Success in sales equals success in business, therefore the sales force is indispensable for any industry. They bridge the gap between the clients’ needs and the product and service providers. Breathe life into your business or organization by building up a robust and motivated sales force. Tom Hopkins and Jim Britt are sales experts and go-to gurus for anything and everything about sales, from developing a plan, understanding the market and the product, finding clients, lead conversion, to building client connections and customer retention. Their wealth of knowledge and insight comes from a cornucopia of experiences that have shaped and developed them as leading experts in the field of sales.
I have two of the most renowned experts in sales on my show. Tom Hopkins is an amazing bestselling author, go-to expert guru. It would take me all day to list what Tom Hopkins has done. I’m so excited to have him here. Jim Britt is after Tom Hopkins. He also is an amazing sales coach and expert. He has won the top contributor of all time to the direct selling industry. Between the two of these guys, they have just all the tips. They know everything there is to know about sales.
Listen to the podcast here:
Dissecting Sales and the Sales Industry with Tom Hopkins
I am with Tom Hopkins. He carries the standard as a master sales trainer and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on selling techniques and salesmanship. More than five million people on five continents have attended Tom’s high energy life seminars. Tom personally conducts more than 30 seminars each year traveling through the North America, European, Asian, Australia, and other South Africa areas. Tom Hopkins is the author of eighteen books, including How to Master the Art of Selling which has sold more than 1.7 million copies worldwide. This mega selling book is considered a must have reference guide for top selling producers in every field of sales. He’s also authored three selling skills books in the popular For Dummies series. His latest book When Buyers Say No, it was at 2014, is receiving rave reviews. I want to thank you for my copy because I thought it was a great book. Thank you for being here, Tom.
Wonderful to be with you, Diane.
You’re a name that is so recognized. I’ve been in sales for most sales for 30 years, and so you can’t be in sales without knowing your techniques. You, as a guru to the go-to, and I was really impressed with your latest book. You’ve been training for over four decades. How do you stay relevant in a field where there’s books popping up every second and all these concepts? How do you keep them relevant for new salespeople?
I believe that preparation is more critical than almost anything when you’re doing any interview, any advertising, anything. When I fly into a city, I’ve already talked to a company that is using our training. I usually get a hold of their top two or three income earning people and we have a meeting and or on the phone if I can’t get in early enough. I just pick their brains on what’s happening in the economy in that city, the marketplace, what’s changed in your opinion in the last ten years. I have to do this in every seminar because again, people have a feeling like if you’re from Arizona and there in California that everything is different, and that’s not true. We’re in the people business and if you understand that, everything is basically the same. You just have to culturize it.
If you go to a foreign country or adapted to the city’s economy, but a preparation is what I think is so important. When I outline a manual workbook for the seminar, we take all their input and do our best to tailor make it. When I’m hired by a company and I can’t tell you how many different industries, but we of course go to the company and actually spend time with their top producers. We get a real good feel for what they do so that hopefully when I walk on a stage and start the seminar, after about ten minutes they go, “He understands what we do and he’s not giving the same talk that he gives to every other company.” That’s my game plan for being ready on the stage.
When I read your book, I saw how much you advice to look around and see what people are into, to learn about people and that goes along with what I was taught in sales too. You tied in to what people want and what they need and you learn about them. Many of my audience are in management positions. Thinking in terms of that as a trainer, where do you see the biggest gap in their skills and when they come to you for help, what do you offer for help for them?
Many people go from sales into management and it’s sad in a way that they don’t get real management training before they take over their position because for the first six months they usually make quite a few mistakes in handling their people. Learning how to hire, recruit, interview and make sure that the people that you are hiring are qualified and they fit what you’re looking for, for your company is so very important. I was very young when I left sales and went into management and fortunately I found a man, Michael Vance, who was their creator of most of the whole Disneyland concept many years ago. I went and spent a week with him not anyone knowing, but I wanted to be able to walk into my first meeting with some knowledge of how to talk to salespeople. Because managing is so much different in selling and I think it’s a learned art.
When you go into management, you must say, “I’ve got to find a good management trainer, someone who has been in management, and then of course I need to take their advice and apply it.”Managing is so much different than the actual field of sales. I think the preparation for that is again going to a good management seminar which there are so many in our country right now. People can go to national speakers association which they have a local branch in almost every city in the country and you can look in there. They have categorized the different management trainers so that you can really bone up on what to do before you have to do it, which I think is so important. Don’t learn it by experiencing what doesn’t work. Find out from the pros what does work.
There’s so much reinventing the wheel and I see a lot of the Peter principle where people are really good at sales and then they get promoted to management and then they flounder. There are certain techniques and things that people need to learn. If you want to stay in sales, what would you say are the make or break quality for those people to make them be the most successful in sales?
I hate the term burnout, but there is a truth that people do go into sales and after a while, either because of redundancy and not the excitement that they used to have when they were new and enthusiastic and had no knowledge but lots of enthusiasm. Too many people get knowledge and because of having to handle the word “no handling failure”, many of them lose their excitement and their attitude. I believe that one of the first keys is you really have to love what you do. I have so many interviews where people will say, “Tom, I’m thinking of going into the sales where can I make the most money.”I always say, “Don’t look at your next profession career as to where the money is. Find something you love to do.” In my eight years of full time selling real estate, the reason I did so well was I loved real estate.
I loved helping people who wanted to own a home, get into a property. You can’t believe how many seminars I do where people come up and say, “We bought our home from you in ‘70s and we made a lot of money and it was the biggest part of our retirement.” You mentioned the Peter Principle. Thomas Peters was one of the reasons why I was fortunate to get into the seminar business. I had a little program in law. What happened was I was speaking to the National Association of Realtors in Los Angeles and they had 5,500 attendees. When you’re a brand new guy in the business, they put you in front of 150 people on a breakout session. I was supposed to go on at 1:00 and for some reason I just felt like getting up and watching the kick off and I put on my suit and was standing in the wings. Suddenly Pete Lombardo, the President of the association comes up to me and he says, “Thomas Peters is caught in traffic. We have to start, can you go on?” I thought 5,500 versus to 150, you bet. I walked out and he says, “But you can only speak until he arrives.” I said, “Okay.” I had twelve minutes, but I gave them some things they’d never heard about certain words you don’t say to clients. I call them rejection words and they had never heard of it.
Like the word ‘commission’, you never say to people if I want you to have one. It’s the fee for service or contract. People look terrified of a printed form. It’s the paperwork or agreement. I went through the ten words and they all made notes like crazy. I couldn’t believe it, but I got a standing ovation after twelve minutes when he walked out. Because they had never heard the rejection word, the ‘no word’ concept. That’s when my phone started ringing off the hook. When I got back to my office and the real estate business, they started asking me to come speak. I didn’t charge anything in the beginning because I wanted to do it. Then of course I started increasing my fee and a great trainer said, “Keep increasing it until they don’t pay and then you know you’re getting too much.”
I wouldn’t have gone on after you if you had a standing ovation than for guy that had to go on after that, but that I’m sure that it was something different. Sometimes we hold back a little bit of what we say, and I think salespeople sometimes hold back information and hold back in general. What’s holding people back from success in sales?
I think one of the main things that holds people back is they don’t get training education. They don’t find mentors. I was fortunate when I got into real estate, I went to a seminar and a guy said, “Find the most successful person in your industry. Ask if they’ll just let you go and talk with them. Then if they’ll let you go out on an appointment with them, you just watched and listened to what they do.”Back then in California a woman named Rose Lane was the top income earning realtor in all the California. Of course I was 19. I called her. I said, “Miss Lane, I’m brand new in real estate. I know nothing, but I was taught to find the most successful person I could ask if I could go with them on some appointments.”She was so kind. She said, “Sure.” I went out and watched her show homes, watched how she took listings, watched how she presented offers and it was amazing. I took copious notes and memorized what she said. All of a sudden I started making some money and all of a sudden I thought I’m going to do this business. I fell in love with real estate and helping people own. Because owning territory and property will always be in my humble opinion, the foundation of wealth to both individuals and businesses.
I have a real estate license here in Arizona as well, and I’ve seen some really great people sell. I think it’s better to have more than one person to follow to look and see how they do. It’s nice to pick and choose what works based on what you see. I know that you do a lot of training and you’re known for teaching fundamentally, practical selling skills and you keep your training fun and memorable. I’m just wondering if there’s something you also teach your students how to deal with their sales presentations based maybe on something that you’ve watched or have included in your own practices.
I hate being negative, but many people in sales want to wing what they do and say whatever they feel like saying. That is what gets them in trouble because in a way in sales or in the word ‘business’, the words that you say that go into the ear of the person across the desk or table are creating emotions and feelings. If the words aren’t right, they don’t build the positive, go-ahead-write-a-check emotions. I’ve always tried to teach people from the moment they meet a person either on the telephone to make an appointment or at the table or desk when they’re presenting their offering or when they’re handling objections. You have to know what to say and because we’re in the word ‘business’, you really have to be a student of the vocabulary, the art form of speaking and how you say what you say.
That can be challenging. I was in pharmaceutical sales for fifteen years and just the terminology and what you had to learn was challenging. You had different cultures and different people that were tough. I heard ‘no’ a lot, I have to say, and that’s why I like your book When Buyer Say No. I could relate to a lot of it. Just recently, I had an interior decorator try to talk me into a $22,000 worth of drapes and things. I said no about five times and she finally got me to yes. In the book you say there’s a process, it doesn’t even begin until you hear no. Can you explain what you mean by that?
In a way, if there weren’t no’s, we wouldn’t need salespeople. We could just send out the paperwork, fill it out, send us a check and you own the automobile, you own the home, you own the insurance financial coverage. That would never work. There has to be a human being that listens, that questions, that analyzes the motivation that people have and then asks the right questions to just lead them to turn their no’s into yeses. I was so thrilled I had a chance to write this book because I’ve always had a belief that the yeses are behind the no’s and everything you want in life is a yes. In fact, I tried to teach my students that a new car is a yes, a new home is a yes, money in the bank is a yes, children’s education is a yes.
For happiness, if you want all the yeses, then you have to take a risk put your ego on the line and handle all the no’s necessary to get to those yeses. The reason salespeople haven’t made is they have no income challenges as far as how much they can make based on their integrity, ethics, their service, how they follow up with their clients, and how they closed sales. A person can make two to five times what the average income in the selling profession which gives them the opportunity to invest in real estate or invest in their long-term financial independence goal.
Real estate really was a great market. I was so used to being capped and you really have unlimited potential in that market and I love that. I found that in lending too and I think that’s great. We wanted to hear objections because it gave you something to sell. If they just agree with everything you say, you didn’t get very far. How do you suggest with sales pros shift their mindset when they hear the word no? How can we rethink what no means?
The first thing you have to do is play a game with the word no. I’ve always felt that life in general is a big game, we’re all playing to win. Then of course, selling is the game. Within the game of life, if you choose selling as profession, you have to learn the rules. Just like in any activity, you must learn the rules, play the rules well, and win the game. What I teach is the word no, we play a game with it. I’ll give you a generality. Let’s say that you said that every time you got a yes, you made $100. Let’s say you have to talk to five qualified people to get the one yes for the hundred. If you talk to five people to get one yes, you have four to say no. Then we divide the four no’s into the $100 and in essence each no was worth $25. It’s a positive way of saying, “I’m not getting rejected. They’re giving me $25 until I get to the $100 for the yes.” Some people might make a $1,000, $10,000 to close a transaction. Some of the folks are making hundreds of dollars if they’ll learn to handle the word no, overcome it into a yes, don’t take it personally and change your attitude towards rejection and failure. By doing these things you’re going to make a lot of money.
I know we’ve hit on the word ‘no’ a lot, so maybe we should say enough about no. What would you say is the best way to win buyers over to get more of them to say yes then?
I was a follow-up specialist. I did a lot of little things that I think the little nuances of selling make all the difference. I think the way you greet a person in the beginning when you meet them, the way you bring down defense barriers by giving up control of the conversation and asking them lots of good questions. I think then of course I was a fanatic on handwritten thank you notes. Because I really believe that back then when I started doing it, I was the only realtor that if I had a listing appointment, I would send them a thank you note. If I had someone call on an ad, I’d get their address, send them a thank you note. I really believe thank you notes worked better today than they did back in my day because no one is doing it with all the electronic transactions. If anyone’s interested and if they go to my website, there’s a free resource page.
They just seethe free resources were all my ten thank you notes as a gift. They can call, they can go to my website and they can just say, “Send me the ten thank you notes,” because they’re professionally edited. They worked beautifully. It’s something I’ve always felt like, “Let’s give them a gift and if they send them out, they will be amazed at the results.”If I made a sale or if I got a listing of real estate, I’d always towards the end say, “Mr. or Mrs. Johnson, my manager’s going to ask me why you chose our company over our competition. I would like to know why you’ve let maybe fortunate enough to help you in your needs, can you give me a little reason why?”I can’t tell you the number of people who have said, “You’re the only one that sends us a handwritten thank you note and that kind of pushed us towards you.”I try my best to get salespeople to realize that the word thank you in writing on a small, nice little card are more powerful today than they were back in my day.
There are so many tips for salespeople to be successful. You have the books that you’ve written, to be a Dummies expert, they only go to the smartest or the best for those. Your background is so impressive. Is there anything you’d change? Do you feel like you did everything that you would do it the same way again or would you change anything?
You do have to rely on technology more than we did in the past, but too many people in sales hide behind technology and aren’t making enough calls or in-person contacts. I’ve always felt that you can get on a high technology, e-mail or something like that, but that’s not going to close many sales. I think the eyeball to eyeball will always be the best meeting more people, following up with people even at the country club. I’ve got two or three of my buddies, they are top realtors, some of the highest income earning salespeople in all of Arizona. These people are follow-up networking specialists and I think it’s why they’ve become so successful. I think the words ‘keep in touch with people’ are so important. Many people get a good qualified lead, but they don’t follow up. I had a little saying, “I will follow-up, follow-up, follow-up until they buy or die.” That was something I just lived by and it worked for me.
If you hadn’t pick real estate, do you have an industry now so you could start all over again? Is there an industry that just appeals to you now as much as real estate or would you still go with just real estate?
Most of my business today is financial services. For some reason, I gravitated into companies that have thousands of people out there at a dining room or kitchen table doing their best to sell financial services. That’s become my main industry today, but our seminars, I don’t think there’s an industry that doesn’t come when we come into a city. Because we believe in the fundamentals and if I’m speaking for seven hours that day and they have an outlined workbook, they’re going to get proven fundamentals that they can take out that night make more money with which is something that I think is so important. There’s a lot of hype and motivation out there in the world, but that won’t buy it. You have to have the selling skills, the questioning skills and of course know your product and have a burning desire. I played golf a while back with Wayne Gretzky, the famous hockey player. I asked him, I said, “You become number 99, The Great One,” which is what his title was. “Why do you think that was?”
He gave me what I call the P word. He said, “Tom, I had an overwhelming passion for all aspects of hockey. I had a passion for winning, a passion for losing, a passion for practice, a passion for knowing that when I skated out on the ice all the other guys were after me.” I took that darn P word and said, “Man, you got to get passionate for what you do for a living and passionate for your life, passionate for the blessings that we have in this wonderful country.”
You’re passion obviously comes through because you’ve done so well and it’s just amazing to have you on the show. I was hoping you could share how people can find out more and to get that information you said on your website. Can you share all your contact information?
They can just go to TomHopkins.com. I’m in Scottsdale, Arizona. They can go and just pick up. They can see all of our books, our CDs, DVDs. They can go to the free resource page and they can get not only the thank you notes with letters and stuff that we feel like new salespeople can build their business with. At my seminar, many of the people come in and they say, “35 years ago Tom, I came to your training. I was brand new and now I own this company and these hundred people here are in my company.” That’s a highlight I think when people take your training and then applaud you for helping them and their companies build a more successful business.
You’ve done so much with all this. What’s next? Do you have a future book, a huge thing that you’re going to do next? I can’t imagine what else there is to do and you’ve done so much.
My last book was When Buyers Say No, that was number eighteen and I think I’ve written everything I can think of to help people in sales. I’m going to continue to do the seminars around the country, around the world as long as people want to come and hear my message. I am up there keeping the tension and literate not mumbling or repeating myself which is what happens to old speakers.
I think you’re doing an amazing job. I could have watched some of your more recent things and everything. It’s always evergreen with sales. The technology may change, but what you teach that will never change. You’re an inspiration and I really appreciate that you were on my show today. Thank you so much.
My pleasure, Diane. All the best to you and your listeners and I hope this helps everybody have a better life. All right.
Dissecting Sales and the Sales Industry with Jim Britt
I have Jim Britt, who is an internationally recognized leader in the field of peak performance and personal empowerment training. He’s author of thirteen bestselling books including Cracking the Rich Code, Cracking the Life Code, Rings of Truth, The Power of Letting Go, Freedom, Unleashing your Authentic Power, Do This: Get Rich for Entrepreneurs, The Flaw in the Law of Attraction, The Law of Realization and The Change book series just to name a few. Jim has presented seminars throughout the world sharing his success principles in life enhancing realizations with thousands of our audiences totaling over 1.5 million from all walks of life. Jim has served as success counselor to over 300 corporations worldwide and he’s recently been named as one of the world’s Top 50 success coaches. He was voted trainer of the year and received best of the best award out of Top 100 contributors of all time to the direct selling industry. It’s so nice to have you on my show, welcome.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
I don’t know how you have time to write that many books, but they all are things that I’m interested in. The empowerment training probably catches my eye. What does that entail?
People become so disempowered and they don’t even realize it. They just can’t move forward with the same old habit patterns and same struggles that they have in their lives. They don’t realize that there’s a way to empower yourself by letting go of what disempowers you. I approach personal empowerment a little different way. It’s not about motivation or positive thinking or law of attraction or anything like that. It’s really about letting go of what holds you back, being able to discover what that is and it’s very, very empowering when you do.
What kinds of things hold people back?
It could be anything. What happens is that we become addicted to our behaviors based upon our upbringing basically, the experiences we’ve had in our lives. As you experience something, you attach a feeling to that experience whether it’s as a child or as you’re growing up or when you have a broken relationship or you lose money in a business or you try different businesses over and over and nothing works. Each time you try it, you become more addicted to that behavior and you start to feel uncertain ways when you attach that feeling to the experience. Then you start to think that that’s just the way life is or business is or the relationships are. Then as you start to think in that way, you start to believe that to be true. Then you always act upon what you believe to be true which creates more of the same experience. What I’ve discovered about beliefs is they’re really not true until we decide they’re true.
One person might say, “Making a million dollars a year is quite easy.” Another person says, “I can’t even imagine making a million dollars in the next ten years.”Both beliefs are true. It’s just what they’ve decided is true. We make up the stories in our mind about the way relationships should be or the way making money should be based upon our upbringing and experiences. Then we will pretty much fight to the death to prove it to ourselves and to the outside world that what we believe is true. Even if we don’t like where we are and we want to be someplace else, we’ll still do things that cause us to reinforce that belief and show the outside world it’s true.
I see a lot of that. You grow up around a certain thought process. Our families probably have a big impact on that. I learned a lot from some of my teachers and professors throughout the years. You get around different mentors, you get around different peers and you start to go, “Maybe this doesn’t make any sense.”It’s takes a little while.
Challenge your beliefs because it’s something that may not be true. How did you come to believe that? Who taught you to believe that? What experiences have you had that caused you to believe that? What if it’s not true? Who would you be without that belief? It’s like if you put on sunglasses, it changes the image of what you see. It doesn’t really change what you see, it changes the image of what you see. Just because I put them on doesn’t make the grass greener or brown or the sun less bright. It’s just what we see because of the glasses we’ve got on. We look at our life the same way we look at it through the glasses of the past and that’s the only experience we’ve had. As soon as you say, “I want to make a million dollars a year,” your subconscious kicks in and go, ” You’ve never done that before. What makes you think you can? You’re a high school, dropout, you don’t have the experience, you don’t have education, you don’t have money to invest.” All of those things start kicking in, all that mind chatter. Pretty soon we talked ourselves out of it. We may not even know we’ve talked ourselves out of it. We’re still going for it, but we’ve talked ourselves out of it, so we’re actually heading off in two directions at the same time.
You probably heard the Jim Carrey story, how he wrote himself a check for $10 million and kept it in his wallet until he could cash it because he just knew he was going to get to that point. Do you have to have that kind of a mindset? Do you help people think like that?
The achievement process always follows a few simple steps and most of us don’t know what those steps are. We just blindly go into it. We set our goals and we do our vision boards and all that stuff. My experience is none of that works unless you do something prior to that. It’s like goal setting. To me is not effective the way that we do it. It starts with a foundational part of it. If we want change, first step, you have to desire change and really you could talk to almost anybody and they desire change. If it’s somebody that’s overweight wants to lose weight, they desire to lose weight but why don’t they? Somebody that wants to quit smoking, but yet they keep smoking. They want to quit. They talk about quitting, or somebody wants to make more money or have a better relationship or have a relationship at all.
All of that starts with a desire to change, but you can go out to the street corner and the financial district in New York City or LA or someplace and ask a thousand people as they walk down the street, “Would you like to make more money?” Probably every one of them said yes. Even the homeless person pushing their grocery cart would probably say yes. The question is why don’t they? Some do but the reason is because they haven’t decided to do that yet. They have a desire but yet going to that next step in making that decision to do it, is uncomfortable for people. They always way off that pain of change. If I decide that I’m going to be wealthy and I tell all my friends I’m going to be wealthy. Now I’ve decided to it, I’ve committed to it and that in itself scares people. Somebody says, “I’m going to lose 100 pounds.” That in itself scares people because they’re comfortable where they are even though they don’t like where they are.
If you want to change, you’ve got to take desire to that point of decision. You mentioned mindset. A decision creates a mindset. You can’t say, “I’m going to give business a try.”Either you commit to it or you don’t because there is no 99% or 110%. Somebody says, “I’m a 110% committed.” It always raises a red flag to me because you’re either committed or you’re not. There’s no 110. There’s no 99. The first conscious decision I made to become wealthy was when I was 22 years old. Whatever wealth means to you, it might be enough money that pays your bills every month or it might be becoming a millionaire. I didn’t know at that point I just said, “I’m going to get rich and I’m going to do it with this business I’m starting up.”Our first year, I lost everything I owned, but the second year I earned a million dollars. I would not give up. They’re kicking me out of my house. It already been foreclosed and I was five days from living on the street that they have repo’d both of my vehicles. They’d taken all of my furniture and here I’m sitting five days from living on the street.
My dad comes by and he says, “What are you doing son? Why don’t you go back to the factory and take your old job back?” I said, “I can’t.” He said, “You can. They’ll hire you back. You were their best employee.” I’m going, “No, you don’t understand. I can’t go back.”Over the next five days it was series of miracles took place. Had a place to live, I had a car to drive and money coming in, my business took off, somebody stopped and spent some time with me and coached me a little bit. It changed like crazy in an instant. Simply because I wouldn’t give up because that decision, it determines how you show up to the world and it determines how the world shows up for you.
A lot of people that are strategic planners, they think about ideas. They seem like they’ve got a great idea, but they just like to plan. They don’t really do anything. How do you get out of that?
That’s called busy-ness. That’s called faking yourself out. That’s called pretending that you’re busy. A good entrepreneur makes decision and takes action. Do you need a plan? Yeah, but you make your plan as you go along. If you take all the time, “I’m getting ready to get going.” I saw people many years ago, “I can’t start my business until I get business cards.” I’m going, “Come on, aren’t you memorable without business cards? Let’s go.”A plan means nothing unless you’ve made a decision to take action. Your first plan should be what can I take action on today? Whatever it is you want to accomplish. I don’t care what it is. If you want to lose weight, you don’t wait until the first of the year to start. You make a decision to do it. You start today, right now. It’s like somebody approached me one day at a workshop and she said, “I want to quit smoking.” I said, “Have you tried anything in the past?” She said, “Yeah, I’ve tried them all.””What are you trying now?”She said, “I’m on the tapering method.” I said, “You’re still smoking?” She said, “Yeah, but I’m smoking less.” I said, “Do you want to quit?” She said, “Yeah.” I said, “Why don’t you just quit? Why don’t you make a decision to be a non-smoker instead of making a decision to taper off? Because once you’ve made that decision, smoking is not an option.”
It is the pain of going through that withdrawal and all that in that situation that people are afraid of, right?
Whether it’s wanting to be wealthy financially, losing weight, getting healthier, starting an exercise program, starting to spend more time with your family, leaving their cell phone on your desk when you leave the office, whatever it is, it’s making that decision that’s going to carry it through. Because once a decision is made about anything, your view of the world changes. Let’s just take wealthy for instance. If you don’t make a decision to be wealthy, why would you even see opportunities when they come by? Once you’ve made the decision, now your mind is open for opportunities. Like the law of attraction, people think that they attract things into their lives. They don’t. When they make a decision, they see things in their lives that they don’t see before.
You’re helping people reach peak performance. How do you if you’ve reached your peak performance?
I don’t know if you ever do. Peak performance is really relative but helping people to go where they want to go at this point. Now, once they get there, they may have another point to go to. It’s like you’re climbing a mountain, you can only see one peak and when you get to that peak, you can take a peak to the next peak. Peak performance to me, is helping people perform better on a daily basis. Because most people spend about 90% of their time caught up in things that they don’t want and focus on what they don’t want their lives, and focused on problems and issues and I don’t have enough money. They’re focused on all of those things, so how can they perform at their optimum if they’re only using 10% of their time and their efficiency. What I do is help them to discover the things that they’re focusing on and change that focus, and help them let go of the things that aren’t serving them in their performance. Just from doing that alone, their performance increases tremendously.
Do you think it’s easier to be like a serial entrepreneur than an initial one because you’ve just learn to do this already or do you still have all these issues if you’ve had multiple businesses?
It’s different for different people. I’ve gone through phases in my life. I’ve had two jobs. I worked in a gas station, pumping gas. When I was eighteen for about a year, I worked in the factory on an assembly line for about two and a half years. I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since. There’s been a couple of times when I had to go through this learning process to get to that next level. I think we all do that to one degree or another. Some people seem like they’re born entrepreneurs. I had coffee with a fellow and he said, “I’ve never had a job. I started out when I was sixteen, seventeen years old. I’m scratching around trying to figure out how to make money.” He’s wealthy today. He said, “I’ve just never had a job.”Entrepreneurship is really in that mindset.
It’s really the mental toughness to be able to get through the obstacles that you’re faced with, that you’re an entrepreneur because it’s not always easy. It’s worth it, but it’s not always easy. You go get a job someplace and somebody says, “If you do this job and you show up every day, on Friday, we’re going to give you a paycheck and then you’re going to get two weeks’ vacation per year after you’re here for a year. You get a Christmas bonus. If you do that, you get paid this. If you do the job well. If you do it really well I might give you a pay raise.” That’s different to being an entrepreneur. You got to get up in the morning and it’s like it’s the ‘You Incorporated’ and you got to look in the mirror to tell you what you’re supposed to be doing that day. That’s hard for some people, but it can be learned.
It is hard, and I think having a sales background was helpful to me. Because every business you have to sell something whether you really realize it or not. I am sure that you have a lot of people that struggle with that part of the business. They have the ideas but they don’t want to sell. At the beginning, if you’re the only one, you have to know how to do it all, right?
Yeah, I believe that if you open your mouth, you’re selling. I don’t care if it’s your opinion, your ideas, your business, your product, whatever it might be. My first year in business, I joined up with a direct selling company. The only thing I knew that I had to do was talk to people, but I didn’t know how to talk to people. I worked in a factory. I dropped out of high school. I had no education. I didn’t know how to meet strangers. I knew the people I work with in the factory and that was about it. I went out every day and my goal was to talk to ten people a day. We didn’t have internet, we didn’t have all the tools and technology that we have today. I talked to ten a day for that first year and as I said, at the end of the first year, I lost everything I owned. I had 3,650 reasons to quit and fix 3,650 feelings of rejection, and I would give up. I looked back on that year and it was honestly one of the best years of my life now because do I have trouble meeting people? No. Do I have trouble with rejection? No. I can eat that for breakfast every morning. He tells me no, it’s just an outcome. I don’t take anything personally.
Do you have to fail to be successful then? Do you think that that helped you?
Can you be successful without failing or without having the negative thing that happened to you first? Can you just go skip that part and just get to be just successful?
You can but I think also pain and adversity makes you stronger. Somebody inherits a lot of money doesn’t mean that they’ve gone through anything to earn that money. I think the stuff that you go through that’s painful was just like when I would walk up and talk to a stranger, it was painful for me. That was fearful because I didn’t know what they were going to say. After a year, I discovered I don’t think anybody has ever been killed walking up and just saying hi to a stranger. What’s the worst thing could happen to me as they told me no or go away or who are you to talk to me or whatever. I found that people really do want to talk. They’re very friendly for the most part, there’s a couple of mean and ugly ones around, but not that many. There’s only half a dozen of those, but they move around quite bit, so you got to be careful for.
You get thicker skinned as you get older, but when I was young it was very intimidating and it’s tough for younger people. I’m sure you probably hear all the talk of millennials and how different they are and all that stuff. Do you have any different advice for them than anybody else or do you think that they could use the same principles as everybody else?
I think if we’re not careful, we lose the human connection and that’s really the basis for life and business. The greatest need that any human being has is the need to feel connected, wanted, loved a part of something, connected to somebody else. If you were the only person on the planet it would be pretty lonely. Everybody has a desire to be connected to somebody. Social media is not really a connection. It’s an introduction but it’s not a connection. To me it’s picking up the phone and calling somebody and saying, “Hello, let’s meet for coffee if you’re in my town,” or whatever it is. That human connection is critical not only for your business part but for life. I think that technology, if I had to look back and say what era what I love living in again, I’d say probably the ‘70s or early ‘80s before we had the technology because it was just beginning then.
You start looking around at people at an airport and everybody’s got an electronic gadget in front of everybody. They’re looking at that all the time, and a lot of that’s to avoid human contact. What they really don’t realize is human contact is what they need. That’s my opinion. One of my son’s in college. He makes about between $1,000 and $2,000 every weekend and he’s one of the top ten in the world playing this one video game and people pay him to play with him. He makes sometimes a couple of thousand dollars in a weekend. I said, “What are you going to do when you get out of school?”He said, “I don’t know. I might keep playing video games. I’m in the top ten in the world in the guy that’s number one is afraid to play me.”He made half a million last year doing this.”I said, “More power to you if you can do that three days a week and be off the rest of the week, why not.”
You just never know what the next jobs are going to be. I was selling computers in the early 80s before PCs and all that. I look at all the jobs that are out there now, it’s amazing what technology has created. It sounds like you helped so many companies and so many people to be more successful. Have you really helped 300 corporations? That’s a lot.
I’ve consulted with over 300.
How people can reach you to get help for their own companies and their people?
I do a lot with because of my early success in the direct sales industry. I consult with a lot of companies there and design custom training packages for them and that type of thing. I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve always got multiple type of businesses going and I’ve tried just about not everything but a lot of different things. I have it at work and you got to learn to let go and move pass that certainly get caught up in a failure. I just spent a half a million dollars on a TV infomercial and it didn’t work. I could sit around all day moping about losing half a million dollars, but that doesn’t help anything. I’ve learned to let go and move past that and say, “That didn’t work. Let’s try something different.” You got to be bold. That’s actually one of the steps to accomplishing what you want and especially in today’s world as you have to be bold.
If you want something more than just mediocrity or getting by, nothing wrong with that if that’s what somebody wants. If you want more than that, you’ve got to put yourself in the spotlight and you got to take center stage and do it without any stunt doubles or background music or script to follow or anything. You’re just got to be bold today. You got to do things that other people aren’t willing to do, and that’s uncomfortable. Everything you’re comfortable with is easy. My greatest fear was public speaking. I’ve been in front of over a million and a half people and thousands of audiences, but when I first started, that was my greatest fear. How long did it take me to overcome that fear? I’d probably been in front of 300,000 people before I overcame it.
I think especially the bigger groups, it’s tough. It’s easier when you’re in small intimate groups but you get the big spotlights in your face and it can be bad for even the best speakers.
I remember the day that I no longer have to fear it happened in one day. It was me learning how to let go. If you’re speaking in public, the two things that we want is we want to control the audience and will want their approval. What I discovered is when you let go of the need to control them, you’re in control. When you let go of the need for approval, you get approval. That happens in any area of your life whether it’s speaking in public or having a one-on-one relationship to somebody. Those two needs.
I think those are really important things to advise people because I get speakers all the time that that’s what they struggle with.
The need to control really is the need for approval. I just categorized them differently, but in speaking it’s usually always that approval or seeking they want approval. I’ve seen a lot of speakers that they become somebody different on stage and it’s not who they really are. They’re trying to become something different to impress the audience. The reality is the audience really wants to know you. If you can be you on stage, that’s one of the things I get all the time. You’re no different onstage than you are talking on the phone.
I could talk to you all day because we have so much in common. I’d love to talk about all the sales stuff. Maybe I’ll have you come back someday and we can go over some of your other books. I’d loved for you to share your website before we close up here. Do you have a website for people to contact you?
It’s JimBritt.com. A lot of my different programs are on there. I’ve got one called The Power of Letting Go, one called Cracking the Rich Code and several others. I just started a new company marketing a weight-loss coffee. If anybody is looking to lose some weight, it is absolutely an incredible product. All you got to do is drink a cup a day.
I’m going to check it out and I hope everybody else does too. Thank you for being on my show. It’s so wonderful talking to you, Jim.
My pleasure, Diane. Thank you.
I want to thank Tom and Jim for being my guests. They were amazing. Please join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins carries the standard as a master sales trainer and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on selling techniques and salesmanship. More than 5,000,000 people on five continents have attended Tom’s high-energy live seminars. Tom personally conducts 30+ seminars each year traveling throughout the North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South Africa. Tom Hopkins is the author of eighteen books, including “How to Master the Art of Selling™,” which has sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide. This mega-selling book is considered a must-have reference guide for top selling producers in every field of sales. He has also authored three selling-skills books in the popular “…for Dummies®” series. And, his latest, “When Buyers Say No” (2014) is receiving rave reviews.
About Jim Britt
Jim Britt is an internationally recognized leader in the field of peak performance and personal empowerment training. He is author of 13 best-selling books including, Cracking the Rich Code, Cracking the Life Code, Rings of Truth, The Power of Letting Go, Freedom, Unleashing Your Authentic Power, Do This. Get Rich-For Entrepreneurs, The Flaw in The Law of Attraction, The Law of Realization, and The Change book series, to name a few. Jim has presented seminars throughout the world sharing his success principles and life enhancing realizations with thousands of audiences, totaling over 1,500,000 people from all walks of life. Jim has served as a success counselor to over 300 corporations worldwide. He was recently named as one of the world’s top 50 success coaches and again as one of the top 50. He was voted Trainer of the year and received The Best of the Best Award out of the top 100 contributors of all time to the direct selling industry.
- Tom Hopkins
- Jim Britt
- How to Master the Art of Selling
- When Buyers Say No
- Michael Vance
- Cracking the Rich Code
- Cracking the Life Code
- Rings of Truth
- The Power of Letting Go
- Unleashing your Authentic Power
- Do This: Get Rich for Entrepreneurs
- The Flaw in the Law of Attraction
- The Law of Realization
- The Change
- The Power of Letting Go
- Cracking the Rich Code