If you were told that a 10 minute test backed by quantum physics exists, would you take it? What if it can reveal your biggest roadblock to success? And what if you can take it right now? Wei Houng, CEO and co-founder of HumanOp Technologies has basically cracked the code which links physicality to natural behavioral traits and motivational drivers. He specializes in the development of human optimization technologies – the holy grail of maximum work potential. Wei Houng is also the VP of Digital Strategy and founding member of DigiWEI, LLC. He is an international speaker & trainer, author, and Money Anxiety Breakthrough coach with a background in Computer Science & Engineering and a cohesive minor in Business Management from UCLA.
There is a simpler way to increase sales, and it requires just a spark of human curiosity. With the influx of complicated coaching strategies, finding practical solutions can be taxing. Luckily, Barry Rhein provides just that: a curiosity-based methodology that moves far beyond theory. Barry is the founder of Barry Rhein & Associates, with sought-after sales training in Silicon Valley. His sales seminars and curiosity-based methodology have been widely praised for moving far beyond theory. Their simple, practical steps have an immediate impact on the attitudes, skills, effectiveness, and earnings of the participants. He also teaches a course about curiosity-based selling at the Business School at Stanford University.
We have a really interesting show because we have Wei Houng and Barry Rhein. Wei is an international speaker, trainer, author and money anxiety breakthrough coach. He’s got this personality assessment that’s fascinating to me and I’m looking forward to talking to him about that. Barry is the Founder of Barry Rhein and Associates. He’s a consultant and he’s a curiosity selling instructor at Stanford. He deals with all things curiosity which is right up my alley. I’m looking forward to this show because both of them are so fascinating.
Listen to the podcast here:
Money Anxiety Breakthrough With Wei Houng
I am here with Wei Houng who is an international speaker, trainer, author and money anxiety breakthrough coach with a background in computer science and engineering and a cohesive minor in Business Management from UCLA. He’s the VP of Digital Strategy and founding member of DigiWEI, LLC, a digital marketing company, the CEO and Founder of The 6 Figure Academy, an entrepreneurial coaching organization, and CEO and Co-Founder of HumanOp Technologies, which specializes in the development of human optimization technologies. It’s so nice to have you here, Wei.
Thanks for having me, Diane.
It’s so nice to have you on the show. I’m fascinated by what you do. We were introduced by Jesse Henry. He was nice enough to tell me about you because I’m writing a book about curiosity. I’m working on creating an instrument to measure curiosity. He’s like, “You need to meet this guy,” and now I know why. I want to talk to you.
Are you curious yet?
I’m very curious. I watched your video on your HumanOpTech.com site. You were saying it’s backed by quantum physics. It’s a ten-minute assessment that can tell you what’s holding you back, what keeps us stuck in our lives. What are you testing in that? I want to take this, I’m very curious.
I would love for you to actually go through the process. The co-founder of HumanOp, Dr. Zanna Hackett, is the genius behind the technology and the algorithm. My role with her is not only to understand that piece, but like most brilliant amazing people, business is not really their strong suit. My role is to come in and help understand how do we bring this out to more of the world to literally save lives with what we do. It had her back on it. She had a PhD with background in quantum physics and human behavioral sciences. Essentially, the way I like to sum it up is we basically cracked the code linking our physicality to our natural behavioral traits, our motivational drivers, our communication styles, our relational alchemy, all the things that we wondered about as kids growing up looking at everybody and wondering why everybody looks different. There must be a correlation to the unique nature of expression, and she’s cracked that code. We’ve cracked that code so that we can now base our assessment on how we as people are, not on our opinions as much as our psychometrics or our circumstances in our life or the story that we grew up with or our belief system, but rather what and how nature and science designed us to be, so that the part of us that changes very little over time is the one that we actually anchor our bases of analysis on assessing the human condition.
It’s so interesting because I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence and when I was going through that process, I had to get certified to give that test and the Myers-Briggs Test. I remember the MBTI training. They talked about how it doesn’t really change over time what your results are and you are what you are, unless you have this major life tragedy. Pretty much, your type stays the same. A lot of these tests are self-assessment. I remember watching your video, you said something about helping yourself assessing it. My problem with a lot of this is when you’re self-assessing, how hard is it to get accurate information? Then again, it gives you a baseline so it’s better than nothing.
It is better than nothing. You’re absolutely right. It is better than nothing because where it not for the MMPI, the MBTI, the strengths finder of the world and the DISC assessments, we would still be stuck in the dark ages of trying to figure out how the heck is going on, witch-hunting would still be going on and people judging people without really understanding why. A man’s curiosity, which is in line with what you’re talking about is like, “Why do we do what we do?” The big vision that we have is being able to get that deeper level of objective understanding of each other will literally eliminate human conflict. It’s funny, I read a blog not too long ago and there was a guy who was so excited about taking the Myers-Briggs. He finally took it and he goes, “This is so accurate. I think about all the times I was introverted and I was out partying.” Then for some reason, he decided to take it again about a month later. All of a sudden, he’s a completely different person. He was an extrovert.
He’s probably on the border so he just flip-flop.
He said, “What happened? Now I’m a completely different person. How did that happen in one month?” He wrote this whole blog about how that is possible. It’s a testament to just how amazing human beings are because we can actually learn to do anything. We can learn to be anything. The big thing that we help people understand is we can learn to be anything but what is it that burns us out and what is it that helps us thrive?
What’s comfortable, what’s right-handed for us and what’s left-handed for us. If we’re naturally right-handed, it’s hard to write with your left hand but you can do it.
You can learn to be ambidextrous. One of the best ways we’ve always helped people understand is we’re helping you understand what your vehicle of self is. I love using this because it helps hit home with a lot of people. Let’s say I have a Hummer and a Ferrari sitting in a parking lot. I said, “Diane, we’re going to go off-roading. Pick your car if you want to go off-roading.”
I’ll pick the Hummer obviously.
Right, but some people will still pick the Ferrari because they like the Ferrari. They’ll take it off road and they’ll do okay but it’s going to tear up the undercarriage, it’s going to scratch it everywhere, it’s going to ruin the performance of the Ferrari versus the Hummer which is designed to be going off road. This explains why you have two individuals coming out of school with the same degree, same skill set, going through the same experiences in life, and having the same job but then one is totally burning out and one is totally thriving. What’s the difference? The difference is one is a Hummer and one’s a Ferrari. One belongs off road and one actually belongs on the block.
I love that analogy. What’s making me want to study curiosity is because a lot of people force themselves to be a Hummer when they’re really a Ferrari. You don’t know it because people have pushed you off course maybe, your teachers didn’t answer your questions, or your parents thought you should always be in this job because the family always was in that job, or whatever it was. A lot of it is fear. It’s so important to figure out those natural things that you like. Tell me what this test, this assessment, tells you in ten minutes. Can you tell me everything I need to know? I want to know this algorithm.
It starts with your characteristics, your physical traits. That’s where everything is anchored. The science behind the algorithm is based on gravity, nuclear force, and electromagnetism. Our physical traits are obviously in relation to gravity because without gravity our physical bodies probably wouldn’t even be able to hold itself together. Our physical body itself also exhibit a level of gravity. We just don’t think of gravity being anything beyond earth, but every physical object has its own little gravitational field. We start with the traits, we anchor it there, because that’s the part that doesn’t change, unless we do plastic surgery which then make some weird impact to our lives that actually messes us up.
I won’t tell my husband that. He’s a plastic surgeon by the way. That’s so funny.
I know. I’ll explain to you why that happens. Have you noticed that there are a lot of people who will take plastic surgery and there’s an excessive amount of drama in their lives.
That is funny. Does our height have an impact then? If I’m 5’8″, is that good or bad?
Yes, height absolutely does have an impact. The color of our hair, the color of our eyes, skin tone, skin type, all these different aspects of our being, whether or not we have freckles, the texture of our skin. From there, we’ve actually been able to point out all the different traits in different categories with electromagnetic charge. Is it a passive or is it an active type set of traits? From there, we can determine the nuclear forces that come from there, which then translate it to the layman’s knowledge as our drivers, our motivational forces. Then we can get traits and we go down to getting the drivers and the motivational forces. Then from there, we move into relational alchemy, which basically helps us understand our level of power for people, places, and things, which is amazing for relationships of any kind. In fact, we found that alchemic mismatching is the number one reason for challenges in relationships.
Elaborate what you mean by that, that you just don’t have chemistry between you? What do you mean by that?
That’s exactly it. We’ve literally codified the lack of chemistry or the type of chemistry that exists between people, places, and things. Certain things and anything that has a physical representation also has an alchemy to it. In a lot of personal relationship, I remember growing up saying, “Did you pass the travel test?” “You guys travel together?” That’s thousands of dollars that you spent trying to figure things out. We can actually eliminate that with this. There’s literally a periodic table of alchemy where we can actually find out where you are in relation to where you live or the type of environment that you spend time in or the people that are in your life. We can actually determine the level compatibility, literally how much time you can actually spend around that other alchemic representation.
Is this like eHarmony type of thing where you can match people up with this at all, or is this just for work?
If we actually step into that space, I tell you, we would literally blow everything out of the water. In fact, Dr. Dana who I’ve actually spoken to, she tried to go into that space. I remember one of the big platforms, one of them said, “Your technology is too good and too clean to be in this dirty space right now.” Go carve your own niche simply because he didn’t want it to be tainted by what happens in the whole industry.
What’s interesting to me is when you start to talk about your hair color or your eye color, are you saying that all redheads are good at one thing or not good at one thing? What’s your ethnicity? You mentioned before we’ve gone on air and I can’t remember.
I’m Chinese, first generation here.
I’m half Italian. Are you saying that just because I’m half Italian, it has an impact, or being Chinese has an impact? Are we going to get where we’re separating people because I’m white or black?
It has less to do with ethnicity. It’s actually more about the physical traits, the physical representation. Even in each of our cultures, there’s light-haired and dark-haired individuals, there’s light-skinned and dark-skinned individuals. It’s not so much about ethnicity or race at all. It’s literally about the physical representation.
Now that you know that, when you look at somebody, can you tell by looking at them what their results are going to be?
I get a pretty good idea. The whole goal of ours is to help the entire world. Our big vision is to help every human being to see each other through the eyes of technology. What that will eventually do, if we get 100% of the people on the planet to see each other that way, human conflict will literally be a thing of the past. Let me tell you why that is. One of the biggest reasons why human conflict exists is because the two people that are having conflict, inside their mind they can’t reconcile why that person is behaving the way they’re behaving, why that country is behaving the way it’s behaving. Because we grow up in a world where if we can’t answer a question, we fail or we’re considered bad or wrong or are not smart, then we have to find a way to answer that question why. Once we can figure it out, we find the solution. It’s to take our perspective of the world, our value system, the way we think, and we impose it on them. Because it doesn’t fit in our model, they’re wrong. We need to make that right and we need to fight with them.
We need to develop empathy and see people through their eyes, which is really important. Now you got me curious. If you look at me, what are you able to tell by looking at me from your test?
You’re going to put me on a spot now. I see that curiosity right there.
I have to know.
Right off the bat, what I can tell is this. One, because of your height, you have access to the natural leader inside you. In that leadership, there’s a level of benevolence that shows up there. What that means is that when people have this access to natural leadership, you often get volunteered for leadership type of roles and positions for community things where you can lead or start a committee or chair committee. Oftentimes, people who have access like you do really don’t have to campaign for leadership. You just have to show up. If you do campaign, it’s a little bit of overkill. There’s also a part of you that is really perceptive and really quick to pick up on things. In fact, it’s the part of you that sometimes gets five to ten steps ahead of everybody else. If you’re in a room and something is being explained to the room, you get it already. When people are spending way too much time laboring on the topic, you simply go, “I got it. I got it five minutes ago. Can we move on to the next topic?”
Have you been following me? You’re spot on so far but go ahead.
As such because you’re so quick to pick things up and you figure things out, it doesn’t even require wisdom. It’s just your perceptiveness to take it up. Then what happens is impatience lives there, and so sometimes you feel like the world spins a little bit way too slow and say, “Come on, everybody. Where is everybody going?” What we usually say is that when impatience shows up with someone who has access to those types of behavioral patterns, what we recommend is that, “You’re already ten steps ahead of everybody else. Be the hare. You can take a break, take a nap, people can catch up,” and then that impatience will be easier to manage. Even if they pass you, because you’re so quick, you can catch up in an instant.
It’s bringing back memory of a professor who told me not to come back for the last two weeks of classes. I was done and I was just annoying everybody if I’m talking too much in the back of the room because I was bored. I understand what you’re saying, but what can we learn from taking this assessment? What does this do for me if I take it? You work with helping people get over money anxiety and different kinds of anxiety. Does this help with that? How does this work with the stress and worry and anxiety stuff that you deal with?
Before I had this technology infused into my work at the 6 Figure Academy, I had a process that helps people eliminate money anxiety altogether. It was working really well. It had gone to a point where this technology has shortened that process and has made it so efficient that I almost feel like it’s cheating. What technology does is it gives my client’s or my student’s operating manual. I can literally go to them and I’ve been able to say, “Now that we understand what your vehicle of self is, let me show you exactly how you uniquely make money in this lifetime and do it in a way so that you’d never have to worry about burning out.” You could do it in a way that takes energy away from you or you could do it in a way that gives you energy that feeds you.
A lot of my students or clients now, when they go to work, the definition of work doesn’t really exist anymore in life because they’re not exhausted by the end of the day doing their work. We help them design a strategy to feed their drive so they actually get more and more energized throughout the day as they’re doing what they’re doing, so that it actually creates a level of grace and ease in not only eliminating money anxiety but changing their money story and being able to create financial success their own unique way without having to use some model that they’ve been taught in school with a guru or anything like that. They can devise and create their own unique strategy of creating financial success.
It is interesting to look at the things that make people like to do a job. I can remember I was a pharmaceutical rep for a long time and we were all sitting around a table one time and I always hated that job. We were talking about the things we liked the best about the job and in my mind I’m thinking, the worst part to me was driving. I just don’t like it and almost everybody at the table was going, “I just love to drive.” I was thinking, “No wonder I don’t like this job.”
The reason why you don’t like the driving because it takes too long.
It does. I want to get there and get over there.
If you’re able to teleport in that job, you probably would still be in that job.
Maybe. That’s a good point. When you devise that, let me know because that’s the only way I’m going back to that.
I just want to make sure I fly there when I transport somebody and then all of a sudden, we have a nightmare in the making.
It’s so funny that you say that. Of all the inventions that I wish they would create, probably this “Beam me up, Scotty” transporter device would be my most favorite, if any of them. You hit that one right on the head. I’m fascinated by what you do just because of my research in emotional intelligence. You have to understand your own self, you have to understand others, all these problems with people having lack of drive at work and engagement’s so low. That was probably a big factor of why I’m writing a book about curiosity and developing my instrument, because I just think to help engagement. If you could figure out what it is that holds people back, that would be a huge part of improving productivity and everything else. I could see what you’ve done is really important. I have students take these tests. They’ll take the VARK about their learning preferences. All the assessments you mentioned, I wrote a chapter about each one of them in my book. It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality is one of my books. It’s all the personality assessments. When my students take them, I’m always surprised when they say that they’re surprised by their results. I’m thinking, “You answered it. It’s your self-assessment.” Aren’t you surprised they wouldn’t know what their own self-assessment results would be?
That’s an indicator right there. That’s something to pay attention to. The moment we’re born, we’re constantly being sold on how we’re supposed to be in this life time. A lot of times when people take it as whether they’re taking it out on an unconscious level or taking it on a conscious level, this is where our challenges with the previous generation of psychometric tools is that it’s so dependent on the story that they grew up with. We call it their essence. That part of them, that moment you come into this and the world starts to touch you in terms of teaching you and showing you how to be in this world without regard to what kind of vehicle you are.
Just to give you another perspective, I had a young high school student being referred to me because of some challenges he was having in school and in life. When families come to me that way, I make sure the entire family takes the assessment. My suspicions were true because I was looking at the parents and I was looking at the kid, and there was a big difference in what they gave birth to. The parents before they got married, they were like the power couple. They did triathlon together, they ran marathon, they traveled the world. They did all kinds of cool things. Sure enough, when they took the test mom was like showing up like a Maserati and dad was showing like a Ferrari.
When I met with them I said, “I could tell you’re high-performance individuals but here’s the challenge. Unfortunately, you guys gave birth to a Prius and you’re trying to drive that Prius like a Lamborghini, burning out.” We can see it. I can see how exactly the aspects of them that said, “This is where he’s trying to be like you guys, and this is not him.” Helping him understand to embrace himself as a Prius and his parents supporting that, his grades have gone up, his social circles had improved, and as his social capabilities. He’s actually even improved in sports as well which is to the parents were like, “I didn’t know a Prius could excel in sports.” Yes, it’s just a Prius. It still can do well. You just have to drive it like a Prius.
I was just talking to somebody that’s helping me organize my book. I was telling him one of the factors that influence curiosity I use is environment. You’re using the word essence, which is basically the same thing that I’m saying. We were just discussing some other things that held me back and that’s all this thing that you’re saying. I was raised by a family where everything was sports. I didn’t like sports and so I was the Prius. It’s very challenging when you’re the different one because you always feel uncomfortable because you don’t want to do what the Ferrari wants to do. I like that analogy. It’s only when I got older that I realized that my interests are just as fascinating. I just don’t have to be interested in so much sports and other things, and then I pursued more things. When you’re young and you don’t know that, you get held back from your natural instincts. How do we get parents to recognize this? Don’t you think this needs to be hit on with young children, that we make sure that parents are aware of this? Are you doing that too?
Absolutely. We’ve been to a few private schools and everything helps to shift the understanding of that. I live right next to a community where there’s unfortunately a high divorce rate, and so a lot of broken families. There’s a lot of opportunity for me to introduce this to the families there. It’s been like night and day to be able to eliminate some of the biggest challenges that we see in kids today, with depression and anxiety and the propensity to immediately go to think about suicide and all these different things. Those are the things that we can identify first by helping educating the parents and helping the parents understand. Through the 100,000 plus data points that we’ve had from over the last fifteen to seventeen years prior to even getting patented, what happened was we’ve identified that there’s a cycle in life to help parents understand that if you push too much beyond at this age, then you’re going to over-develop a part that isn’t even ready to be developed. There are cycles in life. There’s a cycle that happens at three, there’s a cycle that happens at seven, at twelve, at sixteen. We also found out a true adulthood didn’t really hit human beings across the board, both male and female, until they’re 43.
That’s new. I haven’t heard that.
We’ve looked upon the data and consistently across the board, true adulthood as we would like to define adulthood to be doesn’t really happen until 43. That’s when we actually come out of our cocoon and become that butterfly. Prior to that, there’s the big transformational age. At the age of 21 where we think we’re adults, we’re actually just driving our car off the lot and we’re just now heading out into the world to explore. If you remember ever buying a new car, the first year or few months, whatever the case may be, you’re looking at things, “What does this button do? What does this do? How about this? Wait, that feels good.” You have a vehicle but you don’t really know it yet.
That’s an interesting place to end our conversation because a lot of people need to figure out their vehicle. A lot of them can learn so much from what you do in your sight and your assessment, which I want to take now, and everything else you do. Can you share any links or how they can reach you and find out more?
The video is a good place to start to break down the perceptions a little bit and can help get a deep understanding at HumanOpTech.com. If you wanted to have it, what I wanted to do with the people that are interested to explore, I’d be more than willing and happy to sit down and have a 30-minute conversation about everything that’s going on so that you can see if this assessment is something you need or they’re good. I think everybody needs it, but just to give you more information about that. There are links that I can provide so that they can schedule time and we’ll sit down and we’ll have a chat.
Thank you, Wei, so much for being on the show. This has been so much fun.
You are welcome.
Curiosity-Based Selling With Barry Rhein
I am here with Barry Rhein who is the Founder of Barry Rhein and Associates. He is a sought-after sales trainer and consultant in Silicon Valley. He is an expert in selling through curiosity. His sales seminars in curiosity-based methodology have been widely praised for moving far beyond theory and into simple practical steps that have an immediate impact on attitude, skills, effectiveness and earnings of the participants. He teaches a course about curiosity-based selling at the business school at Stanford University. He also serves on the Board Advisors at Docusign. It’s nice to have you, Barry. I’m fascinated in the work you do with curiosity. As you know, I’m writing a book about that. When I heard you taught this course at Stanford, I’m like, “What? I want to take that.” What do you teach in that course?
It’s called The Fundamentals of Effective Selling. I get second year MBA students and we talk about both traditional and non-traditional sales. For me, it’s a great way to end my career. I’ve been doing this for 35 years now. It was a great validation to be asked to be on faculty at Stanford University, especially with no degree. I never went to four-year college. What fascinates me about the students is we give these amazing people masters’ in business and we don’t teach them how to generate revenue. It makes no sense to me.
There are a lot of things that we could be teaching but maybe we don’t. The soft skills area is a big part of what we need to focus on a lot in all levels of education I would like to see more of. Curiosity falls into that squishy area in how you teach this thing. I’m fascinated by how you teach it. You deal with the selling perspective but you’re dealing with curiosity in general. Let’s just go into curiosity a little bit because it’s tied into motivation and it’s tied into drive. How do you differentiate between drive, motivation, and curiosity? Are they all similar or are they different? How do you look at that?
For me, I have an interesting job. 35 years ago in Silicon Valley, there are plenty of startups and I would go in and meet CEOs or founders of little startups under $3 million a year in revenue. My value proposition was simple. I would come out and say, “Tell me what you’re trying to do. Where’s your frustration in your revenue generation or your customer engagement side model? I’ll come in and do a full evaluation. I’ll look at your messaging, how you sell, your skill set, your people, your sales tools, your enablement,” everything about how they go to market. I’ll come back with a recommendation, “You tell me where you want to go. You tell me what you think is in the way. I’ll come up with what I believe is in the way. If we agree to come up with an end result, if we agree to do a training, then what happens is I would go in and actually do the training and I only get paid if we got the results.” My value proposition originally was if you don’t like me, don’t pay me. If you don’t get the results, don’t pay me. No matter what, I will stand by my results. For you, you sign whatever paperwork you want for your company to protect your company. My results will speak for themselves, what’s in a way of doing business.
That’s how I started this business 35 years ago. I will tell you, I’ve never not been paid. In the first few years, I never got paid on time. It was amazing. For me, I had been an employee. I got fired a bunch of times and started a business as a result. That’s a whole other story. What was interesting is how you get people to transform their beliefs and their behaviors. If you go after behaviors, you will not get long-term change. It doesn’t happen that way. You have to go after the belief structure because if you think about it, our beliefs drive our behaviors. How we think about the world causes us to act or not act depending on our circumstance. In the game of selling, you have sales people that when they get in a class, if they have any level of success, they do this. They cross their arms, they sit there and go, “What can you prove to me.” You’ll never hear me say, “You’re doing something wrong.” I don’t believe in a right or wrong.
There are extremes. You can’t lie. There’s some issues in life. For selling, for me and for being curious, how do we go and understand what is important to people? How do we genuinely connect without an agenda? The magic of curiosity is the only agenda is to understand. The problem with most sales people is their agenda is to get a deal. If you go to get a deal, you lose the opportunity to create a space to let greatness, information, and data flow in a way that allows people to be comfortable sharing with you what you need. As I think about curiosity, there’s a doing of curiosity which is ask questions. There is a being-ness which is that genuine curiosity. If you go after the doing, ask questions. Every sales training on the planet, every class in any school that has anything about sales, says you’ve got to ask better questions. That’s great, so read a book. Did I double my revenue from reading a book? No, I did not. Did I buy-hold my conversion rate? No. The reason why is I read the book, it makes sense, but there’s a whole bunch of stuff in my way of being able to change those behaviors.
For me, I learned a long time ago and it’s my competitive differentiation. I would rather think of it as the way I view the world. For me, let’s just go genuinely be curious. Let’s not have an agenda. Let’s go serve people. Let’s find out what’s important to them. If it turns out I can help you, I’m going to be the first person asking for the business at the end. If it turns out I can’t, I have a responsibility to say I can’t, based on what you’re telling me. If you want these five things and I can do these three, where do these three enter into your priorities and I can go? If I can’t solve your business problems, I have to say, “I’m sorry. We’ll meet again on the next company and move on from there.” Those ideas, this part of curiosity, it’s very foreign to most people because of their agenda.
It’s interesting because in sales, you are only as good as your last deal is what they tell you. I was in sales for many decades, to say it was that long, but it was. You have this pressure on you to reach a certain goal. We talk about what’s in your way. You said we got to work on what’s in our way. What’s in most people’s way?
Would you rather be right or would you rather be effective? Would you rather be right or would you rather be a relationship? Would you rather be right or would you rather be happily married? Would you rather be right or would you rather have your kids want to hang around you? Righteousness is the root of the majority of people’s happiness.
Do you always have to give up your sense of wanting to be right to be good in sales? With sales, when you’re a salesperson, a lot of times people say things to you that you just don’t want to hear or you don’t agree with. We were taught actually the sandwich technique when I was young. They would say we’ll support them first that they have the right to say this ridiculous thing they just said, and then limit them and say, “Let me show you this other way of thinking.” Is that what they’re still teaching these days or is that completely thrown out? What’s the latest?
I don’t know what they are, who they are, what they teach or say or they do.
How about you?
A person gets the right to object. We get the right to be curious. A person gets the right to say, “This is just way too much money for me.” They get that right. Here’s the problem. When the sales people perceive rejection, they then react. If you think about rejection, the majority of responses to rejection, other than curiosity, have risks. Some people when they get rejected, they get aggressive. They’ll go, “No, let me tell you why you’re wrong. I’m going to share with you my knowledge.” That would be one technique. Some will get defensive on other areas. They might withdraw. When someone gets rejected, they might go, “This is just not going to work for me.” There’s ways that people are in rejection because they view it as being rejected. I’m going to argue that’s not the case at all. If someone says, “Barry, your training is terrible,” my reaction in that moment must be the same thought as if someone says, “Barry, I’ve heard amazing things about your training.”
At that moment, I have to be curious what is up for them. It’s not an indication of who I am. If someone said, “Barry, I’m calling you because I heard great things about your training.” I go, “Thank you. What did you hear? How do you see that being helpful for you? How do you think I could make a difference in what you’re doing? I’m curious.” Someone said, “I’ve heard some bad things.” “I am so sorry. What did you hear? Help me understand that? What was the context? I’m curious. What are you trying to accomplish? By the way, what if it turned out that maybe that is not necessarily the case, what would your thoughts then be?”
I have a couple of sayings in my training. One, no biggie to me, no biggie to them. It’s just information. What I mean by that is if they ask a question or they have an objection, and it’s not a big deal to me and I can be curious, it won’t be a big deal for them. It just won’t. “I want to tell you I really like you but your price is too high.” That might be an example. I might come at that and say, “Thank you. Let’s take price out of it for a minute. Why do you like us? Why would you select us? Help me understand what you’re thinking. By the way, how would you like to reconcile the price?” I don’t need to tell them what to do. I need to create a space through curiosity to get to people to draw their own conclusions. Other than being are being known as a great spouse, a great parent, and a great friend, I want on my gravestone, “Getting a person to think a thought they never thought before.” That’s what I want.
Are all thoughts positive thoughts though? A lot of things in sales, the mistakes we make are that we don’t ask enough questions. That’s curiosity, of course. We’re selling to people without really knowing their pain points. I have told a story before where I called on this doctor who I gave what I thought was a great presentation as a pharmaceutical rep. I walked into the elevator a few minutes later, ran into him and asked him if he worked in the building, because I didn’t even look at him or ask him any questions. I didn’t even remember meeting him in a way because I was so wrapped up in what I was saying, and it was mortifying at that time. I was early twenties. He goes, “You just gave me a presentation.” Just imagine, I sunk down. It was the most ineffective ever presentation. You couldn’t be worse if you’re not asking questions or finding out if you’re even selling what you should be selling to this guy or what their pain points are or what their problems are.
A lot of sales people just get taught, “You got to get this out. You got to say these words. You got to do this thing.” It’s almost like when you give a speech. You want to say so much that you stop realizing that you should be interacting. The biggest issue I saw in sales is just the pressure they feel. Do you see it any different for different generations, or is it the same Glengarry Glen Ross generation that we see masters are getting less stress? Are we putting less pressure on sales people or is it always the same?
No. Glengarry Glen Ross, I think that’s the exception. By the way, with technology and social media and all that and Glassdoor, and there’s all these different sites to evaluate companies, you can’t get away with that stuff. You never could back then, but for sure not now. I have lots of customers, Docusign is one of those, and I’ve done lots of training and transformed companies. What is always amazing to me is you can’t pitch without knowing what their needs are. It isn’t about asking questions because I will argue practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. I know a lot of salespeople that say, “I know how to ask questions.” I’m like, “No problem.” What we do first when we do a sales transformation project is we’ll actually go in for three four or five days depending on what we’re trying to do with the company and what we’re trying to accomplish as a result.
The very first thing I do in every one of my trainings and in my classes at Stanford is I say, “Before you get to know who I am or any training, I have two exercises I want you to do please. The first one is on a scale of one to ten with ten being perfect, I want you to do a quick self-evaluation. Here are all these categories: listening, asking questions, building rapport, general basic fundamentals of sales.” There’s two scale-rich question. I say, “I want you to do the first scale of each question,” so they do that. I go, “The second exercise is I’m going to read you four sentences, five sentences, a very short paragraph. It’s going to be from a customer of yours. It will sound very familiar. I want you to pretend you’re on a sales call. The first part is I want you just to write down whatever notes you want to take. If you are on a sales call and they said this paragraph, take notes as if you were on that call. Then I’m going to hit my stopwatch and I’m going to say go and I want you to come up with a list of all the open-ended questions you would want to ask if you were on a first discovery call. There’s no right or wrong, it’s individualized. Go.” That’s how we started our class.
Everybody does this self-evaluation and they all give themselves really high marks. Salespeople. Then I read the story line, they take notes, and then I have them come up with questions they come up with between eight, and the best ones come up with about fifteen questions. I would put that away and I say, “Welcome to class. Interesting, I now have a snapshot of how you listen, I have a snapshot of how you take notes, and I have a snapshot of how you process data in the form of how you ask questions because they’re written down. It’s indisputable. We can’t argue that. What if I told you there’s 40 or 50 key questions that you need to ask to be able to know whether you can get a deal done or not? Some of you did five or six, some of you did fifteen. I’m saying there are 50 or 60. What is the risk to you and your family if you don’t know those 50 to ask but your competition does?”
I’m hearing them right off the bat going, “I’m not going to have time to ask 50 questions.”
You have the right to. When they go, “Yeah, by the way, there’s no way. You didn’t give us enough time.” Then I say, “Absolutely. Let me ask you this, how do you know your fifteen are the most effective if you don’t know the 50?”
How many questions can you realistically ask them?
Here’s what I’m doing when I start off a class. I’m getting people to open to the possibility what if there’s an easier or more effective way? What if I don’t know what I don’t know? How would you know? I don’t know what I don’t know.” For me, I need people to start to learn I don’t have it and they don’t have all the answers. When you talked about how people get out of their way, I can’t tell them they’re terrible. You can’t tell them they’re terrible. The bosses can’t tell them they’re terrible. The only one in a meaningful way who can say that is themselves when they say, “I need to be better at this. I had no idea how atrocious I was. I had no idea that I’m leaving so much money on the table. I had no idea you could even ask that.” It’s opening up our mind to the possibility of what if you don’t know that you don’t know?
There’s so much we don’t know. I use the expression a lot, but if you don’t know, you don’t know. A lot of people need to get help either through consultants or through peers. It’s really hard for a lot of people to even accept the fact that there’s stuff they don’t know because you’ve only lived in this vacuum of what you thought you knew. The reason we have such low engagement is maybe some people are misaligned in their jobs. Maybe they would be better in different areas they’ve never even experienced because they know they’re afraid to even try things. What kind of things other than fear do you think pull people back from being curious?
There’s an industry that I am fascinated by. I was fascinated with them twenty years ago. It’s the last industry that I want to know make a difference on the planet, and that is the network marketing world. We think about the Amways of the world, the Mary Kays, the Avons. These are people that are non-sales people. They get into the business with a dream of making a difference for themselves and their family. It’s the ultimate for me as a human being, how do I create greatness for my family? I love that concept. They get into these businesses, and within days or hours even, they’re out. I have done and dabbled in a few trainings with 3000 people from different organizations over time. We can ten-fold the amount of people that stay in the business. We can reduce the amount of people that get out right away. The reason we can is they just need to know what to do, they need to know how to do it, but that’s all lecture. Then we have to have them practice where they develop confidence and realize they are not selling, they’re being curious. Everybody can get behind this idea of being curious. If you can develop some confidence with someone genuinely being curious and not taking rejection personally, you can move mountains. I’ve built a career out of it for 35 years.
For me, my big thing is how do you make a difference to millions of people on the planet? Now with technology, we’ve cracked the code in how we do distance learning very different than anybody else and who has millions and millions of people that are self-opting in to want to create something for their families that’s network marketable. For me, it’s millions of people that have fear, they’re told what to do to lecture, but when you can give them an idea of “I just need to go be curious,” how to ask the right questions, genuinely be interested and genuinely care, and have them practice, very short time but with huge confidence, you change the world. It’s an interesting lecture-based training. It doesn’t develop confidence therefore people can’t get out of their comfort zone which means they only get to be as good as they are. No change.
You said, “Ask the right questions.” How do you know you’re asking the right question in anything that you’re curious about? That’s a tough thing.
It is. We spend time in our trainings on just that very topic. The right question can also be the most effective questions, but then it’s without leading and without an agenda. Years ago, I got a call from HP and it was human factors group of engineers that were working with a group of designers, engineers. They were building products. I called them and I said, “That’s interesting. You want training for engineers and you know I’m a sales trainer, so connect the dots for me please.” They said, “We have the smartest engineers on the planet. We go out, we talk to customers, our people are so smart they already know the answer. They ask questions in a way to validate what they believe and then we build products, and sometimes people don’t want to buy them.” I’m like, “What’s the impact of that?” “Hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted time, energy, and effort.” I shared that story with you because the most effective questions, if I typed them up and handed them to you, that doesn’t work either. It’s the way we show up, it’s the genuine curiosity, and that’s our secret sauce. We have figured out how to be able to teach that in a way that people can get it quickly and make and implement it immediately and put in change.
You get some really great advice. This has meant so much fun, Barry. I’m sure a lot of people want to know more about how they could get sales training or find out more about you. Can you share your website and ways they can reach you?
SellingThroughCuriosity.com is a great way. Of course, Barry Rhein, you can search me and I’ll come up a million different ways. Good luck. What are you going to be doing on your book?
I’m still working on it. I’m creating an assessment to measure what holds us back. Being in survey, it’s in the validity and reliability testing part right now, so that’s fun.
I’m really looking forward to it. I’d love to talk about it. If you’re there, I will meet you in person. I’m looking forward to that.
You got it.
Thank you so much for being on the show.
Thanks for your time and see you soon.
Thank you so much to Wei and to Barry. What a great show. It was all up my alley type of information because I love everything personality assessment-related and curiosity-related. I was looking forward to this. You can go to iTunes. You can go to a lot of places to find us. I’m everywhere @DrDianeHamilton. I hope you enjoyed the show. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take the Lead Radio.
About Wei Houng
Wei Houng is an International Speaker & Trainer, Author, and Money Anxiety Breakthrough Coach with a background in Computer Science & Engineering and a cohesive minor in Business Management from UCLA. He is the VP of Digital Strategy and founding member of DigiWEI, LLC, a digital marketing company, the CEO and founder of The 6 Figure Academy, an entrepreneurial coaching organization, and CEO and co-founder of HumanOp Technologies, Inc., which specializes in the development of human optimization technologies.
About Barry Rhein
Barry Rhein is the founder of Barry Rhein & Associates. He is a sought-after sales trainer and consultant in Silicon Valley. He is an expert in selling through curiosity. His sales seminars and curiosity-based methodology have been widely praised for moving far beyond theory and into simple, practical steps that have an immediate impact on the attitudes, skills, effectiveness, and earnings of the participants. He teaches a course about curiosity-based selling at the Business School at Stanford University. He serves on the board of advisors at DocuSign., Wei Houng is an International Speaker & Trainer, Author, and Money Anxiety Breakthrough Coach with a background in Computer Science & Engineering and a cohesive minor in Business Management from UCLA. He is the VP of Digital Strategy and founding member of DigiWEI, LLC, a digital marketing company, the CEO and founder of The 6 Figure Academy, an entrepreneurial coaching organization, and CEO and co-founder of HumanOp Technologies, Inc., which specializes in the development of human optimization technologies.
- Wei Houng
- DigiWEI, LLC
- The 6 Figure Academy
- HumanOp Technologies
- It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality
- Barry Rhein
- Barry Rhein and Associates
- @DrDianeHamilton – Twitter