. At the most basic level, just structuring of the documents themselves was a little bit of a challenge. Really, whenever we put it in one place, it became a lot easier to find things. We also have a Word document that is a template for procedures. If you’re going to create a procedure, we use that template to start with.
Then, the drafting of the procedures themselves really comes down to taking notes. Whenever we’re trying to come up with a procedure, it’s not as if we’re sitting down and thinking, well, how do we do this? How do we process a file? What is the first step that we should do? Okay, that’s the first step. We write that down. Then, we think after we do that, what will we do? That’s not how we do it here. What we do is we process a file. If we’re writing a procedure on how to process a file, we will process a file. As we’re processing the file, we’ll take notes of what we did. Then, those notes of the steps that we took to process a file will be the beginning draft of the final procedure.
Then, we will analyze those notes and think, okay, is this the best way to do it? Is there something we should add here? Is there something here that’s not productive that should be removed? Then, the journey begins on that procedure. A procedure’s never done. It’s a living document. The starting point for it is really just taking notes as we do something that we want to have a procedure for.
Dave Lorenzo: From a sales perspective, if you’re reaching out to clients and you’re making a follow-up call, maybe what you do is you quickly write down first look up the client’s file, review notes in file to see what the last conversation was, review notes in file to see client’s name, review notes in file to see client’s kids’ names, review notes in file to see client’s spouse’s names so that you have something to do to start the conversation. That would be the initial start of how to make a follow-up call, the procedure for how to make a follow-up call, the system for how to make a follow-up call.
Now, Enrique, you do a very good, in fact an excellent, weekly email newsletter. I don’t want to get into that. That’s a separate conversation for a separate time, but tell us about the system you’ve developed for doing the weekly email newsletter. You do it yourself every week, but you have a procedure for doing it, don’t you?
Enrique: Yes, absolutely. It’s my newsletter, and one of the things that sets my newsletter apart from most newsletters is the fact that all the drafting, the language, the copy if you will, is mine. It’s my personal work. What I do is I’ve created a procedure that allows me to sit down and write, and when I’m done writing, that’s all I have to do. Then, I hand it over to my staff. I have somebody in my staff that proofreads it. I give it one last check to make sure that I agree with whatever changes they think should be made. Then, we have a procedure in place to upload that article into the system that we use to send out those emails. We also have a schedule of when those emails are supposed to go out, who they’re supposed to go out to, those types of things.
When it comes to my actual time involved with that newsletter, it’s limited to sitting down and writing it. That is not something that I can delegate. It’s very important to me that that newsletter has my voice and that my readers get to know me and feel a connection with me, because they know that it’s actually me writing as opposed to some of the newsletters I get. For example, I just received one on how to winterize your house. We are in Miami, Florida. That’s not all that difficult down here. You can tell it’s a national newsletter, and they’re subscribed to some system, and they sent it out.
Dave Lorenzo: How to winterize your house in Miami: turn off the air conditioning.
Enrique: Right, exactly. Now, if they would have sent it out and made a joke about it and said that turn your heater on and burn off the dust, then that would have been great, but it wasn’t that. It was something else. The point is I’ve limited my time, my investment of time, in that newsletter to just my writing. Then, from there, my staff takes it, uploads it, makes sure it gets distributed, and all of that.
Dave Lorenzo: I think a huge takeaway is that even for something that you’re personally involved in, you still have a system associated with it. You still have a process, a procedure, associated with it so that everybody knows what’s going on, and everybody knows what’s happening at what point in the process.
Dave Lorenzo: Now, let’s give everybody a starting point, everybody who’s listening. I’ve never written systems before. I’m out there in a business. I’m an entrepreneur or I’m a sales professional. I’m out here, and I want to replicate my success. What’s the first thing I need to do to get started with my system? Do I make an inventory of everything that I need to do systems for? Do I have like a table of contents? How do I start?
Enrique: Personally, what I would do is I would take out a notebook and a pen, and I would put it next to my desk. The next thing that I do that I do often, I would take notes of how I do it, and I would have created my first procedure. One of the things that I think holds people back when it comes to this is overthinking it and making it into a mountain whenever one procedure is better than none, five procedures are better than one, and so on and so forth. I think I’m up to, I haven’t counted lately, but I’m somewhere around 400 plus that we have here in my office, between the procedures and the forms and everything. We keep all of that in one folder, like I said.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s amazing. That’s absolutely amazing. You get to replicate your success in every area, and anybody new who comes in can look at it, and it saves everyone a whole lot of headache, a whole lot of time. It helps you make more money. That’s the bottom line. Fantastic. I absolutely love it. Enrique, if our folks want to reach out to you for advice on this or for real estate advice, particularly real estate advice in south Florida, where can they reach you? What’s the best way for people to reach out and get a hold of you?
Enrique: They can call me. (305) 226-4529.
Dave Lorenzo: Give it to us again.
Enrique: (305) 226-4529.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s Enrique J. Fernandez, PA. Enrique is an attorney here in Miami. He works on real estate transactions, but I encourage you to call him with any legal need, if you have any issue in Florida at all, anything from a DUI to a maritime case, you want to register a boat, call Enrique. He’ll put you in touch with a lawyer. If he doesn’t handle that area, he’ll put you in touch with a lawyer who handles it. Enrique, you have my deep thanks for joining us today to give us your insight on systems and on turkey frying. For more on the latter topic, stay tuned as Enrique and I add commentary to a fantastic turkey frying video.
As always, I am grateful to our wonderful producer, Nancy Pop. To both of you to everyone listening, I want to wish you the best and happiest of holiday seasons. By the time everyone listens to this, we’ll all have had our fill of turkey, but the holiday season will be in full swing. Once again, everyone, the happiest of holidays. Thank you for joining us, and until next time, I’m Dave Lorenzo. I hope you make a great living and live a great life.
Go out right now and build your systems because Systems Enable Sales.