Becoming A Top 1% Earner: The Power Of Leverage And Mastering The Long Game With Connie Whitman [Episode 132]
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When you’re building a business relationship, what’s the goal you have in mind?
Many salespeople have a primary focus on one thing – closing a sale. And while this is a great goal, making this your primary focus might end up biting you in the long run when it comes to your success. In this episode, Doug C. Brown speaks with Connie Whitman, the founder of Changing the Sales Game, about how to maximize your relationship for ultimate success by playing the long-term game over short term benefit. Doug and Connie discuss playing the long game in selling, building relationships that benefit your business and your life, and much more.
In this episode, you will learn:
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Episode’s guest – Connie Whitman
Known for her high-energy, passionate, heart-centered, and enthusiastic approach to sales, teaching, and coaching, Connie Whitman has been the CEO of Changing the Sales Game for 20+ years helping business owners, leaders, and sales teams build powerhouse organizations. Connie is a three-time #1 International Best-Selling author, including her book ESP (Easy Sales Process): 7-Steps to Sales Success, speaker, and podcast host. Her inspired teaching, transformational tools, and content ensure that business owners and salespeople grow their revenue streams through enhanced communication skills. She is thrilled to share inspiring content on her international podcasts “Changing the Sales Game,” and “Enlightenment of Change.”
Are you curious about how you communicate and how clients and prospects receive your messages? Connie is giving away her Communication Style Assessment (CSA)™, which will provide a framework to quickly identify your superpowers and challenges associated with your communication style combination. Using this tool, you will have an opportunity to learn about your communication style and sharpen your skills so you can take advantage of perfecting your personal style. This will help you master business situations such as asking for the sale, handling conflict and objections easily, being an influential leader, mastering meeting facilitation, and so much more.
Learn more here! https://whitmanassoc.com/csa/
Becoming A Top 1% Earner: The Power Of Leverage And Mastering The Long Game With Connie Whitman
In this episode, you are going to learn about how to leverage and create the long game and how doing so provides you the ultimate aide in getting to that 1% earners category. We’re going to be speaking with Connie Whitman from Changing The Sales Game. She’s got an interesting story and background. You’re going to learn a lot in this interview. Without further ado, let’s go speak to Connie.
Connie, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.
Thanks for having me.
Why don’t you set the frame here and tell people about who you are, what you do, and your zone of genius?
I have been in business for many years. My expertise is helping people amp up the volume of their sales strategies and skills so they can make more money and serve bigger in the world. It’s the long and short of what I do.
I love your story. For those of you who are wondering how Connie and I may know one another, I was on her show and we hit it off. I was like, “A 1% earner. She thinks and acts like that. Let’s have her on here because that’s what we talk about,” but you have a cool backstory. Do you mind sharing it? I know a lot of people don’t go into their backstory, but I think it’s relevant for you and for the audience.
It is a good backstory because sometimes our careers find us, and we don’t realize what we’re good at until someone pauses and says, “That was good.” Many years ago, when I graduated from college, I was going for my MBA in the evening. Finance was my background. I’m a numbers person. I worked for a credit company for one of the car dealerships and car organizations. We had several dealerships locally that I supported.
I ran the leasing division, which was new back in the ‘80s. I was getting these deals in for business owners. They should have been in a lease because they could write off the whole car payment. I would reach out to the dealers and say, “Talk to them. You could give them a better deal. They can write it off.” Fast forward, the dealers were getting referrals because the small businesses, these owners were now bringing their friends saying, “This is a great deal.”
The dealership made money. The salesperson made more money and the client benefited as well. Now, they had a referral stream coming in. A sales position came up in the organization. All these guys from across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York are calling me, “You’re going to apply.” I’m like, “Why would I apply?” “You’re good in sales.” I was like, “I am?” “What do you think you’ve been doing? We’re making bank off of you.” I never realized I had that skill.
I went to my boss and asked for the position. I did not get it because I was a woman. Back in the ‘80s, the car dealership world was not woman-friendly. The good part of the story was my boss at the time said, “I can’t promote you. They won’t let me. You need to get out of here. You’ve outgrown the organization.” He saw something in me when I was a kid. What did I know? Pay attention to those moments in your life and business because it could help you strategize or move where you should be going. To what other people are telling you, pay attention.
I have so much to unpack on that because first, all you men in the ‘80s car dealerships, what the heck? Men are coming to buy cars. I tell women this all the time, not to sound politically incorrect but, “Use what you have in life. If you have an attractive feminine presence, use it.” I’m not saying we prostitute ourselves and for men, it’s the same thing. I am saying use what we have. I build rapport very quickly with people. People tend to trust me very quickly. I use that all the time.
I’m not doing it to manipulate people and I don’t think that women should use their feminine energy to manipulate people, but the reality of the car business is men buy from women too, and we like to buy from women. The fact that it was a male-dominated industry, I get it, but how many sales did they lose? That was my first thought when you were telling that story because you’re a highly qualified sales individual. Now we put Eddie in because Eddie is not a woman to be able to handle the sales and Eddie’s not as good.
Here’s the weird part about this whole story for me. Women are much better salespeople than men in many cases. They are far more intuitive listeners. They are far better at not just trying to solve the problem but solving both problems, which are the business ROI and the personal ROI. We’ve come a long way in the world of selling, where women have claimed their space where they should have been in the first place.
I tend to hire women more than men because of those characteristics. My first thought was intuition and leverage. You had this intuitive way of saying, “We could probably explode the benefit of everybody around here by creating this system of leverage, which is basically creating almost an agency.” You had an outsourced sales team going on. Intuitively, that’s who you are. I’m grateful you brought this up because I tell people all the time, “Pay attention to that intuitive thing because many people think 1% earners are born. They come out of the womb and they’re like, ‘I am the salesperson of the world.’ You didn’t even know it, but intuitively, you knew it.”
What I was doing was teaching them how to sell more impactfully from a benefit-driven perspective. I didn’t know any of that language at 23 or 24 years old. It was intuitive for me to say, “You’re solving the problem by selling the car, but you’re not solving the right problem, which we can amplify the benefit to the buyer who, in this case, was a small business owner. You’re leaving money on the table because you’re forfeiting benefits, referrals, and all of that.”
I didn’t know that at the time, but now, when I look back, that was all intuitive for me. That’s why I say, “Listen when people give you feedback” because it could be seen as natural and you think, ‘Isn’t everybody doing that?’ No, everybody is not doing that. Listen to people’s feedback because it has those a-ha moments. If people are seeing it, you might have a natural skill that to you seems insignificant and it’s not.
The thing is that you were solving multiple problems for people. One is the business owner can’t get financed at that point. You had a business pain, but you also had a personal pain that was not you personally, but the business owner did, which is, “I’m frustrated. I can’t get this done. I’ve got other things to do.” You came up with this innovative idea, which is now standardized. If I had been your attorney back then, we would have patented this thing.
I’m going to get some mail, “Doug dominating the woman thing again.” It’s like, “Shut up. I don’t want to hear it.” That’s our Italian heritage coming out. This is what I tell people all the time, “We want to pay attention to that silent whisper that’s going on because if we’re constantly saying, ‘I can do better. I know I can do more. I need a chance or an opportunity to fulfill that,’ those are the seeds for a 1% earner”. We now have to water them and put sunlight on them. That’s usually through experience and training. You went from there and then you went into another facet of selling at that point.
After that, I was like, “They aren’t going to promote me,” but I thought, “I’m good at sales, and here’s the coolest thing that was the fun part of my job. I could do this full-time. Sign me up.” I went back and I got my Series 7 and all of my insurance licenses because I thought, “I’m doing finance. Let me get my financial license because that feels even more intuitive.” I wanted to stay in finance. I pivoted over and started to sell insurance.
This is a funny thing. I worked for one of the very big insurance companies, and I won’t say the name because I didn’t think their training was that great, but that’s a side note. It was many years ago. It doesn’t matter. Here was the thing. They were training us to say, “You’re sitting at the kitchen table. When you’re meeting with the husband and wife or whoever the client is for the first meeting, at the end of that meeting, ask them to pull out their handwritten phone book and their address book.” Now, everything is on our phone. Back then, we didn’t have iPhones. He said, “Ask for three referrals.”
I’ll tell you right out of the gate, I thought, “I am never doing that. That is invasive. They don’t know me. They don’t trust me. That’s icky, not who I am. I’m not going to do it.” Here’s the kicker with that. My sales manager, who shouldn’t have been a sales manager, yelled at me, “You got to get referrals.” I’m like, “You do you. I’ll do me.” Within five years, I was no longer making any more cold calls. I was living off of referrals because what would happen is, let’s say, you were my client. I will help you. We would get the insurance in place. I would follow up. If you had a new car, I would be responsive. I would send you handwritten notes because we didn’t have computers or email back then.
I built that relationship, then what would happen inevitably? Leads started coming in, “My brother-in-law told me to talk to you. You’re good at this. You’re honest.” I forged my future. Remember, back then, ironically, there were 43 men in the sales office and I was the only female. All the guys mocked me like, “What do you mean? Why aren’t you making phone calls?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I get a lot of referrals.” They had been there for many years.
“How do you do that?” “I don’t know. I do a good job.” They were asking questions, but I showed up for my clients and then, it turned out they showed up for me. That was a lesson learned. When you do the right thing, you treat people and you build that know, like, and trust factor, they refer to you and it costs you nothing for those leads because you’re doing a good job. I literally became part of families.
I had a client who was the president of the townhouse association. After I read his bylaws and everything, he said to me, “You save me money. Everybody in this complex should use you.” I would pull in and they were putting their garbage out or picking up their kids, they’d wave. Everybody knew me. It takes time to build that relationship, but that was intuitive. I pooh-poohed the whole, “Ask for three referrals after the first meeting.” It was like the cart before the horse for me.
It goes back to the, “Always be closing versus always building a relationship.” You subscribe to ABR or Always Building Relationships. No one send me hate mail, but this is why I said women are usually better at selling because they’re constantly trying to build relationships. I teach men to do this because men traditionally get in, close, we’re done and we move on.
I’m like, “What about the sales expansion of the internal or the external? How about let’s go outside the whole organization and get referrals out as well as inside?” They’re like, “I’ll do it every once in a while.” “No. This has got to be part of the process because this is what is creating leverage, which Connie Whitman knows well because she had the intuitive sense to create leverage right from the beginning. This is one of the factors that separates a top producer from a 1% earner.”
This is where a lot of people go, “What’s the difference?” It’s in the small amount of details and the shifts that you’re talking about. You got people there for twenty years. They’re still making cold calls. You’re there for five years, “I got all these incoming calls coming in.” Here’s the funny part. We got marketing-qualified leads, sales-qualified leads, sales-ready leads, and purchase-order-ready leads.
I wonder where referrals go on that stream? Is it a call or a lead? No. A cold call is a lead that we’re turning into a marketing-qualified lead that we got in the nurture-up process. Since you’re getting these referrals, these are already at the sales-qualified or sales-ready or maybe even purchase-order-ready spectrum. You’ve now created not only leverage where you get these incoming calls, but you have now closed the close time to speed to close because of how you positioned and set this up all because you were being the natural you.
Remember, we didn’t have email and all that. They would call me and say, “My brother-in-law is Doug. He said that you helped him out. I need to meet with you because my insurance is a mess. I don’t know that I have enough insurance. Could we meet?” I’d be like, “Doug is wonderful. I’m happy to meet with you. Have all your statements ready when we get there and we’ll peel back the onion.” I was very much me. As soon as I would hang up, I would call Doug. I would say, even if I got your voicemail, “I got a call from your brother-in-law. You are the best. Thank you so much for trusting me. I love you guys. Keep me posted and I’ll let you know how it goes after the fact.”
I would keep my referral sources to know what the results were because they’re like, “Did she ever meet with them? Did they talk to them?” I would keep everybody in the loop. Now, what do you think happened? They’re appreciative now. They invite and refer even more people. The last thing I’ll say is that my close ratio was probably close to 100%.
I say that because sometimes I would go in and say, “We don’t do this insurance. Let me hook you up with the commercial broker. That’s what you’re looking for.” I was able to introduce them, but I didn’t get the business personally. That’s why I say close to 100% on the referrals. Let’s talk about that. It’s on the referrals that I was getting because sometimes I had to refer them to another agency or something like that, but I did the right thing for the client.
It is another premise of being a win-win 1% seller, “Do the right thing regardless.” You disengage if it’s not the right thing for both parties. Did you also get referrals from those people you couldn’t sell because you couldn’t help them, not because you didn’t want to help them in that capacity, but because you had to move them to somewhere else? Did they also trust you and give you future business?
When I started my business, I had gotten downsized many years ago. My zone of genius again was the financial industry. I started working a lot with banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and the like. I was referred by one of my corporate clients to the CEO of a bank in Maine. It was a tiny little bank. He had one branch. We met. We went through everything. I understood what he was trying to accomplish, build a culture and skillsets for his people, etc. He was very innovative.
This was many years ago. At the end of the meetings, I said to him, “I love you. You’re an amazing CEO. I love what you’re trying to achieve. You don’t want to pay me. I’m too expensive for you to train one team of people. The return on the investment is going to take you too long. I have a backup plan. Hire me as a consultant,” and he had hired a young man, a marketing person who was a smart kid.
I said, “Let me work with him. We can strategize. I can train him to then come in, do meetings, coaching, and stuff like that. He and I could still build together this culture you’re looking to do, but it’ll cost you a fraction of what it would do to bring me in.” He was like, “I want to work with you.” I’m like, “I can’t take the business. It’s not the right thing. Trust me. Let’s try this. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll come in.” He was like, “All right.” We ended up doing that. He got results.
Let’s say it was a $20,000 contract and I made $5,000. People are like, “You left money on the table.” It gets better. I’m working with this young man and I got friendly with the CEO. Within 1 year, I got 3 other leads to other CEOs, which became multi-6-figure contracts. Was that worth taking the $15,000 hit? For me, it was never about the money. It was about doing the right thing. Otherwise, it feels icky to me and that’s not okay. We became great friends and he referred me all the time. Doing the right thing matters. It doesn’t always translate to that. That’s just one success story, but that happened multiple times. It continues to happen.
I can relate to that because I do the same thing. That’s what I teach people to do. Preferably, it is a win-win-win. You win, they win, and someone else wins, but if it’s not win-win, disengage in a respectful way and let them know why. Firstly, as he did, they’re generally going to come out after you even more because now they’re like, “I want this,” but you held the line and did the right thing.
You had a good fiduciary relationship with these people, and then it turns into multi-six-figures multiple times. Here’s the concept that I want people to catch what you’re saying. You play the long game because here’s the thing. Too many people want to get into the top 1% by playing the short game. You can get there, but you can’t stay there because you don’t have enough leverage to get there.
When the pandemic swung, my business skyrocketed because I was playing the long game. What ended up happening was people who were putting things off or whatever, at that point, were like, “Now we got the time. Let’s do this.” What I’m hearing you say is the long game is the only game to play. If you want to be in the top earners’ bracket, you’ve got to play the long game and build relationships for the long term. I wrote this down and you said you did it. I was like, I was going to ask you the question. “Do you go back to your people who referred you and keep them in the loop? You’re like, I called and told Doug this is what’s going on, etc.”
Readers, if you haven’t written this down, “Play the long game,” because when you do that, I, as the referring person, go, “I’m safe. I appreciate her making this phone call and queuing me in,” because this happened to me. It was a solar deal. We bought solar for the house. The guy was good. I’m like, “I’m going to refer because sometimes solar is hard to find.” He’s been playing the long game with me and then I said, “Do you take referrals?” He goes. “No problem. I’ll pay you for the referral.” I was like, “If you want to pay me, that’s fine. That’s not why I’m doing this.”
I refer someone and he hasn’t met with who I referred him to yet. I call him and I go, “What’s going on with Chris?” He says, “We haven’t met yet.” In my head I went, “I’m not throwing him another referral,” because Chris is a relationship of mine. I’m laying my reputation with Chris on the line and I don’t have the person getting back to me who I referred to letting me know that Chris is doing okay. It’s a big mistake for people who do this when you get a referral because when you did what you did, now, I go, “She’s taking care of that person. Who else do I know that Connie Whitman can handle and help?”
I’m going to open up what we used to call the Rolodex in the old days. The reality is I would have gone through my phone and gone, “This person.” I have 3 or 4 neighbors I know who are looking for solar, but I’m a little hesitant because of that thing. Always, we get back to our people and then to our people’s people and you play the long game with everybody. I have to ask this question. Do you still have some of those relationships nowadays that if you would call back, they will remember you?
I reached out to someone and I said, “It’s been a while. It’s been a bit for whatever reason. I don’t know if you remember me.” They immediately responded, “I remember you. What’s going on? Let’s get on a call.” They were excited to reconnect because it does happen. We get busy. You can’t keep in touch with thousands of people that you’ve been connected with for many years. That’s a long time. When they pop up on a feed, I’ll reach out and say, “It’s been a bit. How are you doing? How are the kids? What ages are they?” All of a sudden, three weeks later, you get business from it.
It’s not why I do it. I do it because, to me, it’s part of my protocol and my process. The other thing I wanted to comment on was you keep saying process. When I started my business many years ago, I sat down. I got laid off and I said, “This is a great package. I could start my business.” Financially, we’re okay for one year. I sat up my computer and I was like, “What am I going to sell? What am I going to do? What am I teaching?”
It was a good exercise because it’s that intuition that I had to tap into and think about from a different perspective because now I wasn’t doing the selling. I was for the business, but I was teaching the selling. It’s a little bit of a different skillset. What I did was sit down, reflect, and say, “Write out what you do when you’re introduced to someone or it’s a cold call.” I came up with my seven-step process. It is interesting because I’ve been very intuitive for most of my career, I didn’t realize I had a process. Through that intuition, what worked, I continued to do. What didn’t, I would try other strategies. After I was in corporate for many years, I had a process.
The last thing I wanted to say about my seventh step, which is the last step of the process, is follow-up. I call it CPR because do you know the paddles when you’re trying to keep somebody alive? You bring them back to life. CPR stands for Consistent, Persistent, Respectful follow-up. Follow-up doesn’t mean badgering that when they see your number or email, they’re like, “It’s her again.” Never ever do I want someone to think I’m invasive or a pest. CPR or follow-up is the last step, and then the loops keep going around with that seven-step process.
How you regenerate additional sales long-term is by staying in touch with people because Joe moves to ABC company and then he goes to XYZ company. You have that relationship. You’ve got the relationship now with ABC company because you built all those relationships there and now you got the relationship with Joe’s new company.
Joe already trusts you. It’s not even a question at that point. The thing about follow-up that I don’t think people get in some capacity is they go, “I got to follow-up. It’s such a hard thing.” Let’s think about this for a second. Isn’t it a common courtesy that people expect and we all love when people follow up with us? Now, we’re not talking about sleazy bar room follow-ups like, “I bought you a drink.” It’s not that stuff. We’re talking about a respectful follow-up like CPR. It’s a common courtesy.
I cannot tell you how many times I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” This is a crazy story. Before I bought from this guy, he was a referral to me for solar. I had another person that I knew. I called him and I’m like, “I’m buying solar. My electric bill is going through the roof. I need to do something. The electricity rates are going to continue to keep going up.” I have a problem. The problem is my electric bill is going to be $1,000 a month before I know what’s going to happen. I don’t want to pay for it because I’m cheap that way. I want to minimize my costs. I call it intelligence and not being cheap.
I know solar will do this. I call up this person. I’m going, “We got a relationship. I know you. Give me a quote. Tell me what it costs.” One and a half weeks goes by, I get nothing. I call him up. I’m like, “Did you send the quote?” He goes, “I got busy with all this other stuff.” I’m like, “I’m buying. This is not like you have to qualify me. It’s not any of this stuff. Send me the quote.” He sent me the quote.
In the meantime, I contacted another couple of people because I have some real estate friends and they said, “Try this person. Try that person.” Not following up, folks. Don’t think you’re the only one in the game. There are always other competitors most of the time. I get the quotes, and all of a sudden, the quotes are off. My buddy’s quote is a little higher than the other quote. I called him back and questioned. He goes, “He’s probably doing XYZ. Let me re-quote it.” I’m like, “Okay.”
The other guy is now saying, “What do you want to do?” I’m going, “I’m waiting for my friend when it comes down to it.” He doesn’t get back to me. It’s unconscionable in the sales world. If we were their manager, we’d be like, “Let’s have a conversation.” This other guy I bought from called me back. He says, “I don’t want to be real pushy or anything like that. I’m not that type of guy. I want to know what’s going on. We’re going to be running a couple of specials. I wanted to see if you had any interest.” I said, “I do.” He said, “Can we meet?” I said, “Yes. When would you like to?” He goes, “I can be there tonight.”
Stage set. He shows up. I talked to him. I like the guy a lot. I called my friend back and said, “Where’s my quote?” He goes, “I’ll get it to you.” Two days later, no quote. I signed the paperwork with this other guy. Three days later, I got a quote. I said to him, “What should I do here?” He goes, “Let me check some things and I’ll get back to you.” He never got back to me. I don’t know what the commission on this is. Let’s say it’s $6,000. The reality is follow-up is a common courtesy and is the glue that holds this all together. As the master 1% earner, you consistently follow up and you’re making it meaningful and relevant. You saw a post, so you’re like, “I’m reaching out because X, Y, Z.”
The message I hope we get across here is it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it doesn’t take a lot for somebody to write in their calendar. I’m going to follow up with three people a day. If I sent a message out saying, “Connie, I was thinking about you and I was wondering how’s life,” that’s a follow-up. You can take that as a drop-down template. You could send that out to three people a day over the next year and we have followed up with almost 1,000 people at that point.
It’s easy nowadays to follow up. Years ago, we didn’t have computers. I had my tickler system with January through December and 1 through 31. I moved people around so they didn’t fall through the cracks. We didn’t have email. I had to either send a note or an article I found. If it was in your industry, I would copy an article and put a little note with it, “Thinking of you.” Those little gentle touches.
Now, you see an article on LinkedIn. You take the link and send it to someone, “I was thinking of you. This resonated with me. I know you’re going to be interested.” That’s a touch. Follow-up doesn’t have to be this grandiose thing. There is another thing I wanted to share. It ended up being multimillion-dollar contracts, so people, understand the importance of follow-up.
I had this one client. I was introduced to them when I first started my business. It was a corporate client and a bank. I met with the executives. They said, “You’re too small. You’re too new.” They hired other companies that were the wrong fit. When I told you the wrong fit, I knew that because I‘m in the industry. Fast forward. I followed up for five years. This is the importance of follow-up and playing the long game.
Now I got personal with these executives. The one, her husband had broken his leg. On the quarterly follow-up, I was like, “First question, how did the rehab go with the PT with your husband? Are there any other side effects? Did he need more surgery?” She’s like, “I can’t believe you remembered that.” “I remember that.” I was always very interested and curious about people. It’s my MO. Fast forward, five years, I followed up with this company. Finally, I met with the executive team after they had hired three much bigger organizations and spent millions of dollars. Nothing changed. Their culture hadn’t solidified. The behavior of the employees had not changed at all.
I met with them again. I knew who they had hired. I did my recon or my research, and I came in. I said, “I know you did this. Tell me, what is the behavior change?” They were like, “Nothing.” I said, “Can I tell you why I think it went awry?” I’m nothing against those other companies. Be cool. Don’t be a jerk. Those are companies that were stellar as well. “They weren’t the right fit because,” and I went through. I said, “This is what I think you should do.” Within 10 to 15 minutes in that meeting, they’re like, “You’re hired. How fast can you get this going?” I worked with them.
This is an important part of the story. I followed up for five years. I got to know them personally. I got the business. They worked with me for fifteen years. In 2018, they were ranked the number 1 bank in New Jersey. That was not because of me solely, but if I made a recommendation, “You need a CRM system. You need to change your incentive program.” I didn’t do that for them. That’s not my zone of genius, but they heeded my advice. They did what I asked. They became the number one bank in New Jersey. That’s the potential plus over those fifteen years, multimillion dollars.
I don’t know what the final number was. I’m going to do a little math here just for these people. Let’s say it was $3 million and we’re going to divide it by 15 years. That’s $200,000 a year on average.
It’s on one client.
Assuming it was only $3 million for following up for five years, being a good person, and keeping with somebody, I’ll take that every single day. If you get 7 of those a year, you are doing $1.4 million. I love the fact of that story because there are three parts to follow up that I tell people all the time. It’s got to be either personalized, meaningful, or relevant. 1 of those 3 has to be in the follow-up. If you do all three, it’s even better. I have one other question to ask you. If people want to get a hold of and understand more about what you do, how do they do so?
The easiest way is to go to my website, which is ChangingTheSalesGame.com. I have a whole bunch of information bios there. Additionally, my show is on there, which is also Changing The Sales Game, which you were on. If they want to follow me and get to know me and get my vibe, you and I had a great conversation that’s on that page as well. That’s the best way, plus my contact. If they want to contact me once they’re there, it’s easy peasy, but my email is Connie@ChangingTheSalesGame.com. Either way, if they want to have a meeting with me, for whatever reason, to pick my brain, I’m happy to do that.
I have one last question because this is a characteristic that I caught from our first conversation, which is another thing that 1% earners do. They have fun at work. I originally picked this up from Arnold Schwarzenegger. I look at him. He’s from Austria. He couldn’t speak English. He goes in on what all these world titles are. He decides that he’s a real estate investor. A lot of people don’t know that, but he was making millions of dollars for years as a real estate investor, and then he decides, “I’ll be an actor,” out of the blue.
He goes on to do that and dominates that. He then goes on and becomes the Governor of California. Now he’s gone on to be an icon for people from the ’70s and ‘80s looking at this whole thing. I’m sure he made mistakes like everybody in the world, but the reality is he’s a true 1% overachiever. He’s constantly thinking. He said one time and I wrote it down, “I do fun and work. It’s never the other way around. It’s always fun plus work. If it’s not fun and I can’t work at it, I don’t do it.” What you say is the exact same thing. You have fun while you’re working through this whole process. Do I have this correct as well?
Yes. When I was in corporate, I would last about four years in a position. A couple of things, I either outgrew it, or the management changed, and their values or my values didn’t line up. It became, “I have to go in tomorrow.” As soon as that thought process entered my head, it was time to look for a new job. I’ll be honest with you. Now as a business owner, I only take business if the values of the organization match mine.
Otherwise, I don’t take the square peg and force it into the round hole for the money, especially if it’s a big contract, because my life will be miserable, and that’s not okay. You have to find joy every day. Do I have to do things in the business that I’m like, “Do I have to do it?” Yes. We all have that. There’s no perfection or utopia situation, but if the client doesn’t resonate with me and I know it’s going to be drudgery, I walk away. I don’t have the time and energy for that. I don’t want to expend energy on that.
One other thing, it will likely not be a productive relationship on both sides. Especially when I was younger, I did the same thing. I was like, “I need the money for this.” I can tell them, but the client is not doing some of the things I want them to do because I need that to help them. I would take that work, then I’d be like, “This is blowing up in my face. This is taking me eight times longer than it should be taking.” When we make those decisions and this is what I teach as well, it’s not the client’s fault. It’s us as the selling entity. It’s our fault.
There’s no bad client. They are bad decisions on the front end, which results in a relationship not working out, similar to any personal relationship. Even when I was younger, I’d be like, “Should I go out with her? Look how pretty she is.” I go out with her and inside my intuition is going, “No.” I’d still go out with her. I’d be like, “What did I get myself into?” Maybe she said the same about me and did the same thing, but the reality is that we shouldn’t do what isn’t win-win. That’s what you are saying loud and clear.
The win has to be for us as well because anybody that hires me is going to win. They’re going to get the ROI. My stuff works. I have been doing it for many years, rinse and repeat. It’s locked and loaded, but if I’m miserable, it’s not a win. I believe in a win-win-win. I win, the client certainly wins, and the clients’ organization wins. The individual wins, but then there’s also the bigger scope of it. It has to be the trifecta for me.
Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. Thanks for bringing your A-game, as you always do.
I love you. Thanks for having me.
There are a lot of things we could talk about here, but what about the long game? The long game means you’re always building relationships, doing the right thing, and playing win-win for people. The reason you do that is because people don’t forget, some of them will, but most of them won’t, and you build the relationship and that relationship capital like compounding interest over time, creates these ultimate things that happen down the line.
Remember, it’s a long game. You’ll win a little bit on the short game, but you’ve got to win long-term. What are some elongated strategies? We’ll follow up for one of those, personalized, meaningful, or relevant. You got to have that in play. Do the right things for your clients and buyers. Play win-win-win. Those are long-term strategies.
You want protocol and process in your business, but the reality is that you can sacrifice a little bit on that at the beginning while you get things going. Remember, a process is something that works, but sometimes you have to change it. It has to go along the path of the long game. What you are doing many years ago may or may not work like it is nowadays. Technology, times, and people have changed.
Remember, you are always going to have your process changing throughout that process over time. Always Build Relationships or ABR. Remember that over and over again. Do the right thing by people, and trust your intuition. Your intuition very rarely will steer you wrong because it is your inner sales voice that is saying, “This is right. This is not right.” Don’t overreach. If the deal is not right, it’s not a win-win. You don’t win or they don’t win. Nobody wins usually in the long run on that game.
Last point, remember to have fun and work. The reason you want to have fun is because then, work is fun. When it’s fun, everybody likes to have fun. Think about children. What do they do? Get a bunch of little children together. They have fun. They play. You can play while you’re doing work. Everybody tends to like that. There might be some sour grapes in the bunch that don’t like that, but for the most part, you’ll find people pretty agreeable to that.
If you like this show, I ask you to give it a five-star review. It takes a few minutes. I’d be forever grateful if you did. I also would recommend that if you are an expert or you know somebody as an expert on and around selling to CEOs and business owners, working with independent sellers in business owners and/or that 1% earners category if you are there, you know somebody and you want to refer them to us, send it to YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com and we’ll answer all inquiries.
If you want to be proud of the 1% Earners Academy that’s coming up, let us know. You can send an email to that as well. Our eBook, The Non-Stop 1% Earner, is at www.CEOSalesStrategies.com/1PE. You can get that as well. Please go out and sell something. Go sell a lot of it. Sell it profitably. Remember to play win-win. They win, you win. Expand internally, externally, and other on all sales opportunities. As Connie said, and as I agree, we play the long game to win. Until next time, to your success.
- Changing The Sales Game
- Changing The Sales Game Podcast
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