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.
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.
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.
On this episode of the Sixty Second Sales Show we welcome Pat Murphy from Heartland Payment Systems. Pat is an expert on relationship-based sales and he gives us the inside scoop on making more money with relationships.
Here is the transcript for this episode:
Hi there, and welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and we’ve got a fantastic show for you today. Today we’re talking about relationships, that’s right, you know that the 60 Second Sale is basically love at first sight for businesses when you connect with someone and you have that instant spark, that spark that connects you and the other person and you know you’re going to do business together, that is the essence of the 60 Second Sale. Well, we’re going to take it beyond love at first sight. Today we’re going to talk about how you can improve your sales process by deepening your relationships with your clients. I know, if you’re listening to this, you’re used to kicking in doors and connecting with people through brute force, by telling them what you have to offer and showing them how great it’s going to be for them and demonstrating to them the power of the solution that you provide. That’s fine, if you’re doing that now I don’t want you to stop doing that yet.
What I’m going to do today is I’m going to demonstrate to you that relationships, powerful relationships are more valuable than the relationships you make when you kick in doors, sell your services and move on. Our focus is on lifetime value, delivering value over the course of your lifetime to your clients, and they in turn will deliver value to you in the form of financial compensation. Of course, before we get into anything, I need to welcome in and offer my thanks and appreciation to everybody’s favorite burka wearing producer, Nancy Pop. Good morning Nancy, how are you today?
Good morning Dave. I’m good. How are you?
Awesome. It is great as always to have you hear. I’m doing fine. Thanks for asking. We have a special guest today, but before we introduce him, Nancy, I want to tell you a little story, I want to tell everyone a little story. This weekend was a beautiful weekend here just south of Tamiami Trail in Miami-Dade County, Florida. We had a baseball game with my son on Saturday and then on Sunday I went through the list, the list of things that my wife had for me to do around the house. On that list was a project that I absolutely cannot stand, it’s the project … Well, I’ll tell you what happened. In the front of my house we have this fountain. It’s this stone structure that has a little pump in it and it spits water out the top and the water overflows from one bowl into the next. It looks good and it sounds good, I guess people think it sounds good, if I stand next to it too long it makes me have to go pee, but that’s a different story for a different time.
Anyway, the fountain out in front of the house as broken, and the thing about this project is, if you call a plumber, a plumber is not going to come out and fix the fountain, he’s just not going to do it, it’s not a big enough job for a plumber and it’s not really a plumbing job. If you call a handyman, a handyman’s going to give you a really hard time about doing this job because the structure of the fountain itself, it’s stone, these pieces of stone are anywhere between 25 pounds and 150 pounds, the base I think is well over 300 pounds, and they have to be lifted up, you’ve got to take the thing apart in order to get to the pump.
I fixed this once before, I fixed it six months ago and I went through the whole process of calling plumbers, calling handymen, the pool guy, nobody will fix this stupid fountain. We have company coming in the next couple of weeks. As we’re recording this this is the middle of November, the holiday season is around the corner, but my son’s birthday is on the 20th of November and that’s a big deal, everybody flies in from all over the place for my son’s birthday party every year, he’s the prince of the family so everybody comes in and we have a million people in the house for the next two months, so the fountain has to work.
My wife and my son go out, they had something to do, that leaves my five year old daughter and I. She decides she’s going to be my helper. We take the stone fountain apart, it’s laying all over the driveway, I decide that I’m going to go get a new pump, I go to the store, I get a new pump. Now I’m exhausted and my arms are all beat up from moving these stones, because a five year old, she can’t lift much, and I’m actually, now that I think about it, I’m really starting to wonder what the value of having a five year old child is, because all she does is really eat and sleep and poop. There’s not a lot of help going on and I’m putting the fountain back together, I put the pump in, you can’t really test the pump because it shuts off if there’s not enough water.
I’m putting the fountain back together and I’m just dreading it, I’m hating this job, I don’t have the right tools, I’m improvising. I should have had a work table that extended up so I could rest pieces of the fountain on while I threaded the tubing through it. You know what I was doing? I was holding up 150, 200 pound pieces of stone while the five year old threaded the tubing through. You can imagine how successful that was. “Oh Daddy, you’re really sweating, you’re really sweating a lot.” “Yeah, I know, I know, get the tube through the stone. You can do it, come on, put the tube through.” “It’s not really working, I’m not sure. Oh look, a squirrel! Daddy, look, did you see the squirrel?” “Get the tube through the stone. This stone is really heavy.” “It’s a squirrel, Daddy, it’s a squirrel. Oh look what he’s doing, he’s going up the tree.” “I can’t hold this anymore!” That was my struggle through this project, okay?
The value of this story for all of us today is that if I had planned this appropriately and I had the right tools to do the job, it wouldn’t have been so awful and I wouldn’t have dreaded it so much, it wouldn’t have been the nightmare that it was, my back wouldn’t be sore today four days later, my arms wouldn’t be all beat up and bruised, I wouldn’t be feeling like … I went to the gym and I ran two miles to the gym, I ran two miles in the gym and I ran two miles back home this morning, and I did the same thing yesterday except I did eight miles and that was easier than putting the stupid stone fountain together.
The moral of the story is this: we hate to do things when we don’t have a plan, when we don’t have a system and when we don’t have the write tools. This is especially true with sales. When you don’t have a plan for doing things … I didn’t have a plan for putting that thing together. I took it apart, threw it across my lawn into my driveway, and then when I went to put it back together my plan was to use the five year old to thread the tubing through. Well, that wasn’t really a plan, it was a bad plan. That’s the way most of us go out and sell today. We don’t have a plan. I didn’t have the right tools. If I had a work bench that I could raise and lower I could put the stone on the work bench right over where it was supposed to be and I could have fed the tubing through and then removed the workbench and put the stone down, but I didn’t have that, I didn’t have the right tools to do the job.
Our goal here on the 60 Second Sales Show and at DaveLorenzo.com is to provide you with the right tools to get the job done and also to give you a plan. Our system gives you a plan for selling. That’s what we’re doing here for you today and every week on the 60 Second Sales Show, every day with a new article at DaveLorenzo.com and three, four, five times a week on our video section also at DaveLorenzo.com. Thank you for joining us, and at this point I want to welcome in a guy who’s got a plan for everything. He’s someone I’ve known, well, I’ve known him for well over 25 years. I was trying to think about it as I was coming home from the gym today, I think it may even be over 30 years that I know him. He is the master of relationship based sales. He’s one of the best at it, and so that we can have an impartial third party introduce him, I’d like to bring Nancy in to introduce my good friend Pat Murphy, who’s our guest today. Nancy, why don’t you introduce us all to Pat, please?
Yes, Patrick Murphy is a senior director of business development for Heartland Payment Systems. He has been at Heartland for 16 years, starting as a relationship manager and working his way up through the sales organization to this role. A role that was created three years ago to help develop strong referral partners for Heartland Sales Team in the northeast, mid Atlantic, and Great Lake states. Overall, Pat has 20 years of experience in this electronic payments industry in addition to several years as a manager with Marriott Hotels. Pat lives in North Conway, New Hampshire, with his wife Kelly and seven children. He plays hockey, makes attempts to be a competitive runner and is involved with many community organizations in his local area.
Welcome, Pat, to the show. Thank you very much for joining us. The one question that is going through everybody’s mind right now, you know what it is, seven kids! How the hell do you and Kelly do it?
You know, you just do it, it’s just like sales, Dave, you just find a way to get it done. You had an interesting comment a couple of minutes ago about not having any value or not having any use for a five year old at your house. I think the biggest question is, what value does a fountain bring to your yard?
Ha-ha! Fair point, fair point. At this point I will honestly tell you, there is absolutely no value to have … Maybe if you drink a little bit of water and you want to go to the bathroom before you get in the car, you stand for five minutes and look at the fountain and that makes you have to go. Of course, you know I was only being playful. My five year old brings immeasurable joy because she has a very dry sharp wit, I believe much like her father, and she’s also extremely beautiful just like her mother, so we have lots of use for a five year old. One of the best uses for a five year old is when you leave something upstairs and you’re comfortable on the couch, because they’ll go up and get anything you want. All right, so, Pat, give us … What I like to do here is I like to tell … Obviously you know I like to tell stories, so give us your greatest sales triumph story. Give me a great sales victory story.
I think my greatest sales victory was when I was promoted to division manager here at Heartland Payment Systems. The division manager role is a regional sales leadership role. I oversaw Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and led a team of about 20 sales reps. I got into sales, I started at Heartland with very minimal sales experience and I was hoping to just meet my own goals as a sales rep and have a good living and live a great life as you like to say. As I got into it more I was thinking about this role, but just did not think that sales manager was in my DNA, but I think my management training from my career at Marriott definitely prepared me for it. I was promoted to that role about ten years ago and have had one of the top performing teams in the country and moved on to greater career advancements since then. I think that was one of my most significant sales victories.
Okay, terrific, thanks. Tell me a little bit about the qualities you find in great sales professionals. Because you’ve hired a ton of salespeople and now you advise your folks on how to hire salespeople. What are some of the qualities you look for in outstanding sales professionals?
Our role is an outside salesperson, so everybody works in pretty much the communities that they live in, so somebody that’s definitely self starter and somebody that can work with very minimal face to face supervision is one thing, but I think one of the key qualities is just resilience. Obviously, a sales role of any type has a lot of rejection, a lot of obstacles, and our industry is no exception. The electronics payment industry is constantly evolving and constantly changing and there can be a lot of frustration in sales and a lot of obstacles get in your way and it’s easy to get discouraged, but people have that resilience of finding a way to get it done despite all the many obstacles that get in the way, are truly the ones that succeed.
Okay, now tell me about resilience and the way that you teach people to sell at Heartland. You’re taking a unique approach now in your company, because your company is (you can correct me if I’m wrong), your company is 100% commission based sales, is that right?
Your folks, from the time they hit the ground running, if they don’t sell, they don’t eat, it’s the true eat what you kill model. You’re taking a bit of a different approach, contrast for us the approach that you were taught when you first got to Heartland and now the approach that you’re taking and then the culture that you’re trying to create in your role at Heartland.
Sure. We’ve got very detailed methodologies on how to set an appointment with a potential customer and how to run an appointment. For years we really pushed heavily on prospecting, cold calling, knocking on doors, all those traditional types of sales methodologies. Really, in order to grow our company and give our sales reps the opportunity to have a more sustainable career over the long term, we’ve really turned the corner over the last three years and have also started promoting and training methodologies when it comes to developing partnerships and referral partners, and we’ve found that our top performers, when we look at where their deals are coming from, out of our top performing reps at least 35% of their production comes from referral partners.
These are what we call ‘coded partners’, where they are a signed affiliate with us, but they could have other partners as well, like in a handshake agreement, that they may refer business back and forth from each other, that they get deals from as well. Our top performers are the ones that get to the top by using referral partners that refer them business on a regular basis. They know that during the course of the day there’s only so many hours in the day to knock on doors and make prospecting calls and such, and the only way to grow, and what sales rep doesn’t want to grow? The only way to grow is by developing partners that can bring them business.
I look at this in a couple of different ways. I look at the greatest sales people, like the Zig Ziglar type salespeople, the Tom Hopkins type salespeople, are people who are just … David Sandler used to tell a story. For those of you who don’t know, David Sandler is one of the world famous sales gurus. He’s a sales trainer. He used to tell a story about how he used to drive to downtown Baltimore where he lived when he was a sales rep. He used to park his car in the parking lot, it was an open air parking lot, before the parking lot opened so the guy wouldn’t be there to take the money, and then he would go knock on doors and sell, people would pay him in cash, and if he didn’t sell anything he wouldn’t have enough money to get his car out of the parking lot.
That’s a quality that for years I always look for that quality in the best salespeople. I know you guys at Heartland would think that that type of quality, a hungry person, is a great salesperson. How do you teach that person, the outside cat, the alley cat if you will. How do you domesticate that person? How do you make them an inside cat, bring them inside and teach them, “Hey listen, I still want you to kick in those doors, but I want you to kick in the door to develop a relationship.” What is that process like, teaching those people? How do you teach them to become that relationship oriented person?
It’s funny, just going back to your previous comment though, Dave, about David Sandler. I read that same story in his book. He’s got a great book, You Can’t Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar. I remember reading that story about the parking lot in Baltimore which was excellent. Really when it comes to training the sales team, the best way to change people’s habits is by showing them how the top performers do it. Our sales team, and I’m sure sales industry in general, when they see how the top performers do it, that’s generally what they want to emulate. The results speak for themselves. As I mentioned before, at least 37% of the production from our top performing sales reps comes from partners, but also our company statistics show us that the average deal on a customer sourced to us through a partner is worth 42% more than one that is self sourced.
Wow, that’s huge.
Right. Also, Dave, retention is higher. The customers that come to us sourced through partners stay with us on average 41% longer than those that are sourced on our own. The statistics and the results really show for it and when they see that, then that’s what motivates them to change their habits.
When you refer to your partners, our folks who listen may know them as evangelists, people who don’t use your services directly, but refer you all the time. When we talk about partners for you at Heartland you’re talking about banks and CPAs, right?
Right. Banks, CPAs, insurance agents, technology partners such as the point of sale companies that sell and install and service the software that processes the credit card transactions or handles the payroll time and attendance software. Also, just any type of company or even an individual that works with the same type of customers as us, that’s a good cultural fifth that we can refer business back and forth in the community to each other. Those are all types of partners that we work with.
Okay, so how do you teach a salesperson who’s used to the instant gratification of closing a deal, how do you teach them, what’s the method they use to develop these relationships? Here I am, I’m Dave Lorenzo, it’s my first day at Heartland and I’m meeting with Pat Murphy the relationship guru, the partnership guru at Heartland Payment Systems. What do you tell me? What’s the first thing I need to do to go out and develop a relationship with a banker?
The first thing is, is just to find the banker, to find the type of person that is going to be the type of person that will refer business to us on a regular basis. A lot of times our sales team comes to me and thinks they need to go to the president of a bank or a CFO or CEO, someone higher up, but it’s really the people that are, what I call, on our level. The people just like us that wake up each day thinking, “How do I find new customers and how do I keep my existing customers happy?” Those are the type of people that we want to connect with. That could be branch managers, it could be commercial lenders, business development officers, cash managers, those are the type of people that we have the best relationships at the bank.
Where we usually tell our reps to start with is by asking their own customers. When we sign up a new customer we have to ask them for a voided check so we have their banking information so we know where to transfer their money to. A good question to ask at that point is just ask them, say, “Hey, I was just wondering, who is it that you work with at that bank, and are you happy with them? The reason why I’m asking is that from time to time customers ask us for a recommendation on a banker and if you’re happy who you work with, I’d like to meet them so I could introduce myself to them and learn a little bit more about their business.” It’s a good ice breaking question to get us to the right person, because if the customer’s happy with that person at the bank, usually that means that person at the bank is doing a good job and would be a good person for us to network with.
Okay, so I get it, I get to the right person in the bank, and Heartland has a couple of great solutions that a banker can help me sell, they can help me with card processing which is credit card processing, they can help me with payroll solutions. I get to the right person at the bank. How do I get them to give me some business, Pat?
Well, the best way is to lead with what’s most important to them personally. Obviously, I just mentioned, one of their greatest concerns is, “How do I get more business at my bank?” A lot of other vendors to the bank lead with their products and their services and are trying to get business from them, so we teach our sales team to not lead with our distinctions, which are great, but lead with what’s most important to the banker, and that is, how do they get more business. When we talk to that customer and they give us the name of, let’s say, their branch manager, I’d recommend that our sales team goes to that bank in person just to show that they’re hands on, they’re local, they’re professional, the person at the bank can see them for themselves and shake their hand and see that they’re a real person in the local community.
I’d introduce them very sincerely and upfront with what they’re looking for. Usually goes something like this, “Hi, my name is Pat Murphy, I work with Heartland Payment Systems. We’ve got several customers in common here in the local area, and from what they tell me, you folks do a great job. We’re actually looking for a local bank in the area to recommend to our customers and I’d like to learn a little bit more about you and what you do here at the bank so we can hopefully refer some business to you.” You’re leading with bringing them business and what hard working bank manager is going to say no to that? When we approach potential bank partners one of the biggest objections that comes up is, “Hey, we’re all set, we’re under contract, we’re happy with who we’re with.” If you’re leading with that approach that I just talked about, to bring them business, then that objection can’t come up, I can’t imagine any objections that would come up.
No, that’s amazing. I love that approach, it’s fantastic. Do you find that the sales folks are skeptical because that’s going to take a little bit longer?
It is, but we’re clear with them too, the rewards of working with a strong partner such as a bank are great, because banks have a great deal of influence over the business decisions of their customers. When we get a referral from a banker it is usually a slam dunk deal that we can close on the first appointment and it generally holds higher margin, what we call, on each deal, rather than maybe more of a tighter deal that we may get through cold calling. If they have the patience and I guess, the resilience, again, to cultivate that relationship, and it may take a year to do so, they may get some referrals along the way, but the time it takes to build up their trust and maybe write out any contract that they might be in, the rewards are usually great and we do have excellent results from our bank partners and they’re really going once they come on board with us.
You present the results to the sales folks and you say, “Listen, you can work five banks over the course of a month and those five banks, a year from now, will make up probably 90% of your business, because they’re each going to give you, in a year’s time they’re each going to give you a half dozen to a dozen referrals each month. While you’re out there looking for five more banks you’re getting that business coming in and you’re just maintaining one relationship to get those additional sales opportunities.
Right, we look at it, particularly with a bank, there are many referral sources within the bank, if you look at a typical bank branch, and I know bank branches are kind of scaled back a little lately, but typical branch there’s probably eight customer facing employees at that bank branch. We always say, if you want to get to the point where you know who all the customer facing employees are and they know who you are and they know how you can help their customers, then we’ve got a pretty good referral source right there. All those customer-facing employees come into contact with customers in one way or another, whether it’s just accepting their cash deposits, whether it’s renegotiating their loan. One way or another they could potentially find some pain points that that customer is having, that they could get us in there to resolve. Our goal is a minimum of one deal per bank branch, but if you’re working it very heavily, there’s a lot of potential referral sources within that branch.
Wow, I love leading with giving the bank business first in order to get referrals from them. I think that’s a fantastic opportunity, it’s a key learning element for those of you out there who could benefit, who are in business to business and could benefit from referrals from bankers. You get in, you meet the right person at the bank and then you say to the bank, “Hey, Mr. Banker, I’ve got half a dozen, I’ve got 20 people I want to introduce you to all of them, can give you business. Who do you think would be most valuable to you first?” The banker picks a person, you take them out to lunch or you go for coffee or you bring the banker to that guy’s office or bring the client to the banker, they start doing business, you immediately become a valuable person the banker. What’s he going to want to do? He’s going to want to give business back to you. That is a fantastic nugget, it’s a great takeaway and it’s an awesome way for us to conclude this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show.
Pat, if our listeners want to reach out to you, because they want to work for Heartland and make a ton of money and be so successful they can go out and have seven, eight, nine kids if they want, how can they get a hold of you? What’s the best way for our listeners to reach out to you if they want to?
Well, they could obviously, for information about our company, go to our website which is HeartlandPaymentSystems.com. They could also reach me, I’m on LinkedIn and Facebook, but my email address is [email protected] My direct phone number is area code 603 387-3493.
Give us the email one more time, please.
Patrick P-A-T-R-I-C-K and a dot, M-U-R-P-H-Y @e, and a hyphen, hps.com.
Fantastic, Pat, thank you so much for being a guest on our show today. You provided us with immeasurable value and I am grateful as always for your friendship all these years and for joining us. Thank you to the wonderful and talented Nancy Pop for being the best producer on the planet. Thanks to all of you for listening. Until next time, I’m hoping you make a great living and live a great life.
Stop the Anger!
There is a great deal of anger in the air about the results of the United States Presidential Election last week. The results aside – people are getting angry at their friends over an opinion about politics. This has to stop.
This show is my brief commentary on the subject. And I don’t pass judgment on anyone.
Listen to the big mistake I almost made before coming to my senses.
Stop The Anger: Transcript
Hey there everyone, it’s Dave Lorenzo and this week we’re doing something very different. We’re doing something very different because we are now in very different times. I’m recording this show two hours before it is scheduled to be released on iTunes. I’m recording it at 10:00 AM on Monday November 14th. Usually we record the show a week in advance. Usually I work on next week’s show this week. I did have a show all lined up ready to go today. I recorded it on Wednesday. Nancy Pop, my producer was with me on the show. We had our usual engineer edit it, and it’s loaded, and it’s ready to go right now. I’m not happy with that show, and I’m not going to let that show air. I’m taking it down.
I’m going to tell you the reason why. Last week … I record the show every week on a Wednesday, and last week I went to record the show on Wednesday and I couldn’t do it. I was just off my game. The reason I was off my game is it was the day after the presidential election. I was up all night. I hadn’t slept, we record the show at 9:30 in the morning, and I sat down to record it and I was exhausted. My energy level wasn’t there, I couldn’t do it. I reached out to Nancy and we rescheduled for the next day. I sat down to record the show on Thursday, and the show was reflective of how I felt at the time. I think it was an angry show, it was a show full of negative emotion. Even the title of the show, while controversial and exciting, was just full of energy that I did not want to extend to you.
Today it’s a few days later. It’s not a full week, it’s four days after that moment. It is now almost a full week since the presidential election in the United States, in which Donald Trump was elected president. I don’t want to spread that hate, and I’m not going to. My politics is obvious, those of you who know me know my politics. You know how I feel about things, you know which way I lean. I try to understand everyone’s point of view. The simple fact of the matter is we now have a president of the United States who has been duly elected. The election was fair, the election was done by the rules. There’s no controversy surrounding the specifics, the mechanics of the electoral process that put Donald Trump in the position of being president-elect of the United States. We have a peaceful transition of power here in the US. That is a demonstration of our democracy.
Now, I did not vote for Donald Trump. Those of you listening, some of you may have voted for him, and that’s great. I salute you for getting out and voting, I salute you for the victory of your candidate. The people I’ve talked to who voted for Donald Trump, it makes sense to me. I understand why those folks voted for him. That’s fine. I don’t believe that your vote for a candidate is something that makes you, that puts you in a specific class. If you voted for Hillary Clinton, I don’t think that makes you someone who is a socialist who wants 80% tax, and wants everything to be free for everyone. That’s not my feeling about people who voted for Hillary Clinton.
Just like if you voted for Donald Trump, I don’t think you agree necessarily, with everything that has been attributed to Donald Trump. I didn’t say everything Donald Trump said, I said everything that’s been attributed to Donald Trump. I’m not passing judgment on anyone for anything. What I am going to do moving forward is I’m going to respect the office of the president of the United Sates. I’m going to give Donald Trump the chance to be successful. I’m going to judge him based upon his actions in office. If he does things I don’t like, I’m going to say that. if he does things that are good, i’m going to say that too.
What we can all do if we want to have an impact is work on the world around us. I have an opportunity to influence a lot of people with this show, with the show I do on Facebook, with the videos I produce, with the content I create, and write, and post on my website. I want to be helpful. I want to help people make a great living, and live a great life. That’s not just a tagline, it’s my mission. It’s what I do. I’m going to volunteer locally. My wife and I are going to volunteer locally to help people. I’m going to become active in causes I believe in, even more active than I am today. I’m going to try and help make the world a better place from this little circle three feet around me now, all the way out as far as it can extend. That’s what I can do.
Being angry, being mad, and criticizing people, that’s not helpful. It’s not going to help me feel any better about losing the election, my candidate losing the election. It’s not going to help me feel any better about the way things move forward. In reality, I can impact the world around me, and you can impact the world around you. To the extent that our two world’s come together, hopefully we can influence on another in a positive way. My friends, the original show that I was going to do today is about how to get along with people who disagree with your opinion. When I listen to it, I found myself going to a place that was unacceptable to me. My anger was transparent. We’re coming up on a time of year, we’re two weeks away from thanksgiving, and we’re six weeks away from the holiday season. That’s not the time to be angry with people, it’s not the time for vitriol, it’s the time to come together and be thankful for what we have. It’s the time to reach out to others, and help others.
Today our podcast, the message from our podcast is go out, and help someone today. Instead of criticizing that person you know who voted a way that you didn’t on Facebook, go out and help that person. Reach out to that person, and offer to do something for them. If you voted right, left, or center, find somebody who voted opposite of you and reach out to them. Understand their point of view, and do something, do a random act of kindness for that person. Buy them a candy bar, send them flowers, send a case of beer over to their house, and don’t sign it. Just send it over. You know why? It will make you feel better about you. Once you feel better about yourself, you can feel better about everything else in the world around you.
Until next week when we’re back with another great hard hitting sales focused show, I’m Dave Lorenzo. I hope you go out today and make a great living, and live a great life.
Your body of work helps reinforce your expertise. If you want to be perceived as an expert, you must have a substantial body of work behind you to support you.
This podcast is a clinic on developing a body of work to help position you as an expert.
Here is the transcript of this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show:
Welcome to another edition of the Sixty Second Sales Show. I’m your Host, Dave Lorenzo. Today we’ve got a great topic for you. It is in response to a question, and our topic today, and the title of today’s show is How To Create a Body of Work. Now I know that sounds a little, well, it should sound intriguing to you, and we’re going to get into why it should be intriguing to you as someone who sells things to people. Either you’re a business owner or a sales professional and you need to create a body of work. We’ll talk about that in just a moment. I want to welcome back in our fantastic Producer, Nancy Pop. Hi, Nancy. How are you today?
Hey, Dave. I’m good.
Nancy, in case you don’t know, folks, she is a big supporter of women’s rights and right now she is producing the show, Supporting Women’s Education in Afghanistan, and wearing a fine burka. Nancy, why don’t you explain to the folks out there why you choose to dress in traditional Afghani wear? Actually just, you could just tell them why I’m actually saying this. This is kind of a joke. Nancy, fill people in on what the joke is.
It’s so funny. Last week when we were recording our podcast, when we finished, David goes, “Oh, your sound. It sounds so good today. What are you doing differently? I had a blanket wrapped around me and my computer, so that none of the sound escaped, and you made a joke where you’re like, “Oh, the burka must look really beautiful on you.”
Nancy is in support of women’s rights in Afghanistan. She’s going to wear, she’s going to continue to wear this burka for the rest of the month while record the podcast, so Nancy, I’m glad that you’re such an activist, and we all support the rights of women in traditionally oppressed Muslim countries, so thank you for doing that.
All right, so today we have a great question that is the subject of our show, so Nancy, why don’t you go ahead and read the question. Tell us who it’s from and what it’s about.
Yes, so today’s question is from Pete Markum. He’s from Bellevue, Washington, and he asks, “Dave, I sell generators to businesses and home owners. I compete with Costco, Home Depot, and every hardware, and commercial supply store. How do I break through the noise and get people to pay me 20% more for something they can just about, they can get just about anywhere?”
All right. Great question, Pete. Thank you, so today’s topic is How To Create a Body of Work, and this goes right to Pete’s question, so here’s what you need to do, Pete. You have to become the most renowned expert on generators in the world. You have to be the guy people go to when they’re trying to buy a generator. Now I live in South Florida, and living in South Florida, I know a thing or two about generators and generator sales, so I’m so glad you asked this question.
I can really help you with this, but if you’re out there right now and you sell medical supplies, or you’re out there right now and you’re a pharmaceutical rep, or you’re a realtor, or a CPA, or a lawyer, or you sell anything, this is going to help you. Our focus with the Sixty Second Sales System is developing lifetime value and the way to do that is to get people to seek you out first. I’m going to say that again. I hate cold calling. This is a no cold call system. I think cold calling is a waste of time. It’s annoying. People can’t stand you and I think anybody that advocates cold calling is doing you a disservice.
It is so much better for you to go out there and introduce yourself to the world as an expert, and have people beat down your door to come and get what you have to offer, which is the information. The valuable information. What you’re going to hear time and time again from these sales gurus is, “You got to kick down every door. You got to go out there and pound on doors. Pound on a hundred doors. You got one inquiry, they’re going to say yes, and that makes it all worthwhile.” No. That doesn’t make it all worthwhile. That makes you tired. That makes you frustrated. That makes you annoyed and that’s a terrible way to go through life. Don’t spend your time cold calling. Don’t listen to those people who tell you that, “Cold calling is just a fact of life.”
There’s an expression that Zig Ziglar used to use all the time. He used to say, “It’s not cold calling. It’s warm approaching.” That’s just crap. I mean, I love Zig and I love his stuff, and you should go out and buy as much Zig Ziglar stuff as you can get your hands on, but cold calling is over. There is so many ways that people have now to get information. There are so many ways you can put yourself out there as an expert, that to be sought out, that you should never ever cold call again. You become an expert first and foremost by creating a body of work. What do I mean by that?
All right, so we’re going to take Pete and his question, so Pete, here’s what you’re going to do. You sell generators, and as you said, “Generators are available at Costco, in Sam’s Club, in Home Depot. You can get a generator anywhere,” and there’s places online you can buy generators. Pete, I don’t know, maybe you own an online generator company, or I’m just assuming since you said you sold to corporate, and you sold to home owners, that you’re out there going out and trying to sell generators one at a time. That’s fine.
Here’s what I want you to do. First thing I want you to do is I want you to go and I want you to set up a blog. Just go to wordpress.com, or wordpress.org, whatever the site is. Google WordPress. Set up a WordPress blog and I want you to start writing articles about selecting generators. Write articles about generators all day long. Well, every day write one article. The goal for you is to become the expert on generators and the way to do that is by publishing great information. By talking about generators all day long. By educating people on how to buy a generator. By educating people on energy efficiency regarding generators. By educating people on safe use of generators during a storm. By educating people. Educating is the main word. You go out and you start producing great content on generator selection, on educating people about generators, and people will begin to seek you out. Now writing is not enough. You have to do other things, so I’m going to break it down for you into a specific thought leadership system.
You’re going to start with the written word. The reason that I have you start with writing articles and posting them on a blog is because the way you write is the way you think. I want you to organize your thoughts and here’s how you do that. I want you to create eight main themes. Eight main themes, so theme number one may be generators and safety. Theme number two may be generators and energy efficiency. Theme number three, how to select a generator. Theme number four is use of generators during business, use of generators for business purposes. You get the idea. Now I have eight themes in my business. I’ve done this for years, and the eight themes that I’m using in sales are, I’ll give them to you so that you can see.
I’ll be completely transparent. Number one, create expert status. In order to draw people to you, that’s what we’re talking about today, you got to create expert status. Number two, lead with education. “We offer great education content.” Number three, offer value first, so if you are a salesperson, I want you to offer value first. These are all themes that I use in my writing. Number four, think lifetime relationship value. Think about lifetime relationships. Number five, stay in touch. Number six, options close deals. Number seven, mindset matters, and number eight, your attitude about money is important to your sales.
Those are the eight themes that I have, and what I do in my writing is I create a content calendar, and I write five different topics down about each of these eight themes, so that will give me forty articles. Five topics, eight themes, five topics per theme, forty articles. That’s two months of articles that I can post on my blog, but that’s not, I don’t stop there when it comes to writing to create thought leadership. By the way, thought leadership is another name for expert status.
We’re creating expert status, so Pete, if you do this, you will become the premier expert in generators, the world over. Okay. You’ve got eight themes. You’ve got five topics per theme. You write an article for each topic. You schedule them to go out each day on your blog. That’s not all you do with them. You take each article and you send it out one week at a time in a weekly email newsletter. Weekly email newsletter, and that newsletter goes to everyone in your database. Now you’re thinking, “Dave, what’s a database? We’ve never talked about a database.” You know at least 250 people. Pete, I’m sure you know more than that, because you’ve been in business for a while. You know at least 250 people. All those people go on a list. They get an email from you every day, every week, and that email educates them on generators and the use of generators, so you, in their mind, are the expert on generators, because they’re getting content from you each week on generators.
The next you thing you do is once a month, you send out a print newsletter. You take four of your articles, you put them all together, and you go to a printer, local print shop. You have those newsletters printed up. You put an offer in there, what generator you’re running on special now, and you send it out to your top 100 clients. Your top 200 clients. However many you can afford to send them to. This print newsletter reinforces what they’ve read online. Sometimes it’s a different audience. In fact, most of the time, different audience. Print, email, newsletter. The next thing I want you to do is I want you to create some sort of a video tutorial on how to buy a generator. How to use a generator.
Your eight themes, I want you to do five different topics on video. Videos are short, less than a couple minutes long, and you’re covering videos on generators. How to start them, how to change the oil, how to put in spark plugs, all that stuff. All this content is going on your website, so Pete, even if you’re an independent sales professional, you’re creating your own blog, you work for another company, or you rep fifty different generator lines. I want you to be the generator expert, so what you’re doing is you’re putting all this information out there, and then everyone who knows you now, knows you as the generator expert.
Then I want you to do events, and I want you to do an event where you invite everybody in town who’s a construction foreperson. I want you to invite everyone in town who’s a trades person. I want you to invite everyone in town who owns a small business to come to an event you do once a quarter, and at this event, you’re going to either offer a breakfast, or a lunch, or maybe you offer a couple of drinks, and you do a BBQ, or you have some light food, and you educate people on what’s going on in the community, the safe use of power. Maybe you have a guest speaker come from the local utility company and then you have four or five different generator models there, and you tell people why it’s important that every home should have a generator, and how business people can use the new model of generator more efficiently than the old model.
What you’re doing is you’re doing an event with a guest speaker that will draw them in, and by the way, local politicians are great guest speakers. I’ve done events with people where I speak on teaching people to sell and then you sell generators. You talk about generators for five minutes after I speak, people do that all the time. You can coordinate with other people who have a topic that is interesting to draw people in. You do this once or twice a year. I have some clients who do it once a quarter, and people will come, and you’ll be known as the Generator Guy. This makes you an expert. Your content makes you an expert. People will flock to you. All right.
I want you to use as many forms of media as you can. I love video. I love the written word. You know I love podcasts, because I’m doing a podcast now. You could do the Safe Energy Podcast, and you could talk about generators for two or three minutes, and then just interview other people for business purposes, that would draw people in, and your content would be, your content would be great, and people would say, “You know what? His content is great and he talks about these generators once a month. I need to buy one of them, because I need to keep my family, I need to keep power on when the storms come.”
The final point I’m going to make along these lines is you need to act like an expert. You need to act like an expert, so when you’re out there talking about your product or your service, I want you to tell people what to do, and not hedge. When somebody comes to you and they’re talking about buying a generator, what do you tell them? “Listen, you don’t need a 6,000 watt generator. You need a 10,000 watt generator.” “I would never buy this model, because it’s cheap. It’s made in China. It’s crap. I would buy this model, because it’s made here, in the United States.” “I would buy this model because it has a Honda engine, and Honda engines are the most reliable.”
Act like an expert. Tell people. You also have to be interesting. Keep generators interesting and entertaining. Find a way to spice them up a little bit. Make people interested in what you have to say. Talk about your clients who buy generators. Do you have a controversial client? “I sold a generator last week to an adult bookstore. Can you imagine? People need to go out and buy adult books when they don’t have power? Well, it makes sense, because what else are they going to do? They’re going to read adult books. They’re going to watch adult films. I got to keep the power on in the store.” That’s interesting. Be interesting. Make what you do interesting. Be a little controversial. You have to be controversial in order to keep things going, so look online, read some articles written by other people who are trying to sell generators, and attack them. Take them apart.
I just did this at the beginning of my podcast today for this business. I told you, “Cold calling sucks,” because I really believe cold calling sucks, and there are thousands of people out there trying to get you to cold call right now as a salesperson. I’m being controversial. You should do that, too, in your business. Then finally, don’t back off. When people challenge you, don’t back off. Make sure you can defend your position. Make sure it’s a logical defense, but don’t back off of it. That’s what experts do. Act like an expert. If we can do this with Pete for generators, you can do this in any business, and I’m not saying that to put Pete down, but as he said in his question, “Generators are a commodity.” You can get a generator anywhere, but Pete is going to be the Generator Expert. People are going to buy generators from him, because he knows what he’s talking about, and when he recommends a generator to you, he’s got your best interests at heart. That’s what people are going to believe about Pete, because he’s the Generator Expert.
Here’s your action item for this week. I want you to think about your business in a different way. I want you to think about yourself as an expert and I want you to present your business as an expert recommendation. Instead of going out there and selling what you’re selling because you were thrust into this role, create the expertise by establishing a body of work, and use that body of work to bolster your expert status. Then your expert status will not only attract people to you, but it also differentiates you from everyone else who does what you do. If you sell medical devices, if you sell pharmaceutical products, if you sell homes as a realtor, or a real estate agent, if you’re a CPA, if you’re a lawyer, you have to pick an area, seize upon it, create that expert status, build up your body of work, and people will be drawn to you magnetically.
My friends, this is so much better than cold calling. It works out so much better for you, because people come to you, and they’re predisposed to buying what you have to offer, because you’re no longer selling. You’re making an expert recommendation. I want to let you know about a couple of things and we discussed this topic actually today, and the first thing that I want to let you know about, starting yesterday, I started a, you’re listening to this now on Monday. In the beginning, on a Monday in the beginning of November, as of November 1, I started doing a Facebook Live show everyday on my Facebook page at 8:30 a.m. I talked a little bit about this topic. I covered it in just a little bit of detail.
I didn’t go into it nearly as much detail as here, and I talked about some different things on the Facebook show today, so head over to Facebook.com/thedavelorenzo. Facebook.com/thedavelorenzo. Make sure you click on that Like button, so that my daily show appears in your newsfeed. We’re doing the show from all different kinds of places. I’m on the road actually tomorrow, so when you listen to this, you’re going to go back, and you’re going to look, and you’re going to see me like in a car somewhere, or on the side of the road. I have to go see a client, so I’ll be on the road tomorrow, and you can watch where I do the show from.
All kinds of crazy things can happen. You can also ask me questions on the Facebook Live show, it’s interactive, so if you have a question, just pop it in there, and I’ll answer it while I’m on Facebook Live. That’s one of the new things I’m doing. Also on Twitter, I’m putting out some great information every day and I interact with people all the time on Twitter. You can find me at twitter.com/thedavelorenzo. If you’re sensing a theme there, you’re super smart, because just about all my social media is thedavelorenzo. Finally on Instagram, I do one minute videos all the time. The one minute videos cover a topic that’s interesting. I also post funny pictures of things I see all over the place. Cool stuff, interesting stuff, sometimes a little political stuff.
My Instagram handle is, of course, thedavelorenzo. All those social media outlets are available to you. We’re constantly exploring and experimenting with new stuff all the time. Everything we do, the central hub for information, is my website, and of course, my website is davelorenzo.com. That’s my name. Davelorenzo.com. Go there. Under Content is this podcast, of course, as well as articles over, as of today, over 140 articles, and the website just went live a couple of months ago, so we’ve got 140 articles up there. We’ve got videos. All kinds of videos. We got all kinds of stuff. Dancing bears, juggling clowns, barking dogs, you name it. We got it on the website. Good stuff. Great pictures of me. You can print them out and pin them up on your wall, if you want. Anyhow, thank you very much for listening, folks, and Pete, thank you so much for your question. It was a great question today. Nancy Pop, thank you for being the Best Producer in the World, and thank you for all you do for the Muslim community of women out there.
We will speak with all of you next week, right here on the Sixty Second Sales Show. Until then, bye bye.
Self-esteem is the most important aspect of sales. You are who you think you are!
If you want to grow your book of business you must think of yourself as the person you want to be.
You have two widely different sales years. In year one you close $1 million in new business and take home $200,000 in compensation. In year 2 you close $2 million in new business and take home $400,000.
Are you the $1 million producer or the $2 million producer?
Or are you a $10 million producer who is just getting warmed up?
You perception of yourself will determine how much you produce next year.
In this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show we focus on how you can improve your self-esteem and use it to grow your business.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
Hey, everyone. Welcome to another edition of The 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo and with me I have my partner in distributing fantastic information. I know you think I was going to say my partner in crime, but no crime will be committed here today. My partner in distributing fantastic information, Nancy Pop. Hi, Nancy. How are you?
Hi, Dave. I’m doing good. How about you?
I’m doing great, thanks. Today we’re going to kick off with a great question and it’s something that is so important. I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is. Nancy, read the question we got from my friend, Edwin, in Titusville and then we’ll talk a little bit about the concept that Edwin raises today.
Today’s question is from Edwin Allen from Titusville, Florida. He says, “Dave, I lost my best client a couple of weeks ago and I’m really down. How do I get my confidence back?”
This is probably the most important thing … The most important factor in business is your self-esteem. Think about that for a minute. When we think about business, we think about funding. We think about finances and how to have the money we need to get things done, but really that’s not the most important factor in business. The most important factor in business is the self-esteem of the leader. It’s the self-esteem of the sales pro who’s going out on the front lines everyday looking to make contact with people and introduce the value you provide to new people.
In life in general regardless of what you do, you can be a performer, you can be a professional athlete, you can be a performer on stage, you can be someone working in a factory on the assembly line, if you think you are the best person in your role, you will behave consistently with your thoughts. Nancy, has there ever been a time when you wound up having a serious setback and the next thing you knew, you were on top of the world. You went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Has that ever happen to you?
Oh, sure. It happens every week.If you don’t mind sharing with our audience, tell us a story about when that’s happened to you. Tell us first about one of the lows and then tell us about how you came back and one of the highs. Give us the story.
Sure. I have many stories of those instances, but I guess one that happened quite often was last year I was a full-time student and I had a full-time job and an internship. For me it was just the struggle of balancing everything. Anytime something bad happened even if it was the smallest thing, my confidence would completely plummet because I would just think to myself, “Why am I not Superwoman? Why can’t I do everything and do it perfectly?” I think it’s sometimes you expect so much from yourself that the smallest thing that lets you down, you’re just going to feel like total crap about yourself.
The point that you raised is a good one. When we talk about how to overcome setbacks or how to boost your self-esteem, we choose the view we have of ourselves. You choose to view yourself in any given moment as the person who achieved the highlight of your career or you can choose to view yourself as the person who just got absolutely crushed. I feel that it’s so valuable to share stories of setbacks and how you overcome them that … The reason that it’s valuable to share that is because for 2 reasons. Number 1, it’s just like why we go to the movies. People think we go to the movies to laugh and be entertained or to be thrilled or to engage in a story that keeps us riveted.
The real reason we go to the movies is to experience through the portrayal of other’s lives, to experience the emotions that other people experience and we want to see that other people have setbacks that are worst than ours. We want to see that other people have it worst than ours so we can feel better about ourselves. Now you may say to yourself, “Look, that’s a very cynical negative view of the world,” and that maybe true, but subconsciously we look at people who have setbacks and who overcome them and we say to ourselves, Number 1, “Wow, that was so much worst than what’s going on with me. I’m so glad I’m not there.” We also say, “Jeez, if that guy can overcome what just happened to him, I certainly can overcome this.”
Edwin, when you asked me this question, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give you the gift of sharing with you some … Just some crappy experiences that happened to me this past week so that you can understand that no matter what happens, people overcome much worst. Then I’m going to show you how you can overcome whatever situation you’re going through right now. Look, the bottom line is if you have a problem that writing a check can fix, you don’t really have a problem. I’m going to say it again. If you have a problem that writing a check can fix, you don’t really have a problem. Losing a client is not only not the end of the world, but it can encourage you to take massive action and get going to achieve success.
Real problems, real setbacks are things that require massive intervention beyond the scale of human capabilities. I don’t want to bring everybody down, but health issues for example. That’s a real problem. Losing a problem, that’s not a problem. Let me tell you a little bit about what my week was like and you’ll see I think how … I’ll highlight for you how you can use the positive self-esteem that you have to overcome just about anything. My week started off on Monday. There was a thing that’s been on my calendar forever. This Monday one of my clients, somebody who’s been a client of mine for probably … I guess if I had to look, it was 8 or 9 months. Someone who’s been a client for 8 or 9 months had asked me to circle Monday, this past Monday.
He was going to be in Florida. He wanted me to meet him for breakfast. He’s from the West Coast and we speak every week. He’s a weekly consulting client. I work with him on different aspects of his business. He’s an entrepreneur. I work with him on different aspects of his business focusing on growing and improving his business. The work we’ve done together has produced significant results for him. I won’t characterize them as great. If it were my business, I would say the results are great. I would say they were fantastic, but people look at things differently. The results, the value that I’ve provided to him was significant and he’d be the first person to admit this. Sunday night comes, he texts me, sends me the address of where I’m to meet him.
I was led to believe the address was right around the corner from me. It turns out it was about an hour away. He was at a Buddhist Retreat Center which is in the middle of the Florida Everglades. Now this studio where I’m recording this, my home and my studio is right off the back of my home. My home and my studio is on the border of the Everglades. It was natural for me to think this would be close by. Nevertheless, I committed to going, so I decided to go. I drive an hour into the middle of the Everglades to meet this gentlemen. I come to the Buddhist Retreat Center. I park. We meet. We’re sitting having breakfast and talking. He’s talking about all the good things that are going on in his life and in his business.
He thanks me profusely and then he drops the hammer on me. He says to me that he’s got some things in his business that he needs to address and he’s bringing in a consultant, a different consultant, to address them. He gives me these list of things that he and I have never discussed and we speak once a week by the way. He and I have never discussed. He’s never raised them. I would have never thought to ask about them because I didn’t know that these things we’re going on. He says to me, “I’m using your idea,” the idea that I gave him, “to kick this whole thing off.” I look at him and I’m astonished. He says, “We’re going to have to discontinue our work so I can pay for this other consultant.” I said to him, “Why would you think to bring in another consultant to address the issues that you know I can handle?
I gave you the idea that kicked this off. Why would think to bring in another consultant?” He said to me, “I was reading this book and the author of this book … What she said really resonated with me. Her fees are much more than yours,” which also made me feel great. He’s bringing in somebody who cost a lot more than me. “I feel like she’s going to be able to fix what’s wrong with me.” Set aside how I responded to this gentlemen in this instance, bottom line is I drove the hour back from the Buddhist Retreat Center to my office knowing that this client, after our termination period, that this client was going to go away, that I’m not going to have this client anymore. That was on Monday. Yesterday which was Tuesday … We’re recording this on a Wednesday.
Yesterday which is Tuesday, I’m conducting a meeting that I do that I hold for lawyers once a month. It’s a group I run for lawyers in South Florida once a month. It’s one of the only ways I work with lawyers anymore, but it’s a powerful group of successful attorneys. We’re going around the room talking about things that are working. One of my clients makes a presentation in the meeting talking about how she’s raised her fees as a result of some of the things that I’ve taught her and her business has improved immeasurably. Then she goes on to say that she’s working with another consultant on a specific issue and that other consultant has produced fantastic results for her and she tells people what she’s paying the other consultant.
She’s paying the other consultant … You guessed it. More than she’s paying me. That’s Tuesday. Okay? Monday. Tuesday. Two hits which would have thrust most people into the valley of depression. They would have said to themselves, “What the hell am I doing wrong? I cannot believe my clients are paying other people more than they’re paying me. I am obviously not demonstrating my value. This is ridiculous.” All right. Last night, Tuesday night, those of you who listen regularly know that my family, we are baseball fanatics. My soon to be 8 year old son plays on 2 baseball teams. He’s playing on 2 baseball teams this fall. Year round he plays baseball. He plays baseball 6 days a week. He’s a baseball nut.
We watch baseball all the time. Even on winter we watch games that were played last year. We’re fanatics for baseball. Last night my son’s baseball team plays. They’re undefeated this season. They only lost 1 game in the summer season. It’s the fall season. They’re undefeated so far. They are 7-0 and 1. They actually have a tie. They ran out of time in 1 game and they ended up tying the other team. They’re playing a team that’s 5 and 1. The teams meet and they’re down going into the last inning. They’re the visiting team. Top of the sixth inning they’re down by 5 runs. They played probably one of their worst games of the year. Defensive they’re all over the place. They’re down by 5 runs.
This team hits like crazy and they’re just not hitting really well in this game. At the 8 and under level in the league that they play in, the sixth inning is what they call an open inning. There’s usually a runs limit per inning, but in the sixth inning you can score as many runs as possible. In the sixth inning, my son’s team gets up and something unbelievable happens. Their bats woke up and they scored 18 runs in the sixth inning. 18 runs in the sixth inning. They put the team away and they won the game. Their character was such they were able to come back in spite of being down the entire game. These 3 stories all strung together. We talk about things that could be setbacks. I came home from that game last night.
We’re all fired up. We’re excited. Everybody goes to bed. We’re all fired up. We’re excited. Everybody goes to bed. It’s 11:00. I put on the television in the background. I pour myself a glass of wine and I’m just reviewing what’s going on in my business to get ready for today and I noticed something unusual. I looked at the proposals that I’ve written actually just this week alone based on the activity that I’ve conducted over the last couple of months. You know what? I have more proposals outstanding. I’m due to get more answers on proposals by the end of this week than I’ve ever had in my history. We’re recording this show … Right now it is the end of October. It’s October 26, Wednesday, October 26 when we’re recording this. My proposals for 2017 …
If all of the proposals I have outstanding this week alone come through, my 2017 revenue will be close to double the revenue I did in 2016. Just the proposals that I’ve written and I have outstanding this week alone. I finished my glass of wine last night. I go up to get into bed and my wife is sitting there watching the news. I mute the TV for a second and I say, “You know what? You and I spent so much time in the last couple of days talking about ridiculously bad things that have happened. I just looked at what’s going on in the business,” in our business because it is our business and I showed her the numbers. She said, “Oh, my goodness.” She said, “This could be your best week ever.” I said, “You’re 100% right.”
Edwin and everybody else who’s listening, you’re perspective is so important. Human nature leads us to focus on the things that are happening in our lives that are negative. The reason we do that is simply because of how we’re wired. You need to rewire your brain and focus on the things that are going on that are positive. Focus on the things that are going well. You can choose who you want to be in your mind. The beauty of the human mind is it cannot tell the difference between reality and your perception. You can choose to believe that you are the person who has achieved the greatest result you’ve ever achieved in your business. When I was the managing shareholder of The Gallup Organization, I closed a deal which was the biggest deal in the history of the firm at the time.
It was a $20 million consulting deal. I choose to believe that I’m the guy that closed the $20 million deal. I’m not the guy that drove out into the middle of a swamp and got fired by a client at a Buddhist Monastery. That’s not me. That happened and it’s hysterical. It’s absolutely hysterical that it happened and I will use that story forever because I think it’s a terrific story. I’m not that guy. That’s one incident that happened to me. I’m the $20 million guy. That’s what I choose to believe. When I look back on Friday at this week, I’m going to look back and I’m going to look at the proposals that I have outstanding. Even if only 1 or 2 of them come through, it was a fantastic week. When Nick, my son, looks at the game he played last night, he doesn’t look at the 5 innings his team was getting crushed.
He looks at the one inning when they scored all those runs. That’s what he looks at. That’s who he chooses to believe he is. Here’s some things you can do. Here’s some things you can do to boost your self-esteem because what you put out to the universe and this is going to sound all foo foo, hokey, but it’s true. What you choose to put out to the universe comes back to you. People perceive you the way you present yourself to the world. This is not some mystical holistic hocus pocus. I’m not making fun of you holistic mystical people. Believe anything you want to believe. This is fact. If you approach people with confidence, if you approach people like you’re the $20 million person, they will believe you are the $20 million person.
If you approach people like you’re the sad sack loser who can’t get a deal done, who got fired in a Buddhist Monastery, who’s client stood up in front of everyone else and told everyone else that she was paying a consultant more than she’s paying you, if you choose to believe you’re that person, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You will be that loser. Choose to believe the good things and you will put out to the world that you are that best person in your industry and people accept you at your own appraisal. Here’s what I want you to do to shift your mindset. I want you to do these 5 things. These 5 things. Number 1, list all the positives that have happened to you during the course of the day. List all the positives that have happened to you during the course of the day and review them at the end of the day before you go to sleep.
If you can’t think of all the positives, list 2 or 3 and focus on those positives. Let those be the last thing you think of before you put your head on the pillow at night because I want that to be the last memory you have before you go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, take that same list which should be on our nightstand next to your bed and look at that list first thing in the morning. These are the great things that happened to me yesterday. Then when the negative comes in, just push it out. Say, “I don’t want to think about that. I want to think about these positive things.” Number 2, at dinnertime, eliminate all the negative talk. Only talk about good things that happened during the day at dinner. In our house we go around the table and we talk about the best thing that happened to you today.
We talk about the best thing that happened. We start off by talking about the funniest thing that happened. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? It could be something that happened to you personally. It could be something that you saw, something that you observed. Then we talk about the best thing that happened to you today. We do that because we want to focus on the positives. Then, because I have 2 little kids, my wife and I pick out a couple of goods things we caught the kids doing during the course of the day and we talk about a couple of the good things we caught the kids doing to reinforce the positive behavior. Dinnertime conversation is so important.
If you spend your dinnertime conversation talking about, “I can’t believe that my health care premiums are going to double. Can you believe what this woman said about me in this meeting? Oh, my God,” it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you focus on the negative, it’s going to drag you down. Don’t do that. Spend your dinnertime conversation focusing on the positive. If you eat dinner by yourself, you should be spending the time with your self-talk … Okay. This is so important. Your self-talk in your mind, your mental movie theater, should be playing the highlight reel of the day, not the lowlights. It shouldn’t be playing the reel of times when you tripped and you spilled coffee all over that brand new blouse you bought. That’s not going to be helpful.
You should be reviewing in your mind the mental highlight reel from the day. You’ll have a smile on your face at the end of dinner and when you walk around, people will see you smiling and people are attracted to people who are smiling. They’re attracted to happy people. The third thing I want you to do is I want you to make a conscious effort to get testimonials. Nancy and I in our episode last week talked about how to get testimonials. The episode last week is called The Ask. The Ask. You can look for it at DaveLorenzo.com under podcasts. You’ll find The Ask there or you can just go to DaveLorenzo.com and type in T-H-E-A-S-K and you’ll find that episode. It’s a great episode where we talked about how you get testimonials. Get positive testimonials. Get at least 1 or 2 a week.
Your testimonials are a huge part of your marketing, a huge part of your sales process, but more importantly, review those testimonials to boost your own self-esteem. Those testimonials show the value you provide. Read them. Believe them. People wouldn’t have written them, they wouldn’t have said those words if they didn’t think they were true. You are that person. You are the person who provided that value in order to earn that testimonial. When you’re down in the dumps, read your testimonials. Number 4, I want you to diagnose your best achievements. So often when we screw up, we spend every minute of every hour of the day after going through step-by-step what happened. Think about the last time you had a conflict or a fight with someone particularly in your personal life.
You go back and you think to yourself, “Man, I said this. I said this. I said this. He said this. He said this. He said this. Oh, my goodness. I wish I could go back and here’s what I would do differently.” I don’t want you to do that anymore. That’s gone. That’s over with. Forget about that. What I want you to do is I want you to take the best possible things that have happened to you and I want you to spend your time diagnosing that. That great deal that you signed, that great deal that you just closed, I want you to think about how that relationship got started. I want you to think about the hard work and persistence you put into to win those people over. I want you to think about that one point when everything could have gone the other way and you pulled it back from the brink.
You’re that person. I want you to diagnose your best deals. I want you to go through and obsess over step-by-step what you did and think about how you can do it again. You can do it on command. You can do it anytime you want to. You’re that person. That’s the guy, that’s the woman you are. I want you to diagnose those great deals and forget about the ones that fall by the wayside. Who cares about them? Over and done with. Finally, the fifth point is I want you to remember this specific phrase, “Today’s activity leads to tomorrow’s result. Today’s activity leads to tomorrow’s result.” If you want to influence tomorrow, get busy doing the right things today. After you’ve diagnosed those fantastic deals that you’ve closed, you’ve broken them down and you saw it step-by-step.
Go out and do those same things today, right now. Diagnose how you started the relationship that led to the million dollar deal you closed and then go out right now today and do that activity with 5 or 6 or a dozen different people who could become that next million dollar client. Focus on the steps you’re taking today to make tomorrow the day you close the biggest deal ever. You will relate the fact that you’re taking positive steps today to million dollar deals tomorrow and you will never ever get down in the dumps again. You will never feel bad about what happens to you because you know you’re doing the right things. Our self-esteem is one of the most critical aspects of our success. If you’re an entrepreneur, your self-esteem is more important than any financial investment.
Your self-esteem is more important than any skills or knowledge or talent. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be able to take whatever action is necessary to achieve the results that you want. When things happen, you’ll be resilient. You’ll be able to bounce back from adversity and you’ll be able to come even stronger than you were before. This is probably the most important concept that you can master as an entrepreneur, as a business leader, as a sales professional. The sooner you understand and internalize this concept, the more you’ll feel like you’re of the world and the better you will perform in your business and in your life.
My friends, it is a pleasure to share this with you and I want your feedback on how you’ve been able to leverage these concepts to achieve success. The best way to reach out to me is to connect with me on social media. We’ve got so much stuff going on on social media. There are articles that are going up every day on my Facebook page and you can find that Facebook page @TheDaveLorenzo. I put up one minute videos all the time on concepts just like this on Instagram. Again that’s @TheDaveLorenzo on Instagram. I put up a whole bunch of stuff on Twitter which is related not only to business strategies, sales, marketing, productivity improvement, but also my thoughts on the election, politics, baseball, football, sports, ridiculous things that happen to me all the time.
I put that stuff on Twitter. You can find my Twitter handle. You can find me on Twitter @TheDaveLorenzo on Twitter. Of course, the fantastic center, the hub of information for sales and beyond is my website. That’s DaveLorenzo.com. It’s my name with dot com after it, DaveLorenzo.com. On there we’ve got dozens and dozens of videos, hundreds of articles, all of these podcasts. If you want to go back and listen, they’re all there for you. DaveLorenzo.com. As always I thank Nancy Pop, our fantastic producer for joining me on the show today. I thank you for listening. Until next time.
That is the title of this week’s episode of the 60 Second Sales Show.
On this show, we discuss the four things you should ask for in a meeting. They are:
- Ask for business – sell something
- Ask for a referral
- Ask for a testimonial
- Ask to keep in touch
We go into detail about each of these and share some ideas on how you can ask for at least one of these things in each meeting.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
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 Sales Show. Hello everyone. Welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host Dave Lorenzo and on the other side of the glass we have Nancy Pop. I always get a chuckle out of that Nancy, when I say on the other side of the glass. It’s like you’re in the engineering booth here when actually you’re 1200 miles away from me. Welcome Nancy Pop, our producer. How are you today?
I’m doing great Dave, how are you?
I am fantastic. Today one of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about … The title of this episode is The Ask. One of the things we’re going to talk about is what you should ask for in every interaction. Any time you’re sitting down with someone, you should be asking for at least one of 4 things. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. That’s your tease for today’s episode. Before we get into today’s episode Nancy, I want to tell you a little bit about what I did this week that I think was really exciting. I want to tell you and our listeners a little bit about how I spent the last couple of days and explore, really the value that I got out of it and demonstrate to our listeners how they can benefit.
The last couple of days, on Monday … We’re recording this on a Thursday, just so you know. For context, we release it on a Monday. It doesn’t really matter because you listen to it whenever you feel like listening to it but I want to give you some context so that you can have an idea of what I’m talking about. On Monday, I took 3 days off of my schedule which is a significant amount of money for me because either I’m making money selling something to someone or I’m making money delivering a service or I’m making money coaching an executive, so to take 3 days off of my schedule is a huge deal.
I took 3 days off of my schedule this week and on Monday morning, super early in the morning, I flew up to Rhode Island and I invested a couple of days spending time with a gentleman who is a mentor to me. He is the foremost authority on consulting. His name is Dr. Alan Weiss. For those of you who are not familiar with Alan Weiss, maybe you’re not in the consulting field, he’s written over 60 books, six zero, 60 books on consulting. He is my mentor. He’s a mentor to a lot of people in consulting. He helps people who do what I do, and he helps us focus our offerings, get our business in order. Really, he serves as a sounding board for people.
Exactly what I do for you, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a sales professional, or I work with a large number of people in professional services like lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, that sort of thing. I do what Alan does for consultants, I do that for other people. In order for my life to be congruent, in order for everything to be in line, I have to do what I recommend my clients do. I took 2 days. I flew up to Rhode Island, spent 2 days with Alan and laid out my business plan, say for the next 5 years. I was originally thinking I was going to do it for the next year. We sat down, we said no, let’s do it for the next 5 years.
I laid out my business plan for the next 5 years with him and we went through everything from strategy to specific focus tactics to mindset and what I found is that every time I do this, 3 things happen. Every time I spend time with someone and bounce ideas off of someone, 3 things happen. The first thing that happens is my ideas come into sharper focus. There are days when I’ll run in the gym and I’ll get a great idea for a seminar, or I’ll get a great idea for developing a new product, or I’ll get a great idea that I want to share with one of my clients. I write that down and I come home. If it’s something to share with a client, I immediately call the client and share it with them, but if it’s a seminar or a product, sometimes I’ll write it down and I’ll put it on the back burner. Nancy, have you ever done that? You come up with an idea and you put it on the back burner?
Of course. Who hasn’t?
After a month or two, you wind up with a list of 10 or 15 ideas and no action is ever taken on them. When you do something like this, take a couple days off your schedule and meet with a mentor and really talk about your business at a high level, all of those ideas start to take shape. If you have 15, 2 or 3 of them are probably really, really good. That’s the first real value that comes from that. The second real value that comes from taking this time and thinking about your business in a different way, the second thing that comes from that is you create an action list for all the things you need to do to move your business to the next level. You’re out of your business, the phone’s not ringing, your clients are not pounding on your door, your employees aren’t pestering you every 5 minutes so you have this time to really put some action steps together.
You can align the action steps so that you can build momentum. You can select your quick wins, the things that you can do today, so that you can feel good about the momentum. Then you align the things you’re going to do over the next week, over the next month, over the next year so that you’re now a rock rolling down a hill. You have all these action steps. You know clearly. You have a clear path that you set and you know what you’re going to do. The third thing that comes from this time when you unplug and you spend time with someone who really knows your business, who’s intimately familiar with your business is they can help you really focus on your mindset.
They can help you identify when you’re feeling guilty about things you shouldn’t, when you are not focused and giving 100% to the things you say you want, and when you’re making judgments based on things that are not real. When you’re making judgment based on things that are not in actual evidence. These two days, which if I looked at what I invested in these two days taking them off my schedule and then the one day for travel up to Rhode Island and back from Miami so really it’s 3 days as a whole. If I look at this and I said to myself, “Wow, that’s a huge amount of time and money I’m investing in this,” I will make back probably tenfold, fifteenfold, 20 times the amount that I invested just based on what I’ve come away with. The happy by-product of that is that I’m all fired up. I’m excited, I’m in love with my business again. I was in love with it when I went up there but I’m all excited.
I’m fired up about the value I can deliver to you and the value I can deliver to my clients all the time. That’s what I worked on this week, and that’s what’s gotten me really excited. If you’re listening to me right now, the point for you in all of this is take time at least once a year, preferably more often that that. Twice a year, once a quarter, to strategically look at your business. If you have someone like I do, if you’re fortunate enough like I have Alan, if you’re fortunate enough to have someone who is a mentor to you, who can take that time with you and really focus on the business, who intimately knows your business and can focus with you, it’s that much more valuable because that person will keep you on track.
Incredibly valuable couple of days. I was excited to do it and I’m excited to come back now and get back into things with you here today. That’s what I’ve done the past couple of days. I am adjusting this mic so it doesn’t keep hitting me in the head. We don’t have that annoying noise. Let’s talk about the ask. Nancy, we have a question that I think is a really good one. Let’s kick off the episode today answering the question and then we can get into the ask. You have Amy’s question there. Why don’t you go ahead and give us Amy’s question?
Yes. We have a fantastic question from Amy Brennan in Tacoma, Washington. She says, “Dave, I’m embarrassed to ask for testimonials. What is the best way to get people to give you a testimonial?”
Thank you Amy for that question. Thanks Nancy for reading it. Here’s what Amy is talking about. I have a rule, and the rule is this. Whenever you go to a meeting, whether it’s a meeting with a client, meeting with a friend, a meeting with someone who’s a business associate, you have to ask for one of 4 things. Amy brings up the testimonial, and that’s one of the 4 things you have to ask for. You can ask for a testimonial but you can also ask for business, which is called selling. You can ask for business. You can ask for a referral or you could ask for permission to keep in touch. Again, there’s 4 things. You have to ask for one of the 4 things every time you meet with someone.
Every time you meet with a client, every time you meet with a prospect, every time you meet with a referral source, you have to ask for one of these 4 things. That’s my rule. Let’s go through how you can ask for each of these 4 things. Business. We spend a lot of time talking about how you can ask for business. Let’s address Amy’s question as it relates to the testimonial, first and foremost. You’re meeting with a client. You’re sitting down with them. You’re maybe having a lunch or a cup of coffee or whatever, and your meeting is about 3/4 of the way over. It’s almost done. You say to the client … Nancy I’m going to use you as a client, Nancy, let me just check in with you. How are things going? Are you happy with the work we’re doing together? Pretend you’re happy, Nancy.
I’m very happy, Dave. Very happy, indeed.
Thank you. That’s great to hear, Nancy. If I asked you for one thing, the one thing that you’re most proud of in our work together, what would that one thing be?
I’ve learned so much and I’ve really been able to put it into practice and my sales have doubled in the past 3 months.
Wow! Doubled, that’s fantastic. Nancy, I appreciate you saying that so much. It makes me feel good to hear you say that. Would you mind taking a moment and I can get out my phone and you just give me an example of one of the things that we’ve worked on together that has helped you. Just give me a brief testimonial, a 2-minute testimonial about one of the things we’ve worked on and how it’s helped you and how your sales have doubled over the past couple of months. Could I pull out my phone now? You look perfect. Your dress is beautiful, your makeup is great, your hair is absolutely ravishing. Would you mind if we just do a 2-minute testimonial now? That’s it!
I don’t see why not.
It’s that simple. Not everybody is going to want to be on camera. I could say to Nancy, “Nancy, I really appreciate you saying that. Would you do me a favor? Would you just jot that down in an email and send it to me? I’d love to have a testimonial and use that as a pull quote on my website, and it would be great if I had it in an email. In fact, what I’ll do now is I’m going to send you an email on my phone. You said that your sales have doubled in the last 3 months. It would be great if you gave me an example of one thing we worked on that helped you double those sales. Here. I just sent you an email to remind you. Just reply to that email with the exact quote and then I will send it to you once I clean it up and you can tell me whether you like it or not, and I can use that as a pull quote.” That’s what that’s called, a pull quote, from my website. Nancy would be happy to do that, right?
That’s how easy it is. Simply ask people, “How are things going?” Look, here’s the thing. If Nancy is a client of mine, I need to ask her how things are going all the time. Every time I see her I should ask her how things are going, right? She’s my client. I want to make sure she’s happy. Then once in a while, ask her if you can use that as a testimonial. To Amy’s point, if you’re embarrassed, here’s the best way to get a testimonial from someone who’s not a client. What you should do is you should say to someone who’s not a client who’s a referral source, “Listen. I used your service. Your service is fantastic.” You write a great testimonial for them. Put it on your letterhead and hand it to them.
Nancy’s my chiropractor. “Nancy, thank you so much. I really appreciate that adjustment you gave me last week. It made it possible for me to run a half marathon and I completed it in new personal best time.” I write that up on my letterhead. “You are my first choice. Any time I have a little ache or a pain, I will do business with you until I die.” Boom. Put it on my letterhead, sign it and I hand it to Nancy. Nancy says, “Gee. Thanks so much for that great testimonial.” You say, “Oh, you’re welcome. I know you’d do the same for me.” Write that down. That’s a money sentence right there. That script is money. When they say, “Thank you so much for the testimonial,” “It’s my pleasure, I know you’d do the same for me.” When I hand Nancy the testimonial she says thank you, she says, “Well, I really appreciate it.” You say, “My pleasure. I know you’d do the same for me.” Nancy, what’s your reaction?
Absolutely. You want me to do it right now? I’d be happy to do it for you, right? Then you decide whether you want the testimonial now or whether you want it later. When you want to ask for a testimonial, you do your check-in. “Hey, how are things going? How are you enjoying the service? How are you enjoying the product?” Then the response is, “It’s fantastic. I’m going to double my sales.” “Great, would you mind jotting that down?” Here’s how we’ll do it. You jot it down on an email, send it to them. They give you an exact quote. You ask them if you can clean the quote up a bit, get out the uhs and ums, and then you send it back to them. They say, “That’s a perfect quote,” you put it on your website.
That’s how you get a testimonial. Or you can whip out your phone and do a testimonial video right then and there. Amy, that answers your question. That’s how you ask for a testimonial but that’s only one of 4 things that we should do whenever we meet with someone. The second thing is ask for a referral. You heard me give you this methodology before, I’m sure. When we ask for a referral, we have to have somebody in a referral mindset. We have to talk to them about someone they’ve met in the last say, few years or someone they met who’s famous. Nancy, if I said to you, “Tell me about a time when you met a famous person,” would you be able to tell me a story?
I have a couple stories.
Tell me your story about meeting a famous person.
My first ever concert that I went to was when I was 13 years old. I went to a Hilary Duff concert. She touched my hand because she was on stage and I had front row tickets. I didn’t wash my hands for a week after that.
Let’s set aside the hygiene issue for a minute Nancy, because that’s really disgusting.
I was a big fan, Dave. I was a big fan.
That is so gross, I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted I am that you used the bathroom dozens of times over the course of that week and you didn’t wash your hands. Let’s just set that aside. Forget about that for a minute. That is a great story. The fact that you told me that story now, what it has done is it’s opened the file in your mind where I got you to think of someone that you met in the past. If I said to you, “You know, Nancy, I would love to meet someone who is in the modeling industry. I’d love to meet someone who owns a super successful modeling agency. The reason I want to meet with them is because I have this new program, and the program is designed to help them attract the best models because I know the industry is so competitive. You wouldn’t happen to know anybody who’s in that industry who owns a modeling agency in New York City, would you?”
I do, as a matter of fact. I could certainly introduce you.
See, it’s so easy then, for me to get someone to access the part of their brain where they open the file and they know somebody. They can give me the exact person. You could do this with any … It has to be reasonable. I know Nancy is in modeling and she’s worked in that field forever so it was a no-brainer for me to ask. In fact, I could probably just walk up to her because I know her and say, “Hey, Nancy. How’s it going? Do you know somebody who owns a modeling agency?” She would probably be able to introduce me because she was immersed in that world, but most people when they are thinking about other things draw a blank when you ask them for referrals. They just draw a complete blank, “You know, I have to think about it. I’m not really sure.”
That’s what frustrates folks. That’s why they get embarrassed and they don’t ask for referrals. Getting the person to tell you the story first opens up that mental file. They access that file in their mind, and they can produce a story. The famous person, that gets them thinking about the time when they met the famous person. As you saw with Nancy, they get emotionally engaged. All those good feelings come back to them. They associate the good feeling with the introduction, so it associates good feelings with accessing that information. Then when you ask them, they can very easily give you the ideal person you want to meet. The right referral for you, on the spot.
Now, notice the way I asked Nancy for that referral. I did it in a specific way. I asked for the person specifically, their title, what the industry that they were in. Modeling CEO, the owner of a modeling agency. Their title, and I gave a reason why I wanted to meet them. Those 3 things. Their title, the industry they were in and the reason why I wanted to meet them. Why is that important? She may not know the owner of the modeling agency but she may know a manager of a local office. That would be just as good so I said modeling agency, modeling. I said that industry. The industry is important. The title, the owner is important because I want to start at the top and even if she doesn’t know the owner, she’ll push me down to the right person.
She’ll push me down to the person she knows, and that person may be able to get me to the person that I want to meet. Then the third thing I do is I gave her the reason why. This is what’s missing when everybody asks for referrals. If you don’t give the person the reason why you want to meet their friend or why you want to meet the person they know, if you don’t give them the reason why, they’re never going to introduce you because they’re not going to know what to say. You have to give them the reason why you want to meet them, and you have to make that reason why non-threatening. I want to meet them because I can save them money. I want to meet them because I have someone who will be perfect for them, for the agency who is going to model. I want to meet them because I know that I have something they need.
Here’s what it is, give them very specifics so that when they call the person up they say, “I want you to meet my friend Dave. He knows he can save you money, because he’s saved money for 15 different modeling agencies this way. I’d like to set up a meeting.” You’ve got to give him those 3 things. That’s the second thing you do when you ask. The number one thing, of course, is to ask for business. We talk about that all the time. You’re meeting with your best client. You’re meeting with your absolute best client and they tell you about a problem they have. You know you can solve that problem and you say, “You know what? I understand you’re having problems with your manufacturing of widgets. We have a new process that I think would be perfect for you. I’d like to come over and demonstrate the process. If it works, it’ll only add a small investment to your monthly bill but it’ll save you thousands of dollars. Can I come over and demonstrate this process?”
That’s a way of asking for business. If you’re working with a client now … The example I give to people all the time is, I work with a guy in New York who makes my suits. His name is Chris Cartisano. He’s an excellent clothier and I’d be thrilled to refer him to any of you. Chris, I know you’re listening. I hopefully will generate some business when people listen because you are the best of the best. Chris does something that is phenomenal. Every time he comes over to deliver a suit to me, I put the suit on. When I go to New York he comes. He delivers the suit, I put the suit on. He looks at it and we make sure it fits absolutely perfect. Then because I am a fashionably challenged kind of guy, we talk about what I would pair that suit with.
What kind of tie, what kind of shirt, and then he always gives me a tie or some type of accessory. A pocket square to go with the suit, and then I say to him, “You know what I really need now? I need a shirt.” By giving me the tie, he suggestively sells something else. If I don’t offer to buy the shirt, he says, “Do you want a shirt to go with that?” Or he says, “Now, I just gave you the grey suit,” he says, “We haven’t done a blue suit for you in a while. Would you be interested in getting a blue suit?” He’s never offended if I say no, and frankly if I meet with him 3 or 4 times a year I say no to him probably 2 out of the 3 times. The third time, you know what, he’s right. I do need to update my blue suit or my grey suit, so let’s go and do another suit.
He gets me to buy every time, or almost every time he makes a suggestion to buy almost every time we meet, and it conditions me one out of every 3 times I’m ready to buy from him. When he comes to deliver the suit, I know. It’s not a secret, I know he’s going to ask me to buy something else. We have a relationship. I’ve been working with him for 10 years, more than that. I know that this is going to happen. I have no problem saying no to him. Don’t ever be embarrassed. As long as you’re providing something of value, don’t ever be embarrassed to ask your clients to buy from you every time they meet with you. As long as you’re providing value, don’t be shy about asking for more business.
The final thing we’re going to talk about, the final ask, and remember. You are going to do at least one of these 4. The other 3 were we just said, ask for business. Ask for a referral. Ask for a testimonial. Number 4, ask to keep in touch. I meet you. Nancy introduces me to her friend who owns the modeling agency. We connect, we talk a little bit. There’s obviously nothing that’s going to happen. We’re not going to do any business there. I say to the friend from the modeling agency, “Joe, it was really great meeting you. Would you mind if I kept in touch with you? I publish a weekly newsletter. It comes out on Wednesdays at noon. I’d love to put you on my list. It’s educational information that you can use to grow your business. Would it be all right if I add you to that list?”
You’re going to ask to keep in touch. That’s the easiest thing. The easiest thing. Ask for permission to keep in touch. My friends, nobody ever says no to this. I think one person in the last 15 years has said no and that person was a complete jerk. I wouldn’t want them on my list anyway. “No, I don’t want an email from you! What, are you kidding me?” Obviously the 45 minutes I spent with you was a complete waste of time so I’m glad you told me you didn’t want the email now. That’s the 4th thing, you ask to keep in touch. Every meeting you go to, you’re going to ask for business or you’re going to ask for a referral, or you’re going to ask for a testimonial or you’re going to ask to keep in touch.
Now, if you feel really adventurous, do a couple of these things. Ask for a testimonial and then ask to keep in touch. Or ask for a testimonial and ask for business. Or ask for a testimonial and ask for a referral. Clients expect you to ask them to do things. They expect you to ask to buy more stuff. They expect to be able to do a favor for you. In fact, if we’re friends, if I trust you and you’re my client, I’m happy to go out of my way and introduce you to somebody I know. If I’ve been your client for 5 years, I’m happy, I’m thrilled to give you a testimonial. Asking for these things has to become a habit. If you make this a habit, not only will you make more money but you’ll also have more testimonials, you’ll get more referrals, you’ll have more business. Think about it.
Think about the appointments you have this week. I’m meeting with 6 people this week, either over the phone or in person. If I ask each of those people for one of these things, if I ask all 6 of them for more business, 1 out of the 6 will do more business with me. If I ask all 6 of them for referrals, 3 out of the 6 will provide me with referrals. If I ask all 6 of them for testimonials, 6 out of 6 will do a testimonial for me. I’m providing them with something of value and if I ask all 6 of them if I can keep in touch with them, they’ll all say yes. You have 6 meetings with prospects, you’re going to grow your list by 6 times this week. Well, not by 6 times, but you’ll add 6 more people to your list. You know what I mean. You’ll add 6 more people to your list. The ask is critical. Do not leave any meeting without going for the ask. That’s your takeaway for today. Nancy, any final thoughts before we wrap things up?
Yes. In regard to these testimonials, I have always wondered, I recently graduated school, less than a year ago. I’m in the early stages of my production career and I’ve noticed people that have … This is in regards to LinkedIn but people that have good LinkedIn profiles, they tend to have people they’ve worked with going on and writing comments or writing recommendations under their work experience. I think the answer is yes, but I’m wondering if this same method that you are talking about today would also apply to LinkedIn?
Absolutely. Great question. Yes, go to my LinkedIn profile, thedavelorenzo. T-H-E-D-A-V-E-L-O-R-E-N-Z-O. You’ll see all my testimonials up there and I’ll tell you how I got those. Here’s your 3 step guide. Step number 1, identify the perfect person to give you a testimonial. Step number 2, write a testimonial for them and send it. Step number 3, ask them if they like the testimonial and ask them to do the same thing for you. That’s it. That’s the easiest way to do it. You go and do a testimonial for them, send it, make sure they know you’ve done the testimonial.
Ask them if they like it, and then ask them to do one for you. Now, do not get discouraged when people tell you that they will do it and they don’t do it, because the general population of the world is very poor at follow-through. In fact, I’ll tell you maybe 1 out of every 5 people who says, “Yeah, I’ll give you a testimonial. You’re the greatest.” 1 out of every 5 will do a testimonial for you, but that’s fine. If you ask 50 people you’ll get 10 testimonials. That’s how I got the testimonials on my LinkedIn page. That’s how you can get testimonials for you on your LinkedIn page. Testimonials are great.
Then what I do with those LinkedIn testimonials a lot of times, in fact I haven’t … Nancy, you mentioned that. Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll do a testimonial for you on LinkedIn, you do one for me. I haven’t got a testimonial on LinkedIn in a long time, what I do with those is then I pull those off of LinkedIn, with permission, and I use them on my website too. I’ll even take them and put them in with proposals. I’ll put the full testimonial in with the proposal, and here’s the thing. My friends, if you’re going to use testimonials in proposals or you’re going to send out testimonials to prospective clients, you’ve got to use full names. If you’re putting them on websites especially, a testimonial without a full name and a picture honestly is worthless.
Sounds so sketchy.
You can’t do that. This drives me nuts with lawyers. I go on a lawyer’s website all the time, and in some jurisdictions they can’t even use testimonials but I’ll go on a lawyer’s website and it will say, “Pete Smith saved my home. He helped me fight a foreclosure with my bank and he helped me renegotiate my payment terms. I highly recommend Pete Smith.” Then it says at the bottom, “Homeowner, Joe P.” I mean, come on. That’s not a real testimonial. Look, we live in a video age so if you’re doing testimonials on your website video is the way to go. If you can’t get a video, then a pull quote or a paragraph or two with a picture of the person. Preferably a picture of the person with their arm around you so that it shows, it gives you social proof.
It shows that you actually know the person. Then finally, if you can’t get a picture of them with you then just their head shot and their name. That will provide at least some form of credibility, but you have to use the full name of the person. Yes, Nancy, if you want to add a testimonial to your LinkedIn page, the best thing to do, you go do a testimonial for the other person. You send it to them for their approval and you say, “Listen, I did a testimonial for you. Let me know what you think.” Then after they say, “Oh, that’s so great. You’re the nicest person in the world,” then you just flat out say, “It’s my pleasure to do it. I know you’d do the same for me. How about tomorrow? Why don’t you do it for me?”
That’s it. Here’s an issue that comes up in conjunction with this, Nancy. People often don’t know what to write, so you never give someone the direct words to use. A lot of times people will say, “Well, why don’t you just write it and send it to me and tell me if it’s good?” No, you don’t do that. What you do is, you ask 2 or 3 questions so that they put it in their own words. You say to them, if it was you and I Nancy, I would say, “You know Nancy, remember when you came to me for business advice about that startup?” You’ll say, “Yes, of course.” You say, “Okay, I gave you the advice and what happened?” “Oh, I got funding. I got $50,000 worth of funding.” “Oh, that’s fantastic Nancy. Would you just jot that down exactly the way we just discussed it?”
“Sure, I’d be happy to do it.” Boom, they jot it down in their own words and you’re done. Never put words in someone’s mouth. It’ll come back to bite you. Ask them a couple of questions. Lead them down the path you want them to go, if necessary. You can do that in writing, you can do that verbally, orally, but better to ask them questions and have them respond than to put words in their mouth. Then you write it up nice and neat, take out the uhs and ums, take out any superfluous words if you want and then send it back to them and say, “I characterized what you said. What do you think?” They say, “Great,” and you’re done. That’s how you do it. Does that get it for you?
Sounds amazing, yeah. I’m definitely going to do that today.
All right. Thank you folks, it was great chatting with you this week. We’ll see you right back here next week. That will do it for this week’s episode of the 60 Second Sales Show. Reach out to me with your questions, comments and feedback on Facebook at thedavelorenzo, Twitter @thedavelorenzo, Instagram @thedavelorenzo. Walking down the street just yell at me, “Hey! That’s the Dave Lorenzo!” Thank you very much for listening. I hope you make a great living and live a great life. Until next time, bye bye.
How to Use Social Media to Boost Sales
In this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show we discuss how social media can help you grow sales quickly.
There are three aspects to sales growth with Social Media:
We look at each of these in this week’s who and go into detail on how you can use social media to leverage them.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
Hi everybody. Welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sale Show. I am your host, Dave Lorenzo. Today, I thought we’d start off with a great question from one of our listeners. The question we’re going to get today is it’s something that comes up all the the time. I’ll explain why in a moment. Before we do that. I want to make sure that I introduce you to our fantastic, talented producer, Nancy Pop. Hi Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy: Hi Dave, I’m good. How are you doing?
Dave: I’m fantastic, thank you. Nancy, why don’t read the question? Actually, you and I discussed the question before we came on the air. This is a question that I got from Jackie on Twitter. It’s a question about social media. Why don’t you go ahead and read us the question then we can have a conversation about it and talk a little bit more about how to leverage exactly what Jackie is talking about?
Nancy: Yes. I think Jackie had a really great question. A lot of people today will really benefit from hearing what you have to say. Her question is, how do I make best use of social media for selling my product? I have hundreds of people following me and connected to me on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram but I can never get them to buy anything.
Dave: Right. You mentioned, we started out the conversation about this and I said, “No, no, no, let’s save it for the show because this could be great information that we could share with our viewers, better use would be sharing it with our viewers or our listeners. Go ahead and tell me what we were, start off with what we were talking about before we started the show today. You were saying?
Nancy: Yes. What I was saying was, I have a lot of friends or a lot of people that I’ve worked with in the past. They’re all trying to develop their lifestyle brand whether it’s through Instagram, or Twitter, or their Facebook page has thousands of followers. They just don’t, maybe they’re not good salesman or maybe they just don’t know how to utilize social media to get the most out of it but they’re having such a hard time redirecting people to their website or redirecting people to their sales or to their services whatever it is they’re trying to do. Maybe it’s a problem with the content they’re putting up, maybe it’s a problem with just, I don’t know. They’re just having problems doing it. It’s such a big problem for them.
Dave: Yeah. I understand completely what you’re talking about. This is something that, just like Jackie said like you’re saying now I hear all the time. People go out and they connect with hundreds, dozens, thousand, tens of thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever the social media platform du jour is or the social media platforms that’s the most desirable platform for your target audience. You feel like you’re putting out great information but there’s no response in terms of converting people from folks who are just out there doing what appears to be lurking into converting them into sales. What do you do?
This question baffled me for, I want to say probably, I have to say the better part of 10 years. I’ll tell you, I’ll give you my history on Twitter for example. I was one of the early adopters of Twitter. I loved Twitter. I’ll give you a couple of examples of great relationships that I’ve developed through using Twitter.
My original Twitter handle was DLorenzo, DLORENZO. After a few years, I started using Twitter in 2006-2007, and really got into it in 2008. I had built my followers up to about, I guess it was about 10,000. Then at one point, I felt the same frustration, Nancy. You were discussing the same frustration that Jackie shared with us on Twitter in her question. I just abandoned it for 2 years. The reason I did was because I felt like I was putting so much energy and so much effort into it by sharing great information, I wasn’t getting anything out of it. Nobody was going to my website, they were reading articles, but nobody was calling me up saying, “Hey, I found you on Twitter and I want to give you $100,000”. That was the frustration I had.
What I didn’t understand at that time was that Twitter and social media as a whole isn’t about converting people into clients on the spot. In fact, the view that I should have had on social media is the exact same view I have of the 60 Second Sales process. For those of you who are new to the show, my process, the 60 Second Sales process is one of developing a relationship with someone that will last a lifetime. I liken it to falling in love at first sight with someone in a business setting.
You take 60 seconds and you sell yourself. You take 60 seconds and develop that relationship then the value that you receive over a lifetime is the by-product. In social media, I was thinking to myself, particularly on Twitter, I was thinking of that as a one night stand, right? That’s the way a lot of people think of sales.
“Oh, I’m going to go on Twitter. I’m going to put out a bunch of content for a week. People are going to come to me and want to spend money with me. They’re going to love me so much right away, they’re going to want to gender home with me right now tonight”. That’s not the way it works. It doesn’t work that way in business, for sales, and it doesn’t work that way on social media. Here is the conclusion that I’ve come to that I know now from my own experience and from the experience that I’ve seen my clients have. Here’s the conclusion that I’ve come to in social media and it’s the same conclusion that I’ve come to with sales. That is that it’s not enough just to put out great content. It’s not enough just to put out great information. You can’t be out there on “send” all the time and not develop relationships with people.
It would be better for you to have 10 real relationships on Instagram, 10 on Twitter, 10 on Facebook, 10 on Snapchat, give and take relationships where you can have conversations exchange information, deliver value to one another, build that up first over time, have 10 of those that you can count on for the long term. Then when you ask them to buy something they will actually buy. It would be better to have 10 of those than 100,000 people who you can send out great information to and they’ll read it, they’ll consume it. They’ll eat up whatever chum you’re throwing out there but they’re never going to provide any value back to you in return because you don’t have a relationship with them.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, they’re like going to a cocktail party. You go to the party and you meet some people. You hang out, you have a conversation. You know what? Friendship may or may not develop depending upon what you have in common and the value you can bring to one another, the value you can deliver to each other’s lives. If you’re not out there having conversations, exchanging value, developing relationships, you can expect that you’ll get exactly what you’re delivering from social media and that’s nothing. Do you deliver into social media? Nothing. You may be delivering a ton of value but you’re not listening to what the people actually want.
What does this mean for you and for marketing? Well, I’ll give you some thoughts on that in just a moment. Nancy, let’s get back to the folks who were developing lifestyle brands. There’s a couple of things in there that I think are worth exploring. You mentioned those two words, lifestyle and brand. The first thing I think we should talk about is the lifestyle element as a whole. When you sell a lifestyle brand, what does that exactly mean?
Nancy: It can mean several things. The way that social media is evolving now, you see people that are, they are developing entire careers off of Instagram. Whether it’s some girl that’s just posting sexy photos of herself and suddenly she’s bringing in $80k a year by being sponsored by T or Nike or whatever you know. People are making entire careers out of it. Or it can be someone that is launching their own yoga company. Now they’re blogging, they’re doing what you’re doing, they’re podcasting, they’re putting out videos and they’re selling their personal training.
People find ways now especially millennials. They’re taking so much advantage of social media and they’re figuring out new ways to use it for their benefit. People are developing these careers through photos or just blogging. The simplest things that, we would think it’s so easy but it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of ambition.
Dave: I agree. I think there’s a whole host of things that you just covered in there. Some of them I think are fantastic. Others, I think in some ways they may have caught lightning in a bottle. There’s three elements to any good positioning, marketing or sales campaign. The three elements, and we can address exactly what you’re talking about under the umbrella of these three elements. The three elements are visibility, credibility and differentiation.
When we talk about the folks that you just mentioned, let’s take… first and foremost, let’s take somebody who’s looking to get sponsorships. You look for visibility and you say to yourself, “Okay, I want to be sponsored by Nike because I’m going to be able to attract 100,00 followers on Instagram. This is going to be valuable. This is going to be incredibly valuable if I attract 100,000 followers on Instagram. Nike is going to want to connect with me, they’re going to want to sponsor me because they’re going to want my 100,000 followers to put their eyeballs on Nike’s website or when Nike makes an offer, they’re going to want my 100,000 followers to see that offer because they know that they’ll convert one percent of those people and they’ll be thrilled with that 1% conversion.
That, for me, is a visibility play. If you have what it takes to develop 100,000 real, legitimate, responsive followers, then sure, I think that that makes complete and total sense. But for most of us who are in a business setting, you have a business that actually sells products or services. You’re not out there looking to just simply drive sponsorships, your purpose in life with visibility is to be able to go out and attract people who’d be interested in what you have to say. Those people out there without come and connect with you on Instagram or on Facebook or on Twitter, they’re suspects. They’re people you suspect might want to do business with you someday.
But you don’t know that they are prospects and that’s a person who’s qualified, they have money, they have a problem you can solve, they have the ability to make a decision on whether or not they’ll hire you or buy your product. You don’t know if they’re ever going to be prospects. That’s the challenge of social media today. You develop all these followers and now I have something like rebuilt my Twitter following to 8500 people following me on Twitter which is okay. I guess it’s better than the average person but it’s nowhere near what successful business people have who really focus on Twitter have. I have over 9500 people connected to me on Instagram, 30,000 plus on LinkedIn and Facebook between combining all my pages, 2,000 or 3,000 people.
Those people who are out there on my social media sites, for me, I focus on having conversations, real conversations with them, understanding what they’re thinking, this is a huge value a social media provides. I can get inside their heads, understand what they’re thinking, see how they make… see, feel and hear how they make decisions and then I can use that information to reach them and people like them in a way that will resonate with them. For me, the smaller numbers, I’d love to have huge numbers. The smaller numbers enable me to have a more intimate relationship with the followers I have, with the people to whom I’m connected so that I can understand what process they go through when they buy products, or when they buy my services. This will help me craft better offers to them.
That’s what social media is all about. It expands the universe that not only we’re visible to but also that we can have legitimate, real conversations with and understand how they think. That’s, I think, one of the things that’s always been missing from the sales process. We go out there and when I say we, it’s the royal we. It’s all of us as professionals who are entrepreneurs, who are business people. We try and sell our services.
We sell our services based on the value we think we can provide to other people. We don’t really know if there’s a value that’s a byproduct of the service that we’re providing that we’re completely missing out on. I’ll give you an example.
A friends of mine wanted to stop smoking. She had smoked for her entire adult life. If you’ve ever met someone who’s in their 30s who wants to stop smoking or even older, it’s very, very difficult. Your body becomes addicted to nicotine very quickly. That addiction is strong. I think these days as people have grown up with a culture that is not accepting of smoking anymore, fewer and fewer people start smoking in their teenage years and continue through their adult years. But my friend had smoked her entire, from probably the age of 16 in high school up until the point where she was 33 and she wanted to quit.
She told her doctor during her physical that she wanted to quit and the doctor was thrilled and the doctor, “I’m going to help you. I’m going to put you on an anti-depressant product which suppresses the urge to smoke. It’s a product called [inaudible 00:15:00] and they give it to people who are prone to depression. It’s a breakthrough product in that area but it has an off label use. The off label is that it suppresses the desire to smoke. This works phenomenally well for my friend. She was able to wean herself off the medication after awhile. She’s been able to quit smoking. My point is that all of our services, all of our products have these off label uses if you will. These unintended consequences, the unintended value that we provide. Until we talk to our customers, until we talk to our clients, we may not recognize some of that value.
Social media provides you with the ability to have those conversations. If you have a product or you have a service and you know someone or you’re connected to someone like the person Nancy mentioned who has 100,000 followers, a great use of their sphere of influence, of their visibility, would be for you to send them your products, send them your service, have them discuss it on their social media platform. What they liked, what they didn’t like, have them show it in video form, have them post pictures of it so people can see it. There, the visibility the have on social media so Nike is sponsoring the person that Nancy mentioned, that visibility could be valuable and people could have conversations about all the different ways they derive value from the product or the service.
That is a great use of social media as a tool. Leverage somebody else’s visibility of you don’t have it so that they can see your product or your service. Now, I know what you’re thinking right? You’re out there thinking right now, well that’s great Dave if you’re manufacturing sneakers like Nike or you’re manufacturing yoga wear like Nike and people can wear it, other people can look at it and say whether they like it or not, but what if you provide a service? How can you demonstrate that service?
Well, I think, Nancy, you also mentioned something about trainors or yoga instructors, you could do things like before and after, transformational videos, transformational case studies where people start doing yoga today and they’re completely inflexible and you show videos of them and you instructing them. Then over time, every two or three weeks, we visit this person and see how they’re doing and we show that transformation over time. What does that do for you as a yoga instructor who’s building your social media base in trying to leverage social media. There’s a couple of things.
It enhances your credibility. Remember we said, visibility, credibility and differentiation were the three keys in any great sales or marketing campaign. It enhances your credibility because people are seeing an actual transformation take place on social media over time with this person and it also differentiates from everyone else who does what you do because people see you out there in real time helping someone. That’s value. That’s great value on social media and it’s value whether you’re delivering that value for 10 people who are highly engaged with whom you have a conversational relationship. It’s also great value if it’s 100,000 people.
The value of social media is there from a visibility standpoint, from a credibility standpoint, and from a differentiation standpoint. I’ll give you a couple of examples of relationships that I’ve developed on social media that have become fantastic for me and that I would never have otherwise. Back in 2008 when I was first of Twitter. I met a guy who I started going back and forth with having 140 character conversations on Twitter mostly about football. He was a Miami Dolphins fan, I’m a Jet fan, and about practicing law in Florida. At that time, I was working with a lot of lawyers and it’s very difficult for lawyers to develop business in Florida. He happens to be an ethics lawyer who helps lawyers who get in trouble. We had those two things in common, football and the practice of law and the ethical way to develop client relationships.
We would go back and forth on twitter having conversations and discussions sometimes around articles that would appear in trade journals in the practice of law, sometimes around sports. Sometimes it’s just around Miami, the weather and stupid things that happen here. We developed this connection on Twitter. At one point he said to me, “You know, it might makes sense for us to get together for lunch since we both live in Miami”. We did, that was 8 years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We’re close friends now. We see each other 2 or 3 times a month, for lunch and dinner. Our families are friends. A real, genuine has developed as well as a business relationship. I refer business to him, he refers business to me, we speak at some of the same conferences. That’s a relationship that developed strictly based upon social media, based upon Twitter, based upon a connection we made on Twitter. Social media has value but the value comes in developing the relationships just like in sales.
We talked about visibility, we talked about developing credibility using social media, now let’s talk about differentiation. This, for me, is the easiest one. So many of my clients struggle with, “Hey, Dave, how do I differentiate myself. I don’t know what I do that’s different than everybody else”. Well, remember when you were in kindergarten, when I was in kindergarten, my teacher’s name was Mrs. Fitzgerald. Mrs. Fitzgerald used to tell all of us that we were all unique, we were all like snowflakes, no two of us were the same, we were all different. Now look, that sounds like a bunch of crap, okay, it really does. But, it happens to be true. It sounds like a little, a lot of romp a room garbage but it really is true.
You’re different than I am, Nancy is different than I am, Nancy is different than you are, we’re all different sharing the way you approach things, sharing your own unique style, your own unique problem solving ability, your own personality that will differentiate you. I’m not kidding myself. There are a hundred or if not a thousand or ten thousand people out there that I can teach you how to sell stuff. I like my approach, my relationship-based approach. I think my approach is better than any other approach you’re going to find out there but I think the way I bring this information to you is what makes me different. The way you bring your product to your service to your clients, the way you deliver your value, your own unique style, that’s what makes you different. When you’re on social media, be yourself.
As we’re recording this show, this is, we’re like 3 weeks from a Presidential election in the United States. We have a candidate that has been essentially concocted out of reality television and Twitter, Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s campaign right now exists quit frankly because he has access to 12 million people on Twitter. Of the 12 million, a huge portion of them are media people who need a story to write. They need something to talk about on television. They need something to host a show about on radio. The fact that they have access to this guys and his stream of consciousness at 3:00 in the morning on Twitter makes him valuable to them. He brings his own unique style and bringing that style is part of his, I guess you’d say his brand, if you will. You have the same thing.
When you’re on Twitter, you got to let your personality show. When you’re on Facebook, you got to let your personality show. When you’re sharing stuff on social media, don’t try and play it middle of the road. You got to be out there laying it all on the line being yourself, having an opinion, that’s what people really get into.
If you’re not someone’s cup of tea. They’ll go away. Guess what, that vacuum will fill with people who you do resonate with. That vacuum will fill with people who want to have a relationship with you. Visibility, credibility, differentiation, those are the three ways you can make use of social media to be more attractive but at the end of the day, what it’s all about is developing relationships. Connecting with people, developing relationships and then gently put out a few offers here and there over time once you’ve exchanged some value with some people. You’ll find that the offers seem to work better. The reason is because it’s real now.
If I just throw a bunch of stuff out there and see what sticks, I’m like everybody else, I’m like McDonald’s advertising on TV. Throwing up a commercial, if you like the clown with the big red shoes and the nose, you’ll do business with me. No, that’s not the way social media works.
If you want to engage people on social media, you first go out and say, “Hey, what’s on your mind? What’s going on? I read the story today, here’s what I think about it. Anybody think anything about it? Yeah, this is my opinion, this is my opinion, great, happy to hear your opinion, let’s exchange, let’s have a conversation. Let’s exchange information about this specific topic in this article.” You do that a few times then you’ve got a relationship. You develop that relationship over time people want to hear more about you and what you do, guess what, you’re off to the races, that’s how you start client relationships. Real life, social media, not much different. It’s all about developing and building relationships over time.
Nancy, what do you think?
Nancy: I think the hardest part about it is the differentiation. I think there’s been such a huge, huge exponential increase in social media the past few years obviously. As more and more are figuring out how to use it and figuring out how to use it to their business advantage, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to find a way to stand out. How many yoga Instagram accounts are there? What else do we need to see? What else do we need to hear from people on Twitter? That’s definitely, for me anyways, the hardest part. It’s just figuring out your voice and unique content that hasn’t been heard or regurgitated a million times over.
Dave: I get it. I totally get it. You’re right about that. There are thousands of people out there who are yoga instructors on Twitter. How many yoga instructors are there on Twitter now, or in Instagram now or on YouTube or even on Facebook who are demonstrating for example ways to teach yoga to develop mentally-challenged kids.
Nancy: See, that’s unique. That would catch my eye.
Dave: Exactly. That’s exactly the point, right? How many yoga instructors are there out there now who are on YouTube demonstrating how yoga can be a value to veterans returning from Iraq with serious injuries?
Dave: Right? All of us have talent. We know if we’re lucky enough, if we’re fortunate enough, and we’ve done enough soul searching we know what that talent is. What you need to do is you need to find a way to develop talent so that its’ interesting to other people and it helps you start a conversation. If you’re a talented yoga instructor, you think of some of the unintended consequences of yoga. Well, it helps improve focus. Great. Let’s go take a handful of kids with ADD and let’s teach them yoga and see what happens, right?
With heir permission, with their parents’ permission, let’s record them and if it works out well, we’ll put it on YouTube and we’ll talk about it. Maybe by doing that, we’ll start a conversation with other people and that will help other people.
That would be a way to use your talent as yoga instructor to try and help improve focus in young people and, as long as it works well and you have everyone’s permission, there’s a happy by-product. The happy by-product is improved focus in these kids and perhaps somebody will see the video on YouTube and it will help them improve the life of their kid and that starts a really interesting conversation.
I think there are ways to differentiate yourself as long as you know you have that self-awareness you know where your talent lies. If you’re willing to go take that talent to a place that makes you… you’re willing to, Star Trek, you’re willi8ng to boldly go where no one has gone before, take your talent to a place where no one has gone before and you can differentiate yourself. It’d be hard for me to come up with a mundane area that you couldn’t differentiate yourself. For goodness’ sake, for years and years and years, I work with lawyers and accountants and then I help them differentiate themselves. If I could do it with lawyers and accountants, I can do it with you. My point is, everybody has a unique ability, everybody has talent, leverage your talent in a way that makes you interesting, compelling and you can start conversations and that’s what social media is all about.
Speaking of social media, my friends, if you have a question like the great question that Jackie asked us to kickoff our show today, reach out to me, the three primary social media platforms that I’m on all the time, dozens of times each day, Facebook, thedavelorenzo, Twitter, thedavelorenzo and Instagram, guess what it is, you got it, thedavelorenzo. Now, I post personal and business. I co-mingle it all together. It’s everywhere. You’re going to see business and personal stuff. Instagram especially. Instagram is a conflagration of my personal life and my business life. The Facebook page @thedavelorenzo is primarily business stuff, occasionally some personal will creep in. Twitter is business/personal. I talk about whatever you want to talk about. I talk about what interests me. That’s more of a conversational platform for me. I even put some politics on there because I like to get into fights with people and see what they think.
You only have one life so your business and your personal, combining the two, putting them both together, I think it makes you more interesting. When you’re more interesting, you’re someone who I want to have a relationship with. When you’re more interesting you’re someone I want to do business with because there’s plenty of boring people out there. I want to do business with people who are interesting.
Any final thoughts Nancy before we wrap up for today?
Nancy: Yes, I do have a final thought. What do you think is going to be the next best thing after social media? Or, do you think social media will really just be the end all be all?
Dave: Wow, What a great question. Social media, I think the whole social from social media is going to go away. I think at some point, it’s just media. I think you’re going to find that something like YouTube is going to be the preferred way people watch what we now call television shows. The beauty of that is that you and I can have our own television show. It may be more interesting than some of the stuff that’s produced by Hollywood. I think video is going to expand even more. I think real time video is going to be something that is going, it’s already influencing the way we act, the way we behave.
You can see today, and I was just having this discussion and we should probably actually do an entire show on live video, I was just discussing how this epidemic of African-American men in particular about African-American people in the United States being shot, I never realized how bad it was, how many people are shot because of inherent bias. I’ve been exposed to this because of real-time video, because of Facebook live video, because of Periscope, because of People, videoing situations that come up where, we had one two months ago where an African-American man whose car broke down in the middle of the street. He’s standing there and the police are approaching him with their guns drawn, I’m white my car break down in the middle of the street, those cops are coming to me with a gas can and jumper cables.
They walk up to this gentleman with their guns drawn and he’s shot and killed. This happens a lot. This happens on average, after this being brought to my attention, this happens on average over 30 times a month. I’m not saying how many, I don’t… on average over 30 African-American men are shot by police each month. This is something that is coming to the forefront now because of live video.
I think that’s a very heavy serious topic and that’s something that we as a country have to address. An issue that serious coming to the forefront by live video demonstrates to us the power of this form of media. My opinion is that all of us from a business perspective which is serious to us from a day-to-day perspective of how we make our living, that’s going to be I think the thing that we all start to focus on. You get your box, you get your new shoes from Nike, my son, we just ordered my son cleats, baseball cleats. He gets his new baseball cleats, he’s excited. We do a live video, unboxing them, putting them on, how do they feel? “Oh, they feel great. I’m running around. I feel terrific in them.” He plays his first game, we do a live video of him wearing his Nike, stealing second base. That’s going to be the most powerful form of communication.
Nancy: That’s an advertisement right there.
Dave: That’s exactly right. You know what? It’s a hundred times more believable as an advertisement than a Just Do It commercial with Derek Jeter stealing second base because, my kids are never going to run like Derek Jeter. I love him but he’s never going to be Derek Jeter, right? The fact that these shoes are effective for an everyday kid, making him more effective at stealing second base, that resonates with me because I have a regular kid. I don’t have Derek Jeter. I think you’re going to see stuff like that when it comes to social media, that where people are going to go to figure out what makes the most sense to buy.
You’re a grandmother. You want to buy a video game console for your kid. You don’t know anything about video consoles but you wrote down PlayStation, Xbox, PSP, you wrote down a bunch of names. What are you going to do? You’re going to go to your Facebook page and you’re going to post something, “Has anybody bought any one of these for their kids? what are they really like for video games? Let me know.”
Your friends, your grandma friends are going to chime in as to what they bought, then you’re going to do a search based on those results you get an you’re going to see what? You’re going to see testimonials, right? You’re going to see reviews. You’re going to see all this other stuff online. Then that’s going to take you to a video of someone actually using the product and showing you how easy or how difficult it is to use.
Now, you’ve gone in a span of a one hour time period or maybe they want to collecting information on Facebook 24 hours or 48 hour time period, you’ve gone from knowing nothing about video games to getting the exact video game your grandchild wanted for him for the holidays. That’s powerful.
I think to directly answer your question, the social part of social media is going to go away. It’s just going to become media. That’s going to be the way we make better decisions and all of our serious decisions about purchasing products and services, that’s going to be the way we consume our media. Television shows are no longer going to be limited to specific days and times. We can watch whatever we want, whenever we want. We can search for products on demand on our phones while we’re in a store or while in the dentist waiting room. I think the power of social media is here to stay. I think it’s just going to be just another way for us to get the information we need when we need it.
Nancy: I think also just to add my own little bit about it, virtual reality, I see that coming up more and more on my timeline. I think in the next 20-30 years, that’s going to be a huge game-changer.
Dave: It’s funny you mentioned that. Those of you who connect with me on Instagram, I’ll go, after this show, I’m going to post on Instagram a shot of my son at Fenway Park in Boston playing a virtual reality baseball game. Fenway Park has this great section underneath the right field bleachers where you can bring kids before or during the game. They can put on these virtual reality headsets. It’s like a helmet with glasses and you’re actually on the field at Fenway Park with the real players while players are hitting the ball, throwing the ball, you’re catching it, it is really, really cool. The next generation of that is putting you in an actual game.
You’re standing next to the centerfielder while the ball is hit during the live game. That to me is amazing but the possibilities of that, you want to go to a resort, let’s say, and you want to go to a resort in Mexico and you’ve never been to this place in Mexico before. You can put on the virtual reality glasses, go to their website and guess what? You’re standing on the beach, their beach in Mexico looking around turning 360 degrees around actually experiencing what it will be like when you go there. That’s fantastic. I love virtual reality. I think you’re right. I think there’s a lot of really good stuff on the horizon with that.
All right folks, that’ll do it for this episode. We look forward to seeing you right back here next week. Remember, reach out to us on Facebook at thedavelorenzo, on Twitter at thedavelorenzo, and Instagram, of course, at thedavelorenzo.
This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is titled “The Secrets of Power Proposals.”
When people are ready to do business, they ask you to put together a proposal to outline how you will work together. This is usually a “take it or leave it” offer. Either the client accepts your terms or he doesn’t.
The document you create does more than memorialize the terms of the deal. It serves as a platform for your relationship.
Listen to this episode of our show to discover the five keys to developing a great proposal that gets the client to say “YES” every time.
Here is the transcript of this week’s show:
Welcome, everyone, to another edition of “The 60 Second Sale” show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and on the other side of the proverbial glass we have Nancy Popp, our producer. Hello, Nancy.
Hello, David. How are you?
I’m great. How are you today?
I’m doing fantastic.
Terrific. Today we are going to talk about, we’re going to reveal, the secrets of power proposals, and frankly, the reason we are talking about this today is I just went through a proposal process. I had three big proposals that I got out in the last week, two of them two days ago, and I am always tempted to do what everybody else does and get giddy when someone asks me for a proposal.
You know how it goes. You’re with a client or a prospective client and you’re having a discussion and the client says something that just gets you all tingly inside. You feel like you have exactly the solution the client wants, and you can’t wait to tell them about your great solution. You can’t wait to tell them how easy it would be for them to work with you. You can’t wait to get started. You wish you could start with this client today, and you get all excited. The client gets excited because they sense your ability to help them, and you say, “Great. Let me just jot some stuff down, and I’ll be happy to shoot you over a proposal and you can let me know what you think.”
That’s what everyone does, 98% of the world, the sales world, does that. For me, this week I had three proposals that I said that I had to get out, and it would have been so easy for me to just check off the box and say, “Hey, I’m going to send you out a proposal. I’m just going to get you some information and get it out to you, and then I’m going to wait,” and here’s why that is so tempting. When we send out a proposal it makes us feel good. When we send out a proposal we get to check that box off like I said, and then here’s what happens. We have hope, right?
I remember when I first started off selling stuff, way back when I was just a little itty-bitty baby salesperson. I would be thrilled, absolutely thrilled when someone said they wanted a proposal. I would write the proposal up, I would send it out as quickly as possible, and then I would go home and I would count my money, and I would think about how rich I was going to be because everybody who asks for a proposal is going to be a buyer. We have hope. That’s what proposals do. They give us hope.
My friends, that’s not the purpose of a proposal, so I’m going to take you through a scenario. I’m going to take you through the current way you are doing things, and I’m going to take you through the way everybody does them, and then I’ll take you through the power proposal way, and then I’ll diagnose it for you. I’ll break it down.
You go out now and somebody calls you up on the phone and they say, let’s say your name is, all, I don’t know. Let’s say your name is Dave. They call you up on the phone and they say, “Hey, Dave. I heard that you teach salespeople to be more successful. I’ve got 12 salespeople in my company. We do $2 million a year. Each salesperson is responsible for doing $150,000 a year. I’d like them to go from $150,000 a year to $200,000 a year, and our average transaction size is $5000, so we really need you to help them grow by maybe doing 10 new transactions a year. Can you do this, Dave?”
For me, that’s easy. I could do that easily. I could teach someone to close 10 new deals a year, absolutely. I don’t care if you’re selling private jets or if you’re selling legal services or if you’re selling vacuums door-to-door. I can get you to close 10 more deals a year. That’s less than one a month. I can help you do that. Absolutely I can help you do that. That’s what I’m thinking in my mind, so my reaction is to ask a few questions, find out about their process, find out what these 10 deals will be valued at per person, what that would mean to the company overall, what that would mean to the person I have on the phone. I get all that information and then I say, this is the traditional way, I say, “Let me come over and do a presentation to you.” Then I go over and do the presentation.
After the presentation, everybody thinks everything is great. We’re all friends. Everything’s happy, everybody’s happy, then they say, “Why don’t you give us a proposal?” I say, “Sure.” I write up the proposal, one number, send it over, and then I wait, and I wait, and I wait. All the while, the first two or three days that I’m waiting I’m getting rich. I’m thinking to myself, “I could close 20 of these deals. These people love for me. They’re going to do business with me forever.”
Then, like a jury being out, the longer it goes, the worse the verdict is going to be. Three or four days goes by. Five days goes by, I don’t hear anything. A week goes by, maybe two weeks goes by. Do I call them? Do I seem desperate if I call them? Maybe they haven’t made their decision. Maybe the decision-maker is away, he’s in Europe with his family, and I wait, and a lot of times I never hear anything back, and then when I do hear something back it’s, “Oh, we’re sorry. We went in a different direction,” and usually I hear that after I call four weeks later, because you don’t want to seem desperate.
That’s the old way. That’s the old way of doing things. That may be the way that you do things when it comes to your proposal process. I want you to scrap that. We don’t do that anymore. Here’s how we do proposals. A proposal simply confirms a discussion you’ve already had. There’s this game among those of us in sales that we play. It’s like an Easter egg hunt. I guess what number you can pay, and then my goal is to try and get as close to that number as possible, maybe go a little bit over it so that I can make the most money possible, and that game sucks. It sucks for you, the salesperson, and it sucks for the guy on the other side of the table, it sucks for the person who is buying your services, so here’s what we do to proposals.
We talk about the numbers as soon as we can in the process. As soon as it’s appropriate we talk about the numbers. We throw it right out there. “What’s your budget for this?” and then the client will always say, “I don’t really have a budget,” right? How dumb is that? “I don’t really have a budget.” Of course. What I say to people when they say, “I don’t have a budget,” what I say to them is I say, “You got a number in mind that you were thinking of paying. Why don’t you tell me what that number is?”
Then they say, “We really haven’t done this before. I’m not really sure.” Then I tell them, “All right, here’s what we’ll do. You think about that number, then cut it in half and tell me what it is.” Basically I cannot give you a proposal unless I know what you are prepared to spend. Can’t do it. I just can’t do it, because I’m not going to sit down and customize an entire program for you if you don’t have the money to pay me. I’m not going to do it, so here’s how you go about doing a proposal.
You have that whole diagnostic conversation up front. “Tell me about your business. Tell me what you’re looking to accomplish. Tell me how you think I can help you. Tell me what your budget is. Oh, you don’t have a budget? Okay, well, let’s talk about the return on investment from this initiative. Let’s talk about how much money you’re going to make as a result of the product that I’m going to sell you or how much money you’re going to make as a result of the service I’m going to provide for you. Okay, we have a significant return on investment. I get it. That’s great. Now, let’s talk about what my service will cost and then we can look at what the actual return on investment will be.”
Then you have a discussion about what your service will cost, transparent, completely transparent. By the time you finish that conversation, you and the client are in agreement on what the price is going to be, and then you send over a proposal. You never, ever send someone a proposal unless it’s to confirm a conversation that you already had. I’m going to say that again, because it’s so important. You never send a proposal to someone unless it’s to confirm a conversation that has already taken place, so you and the client have to agree on a price before you can send over a proposal.
Now, in every proposal there are five things, there’s five secrets. That’s the title of this episode of “The 60 Second Sale” show. There are five secrets to power proposals, so today I’m going to cover those five secrets with you and it’s going to fundamentally change the way you do business. It’s going to take off all the pressure, because you’ll know when you send over the proposal whether you’ve got a deal or not, and you’ll know when that proposal is going to be signed, and you’ll know when the money is going to hit your bank account. Here are now the five secrets of power proposals.
Secret number one: You never give a proposal to someone who can only say no. Never give a proposal to someone who can only say no. Now, you know who these people are. They’re the people who placed the initial call to you and they blow all kinds of sunshine up your butt and they tell you how great their company is and how much they’re looking forward to doing business with you. Really what they’re doing is they’re gathering information for someone else to make a decision, and these people, you can’t give them proposals because the proposal will sit in their desk for months on end, and they’ll gather information and they’ll gather information and nothing will ever happen
People in human resources are famous for this, by the way, so if you work in a field where someone with a title of Chief Human Resource Officer or Executive Vice President of Human Resources is the person who you normally talk to, that’s a terrible person to talk to. Also, anyone with procurement or supply chain in their business title, Executive Vice President of Procurement or Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Operations. Those people are terrible people to talk to because they gather information and then someone else makes the decision.
What I want you to do when you’re talking to the person who’s on the phone with you, I want you to say, “Here’s our process for doing business with folks. We gather as much information as we can,” this is you, the salesperson or the business owner, “We gather as much information as we can, and then we like to have a frank discussion about the pricing and the return on investment from our services or from our product. Now, Mr. Inquirer, is there anyone else in your company we need to get involved in this decision-making process, because when we have this discussion about pricing, I will need a yes or a no in order to continue to move forward. I cannot, ethically, I cannot have a discussion with folks who can only say no, or I cannot have a discussion with folks who don’t have the ability to say yes to a proposal, so who else in your company, if there’s anyone else, do we need to involve in this process?” Be very direct, be very forceful.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Wow, if I say that, the person’s going to hang up the phone.” There is a possibility that the person will say, “Well then I can’t deal with you,” but there’s also the possibility that the person will say, “Okay, great. We’re going to get Mr. Smith involved. He owns the company.”
Now, if the person says, “Well then I can’t deal with you,” that person is doing you a huge favor, because that person had no authority to say yes. They only had the authority to say no. They would have given you false hope. Let them hang up the phone before you ever do a proposal or waste your time throwing numbers out there without ever having an opportunity to get any business.
The first thing you need to make sure of is you need to make sure that you have a decision-maker who is going to discuss this proposal with you, have a decision-maker who is going to review your proposal options, and make sure you’re talking to a decision-maker. You also want to make sure that these people have money, so when you get the decision-maker on the phone you say, “What’s your budget?” He’s going to say, “I don’t have a budget.” Remember? I just went through this whole thing. “I don’t have a budget.” They all say that, right?
You say, “Look. I’ve got to be frank with you. Everybody tells me they don’t have a budget, but you have a number that you’ve planned to spend. If it’s based on return on investment, that’s fine. I can tell you what the return on investment from our services will be, and as long as the return on investment is fair and you agree that it’s fair then we’ll move forward, but I need to know what numbers we are working with here, and I’m not going to just submit a proposal blind. I can do it, because what happens is when I submit proposals blind everyone uses me as a benchmark and then people undercut me, and I’m not going to have that happen, so tell me what you’re prepared to spend or what your measurement of a return on investment for this initiative really is.”
Then the final thing is you need to make sure that they have a problem that you can solve. This is all step one, by the way, so they have a problem that you can solve. Sometimes people will come to me and they’ll say, “Listen, we need to fire our Executive Vice President of Sales. Will you help me recruit a new Executive Vice President of Sales?” and I say, “I can tell you what the qualities of a great EVP of Sales are, but I don’t do recruiting. That’s not my thing. I’ll introduce you to a great recruiter. I’ll help you build a job description, but the recruiter is the one who has to go out and find the person for you.”
That person doesn’t have, the person who is talking to me doesn’t have a problem I can solve, so it’s not worth it for me to sit down and even entertain doing a proposal for them, so step one, make sure that you’re qualified. Make sure that the business is qualified. That means that you’re talking to a person who has the ability to make a decision, the company that you’re talking to has money to spend on your services, the right amount of money, and they have a problem you can solve.
Step two in the secrets of power proposal: You are the last or the only proposal that they’re submitting. You don’t want to be the rabbit. You don’t want to be the one who’s pacing everyone else. You don’t want to be the benchmark that everyone else discounts their pricing off of. You tell people point-blank, “I don’t want to be the person to throw out a number and then have you compare my proposal to everybody else, so if you’re shopping around, I appreciate it. Go shop around. Come to me last, and if you are shopping around and you’re coming to me last, you have to discuss the other proposals with me or we’re not going to do business. That’s just the way I work.”
You see, the thing that’s different here, the thing that’s different here is you are in a partnership with the person you’re talking to, and you’re deciding whether or not you’re going to work together. This is not you out there chasing business. This is you and your potential client saying to one another, “Here are my business terms. What are your business terms? Okay, that’s great. Let’s talk about numbers. If the numbers fit, we’ll work together. If the numbers don’t fit, I appreciate the opportunity. Go hire someone else. Thank you so much for coming by.”
This is a partnership. This isn’t you sucking up to get business, and too many times when we are delivering proposals it’s people sucking up to get business, so you have to be the last or the only person who’s involved in this. Now preferably your services or your product will be so different, so disruptive, that you’re the only person in the market and people can’t compare themselves to you, but in the event that it’s a beauty contest, in the event that there are multiple people coming through here offering proposals, you want to be the last one. All right.
Step three in the secrets of power proposals is that you are confirming a discussion with a written document. Don’t be coy. We said this at the outset. You have a conversation with your client up front and you say, “Okay, if I understand you correctly, you’re looking for a three to five times return on investment, so my services are $50,000. That means that we have to do $200,000 in business as a result of our work together in order for you to get a return on investment that you would be happy with. Is that correct?” “Yes.” “Perfect. I’m going to submit a proposal to you that is for $50,000, and I will promise you that we’ll do $200,000 in return on investment as long as everything goes as planned. If that is agreeable to you, I’ll send you the proposal.”
The person says yes, he’s agreeable to that. You write up the proposal, send it over. Very easy process, because you’ve discussed everything up front. You verbally confirmed everything up front before you’ve ever gotten into this conversation. A proposal is just a document that memorializes that discussion.
Step four in the secrets of power proposals is OTTO: Offer three terrific options. Offer three terrific options. We call it OTTO. The reason you offer three terrific options is because you never want to be a binary choice. You never want the client to say yes or no, so here’s how this works. Option number one is slightly below the number that they’re comfortable paying, just slightly. Option number two is on target with the number they’re comfortable paying, and option number three is a home run. Always offer that third option. In some cases, option number one can be the number they’re comfortable paying, option number two can be slightly above, and option number three can be double or can be a home run.
The reason you offer three options is because you want to give them multiple choices of yes, and we’re going to do a whole podcast on how to structure options, but what I can tell you right now is one of those options has to be spot on the number they’ve agreed to pay. Either it’s their budget number or it’s the number you’ve discussed. Then one of those numbers is something that you’ve discussed that is a preventative measure to keep this problem from ever happening again or it’s a bundle of services or it’s a number of different things that they’ve always wanted to do but never had the guts to put in the budget. You always want a home run option, so you always have one number that’s spot on the budget, you always have another number that’s a home run option.
If there are multiple people in the mix you may want to have a number that’s a little bit below what the budget was. If there are not multiple people in the mix, if you’re the only person or you’re the last person, then one number is the budget, the second number is the budget plus something that would be nice for them to have, and the third number is a number where it’s the number that they had in mind, it’s the service that they had in mind plus something that will prevent this problem from ever occurring again.
You see where I’m going with this. You’re offering people ways to say yes. You’re offering them options, multiple options for saying yes to you instead of just saying, “Here’s the number. Take it or leave it,” because when you say to people, “Take it or leave it,” it’s a psychological error on your part. You’re creating acrimony. They feel like they’re packed into a corner, and you never want to do that. When you give them options, two things happen. They’re buying now. You’re not selling them. They get to make a great choice. They get to show how smart they are by making a fantastic decision.
The other thing that happens when you offer multiple options is they don’t negotiate with you. If you offer them multiple options and they don’t have the budget, instead of them coming back to you and saying, “Well, can you cut the price by 10%?” you say to them, “Well, I have this other option there. That’s the option you should take if you don’t have the amount of money that we originally discussed.” Options create choice. Choice makes the buying decision easier, and it makes the entire experience more pleasurable.
The final secret of power proposals, secret number five, is you have to schedule a discussion and a decision right when you send the proposal, so here’s what I always do. We always talk about the number up front. “Okay, it’s $50,000 you want to spend based on a $200,000 return on investment. I will put this together in writing and I will get it to you within 24 hours. You’ll have it by close of business tomorrow, and when I get you the proposal by close of business tomorrow let’s agree that the day after tomorrow we’re going to have a call. Are you free at 11:00? At 11:00 we’ll have a call and we’ll decide whether or not we’re going to move forward at that time. After that call, you can sign the document and send it over if the answer is yes. If the answer is no then we’ll agree to part company as friends, but we are going to make that decision the day after tomorrow at 11:00. Great? Great.”
Then we have that discussion. It’s either a yes or a no. Then we are done. It’s over. Don’t leave yourself in limbo. I know as salespeople we love that hope. As long as that hope is out there, I can be a millionaire in my mind. Don’t leave yourself in limbo. Schedule a time for a decision. Schedule a deadline. Schedule a time to discuss the proposal and be done with it, and everyone can make that deadline within 24 to 48 hours. I can’t even imagine somebody saying, “Well, we’re going to make the decision in six weeks.”
Well then come to me for a proposal in six weeks. No. You don’t give a proposal to someone who’s not ready to make a decision, right? We discussed that right at the top of the show today, so you can tell them, “You’re going to get a proposal. We’re going to have a discussion. Within 48 hours we’ll wrap it up and decide whether we’re going to work together or not,” and then you can make the payment terms whatever you want to make them. They can pay at a certain date, but you want the proposal signed and back in your office within 48 hours, so those are the five steps, the five secrets, of power proposals.
Number one: Qualify the opportunity. That means make sure that there’s money, the ability of the person on the other end of the proposal process to make a decision, and a problem you can solve. Step number two: You want to be the last or only person, the last or only person, to be offering a proposal, to offer a proposal. Step three: A proposal just confirms a discussion. Don’t be coy. Talk about numbers before you ever send a document. It doesn’t make sense, don’t waste your time writing a proposal. Step four: OTTO. Offer three terrific options. Step five: Schedule a discussion. Give them a deadline for making a decision.
It’s very simple, my friends. This is so simple. We make it too complicated. Go out today. All your proposals, just do it. Get it done this way. You will be amazed at how less complicated your life becomes, how much better you sleep at night, and how quickly you close deals. Start making things complicated. Use these five steps to get your proposals out the door and get the money in the bank. All right?
It’s that time of the show. Last few minutes of the show today we are going to take a question, and by the way, if you want to send us a question, the best way to do it is on social media. You can find me on Facebook, @TheDaveLorenzo. Put the word “the” in front of my name, @TheDaveLorenzo. On Instagram, if you love pictures, I got them for you. You love short videos, I got them for you. Go to Instagram, @thedavelorenzo. In the comments, drop a question. Be happy to answer it for you on the show. On Twitter, hit me up, @TheDaveLorenzo, @TheDaveLorenzo. You see a theme there? Every single one of the social media outlets where you can send me a question is “The Dave Lorenzo.”
Nancy Popp, we have a question today. What is it and where’s it from?
We have a question today from Janice Mullaney. She’s from [inaudible 00:25:39] Massachusetts and she asks, “What do I do when I have to participate in a multiperson proposal process?”
Ah, so it’s a beauty contest. Some businesses, I get it, some businesses do have these beauty contests, so for example if you work with the government they are required, oftentimes, either state, local, or federal government, they’re required to get at least three proposals. If you work in a big company, when I worked for Marriott we had to get three proposals on all major projects, all projects that were over, I think, $10,000 at the time required three different bids, three different proposals, so Janice, thank you for your question. You’re asking if you’ve got to participate in a beauty show, you’ve got to participate in a beauty contest, which is what we call multiple proposal environment, what do you do?
Well, you know from our five secrets you want to be the last person to bid, so what I ask for is I always ask to be last look. I always say, “Listen. I want to give you the best possible deal, so do me a favor and tell me what your lowest bid is, and if I think I can come in with a better return on investment than those people are providing,” notice I’m not saying that I’m going to undercut their proposal, I’m just going to make a better return on investment, so I could be a little bit more, “if I think I can do a better return on investment I will figure out a way to do that. If I can’t provide you with a better return on investment, I will bow out but you’ll save me a lot of time.”
Fifty-fifty shot as to whether they give you that “last look,” whether they give you the opportunity to take a look at all the other proposals and see what you can do for them, so that’s the first thing. You say, “Can I have last look?” If they say no, then you say, “Okay. When it comes to presentations, then, I want to present last and give you my proposal last because I need a yes or a no within 48 hours.”
If they say, “Well, we can’t give you last look and we can’t give you a yes or no within 48 hours,” then you say, “Look. I don’t like throwing darts at a board, and me giving you a proposal would just be throwing darts at a board, so you got to give me more than that,” and then if you’re in a government area or if you’re in an area where just the way they do things is you give three proposals and this is how it’s done, then the least thing you can do, or the least you can do is you say, listen, can I write the guidelines for the proposal for you, so that you’re the person who actually creates the guidelines, and you make them so stringent that only your company can match them.
If none of those things work and you got to send a proposal in the blind, I’m sorry. That’s not a business that I advocate. I would just blow up that model and move on, try and find another market. Any time you’ve got someone pitting you against another company and another company’s solution, that’s never going to wind up good. It’s never going to wind up working out well for you. Any time two people are pitted against one another, one of the two of them ends up being a loser, so those are the three things I think you should do, Janice.
First you go into them, you say, “Can I have last look?” If they say, “No, we are not going to show you the other stuff,” then you say, “All right, I want to present last, but I want to make sure that when I give you my proposal you have 48 hours, yes or no, you give me an answer.” If they say, “No, that’s not going to work,” then I would bow out, but if you have to, what I would say is, “Listen, can I write the proposal specs for you so that I make sure that you’re getting everything you need, and then only your company, only your company can meet those specs, hopefully,” that’s the last opportunity for you there.
If none of those things are available to you, if they say no to all three of them, you’re in a crappy business, Janice. You got to get out, because that’s just absolutely horrible and you’re a good salesperson. There are other places you can go where you can be in a true partnership with your potential client, and that’s what the proposal really highlights. It highlights the strength of your partnership. You’re out there delivering this information to your client because you want to help them become more successful. You want to help them. That’s what you do.
That’s what this process is all about. It’s not a win-lose. It’s a win-win for you and your client. Janice, thank you so much for the question. Nancy Popp, thank you so much for your hard work and your efforts as always, and until next time, folks, I will see you right here at “The 60 Second Sale” show. I hope you make a great living and live a great life.