Want to test the strength of a sales relationship?
Answer this question:
Would your client sit next to you during a baseball game?
Just you and the client. For nine innings. Eating hot dogs. Drinking a beer or two. Having a conversation. For three hours.
Does that seem like a long time?
Would it be painful – for you – for the client?
Typically we go to events like baseball games with people we like and with whom we enjoy spending time.
That’s why this is a great test of your sales ability.
People buy you before they buy your product or service.
If your clients cannot stand to be with you for the duration of a game, they won’t want to invest more money in a relationship with you. They also won’t want to refer you.
On the other hand:
If you really want to get to know someone, take them to an event like a baseball game and do everything listed above.
The client will be flattered. You’ll learn more about them and their goals.
And you may even discover you like spending time together.
Sales has changed.
It is no longer about completing a transaction and moving on.
It’s now about relationships.
Those who focus on developing and deepening relationships win.
My visit with a banker turned a boring trip into a sales success story.
A few weeks ago, I stopped in the bank to make an administrative change to one of my accounts. Since I bank at a local institution, I can actually speak with the branch manager. While he was helping me with this change I asked him a question:
“Who can I connect you with to help you achieve your business goals this month?”
The manager was a little taken aback by the question, but, he answered it.
“I’d love to meet a busy Real Estate attorney. They need a trust account to hold money for closings and they also know lots of people who need loans to buy houses. Those are great clients for our bank.”
I’m sure the banker did not expect what happened next.
I set lunch appointments with three different real estate attorneys for the banker. The attorneys were clients and friends of mine and, while there is no guarantee they will work with the bank, I delivered value to four people.
This morning I received a phone call from the banker. He offered me an opportunity to speak at a national association meeting – he is on the planning committee.
I didn’t pitch myself. I didn’t ask for anything. I offered value.
Things don’t usually happen this quickly. It often takes years for someone to provide reciprocal value. Sometimes they will not have the opportunity to ever do so. But there are some steps you can take to give yourself the best opportunity.
Step one: Offer value to initiate the relationship. The example in this article demonstrates this step.
Step two: Deliver. You cannot simply offer to help and then go away. You must actually deliver the value. If I didn’t set at least one meeting, my conversation would have been meaningless.
Step three: Stay in touch. The banker and all three of the real estate attorneys are on my weekly email newsletter list. I communicate with them regularly. They know I keep the ‘top-of-mind.” This regular communication is an important reminder of our relationship and my desire to be helpful.
The key to success in relationship-based selling is putting the relationship ahead of the transaction. Make sure you show your prospective client you want to enable their success. The solutions you offer (the things you sell) are valuable but the relationship with the client is even more valuable.
Transactions have a finite value, but relationship value is limitless.
For more sales success strategy, be sure and order a copy of The 60 Second Sale.
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 Patrick.Murphy@e-hps.com. 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.
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.
A big challenge for business leaders is understanding and embracing the difference between developing relationships and selling.
You sell a product or service. This is done by identifying the customer’s need and then demonstrating how the features of your product will benefit the customer and ultimately meet the customer’s need. This is called NBF selling (Needs, Benefits, Features).
In most cases, trust is not a big component of the NBF selling model.
Think about it. If you are buying a product and it breaks, you bring it back and they fix it or give you a new one. If you are buying a service and the delivery of the service is less than satisfactory, the provider will refund your money or allow you to use the service again at no additional charge. The only trust necessary is trust that the proprietor will stand behind the product or service. That’s not a huge emotional commitment.
It is different with a relationship.
Relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
Before someone can invest money in you, he must invest his trust you.
A relationship is two people coming together for a common purpose or because of common circumstances. Trust is the difference between a good relationship and a bad relationship.
When you start a relationship, you must connect on two primary levels before expecting the client to trust you. You must help the client know you (who you are, what skills you have). And the client must like you. People do business more frequently with people they like.
Trust comes after you emotionally invest in the client. You do this by demonstrating empathy. You do this by listening intently. You do this by reflecting back to the client your understanding of the issue and the emotion he feels. If you have demonstrated this type of emotional commitment, and the client knows you and likes you, he MAY invest his trust in you.
This may take a few hours or it may take a few years.
Trust is receiver based. This means no matter what you do, if the client doesn’t feel it, you won’t get it.
Think about this within the context of a personal relationship.
People get to know you. Then they like you. And if you demonstrate empathy and an emotional investment in them, they trust you.
The process for their services is identical to developing a friendship. Stop thinking about selling (needs, benefits, features) and start thinking about developing relationships.
People buy you before they buy what you are selling.
There is no sales technique in the world to change a prospective client’s mind if you turn him or her off.
Focus on relationship development first and selling your product or service second.
To sell yourself approach each interaction with these five things in mind:
One: Be Confident In Your Ability To Help
Selling is helping people in return for financial compensation. You must feel great about your ability to help the person sitting across the table from you. They have a need you can fill or a problem you can solve. Help them. That’s why you are there.
Two: Want to Close the Deal But Don’t Need It
Go into every interaction with a sincere desire to close the deal but do not appear anxious. Neediness kills sales. If you need the client more than the client wants what you are selling, he will smell it on you just as if you stepped in a giant pile of horse manure.
Demonstrate a desire to work with the client but do not appear desperate.
Three: Listen More and Talk Less
Ask great questions. Show a desire to understand the situation. Uncover the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and, most importantly the “why” of the deal.
Simply put: Gather the facts by listening 70% of the time.
Four: Emotionally Engage the Client
Facts tell but emotions sell. The client is motivated by how you make him feel and then he justifies his actions with logic. First, make your case on an emotional level and then give him the facts he needs.
This runs counter to what you hear from most sales gurus and it is contrary to what you learn in most selling systems – but it works.
Five: Stay In Touch
Do not let people forget about the value you provide. Keep the lines of communication open with clients after you make the sale. Help them solve problems throughout the course of your relationship and they will continue to do business with you over and over again.
People Buy You – In Other Words Develop a Relationship
Do not think of sales as a transactional process. Selling is advanced relationship development. Your prospective clients must get to know you, he must like you and he must trust you. Those are the qualities of true relationships.
Be the person they want to have around and you’ll be the person who can sell to them over and over again.
Remember back in the days when you were young, dumb, and running around like an alley cat in heat?
Remember how you only had one thing on your mind?
You were boy crazy, girl crazy, or basically just sex crazy. Remember when that was the only thing you could think about?
And if you say it wasn’t, you’re either kidding yourself or hormonally challenged.
Just thinking back to those days can make your heart beat a little faster.
That feeling still exists with many people and if it doesn’t exist for you I’ll tell you how you can revive it and use it to build your business.
No. I’m not talking about using sex as bait to get people into your office.
I’m talking about the way many attorneys treat their new clients.
They rush to get someone, anyone, on the phone. They rush to get the client to schedule an appointment. They rush to close the deal.
Unfortunately, these eager sales pros attempt to maximize the immediate dollars at the expense of what could be a wildly profitable lifetime relationship.
The key to building a successful business is to keep the big picture in focus while maximizing profit. You are in a dating relationship with your client and you should not be looking for the immediate gratification of the one night stand.
Here are four ways to grow the relationship and help clients feel that you are with them for the long term:
First, discuss the client’s desired outcome before discussing the investment.
It is natural – almost instinctive – to want to talk about money early in the client interaction. After all, you want to find out if the client can afford your product. You need to make sure that you are not wasting your time with them. Remember the old expression; “Time is money”.
This is partially true. Ultimately, if you have positioned yourself properly, your prospective client will understand that you are not the cheapest solution on the block. If you have done your homework, you will also know exactly who is sitting in front of you. Hopefully, this will calm your greed hormones and allow you to take your time and build the relationship.
Rushing into a money discussion is the equivalent to introducing yourself to a new date and then asking if you can have sex right now, in the back seat of your dad’s car. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now…. and if it did, well, it only led to trouble.
You need to show the client that you care about their issue. You need to demonstrate the ability to meet their needs (solve their problem). And you need to make sure the client understands and believes that you will stick with them if/when things get tough. Once you have discussed the client’s issue in this manner, you have earned the right to talk about money.
Next, you should stay in contact with your clients between purchases.
If you only speak with your clients when they need your services, you will probably miss out on several opportunities to be of assistance.
Just like a “booty call” in the middle of the night, an opportunistic relationship is doomed. The relationship ends when the client finds someone else who can meet his/her needs all the time.
Third, remember to patronize the client’s business if possible and appropriate.
Loyalty is a two way street. If you currently have a need for the goods or services that a client sells, you should, when possible and practical, buy from your clients. Do this even if it is only once in a while.
Clients like to see that you have an interest in some type of reciprocal relationship even if a monogamous relationship is not possible. It does not matter if you are going to make far more money from them than they will ever make from you. The client only wants to know that you have made an effort to use their services when possible and practical.
Finally, ask your clients about their goals beyond your work together.
Go out of your way to help them achieve these goals when possible. Once you get to know your clients and understand their needs, you can offer other services – outside of your products – on a referral basis.
Many sales professionals have referral relationships with CPAs and financial services professionals. They follow the needs expressed by their clients. They cultivate relationships and work to provide services or referrals for their clients’ benefit.
No matter how you look at it, sales comes down to one fundamental point: Putting the client relationship first is the key to long-term growth and sustainability.
If this sounds like an unfamiliar concept, then maybe it is time to jump out of the backseat of your parent’s car, take a cold shower and start thinking about a long-term commitment.
Here are three additional resources you can use to grow your sales and get home in time for dinner every night:
If you’re desperate to close the deal, the client will sense it. That will screw up everything.
Money makes the world go around. It is fine to want as much as possible. In fact, if you do, you’ll be great at sales.
If you need some ideas to make the phone ring, I’ve got them for you.
Great relationships lead to selling success.
When you think about all the different relationships in your life, which ones do you think are most important?
Your therapist will tell you it is your relationship with your mother.
Your mother will tell you it is your relationship with your spouse.
Your clergy member will tell you it is your relationship with a higher power.
While all of those relationships are important, there are four relationships in your work that will shape your success and contribute to your overall happiness.
The way you approach each of these relationships helps you write your own personal script for success. Let’s take a look at each of these relationships and the impact they have on your future.
Relationship with Time
This relationship tends to get the least respect. We always wish we had more time but we act as if it is unlimited. When we are pressed to get things done quickly we almost always succeed. But we never press ourselves. Before we ask others to respect our time, we must learn to treat our own time as valuable.
Starting today, begin putting everything on your calendar or in your scheduling system. Do not work on anything that is not assigned a specific start and end time. Do not take an unscheduled phone call. Do not surf the Internet unless you have blocked off time on your calendar to do it. Give your time the respect it deserves.
This exercise will help you notice just how long certain activities take. It will also help you get control of your use of time. If nothing else, you will have a new respect for the most precious asset you have at your disposal.
Relationship with Money
Most people have a screwed up relationship with money. Each of us has feelings of guilt, scarcity and dread associated with some aspect of our financial lives. Until you rid yourself of those feelings, you will never be able to embrace the success you deserve.
These negative feelings about money manifest themselves in the way you bill your clients. Here is an example:
Let’s say you are a landscaper and everyone in your area charges $30 per week for basic lawn maintenance, what will you charge? The honest answer is $30. Your law service may be different and it may be better than the other people in your industry. You also include hedge trimming and tree pruning with your basic service. Your lawn technicians are more skilled because they go through a specific training program you’ve developed. Yet you still charge the same fee as everyone else. Why? Because your relationship with money has you focused on comparing your worth to others and not to the value you provide.
Want another example? Let’s say you are a trust and estates attorney.
You prepare a four-document, estate-planning package for your clients. In these documents, you address the most difficult decisions people will have to make on your client’s behalf if he becomes incapacitated or dies.
What do you charge for this service? $1,500. Why? Because that’s $500 less than what the guy down the street charges.
In reality, the value of this package to the client is priceless. This package will help your client (and his family) handle some of the most difficult matters they will ever face. You could easily charge him $15,000 for this package, with unlimited lifetime revisions and unlimited annual reviews. But you don’t. Why? Because in your mind, this is only worth $1,500.
You do not ever take into account the value the client sees in this service. He NEVER has to worry about his family’s financial future.
Even after reading these examples, you may not believe you could make this happen in your business. I have clients who do, every week, in different businesses and in different markets around the world.
But your relationship with money is not strong enough for you to make this happen. In your mind, there are only a finite number of clients out there who will pay this fee.
In reality, there are an infinite number of clients who will pay WHATEVER fee you charge if you show them the value of doing so.
First you must shift your relationship with money to one of abundance and value as opposed to one of scarcity and fear of loss.
Starting today, view your services from the client’s perspective. What value is he receiving? No matter what your fee, it will only be a fraction of that value. You must see this and believe this and then you must help your client see it and believe it.
Relationship with Your Clients
Everyone wants more clients. Everyone wants better clients. But most business leaders do not do what it takes to make the most of the client relationships they have. The best way to do that is to set expectations for the client relationship right from the very beginning.
Starting today hold an on-boarding meeting with each of your new clients and explain the rules you have for your relationship with them. Once you have done this, you can hold them accountable for their behavior.
If you do not have this conversation with your clients, you deserve whatever behavior you get from them. You have to tell your clients what is expected and you will get what you expect.
It is that simple.
Relationship with Yourself
This is the most important relationship of all. You must place an accurate value on your ability to help your clients. This means charging an appropriate fee and not backing off. It means having confidence in your ability to deliver great results for your clients and having confidence in your ability to get clients in the door.
Most business leaders have no problem with confidence in their activity in their profession or in the day-to-day operation of their business. Where they have a problem is in a lack of confidence in their marketing ability. Your ability to attract clients on demand gives you the power to make good decisions. It gives you the power to walk away from bad client relationships. It gives you the power to spend more time with your family and friends.
But first you have to decide to master these relationships. Start with your relationship with yourself.
Take the first step today and build the business you deserve.
That first step means making a list of the actions necessary to get these four relationships in order.
Once you make that list, make a second list of the people who you must engage to help you make these changes.
Then, finally, make a promise to yourself to take action.
Here are some additional resources to help you in your pursuit of selling success:
This is a Facebook Live video I recorded immediately before hosting a party at my home. I frequently invite clients to my house to socialize. Breaking bread with people is a great way to deepen relationships. Great relationships lead to selling success.
There are many ways to sell yourself. Selling success means you need to introduce yourself in a way that welcomes people into your world. This article shows you how to do that.
Neediness kills sales. Nothing is going to harm your chances at selling success like needing to close a deal right now. This article will help you keep that nagging feeling in check
Speed without quality means the death of any sales relationship.
I recorded this Facebook Live session in front of the Merchant of Death, McDonalds.
McDonalds provides food that will ultimately kill you but they do it quickly.
When you develop a relationship quickly without all the elements we include in the 60 Second Sales process, you are acting like a Merchant of Death yourself.
You simply providing something quick that will fill the moment but ultimately will kill the relationship.
Here’s the video:
Be sure to connect with me on Facebook to catch all the episodes of our Facebook Live videos.
You never know where we will show up and what we will talk about.
Do you know how to sell yourself?
The title of this article is a common common challenge when we meet someone new.
As such, we all answer it regularly.
Yet the answers I hear from people often make me cringe.
When you have an opportunity to talk about yourself do you downplay your accomplishments?
Or do you go in the other direction and talk, ad nauseam, about who you are, what you’ve done, and why you are the greatest person in the world?
There is a delicate balance in describing yourself to someone else. Here’s how to do it effectively:
First: Frame your accomplishments in a context based in their world.
To do this, compare your greatest success to something with which they are familiar. Here’s an example:
“Thanks for asking, Joe. Just like you, I’m known as a professional litigator. All of us have cases we are most proud of. One of mine is the case of Jones vs. Smith where my client was awarded a $2 million judgment. “
Sell yourself within a familiar context.
Next: Point out a particular passion.
“In my personal time I work with the Autism Research Foundation. I was drawn to it because of the impact this issue has had on my family. My kids mean everything to me and this is a way for me to give back to people who are looking to make life better for their family. ”
Sell yourself by highlighting your passion.
Finally: Wrap things up by asking the other person a question about them.
“Tell me Joe, how old are your kids?”
Note that I included only one business accomplishment and one area of personal passion. The reason is not because I think you should be humble. It is because of the psychological principle of primacy. Our brain will remember and associate people with the first thing we hear. In an initial meeting, you want the other party to walk away remembering the big business impact ($2 million success) and the passion (helping kids with autism).
The tendency is for us to list a string of accomplishments to impress the other party. This has a discounting effect on in the mind of the other person. The human brain will unconsciously average all the things we have done and often blunt impact of our accomplishments.
So the next time someone asks you for information about yourself, sell yourself as outlined above. Then watch how they introduce you to others. You will notice that they use the exact same language you use and it will have a memorable impact.
If you want to maximize your impact when meet