My name is John golden from sales pop online sales magazine and pipeliner CRM, and today I’m delighted to be joined from cleveland ohio by hal becker. How you doing how so we I won’t be requesting how to stand up during this interview? We all done seated. So how? If you don’t know how already is a nationally known expert on sales customer service negotiating, he was number one sales person at the age of 22 in a sales force of 11,000 at Xerox Corporation, which wasn’t an easy thing to achieve, which for sure – and he has Mentored and trained a lot of people over the years and he’s written a number of books.
Can I have five minutes of your time. Lip service get what you want, but his latest book is the ultimate sales book so Hal. I wanted to understand so you written all these other books. You know you’ve worked with a lot of people. What was the genesis of the ultimate sales book? Well, let me just preface it whatever sales book you read, there’s nothing new. So it’s just repackaging information. In fact, I tell people if you’re in a book store, you see any my books, don’t buy them by Dale Carnegie how to win friends, influence people written in 1936.
So before I even get to the ultimate sales book, because I laugh because it’s doing supposedly I’ve told my publisher – it’s doing very well in Korea, South Korea, Poland and Japan, but the u.S. Is not doing that. Well, the next book I’m very excited about because it’s not published yet, but that was the best title. I’ve ever come up with ever it’s called elevators features a cramp take the escalator that is even when that book comes out.
There’s nothing new. It’s just repackaging of information, so whatever I give you or my opinions or bit-bit fact, based on all the other books written in the last 70 or 80 years. So this the ultimate sales book West, was an experiment. I thought: okay, I’m an idiot. Most salespeople are idiots felt like myself and we have a TD. We don’t like. We can’t afford an expense report, a little read a book.
I already put this three-page chapters and they have a very humorous quiz right afterwards. You know four four sentences. You know for questions but humorous to see if you retain any of the information, so the a the the goal was to put like a book in a workbook together in a very short two-hour read, and it covers everything in sales. Again, nothing is new, so it comes anything from hot to cold call how to use the phone and how to you know, handle objections.
I think once a closing the customer test so weak ask a good question zone and everything else in between. So what do you when you say: okay, so Dale Carnegie, you know way back when in the thirties – and you say you know nothing has – has really changed but have what are what are some of the things that you see or challenges? That may be a little bit different today than when, when you when, when you started selling well, I’m still selling, because I’m the weekends buddy.
Once I have a neat piece, Motown band and I’m paid, we booked a year advance and I’m a 62 to $ 100. An evening, but I’m the one who’s the sales, not getting all the business and I’m trying to kill myself to make nine dollars an hour, so sales, the sales, the sales, the sales. What what has changed is this technology, so my opinion and when I say a penny, that’s all it is because people can differ.
You know disagree with me everything’s relationships and from the 1910s to the 1990s there were two ways to get an appointment. When was this, when was this, then things changed with the event: the invention of the internet and email, then, when 2007, when the iPhone came out and everything along that social media, just what we’re doing here, everything changed the landscape change, because now we have phone knocking On doors, email, voicemail text, so with changes transactions and how to get the appointment, so you have to be well-versed in typing, you got ta belt, be well-versed in texting, using the phone knocking on doors and what I’m fighting.
So to answer your question specifically now, in my opinion: what’s changed, is we have much shorter attention spans? So less is more. You got to get to the point. You’ve got 7 8, 9 10 seconds and you’ve got to be well-versed in all areas. So many other twenties grew up on technology, so in my age in the 60s grew up through technology, so it’s a whole different, ballgame mom and, along with that, business has become transactional like I’ve never seen before before it was relationships and and who knows where it’s Going to go we’re in the middle of a hurricane, nothing mentioned that the hurricane is sitting right now, but but with Google and Amazon we don’t know.
I totally agree with you and actually, if you can, if you can learn how to knock on a door with your phone while you’re texting on this, but I agree with you, I mean I think we don’t know where we’re going. But the part you mentioned in my relationship, I think and and I’d love to get your opinion on this. I think the idea of relationship was maybe played down a little over the last number of years, because people was always all technology and everything and yeah they were sort of saying.
Oh, you build digital relationships, but I think the relationship aspect is definitely coming back to the fore and people are realizing that that, at the end, the end of the day is still the critical piece 26 year old kid again. As a kid to me, he said well, this is his line. Emails for information, not communication. I’ll, give you the perfect example I’m going to give a plug to this company if you’re a musician or whether you buy a microphone if you’re a speaker whatever it is.
There’s, Sam Ash, you know the stores there’s Chris Tyra center. They have their online presence as well and then there’s a company that most physicians own called Sweetwater. I have no idea what a sweet wire is, but I want to try them once to order something online. They are so good that they call you three or four times a year, just leaving a voicemail, no upselling, hey hi. This is Casey from Sweetwater.
Just wan na stay in touch say hi. I needed to place an order this week for hunting down the right. I’m a nothing thing: the only people I could think of was placing it through them and instead of just going online, I called them mm-hmm because it was just a spam, so wonderful like so I could use technology or use the person and when companies marry the Two now we’re in the perfect world, and I don’t think companies have figured that out yet yeah.
I I think, you’re a hundred percent right because I think we’ve all had the same experiences, but sometimes it feels like companies leverage technology to keep us from ever talking to someone right, yeah I’ll, give you a great example how there was a while back where I Had to update a subscription on the site and the site was going through some changes and to do the they gave you a phone number. When you call the phone number went through the phone tree, I told you to go to the website.
When you went to the website and put in your details, I told you to call the number and you were in just in this insane loop yeah. The first thing I look for is a contact number if they just have the contact form by I move on. I want to have a relationship if I need it down the road and it’s just just no companies couldn’t we could talk about service all day. Long. Do you provide or not you’re you and I we’ve never met until now, you’re.
First of all, you texted me earlier just ping me early. We started this call early you and I for the instant relationship within four seconds and or you would need not form a relationship. That’s life yeah it wheat, but most people don’t even take the chance to do that anymore. I’d have to ask you, I mean because interesting that you know you when you were at Xerox, arrived because Xerox was one of the you know leading companies when it came to sales – and I don’t know if you know I I I run a company called hath.
Wait for a while, which was spin selling, which was near Rackham, who actually did a lot of work with Xerox back in the day right? What are there? Are there some things that you learn too zero? I told those years ago that you have kind of carried through your whole career as real core skills. What’s funny about the way that was with who’s running a company now out of London, is it Tony Hughes? Yes, I bet we would seminar together in Athens, Greece, maybe a year ago or so, and my opinion again is what I when I went to I’m a screw-up.
You know I had a 1:7 acumen high school, I mean that’s a d-plus average, the guy across the hall me. I couldn’t get a job so much comfier to Xerox yeah. How do I sell copiers? I mean what’s the lower on the food chain and I never go into our training. I went whoa and then we went to our training center, which is three weeks 21 days, and then I was so immersed in Venice that I decided to do something.
I’ve never done in my life. I read a book on sales and I got hooked and from that moment on, in these words, I try to eat, tell sales people because the only profession I’ve ever seen it’s made up of amateurs. If you want to be treated like a pro, do something athletes will do anything they cannot to sit on. The bench salespeople are comfortable on the bench, so whether it’s reading a book, whether it’s whatever so to answer your question so from Xerox, we went through.
What’s called PS s1, which is for professional selling skills one because that’s one became PSS, two became PSS. Three became need. Satisfaction, selling became spin selling, it’s all the same, which is question based selling find out about the customer. However, you want to do it to have a conversation and when you leave, do you know more about them or they know more about you. I just gave you eight hours in a sales course.
That’ll close, don’t get fancy just stop talking about yourself. I tell people it’s a date time date. If you don’t want to date, talk about you, the other person’s, going to sit there and go what a loser just walk out finding out about the other person. So do you, and that is something I did a couple of things I just want to dissect from what you said number one there’s the point about what you were saying is that a lot of people come into sales and never have any training right.
It’s one of the fun it’s one of the few jobs you can get where you’re not and yet there’s yet the ones who stand out are the ones who they don’t even wait around for as Eric’s to train them. They they invest in themselves right, but a lot of people don’t so, is that one thing that you would really encourage people to do if they’re, if they haven’t done it already, it’s invest in your own in your own training.
Absolutely and there’s a Jim Collins where the book would be great to every seller, but there’s one line in them that made all the sense get the right. People on the bus and my opinion, the two most important qualities for a salesperson and you can’t train either. Um and there’s no specific order to a number one is a desire. If you don’t have desire you’re not going to be great because it’s a skills, you have to hustle whether its existing customers, whether it’s inside sales, outside sales, new business and number two – and this is the big one.
You can have high empathy where you’re truly putting a customer first and not the sale, can’t train either of those and so most salespeople when they start to study and learn the science of, because I don’t know about you, I am NOT going to a self-taught doctor. I don’t wan na self-taught salesperson, so when I’m around a real pro that truly puts the customer first and they read them, do that Tommy the field or buying something? That’s it they’re going.
This person gets it and I’ve always liked women salespeople over men. I think they’re more empathetic, I think the more genuine, the more she’s here. They know how to multitask better right that people disagree with you, but I ya know, and I think that the the empathy wants it in is an interesting one, because I think a lot of people don’t understand what them. But empathy really means right and some people think it’s because I had this conversation one time with some other people and their argument.
Saying: oh, you know. If you get too empathetic you know, then you might even talk yourself out of a sale or whatever, and I say I said but empathy, it’s not always. Empathy isn’t agreeing with somebody. Empathy is understanding and trying to put yourself in their shoes, and sometimes you may have to deliver hard truths to somebody. You know and that’s what real empathy is right. Why say? Yes, this isn’t right, for you, empathy is, you say, talk yourself out of a sale, great sales people never listen themselves out of a sale.
It should be the opposite: 90 minimum 70 % of the time he shouldn’t be talking since these world even from a long time ago. Think the more they talk, the more endearing they are, the more the customer likes. It is the opposites, the less you talk, the more the customer talked to the more event they like you and you’re. Not there be light if you’re there to do your, I don’t care. If I like my doctor when I go winter, my doctor’s job is just to make me well and if I am well, I got my annual physical and I’m eating 80 Twinkie today, you say: keep eating Twinkies, so I want to be a doctor of blank in Sales, it’s interesting, you say about the listening, because that is the part that I think again it’s a thing that I don’t think a lot of people understand they they’ll understand all day.
You can say you need to ask a good question say: yes, obviously, and then you need to listen to the answers. Yes, obviously, I need to listen to the answers, but there’s listening in this listening right, there’s listening and really you know understanding what they’re saying and processing it and maybe asking clarifying questions and validating what you’re hearing as opposed to listening or scribbling down something, and then Thinking yeah, I got it.
I need to see they’re trained for the whole warehouse, so this is how simple decision I can’t believe, my friends, I can’t I can’t I can’t take money to teach this stuff. Here’s how simple this is and you’re going to laugh at this job. Take a reporter notes in front of them. Take any talks on hopes from Jimmy family Johnny Carson. Their questions are in a cube, truck an index card, a pilot’s as a pre-flight.
A teacher has a lesson: plan attorney, sent notes or briefs. Quarterbacks have their plays on their sleeve. I’m going on this list to all professionals. She has people walking with a blank legal pad or a brochure. So I have to fight what I need to fight. I mean fight to convince them. You have to go on a call with your questions, written out and pull them out in front of you. You look you’re looking down a few times.
What you’re supposed to do at the question you’re going to be asking me if you didn’t come in prepared with questions? What kind of reporter would you be in here, but you’re supposed to be doing and that’s what they’re supposed to be doing and it does the most important things just what you were talking about? First of all, if you don’t ask the questions, you get the answers, but if it’s written down you now truly get to listen to the customer.
Instead of thinking what you’re going to say, next yeah, no and and and we have we have empirical evidence of that, like when I, as I said when I ran house when we did engagements with companies, one of the leading indicators of success were salespeople. Who did proper call planning, says people who wind it like you said, didn’t have as much success and it’s there I mean the evidence. Is there, but yes, how many? If, if you took ten random sales, people off the street – and you said, show me your calendar right, all 10 of them would have customer appointments on them.
Hopefully, prospects customers, how many, how many whoops yeah? How many many of them you reckon, would have 10 or 15 half an hour set aside for planning? Well, because it’s second nature you’re a pro. I would never want a sales call without my questions or even if they’re tattooed to my arm, but I make salespeople when I’m on a sales call. I ask those people to question your own. What’s your goal number two more questions and that’s what he treats just teach the sales managers.
Where are your but you’re not going on a call to your questions written out, I don’t care what bullet points on. I care how you do it. It alleviates you from talking all the time and they still get because again, they’re self taught pick up a book, become a student and learn what and every book says the exact says. Don’t prepare don’t be too genuine. Don’t be honest? Don’t be sincere, it’s just a little more car might have questions and just listen.
There you go, and I think and I think how as we come towards the end, I think the other thing that we’re fighting against now is. Unfortunately, we’ve started to become this very casual shortcut culture and I think sometimes these age-old lessons they just when when people hear them they’re just like yeah and but the reality is, if you want to be successful, put in the work prepare. Well, you probably like myself when you fly quite a bit.
The pilot, probably on that same plane, is doing six to eight takeoff and landing today on the exact same plane and every time they do that they do a physical inspection of the same plane, plot their information and do a pre-flight, because they’re prepared that doctors back. That list of questions on the fiscal they do two three four a day. I don’t see a doctor walking out going forgot the hard thing I still have in my hand the shortcuts take take them on the paperwork.
Don’t do expense report, fine, you won’t get paid, but don’t make a shortcut on sales call. You’ve got an average of an hour and 20 minutes a day. That’s it for an average outside salesperson to be in front of customers and you’re going to take a shortcut. Mm-Hmm, I don’t know you, we all love money, that’s why you’re in sales most of it exactly listen, how this has been great. Listen when does you’re a new book come out.
Oh well, I’m hoping this one takes off in North Korea as well, Korea. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. This come out because you know if the publisher does a great job. Well, it should sell here because of the ATD yeah. No, I think, that’s great but like I said I hope it penetrates North Korea this time and listen before we go. How? How can people find out more about you back crack’s BAC, k, tra XX band and where do you play just around the Cleveland, but you know we’re booked every weekend pretty much excellent yeah.
I got ta check out sometime, listen how this has been great. Thank you very much. My name is John golden says. Pop online says magazine, pipeliner CRM see all again soon ash. So I encourage you to subscribe to sales pop dotnet. The online sales magazine also subscribe to our YouTube blog and then comment get involved. In the conversation. Love to hear what you have to say:
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