Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 235: Q & A with Jeffrey Gitomer @gitomer
By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
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This week’s show is called “Remote Selling Best Practices from the “King of Sales” and our guest is Jeffrey Gitomer, King of Sales | International Sales Trainer and Keynote Speaker | Best-Selling Author and the author of many books– the latest of which is “Go Live!” about taking your virtual connections and turning them into paying customers. Check out the book as well the podcast Jeffrey does with his wife, Jennifer called Sell or Die.
Hear about the impetus for the new book and what in includes. I also ask Jeffrey, for those who feel reticent to do go live, get out there (consistently) and who say, “Well I’ve been nervous about putting myself out there and what am I actually going to say?” Hear his response and get some great tips.
We also talk about what he’s noticed about the level of motivation and whether it is more difficult for sellers right now. This and a lot more!
Listen in now and/or read the transcript below.
Matt: Well welcome everybody to another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. My name is Matt Heinz, I’m your host. Very excited to have you here. If you are watching and listening live, thank you so much for doing so. We continue to publish live every week at 11:30am Pacific, 2:30pm Eastern. If you are listening to this on the podcast feed afterward, thank you so much for subscribing, it’s awesome to see our numbers continue to go up. And we will continue to have these efforts and these episodes available on demand, now on LinkedIn as well as continued on SalesPipelineRadio.com. We are every week featuring some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing, today is absolutely no different. Very excited to have with us the King of Sales, he has a crown on his t-shirt if you can see if you’re watching on the video, we’ve got Jeffrey Gitomer. Jeffrey, thanks so much for joining us.
Jeffrey: Pleasure. You couldn’t get the best guy so you end up calling me, is that what the deal was?
Matt: No, no, no. Look, you’re the King of Sales.
Jeffrey: I am.
Matt: You’ve been on the show multiple times now, which I’m very grateful for. You have some of the more quintessential essential reading books in selling, period. You’ve got a new book out called Go Live!, which we’ll talk about here as well. Absolutely The Little Red Book of Selling, if you’re a seller and you don’t have The Little Red Book of Selling then, I mean I don’t want to call you the next Zig Ziglar because that has all kinds of implications, we can get into that too. But Jeffrey, what have you been doing for the last year? I see behind you you’re working from home as well?
Jeffrey: For the last year, literally since March the 16th of this year I have gone live on Facebook, now I use StreamYard to put all my connections together, but I go live every morning at 9:59am. It’s known as the 9:59 literally. I published this book called Go Live!, which everyone should have, because it’s about taking your virtual connections and turning them into paying customers. But more important than that, and I think this is, Matt, this is part of the deal. Everyone has been forced into their bedroom, or their living room, or their closet to put a camera on themselves. And what people don’t understand is that there’s a craving for people that are ugly to get online. So we are so qualified to do this it’s not even funny. They like bald guys, they like ugly guys.
But this is the challenge, if you don’t have content people will turn you off. So you have a shot at going live. Now look, I’ve been doing this now 225 straight days, seven days a week, 9:59am, never miss. Pull over to the side of the road and use my phone if I’m driving someplace, but I have never missed. No internet? I don’t care, I’ll go find… I have never missed a day. So I’ll be a year right after my daughter, Gabrielle turns 12, and she’s March 18th and I’ll be whatever. But think about the impact that I’ve had with thousands and thousands of salespeople all over the world who are literally scared shitless because of COVID? That now have a little bit of inspiration, now have someplace to go, have coordinated with each other. I launched a course called the New Normal, it immediately sold like crazy from the people that were watching me every day. And it’s a new world, and sales guys that are not virtual or video are dead, literally dead.
Matt: And we’ve talked for years about salespeople need to be sort of trusted advisors, and be more than just sort of a conduit to a product or solution. I mean simply showing up like that, I mean you bring a reputation of great content to begin with. But anybody who’s in a selling environment can turn on a LinkedIn Live, can turn on a Clubhouse Room, just find your format that you’re comfortable with. Like I think as you mentioned, I have a face for radio, so doing the video has been a little uncomfortable to have to stare at myself on Zoom all day long now. But to find a place and to be consistent about just being there, to create community, to create content. For those that feel reticent to do that, for those that say, “Well I’ve been nervous about putting myself out there and what am I actually going to say?” What is your response to that?
Jeffrey: Well first of all there’s a big difference between going live video and being in Clubhouse. In Clubhouse it’s only audio, you can be anybody, you can be any place. There’s an old cartoon of a dog at the keyboard talking to his master and says, “When you’re on the internet no one knows you’re a dog.” And that’s basically what Clubhouse is at this moment in time, because you never know who’s who.
But when your video they can see you, they can feel you. And I don’t want to see your unmade bed behind you or your closet door. I want to see a background that makes you make sense. Look at your background, you have a solid I’m live, it’s not virtual background. When you raise your hand I can see your hands. And yeah, that’s a big challenge that most people don’t have an understanding, that their image is helping make the sale. I don’t want to look up somebody’s nose because they’re too stupid to take their laptop off of their desktop. And all you have to do is go like that, it’s not that horrible. So I’ve been giving tips on, how to have a better microphone for $50. It’s not hard but it’s not obvious either.
Matt: Yeah. Well it’s the little things too. I mean if you’re going to go on Clubhouse, hey it’s only audio, but people can see whether you have five or 500 people. One of the things I love about podcasting is like, just turn on a mic and talk. If you have something interesting to say, share it. And your initial audience might be very small, but there’s something to be said about being consistent at doing it, and building up a body of work over time. A reputation for showing up, a reputation for being open and honest, it attracts people to you,
Jeffrey: Consistency and commitment are bonded. I’m consistent because I’m committed. You don’t go on Facebook Live 225 straight days without a commitment, you just don’t.
Matt: Talk a little bit about what the impetus was for this new book. We’re talking today on Sales Pipeline Radio with Jeffrey Gitomer, many of you know him. Even if you’re not in sales you’ve probably heard of him through his books, Little Red Book of Selling and many others. New book published just literally a couple of months ago called Go Live! Turn Virtual Connections Into Paying Customers. Talk a little about the impetus of this book, where it came from.
Jeffrey: It started out, I was going to just write about my podcast. Because my wife and I do a podcast called Sell Or Die, it’s got 2.5 million downloads so it’s legit, and it has attracted an audience. Well I realized, I said, “Hey, this is way more than a podcast.” Everyone now has an opportunity to level the playing field and go one-on-one with their customer, or one on a group with their customer, and talk, and be heard, and be impactful from their bedroom.
So I brought a chapter in on digital marketing, I brought a chapter in on podcasting, I brought a chapter in on live streaming, and I brought my wife in to talk about how reluctant she was when she started and how damn good she is right now. good. Because a lot of people are literally reluctant, they don’t have the confidence to do this because it’s a new medium, it’s a new way. And it’s certainly not new new, but for the people that have mastered it it’s brand new. The masters are only in it for a few years. Can a sales guy come in? He or she better, because if you don’t you’re going to lose to someone who does, just that simple.
Matt: Well, and if you have enough confidence to get in front of a prospect and build value, then you technically, I mean theoretically this isn’t that different. Are there certain best practices, you talked about having a better microphone, you talked about just setting yourself up with a consistent sort of reason to do it, are there other things you’ve noticed that help people get past some of those apprehensions to do this more regularly?
Jeffrey: The first thing that I realized once this began to take over is that this sets a brand new relaxed atmosphere for the salesperson to be himself or herself in a comfortable surrounding. Why would I want to fly to Cleveland to meet somebody for the first time? Why don’t I just call them up on the phone and find out what their favorite K-cup is? Send them a box of K-cups and a mug for $30 or $50. And instead of a $500 plane ride and blowing my whole day, I’m now in pretty good shape. And I can do five of those before noon if I do it right. So there’s a whole, that the atmosphere of selling is relaxed if the salesperson is confident about their surroundings, about their background, about their ability to convey their message. The curtains there, you have to drop that curtain in order to be able to be seen and heard as a person of value. It ain’t a sales pitch anymore.
Matt: And I think that you get an opportunity to get something valuable, which isn’t just awareness and attention, but a little trust and credibility as well if they’ve heard your voice, if they’ve seen your face. If you’ve been in a conversational and sort of a casual conversational format like a podcast can be, all of the sudden you show up at a sales conversation, there’s less of that tension between buyer and seller. It’s more like, “Oh, it’s nice to meet you. I’ve been enjoying your podcast and enjoying listening to your ideas.” It’s an easier, more natural, soft sort of intro into the conversation.
Jeffrey: It’s coffee.
Jeffrey: And it’s in your living room, and now it’s in their living room. They’re not even in their office. How many times have you done something and you see some little 10 year old kid going like this in front of the camera with their father? I mean it happens, I don’t care. To me it’s endearing.
Matt: Well, I think it also makes it a lot more fun. Jon Ferrara at Nimble, he told me a couple of times, he said, “It used to be you go do a sales call, you learn a lot by just looking at what’s on the walls.” If you go into someone’s office, what’s on the walls? Those are things that are important to them. You get that opportunity now, right? You get to see the books behind them, Double Bubble t-shirts, you learn about who’s a sports fan, who plays the piano, who has a Peloton. I mean all these things that you can just sort of lean off of, you can ask about. It’s just like if someone puts something in their LinkedIn profile they’re probably willing to talk about it because they are literally publishing it about themselves.
Jeffrey: Exactly. But there’s a way to transfer this, and I can’t explain it other than by giving you an example. The shirt that I have on today, don’t burst my bubble, Double Bubble. First of all it’s only for old people who know what Double Bubble gum-
Matt: I remember Double Bubble, yeah.
Jeffrey: Even really is, number one. Number two, this was a gift from a guy named Doug Wing. You saw Doug Wing on my 9:59 show every morning, his dad was Hal Wing. Hal Wing invented the little giant ladder, that’s his family, okay? So he sends me a bunch of t-shirts that are funny, I wear them, I honor him by wearing the t-shirt. We become closer as friends, we’ve already been close friends for 20 years, but imagine how you feel when I’m wearing your shirt and talking about it? And my theme for the day was not about Double Bubble and old people, it was about you have a dream, don’t let people bust your bubble. Stay away from those jackasses. You have a big goal that you want to achieve, dude, don’t let anything get in your way. Knock people down. Oh, you don’t understand, dude, I’m on a mission. Either support me, cheer me on, or leave me the hell alone.
Matt: Have you noticed that that level of motivation is more difficult for sellers right now? It’s been 10, 11 months since we all sort of started to hide in our basements, we haven’t really emerged yet.
Jeffrey: Yeah. But I’ll tell you, depending on your business, some are having the best years they’ve ever had. And some are just dead. So you have to look at it and say, okay, is it time for me to jump on a different ship? You can’t keep hoping. Hope is not a game plan.
Matt: Right. A lot of the shifts we’ve seen from in-person selling to remote selling, from in-person selling to digital selling, from field sales to inside sales, those have been exacerbated in the last year. I don’t think that those were new a year ago, those were all things that were happening sort of gradually and may have happened more subtly. What’s your sense of how much of that is going to bounce back? Are we going to see people going back in the road doing live sales calls like they were before?
Jeffrey: My prediction is half or less. Corporate travel is being pretty much eliminated. You’re not going to fly to Cleveland to see a client anymore on the first go round. You might fly for the closing, you might fly for presentation, but you’re not going to make a bullshit flight for nothing. And I can tell you from the CEOs that I’ve talked to those budgets have gone away. For the most part you put in a request and somebody grants it, there’s no just budget there anymore for that. That frees up a lot of money to do other things.
They can market stronger. They can invest a lot more in doing stuff that I would do, like providing courses for people online that they can take and win with. We have an insider’s club that has all my course ware, and does masterclasses, and has coaching on a once a month basis in a Facebook group. And it’s amazing, and it’s inexpensive. We’re actually about to raise the price, but the bottom line right now is there’s hundreds of people and all they want is help. Sales people are looking for help and answers. And I’m lucky enough or blessed enough to have had them for a long time and people want them. They don’t need to fly to Pittsburgh to see somebody. Over. Over.
Matt: Yeah, I tend to agree with you. I think that right now there aren’t, you know we’ve got health restrictions keeping people from going out, a lot of the events you used to go to are gone. A lot of those are going to come back. I think as soon as your competitor starts showing up at those events, as soon as your competitors start going to Cleveland, I think that’s where we’re going to see some of that FOMO now bounce back happen.
Jeffrey: Maybe. I don’t think it’s ever going to bounce back. I think that those days are like a history lesson. Hey, remember when people used to fly everywhere? I’m telling you, I go to the airport because we have a place at the beach and I’ll fly there maybe twice a month, otherwise I drive. But the airport’s empty, all the stores close at 6:00pm. It’s just different than it ever was before, totally different.
Matt: Yeah. But I think like you said, depending on what industry you’re in, people are still buying, people are still selling. Business goes on. You maybe lose something by not being in person and being able to play the full body selling motion. But I think to your earlier point about leveraging podcasts, about leveraging the online channels and what you talk about in the new book Go Live!, this is your opportunity to create a voice, create a brand that can more efficiently and more scalably replicate what you could have done one-to-one going to Cleveland.
Jeffrey: I agree, now let me put in a caveat. You’re talking to somebody on the phone, on a Zoom, and they have a second screen. While you’re talking to them if you can’t hold their attention, they’re going to be texting their mother. So that’s number one, that’s a big distraction number one. And number two, you better have something compelling to say and you better be a compelling person, because not only are they using their second screen to text their mom, or their girlfriend, or their wife, or their husband, they’re Googling you.
I’m going to look up Matt Heinz and I’m going to go, who’s this bastard? What’s he ever done? Oh wait, he has this live show Sales Pipeline Radio. Oh, I better pay attention to this guy, he’s got something going on. Your customer, and if you’re listening to this show and you want to know your impact as a salesperson, write this down, your customer wants to do business with a somebody, not a nobody. And you better be Google-able or you’re screwed. So you’re literally exposed, not just for your background in your home, but for your background as a person. Two backgrounds.
Matt: You know when I talk to people that are fresh out of school, and I think if there’s two things that I wish I would’ve done earlier in my career, one was start to really build my network, not just to collect names, but really to sort of build an active set of people that I know and kind of leveraging the compound interest of that. The other is I wish I would have started earlier just keeping a paper trail of what I think. You think about whether that’s a podcast, whether that’s a blog, anywhere you can communicate what you think, to your point about being Google-able, let people fund you. Let people see, and hear, and watch what you’re thinking before they get a chance to talk to you. If that paper trail, if that experience proceeds you in a conversation and it represents you well because you control it, it’s your media you control what you put out there, all of the sudden you are a known entity, you’re a credible person. They already believe you’re someone that they want to talk to and listen to.
Matt: You know you made the comment earlier about sort of the second screens, and I think we’ve all got sort of fleeting attention spans. Someone told me once, they said the key to keeping someone’s attention is to make sure that their prospect or the audience still has questions. If they stopped paying attention to you and they’re no longer curious it’s because they no longer have any questions. What do you think some of the keys are to helping people stay curious and stay attentive?
Jeffrey: Well, in my opinion it’s not just about questions it’s about answers. And salespeople today better have answers or they’re pretty much screwed, because your customer is looking for an answer, not necessarily a solution. They don’t want to see your 27 slide deck that your marketing department put together because they have no idea how to make a sale. I’m talking about customers that are actually actively looking for better productivity, more loyal employees, safety on the job. The customers are looking for answers, and if you don’t have those you’re not going to be perceived as a person of value. I don’t want to do business with a sales guy, I want to do business with a resource. Somebody that’s going to give me something way, way, way beyond the sale. And that’s where I need to go, and that’s where I need to be. And that’s where I’m going to be, and you can’t stop me.
Matt: Yep, totally agree with that. Well I know you’re a busy man, we got to let you go. I really appreciate you giving us some time for a second time on this show, very, very generous. I want to make sure we, got some calls to action for people. If you’re listening or watching, first go to Amazon, search for Go Live! Find this new book, it’s phenomenal. You’re going to want to read it. Also you referenced your podcast which I know you continue to do, Sell Or Die. Go to SellOrDiePodcast.com, you can check out episodes and subscribe there. Jeffrey, where else can people learn more from you and hear more from you?
Jeffrey: Gitomer.com and just click around, you’ll find all kinds of stuff.
Matt: All kinds of stuff. Facebook, if you’re at 9:59 I’m assuming that’s AM Eastern time? Turn on Facebook-
Jeffrey: Wait, wait, wait, Matt. 9:59am is always a given that it’s Eastern time unless you say something else. You know what I mean? It’s Mountain time.
Matt: The world revolves around the Atlantic coast, I got it. All right fine.
Jeffrey: You know why? You may not know why.
Matt: I don’t.
Jeffrey: We don’t give a shit about anybody else or any other time zone. Why do people drive in the dark in California to go to the stock market in the morning? Because people in New York don’t give a shit. So that’s the challenge. Why don’t you open at noon? Well we don’t really care. So thank you for the opportunity, it’s a pleasure to talk to someone that actually gets it in the world. For somebody that doesn’t follow your live they’re fools, because there’s answers here every day. I appreciate the opportunity, I’m more than willing to come back to anybody, help any sales guys we want. And maybe we’ll do some kind of symposium where you put four or five of the big shits that you talk to in one room and let them help people.
Matt: As long as it’s on East coast time we’ll do that. Well thank you for joining us today. Thank you everyone for listening and watching. My name is Matt Heinz, this has been another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. See you next week.
Jeffrey: Thank you, Matt.
Matt: Thank you.
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