Many companies speak of the importance of fulfilling their moral promises to their clients, but often unintentionally fall short of win-win outcomes with their clients, employees, and partners – and even themselves. In this episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown talks with Daniel Giordano about the importance of morals while growing a 7-figure business, as well as finding the right salespeople, win-win selling, marketing, and more.
After creating beautiful homes for the affluent for 20 years, Daniel had a defining moment when his first child was born – he had to figure out how to be the father and husband that was going to be home with his family. Now, Daniel helps people worldwide clarify how to transform their businesses and impact more lives using the power of the internet. He is passionate about influencing the Influencers and inspiring world-changers to get off the sidelines and live life ALL IN.
Visit his website:www.danielgiordano.com
I’ve got a great friend who I called up and we were talking about high-end salespeople. We were talking about people who are now hiring. There are a lot of companies out there that are trying to do what they call high-ticket closers. They’re bringing people in for a weekend and they’re saying, “You’re certified. Go close.” We talk about that. I’m going to title this thing, Moral Obligation in Marketing, because Dan is skilled in marketing. He had a couple of very good successful companies. One was in the painting industry and the other was in the training industry.
They built up to a $5 million-plus company very quickly and sustained that for years. You’ll get a lot out of this. Learn from the moral obligation component of this conversation. I introduced that later on, probably halfway through the conversation, but it’s what we’re talking about. It is playing win-win, how to sell, how to get the right salesperson and why you want to play win-win in the selling process as a company owner or in the way of increasing your sales? Without further ado, let’s go to the interview.
Dan, welcome to the show.
I’m excited to be here. It’s interesting to see where it’s going to go.
For those of you reading, Dan and I have known each other for many years. He was probably the hardest guest for me to get onto this show, quite frankly. I wanted him to come on here because we’ve known each other for a long time. He had some successful businesses in the past. He has a successful one now. He had a painting company. I know you had at least 25 employees in that company and you built the next company to over $5 million-ish. You did that in a pretty quick period of time. Now, you have a company called G7. How would you classify G7?
It’s a digital marketing agency that’s focused on increasing profits from everything from leads all the way through to your offer and sales.
Those of you who are not doing that, especially B2B folks out there, give him a look up and I’ve known him for a long time. He won’t let you down, I promise that. We were having a discussion and it got more to a heated discussion on something we both feel very strong or passionately about and its hiring. It’s these people nowadays that are promoting out people selling for other people because there are a lot of companies now trying to do this.
We were talking about the disservice that a lot of these companies out there are doing and the reality of how they’re doing is more of a churn and burn model for clientele. I wanted to talk about this because I’ve had clients who have gone out and tried to put a sales team together through some of these types of companies and it has not worked out well. How do you feel about this whole thing?
One of the interesting things about this whole thing is when people outsource things, you got to start somewhere, learning a skillset. When you’re bringing in salespeople or even certain personnel that are going to be frontward-facing representing your brand and you, you want people that have been through your stuff. They’re maybe a buyer, a customer viewer or they’re somebody that at least subscribes to and believes in what you’re doing.
The challenge would bring an outsource people in to sell is their only money-motivated. If they’re only money motivated, you’re going to get yourself into trouble and sign people up for things that they don’t need to be in. Because these people are disconnected, it’s an overworked industry when you’re bringing in these salespeople and there’s this churn and burn model of going through the numbers until you find the gold. They’re forced through a scripted process getting people into stuff that they have no rhyme or reason to why they should even be enrolled in what it is you have to offer because they’re being sold into something for the wrong reasons.
It’s like somebody who’s selling boats but has never been in a boat in their life. The first time they go out on rough seas, they don’t come back. I’m a big proponent of this as well. You need not necessarily have industry experience in this but you need to be at least immersed in the product or service that you’re selling. I think that’s what you’re saying. You can bring somebody in who has great sales experience and they’ll still be able to sell some stuff, but are they able to play win-win with the client because they don’t know how to play win-win.
One of the things around that is with the one plant that you and I mutually worked with, that you got me involved with, is I believe in the product. I physically purchase the training every year because I realized that if I’m not a buyer and a consumer, I don’t see what the consumer sees. I need to believe and experience it. A lot of people won’t do that. I know I could get it for free and I won’t take it seriously. I won’t value it. I won’t go through it and apply the things that I’m learning.
If you are connected to the person in a way where you can, as a user, say, “I feel like going to a Mercedes dealership and the salesman was driving a Ferrari and he was trying to sell you a Mercedes.” There’s a disconnect for that. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with him having a Ferrari. It’s the fact that he’s not actually driving the vehicle that he sells. A lot of times, people get lost in trying to sell stuff for the wrong reason there.
It’s interesting you bring up the Mercedes because I went into a luxury dealership. One guy was driving a Dodge and one guy was driving a Ford. I asked them point-blank, I said, “Why aren’t you guys driving what you’re selling?” They say, “We can’t afford it.” I said to him, “Can you literally not afford it or can you not afford to have this vehicle because when somebody like myself sees you in a vehicle that’s not what you’re telling me is the greatest thing since four wheels hit the ground, it’s not a good rapport-building process. I don’t trust you out.”
I remember I had a client that was selling industrial equipment but they also used industrial equipment in their manufacturing company. I went into the manufacturing company and not one piece of what they sell was in their own manufacturing facility. I asked them why and they said, “It cost us money to put new stuff in there.” I’m like, “How do you demo your products?” He’s like, “We have another building.”
Dan and I have a lot of experience not only in the training industry but working with B2B. We do a lot of work in the training industry. That’s what I hear you are saying. They’re hiring people. They have no idea. They’ve never been in a business in their life but they’re hiring people to give business advice and to help a client play win-win to get to the next level and they’ve never been in the situations that you’ve been in or I’ve been in regard to business. It’s a huge disservice to people. Why do you think people do this? Why do you think people go out to start these companies? They’re like, “We’ll train you to be successful.” They churn and burn them. Why do you think the owners of the companies do that?
The big thing is greed. There’s the, “I have a skillset. I can teach somebody something.” They may have the right intentions when they start. As it grows, you start to experience and not everybody’s going to be happy with every service or product they purchase. We can have the same exact product, you hate it and I love it. The reality is they’re out there selling stuff for the sake of making money. They’re not at the place where they’re connected to a bigger why behind it to help impact people.
When you serve people at the highest level, through the sales process, for the right reasons, the money will come. You’ll figure that piece out. If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons to make money and you don’t have the skillsets, you’ve been certified to be a high ticket closer on the weekend and now, all of a sudden, fielding calls. You got to start somewhere but it doesn’t work for everybody.
Some people that have a natural gift to communicate can work their way through and figure it out but most people are trying to follow a script. I’m sure we’ve all been on scripted calls where somebody is asking the chain of questions that we know and they’re manipulating the conversation. I don’t do well when I’m the recipient of those calls. If I made it to book a call, I already know that this is something I’m doing, “Don’t take me through a script.” That covers some stuff, but the problem is everybody is reading the same script.
One of the biggest challenges with that, Dan is the other person on the other end that’s receiving it doesn’t know they’re part of the script. The guys like you, myself or others who were very skilled at doing this, we can see that script coming a million miles away from and we can pre-cite the script if we needed to in a lot of ways. All it does is break trust.
I’m unplugging Dan for a reason. We’ve known each other for many years and worked together on several projects. Although he is a Philadelphia Eagles fan and I’m a New England Patriots fan, sometimes that doesn’t always work out between us, especially when the Eagles beat the Patriots. The challenge with a script is we’re taking somebody and we’re removing the humanization, personalization, relevancy and meaning out of the actual sales conversation.
In most times, especially now with the pandemic, this is something that I find people have to build in, Dan. They can no longer rely on the routine because, quite frankly, the internet has changed sales. If you want to know something, a guy likes you, especially highly technical, how quickly can you find pretty much any information on anything other than hacking into the FBI database or something?
I know because we have conversations on a regular basis. It’s like, “I’m looking for this thing.” You’ll send me information on that. I’m like, “Where’d you get this.” The challenge, I think with people being scripted like this, is it takes out that human-to-human connection and that’s what people are more interested in, the quality of life versus being sold to. Do you find that as well?
The big piece is why are you doing sales, to begin with? If you remember when you got me involved with the one deal that we still work on to this day when you first called me about it, I said, “I don’t do that. I’m not a salesperson.” You’re saying, “What are you talking about? I’ve seen you sell millions of dollars worth of stuff.” The reality is I would hire people and I still was doing some of that stuff, but I never looked at it as sales. I still don’t consider myself a salesperson, yet I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of stuff but it’s because I’m having conversations.
It brings up a conversation I had with someone where they were like, “I get the purpose of this call. They were trying to control the call. The purpose of this call is to get me to buy this program.” I said, “No, you’re misinformed. The purpose of this call is to see if you’re a good fit for the program. If we could help you get where you want to go. If that’s the case, I will invite you to the opportunity to be part of it but we’re not there yet.”
A lot of times, what people always say is these let’s see if you’re a fit calls are disguised sales calls. They’re not disguised. They’re at plain sight. It’s a sales call but it is a fit call to make sure you’re the right person. It’s not always the case in this industry when you’re being pitched by people that are not in the same scope of being connected and communicating in a way that genuinely is serving the person that’s the buyer and taking yourself out of it. I’m sure you’ve taught this and you’ve done it where you’ve detached yourself from the outcome. That’s a hard thing to do when you need to make money and provide for your family.
Dan, as you’re saying that, my eyes are going up. I agree with you when you don’t have enough leads.
There’s this piece that if you have enough people to talk to and you have the reps to put in where you can get better at communicating. You’re driven because you want to help people with the thing you’re offering, you’ll have success and the money will follow. A lot of times, people are being sold on the greed thing. When you asked that question earlier, it’s like they’re being sold on make a ridiculous amount of money selling without doing XYZ. The reality is that isn’t happening overnight and unfortunately, it’s getting people into trouble.
I can’t go to a two-week course and know how to be in the top 1% of sales and do it ethically. What do you mean? The reason I’m saying this is you and I were talking about this. People are going to a weekend class and they’re certifying them as a high-ticket sales closer. Firstly, they don’t even know what a high-ticket is. They think high tickets are $5,000. You and I were used to selling hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes even larger of seven-figure projects and then when they hear that, they’re like, “That’s so big comparatively.”
The gal or guy who closes 60 jumbo jets for Delta Airlines, that’s a heck of a lot bigger sale than you and I are doing on a regular basis most of the time. I can hear people now, Dan, going, “That sounds all great but this will never work in business-to-business sales. That’s training industry or whatever, a business to business is different.” You sell business to business, what do you think?
I always like to say this. I had a guy a couple of years ago who ran a successful hedge fund and he was selling a service to raise money for his fund. He was also selling a mastermind to teach people how to do it. It was a small group. It wasn’t some big info-type thing. We got on a conversation and he says, “My people don’t buy off of emotion.” I took a deep breath and I was like, “Let me ask you a question. Why are you driven to share the knowledge that you have?”
He’s like, “I want to help people not struggle financially.” I said, “Out of the conversations that I’ve listened to that your people have had, they’re not talking about the very thing that the person’s coming there for because they want to take control of their financial future, investments and retirement. Why?” We dug deeper and deeper, it was like, “I get your point.”
We are people that run businesses. It’s not the other way around. We all have our own motives, things and desires that we want in our lives, whether it be family, health, lifestyle or whatever the thing is for you. A lot of people aren’t talking about that in the sales process. They want to get right into it. I personally struggled with this years ago when I was selling the internet stuff back when we first met. I was so one-dimensional business-only. It was all about lead gen. I didn’t have the skill to coach around human psychology and why people don’t do what the hell they say they’re going to do.
I know it baffled me. I thought everybody did what they said they were going to do only to realize that’s not true. Everybody moves at their own pace for their own reasons and discovering that ultimately led me down the path to understanding that sales are sales. At the end of the day, what does that person want? Why are we in this conversation? What do they want in their lives that I can help them with or at least point them in the right direction?
Years, ago I used to work with Chet Holmes. For those of you who don’t know him, he wrote a book called The Ultimate Sales Machine. Chet used to talk to us about moral obligation. Do you believe so strongly in what you’re doing that for their benefit, they’ve got to consume it and not for our benefit but for their benefit? It’s interesting to me because you and I have known each other for a long time, but I’m going to title this show Moral Obligation in Marketing because I know you in marketing, you do the same thing for your clients.
There’s are a difference between leads and right fit leads. I’ve seen you over the years do this. You’ve even done it with me when I’ve asked you questions. You’re like, “Why are you doing that, dummy? What do you expect to get out of this?” There’s always a professional return on investment and a personal return on investment that people are looking at. You blend those both into the marketing side of the business and then that makes sales easier when it comes down to it. Dan and I do some campaigns together and the reality is we’ve got a campaign going on.
Over the last several years, we have averaged well over 50% close rate for clients. We’ve got a 70% plus close rate going on the thing that we’re doing. How does that happen, Dan? I can imagine people saying, “Maybe that works in training, but it can’t work across the board. You can’t get those high close rates.” To me, I’d be like, “It all begins with the customer journey and it begins with the marketing side of this thing. Everything has got to be congruent.” What do you think?
It starts from the moment somebody sees an ad or some type of marketing material that’s out there that’s a clear message to that person and helps filter them and take them down the path. They ultimately make the decision to have a conversation or purchase the thing you have to offer. This company does a great job at positioning things and occasionally, some people squeak through that aren’t in that realm.
The reality is by the time you get to a conversation, the person is much more qualified and they are a fit most of the time, not always or they could be stuck in scarcity around something. They could have been having some challenges in their life that are holding them back from taking the next step to do the things that they want to do.
You get to take that person down this path and help them discover why they want to do the thing that you want to do and why they’re there. I always like to say, “If not now, if not this, then what else? Do you have a backup? Is there something else you can do if it’s not this that’s going to help you get to the goals and the things you want to be able to get to?” Most of the time, the answer is no. It then gets them to think about it.
You know me, I don’t force people into things. I’m a strong learner. There’s an occasional few that I’ve done that with over the years where I see that they’re stuck in it. It’s a great fit for them and they’re paralyzed but the reality is looking at this whole thing of the sales process from start to finish is in order to increase your close rate, you have to have a killer offer. You have to have an offer that makes it ridiculous that they honestly want to buy it and they need to have a conversation, in this case with the sales process, but on the frontend, everything they see from start to finish is important.
Some people never reveal what the offer is until they have all these conversations. At the back of it, it’s like, “Here’s our offer.” Firstly, do you find that the way to sell, whether it’s B2B or B2C? I’ve bought a new home. I go up to HomeAdvisor and I put the, “Let me create a new email address because I know I’m going to get spammed to death.” People will call me and when they call me, they’re like, “Let’s have a consultation. I will come to that location.” I know what they’re doing. They’re trying to get there to close the deal at that time.
What I have found to be more effective for these people and for most clients is to tell them right upfront. This is the range of what is this and that but I’d like to dig and find out if this or that even fits for you. Is it a good fit for you? Some people would call this negative selling, but it’s not reverse selling or negative selling. It’s being genuinely interested in the person and having that through marketing. I know you do this in marketing for other people. You’re generating interest for people. You’re tying in sales and marketing as one congruent process.
How important do you think that is now for B2B? Everybody talks about the pandemic. It changed sales. Nobody will ever buy anymore. Sometimes people are telling me that. I’m like, “Seriously.” What do you think about the congruency between marketing, sales and opening up what they’re going to experience before they even get there?
Two of those things are, one is when I think back to when the pandemic started. Having the agency, the way I had it, you had your clients that spent more money because people are home. They have the right mindset and then you had the other people that went into scarcity thinking like, “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Let’s shut everything down and stay dormant.”
Part of this comes down to the mindset behind what you’re doing to reach people and the conversations that you get to have with people. I want to have a conversation with somebody but this person is not a good fit. If you look at the sales process here with what we’re talking about, it’s about getting to know the right people. You’ve probably heard this over the years, “Some will, some won’t, so what?” I used to be offended by that statement because I figure everybody wants what I have to offer but the reality is not everybody does.
It’s a filtering process that you get to take them through in the sales process and realizing that I can’t do everything for everybody but the mindset with what’s going on in the world now is people feel like if you’ve learned anything from this last couple of crazy years, it is the simple fact that there are always solutions to a problem and ways to create new ways.
I jokingly sit here and think, “Why weren’t we not doing virtual events several years ago?” We were traveling all over the country and doing stuff all the time. Now granted, I miss that experience of live events but this is what we have right now. It works and reaches more people, being open to having a new solution and creating new solutions. There’s always a way to figure something out. You can reach people nowadays with about any modality online with all the different platforms that are out there.
I think that’s a good segue and then we can wrap up. We used to have a program and used to call it Take it Virtual because when I was doing the stuff with Chet Holmes, for example, once or twice a year, we would go to a live event to present but we would drive radio ads, which would drive them into a queue, which we would then place them into a paid training.
We would sell virtually in a web or we call the webinar back then, masterclass or whatever people want to call it. The reality is that model alone, we were doing $2 or $3 million on the frontend of the sales and we were doing upwards to $15 million a year doing that virtually. People are always like, “How do you do it?” We would say, “Let’s show you how to build your company and take it virtually.” That was the game.
Now, everybody’s trying this because they can’t get ahold of people like in the old ways. You built a $5 million-plus company, and by the way, you haven’t sold millions. I got to correct this because I’ve known you and I’ve seen tens of millions in sales that you personally have done, never mind everything else you’ve done. My guess is you’re probably $100 million in sales over time.
I stopped counting after I hit $100 million. I have no idea at this point.
The reason I bring this up is because I hear a lot from people. They go, “This virtual thing is coming in and then after the pandemic is over, it’s over. We’re not going to continue to do that.” Could you impart your wisdom? You’re dealing with companies now and doing all of this virtually and helping them on the backend.
There is a tolerance for a hybrid version of this. For those that want to meet in person, there are benefits to that but the reality is with what we’ve got going in this environment, people get to meet this way. We’re fortunate we have these tools because I sit there and think, “If this happened several years ago, we’d be using an old school phone and teleclasses, back to those days.” I believe that the world has changed.
A lot of people have realized that they don’t have to go travel all over the place. I think a lot of people are also realizing, “I don’t even want to go to an office anymore. It’s nice working from home and I get more time now.” Some people don’t like that. They want to get out and do their thing but a lot of people I’m hearing say, “It’s nice. I want to be able to work from home. I don’t want to have to go back to the office, travel an hour each way, commute and save time.”
The hybrid version is here. It’s going to be a combination of both. Right. Companies are realizing, especially larger companies, how much money they waste on all of that stuff. On the overhead of office space, taking care of their employees back and forth, all the others traveling all over the place and a lot of them are realizing how much money they’ve saved. I’m talking billions of dollars in revenue that’s been saved because of not having to support staff internally.
I’ve seen a lot of large companies not going back. I was looking for home insurance and I was talking to a couple of insurance agents that work for these large insurance companies. One of them, I could hear little kids in the background and the other one, I heard hear a dog barking in the background. I was like, “You guys are working from home.” Each one of them said, “Yeah.”
They like it working from home, but what’s happened is exactly what you said. These companies are recognizing, “We don’t have to spend the money out that we were spending money out. We’re still getting the efficiency and sometimes, in some cases, even better productivity. That’s increased our profit margins over time.” Dan, if anybody wants to get ahold of you on marketing and sales, how do they get ahold of you?
The simplest way is to go to DanielGiordano.com. Click on the schedule link if you want to have a conversation, a quick chat and see how I can support you and point you to the right direction. You can check out what I do there.
Dan, thank you for being on the show. Check out Dan’s website and connect with him. He’s an ethical guy. I’ve known him for a long time. We hang out together every once in a while. Our families get together. He was a good guy. Regardless of his sporting affiliation, I still think highly of him. Dan, I’m going to plug you again because I’ve passed you to many clients that I’ve had over the years. It worked out well for them. Give it a shot and thanks for reading. Dan, thanks again for being here.
Was that good or what? I’ve known Dan for a lot of years. We tend to have a good rivalry on a lot of things, but certainly on the sports thing. What I wanted you to catch on this is what is your moral obligation? Why are you doing this? Why are you hiring people? Are they consumers of your product or service? In other words, they’re salespeople coming in and reflecting poorly upon your company because people know that they’re not consumers of what you have or what you do. Believe it or not, it makes a big difference. Now, can you have a sales team that you train? Yes, but the reality is when they’re consumers of the actual product or service, they’re going to have an understanding of it intimately and there’ll be able to talk in a different way than other salespeople can.
I hope you enjoyed the interview. Do me a favor. As always, subscribe if you like it and if you want to do me a double favor, subscribe and put up a review for me. I would appreciate that. If you have content that you want to read or subject matter about, contact me and send that in. We’ll take it under review and if it makes sense, which a lot of times it does. A lot of these subject matters that I’m bringing forth, even a subject matter like this is because it is suggested. This show is here to help you get to the next level, put your company and yourself in the top 1% of sales globally and I’ll be happy to do that.
If you want to reach out to me directly, please do so. You can get me a Doug@BusinessSuccessFactors. You can also get me @DougBrown123. If you want to see more of what we do, go to BusinessSuccessFactors.com or CEOSalesStrategies.com. Go out, sell something, do it ethically, do it morally, play win-win and make some money this day.