Transcript of Interview with Greg Winston
Dan: Welcome to another episode of Shoulders of Titans. This is Dan Lok and today I have the privilege of bringing you a sales master. An international speaker, a motivator, an individual who inspires and empowers companies and entrepreneurs and business professionals worldwide. Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg: Dan, thank you. I’m very happy to be here.
Dan: Now Greg tell us maybe a little bit about your background and how you got into what you do today.
Greg: Well Dan I started with the Xerox corporation. I was lucky enough to meet a guy who told me I should interview with Xerox; he worked for Xerox. And I started working with them and I was actually gonna go to law school but I started making so much money with them I just kept working with Xerox. And it taught me how to sell; I went through their training programs and then helped other sales people by training them. So, that led me to starting my own company years later. So I owe everything to Xerox.
Dan: Now at the time Xerox; this was how many years ago?
Greg: In the 80s.
Greg: And so by the time I- within my first year I had started to make gains within Xerox. Within a year I had- I was voted super-rookie of the year. And so it was a new award, I sold twice what the average new rep sold.
Greg: Which got me my first territory. And I went on to break records that still stand at Xerox. My highest revenue performing year had me at a thousand three percent.
Greg: And Dan when I say that, people think I mean a hundred and three percent. No. I mean ten times that. I mean a thousand three percent where the average rep, if he’s at a hundred percent they say he’s doing a really good job.
Dan: So Greg, were you always very good with sales or with people or that you got into the company and then you found out, OK I’m actually pretty good with this..?
Greg: No, what actually happened for me Dan is something I try and get people to do in my training. And that is I had a really good eye. I would observe well. So when I saw something in a guy that worked well, I would emulate what they did. And over and over again I would cull the things that didn’t work, but I would keep those things that I saw working. And you know, from that point I developed my own style by combining a bunch of styles and I tell every sales person out there: one of the best skills that you could have is the power of observation. If you can see something that no one else sees, you’ll get rich.
Start of Business
Dan: Now, at the time that you started your own company- tell me a little bit more about your company when you first started business, what was that business and what did you do?
Greg: You know Dan, it’s funny how things work in life. I had worked for Xerox and I was recruited to come to CBS. So I started working in broadcast. And I did really well there and Warner Brothers hired me; they were just starting their network for television. And I did a good job for them. And then it occurred to me that the reason people were hiring me was because they saw my sales training background. And I thought you know what, I’m just gonna start training on my own because at Xerox I trained people; then at CBS I trained people while I was still selling. And then Warner Brothers, while I was managing I would train people. So I thought, you know what- I’m just gonna start my own company.
And when I did that, my first client was the Chamber of Commerce- I sold for the Chamber of Commerce and there was a guy in the audience who worked for Boeing. And Boeing hired me, became my biggest client. Now Dan keep in mind, this is like two months after I started my company. You know, so it was just like boom. And I was on the road. It was amazing. So that’s the start of my company and I’ll go back to observation again. What I observed was sales training was changing, but most people who did sales training kept doing it the same way. By changing and looking at how the industry was, how the market was, I was able to train people at a faster rate and get them to perform quicker. That has been my staple.
Sales Training Techniques
Dan: Now maybe can you give an example of how you train sales people differently from like say other sales trainers?
Greg: Yes. Here’s a perfect example. Every company out there has a part where they start talking about prospecting and cold calling. And I don’t believe in cold calling. I think that as the market tightens, as the internet is more dominant, people know more than they did before. So when you call on someone cold number one, they don’t want to be sold. And number two, chances are they know more about the product than you give them credit for. So, in order to work around that I promote a system called the Giri system. G-I-R-I and it comes from Asian cultures.
If you were to Google the word, you would hear definitions like, ‘to return the favor.’ There’s another one that talks about root intertwining. So what the Giri system says, it compares it to a tree. That most people when they look at a tree, they think the sun causes the tree to grow. But in Asian cultures they believe that it’s the root system and I compare the root system to how many people you know and how many relationships you can tap into. So here’s a perfect example, Dan.
I would rather a sales rep working for me understand how to use the Giri system and contact ten people that they know or that they’ve done business with. Those ten people will have connections to six other people. So already they have a database of sixty people that are more open to listen to their story. As opposed to someone picking up the phone and calling a hundred strangers and having a one percent success ratio with that. So, I just- the way that I look at training, is I look at it and I compare it to life. What actually happens in life should happen in sales training. And most people don’t do that. They look at sales training as this rare form of education and they pick one person who’s really good and they say, OK, how do you do it?
And that person stands before a group and they say, this is how I did it years ago. Well, here’s what I believe. I believe that if they did it years ago it’s probably out of style now. The market keeps changing. If your sales training doesn’t change with the market, you lose every single time. So that’s what I- I spend a lot of time observing and using research to balance the tools that I’m putting forth in terms of sales training and sales management.
Dan: That makes sense. So, you almost talk about a philosophy, an overview first, not so much OK here’s the perfect line that you use and here’s that closing script or here’s the traditional sales, the alternative close. You’re saying, the philosophy is, forget the cold calling- who do you know? What relationships you have right now in your life or how do you add value versus just trying to pick up the phone and sell some stuff.
Greg: That’s exactly right. And I’ll tell you, if more people would do that, sales would have a different reputation. People wouldn’t be afraid of it, people would embrace it more wholeheartedly and the thing that I actually believe is if you start with the premise that selling is 90 percent thinking, you’ll probably never make another mistake.
Dan: That’s very profound. Greg, please say that again.
Greg: Yeah. If you start with the premise that selling is 90 percent thinking, you’ll probably never make another mistake as long as you’re in sales. Most people look at activity. I’m gonna make this number of calls, I’m gonna say these things – it’s not that. It is thinking. One of my mentors said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. And it talked about the commitment to thinking. And he said, ‘it’s not what you do 8-5. it’s what you think about before 8, and after 5.’ So if you put thought into your job, you can analyze a problem and come up with a solution so that the following day you can present that solution. But if you’re just in a reactive mode, you can’t do your best thinking and that’s the reason you lose.
Dan: So what you’re saying is say for sales professionals listening to this podcast, instead of OK I pick up the phone, I call a hundred people and I get a ton of rejections, I’m only closing one percent – oh tomorrow I’ll do that all over again and the next day I’ll do that all over again. Instead of doing that, OK let’s stop for a moment and analyze and observe, well this is not working. What else am I doing wrong? How can I improve this? Versus just activity, activity, activity.
Greg: Yes. In that thought process, Dan, you may find one thing that happened during those calls that you need to duplicate. So rather than doing the hundred calls, maybe you’ll take that one thing and let’s say it’s a help option that you found that people responded to you. I’ll give you an example. I was coaching a guy who sold rare coins and he was selling them all over the world. And he was trying to get me to help his telemarketing team. And they would call and they’d talk about what they could sell. And I said how many of the people do you call that already have coins? And he said, 100 percent of them. I said, then why don’t you start your call this way: why don’t you call them and tell them that the phone call is to look at their inventory and see if there’s anything they may want to buy from them?
So you’re buying from the client you’re trying to sell to. Now in that process, if you’re looking at their inventory, then you know where the holes are. Then you can make a suggestion to them for something that they may want. Now true you may buy something from them but the chances are high that they’re gonna buy something from you. And it changed- it flipped the dynamic and his people were more confident on the phone, they got through on more calls and the end result is, their close-ratio went up.
Dan: And would you say, because also now the consumer’s, the customers – they’re more skeptical than ever, they have more choices than ever of course with the internet, they’re more demanding than ever, so the old way of sales, of twisting their arm and cold calling and bothering them – all of that, that’s not enough?
Greg: Yeah Dan, all of those things are out of style. If you have a hundred sales people in a room, probably 90 percent of them are gonna do it the way you just described. And just imagine the other ten, if they approach it differently, how they’re gonna stand out. Here’s the main thing I wanna tell you about that- people don’t realize this, but if you have a database that you’re calling, let’s say that database has 200,000 names in it. Every time you call and use old sales tactics, you not only lose the sale but you burn off a lead. You can never go back to that lead again. Pretty soon you’re gonna run out of people to call if you’re using that.
Let’s Talk Strategy
Dan: OK so let’s talk some strategy. Let’s say you go into a company, because I know you work with companies from various sizes, as small as two million dollars, as big as maybe over a billion dollar company – now when you go into a company, like, give me the- pretend, let’s say you and I sat down and Greg, I’m writing you a big check, OK? Give me some strategies – what would you do first, what would you do second when going to a company?
Greg: Well the first thing I do is I come in with a clean slate. I forget everything that I’ve done and I’m gonna sit with you Dan and I’m gonna ask you the questions about where your business is, what your goals are, where you’re trying to go. And I’m gonna turn the page, I’m gonna look at your competitive landscape – I wanna find out what you’re up against. What are the things that you feel are causing you to lose? I’m gonna look at all of that. Before I even suggest anything to you, I’m going to give you a strategy to help you right then and there.
So let’s say that in that conversation you tell me, I’m having trouble motivating my team. Which is the number one thing I hear. That they have – if you look at a sales team – it’s always a top two percent that are really successful, then the middle group is marginal and then the rest of them should be fired. It’s almost like that every single time. And so what I do is I give them a tool that helps them secure motivation. In fact, I’ll offer this to your group. Anybody who emails me, I’ll send them an overview of how to motivate, so I’ll explain to you what it is.
It is a tool that teaches people to be motivated by their stuff rather than the company’s stuff. Here’s what most companies do. They get a sales rep and they say to that sales rep, OK, your budget is 200,000 per month. And if that sales rep does not hit that 200,000, they stay on them about it – saying OK you were only at 157, we gotta get you to 200 and they’ll push and they push. In the back of the sales reps mind, they’re thinking that 200,000 is not my budget, that’s your budget. You’re just trying to impose that on me. So I do it completely different. I sit with sales reps and I share what my goals are for my life, my family, what I’m doing with business and I ask them to share with me what their goals are- what they’re trying to do with their family, where they wanna vacation, how they’re they’re trying to help their parents.
I make those the goals that we focus on and I tie money to those. An example might be, if I were working with you and you decided, you know this real estate market in Vancouver’s getting crazy but we want to buy something down in English Bay and there’s a beautiful condo down there and it’s a little bit out of my range but I need to get them, I’m gonna sell my house and we’ll get the down payment. I’ll say OK – I’ll start plotting with you. Dan, if we can get the Johnson account, that delivers probably half of the money you need for the down payment. Then we’re gonna talk about the Richardson account and on and on and on. So you see the difference? It’s not budget now. It’s me working toward a goal that’s important to you.
Dan: You make it personal.
Greg: It’s personal. It could be your kids, it could be a college fund- it could be any number of things, but I divorce myself from the 200,000. I tie myself to where you’re trying to go and I use the 200,000 to get to where you wanna go. And so I put that into a tool so if someone could look at that and say OK these are the questions I need to ask, this is what I need to do and if they email me and you can give them my information: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to send that to them.
Dan: I appreciate that. So basically, Greg, what you’re saying is you want to make it personal, so then in a way as a sales manager, we want to – instead of, OK here’s the quota, here’s the benchmark, here’s the objective, here’s the goal for the quarter or the year – we want to make it personal. We want to get to know almost our sales person quite intimately, quite personally. What are their goals? What are their aspirations? Then you use that to motivate them versus you keep hitting them with a stick, hey you gotta work harder, you gotta call more people, you gotta do this, you gotta do that.
Greg: That’s exactly right.
Dan: This is that internal drive coming from them, not coming from the company.
Dan: That’s interesting.
Greg: Dan, here’s what I’m trying to say and psychologists back this up. The average individual has 50,000 thoughts a day. They think 50,000 times a day. If you look at how people think, what percentage of those thoughts do you think are negative?
Dan: Most of them. [laughs]
Greg: It’s about 90 percent. So here’s the thing. Rather than having people go around thinking negative and including me in their negative thought process, I give them a vision of where they’re going. And the vision of where they’re going displaces negative thought because they’re looking at now, what could happen, what should happen, what they could possibly see in the future. And that replaces negative thought. But what it also does, is that it takes me from being an enemy to be a cohort. We’re working together as opposed to me being the manager that’s bearing down on them.
Dan: Yes. So I’m curious to know your thoughts. So you talk about the two percent, the superstar, the top performers. And then you have the big chunk of people in the middle and then you have the bottom one that should be fired. So when you go into a company, do you focus on motivation “the two percent” or like, what do you do with the people in the middle or do you kind of just do what you suggest – sit down with them, find out their goals, find out their aspirations? The ones who want to grow then you work with those? Because there are some people who are just not that motivated, you know? They don’t have a whole lot of goals, they just kind of, oh it’s just kind of a job that they’re not that ambitious – what do you do with those?
Greg: Let me tell you how I pick a pet. The best example. Whenever I purchase a pet from the time that I was just out of college until now, I will always go to the breeder and I’ll sit with all of the puppies. And I watch for two things. I watch for the puppy that comes to me and I also watch if that puppy will pay attention to me. And if they do, that means that they can be trained and if they do, that means that we probably have some kindred spirit. When I go into a sales operation, I typically start by giving a motivational speech. I’ll give a speech to the group. And I watch to see who are the people who embrace what I say, who have questions who want me to help them. Those people are coming to me.
I know that I can get the most out of those people. The people who are distant, I don’t try and chase them down. I do what’s best for the people who are coming to me. And you know that person can be a top performer or they can be at the bottom of the rung, but if they’ve made a decision that they want to get better, I’m gonna help them get better.
Dan: So then, basically you help people help themselves. If they want it, they’ll come to you. Those who don’t want it, they probably won’t last too long anyway.
Greg: They probably won’t last. Yeah.
Dan: Do you sometimes go into an organization and assume some of them they see you as oh OK he’s a sales trainer, like they don’t almost – they are, maybe even the old time sales guys like they are resistent to your thinking, your methodology like they see you as an enemy – do you sometimes face those?
Greg: Dan, that’s the reason I do a motivational speech before I start any training.
Dan: Very smart.
Greg: If I go into a sales room and I just start training, they’ll spend half the time thinking, should I listen to this guy? But if I do a speech that shows where I came from, that I came from an almost impoverished upbringing and I was able to leave that and go on to do what I do now then they look at that and say well if he can come from that, I can go do this. And I show them very openly how I – how I did it. And the good news is, my path wasn’t an easy path. I think that’s the thing that people miss sometimes. Every great opportunity is difficult. But it’s only difficult in the very beginning.
If you embrace that challenge in the very beginning, it gets easier and easier and easier and that’s the reason when we see successful people we think well oh they’re lucky. Or they stumbled into that. You interview people, I mean go back in history, look at Carnegie and Ford and Edison – everybody had a tough time. But people see it in the end and they think, oh well they’re just lucky. Bill Gates is just lucky. No. Bill Gates went through some stuff too. Everybody who’s successful had a hard time getting there. I don’t know anyone who’s wildly successful and they just fell into it.
Dan: Yes. And most of them probably have a much tougher time than what people expect and what people might think.
Greg: That’s very true.
Greg: So, let me give you this Dan. Here’s something that I think that people really need to understand. If they want to be successful in sales, in life, there are four cornerstones. And they begin with this acronym, HABE. The H stands for habits. If you look at us, we’re habitual people. If you pick up the good habits and you use those routinely, you won’t think in a tough situation, you’ll just do the right habit. So it’s important that we examine our habits. By having good habits, it then causes your mind not to have to worry and think about things because you have all these good habits which affects the next letter which is A, your attitude. Your attitude is what causes people to be attracted to you. Dan, have you ever been in a situation where you start talking to a person based solely on attitude? They were just so up and so gregarious that their attitude brought you to them?
Dan: Yes, I mean sometimes in sales situations because I believe all entrepreneurs are salespeople – sometimes I just appreciate their enthusiasm, their energy, their positive attitude. I’ll just buy something from them, I may not need their product or service but I just appreciate the energy and I’ll buy something from them.
Greg: Well, it’s universal. It’s absolutely universal. So I get people to understand that if they have good habits, it frees their mind, it’s like defragmenting a computer – it runs better. Your attitude starts to shine, then because you have a good attitude you’re gonna attract the right people to you. Then all of a sudden, you’re going to have a belief in what you do which is the next letter, the B. Your beliefs will be confirmed that things are happening right for you, you begin to believe more in yourself and there’s this thing I always tell people. It’s not activity, first it’s belief, your belief changes your behavior and your behavior changes your performance.
So it’s belief, behavior, performance. And all of a sudden things start to happen for you. And then the last letter of HABE is E. You start to expect more of yourself. Where before you had a negative attitude and someone will present something to you, you’d say that’s probably not gonna work or I’m probably not gonna get it. All of a sudden now, you expect to win every single time. And it changes your lot in life. When I was thinking about your interview today, the one thought I had was, I just want to say something that’s impactful to someone. Someone listening to me will hear something and it changes what they do and they think oh man, I’m so glad I tuned into that.
All I need is one thing; I need to say one thing that hits somebody in their heart and they decide, OK, I needed to hear that, I’m gonna do this. So my expectation was that I’m gonna say or do something today.
Dan: Yes, yes. And as always I tell all my listeners, it’s nice to get inspired, you get motivation but the important thing is each interview that you listen to, each podcast you listen to, take away- just take that one thing. What am I gonna implement? How am I gonna apply this to my business? Not just entertainment, not just motivation- that’s all nice. But if you apply just one strategy from each podcast, your business will grow.
Greg: Your business will grow, absolutely.
Hiring Sales People
Dan: Greg, I’m also curious about your- like what do you suggest for hiring sales people? Not just training, but let’s say my company is growing and I want – you know maybe I’ve got a few good key sales people but I’m looking for better sales people…what system do I need to put in place and how do I select the superstar?
Greg: The first thing you have to do Dan is understand that you can’t wait until you have an opening before you start to interview.
Dan: Nice. OK.
Greg: You interview all the time. If you’re at a restaurant and you see someone with an amazing personality, ask them if they’re happy working there. They say no, hand them a card. Because they may not be a salesperson for you but maybe they’re a trainee to become a salesperson for you. That’s what I’m saying. So most people look at sales as this thing they have to hire for when they’re under the gun. But if you look at the amount of money that’s there, let’s say that they have ten salespeople and each desk is worth a million dollars. Ask them the question, would you leave a million dollars unattended? The answer is no, they wouldn’t. Well if you are not hiring all the time and keeping those chairs filled with quality applicants, you’re leaving a million dollars unattended.
Dan: Got it. So we’re always hiring. Got it. OK.
Greg: Always hiring. I go through a three-step process. When I find someone that I’m going to look at for hiring, the first thing I do is I interview them while they think they may be interviewing me.
Greg: So from the moment they come in, I’ll look at their resume and I’ll put it aside. I’ll say, so tell me about this resume that I have. Tell me about your history. And I watch them to see if they really know it, or if they just printed something. That tells me that they actually did it rather than just handing me a resume that’s supposed to sell me on its own merit. Now if they pass that test, I’m going to talk to them again and I’ll say, look why don’t we have lunch? Let’s get out and talk over lunch, get comfortable. And I’m doing that to see how they react to the rest of the world. If they’re tough on waitstaff, I won’t hire them.
If they don’t have good manners, I won’t hire them. Because they are going to show those manners in front of my client. And the third thing I do is I have the second presentation, just like I asked them to present their resume to me, I’m gonna ask them to sell me the flatware on the table. Sell me the napkin on the table. Or sell me water. And I want to see how they ask me questions to determine my need. If they just start talking about how great the napkin is, I know that they intrinsically do not know how to sell. That then, if all that goes well, I’m gonna invite them to make a presentation to my entire staff because I believe that building a team is the same in business as it is in sports.
You have to have people that work well together. So I’m not gonna bring someone strange in on my sales team after my sales team has been supporting me all this time we’ve been going after the goals, we’ve bonded. I’m not gonna bring a ringer in and have them throw off the culture we’ve developed.
Dan: Wow. So all the staff is present? How many people would be in the meeting? It depends on the company, of course. But what if my company is quite big, I’m not gonna have all my staff there; just maybe the key managers, how would that work?
Greg: I’m gonna have them talk to the people that they work more closely with.
Dan: Got it. OK, OK. Maybe even the existing sales team?
Greg: Yeah. Absolutely existing sales team.
Dan: So and then how long would be the presentation like is it a thirty minute thing, a ten minute thing?
Greg: It’s probably twenty to thirty minutes and I’m lenient Dan, I don’t make – I don’t mark them on knowing our products as well as they will, but I do mark them on the research that they do, I mark them on their presence, I mark them on their communication during the presentation.
Dan: It’s interesting because as I’m listening to this, it’s almost, not just sales skills but you are not just looking at the resume, a piece of paper but let’s see how you do kind of in the battlefield. Let’s see how you actually react, how you interact with people and through that if they do the research, if they practice, if they prepare then we also know, well this person has got some good habits.
Greg: Yeah, you know you hit it on the head. I’m really looking for quality people and sometimes they don’t fit the mold of having sold a whole bunch but they have all the basic skills. I feel like I can teach them the basics of my product and how to sell, but I can’t teach good quality individual. You have to kind of have that before you get there.
Dan: I see, I see. That’s profound. I’m just like amazed, I’m blown away, it’s brilliant. So once you hire them, then do you sit down with them and say go through their goals, where they want to be in say a number of a years, then you tie that again make it personal like OK if you help us reach these goals, we’ll help you reach your goals type of thing?
Greg: Absolutely. I was doing it this morning. I have a client that I was training on Skype and they hired a new sales rep, I helped them to find the sales rep and I was talking with him. And I said the first thing I wanna do is let you know that I didn’t forget what we talked about in the interview. I know exactly what your goals are and I won’t repeat them here but I went through his goals and he was just blown away that I remembered what his goals were. I said so this is the first thing we’re gonna do to hit this first one and then we go after second and third. Now, here’s the thing Dan. That person will go through a wall for me now. They’ll take a bullet for me now.
And that’s what I find missing in most programs. They don’t know how to get the sales rep on their side. So what ends up happening is you hire a person, you pay them a hundred percent of the money and that person performs at 20-30 percent of their potential.
Dan: This is amazing. And it’s so simple. It is so common sense, yet it’s profound.
Greg: What I try and do is find an average person and have them perform above average. That’s the key. If you can get a person to perform higher than their potential, not only will they always be indebted to you but they’re gonna go through a wall for you at every opportunity they can.
Dan: Wow. Well I’m just so excited. Well, we’re talking with Greg Winston. We are gonna take a quick break and when we come back, I want to ask Greg about creating, generating rapid, repeatable revenue. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
Generating Rapid, Repeatable Revenue
Welcome back. So as we are talking about hiring people and training people and motivating them, I’m also curious Greg with the- I mean you talk about this as a master, it’s your specialty, creating and generating rapid, repeatable revenue. How do we do that?
Greg: Well the first thing that I try to get people to understand is that you have to have a system. I don’t just go out and try and sell, I work within a system. The first part of the system I told you about. It is the thinking portion. I want people performing at their absolute highest. I get them motivated, I get them focused on goals and they are loaded for bear, they’re ready to go out and do it. So they’re gonna work harder and smarter than they would normally.
Second thing that I do is I teach them how to prospect using that Giri system because it cuts down on the sales cycle. If you’re talking to a new person and you’ve go to start from zero, the chances of you selling them is probably in the area of 5-7 percent. But if you’re talking to a person who knows someone you know, you have an implied guarantee by the person that knew you. So that person is more likely to buy you and the percentage of sales goes up to 80 percent.
So that’s the reason I use rapid movements. It’s like, my friend Todd who knows you, if Todd had said to me, I want you to talk to Dan and listen to what he says, he has a great product, I’m more likely to buy you because Todd has said to me, I guarantee this guy.
Dan: It’s an endorsement.
Greg: It’s an endorsement. And it’s what we call in the industry, an implied guarantee. And so what I try and get people to understand is that if you go back to the rule of six degrees of separation, which Malcolm Gladwell talked about in The Tipping Point, then you understand that the world is connected. Dan this is our, probably our, second or third interaction. But if we were to sit down and talk over a cup of tea, you would know at least three or four people that I know.
Dan: Yes, absolutely.
Greg: And it’s amazing how that works. Well, what I find interesting is that people don’t really use that in sales effectively. And that’s the thing that I teach most often. I teach them how to do that. Then, when we’re all set and done with that, I teach them one thing that I think saves them. Because you got to that person using six degrees of separation or the Giri system, you’re element of customer service is going to be higher. So what I want you to do is I want you to sell the six people that they know. And then you take each one of those six people and get six people from them. And you build this diagram that just blows up. And all of a sudden your revenue starts to come faster and faster because you’re not talking to strangers. You’re talking to people who have some feeling about you, some endorsement, some implied guarantee and the end result is that it changes your confidence level.
I believe that selling is about building a scheme. When you’re talking to a person who’s really confident, you become more confident in what they’re saying. But if the person is trembling and snorting and stuttering, you think oh that product is not good. So the key thing that people seem to miss is that when you talk to a high powered individual, watch how confident they are. Watch how short they are with words, how direct they are. I mean people now are talking about Donald Trump and love him or hate him, one of the things you can say is that he is direct. He is short, he is direct, he is decisive.
Well, pull Bill Gates aside. You’re gonna see the same thing. Bill Gates will be direct with you, he’ll be confident, he’ll be, you know- and I don’t care who you pick. Pick anybody that’s successful and that esteem comes through and that’s what I create in sales people.
Transforming Company Performance
Dan: I see. So then what about with the- now we have the systems in place OK. Maybe share a story with us how you have helped a company, maybe they were struggling and what did you do and where you took them. How did you transform their performance?
Greg: OK. I had a client by the name of Shurguard Storage and Shurguard created a new product called Shurguard to-go, which means that you would call them and they would drop off these containers and you would fill them up with your stuff and they’d come pick it up and and they’d come put it in a store room and it was called Shurguard to-go. And it was a new product, people didn’t know them because of it and they had about six different telemarketing centers all over the United States that I would travel to. So when I went to travel at the telemarketing seminar, I mean centers, the first thing I did was to build their confidence and I built it based on conversation.
I said, here’s the thing that you have to realize: that when you are on the phone and a person here’s your voice, they automatically create a picture of you. If your voice, if your tone, if your cadence is off, it distorts the picture. So you should sound like you’re at a dinner party and you’re asking the people that you invited to your home after dinner if they want coffee with the dessert. It should be that casual. It should be- it would sound like, would you care for some coffee with that? It should be that casual. And so I said, and I stopped them, I said- let’s go into the system.
So everyone is listening to me. And I get on the phone and I pick up a call that’s in Atlanta and the guy is calling trying to get our rates. And I start talking to him and I say well let me understand what you’re trying to do, I’ll be happy to tell you what our pricing is and he starts telling me about storing tools. And as it turns out, we were higher than the people he was talking to. And I said one thing to him that changed everything. I said, how much have you invested in those tools? And he gave me a figure. I said do you realize that our cameras are placed in a location where the moment someone enters and there’s an attempted break-in, we see them and we can stop it? And so he got quiet. I said so you can probably find someone a lot cheaper than us but how expensive will it be to replace the tools?
And so all of this was taken into account in the training that we did. We built it on esteem, we talked about tone, and we sold value. At the end of that, our business jumped in one month 47 percent.
Dan: Wow, just one month. Thirty days.
Greg: One month. 47 percent.
Dan: Spectacular. Wow.
Greg: And I want to say you know we were advertising, we were doing a lot of other things but we have to look at what happened when those calls came in and the close ratio. Within the first week, our close ratio jumped from 3 percent to double digits. That was huge. That’s one of the accounts that we talk about because it was so successful.
Dan: Greg, I love your approach because what you’re talking about is and I can see because a lot of the sales training, I mean I’ve read a lot of sales books, I’ve been to a lot of sales training – a lot of that is what I call the band-aid approach. OK let me teach you this script and you say this certain way or here are the fifty ways to close a sale. Tactics. So your approach is no, no, no forget all that stuff. Let’s get to the roots, let’s get to the core of the problems, it’s a cultural shift, it’s a mind shift and you fix from within and that, like you said, when you fix that then everything becomes easy.
Greg: Yeah, Dan I’m gonna give them all the tools. I’m gonna give them every option they can have but I don’t want them to memorize it because it sounds like they memorized it. What I want for them is to talk like they’re talking to a neighbor over the fence. If you can talk like that to a client, a client will feel comfortable. I just got off the phone when I was interviewing attorneys. And I interviewed an attorney in New York and the attorney sounded very bookish, very stodgy. Then I interviewed one here in California and they- the attorney I was talking to was like talking to an old friend. Which one do you think I hired?
Dan: Very simple answer!
Greg: Yeah. So, you have to realize that we’re in an era right now where people are grading the content of your character. They’re not grading your sales skill. And if you can showcase your character through your words and your tone and your actions, you’re gonna get the sale.
Dan: It’s interesting you brought that up because now thinking of how I operate, anyone I talk to, if it’s someone I don’t know or maybe through an interview or maybe a phone call, if it’s an introduction- I always pick up the phone when I call them, or they call me, I just assume in my mind I’ve known them for years. I do this kind of subconsciously but just assume I talk to them not like very formal and hi my name is Dan, no it’s like a buddy. And I find that I can connect with them within seconds.
Greg: If you do that, you’re business will always be good. But if you come off bookish and authoritative, you will lose.
Dan: Yes, yes. And people don’t like to deal with those people. Interesting. Greg, I do also want to circle back. You were talking about implied guarantee and asking for referrals. Maybe, can you share with us exactly what do you say and how do you do that? Like say I’m a sales person and I’ve got my database, I’ve got my circle of influence, I want to ask for some kind of referral- how do you approach this?
Greg: The first thing I try and get salespeople to understand is that I don’t need your entire database. Give me twelve people that you have a good relationship with.
Dan: And if you don’t even have twelve people, probably that’s not a good sign.
Greg: Yeah. But I’m looking for people and customers that they’ve done business with that they’ve done right by. If I can get those twelve, I’m going to have a good session with them. But then here’s the problem. The problem is what you just mentioned. People don’t know how to ask after they get them. So here’s what I tell people all the time, go back to the after dinner coffee and make that your tone. And if you’re talking with them, say this: you know Mary, I’m expanding my business, I’m really, really excited. I’ve done really good work with a lot of people, yourself included, so I’m just wondering is there a person that you know that would benefit from my service?
Then I’ll shut up. And then Mary will search her mind and she’ll try and think of one person and if she doesn’t answer quickly then I’ll say, well who do you know from one of the annual meetings that you go to? Who’s your best friend in the business? Who do you bowl with? And it will start to narrow it down. I said I only need one person. So she’ll give me the one person and then I’ll say, would you do me a favor and call Bob and let him know that I’m gonna call? She’ll go oh yeah I’ll call him. Great, I really appreciate it, would you let me know as soon as you talk to him? I don’t want to miss a beat, I want to get to him as soon as I can. Then she’s going to call Bob and she’ll let me know that she called him and when I call Bob, Bob is going to be still reeling from the implied guarantee that Mary gave.
And so when I start talking to him, I can do just like I did with you, I can talk like we went to high school together. And all of a sudden my close ratio is going to jump because I’m talking with people who kind of know me.
Dan: Yes. And when you call Bob, like what do you say first? How do you open up the conversation? The tone we got, but how do you open up the conversation and then how do you tie it with perhaps the offer?
Greg: Well typically I’ll say something that I’m comfortable with but, hey Bob I just got off the phone with Mary, I understand you guys went to high school together and the stories she told me about you. I open with something funny and he’ll kind of chuckle and I’ll say, no you know we’re talking but I’ve helped her company and she suggested that we talk- are you open for a cup of coffee? Could I buy you lunch or something? Let’s just have a conversation. So at that point I’m not really selling my product, I’m selling the introduction. I’m getting to where I can talk to him on the phone, either he’ll say I can’t join you for lunch but we can set up a time to talk more comfortably by phone. Bob, that’s great- let’s do that.
And all of those first new phone calls are about me taking advantage of the implied guarantee. What I’m gonna end up with is getting him on my side.
Dan: Love it. Getting him on your side, it’s like sales people. Getting them on the same side. OK. And then so basically after the conversation, it depends on if the prospect, or the friend, has a need or a want for what we offer, what we sell and there may not be a need and that’s OK because they might know somebody. That’s what you’re saying.
Dan: Not everyone is a customer obviously. Not everyone is a potential client.
Greg: Yeah, you know something, if Bob doesn’t need my service I’m going to form a relationship with Bob and then I’ll ask Bob the same question I asked Mary. Well Bob, I understand this is not the time for you but you know I so appreciate you spending the time with me, but before I go, who do you know that would benefit from my service? And I just keep it going. I keep asking the questions, I keep it and it’s much better than making cold calls. He’ll feel bad that he can’t do business with me, honestly. And he’s gonna call someone on my behalf. When he does that, I’m gonna roll right into it the same way I rolled into it with him.
Dan: This, I gotta share this story because what you’ve just shared Greg, it’s basically how I’ve been operating for the last five, six years. Kind of not intentionally but what I used to do, kind of the old traditional sales, trying to get clients, trying to do this, trying to do that and cold call and doing all of these things and I think about five, six years ago I had this epiphany, a realization that, you know what? Instead of playing the product pusher kind of game, why not just be a value adder? Just I’ll meet with people, I’ll have lunch, I’ll have coffee with no agenda. Not like I’m trying to sell you some stuff, just let’s have a conversation, let’s get to know each other and just develop the relationships and over time, over the years, then my network just grows and grows and grows and now I don’t need to go chase business.
I don’t need to chase contacts, a lot of these just naturally come to me so I’m like almost a validation. Implied guarantee, almost, that this works. It actually works in my own life and I can see the difference how effortless it is. Now of course in the beginning, for our listeners, it might not come natural to you.
Greg: It’s the reason why you have to study it and understand it. So, let’s take you for example. Now that you’re looking at this system, you’re probably going to incorporate it more often than you would before now and you’ll get better at it. People who have never used it, now all of a sudden they have a track record to run on and their business will improve.
Dan: Yes, yes. It’s fascinating but I love how you break it down and it makes me look at my own business, look at my own life. Like, I do it and it works but now I know why it works.
Greg: Well the thing I’m gonna tell you now is the reason that most people fail even though they know about the system. And here it is, I’ve asked people, what is the hiccup? What is the reason that you haven’t used this more often? Most people are afraid to ask the question once they know who the person is they need to talk to. In other words, if I’m talking to you about who you know, they have a hard time penetrating a relationship and they say I have lots of contacts and I say no you don’t, you have lots of associations. Unless you can penetrate that contact, it’s of no value. So you have to get to them to the point where they can ask the question and I always start with, hey you know I’m expanding my business, we’re doing great, as I did with you, who you know just give me one person that would benefit from my business.
Who could I help? And that’s hard to turn down. Most people, if they know that you’ve done a good job for them, will recommend you to someone else.
Dan: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Now Greg, I know I still I have so many questions now with your permission if you don’t mind we might go a little 5-10 minutes over time – I don’t know if you’ve got an appointment, because I’ve got so much I still, a lot of wisdom I want to extract out of you.
Greg: Dan, I’m happy, I’m happy because I feel really good whenever I talk to a salesperson or a person who comes to my training and they thank me and they tell me that it’s helped them, help their families, help them to move forward. So anything I can do, I’m open.
Gaining Access to Corporate Giants
Dan: I appreciate it. So now I think we’ve covered the basics, I want to get into some specifics. So let’s say if a sales organization or salesperson, they are trying to sell to the big accounts – let’s call them the corporations, corporate giants. How, what do you do? How do you get through the gatekeepers, how do you get to the decision makers, what do you teach them?
Greg: The first thing I do is I use LinkedIn to find out who the players are with any company that I’m going into.
Dan: Smart, OK.
Greg: OK. So I’m going to use that, I’m going to use the information. Then I’m going to call and get to a receptionist and/or an assistant. And I’m gonna work with them to get an appointment. When I get the appointment, I’m going to ask them something personal about the person I’m talking to. You know, what do they do? Are they bowlers? Do they play golf? What do they do? And most assistants will tell you that. So when I come in, I’m gonna start my conversation with things that are of a personal nature so I can build that rapport and at some point I’ll shift to business. But that’s how I normally start it.
So that’s if I had nothing going. Now, if you go back to what I told you before using the Giri system, I’m not going to look at any company and just cold call them. I’m not going to use LinkedIn unless I’ve first sourced, who do I know? So I’m going to think, who do I know that knows that person? If I don’t have anyone, then I’m going to LinkedIn and then I’ll use the process I told you.
Dan: I see, I see. So again, going back to the relationship as a referral – maybe not exactly the decision maker but someone at least within the organization to kind of get your foot in the door.
Greg: Yes, but Dan I want to talk to you about something you just said. You said, I use them as a referral. And that’s what most people think. But if you’ll notice, that’s not what I did. What I did was, I asked someone to hand deliver me. Instead of hey go call Bob.
Dan: Good luck.
Greg: Yeah, good luck. I’m not saying that. I’m saying, Dan I want you to call Todd for me and tell him about our relationship and let me know when you’ve called him. Would you do that? It’ll only take you what five seconds? And most people will say, yeah I’ll do that. So when you call me back, that’s when I call Todd.
Dan: Oh I see, I see.
Greg: I’ll call Todd and say hey, you just spoke to Dan and he tells me I should talk with you. You see the difference?
Dan: Yes. Small, small difference but big difference.
Greg: Yeah so people say I’m gonna use that referral system you told me about, I go, what referral system? That’s not what I told you.
Dan: Yeah, I’m glad you corrected that because that’s totally different. A small little shift but big result, big change I got it.
Greg: Yes, small step, big results.
Dan: Yes, I see. OK. And then so once you get through to them and you’re talking, what about sometimes- you know, entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed they’re a little bit, sometimes a little bit nervous if they’re like a smaller company trying to get to the bigger companies, they get intimidated. Oh my God, I’m talking to this corporate giant and they’re a hundred million company or billion dollar company. How do you help them overcome that?
Greg: Well first thing I tell them Dan is, it should be easier. Here’s why. When you talk to a small company, you’re talking to a person who’s spending their personal money. When you talk to a large company, they’re spending the company’s money.
Dan: Good point, good point!
Greg: It’s easier. And so I’m probably more sensitive to the small guy than I am to the large guy because the large guy is writing a check from somebody he doesn’t even know, but the small guy has borrowed money, they’ve scraped together, they’ve done loans, I’ve got to make this work for him or her. I’ve got to make sure that what I’m talking about will actually help the company. And so that’s one thing I do. Here’s the other thing. If you’ll notice, several times during my conversation, I don’t talk about selling, I talk about helping. So, you need to understand how your product helps someone and if it helps them, you should feel confident going in saying, I want to help your business.
And I believe wholeheartedly in that. If you’re not helping someone, you are selling. But if you’re helping someone instead of selling, that’s probably the way you should make the money.
Dan: And it starts with your belief. It goes back to what you talked about.
Greg: It starts with your belief, it starts with you understanding the product and how it helps the company and then being able to explain that to them once you’ve heard what they’re need is.
Dan: I think also from when I’ve worked with entrepreneurs, like you said, a lot of time they don’t have- they don’t believe, kind of they love what they do but they don’t have enough conviction going into any sales conversation, going to any situation, any meeting- if you go in there with so much conviction you believe hey you know what we’re gonna help you, we’re gonna help your company, this would change everything that you do. When you go into a situation with that much conviction, people can sense that. It’s like forget the script, people are like, I wanna buy what you have. I don’t know what you have but I wanna buy what you have.
Greg: Yep, they feel absolutely comfortable with you and that’s the tone, that’s where you need to be going with this and when people understand that, their sales will increase. They have nervousness because they’re trying to push a product. I’m not saying push anything. You don’t have to. If you have a product that helps someone, that product will allow someone to be attracted to what you’re doing, you just need to present it properly.
Dan: Makes sense. Greg, what about luxury sales? Let’s talk about that for a minute here. How is that different? Like luxury sales, we’ve talked about how to sell to big, corporate accounts. What about luxury sales?
Greg: Well, here’s how I look at it. I wrote a book about that in 2007 and that’s when the economy turned and what I noticed was there were a lot of people who bought luxury products who could barely afford them. When the economy changed, only the people who were super rich could buy them. So luxury brands started to suffer and the problem is they didn’t know how to sell because everybody had just been coming to them. So, let’s flip now to today. More and more people are using luxury principles to sell their product.
It’s like, if you look at Ford now. Ford has cars where normally it’s a rough and tumble, they sell them like every other car. Now Ford is trying to understand how to sell a hybrid which should cost $20,000 but they’re charging $40,000. So they’re trying to understand how to sell that and more and more companies are looking at how to sell in non-traditional ways. So here’s what I think. Years ago it was only the luxury brands who paid attention how to market. And they would market only to the super wealthy. Now, more and more companies have to use those same techniques because fewer people have the money to buy.
So, what it brings into- the number one thing it brings into account is the internet. If you are not using the internet to sell, or use it to bring in clients, you’re missing the boat. I worked in television for years, and television now has been replaced by the internet. If you watch kids now, kids don’t watch television as much as they used to.
Dan: It’s YouTube.
Greg: They watch YouTube. They watch things that they can control. And so the public, you know, the parents are always behind the kids. So now watch Netflix and Hulu- all those businesses are growing because parents are now saying well I don’t want to have Cox Cable or AT&T tell me what to do, I want to watch the programs I want to watch when I want to watch them. And so now they’re catching up with the kids. So all of that means is that more and more people are coming to the internet and if you’re not embracing and marketing through the internet, it changes how you sell whether it’s a luxury product or an average product. That’s the biggest change I’ve seen.
Dan: What are some of the principles when it comes to luxury sales? Is it who you target? Are we selling to let’s say the upper class or more affluent or are you talking about urgency, being maybe the decision is more exclusive like what are some of the principles?
Greg: There are three principles with luxury marketing.
Dan: Love it, OK.
Greg: First is who you know. More things are sold through luxury channels by someone having the same product. So, they use a lot of endorsements of stars and people that are popular if you’ll notice that. They’ll use them to wear their stuff, they’ll give them discounts on it, they put it in their- they make it as part of the award shows. So it’s who you know. Then the next one is contribution. Most luxury clients market through the arts. They market through non-profits and all these big events; if you’ll notice that’s where most of their marketing occurs. And then the third area that seems to be popular with them is that they will distance themselves from the fray by better use of the internet.
If you look at Ferrari, you don’t really see a bunch of ads for Ferrari but you can find them on the internet. Rolls Royce, there’s certain watches that do that. So, in the top, top tiers, they’ve gotten smart now and they use shadow marketing. If you’ve ever been on Google and you search for something then all of a sudden ads start popping up when you search about the same thing you were just looking for. And people haven’t realized that they have this eavesdrop software that tells them what you’re searching for on Google.
So they’re using that as a tool in luxury marketing, more than the average person is. Those are the three main areas.
Dan: So luxury sales is not so much mass marketing, it’s more niche marketing and they are- well because they are only marketing a certain group of people and in a way you’re also talking with the economy as it tightens; I always teach entrepreneurs, you want to sell to people, sell to those who’ve got money.
Greg: Yeah, and it’s only about seven percent of the market that has the kind of money that can buy the new Rolls Royce that’s $400,000. You know it’s only seven percent of the market, so why would they market to everyone else? They’re gonna market to people who they’ve sold to before because they run in a group of other people who can afford those. They’re gonna get behind charities, they’re gonna help resolve the cancer issue and all these other things, they’re gonna be part of that. And then they’re going to market through the internet.
Dan: And because the internet you know, as you know I’m an internet marketing guy I mean it’s a perfect platform for that. I mean you can target, you can re-target, you can do a lot of things that we just couldn’t do offline.
Greg: That’s correct.
Greg’s Personal Habits and Daily Routine
Dan: Now Greg I also want to take a minute and maybe ask about your personal habits because you work with people, you help people achieve peak performance and become high-performance individual. I wanna know what are the habits that you believe are the most important to develop as a high-performance individual?
Greg: Dan, you know I’ve never said this before. I’ve never said this in an interview. I’m gonna tell you what I do personally. Like that, I’ll give you what I do personally.
Dan: Yes, please. Even your daily routine, I would love to hear that.
Greg: OK. So the first thing that I do is I plan my entire week on Sunday. So, if I am going to – I call it, don’t watch sixty minutes. I plan my entire week and I write down every call I’m gonna make, every presentation I’m gonna make on the day I’m gonna make it. And right next to each one I put down how much money that transaction will be worth to me if I’m successful. Now the reason I put the money there is number one, it’s motivating. And number two, I need to understand when someone says no to me what they’re saying no to. If someone’s saying no to a $100,000 deal, I’m gonna dig in because I already know how much it’s worth.
But if I don’t know what it’s worth and someone says no, I may be inclined to go OK. You see? So I motivate myself on each deal. Then on the right hand side of that deal I write down if they buy this, how am I helping them? So I am motivating myself but I’m also using the help aspect to make sure that they understand what value I bring. So, I write out my entire week. Dan, this goes into my subconscious.
There are three areas of the brain. One is call the conscious mind where most people spend the majority of their time. But bigger than that is the subconscious and you can only access the subconscious in certain ways. When you write things down, when you write yourself a note it goes into your subconscious. So this entire list then goes into my subconscious. The entire time that I am up, awake and sometimes when I’m asleep, my subconscious is working on that list. And one day I’ll have an idea on something I’m doing Tuesday on Monday morning. Tuesday night I’m in the shower and then I have an idea on Thursday. What it means is that there are two of me working on it, all of a sudden.
Then the third part of my brain is the creative subconscious. And that’s where really- that’s where the real creativity comes up. I’ll have a different way of approaching a deal, I’ll have a different idea because I’m using my brain to the fullest extent. So, that’s the first thing I do. Now, let’s go into the week. When I start my week, I’ve already gone through it in my head many times. When I’m talking to you, I’ve thought about this interview hundreds of times. So I’m comfortable with the interview because I’ve done it already.
When this interview is over, it’ll probably be the 100th time I’ve done it. I’ve done it in my subconscious so many times. And that’s where people lose it. They don’t really understand that as an athlete, you have to use repetition to become really good at something. And so in their life they don’t use repetition to become good at selling. So now, it’s Monday morning, I wake up. You know what the first thing I do is? I sit and think. Thirty minutes a day, sitting and thinking about my day.
I’ll take different problems and before I do anything, I’m gonna sit and think. I believe my power comes from thinking. If we’re in a contest Dan, I believe that if I put myself in a position to think more and you are doing activities, I can beat you.
Dan: Yes, absolutely.
Greg: And so most people don’t realize the power of thought. Just sit and think- you can call it meditation, you can call it anything you want, but I just want you to quiet down and think and see what it does to your day. OK so those are the two things I use. Now I wanna give you something that will change your life. Are you ready for that? I’m gonna give you something that will change your life.
Dan: I’m ready, I’m ready.
Greg: OK. I want people to journal, but I want them to journal in a specific way. And here’s how you do it. You get a blank book or journal and every day at the same time, preferably in the evening, you write in it this way. First you write down what happened that day because you want to mark the time. You know, today I would write: Had a great interview with Dan and we talked about – you know I’d just write what happened, two or three lines. Then I want you to write three good things that happened that day. And what I’m trying to do is displace the negative thoughts that you had during the day. If you write three good things, you can’t hold a negative thought and a positive thought at the same time.
Your brain won’t accommodate both. So, right before you go to bed, you’re going to be thinking positive thoughts which will allow you to sleep better and wake up more refreshed to do the meditation I was telling you about. OK. Then, I want you to skip down and I want you to write down something you’re thankful for. What are you grateful for in your life? When people become depressed it’s because they can’t see what good they have right now. And they become depressed, they get so comfortable with being depressed they don’t notice the good things in life. So write down something that you’re grateful for. Then the last thing I want you to do is write a goal for the following day.
You can live your life in two ways. You can live with it apprehension or you can live it with anticipation. When you write down a goal, you wake anticipating. I want your entire day to be about anticipation. So, you asked me about what I do and I’m giving you- I’m dropping pearls here, I’m telling you the things I absolutely do that keep my mind sharp and keep me moving forward.
Dan: And I can see anyone implements this you’re basically setting up your day for success and you are building momentum. I can see if you do this on a day to day basis, then like I said you’re building confidence, you’re building momentum, you’re being more positive, you are more grateful, you’re happier.
Greg: Yep. Dan, when something bad happens to someone, they have a way to react to it. What I’m teaching right now is the most positive way to react to it. Because you’re gonna have so much going on that that small thing that happened that’s bad won’t register. You have bigger things going on now.
Dan: Yes. If I have any doubts, I look at my journal and see oh it ain’t so bad.
Greg: And I’m gonna tell you this. Here’s the thing I want you to do. Once you write in your journal for a month or so, take some time out and start reading what you’ve written. It will blow you away, things you would have forgotten about. Not only will you sleep better, not only will you be more positive, not only will you have a different outlook on life- now you can see the patterns in your life. When you read and you see the pattern, then you can make a decision. Do I want my life to continue to be this way? Or do I want to make a change? That’s big.
Dan: So it’s a way of self-reflect, it’s a way to be more aware. But I love this way it’s kind of what I do on a slightly different version but I want to try your techniques because I think it’s even more refined. I do my meditation, I write in my journal but I like the way you specifically lay it out and that’s what I think makes you- you’re a very systematic type of thinker. You take concepts and principles and you break it down into OK, here’s the system. How you can create predictable results, so I love it. Love it, love it, love it.
Dan: One last question, Greg. If you could travel back in time OK to have a five minute conversation with your former self, a younger version, younger Greg OK? What lessons or what would you say? What would you tell yourself?
Greg: Dan, when I was a kid I got into a lot of trouble. I was a juvenile delinquent and I was living in Gary, Indiana. My mom sent me to live with my grandfather who had a farm in rural Arkansas. Now keep in mind that going from the city to a farm and having to work on a farm is culture shock and I went through that but my grandfather was brilliant. I mean he had constructed this farm in an area that wasn’t kind to him but he was so good at what he did in terms of raising crops that people would come to him for advice.
Now, during this time he said something to me that changed my life. He said, you have a tremendous amount of potential. And I had heard that before, but here’s what he added to it. I’m gonna show you how to access your potential. So everyday with him was a lesson. He’d tell me when he’s around his friends, did you hear what Mr. Friedman said? What do you think of that? He would include me in the conversation. He would promote me by saying, I was watching you talk to your friends and you think two times to their once. So he had an odd way of saying things.
He was saying that I thought quicker than my friends. And so he gave me the confidence to move forward. Had it not been for him, I don’t think I would have the same level of observation that I have. So what I try to say to people now is that you can learn that. That’s a learned skill that most people see from history. Here’s what I mean by that. Dan, if you look at a child and listen to a child, a child will always point out things to you and they’ll say things but because we see them so many times we tend to overlook them. But a child’s mind is fresh so they notice everything.
The older we get, the more we rely on our brain to see as opposed to our eyes. If we see something that kind of looks like something we’ve seen before, we stop looking at it. But a child doesn’t. A child keeps examining it because it’s new. And they will point out something that we missed. So here’s what I want to close with. If I could give your listeners anything, it would be the ability to see. Not see basic stuff, but to really look at something that if you look at when people are successful, they always see something that no one else saw. Look at Bill Gates, look at Carnegie, look at Ford; every one of those guys saw something that the rest of the population didn’t see.
And your listeners need to understand one thing. They don’t have to invent anything new. They can improve on something that they’re looking at right now. You hear what I’m saying? They don’t have to do anything new, they can take something old and make it new. There was a story yesterday on a doctor who invented a new stethoscope. It wasn’t that it was new or worked any differently, it was just cheaper because they didn’t them in impoverished areas and this stethoscope cost $200. It was mostly plastic but it did the same thing as the ones that cost $600. And so they’re gonna sell tons of those.
I’m saying, when go on a sales call, are you really looking? Do you understand what that client is going through because you can see something that they can’t see? And it will change your sell strategy.
Dan: Fantastic and this is educational, it’s transformational. Greg, if our listeners want to get in touch with you or what’s the best way to get in touch with you? What’s your website and how can you help them?
Greg: Well, the first thing I’ll tell them is please email me at email@example.com. That’s the easiest way. They can certainly go to my website which is gregwinston.com and look at what’s on there and video clips and all of that and I’ll say this, for anyone who is having a particular problem- if you email me and I have something that will help that problem that you have, I’ll send it to you with no expectation. None. I’ll just send it to you. There are tools, everything I’ve talked about here today I have some tool that goes with it. And if there’s something that got your interest, send me a note. I’ll send it to you. I’ve had more success helping people that have helped me than anybody I know.
I start off with the notion that I’m just gonna help you and no strings attached. And that person will eventually call me and go hey Greg we met a year ago and I just talked to this person, you need to talk to him. My business has been built on helping people.
Dan: Yes. And that’s basically what Greg and I have been talking about for the last 60-70 minutes and you walk the talk and it’s the easier way of doing business, it’s the new way of doing business and it works, it just works.
Greg: It does.
Dan: Greg, thank you so much for inspiring us today with your amazing story and your ideas and your strategies and your system. We thank you so much, I appreciate it. It was a lot of fun.
Greg: Dan, I appreciate it and we’re not done with each other. We’re gonna be doing business – something’s gonna happen between us.
Dan: You got it. Absolutely.