Sales Processes and DISC with John Hill
In today’s episode, Gary is talking with John Hill, one of the hosts of Sales Throwdown, a weekly podcast talking about psychology, self-awareness, and sales. He is also the founder of Adapted Growth, a company that helps agency owners and consultants scale their sales.
- How John got into sales (2:15)
- First step in Sales process (5:50)
- The DISC Personality method approach (12:46)
- Can all DISC personalities be effective in sales? (16:05)
- Key Performance Indicator(KPI) (24:40)
- A Consultative approach (28:55)
- Keeping the right deal secured (34:25)
- What should we value? (39:50)
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00:00:57 Gary Ruplinger
All right, we are alive. John. Welcome to the show.
00:01:00 John Hill
Thank you so much for having me man. I’m stoked to be here.
00:01:04 Gary Ruplinger
I am excited as well, so I guess maybe we should start with who the heck is John Hill for our listeners who are not regulars on your sales throwdown podcast, can you give everybody a little bit of background about yourself?
00:01:18 John Hill
Yeah, so I am one of the hosts of sales throwdown, which is a weekly podcast talking about psychology and self-awareness in sales. We, me and my Co-hosts had been on the sales coaching path as recipients for a while and we kept having these conversations and we kept finding that the main differences were ourselves, right, how we viewed the situation, what we needed to feel comfortable and things like this, and we spent a lot of time learning about ourselves. And then we kind of had this idea. Maybe other people would benefit from this. So, about a year ago we started that podcast and just each week we talk about disk, which is a personality assessment that is really nice to use in sales conversations because it is a very blunt instrument. There. There are other assessments which I think do a phenomenal job in other ways, but when it comes to figuring out what the other person in the conversation needs to have trust in to see value and the things that you’re doing, there’s differences in how we operate and how we’re wired just as a default so the more you know about yourself, the more you will then know about other people because you will see the differences and the better you can communicate to their needs and close more deals and have more trust and do all the things that we’re all trying to do in business. So that’s kind of one of the projects, my main company is called Adaptive Growth and we coach salespeople, agency owners, consultants. We help people find sales closers. We help people scale sales teams, around process and technology and doing it the right way so that way it scales and avoid some of the hiccups that people normally run into when they’re trying to scale sales past themselves.
00:02:55 Gary Ruplinger
That’s awesome. How do you? How do you kind of get into the sales side of things? Especially kind of on the training?
00:03:02 John Hill
Yeah, great question I have been in sales for about 20 years and I am I lump in bartending and waiting tables into selling because I found out fairly early on that the more that I sold in the form of appetizers, upsells and desserts, the higher the ticket was and the more I got tipped. And so, I kind of ran with that ball. Everything had an upsell, you know. You want a Margarita? OK, you wanna shot on top, you know. And things like this just to you know wrench up the average ticket cost and then I moved into wireless sales and sold for Sprint and T-Mobile and AT&T. When the iPhone was coming out and then moved into banking because I was kind of tired of retail. It was a financial advisor. Had my series 7 and 66 and sold and wrote business there and then I got an opportunity from a friend at my martial arts school that I was training at to come some medical devices, which is the brass ring, right? Like this is where the killers hang out now. I’m so excited and I had a lot of ego around my ability to sell and learned quickly that a lot of that ego was unfounded, right? I struggled. I had. I had a very hard time getting acclimated to the B2B structure being way outside in these things and so first job I ever had where I was not like immediately successful, which was a huge blow to my ego and was I was waiting tables at night to kind of supplement because it took a pay cut to go do this thing and it was kind of a nightmare. And then another friend of mine from the same martial arts school said you should come meet my coach and what’s weird about the situation is I had been learning martial arts from my coach, right? My teacher and I was now coaching him, but he goes. You should come meet my sales coach and I said I don’t need a coach, right? It’s so I’m coaching him because I’d put enough time that I that my coach allowed me to coach other people, and here I am seeing no value in a coach too. Help me out in the thing that generates all my revenue and my livelihood, and he goes OK. I was like that’s it. You’re not going. You’re not going to try harder.
00:05:10 John Hill
He goes, no, you’re not ready or not ready and I was like wait a minute I didn’t say I’m not reading any days will here. Here are some tapes and I listen to these tapes and it was my whole head exploded. There was a whole other world around like sales and selling that I just did not have any exposure or access to. And then after that it’s like cool. Somebody else has done this. I want this right. I’m a technique. So, stripping ego away. So, once I realized that there’s other ways of doing it, I just want it. I don’t have any ego. Once I see that there’s a different better way. I just want as much of that information as I can get so, about that time, I was becoming a little disillusioned with the medical devices. I mean, it’s kind of crazy, so some of the deals that go on there and I didn’t really think I wanted to do it forever. And so, the other guy was like finally come talk to me and I went and talked to him and he was like I’d like to be a partner in the website company that I’m building, and I was I’m I said I’m totally down to do this, but I want all the sales training and he’s like that’s the only reason we’re talking about it. That’s where it started.
00:06:09 Gary Ruplinger
That is awesome. I think when you mentioned the sales and per the process driven guy, I think that kind of leads into our conversation before we kind of got on the air here was sales is a volume is topic, right? You have a podcast that just talks about that every weekend. When I asked you to come on, I said, John, if we had 30 minutes, what is going to be the most impactful thing we can talk about for 30 minutes? That’s will really help somebody get close. More sales get more people sold and in their in their world and what did we come up with?
00:06:47 John Hill
So, a lot of how I think about sales and selling comes from 2 main areas, right? One of them talked about a moment ago, which is like martial arts, right? The big thing in martial arts is that if you’re not training regularly, like multiple times per week, you’re not really progressing and then rest starts to develop on your techniques. Same thing happens in sales, right? The other big area where I draw a lot of my sales philosophy from is from poker. I played professional poker in 2006, from January until September of that year, paid all my bills. It was, it was awesome. Not the best way to like balance a family, but I didn’t really have one at the time. I had my girlfriend who I’m still with and she was amazing and very patient, but and in poker it’s about consistency. How consistent can you win? How, how consistent can you minimize your losses, right? Because if you run out of money, you have money out of game, right? So, how do you? How do you make sure that you’re not leaking money in bad ways and maximizing in the good ways? And there’s a. There’s a whole process to poker, right? You know you see it on TV, and you see these people. Especially like older style people who are playing by feel. But like there’s this whole group and it’s called game theory optimal, right? So, knowing the math inside announced that your decision making is always consistently good, and selling is the same way, right? So, a lot of people think that salespeople can flip a complete note. It would complete guess, and you might be able to. Honestly, you know there are probably some people who can do that, but when we look at the time that selling eats up with, you know, prospecting and qualifying and closing, and proposals and haggling and follow up and everything else like this. It’s not so much about your ability to be influential and make people. Totally shift their tune. It’s about how do you manage the time so that we’re spending people or time with the right people who have the highest percentage of buying with just starting out. So that’s the very first step in process right, which doubles down on the work that you’re doing on the marketing side. Hopefully about identifying your target market, your target avatar, their buyers’ journey, and things like that, so that way you can start saying no to everything else that comes along your way, because it just doesn’t make sense.
00:08:57 John Hill
You know sales used to be a thing of because we were limited by geography and we weren’t all super connected that it made sense to spend more time with people and really work them from a note of it. Yes, and worked long game, but now you know I can prospect on LinkedIn, right? And get in front of hundreds of people who don’t live in my city. So why do I need to spend time with somebody who’s? Not going to see value in what I’m doing right. I can. I can continue to beat my head against that wall, or I can go fish in a different pond and have better opportunities and better chances. So that’s the very first step of process. Is really taking the work that you put into your marketing and building it into your sales approach and prospecting as well.
00:09:38 Gary Ruplinger
I think that I think that makes a lot of sense. So, when you when you start talking to people about sales processes, do you find that there’s a natural resistance where somebody says I don’t need a process? I’m the guy.
00:09:54 John Hill
Yeah, just about everybody I talk to tells me that they close every deal that they get in front of which I have been. That guy I have felt pressure to make statements along those same lines in the past, but it’s just not true, right? It’s just not. And one of the things that I have learned is that it’s hard to improve on anything whenever you don’t know what the baseline is, right? and then sales just like in poker, you can lie to yourself very easily. I made the right decisions. I just got unlucky right? I did everything I could do, but you know, just couldn’t close that deal. No one was going to close that deal and that might be true, but at some point, you got to take some accountability and ownership over your abilities and what you’re able to do and then adjust as necessary, right? You might not close at the same rate that I close. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, right? You might not get as many appointments as I do on prospecting. Once again, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. It just means that you either need to adjust your cadences in your in your behaviors or activities, or find a different way, right? Cold calling still works cold email works, right? LinkedIn works right, organic reach works. There are all these different ways of skinning the cat. You just must find the way that works for you, which is another reason why process is so important. Because once you know the path, it’s a little bit easier to stay on the path, whereas when you’re working without a process you can. This seems OK, and this seems OK, and this seems OK. And then when you want to hand it off to somebody else, it’s nearly impossible to do so.
00:11:27 Gary Ruplinger
Now I’ve I can tell you I’ve been guilty of that myself of not really having a process in place. And then when it comes time to have somebody else come on board to help with that, it’s a disaster. Try and just that didn’t work for lack of a better word. That’s Sky. What happens is they say OK, great, you could sell why can’t I? What what’s going on and you’re like well, you’re not me and that’s kind of a terrible way to build a business.
00:11:57 John Hill
You know it’s. I don’t know widely, but the people that I talk to are concerned about making mistakes and hiring right because it’s going to take time to ramp somebody up. It’s going to go through the whole process of like interviewing and vetting and making sure they’re good fit. And then you gotta bring them on and train them. And then if you make a bad, you know higher they leave, and you do the whole thing over again, right? When you have process, you can say cool. Here’s 80% of what you need to get started and you can eliminate some of the ramp up time and scale your hiring and make it easier and make it more repeatable because people are going to leave right. It just happens, right? And you don’t want to be the guy who’s holding someone. Hostage essentially because you don’t know how to replace them. You know?
00:12:46 Gary Ruplinger
So, so how do you? I guess, I think perhaps people think that I gotta make a process, which means it has to be this really slick polished high pressure buy or die type of scenario right where we feel like we’re what’s that movie The Wall Street one but yeah, right where we’re all in the boiler room, essentially doing these presentations so, how do you make a, I guess? How do you kind of take that approach? Of know this you don’t have to be a sleazy, you know type of unethical person. How can you kind of build it? With this in mind that you know this is going to be good for everybody is going to make everybody better.
00:13:28 John Hill
So, this is a lot of where the personality stuff comes into play for me because what happens is, we know that as we go around right, the wheel of disk right disk is broken into four quadrants, TS&C and so to. If you’re not familiar with the kind of big archetypes of personalities, right? To kind of make this a little bit easier to talk about. You know, like Mark Cuban as a D, right? Straight to the point. Don’t care about your feelings, he’s task driven. He’s going to be successful and he’s going to win a lot. You know, for the I write, you know, Kevin Heart, that center of attention. I’m going to tell stories they need to be in the middle of it. They would need to be influential and they and they really need to be liked. At the end of the day, my Mother Teresa is kind of like our us, right always in the service of others. Most S don’t really like conflict and so there’re all these things. And then as a C is like Doctor Spock, right logic clear expectations. What are the rules of the box? What do you expect? I mean, we don’t really do very well in nuanced, and I say we because I am a C, right? So, the engineer, the accountant, the people who you typically don’t see and sales roles because they don’t like talking to people that, me at my core, so all this stuff that I do for networking and guesting and being on. You know, being on the panel of a podcast myself is learned adjusted behavior that I now do because I’ve kind of zeroed in on what on what my why is at the at the end of the day, right without knowing or why all of this stuff is a lot harder to do. But once you have a have a clear path to that and you know what you have to do, then it becomes easier to do things that are outside your comfort zone. So that’s why that self-awareness really starts there. But you really have to figure out a way that you can sell and feel comfortable right? cause we all need different things to feel comfortable, right? Because since we all have strings as we go around that list, we also have areas to improve on so, I was not this guy five years ago, right at all. I was very different right as I was starting to learn this stuff and really kind of get it under my belt and own it. I shifted a lot because it’s very purposeful so I know that I would rather work on spreadsheets and look at data points, then go talk to people. So, I’m going to force myself to go talk to lots of people until this becomes a thing that becomes very easy for me to do.
00:15:44 John Hill
But it’s never my natural inclination, so that’s why you know KPIs and tracking your activities and things like this become really important. So, for the very first step that I do for everybody is take a disc assessment. So that way you can begin to learn. What’s going on right ‘cause I would see all these other all these other salespeople, especially in the medical device from who were just killing it and I could not understand why. Well, they seem to have a lot of confidence and I don’t have confidence in the same way as a lot of these people did because it was just effortless for them, right? And I didn’t really have it effortlessly. I had to go out and kind of like fake it until I made it and do all the all of these things so that self-awareness is super important. cause I thought that I would be more successful if I was more confident right as opposed to. I was I found success whenever I got OK with the fact that not everybody wants to work with me right which is just a difference in the perception of it. But that’s where process really starts to come out if that makes sense.
00:16:45 Gary Ruplinger
So, do you find that? All four types, the D, the I, the S and the C can all four of those personalities be affected at sales.
00:16:56 John Hill
Absolutely right. The thing about it is you have to be working with the right intention right then. Coming from a Kung Fu background in a martial arts background, the answer is always more reps. You probably don’t need to talk more about it. You probably don’t need more theory. You probably just need to go do it 50 more times, right? There’s this kind of saying in Kung Fu that when you learn a technique, you need to be prepared to do it 100 times with 99 of those times being wrong and only one of them being right. And then the next 100 * 2 should be right and then three, right? So, when we look at stuff like the 10,000 hours roll and peak performance stuff, you know, and Anders Ericson, I think is his name and all of that stuff that pays. Double duty when we’re looking at sales and martial arts and stuff like this, you know. Flow states help you get knowledge quicker. It helps you get some mastery quicker. So how can you build flow states in your sales conversations? How can you build flow states in your own development so that way all of this it becomes easier and there’s some components that we do with our coaching around that, but that’s where it is, right? You have to know where you’re starting from, so that way you can build a plan to figure out how you want to go.
00:18:05 John Hill
I cooked some people who were S types who were notorious for not being good salespeople. They’ve got too much empathy. They don’t like to ask hard questions they don’t like to frame conversations well, and so for those kinds of people we take a very specific style of training and coaching, which is just reps and reps and reps. So that way they know they can say hard questions in the world doesn’t actually end. You know for other people who were eyes and ease who are more of the typical salesperson, we have to give them enough reps with a person who gives them the right kind of feedback, so that way they’re reminded always hey, this is a person, and if you don’t, if you wouldn’t like to be treated like this on the receiving end of it, why would you do it to anybody else? So, it’s kind of enough reps to not care for certain people and enough reps to actually care about the human on the other side of it for different kinds of people.
00:18:54 Gary Ruplinger
Oh, that’s very interesting. I guess I’ve never really considered it that way that. The you’ve got to get to the right. You know the right training for the based on them.
00:19:07 John Hill
One of the things that my Kung Fu teacher really emphasized was that the minute you had a little bit of ownership over a technique, you then had to teach it to somebody else, right? Because when you have to explain something to anybody else, you have to know it on a level completely higher than what you were learning it as when you were trying to do it yourself, and if you have kids right? I mean anybody who’s listening to those who have kids understands this exactly because I can’t tell you how many times my daughter has come and asked me what does this word mean and the only way that I know to define that word is with the word, right? So, we then have to go and look up the word and figure out what it means and in a way that I can explain it to her right, so that would make sense because she’s nine and coming from that martial arts school I would always lead with how I learned it and then some people were like that doesn’t make any sense to me. OK, cool. And then I would call over one of my, you know we call them older brothers and sisters, right? One of my older Kung Fu brothers or Kung Fu sisters or my teacher and be like Hey? My way isn’t really working. Could you help out and then I would hear them explain it a little bit different and then I would see the click and then I would. I would file that away for the next time, so then the next time my way didn’t work. I would try it their way and they still didn’t work. I call somebody else over and so then I became really good at trying to figure out different people need to be taught the same technique, the same ideas. Much, much differently so that way they actually can wrap their heads around it, and then when I started learning about disk and I really started to work with people all over the map personality wise, I couldn’t teach them the same way that I could have. Just, you know, do the behaviors and don’t care about the outcome. Focus on the process, because for some people that is so far outside of their comfort zone that they can’t even start. Which makes sense.
00:20:48 Gary Ruplinger
So, do you find that the way you have to sell changes based on your prospects personality then as well or could OK?
00:20:58 John Hill
Yeah, you know, and not to cut you off but like that’s the majority of it, right? So as a C type I like a lot of data. I like a lot of information. I want very clear expectations right on both the buyer side and the seller side, and so by default we tend to sell to others the same way that we want to buy. So, if I’m talking to someone you know, call them and I because they are the polar inverse of me as a C, they just want to know do I trust you? Do I think like you like me do we? Are we going to be able to get along? So, they don’t need all the details that I want to share with them, right? Here’s the process. Here’s what I’m here. What I’m accountable for here are milestones. And here’s our delivery things and everything is like this to make sure that we’re covered, they just want to know can I pay for this? You’re going to fix my problem. Do I trust you to do it? OK, yeah, let’s go. Right, and that’s crazy when you start to think about it, because now that I know all this, I think about those about the deals lost. Whenever we were launching the website business ‘cause I was too detailed oriented for people who don’t care about details. Right, so we’ve got to be able to shift towards the other people, and depending upon the cell, depending upon how your lead generation strategies are in place, you can really kind of build it out in a way that makes a ton of sense for you. I love the network and I can get into good qualifying sales conversations from networking, but I know a ton of people who can’t write. They feel like, well, this was a networking conversation, so I need to probably network with them four or five more times. All right, talk about the business and stuff like this and it’s like no, that’s not true, right? Some of this we do just by default because of our perception in our worldview. In our in our past experiences. But that doesn’t mean you’re doing it the right way. You know?
00:22:39 Gary Ruplinger
No, I think I’m one of those people who says, you know, I’ve networking call I‘m terrible at turning those, but if you give me a call where the expectation is set, we’re going to have a really powerful you know, good conversation at the end of it. But I struggle a struggle to turn them.
00:22:58 John Hill
Well, you know the thing is you hit on a key point. Everybody wants to know the expectations. Nobody wants to hop on a networking call and then it’s a pamphlet. Push you know or let me show you like what we’re doing over here. Oh, you see value in this. I had no idea in like trying so hard to play like you’re like there is not any interface with sales, right? You know some of the groups that were both in. Well, we will see people in like cool. I’m going to hire A salesperson. What do I call them? So just call them a salesperson. Just treat them to treat people like humans and not just like tasks that they have to win at right. And then there’s a whole big aspect of like sales culture that goes into this as well. If you’re one of these people who thinks that everybody needs, you and that every cell is a knockdown. And why aren’t you closing these deals? You’re going to build a culture that is going to be incentivized around shoving bad fits, being high pressure when you don’t really need to be and things like this. Whereas if you can have a process-oriented culture and one that’s focused on self-coaching, then what happens is you’re going to get a whole different kind of salesperson, which is totally fine, but these people will stay around longer than some of the other people will, and you’ll have more scale. You’ll have more forecast ability; you’ll have more bankability in your pipeline. One of the big things that I talked about with people is if you’re if you’re mentally holding any opportunity is kind of precious, like man, I really need this when I really need this one. You don’t have enough stuff in your pipeline. Right, because you should have enough deals in your pipeline a that you can’t even hold it all in your head. So that way you’re forced to use a CRM. Everybody should be using a CRM. I don’t know why people don’t, and then there’s a big difference between you get one opportunity to sync to sync the three-point shot and you get to eat tonight, and you get 10 shots to hit the three pointer and you get to eat tonight. The difference in those two situations is so significant and it doesn’t matter whether that sales or poker, martial arts or business or anything else. The more opportunity you have, the less attached you are to any of it, and the better decisions you’re going to make in the long run. And once again, that comes back to process. Being consistent.
00:25:09 Gary Ruplinger
So, if I say, OK, I think this process thing is a good idea. What should I be measuring? How? How do I keep scored? How do I know that we’re moving in the right direction?
00:25:21 John Hill
Man, OK so this is my favorite topic about the whole thing, right? Because KPI’s are my bread and butter like I live by them, you know. And for those who don’t know, KPI stands for key performance indicator. When I first learned about them, they were. I heard someone call them key predictive indicators and I prefer to look at them as predictive indicators as opposed to performance indicators because I feel like it changes the tone of the conversation when you’re talking with, you know a salesperson and you want to talk about their KPI’s right when they’re predictive indicators, meaning that these are activities that if we do them consistently, they lead to the to the right outcome. Then you know, it’s really easy to kind of hold people accountable, set out structures and process and everything else. When you’re living in a result only environment. It becomes, “don’t worry about it Boss. I’m going to hit my numbers. I’ve got a big one on the line, you know and these things that sometimes salespeople do because they’re trying to thrive in a what have you done for me lately? Kind of like situation.
00:26:22 John Hill
So, the very first thing of process. Honestly, I start with what do you say no to right? Because if you can learn to say no very quickly right and that becomes easier, you stop spending time with people who don’t make sense, right? So, Gary, I know your business well because you and I work together. If somebody came to you who was like you cozen who you don’t even know how to business or was it or was into any of the things that you deal with and they came in here. Like Gary I need your help. You wouldn’t go to them and be like OK cool when do you want to start it? You would have concern. Right? Because they don’t fit anything that you know to be true about the people who you normally kill it with. So, when we’re trying to manage our time, this kind of doesn’t make sense to go have a call put together proposal, do my eight stages of follow up, and all these things that like we know we’re supposed to do because it just doesn’t make sense. And then what happens is we get to have some nice skepticism, right? We, we ask more questions we don’t make as many assumptions, and that is a huge part of just selling well in general. Don’t make assumptions about other people’s businesses because nobody wants to admit that their business is exactly like somebody else is, because it’s probably not so when you show up and you make a bunch of assumptions. You’re not giving them the room to talk, so they’re going to feel like you just want to make a sale. So, there’s you know some nice little things to that. Most people think most people get into sales because someone was like man you like to talk. You should be in sales. That’s one of one of the worst one of the worst traits of like salespeople or people who just can’t shut up and just talk. And Leslie, so gotta be able to let them talk.
00:28:06 Gary Ruplinger
Also, I was I was fortunate on that side in sales that I don’t like to talk to people at all, so I’m happy to let people talk themselves right into a sale and just ask a few questions here and there and let them tell me exactly how they want to buy.
00:28:21 John Hill
Exactly and most people will write when you when you can do a good job of why is that important? You know, Gary, I get that you want to grow your business, but why now? Why me writing start to ask those questions. They will tell you exactly what they’re thinking were their thoughts are what they see value in what they need to see to feel comfortable moving forward. And then you don’t have to make any assumptions you don’t have to do the thing where you’re going to create three different proposals just to make sure you’ve got all the different budget levels all figured out and everything else, and then you don’t overload them with choice, right? One of the things that’s really interesting to me is that marketing often talks about limiting the number of calls to action, because if you put too many in them in anything you’re working on. Then people don’t take action. Same thing happens in sales conversations. If I show up and I give you a $5000 option, a $3000 option, a $1500 option, does it really look like I am looking out for what’s best for you? Or does it look like I’m just trying to get you to buy no matter what? Please pay me. I hope you’ve got some money in the wallet; you know and it’s, you know the salesperson is there to help make the decision, even if that decision is worn out. The right ones to help, you need to go talk to somebody else, and I think a lot of people forget that.
00:29:36 Gary Ruplinger
So, when it comes to presenting options, have you had you found that it is best to recommend either one or were not right? Or is there a good number of ones where you can use kind of a consultative approach of? Here’s the One I’d recommend for you.
00:29:53 John Hill
I think if there’s going to be a sweet spot, part of this is going to be personality driven, right? Some people really want to show some options because they’re like, hey, look, I want you to make the right decision for you. The way that I sell. I tried to position myself as let’s go really deep. Like I’m going to ask you a ton of questions because I want to make sure that hey, I can help you be you’re in the right spot for us to have the right kind of impact with and see so that I can go back to my team to make sure that I’m not over committing us to do anything right. Is that going to be OK, right? I make them an active and active participant by turning things into questions as opposed to doing what a lot of people talk about of assuming the sale right when you take the power away from an adult to make their own decisions, they don’t like it, they don’t like it and like in any situation at all, unless they’ve already bought into the situation. In some other way, right? I don’t care if it’s your team, I don’t care if it’s yours. If it’s your life or how you know, partner, whatever. When you take their ability to make their own decisions out of the picture, people start to flail against that. They don’t really like it, which makes sense. So as opposed to doing all these terrible techniques that have been around for forever. Go the other way, right? You can stand out and be a part of the crowd when you treat them differently than other people do. So, when you can show up as the trusted consultant of asking more questions in the then the average than the other person does not. Not framing your question so that way their bare traps and the minute they say yes to the question your mental fist pumping and stuff you should go in there with kind of kind of an empty Cup like what you were hoping to do. It doesn’t matter if this company looks like the last 50 that you killed it for go in there with the same beginners mind empty Cup. What were you hoping to accomplish? Well, I’d like to grow my business. OK, what do you mean by grow?
00:31:50 John Hill
You know when I was waiting tables, I waited tables and I live in Texas and so I waited. Tables in lots of different Mexican food, restaurants and people would always ask me like hey is that sauce hot? You know the salsa spicy? Well, not for me, but it could be different for you. And sales are the same way. We get super excited about morally. It’s faster growth, better results. You know, clear communication. And we’re just like, yeah, we can do all these things, but let’s figure out where they’re at before we start making promises that we then have to deliver on. And maybe put our team in jeopardy or put our monthly recurring revenue or churn rates in jeopardy. And things like that. Man, I went. I get really ramped up about this, so I apologize if I’m going off on too many tangents. But you know, there’s when you cannot make assumptions and you can go into there not making the standard fault. If you need me a lot. And of course, you need me right now because we’re having a conversation. You can then really dive deep. Understand which builds trust, which makes the conversation easier and leads to more deals.
00:32:54 Gary Ruplinger
So, it’s really, interesting to hear you say that, because I think a lot of people, when they think of process, they want to think of, OK, so basically this is a presentation. Let me get my PowerPoint. Either we’ve all seen a web and R where they’re like, oh, I’ll basically just walk him through my webinar and essentially, you’re almost saying the opposite thing is. This is just going to be, you know, a conversation. I’m going to ask questions. It’s very interactive versus I just want you to watch my screen. I’m going to click and do a bunch of things and at the end, you know I might take a question or two.
00:33:35 John Hill
Yeah, right? I mean, I think there’s a time and a place for the web and our funnel. You know, in in the in the VSL funnel and all. And all that stuff. But like to me that’s marketing right the conversation because the ticket is high enough that that people are right to have some concerns. Then when you put a salesperson on that phone. Especially if it’s coming from someone from some sort of funnel that salesperson is there to help them make the decision. If this is the right thing for them. Right? when you put a salesperson on their who’s like oh, I need you to buy this thing from me. The intentionality in the conversation is going to shift very significantly, and that’s where, like your sales culture really starts to show up, right? Nobody? Nobody wants the label of a salesperson and no salesperson. I know things that are like actively pushy. But sometimes we get ramped up sometimes. You know it’s a personality thing, and sometimes we’re just trying too hard, because we’re assuming that they have to have us right or they have to have exposure to the problems that we help with. And sometimes it’s not true, right? So not everybody needs every solution on the planet. No solution is great for people 100% across the board. So really digging into who do you kill it for and in who do you not? Because not killing it first for a segment of people, stop saying yes to those people. Stop spending time with those people. Why would you? Why would you put together a proposal for somebody who is in a market that you’ve never been able to deliver on doesn’t make any sense, but we see salespeople do it all the time.
00:35:05 Gary Ruplinger
So, how do you balance that between the? You know, making sure we’re doing, bringing the right people in versus you know the I guess, for lack of a better term, the I got to eat syndrome of. Well, yeah, maybe not a great fit today, but I need the money.
00:35:24 John Hill
Yeah, that’s the question, right? So, I am not one of these guys who thinks that everybody should burn their boats and go start their own thing. I’m a big believer of like having a side hustle, you know and gradually maybe moving over. But some of these people who are out there like quit your job right now. I’m like what are you doing like. Holy crap, you’re putting people in some bad spots. You know that that’s very much a thing, right? There’s most of selling is mindset driven right? So, if you need that deal so bad, you’re going to chase and you’re going to chase and you’re going to chase and you’re going to compromise, you’re going to make some bad decisions because you’re too attached to it. Which is why you really have to double down on your prospecting, right? Making sure that the pipeline is nice and full that you’ve got enough meetings on the calendar that you’re not sweating anyone into individually, you know I lost a big deal this week, right? Working with the company to build our sales team and the revenue looked fantastic and we were going to get some equity in some percentages and everything else. It looks really good. And then it all fell apart right, which sometimes happens, right? Not a huge deal at the end of the day, as long as your mindset is, you know what? There’s another one I didn’t really need this one, but the minute that that is I got to have this one. Because it looks too good or you don’t know how long it’s going to be before you get in front of another one, you’re going to be the one who makes all the compromises and not them right? Business to business decisions is made. Because they should be benefiting both sides, right? We often put herself in bad spots because our mindset is trash right? And that’s where stuff like journaling and meditation and working with the coach and accountability really come into play because you know, it’s hard to get a lot of knows in one day and then not be mental expecting another now on the next call.
00:37:20 Gary Ruplinger
Now it’s really interesting to hear your philosophy on that. cause I think as you know I used to work in the Automotive World that sold cars for a while and in that world, it is really common for dealership to essentially do what they call flood the floor which is, you know, we’ve got this many leads coming in, but I’m just going to get as many salespeople as I possibly can, so that essentially, they’ll just kind of like, you know, survival of the Fittest. They’ll all fight each other, and we’ll get a few good ones out of it. But yeah, that half of them stars essentially, and then they’re gone, but I think you see that. That’s why people are afraid to go to car dealerships cause they’re going to get pounced on by one of those people who is desperate. They don’t have a next. You’re there. You’re there. Only opportunity today.
00:38:13 John Hill
Yeah, you know. And I remember very clearly, I was going to go look at a car. This is a handful of years ago and I had an Infiniti G35 and I was looking to get a slightly newer one and so I pulled into the parking lot because I was driving in Infinity and I was at an Infinity a lot and I wasn’t pulling over to service. The minute I pulled into the spot and put it in park, three guys go breaking out of the sides of this building to be the first person to greet me and I was like This Is This is not a good look, you know. And you read books like Chet Holmes’s book which I’ve read, which I think has got some good parts to it. But some of it is not good as well. You know, like the mind games among sales teams and sales hiring in sales culture, often pretty toxic. You know Chet Holmes is like no matter who comes in, tell them that they’re not a good fit to see if they’re going to sell themselves to you. Like why would you start off a relationship with someone who’s going to be? Probably bringing your business right if you do it the right way with beating them down. Like, why would you do that? Because you know what? I’m a pretty.
00:39:20 John Hill
Obviously, I mean successful salesperson, but if I’m talking to someone and they’re like, hey, I don’t really think that you’re the right fit for this. OK, how did you make that decision right? And if they say something that makes sense, hey, you know you’re probably right. Right, if it makes sense to you and it makes sense to me. But there there’s somebody else, right? I can go find somebody else to talk to and go find hundreds of thousands of other people to go talk to, right? And now with ads and all these different avenues. It’s the numbers game has shifted right? It’s not about how like how many people can you talk to is how many of the right people can you talk to? So, taking that that surgeon’s approach to your prospecting in your lead Gen is one of the things that most people don’t. Don’t do very well.
00:40:07 Gary Ruplinger
No, that’s awesome. Well, well, John, you’ve. You’ve given us some great tips so far, and I could. I could probably talk to you for another several hours, but probably start wrapping things up here. What? What haven’t I asked you that you think boy he should have asked this? I think the listeners would get a lot of value from it or this would really kind of drive the point home.
00:40:29 John Hill
You know, I this is kind of my soapbox, but a lot of people lie to themselves about what they’re good at. And what they’re not good at? What do they avoid? What do they run towards? And so, starting with that level of self-awareness, right? I am never going to be as hungry to get in front of people as someone who’s an AI personality type. I’m just not so on paper. I don’t look like someone who’s going to be successful in sales. I just my first coach actually told my business partner. I don’t know if this is the right guy for you to partner with on this, because on paper he’s going to have a lot of struggles, right? And there’s a lot of people who have my same kind of personality makeup who were not successful in these roles, right? So, part of it is the environment part of it is the training part of. It is what you put into it, but you really need to take the time to know yourself. So that way you really understand a little bit better. Some of your blind spots, right? Because we all have them. We all procrastinate on different things. We all have different things that kind of arrest us in the moment you go find out what that stuff is because it’s going to come up in a conversation. I work with a guy, he is really, really good. He is knowledgeable and everything else like this, but if you challenge him too much, he gets fired up right in and he’s not right. And so, in. In our work, it’s like I push his buttons a lot to like. Make sure that he can.
00:41:52 John Hill
Deal with it right and we try to do it at like a level 9 or 10 so that way whenever he’s talking to like a like a hard-edge prospect who’s like at like A6 or A5. It doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal. Right, Jocko Willink is a guy who I who I follow. He was a Navy SEAL commander, and he talks about training and he talks about gradually ramping up the noise in the training environment. So that way when you have to go do it live, nothing is going to compare. Two is crazy and chaotic as it was when you were training because his partner leaf. I don’t know if he started the same, but he talks about it a lot. You don’t rise to the occasion you follow to the level of your training, so if you’re not training consistently and well, you’re not going to just figure it out right there in the moment, right? Because think about the pressure of this other person. You’ve got this whole other unknown quantity in the conversation, right? What are they motivated by? What are they scared? What keeps him up at night is cliche of a question, is that is but there’s a so train deliberately with intention and make it hard so that way in the real world it’s never going to be as bad as it is in training. That’s kind of my soapbox, so get an accountability partner, find people on your team, have them grill the crap out of you. Make it as difficult as possible so that way when you see it. It doesn’t ever feel as bad.
00:43:10 Gary Ruplinger
Well, that’s awesome. Well, that’s great stuff John. So, if somebody like, hey I wanna do more of this I want to practice I want to get a little deeper into this where should I go? What should I do?
00:43:25 John Hill
So, the best way in to get, I guess, kind of into the stuff that I work on, whether it’s you know sales throw down I have a morning show with an accountability partner and we kind of have this productivity method that we’ve kind of hodgepodge together from other things we tried and were not successful at. We found one that works for us. The best way to get into all my stuff is just to send me a text. My cell phone number is 817-345-7449 and that gets you into kind of my texting circle and I share mindset stuff daily. You know, if you’re an active sales Rep and you need a daily reminder to go get into your CRM to update your stuff so that way you know where you are. I do that kind of thing. I send tips, right ideas, sales tactics, techniques and stuff like that all through. This one thing makes a little bit easier than you know. Follow me here and like this and subscribe. So just shoot me a text 817-345-7449 for any sales questions, productivity questions, business questions we might talk about it on one of the shows. I might just put you into the list so that when you get tips and updates, it’s kind of whatever you would like.
00:44:34 Gary Ruplinger
Alright, well that’s awesome. Well thanks so much John Hill adapted Grill sales, thrown on podcast and what was that number? One more time.
00:44:41 John Hill
00:44:44 Gary Ruplinger
He loves text messages. Please text him, yeah. Alright, well thanks so much, really appreciate you coming on John and will probably have you again sometime. I’m thinking also explore some more of this stuff.
00:44:57 John Hill
I appreciate it. Have a great day.
00:44:59 Gary Ruplinger
Alright, take care.