Episode #005: People Buy For Their Reasons, Not Yours! with Jeb Blount
In this Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
We are joined by Jeb Blount of salesgravy.com. We’ll be discussing his new book Sales EQ. Achieving a mutual purpose with your client can only happen when you’re in tune with their needs. The only way to do that is to increase your Sales EQ.
Topics we’re going to cover on today’s podcast:
- [2:10] Quote of the Day!
- [4:08] Sales Tip of the Day
- [8:34] People Buy for Their Reasons, Not Yours
- [11:25] Mutual Purpose
- [18:41] Sales EQ
- [25;36] Managing Disruptive Emotions
- [33:05] What makes you successful?
More about our guest Jeb Blount:
Jeb Blount founded SalesGravy.com in 2006 as a portal for all thing sales. Over the next five years he and his dedicated team of sales professionals grew Sales Gravy into the most visited sales employment website on the planet where thousands of employers connect with hundreds of thousands of top sales professionals.
Today Jeb is a sought after speaker and corporate consultant who touches thousands of business professionals each year with his compelling speeches, books, articles and audio programs. He is known for his ability to inspire his audiences to action and keep them on the edge of their seats.
Jeb is the author of six books including his bestseller Sales EQ
Links from today’s podcast:
Our Sponsor: Home Street Bank
Jeff: “People buy for their reasons, not yours.” So says the one and only Jeb Blount. And we’re gonna hear from Jeb coming up. You don’t wanna miss it.
Announcer: Welcome to The Buyer’s Mind, where we take a closer look deep inside your customer’s decision-making mechanism to reverse engineer the perfect sales presentation. Now, please welcome your host, Jeff Shore.
Jeff: Welcome everyone to The Buyer’s Mind, where we investigate exactly what’s going on in the brains of prospects who’re considering a purchase decision. This podcast is all about taking a stroll through the buyer’s mind. It’s about knowing a customer so well that the sale begins to roll out right in front of you. We like to have fun along the way, celebrate this wonderful, wacky world of sales. I’m your host, Jeff Shore. You can read the full bio in the show notes, or you can visit jeffshore.com. While you’re there, you can make sure to sign up for our free video newsletter. It comes out every Saturday morning with a little inspiration, motivation, education, to help you on your sales journey. I’m joined by our show producer, as always, Mr. Paul Murphy. Murph, how are you today?
Paul: Doing great. How are you?
Jeff: I’m doing great. So, Murph, let me just ask you, what is your IQ?
Paul: I think it’s about 110, but it’s been a while since I’ve been tested.
Jeff: I give you high praise, though. Most people are not even sure what their own IQ is. Okay, well, now let me ask you this. What is your EQ?
Paul: No idea. I know it stands for emotional quotient, but is that something you measure like IQ?
Jeff: Well, let me just say that I feel for you because understanding EQ is something that can really help you connect with your customer. And our guest, Jeb Blount, is gonna help you understand it a little bit better. Jeb recently wrote a book called “Sales EQ.” It’s an amazing book. I just could not put it down. And we’ll talk to Jeb about that here in just a little bit.
Before I forget to mention, stay with us because, as always, we give away something really cool at the end of the podcast. But let me get to today’s quote of the day, which comes to us from the guru of motivation and insight, the late Jim Rohn. And Jim says, “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” That’s a great quote. “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” This, to me, represents the really essence of sales. It’s about caring for your customer. It’s about caring so much that your own agenda is set aside. And I’ve seen it happen so often that sales people are so committed to, “I gotta make a sale,” and “I gotta share this feature”, and “I gotta,” “I gotta,” “I gotta,” that somehow the customer gets set aside. You want what is right for your customer, and if you have the right solution to the problem, that means that you do what you need to do to persuade them to do the right thing. This is really all about caring, and caring on a very deep level.
We’re gonna talk about that today on our podcast as we understand this idea of sales EQ. We wanna let you know, though, that the podcast is brought to you, in part, by our good friends at HomeStreet Bank. Not just a show sponsor, that’s my lender of choice. I used HomeStreet in my last home purchase, and I have to tell you it was one of the smoothest transactions ever, and I purchased quite a few homes in my day. But the people that I worked with were all tremendous, great service, professional, dependable, and really good rates. And if you’re a real estate professional, you just aren’t gonna find better people to work with in taking care of your clients. And they can do it all, banking, home loans, credit lines, you name it. Go to homestreetbank.com and you can learn more, that’s homestreetbank.com.
So coming up in just a few minutes, an interview with Jeb Blount. Jeb is a living legend in the world of sales. So many great books. And if you’re not spending time on the website salesgravy.com, that’s Jeb’s website, you are missing out. His new book, “Sales EQ,” really, really good. Before we get to that, we bring our sales tip of the day, and that is to defer the price conversation. So it’s really simple. The earlier in the process that you get into a price discussion, the harder it is to make a sale. That conversation will take the customer into an analytical comparison and at the worst possible time. Why? Because the sense of value in your product is not yet established. In other words, when you talk about price too early, you’re getting into a tactical discussion without a value connection. That is a no-win situation. It’s sort of like walking into a store and somebody saying to you, “Hey, good news. I’m gonna give you 50% off of something. Would you like to buy it?” Now, the 50%, I guess sounds good, but if we don’t know what we are getting, then what difference does it make? So, look, I like a deal as much as everybody else, but I like a deal on something that I really love. There is no such thing as a great deal on something you don’t like very much. So the earlier we start talking about terms, price and deal, the harder it is to get the sale, because we’re gonna get so stuck in that conversation that we forget that this is really about solving the customer’s problem.
So I wanna suggest to you, when your customer brings this up, that you tell your customer early on, “We’re gonna talk about all the terms, but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t find something you like. So let’s talk about your situation and your needs, and we’ll see if we have the right solution, and then we can talk about terms. Fair enough?” So look, at that point, it’s noted, it’s on the agenda. We are going to get there, we’re just aren’t gonna get there yet. So think, defer. Just change the tone of the conversation. Don’t talk about the price until after there is an emotional connection.
Now, before we get to our interview with Jeb Blount, let me tell you about an opportunity coming up here. I wanna invite you to join us for the 2017 Jeff Shore Sales Leadership Summit and Expo. This is to help you become a better leader for your team, to grow your business in ways you never thought possible, and take your career to the next level. This is the premier gathering for real estate sale executives. Although I have to tell you, we’ve had people from all different industries, and they’ve always gotten so much out of this, but the target lessons are for real estate executives. And you’re gonna learn from the best of the best about what it takes to make you a better leader, manager and coach. More insights, more strategies and more aha moments than ever before.
We’ve been doing these summits for years and they just keep getting bigger and better. Hundreds of leaders from all around North America, and actually all around the world descend on Coronado. That’s right, just outside of San Diego at the Loews Coronado Resort. Bring your significant other, stay for a few days. We meet on Thursday and Friday but most people spend the weekend. And, listen there are worse places to be in August that Coronado Island in San Diego. It’s absolutely spectacular. Just go to jeffshore.com, you can find more information about the summit and other exclusive training events throughout the year for sales leaders and sales pros. Just go to jeffshore.com/events.
All right. Just absolutely thrilled to have on the program Jeb Blount, the CEO of salesgravy.com. It’s an amazing resource, by the way. If you click on the Articles tab, you’re gonna read from some of the top sales experts in the country and a lot of Jeb’s original stuff there. Sales Gravy University, let me just tell you right now, their online classes they are so good. The work that they do is so strong. I’m not just saying that because Jeb is on this show. Jeb’s got a class coming out on outbound marketing and on how we prospect, and I am sending my marketing director to that class. So that tells you a little bit about how much I endorse this. He’s written a number of books that you’ll see on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and bookstores everywhere. “Fanatical Prospecting,” “People Buy You,” a host of others. Most recently “Sales EQ,” a book that I absolutely just devoured. It was so, so good. Jeb Blount, welcome to The Buyer’s Mind. Thanks for being here.
Jeb: Thank you so much. That was such a nice thing for you to say. Look, I need to pay you for that introduction.
Jeff: No. I’m paying you to send Cassandra through your program. So yeah, yeah, it’s all good. It’s all good. I wanna just jump right in here. When I’m looking at the business that you have built, you could look at it and say you are a sort of a one-stop shop, a resource for sales professionals everywhere. And yet you come out with this major premise that says “people buy for their reasons not yours.” Can you expand on that philosophy just a bit here? And just sort of use…we’ll use that as a framework for the rest of our conversation.
Jeb: You know, well, let’s think about the way that buyers approach buying and sellers approach selling. One of the things that we know empirically is that buying is emotional and that people make decisions on emotion. And guys like…scientists like Antonio Damasio have shown us, in no uncertain terms, that without our emotions to guide us, we have a very hard time making decisions. And if you think about the commercial relationship, where you have a salesperson and you have a buyer, they come together. The sales person is doing their best to get the outcome they desire, which is to close a piece of business and the seller…the buyer is trying to get the best outcome from them, which is value at a price that they’re willing to pay. A very simple process.
But if you think about the way that a seller typically approaches a buyer, the seller typically approaches with a pitch. And the buyer typically approaches with emotion. They’re asking, “Do I like you?” I mean, it’s the very first thing they ask. “Do I like you?” And the seller is starting off with, “Here’s all the reasons why you should buy from me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And there’s, first of all, nothing more unlikeable than a human being that’s talking at you. So you’ve got that problem to begin with. So you’re already out of sync. And then as they go along, the seller continues to pitch, and in a lot of cases fails to ask the reasonable questions to the buyer, like what’s important to them and what’s…you know, what’s emotional to them, and what do they wanna do and buy and why are they buying? And they don’t really ask those questions.
And so, what happens is the seller keeps pitching or pushing onto the buyer what the seller thinks is the reason why the buyer should buy, versus the buyer’s reason for buying. Which is why, no matter what type of sales that you’re in, the most important part of any sales conversation, and the sales process as a whole, is discovery. And even though it’s the least sexy thing about selling, we always talk about closing the deal or prospecting for more business, but discovery, like getting to know them and asking questions, and having the patience to do that, that’s what gives you the ability to understand why your buyer will buy. And you’re exactly right, people buy for their reasons, not yours. And the only reason you’re gonna get from the buyer, the only way you’re gonna get them to buy is to understand their reasons and bridge your solutions or whatever you’re selling specifically to their reasons, using their language. It’s a simple concept but very hard to execute.
Jeff: When I was reading “Sales EQ,” the word that kept coming to my mind was “agenda.” Who’s agenda are we really looking at here? And it sort of led me to the idea that the way that you state the premise, that we’re trying to get to a point of mutual purpose, right? Where a seller and a buyer are on the same page, they have a combined agenda, but you, as a sales professional, you really have to set aside any agenda that you have and just fully dive into your customer’s agenda, if you really wanna understand who they are in the first place, right?
Jeb: I think you’re exactly right. And I love what you said, mutual purpose. I’ve never heard anybody say that before, and I’m probably gonna steal that from you because it’s awesome. But the mutual purchase… I was talking a VP of sales yesterday in a really complex sales environment. And he said, “One of the things that I want is I wanna work with buyers who want me to succeed.” And if you think about that, from a mutual purpose standpoint, if you’re the seller and you really want your buyer to succeed. So, for example, you know, let’s say that you’re listing a home or something like that. You’re going out, you’re working with, you know, a potential buyer, you’re trying to get the listing. If you’re on their side and you really want them to succeed, and you’re honest about that, they’re more likely to give you some…you know, some leeway when you ask them to make some changes or to adjust their price. And if you’re working with a buyer who really wants you to succeed at selling, or to achieve your goal, then they’re working towards you. Like, they’re coming towards you, and they’re willing to compromise, and they’re willing to make some changes.
And I think that what you said, mutual purpose, is really important. And let me give you a quick example of that. This morning I was working with my insurance agent, who I’ve got a great relationship with, and we’ve got a big event coming up in Atlanta, and we’re getting liability insurance. And he came to me and he did all this work, and in the call he said, “You can just write a check directly to the people that wrote this.” He said, “They don’t really…we don’t get a commission off of this.” And I said, “That’s not okay.” I said, “You need to send me a bill for the work that you did on this thing because I owe you for that work. It’s not okay for…you know, for you to do this and not get anything for it.” And he was like he was really taken aback by that. He goes, “No. That was really kind of cool. You don’t have to do that.” But I want him to succeed. We’re working on this together, this is collaborative. And I know that if I do a good job for him and take care of him, he’ll take care of me when I need him as well. And I think that’s the type of relationship that you should be seeking out as a seller.
Jeff: This is really interesting, and it gives me a deeper understanding here. Even in this analogy, the story about what sales EQ is, because if I have a very low EQ, then there’s no way I can adopt the idea that my customer wants me to succeed. And yet, I’m thinking about…I was speaking at a conference recently, it was a real estate conference and there was a group of people who had recently purchased a home. We had five of them up on stage and I moderated this conversation. It was really a lot of fun because they were just very open and honest. And one of them said, “I actually…there was another home that I liked better but I didn’t wanna work with that salesperson. I wanted to work with my salesperson.” And I looked at him and went…In real time, I was thinking, “That makes no sense at all. You’re making one of the biggest purchase decisions of your entire lifetime. That salesperson is only with you for a short time. You’re gonna live in that home for a long time. You bought your second choice home because you liked the salesperson more? It doesn’t make logical sense.” And you know what? It doesn’t, but that speaks to the idea of how important the emotion is and the reason why people want to buy in the first place. Going to the idea that you just said, you want each other to succeed. That’s a beautiful statement.
Jeb: You’re exactly right. I mean, and that sort of story is also the bulk of situations where buyers just make decisions that just don’t make any sense because they like the salesperson better. One of the biggest deals…one of the opening chapters I talk about one of the biggest deals I ever sold in my life, and…I mean, the commission check was so big on the deal that I bought a 5,000 square foot home in cash with the commission check. And I had enough leftover to go buy a beach house. That’s how big the commission was. And we worked for months, and months, and months to close this deal. And when we finally closed it, after some, you know, heart-wrenching, you know, anticipation about getting the deal done, I asked the buyer like, “Why did you do this? Why did you choose me?” And the guy went back and said, “Well, you know, we had this…you had this meeting with your whole team and we ate, you know, barbecue off of paper plates and we all sat around and talked. And my team just felt like you guys were a lot more like us.” And I’m thinking, I spent almost two years of my life, I did every possible financial calculation you could run. I had an entire team of engineers working on this thing, and the dude bought from me because he liked us and he thought we were more like them. Human similarity bias, right? If we were more similar to them, then we might just operate because we’re kind of low-key and we ate barbecue off plates, then our paper plates now would be…You know, he would like this more.
And that just tells you that, you know, so many of the things that we think about why people buy is just so wrong. I mean, we’re just so wrong about everything. That’s not to say the process doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t say that the mechanisms for selling don’t matter because they do, but what those things are for us, if we use them correctly, is they’re emotional litmus tests along the way that tell us whether or not we’re moving in the right direction. Are we finding that buyer that we wanna work with? Is that person advancing to the deal with us or not? And if we don’t have those things in play, what happens is we become, you know, blind to the obvious.
And Kahneman, who’s one of the scientists that I quote in the book often, in his book Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow, one of my favorite quotes in that book he said that, “You know, human beings are blind to the obvious, and we’re blind to our blindness.” And salespeople, in particular, because everything we do is so emotional, we are blind to our own emotions and our own biases. So all the things that we talk about in sales, the mechanisms of sales, those type of things, those should become your touch points, your litmus tests, your milestones along the way that allow you to gain the awareness, to know whether or not you have that type of relationship, and whether or not what you’re talking about is important to your buyer. Are you selling for their reasons, not yours?
Jeff: Yeah. But “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” one of favorite books. We’ve referenced it many times on this podcast. If you haven’t read Michael Lewis’s book, “The Undoing Project” about the relationship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, it’s absolutely fantastic. But I love that whole premise that, you know, it’s one of the great illusions in life that we actually understand the world. We can’t even understand our own brain, let alone understand the world. And it speaks to the idea that, if your customer doesn’t really understand how they make decisions, if you think you can logic your way though this, you’re probably in trouble. And you mentioned earlier…you mentioned Damasio, the whole idea of somatic markers and this concept that these feelings in the body associated with our emotions that will lead to the actual physical manifestation. So rapid heartbeat, the anxiety, nausea, as we go through this process. It speaks to how emotional our customers are. And yet, you see salespeople who, if they were really zoned in, if they were paying attention, if they had a strong enough sales EQ, they would see these things, they just miss them. They just move right past them. And I think, again, it’s because they have their agenda, which is not necessarily associated with the customer’s agenda.
Jeb: Well, they have their agenda and they also have their own emotions. So this is what’s so unique about selling. And this is why when we talk about sales EQ, we talk about sales-specific emotional intelligence because there’s no relationship that you have in life that is similar to the buyer-seller relationship. It’s completely different. It’s separate from everything we do. You know, both parties are emotional, both parties are trying to get their own outcome, both parties are driven by disruptive emotions that create illogical decision and illogical behavior. And for salespeople, the reason that they’re…you know, they miss those things is because they’re so inwardly focused and they’re so driven by their own disruptive emotions. And that’s why, if you really think about being able to get into the buyer’s mind, to coin your phrase for your podcast title, to get into your buyer’s mind, what you have to do is begin to control your own emotions so that you are able to rise above them, so that you can gain that level of awareness. And, you know, we don’t have time to do this in a podcast, but getting control of your emotions is really difficult. And the reason is is that your emotions happen without your consent. They’re happening whether you…whether you want them to happen or not. Your only option is to be aware of them, rise above them, and get control of them.
And this is really important for sales professionals. No matter what you sell, you must really understand this. In every sales conversation, in every sales interaction, it is the human being in that conversation that has the greatest control of their emotions, who has the highest probability of getting the outcome that they desire. This one little piece, if you get that, then you can own the world. And you will be able to move into your buyer’s mind, and you will be able to influence their behavior and their decisions, for the right reasons.
Jeff: In “Sales EQ,” along those lines, you state that there are these four pillars of sales-specific emotional intelligence, empathy, self-awareness, self-control, sales drive. First of all, is that list in order of importance? Empathy, self-awareness, self-control, sales drive?
Jeb: Not necessarily. You know, if we were to list it in importance, I would say self-control comes first, like, the ability to…to be disciplined. And, you know, I define discipline as, you know, giving up what you want now for what you want most. So if I’m in a conversation with you, so, for example, you’re a buyer and you say something and I really wanna pitch you on something because I feel like I’ve got a solution right there, that’s what I want most, is to talk. But discipline, self-control says, “I’m willing to hold back and allow the buyer to continue to talk, and put that away someplace else, and manage that impulse to feel important, or to, you know, to show them how smart I am, or to like go ahead and go for the jugular, see if I can close the deal in that particular moment.” So really self-control comes first.
And I would put next, probably for salespeople, sales drive, which is a combination of competitiveness, need for achievement and optimism. Because if you don’t have that… It’s hard to have that without having self-control, but if you don’t have that and you’re not working on that, all the rest of the things you do in sales are awfully hard. Because, at the core, what…sales-specific emotional intelligence is something called dual process. And dual process, and, again, I go back to the fact that a commercial relationship, a relationship between a buyer and seller is different from any other relationship you have in your life. In this particular relationship, we need to have empathy. And empathy is important and is critical, but empathy can also be a problem for salespeople. So salespeople who say they are “people people,” for example, don’t usually make very good salespeople because their empathy gets in their way of the ability to be assertive and move the deal forward, and to ask for what they want.
So, in sales, you need to be able to be both empathetic and you also need to be able to be outcome-driven, because at the end of very sales conversation, I need to move the deal to the next step. If I don’t, my deal stalls and I lose. So I have to be able to do both of those things at the same time. Well, that requires a massive amount of self-awareness and a massive amount of self-control. So we begin with self-control, we move to sales drive, because I’ve gotta have those core drivers in my heart in order to be able to ask the next step, keep things moving. And I have to have self-awareness so that I know exactly what to do and when to do it. And maybe we change it to situational awareness. I have to know where I am and where, you know, and what spot I am in the conversation, in the moment and in the sales process. And then we’ll roll that into empathy.
And empathy is…it’s critical, it’s a meta-skill of the 21st century. But for sales, empathy must be measured, empathy must be balanced. You know, not empathetic enough, you’re narcissistic and all you care about is you, and, like you said, you have this agenda, and your agenda is to close the deal, and it’s to do it with, you know, a shortest period of time possible with the least amount of effort and the least amount of emotional connection. If you’re too empathetic, then your attachment to being loved and wanted and taking care of your buyer gets in the way of sometimes grabbing them, you know, around the shoulder. And I will just go back to the…you know, the example of listing a home. And, you know, it’s grabbing your buyer and saying, “Listen, we can list this house, but the purple dining room that you love so much, it’s gonna be…have to be painted beige because we’ll never sell this house at this house price otherwise.” And if you don’t have the ability to step past your, you know, your empathy for hurting their feelings in that moment, which you might, and do that, then you’re probably gonna end up with a house that you have overpriced and can’t sell. Does that make sense?
Jeff: Sure, absolutely. I love that. And you said self-control is number one. I was actually gonna ask you about that because when I read the book, Chapter 11, which is all about self-control, amongst the many, many comments that I’ve written in the margins of this book, on the last page, I wrote this comment, “This could be an entire book right here.” Just the chapter on self-control because it so resonated with the idea of how we manage disruptive emotions and how our own head gets in the way of our sales presentation so much so that… Because just as our customers have a difficult time understanding themselves, so we too have a difficult time understanding ourselves. And that self-control, fueled by self-awareness, I think, is just so critical.
Let’s take it in that direction, though, because you talk in Chapter 11 about managing disruptive emotions, and specifically…I’m just gonna read the quote. “Sales EQ is the ability to manage your own disruptive emotions while at the same time accurately interpreting and responding to the emotions of stakeholders.” Break that down a little bit. Define the term “disruptive emotion.”
Jeb: Look, if you think about it, this is pretty simple. Let’s run fear, fear is a disruptive emotion. Impatience is a disruptive emotion. Our need to feel important is a disruptive emotion. And that’s a crazy double-edged sword because it’s our need to feel important that drives need for achievement, which is one of the core pieces of sales drive, right? But too much of that becomes a real problem because we then begin stepping on our buyers. In uncertainty, doubt, attachment, and attachments are really big problems. So, for example, let’s go to competitiveness, a core part of sales drive. Our competitiveness is critical for being great in sales. However, if you become too attached to winning, what happens is you’ll end up maybe winning the battle but losing the war. You may win an argument with your buyer but you’ll lose them forever because they don’t wanna buy from you anymore. They’ll be like the example you gave earlier, “I just didn’t like that person, so I bought a house that I didn’t really want from someone that I liked better”.
And if you look at…if you can get past that and start looking at our cognitive biases. So similarity bias, our call fallacy, this is a big problem for salespeople in that they’ve got a deal that…or even an opportunity that is not gonna close, and they keep putting good money after bad. They keep putting time, effort, emotion, blood, sweat, tears into a deal because they’re oblivious to the fact that there’s a neon sign hanging over the deal saying, “It is never going to close.” That’s a disruptive emotion. You know, our ability to…our bias, our confirmation bias, which, I think, is a really bad problem for salespeople in that instead of seeing the clues that would tell us that something is wrong here, like this buyer is not that into us, or they don’t really want us to win, or they’re not matching our effort, or they’re not really emotionally engaged, we look for all the clues that tell us what we want to hear. And this happens all the time. And I’ll give you a great example of this.
I’ll have a salesperson who’ll engage in conversation, and they’ll walk out of the door and I’ll say, “How did the conversation go?” And they go, “Oh, it was great. It was great. Like, we made a complete connection.” And at that moment, you know like when they’re saying that, that they are so completely unaware of the fact that they spent the entire time talking, because they feel good because they spent the entire time pitching, which makes them feel important because they’re getting to talk, and they walked away feeling that they had a great conversation. Meanwhile, most of those deals stall because the buyer walks out and says, “I don’t really like that person. I’m not exactly sure what it is about them, but I don’t like them.” And sometimes they go, “Well, that schmuck just spent the entire time talking, didn’t even ask me a question.” So those are all disruptive emotions that get in your way. And there’s many layers of that.
And, of course, the most disruptive emotion that we have is our fight-or-flight complex, which happens when we feel a threat. And in sales, you know, that threat doesn’t come in the form of a physical threat because there’s no one…you know, every once in a while maybe someone in New York City is like, you know, walking you out of the door with a bat to your head. But, I mean, most of the time it’s a threat to our social standing, which for sales people typically means rejection. You know, you’re being rejected or you feel small or insecure in that particular moment.
Jeff: Two last questions and then we’ll wrap it up here. First of all, I was just thinking about a piece of advice here but I want targeted advice. We’re not talking right now to somebody who’s brand-new to sales, who’s trying to get their feet on the ground. We’re not talking about somebody who’s just in a groove and just hitting home runs. Let’s talk to the person who has plateaued, let’s talk to the sales professional who has, maybe, perhaps they’ve been doing this for while but they’re just…they’re just not feeling it. They’re out of sorts, they’re just in a little…they used to be in a groove now they’re in a rut, right? What advice do you have for that sales person?
Jeb: If you feel that way, the advice that I have is…and this is gonna be crazy, crazy advice but it’s to start reading. Start listening to podcasts. Start putting good things into you. Because, like, I can give you a prescription, “Go do these things,” but that’s not gonna change until what you’re putting in changes. When I find people who have stalled…I was just…I had this conversation yesterday with a group that hired me to come spend some time with them, and they have a veteran sales force. And the leadership team is exasperated. And the way they described it is, “All these people believe that they know everything. And every time we bring in anybody to teach them, they find everything wrong with that. And the reason we’re hiring you is that you have a reputation for fixing some of these things.” And as I’m listening to them, I’m like, I’ve been there and heard this a million times. It’s the veteran salesperson who either overtly says, “I know it all,” or it’s just in their attitude. And my prescription is always the same, you have to start putting better stuff in because what goes into your ear hole and your eye hole will typically come out of your mouth hole, right? And it will make you feel better. That would be my first thing.
The second thing is, I would take a good look around you because the world is changing. And if you’re in a situation where you are stuck in a rut, somebody is gonna disrupt you. They’re gonna disrupt your life, they’re going to take your job, they’re gonna steal from you. I had a great opportunity. I was speaking to a group of real estate agents in Boston last month, and I listened to the CEO of Century 21 give a speech to this group that was absolutely brilliant. And his speech was all about the fact that…that real estate agents need to go back to focusing on human. People don’t need a real estate agent to help them find a house, they can find it online. They really don’t need a real estate agent to help them see the house, because you can see it online. What they need is a human being that they trust and they like and they believe in to advice them, to help them find things or see things or do things or become aware of things that they can’t do online, that a robot can’t do for them.
And I thought that, you know, some of the new commercials that are coming out, that they showed us, for C21, you know, also, you know, equally brilliant. And, basically, the commercial starts off and says, “We’re not an app. We’re human, we’re people” and we celebrate that, right? So if you are someone who is stuck in a rut or you don’t feel it anymore or, you know, you think you know it all, and you’re looking around you and you’re seeing that there are other people and other things moving faster, my message is really clear to you, wake up and pay attention. Because it’s the human element, it is your ability to interact and deal with other people, which has a lot to do with what’s happening inside of you, that is going to define what you do in the future. And another way of saying this, and I say this to college students all the time and I say it to people who are 60 all the time, is that in the future, in a very near future, there are gonna be two types of people. There are gonna be people who tell robots what to do and there are gonna be people who are told what to do by a robot. Trust me on this, you want to be in the first group.
Jeff: Yeah. Love it, love it, love it. And the application today is, you don’t have to think forward to robots, you can think about that right now. Last question, and this is off the subject of sales EQ or sales in general. I’m gonna throw you a hard slider and see if you can it here, Jeb. So there are a lot of people out there that would look at it and say, “I like being me. But if I couldn’t be me, I’d kinda like to be Jeb Blount.” You’ve got a really, really successful organization, you do very, very well for yourself. You are, by all measures in the business world, an overwhelming success. So much of this has to do with our self-paradigm, with how we see ourselves. Our actions and behaviors are always an extension of the way we see ourselves. What is it about you? And I know I’m asking you to basically brag on yourself a little bit, but I think our audience really wants to know. What is it about you? And people like you, who are just uber-successful. They just see the world and the possibilities of the world seemingly different than everybody else.
Jeb: I’ll give you a couple of things, but this is a really difficult question. It’s a relatively simple formula. Number one is, I believe that I’m supposed to succeed. I just have this core belief that I was put on earth to be successful. I fail constantly. I mean, I fall flat on my face. I mean, five minutes before the call, I was late on this because I fell on my face and made a mistake and then got, you know, looped into something. So I fail all the time. And when I fail, I believe it happened for a reason, and I look at the world and say, “You know, this was supposed to happen. You’re supposed from learn from this.” I’d look at it and say, “What do I learn from this? And keep going. And versus people who fail…and a great example of that, you know, all the people that…you’ve written, you know, a book, and you’ve had people come to you and say, “Hey, you know, how do you do that?” Or, “I’ve been trying to write a book my whole life.” Well, they write a paragraph, look at it, throw a ball over it, and put writing off till the next month. You know, like “Sales EQ,” you’re like, you’re talking all about it? I was talking to Mike Weinberg yesterday and he goes, “You were so nervous that people would hate this book.” He was like laughing at me. I go, “Yeah, I was terrified because if you would have seen this book last summer, it was awful. It was a terrible book. But, you know, you work at it, work at it, work at it.
So I’m gonna give you the next part of the formula. It’s, I’m just relentless. I never stop. I work probably more than any other human being that I know. It’s never over. And if I get on something, I won’t stop until it gets done. And I don’t know that was something that I developed, I may have, just I’ve always been that way. And I just don’t let anything get in my way. And that’s always…that’s not always a good thing, and that is definitely something where at times I need an emotional intelligence check, because I’ve got people around me who don’t share the same sort of level of drive, and it gets in the way. But that’s…I mean, that’s it. I mean, I wish could tell you that there was some really cool things, but it’s just that.
Jeff: No. But I’ll tell you what? If you look at it, you say you have a very strong belief in your sense of purpose, and you are relentless in pursuing that belief, that’s it. That’s the secret sauce right there. Jeb Blount, absolutely amazing. I wanna encourage everybody go to salesgravy.com. It’s an amazing resource. While you’re there, look at Sales Gravy University. But then you’ve gotta buy the book, “Sales EQ.” And I’m gonna encourage you, when you buy the book, read it with a pen in your hand. You’re gonna wanna write questions of yourself in the margin. This is an active book, this is a book that you might be looking and saying, “Well, what can I get out of this book?” But you really wanna look at it and say, “What can the book get out of you?” It’s an amazing work. Jeb, I know your time is very, very valuable. Thanks for spending time with us today in The Buyer’s Mind.
Jeb: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Jeff: Well, Murph, I was pretty blown away right there. That was amazing stuff. Wasn’t it?
Paul: It was. I mean, very energetic guy, and very inspirational.
Jeff: Yeah. That’s absolutely right. I am fired up having listened to him. I just love the concept of “you want each other to succeed.” And I confess, I’ve not spent a lot of time thinking that my customer wants me to succeed as a salesperson. But let me throw that back to you, Murph. When you find a salesperson that you really like, do you think that that’s going on deep inside, that you really want your salesperson to win?
Paul: I do. I want my salesperson to succeed at whatever they’re doing just because I like them. But if they’re off-putting then I’m not gonna root for them as much.
Jeff: Yeah. Sure. Yeah, absolutely. It was also interesting to think about the sales…the relationship between the salesperson as a customer, what Jeb called a “completely unique relationship,” that there’s really nothing like it. And when you think about it, I’m guessing for our listeners here right now, that you’re resonating with that, that it’s very difficult to find that strong connection and compare it to anything else that we do.
And then, finally, just his final thoughts there. “I believe I’m supposed to succeed.” Let’s think about that for just a moment. He said, “I was put on this earth to be successful.” Well, you know, I would look at that and then say, why would not everyone have that same thought in their heart? Now, look, you could define success however you want to because Jeb is a workaholic, he is relentless. He never stops. He works hard than…He said that. That’s fine. You may not wanna pour as many of your hours into your work, into what it is that you do, but success comes in a lot of different ways. And he says, “I believe I am supposed to be successful.” What a tremendous thought to have in your head when you get out of bed. Whether you look at it and say, “I believe that I am supposed to be successful in my work, or in my parenting, or in my relationships, or in my faith, or in my service, or whatever it happens to be.” That’s just a tremendous way to be able to look at the world. So, once again, our thanks to Jeb Blount. That was fantastic, and we will definitely take him up on his offer and bring him back up on the show here very, very soon.
Well, let’s head into the homestretch here. Let me just ask you this question, as we wrap up today’s podcast. Are you having a bad day? Listen, sometimes in sales, we have a bad day, things go wrong. It’s just part and parcel to the sales gig. But what do you do? Because if you transfer negative energy to your customer, you already know how that’s going to turn out. In fact, you have to have enough positive energy for you and for the customer. But what do we do? Because we’re human beings, we have bad days. We have things that go wrong in our lives.
And I’ll tell you… Years ago, I’ll never forget this. It was a Sunday afternoon and I…I’m a dog person, I’ve always been a dog person, and I had a dog who passed away. And it was under very difficult circumstances, I’m not gonna share the whole sad story. Let me just say it was a very sad story. Monday morning, I had to stand up in front of a group of sales professionals and I had to give my best. Well, how much do you think I wanted to do that? Look, I love what I do. I am just so blessed to be able to do what I do, but I’ll tell you, I was there on that Monday morning and I was struggling. I was struggling. And the last I checked, a market for sales trainers and consultants and speakers who are depressed and down and gloomy is not very good, right? So there’s a lot at stake here. But I also knew that these people had given up their day to spend with me. How do I do this? What do I do? And I made a conscious decision to use my customers as therapy. That is, I decided that, for that presentation, I was going to so pour myself into the sales professionals that were in front of me, that I would not have time to think about my dog. I was going to use this session to say, “I’m gonna get away from myself. I’m gonna set my issues aside, and I’m just going to zone in. I’m gonna 100% focus in on that customer who’s sitting in front of me.” And, you know what? It was a great day. I mean, it was fantastic.
So let me make that suggestion to you. If you’re having a tough day, if things aren’t going particularly well for you, if you’re down, take yourself out of the equation. Make this all about your customer. And in so doing, you’re gonna have the opportunity to change their world.
All right. Well, listen, at the beginning of this show, I told you that we’re running a contest. You have the chance to win the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. I love these headphones. I wear them when I’m travelling, I wear them when I’m listening to the podcast, or when I wanna hear the strongest quality in my music. So for the winner, you can take your choice of either the over-the-ear or the noise-cancelling ear buds, so you can listen to The Buyer’s Mind podcast while you’re working out, while you’re going for a run, whatever it is. You get both a physical and a mental workout at the same time. So I’m giving away several Shore Consulting swag bags, that’s my five books, a coffee mug, my motivational CD, and a bag to carry it all in. But one grand prize winner will win the QuietComfort headphones as well.
So all you have to do is download The Buyer’s Mind episodes on iTunes. So go to iTunes, download the episodes, subscribe to the podcast and then just leave a quick review. It’s gonna take you all of 30 seconds. Once you’ve done that, go to jeffshore.com/podcast and click on the “contest” link. It will just ask you for your email address and the name that you used for the review on iTunes, so that we can pick the winners. We’re gonna give away 10 swag bags with the books and the mug and the CD, and everything else. And then the grand price, you’ll have your choice of either the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones or the noise cancelling QuietComfort 20 earbuds. So there you go. Get on that right away.
All right. Well, that concludes another podcast from The Buyer’s Mind. I hope you enjoyed it. And just, as always, you can find everything you need at jeffshore.com. But until next time, go out there my friends and change someone’s world.