Here is the transcript of this very powerful interview that was included in the first issue of Customer Engagement Magazine. If you enjoyed this please comment and share.
Ray Stendall – Founder & Publisher Customer Engagement Magazine http://bit.ly/cemagazine
Ray: Welcome everyone to the world famous Customer Engagement Revolution where we motivate, inspire, and teach you how to be more effective and fully engaged with your prospects and customers. These interviews feature some of the most notable thought leaders in the world, and of course, my name is Ray Stendall, your grateful host and co-author of The Path to Riches in Think and Grow Rich.
As many of you know from previous episodes, full customer engagement consists of four key components:
- Building an empowered employee culture with the right people that’s customer driven.
- Building solutions that matter and solve real world problems.
- Marketing and sales that add value at each customer touch point.
- Ensuring customer loyalty to make customers for life.
One of the important steps in the process of realizing the benefits of full customer engagement is building competence. This involves moving from being intentionally incompetent on the subject, all the way to being unconsciously competent where you do what needs to be done in an automatic way. The goal of these interviews is to interview experts that you can benefit from the journey that they have traveled, so that you can really get their insights and gain from their wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Today I am so excited to have my good friend Phil Taylor. Let me tell you a little bit about Phil. Phil is the author of the book Set Yourself On Fire!: How to Ignite Your Passions and Live the Life You Love. It’s a wonderful book. He’s an award-winning speaker, trainer, and he’s internationally recognized in the fields of communications, sales, team performance, entrepreneurship, and goal achievement. He’s also the founder of Goal Achievers International, a global organization that’s devoted to empowering individuals and organizations through the harmonic and cooperative efforts of others to achieve extraordinary results in all areas of one’s personal and business life.
Having been a top sales performer, entrepreneur, founder, and owner of numerous businesses over a period of more than two decades, Phil knows and understands first hand the various challenges and adversities that confront individuals that pursue excellence in their given profession. Through this vast experience and specialized knowledge, Phil imparts his extensive insights through his colorful speeches, interactive programs, seminars, and workshops, thus empowering individuals and organizations with how to plan, design, and achieve optimal results.
Thank you so much, Phil, for joining our program. How are you doing today?
Phil: I’m doing great, Ray. Thank you so much. I think I’m going to have to hire you full-time as the official Phil Taylor introducer. That was a great job that you did with that.
Ray: Oh, thank you very much. I meant every word of it. So, let’s dive right in to our topic. I know that our listeners and our viewers are very excited to learn as much as we can from you in the limited time that we have together so let’s just dive in.
Your topic, essentially, is all about goal-setting. Correct me if I’m wrong. That is your main topic, how to help people set, and not only set, but achieve goals that can really move their life forward.
Phil: Absolutely. I think Brian Tracy said it well. He said if he was given two minutes to impart the most important, life-empowering message to individuals, what would it be? He would say, “Set goals for yourself.” Goals are really what propel us to the life that we desire and want. So it’s so essential to be able to identify what your goals are, to know how to set goals, and to put it into action.
The beautiful part about goal-setting is that we don’t have to be victims; we can be victors. The way we do that in life is by simply identifying goals and working out the plan.
Ray: Yeah, that sounds exactly right on target here. It’s interesting, as we think about the world around us and the many different types of people that we come across, how few of them are actually realizing their goals. There’s a small percentage of people who set goals and an even smaller percentage of people who realize those goals, Let’s dive into this a little bit more and define this topic of goal-setting and goal-achieving. How do you really define it?
Phil: Well, just previously, before we got onto the program we were having a little chit-chat, and part of our discussion was, well, I’m going to ask you, “Why goals?” It just seems like such a very obvious part of a life-empowering process. But it’s interesting that if goals are so important, then why don’t more people do it?
Studies have been done over and over again; over 90% of the population does not set goals for themselves, They become the product of other people’s goals. Only a very small percentage, maybe 3% of the population, have a clearly defined blueprint for their life, that’s clearly defined, written down, and that they work it.
But, the same studies will indicate overwhelmingly that people who successfully do that, who are clear about what their definite chief aim is (I know Ray that you’re a Napoleon Hill certified instructor, so we all now know what a definite chief aim is, but we could go into that in greater detail), people who know what their definite purpose in life and draw out goals for a healthy, balanced life are the ones that truly rise up and live the life that they love.
That’s what Set Yourself On Fire is, it’s about setting yourself on fire, identifying the life that you want, and then going through the process needed to do that. We can discuss that, of course, in the program in the time we have together.
Ray: That’s a great introduction, and we just want to drill down a little bit more. The whole idea of being able to set goals that map to strategies that align with your purpose and provide the “Why” you’re doing what you’re doing; the whole idea is to experience joy, fulfillment, and achievement in our life, and quite often you might find people who, on the outside, seem quite successful but they are not aligned with what it is that gives them joy, and, actually, on the inside they’re quite miserable. Don’t you find that true when you meet different people?
Phil: Oh, absolutely. Goals, in one way, are very, very simple in the sense of understanding the process, and if you allow us to do that, Ray, we’ll go through a 7-step process that we utilize at Goal Achievers International.
But bigger than that, we talk about goals and there are different types of goals, balance is so very important. If you’re achieving great success in your career but your health is not being taken care of, that eventually catches up to you and affects your career, obviously. The same goes with finances, and so forth.
It’s interesting to note, I was watching a multi-billionaire on television (I’m not going to mention his name) and he had accomplished incredible things financially, but you could see in his face and his mannerisms that he was incredibly unhappy.
So, I think that life, in a certain sense—or goalsetting–is a science. There’s more to it than meets the eyes.
The first thing to define for oneself is to identify what your values are. The values of your life are the very cultivating ground of your goals. They’re sort of the earth and the soil in which you plant your goals and your vision.
One of the conflicts that people have in the goal-setting process is that sometimes they set goals that are in conflict with one another. It’s very important to have balance in life and make sure that your goals are congruent with your values and with your definite chief aim. Having a definite chief aim, something we don’t really talk about too much in the whole meat and potatoes of goal-setting, but I believe it’s really the overarching, driving force, so to speak, to everything one needs to do; to really take the time in one’s life, whether it be to take a day walking on the beach alone or in the woods or wherever it may be, to really ask yourself: “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” and to really do some soul-searching.
From that, then you’ve got the roots, so to speak, in the garden of your life where you can then branch out and really live that kind of life, design the life that you love and that offers values to others. Does that make sense to you, Ray?
Ray: It did, and I love what you said. One of my favorite words in the English language is congruency. The way you talked about congruency; the congruency between your values, your definite chief aim and your goals and being able to ensure that they all are in support of one another as you go forward in life and have the appropriate balance between your family and your business is so important.
Why don’t we get down into more of the details.
My audience, as you can appreciate, loves to really get down at tactical things they can implement. So, let’s analyze your 7-step methodology. Let’s go through it, and then what we’re going to do is we’re going to take it from the perspective of being in a sales organization, selling products, services, and solutions, and how we can really tune up the process and apply your methodology in the world of sales. Let’s go through the process first.
Phil: Sure. The whole purpose of goalsetting and goal-achieving is to achieve your definition of what success is. The beautiful part of life is that you get to define what success is. Nobody else does. Society tries to define what success is for others, but the beautiful part is that you are the captain of your own ship, and you can define what success is.
In terms of sales and the practical application of sales, obviously, the sales industry is a very goal-driven sector of any company – any division of any company is goal-driven. But when we think of sales, we really think that, “The more sales you make, the bigger they are,” and so forth. You’re certainly in the right place in terms of your purpose within the framework of the company and what you’re called to do. So, (success) in terms of sales, and perhaps you could help guide us through this, is to identify what the objectives are that the company has set out for you.
And, obviously, I don’t know one sales manager or one sales division in the world that doesn’t want you to be the top sales performer in your company. Maybe we could take it from that perspective: How do you achieve ultimate, or optimum success as an account manager or a salesperson or a sales associate (or whatever term you want to use)? Does that sound like a good direction to take, how to be a top sales achiever?
Ray: I think so, and you know what I’m thinking here–which I think our audience is really going to enjoy–is if we can take your 7-step Methodology and apply it to my 10 Steps of the Sales and Marketing Process, and then we can go back and forth and really show how these two support each other.
So, based on what we just said, Lesson #1 in the 7-step process from reading your book is all about “Do you know what you really want?” and being very clear on the goal.
Let’s now talk about how we can apply that to Step #1 in the process that I have, from a sales and marketing perspective, which is really understanding the marketplace, understanding the customer buying process, market positioning, industry trends and best practices.
A lot of times in the business world you end up working for a company or representing a product or service that you may not really even be in love with. You’re not really excited to be there. You’re lacking the clarity for why you’re even working where you’re working. I think at the very beginning steps we have to get very clear on what we want, which means: What type of career do we want? What kind of business do we want?
Then, from that, we can say, “What type of customers do we want? What type of solutions do we want to position and sell in the marketplace? How do we want to be viewed in the marketplace?” and get very clear on what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of what we’re doing within a company for ourselves or a company that we work for. What do you think?
Phil: Oh, absolutely. Step #1–I think this is really the foundation to success in sales–is to be absolutely 100% convinced that the product or service that you’re offering the customers that you’re targeting or prospective customers in the market is absolutely the very best value than other products and service of its type out there.
Value may take different shapes and forms, but if you’re not convinced that what you’re offering is absolutely the best in the industry in terms of the amount of the investment, then go out and represent that other product or service. You’ve got to able to operate from a place of complete conviction and confidence that what you’re offering is absolutely the very best in its industry that is meeting a particular service or a need.
The other part is, of course, the aspect of self-development: Am I really performing at the optimal best in terms of my ability to articulate, to identify, to close, and to follow up with the customers of the product and the service that I’m representing?
Believe in your product, believe in yourself and, of course, love what you’re doing.
I don’t know about others but if it’s not fun, in my viewpoint, it’s not worth doing, But then again, that’s just one of my values for living. Maybe that’s not one of the values that other people have, but when you’re having fun doing what you’re doing, contageous people really love to do business with people who are really wonderfully obsessed and enthusiastic about the product or service they’re representing.
I would say that that would be the layout and the beginning point for qualifying yourself to represent a particular product or service: belief in the product or service, belief in yourself and loving what you do. And, of course, the competency factor: Do I have the skills and ability to do this?
Of course, nobody was born a salesperson. Sales is an art that can truly be developed for anybody who desires to excel in that profession.
Going back, I think a good starting point is if somebody is called to the wonderful sales profession, to be number one in your industry is certainly, I think, a very worthy calling.
I don’t know. Maybe people want to be Number 10 or whatever but I haven’t met a salesperson who said, “I don’t want to be number one,” and I’ve met almost every salesperson saying, “What would I do? What I wouldn’t do to be able to achieve the status of being number one in my company or my industry.” I would say that that would be a worthy target. Maybe if that’s the desire and maybe listeners are hearing this and desire to be number one in their industry, maybe we can take them through a 7-step process. Would that be a fair assessment or presumption?
Ray: Yeah, let’s do that. I mean, there’s not much excitement about being Number 55 in your industry. Let’s look at being number one.
But the context of being number one is being number one for the right reasons, and those right reasons are that we are providing an amazing solution in the marketplace that is delivering real value, and it is because of that, the effect of that is that we are being compensated to be number one.
I’m sure you’ve met a bunch of sales people who get wrapped around their commission number and really couldn’t care less if they’re providing the right value in the marketplace, which is not what we’re talking about here.
Phil: Right, absolutely.
Ray: So, I was just going to say if we use this as a goal, to talk about the methodology, then we can also line up some of the tackling and blocking aspects of the sales process and how that relates to your methodology. So, let’s do that. Let’s go to Step #2in your methodology.
Phil: Ok, well, you brought it up and it really segues into Step #2: Identify why you want to achieve that goal.
So, yes, maybe your goal is to be able to be the representative who best serves his customers better than anybody else.
The thing about top sales achievement and being able to be a top performer is it’s very quantifiable. The numbers simply don’t lie. If a person is a real pro in sales, they’re number one because they are doing things that are right in the long term. They really believe in their product. They believe in themselves. They’re passionate about what they’re doing and that passion creates energy, it creates excitement and they’re committed to lifelong learning in terms of excelling in their profession.
Sales, in a certain way, is very much like sports. When you hit the football field, or the soccer field, or whatever it may be, but perhaps the better analogy would be track and field, for instance. You’re not going to be on the track so that you’re aiming to be second or third, or the most eloquent type of runner, or whatever. You’re there to win, to be the best runner that you can be, and hopefully that equates to a gold medal. So, in a certain sense, it is with sales, too. There are two ways but if we’re going to take the track of, “Hey, I want to be the top performer in my company.” Why? Could you give us some reasons why someone may want to be the top sales performer in their company, Ray?
Ray: Oh, absolutely. Someone would want to be the top performer in their company because they would gain tremendous satisfaction from being able to deploy their products and solutions with customers who they truly value. They want to take care of their customers. They want to build customers for life, they want to be able to provide the best solution in the marketplace because they do honestly believe that they do have the best solution in the marketplace, and they want to extend that.
At the same time, they want to better their family, they want to better their own lifestyle and they know that the more that they can help others be successful, the more they can be successful. It comes down to some basic natural laws.
Phil: Yeah, absolutely, and when you say that, it reminds me of Zig Ziglar’s great statement, “If you can help enough people get what they want, you’ll have everything that you want.”
An interesting part in my sales career is I stopped getting out of the office or the door of my operation with the attitude of, “How many sales can I make?” When I began to ask the question, “How many people can I help today with my product and service?”
One, it became a much more joyful process, and two, it became an extremely productive process as well because, as you pointed out, if your motive is to make money—and there’s nothing wrong with making money, and there’s everything right about it so long as it truly meets the needs of other people with integrity—but when we concentrate on offering the best possible product or service, the money is the by-product of that kind of quality of service that we offer.
Phil: We’re just in the business of creating solutions for other individuals. The sales individuals, the sales people that are able to help the most people are the ones that are going to be the most financially successful. Those who are financially successful, as you pointed out, are able to offer their family and themselves the type of quality of life that they envision for themselves. That could be a very strong indicator of propelling reason of why.
I think it was Tom Hopkins who said this. He said, “Sales is the lowest-paid easy work and the highest-paid hard work.” The thing about sales is anybody pretty much can get into sales but only 20%, a very small portion of an industry, brings in most of the sales. I think 20% brings in 80% of the business and 80% brings in 20% of the business.
Ray: The 80/20 rule certainly applies here.
Phil: The 80/20 rule. Exactly.
Ray: Something you said that I want to expand on a little bit. As you were making these points, I was thinking about when you’re face to face with a salesperson and you’re about to make a purchasing decision, I think three things need to line up, kind of like the crosshairs when you’re taking a target shot.
Those three things are: it has to be the right solution, the right salesperson, and the right company. And it’s like a three-legged stool. If you have the right solution, but an unenthusiastic salesperson who really couldn’t care less if you solve your problem or not, but worked for a great company, you’re not going to buy. Similarly, if you have a great solution and a great salesperson, but the company, you’re not sure if they’re going to be around next week, you’re not going to buy. And if you have a great person to work with and a great company but a poor solution, well. clearly it’s not meeting your requirements and you’re not going to buy.
So a lot of what we’re talking about is being a salesperson who is sharp as a tack, has integrity, has enthusiasm, has clarity about what they’re trying to accomplish as it relates to their definite chief aim, and is able to summon all of this–it’s like this summation of force–and bring it forward to really help the client get to where they need to get to, and the client feels it, resonates and then wants to work with that salesperson. That was one thing that came up for me as you were talking.
Phil: Absolutely. Wonderfully articulated. You could have a great product, you could have a great company to be working with, you could be a great person, an enthusiastic person, but also understand that the real pros realize that sales is truly an art.
But there’s a lot that goes into being successful in terms of the sales process. Asking the right questions, in terms of really identifying whether that person is fit for your product and service because not everybody, let’s face it, not everybody is.
Ray: Well, let’s talk about that in a little bit more detail. You mentioned something, and I’m going to have to disagree with you a little bit with you.
Ray: I think it’s an art and a science. Clearly, it’s both, because if you took the science out of the sales process, you would have somebody who is a great person to talk to, but wouldn’t follow a series of steps and if you did it the other way around, you could have a robot who does everything right but can’t relate to anybody.
Ray: Let’s talk a little bit about some of this left-brain pieces and a little bit more about the process, because in a lot of the conversations I have with people, they’re leaving out parts of the process and they’re wondering why they’re not getting the results that they want. So, let’s break that down for everyone.
I see it as the following key points; you may have heard a variation of this process in other books and other works but I see ten key things here:
Number one; we’ve talked a little bit about this: You have to understand the marketplace. You have to understand the customer’s buying process, how you want to position the products, industry trends, best practices, mistakes in the industry. This is important not only to make sure you know how to qualify people, but in order for you to establish perspective in the marketplace and starting to be viewed as a trusted advisor and the authority in the marketplace as you speak about your solution. I think that’s key.
Number Two: I think in today’s world marketing and sales is unfortunately very silo-ed. You have the marketing department; you have the sales organization, particularly at larger companies. They are not working closely enough together to create demand and to create not only awareness that a solution exists, but to do so with the perspective of training the marketplace, training the prospects and helping ramp them up on the education curve so that you help the prospect ask the right questions and help them be capable of making an informed buying decision by sharing your knowledge and your expertise. I think that’s a key thing.
A lot of times I think people forget that unless they educate their customer, they’re losing out to somebody who does take the time to do a more consultative approach to working with the customer, so I think that’s a key area. There’s a lot that can be done in that area. We can dedicate a few calls on how we do that.
The third step is the appointment-setting process, not just appointment-setting—this is where it comes back right to our discussion of goals—but understanding your sales ratios: How many calls did you make? How many times did you go to voicemail? How many actual appointments did you get in person? From that, how many went to the next step of the sales process to do interviewing? And so forth.
There’s a series of numbers based on your process that, if you track, you can learn where you’re good at and where you need some improvement, wouldn’t you say?
Phil: Absolutely. And just going back to add to what you were saying in terms of the science and the process of sales, too, is also understanding who you’re dealing with. We had Tony Alessandra who’s an authority on the DISC program, which identifies four different basic personality types. It’s also doing your research on who you’re going to be presenting to, because a direct “D” will want information really quickly and to stick with the facts. An “I” will want you to schmooze with them, get to know each other a little bit more before getting down to business, and so forth.
So, again, there’s the product, there’s the service, but also there’s the huge interpersonal skills that go into being truly effective at what you’re doing. It’s understanding your product, your service, your market, and also your people and the styles that they desire to be communicated in.
Ray: Great point. I love Tony Alessandra’s work. He’s got a lot of great ideas and very good material. The platinum rule, I remember the platinum rule. Treat others the way they want to be treated.
Phil: Exactly. And, the golden rule, as he points out, is to treat other people the same way we want to be treated. But, what happens when the other person doesn’t want to be treated in the same way you want to be treated? Maybe you’re a type of person who likes to get to know people and schmooze before getting down to business, but there are other people that just want to get down to business.
If you’re always treating other people the way you want to be treated, that could be a real blind spot. But, go to Tony Alessandra, the platinum rule, because he’s a real authority on that, and of course, we’ve had him as a guest on our Goal Achievers radio program. Just a little plug there for Tony Alessandra.
Ray: It’s great. I love his work as well. I’m looking forward to interviewing him as well for the magazine.
Let’s go now to Step #4 here, because there’s a place I see people falling down a lot. They’re not taking enough time to interview enough people inside of the prospect organization. They talk to one or two people and you think you pretty much understand all of their needs. I think there’s a rule for interviewing and even job shadowing to really understand how your prospect is doing what they’re doing today. This is more so in a B2B environment. Business to consumer is a little bit different, but you still need to go through this interviewing process and understanding them.
The next step is being able to demonstrate that understanding through validating your proposals and put together a straw man proposal so that you begin the process of getting some buy-in.
These couple areas right here are so key because what happens, I think, a lot of people, they jump from having some initial conversations thinking they understand the need, jumping all the way through, skipping two steps to presenting solutions, and then they wonder why all of these objections come up.
They try their best to address these objections or these responses and at the end of the day they’re passed over and they’re not able to.
Jim Cathcart, one of your other guests on the Goal Achiever radio, one of the people I look up to in the sales industry, he talks about confirming the sale instead of closing the sale, and just really understanding the value of confirming the sale. It’s all about a new beginning in the relationship with your customer.
As a result of these last two steps, the last two is really selling through referrals and ensuring customer harmony, which brings us to Step 10, so that you can really be a solution provider for life.
I just wanted to bring this up because you mentioned earlier on that the most successful salespeople have a clear approach to how they view the world of sales. They mix their personality combined with their interpersonal skills combined with a clear approach to how they do business and that is what allows them to reach their goals.
Now, what we want to do is let’s jump into talking about how we deal with obstacles that are preventing us from achieving our goals, and how we deal with that.
Phil: Absolutely. In terms of obstacles, again, if you’re coming from a place of integrity where you are absolutely convinced that the product and the service that you’re offering is the very best of its type in the industry, then you’re on a rock-solid foundation. There’s always a way above it, underneath, around it, through it, it doesn’t matter.
But most of the obstacles we face are self-imposed or have to do with ourselves and understanding the sales process. There are a lot of people who are great closers but they end up closing individuals who they haven’t qualified; or they are great presenters but they’re spending all their time presenting to people who aren’t decision-makers.
There are some people who are hugely talented but their health is an obstacle. They don’t seem to be able to find the amount of energy to carry through on their talents.
Obstacles can come in so many different forms.
There are also obstacles of attitude — not understanding, as you pointed out, the process that there’s a selling ratio; not understanding that ‘NOs’, getting a rejection, so to speak, is an important part of the process. For instance, if your ratio is you have to get 9 NOs to get a YES, then you approach those NOs or those experiences of rejection, from a completely different perspective, realizing that it’s a numbers game.
For instance, let’s just take a nice round number. If product was worth $2,000, for instance, and you had to go through 10 calls in order to make the sales, then understand that whenever you get a NO, somebody is putting $200 metaphorically in your pocket.
So, instead of being all discouraged and down about getting that NO, you’re then shifting to a whole positive approach, saying, “Wow, okay, I got that NO.” So, metaphorically, take $200 and put it in your pocket. Now, go out there and get another NO. Put another $200 and go right down the line. Once you’re at 9 Nos, then you’ve got $1,800. And finally, just out of the process of a numbers ratio that you’ve been able to identify, as you spoke to, boom! You get that $2,000.
So, I think one of the biggest barriers for salespeople is dealing with rejection, or supposed failure, and not understanding that rejection and failure is part of the process. Having the right attitude and understanding of the ratio is so important.
There are so many different obstacles.
But again, going through the 7-step process on Goal Achievers. Identify what your goal is. Identify exactly why. The “why” is the propelling power, the desire. Number 3 is identifying the obstacles that you need to overcome and the specialized knowledge. The specialized knowledge is so important.
Again, with sales, let’s face it, a lot of people go into sales very green thinking that it’s all about being optimistic and friendly and glad-handing and so on. But, if we treat the sales professional with the same sort of tenacity and detail that a brain surgeon does, or that a tennis pro does with his racquet, putting in hundreds of thousands of hours learning, practicing, and drilling, then that’s when you rise up and become the top performer that you just need to be.
But again, it goes back to that definite chief aim: Is this something that I’m called to do? Are the product and the service and the company I’m working for a reflection of the values of my life and the purpose for which I feel that I am called to serve others? Does that make sense, Ray?
Ray: You said that so well. I think you hit the nail right on the head as we were talking about dealing with these obstacles.
Realizing that, of course, obstacles come in many different shapes and sizes and one of the obstacles is that, a lot of times, customers have inertia and they continue to do what they do because they are involved in the status quo and they don’t want to change things.
From a sales perspective, being able to understand these obstacles and understand the motives of what holds that obstacle in place beyond the psychological side of the salesperson dealing with rejection which is so important but also from a sales process perspective understanding the different types of obstacles. But you said it very well. Let’s now move to the next step in the 7-step methodology. Can you tell us about that?
Phil: Yes, Step #4, it’s the people, places, and things that you need in order to achieve your goals.
Maybe one of the obstacles you’ve identified is that you need a certain type of technology to do your job better. Maybe it’s something as simple as a contact management program or a sort of application for your iPad, or whatever it might be. Maybe it’s training. Most of the time it’s training. Maybe it’s health and fitness.
Once you identify the specialized knowledge, then you can find the places where you can achieve that. It might be going to your Apple store and procuring that. It might be going to a sales training program or a Toastmaster program. Maybe, if part of the sales process is networking, you need to get involved with something like BNI or get involved with your trade organizations or get involved with trade shows. Find out where your customers are. Maybe it’s certain magazines or maybe it’s social media. So, identify not only the specialized knowledge that you need, but also the places, the things, and the people that are going to empower you to reach your goals.
Ray: I was just going to say here, based on what you just said, I was just reflecting back and I remember a tale of two salespeople that I was working with. Salesperson #1 was very successful in doing their work. They viewed their position in the company as their own business within a business. That being said, whatever needed to be done to allow his book of business to grow within the confines of the company rules, he would do and his business would grow. The second salesperson views himself as an employee within a company, essentially, and therefore was much more rigid in terms of approaching new ideas.
Anyway, both of these salespeople were quite busy, one being more successful and more efficient than the other, and I remember I was talking to them about figuring out how they could offload some of their work, which is coming down to your point about the people, places, and things that can help them reach their goals. As I was talking to the first, most successful salesperson, I suggested to him to pay for an assistant—he received a W2 paystub based on his commissions and everything from the company— and that meant taking money out of his personal bank account to pay for an assistant. The company wasn’t willing to get him one. That’s a whole other problem.
With the second salesperson, I brought the same idea up, and they thought that was a crazy idea and that someone in the company should be providing him with that assistant and not for him to pay for it.
Anyhow, you march forward about 6-8 months. One person decides to take the initiative to find the people with the skillset that can help offload some of his work, and a lot of it was more administration-related. The other person didn’t, and lo and behold, the first one makes club, goes to Mexico on a reward trip for people who did a great job, and the other one, I think he’s practically left the company by now. He’s moved on to another position.
So, I think one of the key things we want to bring to this point here is that sometimes it’s finding the people, the places, and the things and being able to go beyond traditional boundaries. Take the initiative. Treat your position, whether you work for your company or have your own, you have your own.
You are in the service business and you need to be able to do what you have to do to get the job done, and by having that attitude, you will be handsomely rewarded by the fulfillment you get from the customers as well as your paycheck in doing the work that needs to get done.
Phil: Oh, absolutely, and I love—I don’t know if it’s a Chinese proverb, or whatever—it says, “There isn’t much traffic in a second mile.” Those that go the second mile are always going to be the ones edging everybody else out. As Napoleon Hill says: personal initiative and leadership. That is so important in applying the lesson of creative imagination There is so much that goes into, again, being successful,
It reminds me of the good old days. Do you remember the days of envelopes and stamps? Do you remember those days?
Ray: I remember those days.
Phil: Well, we know that a great achiever, a super achiever always takes the time to acknowledge the people who he’s talked to and send thank-you cards. But there were always certain salespeople that felt the company had to pay for the stamps. And then there were those real achievers. I mean that was so petty, it was a non-issue. They’d go out and they’d buy their own stamps and thank-you cards and send them. That’s the difference between excellence and mediocrity. That’s just one of many examples.
But I think in the heart and soul of being successful in sales is this, and that is: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Those who are tremendously successful, one, believe in the product and service, believe in themselves and the company, they take a sense of pride, but most of all they do it because they care. They care genuinely about the people whom they serve and then, they get rewarded as a result of that.
We’ve all seen those salespeople that have dollar signs in their eyes. Customers can sense that and feel that. But if you want to be successful and really bring down the barriers, seek first to understand. Seek why your customer is thinking and feeling that way, and then try to find that solution. Finding a solution may be sometimes referring them to your competitor because, though you may have the product or service, it may not be the right solution for his needs maybe at that certain point in time.
Ray: I’m glad you brought that up, because I’ve recommended that a few times to people. They think about how they care for their customers, and sometimes that’s even viewed as a foreign concept. But, truly to be the trusted advisor, to be the go-to company in the marketplace that is trusted, you need to come at it from a completely different perspective, and that perspective is putting your customer first. I think you said it very well.
The difference between the world-class performers and essentially everybody else, the world-class performers take the time to truly understand and provide a solution that adds value to their customer first, and obviously has to make business sense. It’s coming from that mentality as opposed to a quick fix to put a few commission dollars in their pocket.
Phil: Right, absolutely. It’s not trying to force a square peg into a round hole. It ought to be just solution making, and caring genuinely, and knowing your stuff, knowing your product inside and out.
Also, on that note, is knowing your so-called competitors, your counterparts in the industry; knowing what their price points are, what their features are, and their quality and so forth. So much goes into it.
Ray: Well, let’s talk now a little bit about specialized knowledge because that’s Lesson #5 in the 7-step methodology.
Phil: Well, specialized knowledge is “What do I need to make this work?” Most of the specialized knowledge has to do with the actual art and science of sales – What is my closing ratio? And that ties into specialized knowledge. What is the most effective means to make contact with your customer? That is specialized knowledge. What is the landscape of my industry? That is a specialized knowledge. If there was ever an industry that was rich, with a need for specialized knowledge, it’s certainly the sales industry.
Ray: Very true, so I mean, we could come back to the process we talked about earlier on and ask the intelligent question: What specialized knowledge do I need to know about my marketplace? What do I need to know about to increase awareness for what my solution is? How do I go about setting appointments more effectively, and how do I go about interviewing and capturing the needs of my customer? And how do you create a straw man proposal that begins the buy-in process?
These are all really good questions to ask and ask yourself these hard-hitting questions, because it’s only through probing yourself and going through this introspection process that you can begin to identify the gaps in your knowledge and your skill so you can then get better.
Phil: Yes, and as you’re speaking—I just love this conversation with you, Ray, because it reminds me of the proverb that says, “As iron sharpens iron, two friends sharpen one another.” As you’re speaking, you’re sharpening me, and hopefully you’re feeling the same way and the sparks are flying.
Ray: Oh, most certainly.
Phil: And, as you’re saying this, here it is: it’s Harvey Mackay, who put together a 66 question profile that his company, McKay Envelope, used in order to understand his customer. If there was ever any model or example of a need for specialized knowledge, it’s Harvey McKay’s model of the 66 questions that he would ask his sales associates fill out.
It was everything about his customers: What kind of sports does the customer have? Does he have a wife or kids? What university did he graduate from? What’s his favorite color? On and on.
It’s knowing your product. It’s knowing your customers inside and out. It’s knowing your competition inside and out. It’s knowing methodologies inside and out, and it’s also knowing yourself inside and out, and then you’re equipped with the knowledge. And, knowledge is power, in terms of being successful in what your endeavors are.
Ray: Yeah, I actually have his book in my hand here. As you were talking about him, I just reached over to my bookshelf. Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. It’s an amazing book. For everyone who hasn’t read this book, get this book. It’s awesome. It’s the story of how he built his business and how he goes about to understand his customers with his 66 questions. You can go and find it, actually.
In the paperback, it’s on page 27. He goes through and talks about the customer: the education of the customer, the family, the business background, special interests, lifestyle, the customer in you. I mean, we’re getting into the detailed types of questions. What kind of car does your customer have? There are all kinds of details.
As I think about this—I actually have a client of mine, he’s a chiropractor. I want to share this book with him because one of the most powerful things is being able to take this knowledge, categorize it and organize it in a system, and then be able to access it as you relate with your prospect and your customer.
When your customer or prospect realizes that you’re listening so carefully and you know so much about them, you know about their birthdays and their anniversaries and their kids’ birthdays, and you come up with the appropriate response for something that relates to a customer’s life, they’re like, “Wow, this person really cares.” That’s so powerful in the sales process and in the interpersonal skills in relating with others.
Phil: Absolutely, and the key point that Harvey points out is that it’s got to be genuine, as does Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Hey, ask me, Ray, what I feel the three best books for a salesperson would be.
Ray: Phil, what would you say the three best books for a salesperson would be?
Phil: I’m so glad you asked me that Ray. The one that has had the most impact on me is the great, great Tom Hopkins’ How to Master the Art of Selling. He’ll show you exactly the process, step-by-step, that’s needed to be successful. I can’t say enough great things about Tom Hopkins. In terms of interpersonal skills, I would say number two would be How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and of course he’s got a sales course too, but an all-time classic that has certainly won over the test of time, and Harvey Mackay’s Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.
There are so many others. There really, truly are other, you know, you go into Tony’s work, and so forth. But get those three books, harness and apply the lessons of those three books, and we’ll see you at the top as Zig Ziglar says, and there’s another one.
Ray: Sure, there’s another one. [Inaudible]
Alright, let’s bring the airplane in for a landing here. We have a couple more lessons that we have to share with everyone.
Phil: Okay, sure.
Ray: We were talking about the skills. Now, I guess we’re at Step #6, which is creating an action plan. Why don’t you share a few thoughts on that?
Phil: Well, #1 through #5 are really about gathering the information. Step #6 is being clear on what your goal is. It’s amazing how many people just go to work, and they go through the motions, and they’re not driven by a goal. If you don’t have a goal how could you score?
Being able to identify what your goal is, again, Step #1. The reason why you want to achieve your goal, which is the propelling desire and the power and the burning desire that Napoleon Hill talks about in #3, identifying the obstacles. If success was so easy there wouldn’t be any obstacles. There are always obstacles with every great endeavor. And then, identifying the specialized knowledge, the people, places, and things, and so forth.
Now we’re at Step #5. So, you gather all that information and you put it all into a blueprint, an action plan. Here’s the thing: it’s an action plan. It’s not just a plan. It’s an action plan. What am I going to do from morning to evening to achieve my goals?
And when we’re clear on the specialized knowledge, the people, the places, the obstacles that we need to overcome and we’re very clear on what our goal is, it’s amazing what we can do. It will really put you into that top 10%. Again, it’s putting in a blueprint and an action plan.
Ray: There are two things I wanted to bring up for this step that I think will really serve everyone. Number one, when we think action plan, I always like to think of what by when, so there’s a what by when which feeds into our next Lesson, #7, but it’s getting very clear on the tasks that need to be done.
I want to share a couple resources and tools that I think could benefit everyone. Number one is mind mapping. If you haven’t done mind maps before, I highly recommend you Google the term “mind map.” You’ll learn from Tony Buzan, who started the whole process of relating ideas together in a tree-like structure that is very powerful for brainstorming as well as, ultimately, blueprinting what needs to be included on a project and pulling your plan together. Then, from there you can start to spell out the dates, the milestones, and ensure that everything that you’re doing is building towards a clear strategy that supports your purpose, so that’s one key resource.
Then, for our listeners and our viewers out there that are using Mac computersm Macbook Pros and so forth, I’ve recently come across a fantastic tool called OmniFocus, and it works on an iPhone, an iPad, and on a Mac. OmniFocus. It’s an amazing tool that is modeled after the methodology of Getting Things Done, which is another fantastic book, I highly recommend it,
By bringing these two points together plus what you just mentioned, you really start to put the foundation in place for an action plan that is measurable and something that you can focus on for your next physical step as opposed to getting overwhelmed with the thousand and one things on your list.
Phil: Absolutely, and as the old adage goes, “Plan out your work, and work out your plan.” That’s it. Plan out your work and work out your plan.
Ray: Let’s cover that last Step, because we mentioned it, so to speak, with setting dates, but I think we really need to hammer it. So, can you please hammer the point for us on the importance of setting a date?
Phil: All right. Well. can you imagine, Ray, two football teams hitting the field? And there are, of course, the goal lines, they’re going back and forth and passing the ball and offense is playing against defense and vice versa, but there’s no clock, there’s no timer.
Eventually, the players will lose the sense of their purpose and enthusiasm and a sense of urgency. It becomes really frivolous and open-ended. So, it’s really important that you seal the goal-setting process with a deadline.
It’s amazing that taking the football analogy just off the cuff, most points are scored in the 4th quarter of any game. In hockey, you’re originally from Canada, do you know that most goals are scored in the third period?
Phil: When we have a deadline, what it means is it helps us keep on track and gives us a sense of urgency, energy, and accomplishment, and so it’s so very, very important. I mean, if there is no day or time to seal that goal, it becomes “Someday.” “Someday I’ll achieve that.”
Ray: And “Someday” is not on the calendar, last time I checked. There’s Monday to Sunday, but no “Someday,” right? That’s an old one, but I just had to get it in there.
As I was just thinking about what you said, I just kind of reflect back on everything that I’ve accomplished, and I can clearly see the goals that I accomplished and did so with the most ease were the ones where I was emotionally committed to a date.
To give you an example, this new initiative for me in creating Customer Engagement Magazine, that’s probably the working title that we’re going to go with. it came about and I have some very clear dates for getting these issues out, and the resources, the people, and everything is materializing, you know, you came into my life, and we’re working together and creating some awesome content. It all happens when you have a stake in the ground that you can really get focused and working towards.
Phil: I like what you said. “Emotionally committed.” Is that what you said?
Ray: I said it. You’ve got to be emotionally involved and, to me, just to expand on that, I talk about making an emotionally committed decision which is where the desire, the will, and the belief come together to make an emotionally committed decision and then you back it up with a clear date.
Phil: And that’s why the emotional involvement and commitment goes back to Step #2, which is understanding the ‘Why’. This is where visualization comes in – envision boards and that sort of thing. If, you envision a great lifestyle and vacation for your family, for instance, and going to Hawaii, and that’s just something you really want, you can smell and taste the air and the saltwater and so forth, and experience the volleyball, whatever it is. To really feel that, whatever it is, is so very, very important. And that’s what makes the difference.
The “Why” is infinitely more than the “How.” The “How” will find a way. The “Why” is really the driving force. It’s the fuel in the engine, so to speak. Does that make sense?
Ray: It does, it does. We’re right on target here, and I think you’ve covered so much amazing content.
Now, there are a few more key questions that I think are going to be very interesting for our audience. So, let’s just jump into these last few that we have.
I want our listeners to imagine applying these ideas, applying the 7-step methodology, applying it if you’re in the sales profession, applying some of the strategies and tactics and how it kind of relates to the process, applying these ideas.
I want you to imagine, and on your topic of visualization, what would your life be like, let’s say, in 30 days, 90 days, a year, or how about three years. I think, Phil, just kind of putting our imagination to work here, I think that amazing things can be accomplished in a short period of time.
I think it was Tony Robbins who once said that most of the time we overestimate what can be done in a year and underestimate what can be done in 10. You know, to a certain degree, there’s some truth to that, and especially if we get really clear and focused on goal-setting and being able to not only set goals but actually achieve these goals and apply this methodology. I think we can probably change that, and you’d be surprised in what you can accomplish in a year and what you can accomplish in 30 to 90 days if you start getting really focused on what it is you want to do.
Phil: Oh, absolutely. I love Henry David Thoreau’s quote, which says, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life for which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Ray: I love that quote.
Phil: When we just pursue that goal—, you know what I love about the sales profession? It is my absolute favorite profession of all professions and for some reason I’ve been dragged into the business world, and found myself wearing hats other than the sales hat, but my first love is the sales industry, and I’ve always had some great memories from it. But in a sense, we’re all in sales, too, to keep that in mind.
What I love about the sales profession is that you are not restricted by a budget, you don’t have to live within the framework of “X” amount of salary, you get to determine the income that you make for yourself.
That income is in direct proportion to your ability to serve your customers. You are in charge and you are the captain of your ship when you’re in sales.
It really comes back to personal responsibility. Invest in yourself. Invest in your mind. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Empty the coins of your purse into your mind and your mind will empty coins into your purse.”
Phil: The best investment that anybody can ever make is in themselves. In themselves. I would dare to say that there is much that can go into investing in yourself. It’s not only in your career, but also the spiritual realm, the health and fitness realm, your family, your relationships, and living a balanced life.
When you’re off balance, it’s like a flat tire. Eventually, you’re just not going to run efficiently, in terms of your lifestyle.
So, find out what your values are. That’s where it starts. And then determine for yourself what your purpose is, what your calling is.
Find the product or service that you are absolutely passionate about, not because it’s going to make you a lot of money, but because it’s going to serve a need that you feel is greater than any other need out there.
From that will come passion and desire and perseverance, and you will achieve success as a result of that.
Ray: Beautiful. Very nicely stated. Now, Phil, it’s time for me to grill you a little bit. So I have some rapid-fire questions I’m going to ask you. I want you to just give me kind of an off-the-cuff view of what you think, all right?
Phil: All right.
Ray: Here we go. What are some specific roadblocks that typically prevent your students and clients from really getting started with this methodology?
Phil: Fear. Fear of failure. No question about it. There’s no greater dream-killer out there than fear: What happens if I set this goal and I don’t achieve it? What’s that going to say about myself?
Low self esteem. That’s tied into it. Henry Ford said it well when he said, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” Accountability is a big thing. People don’t like to be accountable. Goal-setting keeps you accountable. If we live in a world where accountability is not a big word–,
Ray: Especially when you share your goals and your dates with people that you respect around you, it really adds to that accountability factor, especially if you’re part of a master mind and you do this on a regular basis.
Ray: Okay, Phil, let me ask you this. I’ve got another one for you here because we’re going to have to wrap this up here pretty soon. What are the specific strategies that are like the keys that can unlock those roadblocks you just finished talking about? Let’s just brainstorm quickly here, on dealing with fear, first of all. What are your thoughts?
Phil: Well, to understand where fear comes from. Studies indicate that we’re only born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of noise. Everything else is learned, and it’s learned as a result of people saying, “No,” or “you can’t do it.” Shad Helmstetter said—well, in his book he unveiled the research that indicated—that by the time someone is 18, he will have been told 144,000 times, “No,” or “You can’t do it.”
So, what’s the opposite of fear? Faith. Faith. Understanding who you are as an individual. Having an accurate proper perspective of your talents and your abilities.
Studies in human behavior indicate over and over again that we at most are tapping only into 10% of our mental and physical resources. I think the strategy is really just having self-esteem and learning about yourself.
For me, personally, Ray, the thing that gives me the greatest sense of confidence and peace and happiness and love and all the ingredients that we were talking about is my personal relationship with a higher power who I choose to call God. It’s in those moments of meditation and prayer and interaction with a God who’s very real to me that gives me this sense of purpose and love for life and others and what I’m doing. So, that’s just my personal experience, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that. Does that make sense?
Ray: It does make sense, and it’s important that you mentioned it. I wanted to drill down a little bit more about the root of fear because I think that’s a key point. I believe it all starts with ignorance. We have lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, lack of good comprehension of a particular topic or a profession or something that is in our life.
This lack of knowledge and understanding leads to what happens. You have worry and then you have doubts. They’re like brothers and sisters, they hang around together. Worry and doubt lead to anxiety. As you have anxiety, you start to basically build fear inside of yourself and then it gets basically represented in your body and you start to break down. You start to become ill and you start to attract the wrong kinds of people toward you.
So, understanding the root of fear, and I think one of the key things is we have to understand the difference between a rational fear and an irrational fear.
I’ll give you an example. For me, jumping out of an airplane is a rational fear, because if I don’t have to jump out of an airplane, and there are clear statistics that some parachutes don’t open, that, to me, is a rational fear. But an irrational fear could be something like speaking in front of a hundred thouand people. What’s the worst that could happen? They could boo you off the stage, but, really, nothing essentially bad has happened other than your ego being shattered a little bit.
So, understanding the roots of fear I think is key. I just wanted to mention that, along with what important points you mentioned.
In terms of some specific strategies to aid people in having accountability in their life, I think it’s essential to form a master mind alliance as Napoleon Hill has talked about in his great work. Really, it’s a harmonious group of people that you can bounce ideas off of, share resources, share expertise and knowledge, and hold each other accountable. I think that’s a key strategy there.
Phil: Well, here’s one that’s so blatantly simple that people want to complicate things like in terms of dealing with fear: ”Well, it’s a long, complex process. How do I break through?”
Here’s the secret to overcoming fear. You want to hear it, Ray? I know you know it, but I’ll share it with out listeners. Here it is. Do what you fear most, and fear will disappear. There is one solution to conquering fear and that is to do what you fear most, within reason.
As you said, jumping out of a plane with no parachute, that’s not called courage. That’s not called overcoming fear. That’s just being suicidal.
But, as you said, most fear is irrational. That’s why we have that acronym, F.E.A.R., meaning False Evidence Appearing Real. It appears real, but it isn’t real. How many times have we done things that we feared, and then when we did it, we said, “Wow, what was I ever afraid of?”
Ray: Most of these fears are irrational fears. Very few things that we come across in our life are rational fears. It’s “what people will think of me if I fail” kind of fears. What will my parents think? What will I think? What will my best friend think? It’s always these fears of what people will think instead of saying, “It doesn’t matter what they think. I have one life to live and I have to live my best life, and this is what I want to do.” Then you have to take your best shot at it.
Phil: You’ve just sparked another thought here, Ray, and I’m glad you brought that out. You know the answer to this, but what is the biggest fear known to human beings?
Ray: There’s a fear of failure and a fear of success. Those are two of the big fears.
Phil: Yeah, the Book of Lists indicates that the biggest fear ever since they started recording this is—
Ray: Oh, public speaking.
Phil: The fear of public speaking. Now, how ridiculous is that? What’s number 3 and 4?
Ray: I feel like jumping out of an airplane is one of them.
Phil: Which would be the fear of death, let’s say, right? And as we know, the famous Jerry Seinfeld phrase, he says, “You go to a funeral. Fear of public speaking is number one and fear of death is number 3. How does one make sense of that? That means that when you’re at a funeral, you’d rather be the person in the casket than the one doing the eulogy.”
Ray: I love that. What a great way to conclude our talk. That’s the icing right there on the cake. I mean, how weird is that, that the irrational fear of speaking is considered a higher fear than the fear of death.
Phil: Absolutely, and that’s a fact. That really points to what you were saying, how irrational fear is.
Ray: Well, Phil, this has been an amazing conversation. I really enjoyed it and I want the folks that are listening to this to have an opportunity to learn more from you and be able to contact you. Can you share a little bit about how people can hear from you more frequently? Perhaps mention your radio station and your wonderful book. Tell us a little bit about it.
Phil: Well, you’re very kind, Ray. Thank you, and I had forgotten that you would be bringing this up. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Of course, come and listen to our programs at GoalAchieversRadio.com. We interview the finest guests, authors, speakers, and authorities in their areas of expertise, and the list is quite exhaustive. People like Tom Hopkins, Deepak Chopra, Tony Alessandra, and Jim Cathcart. The list is quite exhaustive. I hate to leave anybody out because it’s very extensive, but GoalAchieversRadio.com. You really become what you feed your mind with. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” So, I cannot stress enough the importance of feeding your mind with good information and specialized knowledge. Our show is daily.
Also, if you’re so compelled to, we’d welcome you to pick up the book, Set Yourself On Fire: How to Ignite Your Passions and Live the Life You Love, and that can be picked up at Amazon.com. Just click in “Set Yourself on Fire,” “Phil Taylor.”
And we have Goal Achievers groups being sprouted up all over the place, and if you want to learn more you can go to GoalAchievers.org, which is another fancy name for Master Mind group. So, I think that’s pretty much it.
Of course, you could follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the other social mediums. We’d certainly love to connect with you.
Ray: Thank you again, Phil. We really appreciate you taking the time to share a lot of your methodologies, wisdom, and stories and I really enjoyed our conversation, and I’m sure that our listeners and our viewers experiencing this content either in our new magazine, Customer Engagement Magazine, or on another site would also very much echo my appreciation and gratitude for you. Thank you so much.
Phil: Well, thank you Ray, and keep up the great work. You are truly a life enhancer and providing such tremendous value to the people that you’re serving. Thank you for having me on the program. God bless you.
Ray: Thank you very much. Bye-bye.
Customer Engagement Magazine Is Live!
Welcome everyone, I am very happy to announce Customer Engagement Magazine is now live in the Apps Store. This issue is packed full with incredible content (105 Pages) you have to see.
Don Green – CEO of the Napoleon Hill Foundation shares his thoughts on how Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles can be applied to the world of business
Phil Taylor – Founder Of Goal Achievers Radio shares his insight on how the 7 step goal setting methodology can be used to increase sales.
This Blog Post has just two videos that are contained inside the magazine. The interview with Don Green was so good, I did not want you to miss it just because you do not have an iPad.
This interview is 1 hour long and filled with wonderful information that can really help you. Take a look at these two videos and then I invite you to try out Customer Engagement Magazine on your iPad with a free trial. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Check it out here
Also please comment (using Facebook if You Can) on this blog post if you got value out of it ….and when you try the magazine please rate it. It helps us provide this content for you! Okay here are the two videos…
Issue 1: Welcome Video From Ray Stendall
Issue 1: Interview With Mr. Don Green
Don Green – CEO of The Napoleon Hill Foundation
Podcast Can be found here: