Dan Tocchini on How to Build an Effective Sales Organization
Today, on the Profitable Property Management Podcast, I have the distinct pleasure of hosting my friend and coach, Dan Tocchini. Dan has been an executive trainer and coach for over 35 years and in those years, he has worked with sales leaders and managers of all kinds.
In our chat, Dan breaks sales down to its core and cover everything you need to know to build an effective sales organization, from sales fundamentals to specific tactics your team can implement today.
Regardless of what your sales team looks like today, or if you even have one yet, this is an episode you cannot miss.
- (01:36) – Background Leading Up To Today
- (01:45) – Dan details his journey of success and entrepreneurship.
- (04:14) – What Dan’s coaching and training practice look like today.
- (05:23) – Sales Fundamentals
- (06:12) – Dan breaks down sales to its core.
- (06:43) – The importance of listening.
- (08:37) – Why it’s necessary to have your own finances squared and understood when engaging the sales process.
- (09:45) – The ‘follow up’.
- (12:13) – How to approach the follow-up and what mistakes to avoid.
- (12:33) – Understanding your client’s interests, pressures, and influences.
- (12:13) – How to approach the follow-up and what mistakes to avoid.
- (14:56) – How should salespeople think about the language they use on a call?
- (15:57) – Three basic principles to understand.
- (19:01) – ‘Question Storming’.
- (21:06) – How a salesperson can talk, or think themselves out of a rut.
- (25:52) – Discussing the right temperament suited for sales.
- (26:21) – Dan shares a story from his experience to illustrate the right kind of temperament needed.
- (30:34) – Handling objections.
- (06:12) – Dan breaks down sales to its core.
- (38:30) – Hiring
- (38:42) – What an owner or entrepreneur can do during the onboarding process to prepare a salesperson for success.
- (39:13) – Identifying essential key performance indicators for the job.
- (39:36) – Understanding an employee’s preferences.
- (41:27) – Preparing for an interview by identifying potential breakdowns in these key areas.
- (46:02) – What to do if a hire is not performing as desired.
- (48:24) – Advice on how to approach the process of letting someone go in a way that serves them as well as the organization.
- (38:42) – What an owner or entrepreneur can do during the onboarding process to prepare a salesperson for success.
- (51:26) – Commercial Break
- (51:58) – What Dan would consider from a well-run event that makes it worth the investment.
- (55:03) – what advice do you wish somebody had given you when you first started in sales?
- (55:24) – Who do you learn from?
- (56:59) – What’s the hardest part about keeping the student mindset over time?
- (58:16) – Are entrepreneurs born or bred?
- Blood and Ethos: The Institute for Heroic Living (04:55) – Dan’s VIP training and personal development programs.
- The Talent Helix (05:10) – Dan’s management training and strategic consulting firm.
- Grant Cardone – New York Times bestselling author, international speaker, business innovator, social media personality and top sales trainer in the world.
- Jason Silva (55:58) – Learning resource recommended by Dan.
- Antifragile by Nassim Tana – Learning resource recommended by Dan for staying agile in a very quickly changing marketplace.
Where to learn more:
Jordan: 0:00:00.3 Welcome closers. Today we have another episode of The Profitable Property Management Podcast coming at you. This is Season 2 on sales.
I’m your host Jordan Muela, and every week I interview world class property management entrepreneurs and industry experts who share actionable insights to help you grow your property management empire.
0:00:21.4 Whether you manage 100 or 1000 doors, this broadcast is designed to help you see the big picture and give you the tools and tactics that you need to get to the next level.
0:00:32.2 Today I have the distinct pleasure of hosting my friend and coach, Dan Tocchini. Dan has been a business coach for many, many years.
He’s been an executive trainer and coach for over 35 years, if I got that right, and he’s worked with all kinds of sales leaders, sales managers, sales people, boots on the ground.
0:00:59.8 Today, we’re going to go through the process of exploring Dan’s insight on how to drive an effective sales organization.
0:01:08.9 Dan, thanks for coming on the show.
Dan: 0:01:10.4 Thanks for having me Jordan, I appreciate it. Now I hope I don’t let anybody down after that great interview – or announcement or introduction. I’m going to record that, give it to my wife.
Jordan: 0:01:26.0 Well it’s easier to do for you because I know you quite a bit better than a number of the other guests that I’ve had on the show. 0:01:32.0 It really is a real pleasure to have you on.
0:01:36.1 And I just want to start here: Give me some quick background for the audience so they can understand where you’re coming from in terms of coaching, training, etc.
Dan: 0:01:45.2 Well, I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My father is a first-generation Italian over here and he – actually my grandfather and he came over together, I guess, but my grandfather opened the first talking motion picture theatre north of San Francisco with barely more than a high school education, and my father has taken that and made it one of the top movie theatre circuits in the country.
And then, you know, my grandfather’s family started – his brothers were partners with Aliotos who started the produce business in the early 1900s in San Francisco.
0:02:26.9 So I grew up in that environment. And then secondly, my mother was a manic-depressive, schizophrenic and I know it doesn’t sound – what does that have to do with this, but I actually learned to communicate with her in order to just kind of stay connected to her.
0:02:44.4 Over the years she’s done real well, but during that time I had the privilege of getting involved in a lot of different types of therapy and philosophy, etc around communication. 0:02:58.8 Which really plays into the entrepreneurial world, building a business, selling services or products or projects like that.
Jordan: 0:03:06.9 I didn’t know that about your mother, so that’s kind of a necessity is the mother of invention sort of scenario. You had some life circumstances that forced you to master – begin to master some of the things that are now your bread and butter.
Dan: 0:03:19.6 Yeah, I started – my first book I ever read – I was 12 years old, I read a book called, The Myth of Mental Illness. And then I read a book called – actually it was an article, and then I read a book called, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim.
And all of it was around communication and understanding how to communicate with people who communicate differently than we’re used to.
Jordan: 0:03:42.6 Yeah, that’s some pretty heavy reading for a 12 year old.
Dan: 0:03:44.7 Like you said, necessity. When you want to talk to your mother – you can tell she’s trying to say something, you just don’t understand it. Which I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of clients like that too.
Jordan: 0:03:56.1 So translate that into what you currently do today. I know you’re a coach because you coach me. We’ve been working together for a number of months now. It’s been immensely helpful, but I know that you’ve worked with a number of organizations as well as individuals.
What is your coaching and training practice look like?
Dan: 0:04:14.2 Well I have two companies. One’s a public – I call a general public facing company and it’s a training company. I’ve been doing – I started up in the human potential movement in the late ’70s and learned that whole craft and developed a series of training and coaching.
0:04:33.7 In fact, I started a coaching company in 1982 called, The Coaching Company. But it was a little too early and most of the business owners thought we were a sports organization.
0:04:44.7 And so I’ve taken those and I’ve developed – I’ve built and sold a number of different training companies and consulting firms. And this public facing company is called, Blood and Ethos 04:55.6 It’s The Institute for Heroic Living and it’s basically – we do all kinds of personal development trainings and coaching for the general public.
And then I have another company that’s a consulting firm. 0:05:09.7 It’s called, The Talent Helix 0:05:10.3 and we do everything from talent – everything around talent development including sales and management training and strategic consulting.
Jordan: 0:05:23.5 So let’s tie this to sales. Sales is one of those areas of the organization that is probably more likely to get an investment of training or – I’m thinking of soft skills type training. In terms of bringing in a professional coach or trainer, etc.
0:05:45.4 I think that one of the reasons that that is the case is that unlike other aspects of the organization that are viewed as being more mechanistic in terms of operations, sales has a little bit of that x factor.
0:05:57.9 There’s a perception that it’s a combination of part charisma, part gut intuition. But when we deconstruct it, there obviously are some common elements. Some learned behaviour, some patterns of success. 0:06:12.8 So starting here, what is sales at its core, Dan?
Dan: 0:06:16.9 Well, you know look, one of the things – in fact, our byline at The Talent Helix is, “that success doesn’t have to be a black box”.
And so you’re kind of hitting on it. There’s an art and a science to success in sales and at the bottom line, sales is a mastery of a – basically of a craft.
0:06:43.2 And it begins with listening. A great listener can be a great salesman. A lot of people have the misconception that a great salesman is a great talker. 0:06:52.5 But a great listener knows what to say to support and to persuade and open up possibility with people.
0:07:01.7 So, understanding sales – there are five basic areas that I think people need to master. 0:07:09.8 And I think they’ve got to – I know as a young man I had to – I really thought, you know, I could just go in there and persuade people to do what I thought I wanted them to do.
And what I learned was, all I needed to do was get out of the way and help people do what they already wanted to do and that’s why they came to me was to buy something. A product a service, or even a project that they want to put together.
And I would say mastering that art of getting out of the way and supporting and understanding people in what they already want and providing them the choices that’ll get them – they’ll have an opportunity to choose exactly what they want.
So that’s what sales is for me. I mean, it’s just that simple. 0:07:52.0 And there are some basic principles in it. 0:07:54.5
I mean, number one, I found that understanding how money works for me, how I have my financial situation, understanding the ups and downs of finance and understanding what my goals are going in is vital to being able to really make myself relevant to the client. And then…
Jordan: 0:08:21.5 Pause on that. Let’s flesh that out for a minute, Dan. What do you mean by that? Just basically understanding your side of the equation of getting square on what your needs, wants and desires are before you make any suppositions about the other party? Is that what you’re getting at?
Dan: 0:08:37.3 That’s right. I want to be squared away. I don’t want any of my survival involved in the process. So I want to know how I’m put together. And by the way, that comes in handy when I’m starting to talk with a client.
0:08:50.0 Because, if I – you know, it always ends up working in there – understanding their financial situation, and understanding how they relate to money.
And so, by knowing that in myself and being squared away, I have a good foundation to move from.
0:09:08.1 So I know it sounds odd, but every great sales guy I’ve studied, that’s the first thing they tell me. 0:09:12.6 You know.
Jordan: 0:09:13.7 It totally makes sense. There’s enough going on on the other side of the table, why complicate it with your own baggage and issues. As opposed to having clarity on your end. That’s the thing that you have more control over.
Dan: 0:09:24.6 Both personally and corporately. I mean, I want to be squared away on both sides. I don’t want my agenda or the company’s agenda to, you know, foul the water. That’s basically what I’m after.
Jordan: 0:09:36.7 Sure, sure.
What are some other pillar concepts for you. You mentioned that was one.
Dan: 0:09:45.7 Another one is, you know, follow up. I think the money is in the follow up. How often, how you follow up, the ways that you follow up. But then, five to seven – it takes five to seven contacts before somebody generally buys anything.
0:10:01.8 And those contacts can’t just be, “Hey you should come spend money with me.” But really a concern with, “How is this client doing, how is this customer doing? How can I serve them?”
You know, I sold asphalt for a long time, I was a sales manager for an asphalt company, and working with property managers, etc., was key.
0:10:21.2 And I know that the property manager, they had to please somebody else. The decision maker was one step removed.
And so I wanted to make sure that I was giving that extra value and that they could count on me for a service before, you know, before I was going to get a sale. 0:10:38.8 And I added value to them.
So, understanding them, following up on their needs, what they’re up to, how can I best serve them, always brought the best business.
0:10:48.0 And I realized it would take five to seven contacts before something might happen. And each contact had to be of value to them.
So that was a big deal for me. And that’s how you build ongoing. That’s how you get your reoccurring sales. Is people feel – you build the trust factor and the credibility factor by doing that.
Jordan: 0:11:14.0 So, Dan, when we talk about followup, we enter, potentially, the realm of the rote. The realm of discipline.
But we also have the opportunity to talk about the mental orientation of the long game. Because in my mind, there are a couple of schools of thought here.
0:11:31.7 One is, “Hey, you just need to grind it out like a machine. Followup religiously. Just like a body lifter doing that curl, kind of blindly.”
And the other is doing it out of a position of optimism. Out of relationship building. Of playing the long-term game that says, “Not only do I want this sale, but I want the renewal. I want the expansion revenue on the account and I want the three other accounts that this person can refer to me.” 0:12:01.2
How should someone approach followup and what goes wrong that causes people to so frequently drop the ball on something that’s pretty obvious?
Dan: 0:12:13.0 You know, I had the privilege many years ago to actually do a training at Harvard and I was part of the Disney University for about seven years.
And one of the things that we got into was understanding the interests that are – my clients’ interests and how they intersect with my own interests.
0:12:33.5 And if I – I understand their interests, both – and that has a lot to do with – there’s a lot in that. There’s their personal interests. The personal interests of the person I’m speaking with.
There’s the company interest that they have that they’re trying to serve. And the pressures that they’re up against internally. 0:12:53.6 There’s their personal life, etc.
“How much do I know about this client? How much do I know about the problem they’re trying to solve? How much do I know about the competition that I’m up against and what my differentiators are and how they actual play into the interests of the client?
And what kinds of – what cycles of – who else is at the table that I can’t see? Who is this client representing and how can I make sure that they are winning with the people that they’re answering to that have interests and influence into the deal?
0:13:30.7 So, if I’m aware of that, when I’m following up, I’m going to be relevant to them. Otherwise, I’m just calling up – they get it, they can taste the selfishness, they can taste the manipulation, they can taste it.
0:13:43.6 So, you know, if I’m calling because I’m desperate or I’m – or because I need a deal, or because it’s just the thing to do and I know that I’ve been told that after the five or seven contacts they’re going to buy – it gets rough.
0:13:53.8 Just like you said. It gets flat. There’s no life. There’s no connection. And trust is the name of the game. Credibility.
Jordan: 0:14:03.8 So you’re looking for that deepest felt need. You’re exploring until you find it, because you know that when you do find it, it’s going to be the key that’s actually going to translate the conversation into action. Totally makes sense.
0:14:14.8 I think that’s a more enriched and mindful view of what we would typically talk about discovery.
Now, when we talk about discovery, we’re talking about where the conversation should begin in query, that is maybe a little ahead of some of the language that tends to get a bad rap.
When people start talking about things like scripts, for example, a lot of people’s eyes glaze over. 0:14:40.9 But what the idea of a script is getting at, is having a thoughtful, pre-meditated, muscle memory type response to the common needs, wants and objections of the client.
0:14:56.2 We’ve talked a lot offline about the importance of language in general. What is wound up or packed up in the words, the language, and the dialogue that goes back and forth with a prospect?
Dan: 0:15:11.6 We could do twenty podcasts on that one. You know look, language – so I’m just going to break it down.
I’m a big researcher, so I do a ton of reading, I do a ton of training. I’ve done everything from Tony Robbins to you know, Grant Cardone, you name it, Dale Carnegie. I’ve studied all kinds of it.
And the idea is – I’ve noticed that language is – there’s a saying, “Language is the house of being.” It’s a philosophical saying and what it means is that – we, people, and neuroscience has proven this out – done a lot of – recently there’s been just a ton of great literature around neuro-scientific studies about the human brain and how it responds.
0:15:57.7 And there are three basic principles that have been discovered, or illuminated and can be utilized in a very powerful way.
0:16:05.2 One is people always act congruently with the way the world actually occurs to them.
0:16:11.4 So, you know, if I think you’re here to help me, if I really believe you’re here to help me – whether you are or not, I’m going to act congruently with that.
0:16:19.9 And, but, on the other side is true too. If I think you’re hear to hurt me, even though you’re hear to help me, I’m still going to act congruent with the concern that I have in my body that you’re here to hurt me. And so, what tends to happen is we don’t pay attention to our language.
0:16:41.0 And because the second principle is, the way the world occurs for people actually happens in language. And most people don’t stop to think about the impact, the neurological impact that language has both on you personally, and on the person you’re talking to.
0:16:59.7 So, for instance, when I say, “Why don’t you write down right now, write down your biggest challenge in your work. In your sales. If you’re selling, what’s your biggest challenge. Go ahead write it down.” Write it down Jordan, what do you got? What do you come up with?
Jordan: 0:17:18.7 My biggest challenge.
Dan: 0:17:21.2 Yeah. Can you? Do you have one?
Jordan: 0:17:23.0 Yeah, I mean, my biggest challenge is leading myself and managing my own mental game on a day to day basis still.
Dan: 0:17:32.2 Ok. So now, if you noticed how you said that. You stated it. Leading myself and managing myself on a day to day basis in the work that you’re doing. Right? Managing. Staying motivated.
So you – so when you stated it as a statement, what your brain does is go around gathering the information that it needs to literally be right about that statement. Right? And that’s a neuro fact.
Now if you stated it like this, and I discovered this, because my son is a savant. He’s an unbelievable engineer and he’s about ready to blow some minds on the internet, but I noticed when I work with him – he’s got four degrees from Berkeley all in science and he’s exhausted the math there and he’s a real interesting cat – but one of the things – I like people and I watch what they do and what makes them good, and I noticed – I ask him, “Well what are you doing?”
“I’m solving this problem.”
“Well what’s the problem?”
“Well I’m trying to figure out how I can blah, blah, blah, blah. What is it going to take for this to open up, or that.”
0:18:34.6 When you start to frame your challenges as questions, you see the problem differently. And that’s, that little shift I’ve had people come back and say, “That’s amazing.”
0:18:48.3 So if you sat down and you write down your biggest challenge and you do it detailed, and then you frame it as a question and you live in it, then it opens up and you look out from that question and it opens up other possibilities.
0:19:01.1 And if you really want to have fun, take that same challenge, sit down with three people that you work with, make a game out of it – I call it, ‘Question Storming’. Like brainstorming, and you just come up with 50 questions about the problem.
Nobody gets to answer any of the questions, nobody gets to tee it up. You only get to ask one question at a time. You don’t get to ask another question until that question has been written down and people are thinking about it.
0:19:29.6 And what will happen is, the questions will get more and more vital. Once you have 50, pick the top five and answer those and see what happens.
Jordan: 0:19:40.4 So you know I’m big on this, Dan. When we started doing our coaching work together, it was largely predicated upon our first interaction in which I tested you.
And I tested you by bringing you a large, crusty, intractable problem. 0:19:58.7 And in the course of whatever the call was, 45 minutes, by the end of the call, I was able to realize that not only did the problem not exist, but to the extent that it did exist, I was the one creating it as opposed to the folks that I was blaming it on.
0:20:17.3 And that was both freeing, but also, it was a little scary. Just to realize that I had that much anxiety about a problem that didn’t exist and it was largely a matter of my perspective, my orientation, and the level of certainty that I had that I had.
The commitment to being right about the problem as opposed to, as you said, exploring the possibilities.
0:20:39.5 But let’s get practical, because we’re talking about sales, Dan. That’s what we’re talking about.
So, if somebody is in a sales role, and either they’re executing the sales plan, they’re picking up the phone and they’re coming from the place of, “This isn’t working, people aren’t buying. The product is wrong.”
They’re frustrated, or from the manager’s perspective of the sales person is not working. The sales person is broken, I need to fire them.
0:21:06.8 What is the key to triggering yourself to getting out of that rut and to reorient or reframe?
Dan: 0:21:15.5 Well, I mean, first off you’re making up – So the third principle of when I talk about how people always act congruently with the way the world occurs for them.
The way the world occurs for them happens in language, and the last one hits right on this question.
0:21:32.5 Future language transforms current state.
So how you’re talking about the future determines who you are now. And if you think when you leave that chair or you’re going to go out and meet a customer and all that’s going on and that’s everything you’re facing, your mood is going to be very different than if you go out thinking and believing there’s a possibility for them to buy and that they want to buy.
That’s why they’re coming to you. They’re not there because they want to meet you and they’re not there for any other reason but because they’re interested and they’re looking for a reason to spend their money because they see value. 0:22:08.
0:22:10.8 So, you know, it’s like this: If you and I were working together and you thought – you really believed you were going to double your income in the next year.
And I looked up and I looked at the circumstances and I decided from the same circumstances that I’m going to make half of what I made next year.
You are going to be very different in that conversation than I am. You know, you’re going to be out there planning, looking for how to invest the money, maybe taking a vacation.
Maybe you’re going to improve your house. You’re in different conversation. You’re in a whole different world than I am.
0:22:42.2 I’m in saving, pulling back, figuring out how I can not lose as much as I believe I’m going to lose, etc. We’re going to have a very different presence.
0:22:51.3 And that happens in the sales realm all the time. That’s why it’s valuable to have a team and to accept and open up and continue to verbalize what’s going on in a way that you can reinvent that language so when you leave to go be with a client, your expectation isn’t going to be to confirm how bad things are, but to explore and act on what’s possible, because that’s person’s there and that’s what drove them there. Was the possibility.
Jordan: 0:23:21.6 Well said. Well said. Yeah. I love it. I think that when we enter into this territory, for some folks that are listening to this, guys, some of you are thinking, “Hey you know what, I’m starting to smell some motivational kind of stuff, or some squishy personal development sort of stuff”, and I think that if I was going to sum up that objection, it’s that the guy who thinks he’s going to double his income, you know, what if he’s wrong? What if he is deluding himself?
Dan: 0:23:53.9 Well, he very well may be. The point is, if he believes it, he’s going to be much more apt to act in a way that’s going to produce it than the guy who’s trying not to lose. Playing not lose.
0:24:06.5 And let me tell you, I’ve been – I’ve worked with the head of sales at Interstate Battery, Microsoft, Disney – I’ve been involved in some very large deals and working with teams across the, you know, the spectrum.
0:24:24.0 And for somebody – if you don’t make the connection between the way you view the client and your ability to be with them, that’s part of the training, then you’re basically going to continue to recreate the same problems over and over again.
You’re just rearranging the furniture on the Titanic, because when something not’s working with the client, it’s not an accident that Grant Cardone could walk into a Harley shop in the southwest in the middle of winter and sell 11 Harleys while everybody else on the average in one week – while everybody else averages maybe 1 a month there. That’s not an accident.
Jordan: 0:25:01.3 That is so powerful. I just want to pause on that guys. If you have persistent problems that follow you around, is it more likely that you’re continuing to run into new people that are the source of it, or is it more likely that that’s something that is being carried from within? 0:25:22.9
If you’re failing in your ongoing interactions with prospects, if there’s one objection you can never overcome, if you’re have a series of BDM, business development management hires that haven’t worked out or have underperformed, or that have started off well, but slowly ended poorly, those are opportunities for exploring to break through and to find new possibilities.
0:25:52.3 Dan, I do want to talk about the role of the sales person – I guess the temperament of the sales person. Because I hear you talking about transformation.
About how a person can learn new behaviours, patterns of thinking 0:26:04.3 At the same time, surely you believe that there is a specific temperament that is well suited to sales, correct?
Dan: 0:26:12.0 There is a – yes. Let’s just say there is a set of preferences. Alright? So when we talk about temperament that sounds permanent.
Dan: 0:26:21.6 Temperament comes out of what we prefer. So let me give you – this is a true story. I’m working with this asphalt company, and they’re working with property managers, who are working with principles, making decisions about the their property.
0:26:37.7 And I’m – with the sales team – I was hired to help the sales team to come in and reorganize it. And one of the things I noticed in the meetings is that this sales team was – they’re telling me all their objections they’re coming up against.
And any salesman knows that if you’re selling a product, if you’re selling your service, if you’re selling some project, they are only so many objections that come out.
0:27:01.8 And if you’re aware of those objections, those objections are telling you what the client wants.
And one of the objections these gentleman had, and women, that were selling this – their asphalt services to property managers, was, “I’m working with somebody who doesn’t really understand the nuances of asphalt selling, and they constantly get their bids screwed up.
They’re not apples to apples, oranges to apples, and they’re taking the one that’s most – always the cheapest.
But they’re not getting the best service, and over the long run it’s going to be more, and blah, blah, blah.”
0:27:39.6 And my point to them was, “Ok good. So let’s really look at what the breakdown is. Let’s get – instead – because they’re stating how it is. “Well this is impossible.”
0:27:48.8 You don’t know what it’s like to sell somebody that has got to sell it for you to the principle.”
And I said, “Well, so what? Maybe I see something you don’t.”
I spent a week there watching it and then I came up with a real simple service. I decided to take my bids. I said with the guy – I worked with two specific people. Two sales people. One guy, one woman.
And the gal, to me she was really sharp. 0:28:22.0 I mean, she knew what she was up to. She was much more open.
The other guy was an elder – you know, he’s my age, sixty-something, and he had his mindset, this is just how it works.
0:28:32.3 So I suggested to the two of them, “Here’s what I would do. I would do a screen shot of my bids and how they laid out. And I would walk through it and compare it with the others, etc. Or at least with what they want to do, and this is why we’re doing this and this is why we’re doing that.
And I would make sure that the property manager felt confident about it, because they would need to go in, and if they give this to them, they’re going to look good, because they’re going to be able to educate their boss.
And even if they choose somebody else, that’s ok, they’re going to have a sense of credibility with you until you learn what it is.”
0:29:12.0 Well, the gentleman didn’t do it, and the gal I was working with did, and she did a really good job.
And her sales jumped double in the next two months. Doubled up. And her closing rate almost – it was amazing. Her closing rate went way up and her credibility with some property managers she was working with was tremendous.
0:29:32.0 Because one of them said, “Look, I could go back and look at that, and I knew how to talk to the other salesman from the other companies I was comparing with.
0:29:38.9 So all the sudden, this gal became a credibility source, even if they weren’t going to use it. And she made it clear, she said, “Look. I want the job but I know that if you know what you’re doing, you’re going to be better at your job, and eventually, if you get that from me, you’re coming back to me.” And this company charged – they were – they delivered a great service, but they were mid to the higher end, but they started getting the business because of the value.
So that’s just an example of how attitude can change it. 0:30:09.0 The other guy ended up leaving. They ended up – he ended up leaving because he didn’t want to do that. He was afraid of the tech, he didn’t understand it, and he felt like he was – it wasn’t worth his time so he went off and did something else.
0:30:22.4 So that’s the difference between attitude in there.
Jordan: 0:30:25.2 So, the gal that actually took your advice, she benefited in the short term by taking a long-term perspective on it.
Dan: 0:30:32.1 Yeah, she’s now the sales manager there.
Jordan: 0:30:34.7 Love it. So, when we talk about dealing with objections, there are obviously some objections that can be resolved in the short term and you work past it and you’ve got an immediate buyer. There are other objections that can’t.
And then in those situations, maybe you don’t have the right answer, but by giving people and honest, service-focused orientation, you’re able to build the credibility for the long-term goal.
0:31:02.5 You shared with me the mastering objections framework, which is basically a series of abbreviations. It’s kind of a ‘at a glance’ sheet. You know what I’m referring to.
0:31:15.3 I found this absolutely fascinating. I want to share this with the audience. Can you give me some background and context on this document that we’re going to be sharing with these folks?
Dan: 0:31:25.0 Sure. When I was younger – my brother’s probably – I think my brother Corey is one of the greatest salesman I’ve ever watched.
He was – he worked with Grant Cardone as kind of a partner in the early years when he and Grant were involved in transforming the car sales business from a high-pressure, you know, manipulative process to a consultative sale and giving people all the information and letting them make the choices going down the road. 0:31:56.9 I could go into how it works. But this was part of it.
0:31:59.3 And the idea was to give the client as much control, you just give them the control. Don’t argue with them, always agree with them. And to understand.
0:32:10.2 And I don’t mean that in a condescending way, I mean authentically agree with them. 0:32:12.6 Find out how they’re thinking by agreeing with them.
And listening to them and understanding it is they’re trying to solve and providing them the choices for them to solve it. 0:32:25.9 And these, what we call gambits, are ways to get around many of the objections.
0:32:33.5 So when somebody says to you, “You know what? I’m not buying today.” I say, “No problem.”
And then I say, “I understand.” Right?
0:32:43.4 So allow me to help you do whatever you need. “What is it that you’d like to do.” Like that’s a simple question.
Alright, so now what have I done? 0:32:53.5 I’m not arguing with him, I’m not trying to get him to buy. I just want to understand why he’s there and how can I serve that purpose.
Jordan: 0:33:01.1 You’re facilitating the exploration of the context.
Dan: 0:33:04.5 That’s right. I want him to know I’m fine that he doesn’t buy. I’m fine that wherever he’s at, I’m ok with it. In fact, that’s the best place to start. Let’s get going.
You know, “I’m not buying.”
“Well I wouldn’t expect you to. That’s good news.”
Anything to get beyond – and I was selling cars when I started doing this so, it’s a different deal. 0:33:29.8 I’ve sold cars and I’ve sold insurance. I’ve traded ships. I’ve told cash shelter and cash flow investments. I’ve sold businesses. And I’ve had the privilege of doing that. And these things work all the time.
0:33:41.9 Especially when somebody is spun up. What I want to do is – it’s a gambit. So that they don’t have to be stuck in that place. They know I’m not trying to move them, I’m just there to understand.
Jordan: 0:33:54.1 Spun up was put lightly. When you think about when someone comes on to the lot, they’re ready to do war.
They’re perked up, they’re ready to have that sales person pounce on them and there’s so much pent up energy.
This is almost like a release valve just to bring things down to parity to actually have a conversation.
Dan: 0:34:15.8 And you want to talk about attitude. When you go in – and somebody comes on the lot like that, if you take it personally, you’re going to be canon fodder.
But if it’s a game. If you understand that that’s what they’re going to do – game meaning that they’re coming on that way because of the way the industry is.
0:34:31.5 So now, I’m going to relax into that. I’m going to be ok with that. I’m not going to take it personal.
0:34:35.6 It’s ok. They can say whatever they want to me. I know my job – I know they’re there to buy or they wouldn’t have walked on the lot. So why don’t I just relax, figure out, understand how that’s going to look. No problem. Right?
0:34:51.3 And so, these gambits can be used – there’s nine of them. And they can be used in multiple different ways. But the idea is to get connected and get over there shoulder to shoulder, facing the same horizon, not face to face, you know, trying to get in a polarized situation.
0:35:10.5 But shoulder to shoulder, what is this person wanting to do, how can I support them to do it. And they get that I’m here for that. And that’s why you want to have yourself squared away. That you’re not in survival when you’re doing this. You’re there authentically, working with this person.
0:35:28.6 And I’m telling you man, the results of being able to master these gambits will get you into the client that will help you hear what they have to say.
And I can tell you, I know property management, I’ve had a lot of experience with it, and it can get pretty doggone heated.
And so I want to make sure I’m able to understand what the upset is and what’s the problem that needs to be solved, and can I help them do that. And if I can’t, can I help them find who can.
Jordan: 0:35:58.2 Sure, you’re reminding me, of course, that all of life is sales. Having an angry tenant in your office, that’s sales. Right?
You’re trying to persuade this person to de-escalate the conversation and to resolve it amicably. When I look at these gambits, what I like about this, is it’s not a script.
And what’s the number one problem with a script is that it feels robotic to be repeating these 0:36:21.2 long phrases [Inaudible] whereas this is more a micro redirection and you guys aren’t seeing this, you’re listening this, but you’ll see when you download it on the podcast episode, is there is also body language that goes with each one of these gambits.
0:36:41.1 Dan, if I’m kind of intuiting this, it almost feels like there’s a muscle memory element where you’re conditioning yourself to set yourself back on track and not be thrown off by the response you get.
Dan: 0:36:54.9 That’s right. It’s as much for me – I’ve got to remember that my job is to serve this person and the first part of serving them is getting over there on their side. And that’s what these things help me do.
They help me connect and get on their map, on their world view, see what they’re seeing and understand their problem.
0:37:14.0 And then I can start to see how my service or product or project could serve them. Or not.
Jordan: 0:37:23.5 Or not. Right. I mean, it could be that they move on and buy with somebody else. But maybe you bought yourself a good review on Yelp because you actually treated this person with respect as opposed to calling them a tire kicker and hoping that they bounce out of town if they’re not ready to buy immediately. That long-term perspective.
Dan: 0:37:41.3 Exactly. And you develop a relationship. I watch my brother – he was a six-figure car salesman. And he sold the Doobie Brothers all their cars and for years he sold a lot of great musicians and actors and actresses and others – you know, he had a huge return because he was so good at getting on their side and taking care of their needs.
0:38:03.9 And it was amazing to watch his recurring business – so every time he added somebody it just got bigger and bigger. And I watched him make high six figures doing that. So it’s pretty interesting. And you know, my brother came out of the street and became a car salesman.
0:38:18.6 And he met Grant Cardone and they developed these gambits and they’re phenomenal. Most early, early stuff. This is back in the mid-90s, early 90s. And he started in the 80s.
Jordan: 0:38:30.6 So these guys are obviously training themselves, but most sales people are not going to train themselves. And obviously it’s not ideal to expect a sales person to train themselves.
0:38:42.6 That onboarding process, that first 30, 60, 90 days, what can an owner, what can an entrepreneur do to tee up a sales person for a success during that onboarding phase?
Dan: 0:38:59.1 Well you know that’s about a three-phase question. I mean, first you’ve got to be really clear about what you want in the position. And what kinds of skills make the person eligible for the position.
0:39:13.0 Those basic KPIs, right? These are key performance indicators that you know are vital or essential to the position. 0:39:21.5 And most people don’t take the time to really understand what those key performance indicators are.
And then the next step is, what kinds of personal behavioural preferences does a person need to be engaged in or prefer. 0:39:36.5 Like what kinds of behaviours does this person prefer? Do they match these key performance indicators, because science has shown that people do what they prefer to do.
And there’s a thing called, ‘The Enjoyment Performance Theory’ out there and people do what they enjoy seven times more than what they don’t enjoy.
0:39:59.0 So you can be very competent at something, but if you don’t enjoy doing it, you’re not going to want to go to it very much. So understanding what those preferences are and being able to match them up to the job description and the performance indicators is crucial.
0:40:16.6 And then – and so that makes two distinct areas of hiring and onboarding. One is, what’s the job require. 0:40:27.8 The other one is kind of the black box of hiring, which is what does this person prefer?
The person that’s successful, and by the way, there’s research out there – I have over 6500 different job descriptions and the research behind it is millions – we have a company that did millions of surveys and assessments in the workplace to understand – and what they did is they benchmarked the top, middle and low performers of each position and they found the correlation between what they prefer to do and their performance.
0:41:03.2 And they came – and they realized out of this study that if somebody enjoys 75% of the work that they’re doing, they have a 3-400% greater chance of succeeding.
0:41:15.6 So you can see that understanding both what the job needs, as far as key performance indicators, and what kinds of preferences people need to have where they want to do those things, is crucial.
0:41:27.5 And understanding both of those prepares you for the interview. Because if you can identify where the potential breakdowns are in the first two areas, when you sit down to have the interview, you know what kinds of questions and where to focus the interview to see how they respond and to test and see their own awareness of the potential breakdowns in their own ways and what they prefer to do based on what the job is going to be calling them to do.
0:41:58.7 And so that’s finding their suitability. So once you know that they’re eligible, they have the skills, are they suitable? Do they have the preferences? Are they suitable for the job? And, are they suitable for this culture?
So those are – most people don’t like to put that kind of discipline, just like most salesman don’t like to train, which is a big – I keep training. I go to all kinds of trainings, and I’ve heard – I still do it.
Last year I went to two different sales trainings. 0:42:32.1 We want – I read books. We don’t tend to want to educate ourselves and we don’t like to do the homework, but if you think of how much it costs you to hire somebody, train them and then have them blow out, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to really understand the position, what kinds of KPIs it requires, what kind of temperament or preferential behaviour do people need to have in order to match those KPIs.
0:43:00.4 And then understand how to identify the difference between the two so you can improve your interview process. You’re going to continue to hit and miss.
0:43:11.3 And this is a science. And again, it works good if you get it down. Once you get it down, it just rolls. But you’ve got to lay it like anything else. Like any scalable business, you’ve got to lay these systems in place and hold to them and train your people to do it and then you’re going to see a jump in performance. A huge jump.
Jordan: 0:43:29.4 Yeah. Absolutely. Obviously that’s going to apply to roles outside of sales. When I think about the ROI on the investment, of course you’ve got your time, you’ve got your money, but you’ve also got the emotional trauma in some cases that I’ve seen, of working with small business owners that have been through the ringer and now they’re gun shy.
0:43:51.5 And so the story that they’re telling themselves about the future of their organization and their ability to grow and scale, is significantly hampered as a result of dealing and the way that they’ve related to a couple of bad hires. 0:44:08.5 Bad hires, that’s the wrong phrase right? There I go.
Dan: Mismatches. Because it’s amazing when you find what people prefer to do and you put them in a place that actually enables them to use their preferences, it’s amazing how they clear up.
0:44:24.9 And the biggest thing I’ve noticed, is that most business owners, right now they’re feeling the crunch, because there’s not a lot of talent out there. It’s a competitive market. It’s going to get more competitive, so understanding the science of developing talent is a big deal. 0:44:43.7 And that’s why I started Talent Helix.
0:44:44.5 Because it is a very – it’s a clear process and we’ve got a technology that’s scientifically proven to help look into that black box of suitability, because most people know – good sales organizations, good organizations that are developing a sales team, they know pretty much what they need eligibility-wise.
What kind of skills they need in place. And a guy or gal could have those skills, but the way that their preferences, do they fit the position you want to put them in and do they fit the culture?
0:45:22.9 Do they fit the culture you’re in? Because you could have somebody who’s extremely talented and can do the job, but they don’t do well in the culture you have. And being able to identify that’s the second level.
And it’s not really difficult because people have thought this out pretty clearly, but it does require some discipline, just like sales. And you’ve got to get those things in.
Jordan: 0:45:46.1 So how far can we realign though, Dan? Preference one way, preference another. At the end of the day, sales needs to generate revenue.
If somebody doesn’t have what it takes, you want to know that as soon as possible.
Dan: 0:46:02.3 As soon as possible. And if they do, and they need some training, you’ve got to have – you gotta be able – look, one of the things about retaining and engaging people, is understanding what they most want and being able to work that into the training process.
So let’s say I want high pay. And I want – but I don’t want to be developed. 0:46:26.8 Well I know that that’s a conversation I got to have with this person, and I’m not highly motivated. Right?
So those are – if somebody wants to be paid well and they’re not highly motivated, then I need to have a conversation with them about the process that it’s going to take to get them from where they’re at to where they’re going so they can understand what it’s going to take so they don’t come in with a misconception that they’re just going to start up and instantly make the big dollars just by showing up at the office every day.
0:46:55.4 I mean, that’s an extreme example, but if you’re able to identify the key preferences, or interests if you will in this case, that this person has in working and you can align them with the job and the culture, you’re going to have somebody that’s not only retained, but they’re going to be deeply engaged in the work.
0:47:20.8 And so, that’s not a difficult process. But it does take some thinking and it requires a simple practice of understanding how to sift those things out. So those are things that most people – I’ve found – that’s why we started Talent Helix, is because most owners don’t have the time to think about that. I mean you think about running a business, there’s a lot to be educated about.
So, you know, what I’m looking to do is take on an aspect that most business owners just haven’t thought about, don’t have the – haven’t thought about, didn’t think they had the time to think about it. Didn’t maybe even think about its impact.
But if I can come in and show them results and help them do that, that’s what we do. 0:48:04.3 And we help them break this process down so that they hit at a much higher level of success when they hire somebody.
They’re clear about how to retain them and engage them and develop them, and we help them understand how to create a succession plan within the organization so people can move up and out as is appropriate.
Jordan: 0:48:24.2 That’s talk about – you mentioned up and out. Let’s talk about ‘the out’. What advice would you have, or how would you approach the process of letting someone go in a way that serves them as well as the organization?
As opposed to either having a big blow up or giving them the boot, having hurt feelings, etc. How would you approach that process of pushing somebody out of the organization when it turns out that it is time?
Dan: 0:48:54.1 I mean, the biggest breakdown I’ve found in developing talent, you know, which includes exiting, is communication and the clarity of communication and what’s expected performance-wise, attitudinally as well.
0:49:12.3 And being able to discern between a competency breakdown and an attitudinal breakdown and tracking it. And a lot – and communicating.
Enforcing those things on a regular basis, so that the person that you’re developing understands where they are in their development, what it’s going to take to get to where they need to go, and by when and what kinds of results do they need to produce, and the ongoing conversations that are in there.
0:49:36.4 So that if it’s time to exit somebody, or when it’s time to exit them, they’re clear about what the exit – they’re either ready to choose it themselves, they understand why it’s being done, because its been documented. They’ve been talked – they’ve been coached and they’re as frustrated as you are.
0:49:54.8 And most of the time it’s – letting somebody go is not only good for the team, it’s probably good for them. But if you haven’t had those discussions, they get convoluted in all kinds of drama. And this reduces it.
It doesn’t completely eliminate it by any means, but it certainly reduces it dramatically, which improves both, you know, the culture and the reputation of the organization as people leave.
Jordan: 0:50:19.4 Ok. So if you’re having blowups, if you’re having dramatic employee exits, that’s probably an indicator that there’s something wrong going on well in advance of that person’s departure.
Because what I hear you saying is, if that person is habitually underperforming, and that underperformance is habitually being reviewed and communicated in light of the expectations that you’ve already set.
Dan: 0:50:45.1 And you’re providing training – you’re actually – you’re providing a track for them that they have helped create with you. They’ve got to understand that they’re not doing the job first. Right?
You’ve got to get – and if you haven’t set up clear KPIs and a job descriptions – and they don’t have to be microscopic KPIs, but just general and then that person can break down what they’re going to do and by when.
0:51:10.4 Then, if you don’t have those in place, nobody knows when the job’s not being done except that the numbers aren’t there.
And you don’t know how to get to those numbers because you haven’t chunked it down in a way – nor have you probably put 0:51:21.5 Edit Out
0:51:25.0 Edit Out
0:51:26.4 Guys, before I move on I do want to mention our show sponsor The PM Grow Summit. Which, by now, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for any period of time, you’ve heard me mention multiple times.
It is the event for property management entrepreneurs. Folks that are growth minded, that are serious about taking their company to the next level.
We’re bringing in an amazing lineup of keynotes. There’s going to be some great networking with folks that are really committed to bettering themselves and remaining a student of the game.
0:51:58.1 Dan, I know that you have hosted a number of events and trainings and you’ve worked with students that have invested a lot of time and money in those events.
In your mind, in a best case scenario, what does a student take away from a well-run event that makes it worth the investment?
Dan: 0:52:17.7 For me, I would take away – if I go to an event, I want to take away something that I can put to work for myself and for my business, and I can see the results out of it.
I’ll go to – so one of the things I do is I go to a number of events a year, I read a lot of books and I read and go to events in multiple different industries.
0:52:40.3 Because I never know when I’m going to hear something or see something from an unrelated field that’s going to be an impact in my field.
0:52:48.8 And so I’m looking for that – you know, what can I put to work that’s going to help me be more effective at what I’m up to. And that can come from a property management convention.
It could come from a sales convention in tech hardware. It could come from any other different idea source.
0:53:08.4 So I like to network for ideas, not necessarily for resource. You know, because resource networking is like – it get’s tight really fast because everybody is trying to get the resource.
0:53:21.2 I’m looking for ideas because if I get the idea, I’ll find the resource. And I found that going to – I went to a tech – a high-tech convention where entrepreneurs were talking about a particular type of software that I knew nothing about.
0:53:41.9 But what I discovered there was a way to filter information off the internet that would help me find the audience. SEO audience.
And just listening to them, I never had thought about it. Right? And I was in San Fransisco, I saw it was on, I paid $150 bucks to go and I went for two days and I found a couple of things that I went out and used.
0:54:06.9 So the main thing is to find an idea that’s relevant to your work. Right? And then think about how that fits.
A lot of times people just check out because they don’t like a particular event or they don’t like how it’s going instead of persevering and finding and listening to a lot of different speakers to find that one gem or two gems. That’s what I’m looking for.
Jordan: 0:54:30.6 Yeah. I love it. I think that’s a great way to approach any kind of an ongoing education event. Is to be committed to making it worth your while, being committed to looking for ideas that you can cross supply in a way that makes sense for your business.
And obviously there’s always a bridge there that has to be made by the entrepreneur that’s willing to go through that work.
0:54:54.2 Dan, I want to transition now to the rapid-fire section of this interview where I’m going to ask you a series of questions and I just want to get some guttural answers from you.
0:55:03.7 The first of those questions is what advice do you wish somebody had given you when you first started in sales?
Dan: 0:55:13.8 If it is to be, it’s up to me.
Jordan: 0:55:17.9 I love it. I love it. Fair enough. Straight from the gut. Straight from the heart. Alright. 0:55:24.9 Next question, Dan who do you learn from?
Dan: 0:55:27.8 Everyone. And that’s – it comes up – I have learned from everyone. Like I said, I’m 62 years old and I love this generation of people, guys, people because they are so – there are so many new ways of looking at things and it’s hard – I sit on YouTube at times and just click through them. Different – I mean I’ll just put in a random subject in and just listen to see if there’s something new.
0:55:58.1 Like for instance, this kid Jason Silva, Resource I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him, I just turned him on one time. Fantastic. You know, there’s just a number of guys online that you can listen to. So for me, everyone. There’s something to learn from almost anybody.
Jordan: 0:56:15.2 Speaking of learning, are there any books? One or two books in particular that have really had a significant impact on you?
Dan: 0:56:22.1 Yes, Antifragile by Nassim Tana.
Jordan: 0:56:26.2 Perfect. Listed as a classic, haven’t read it myself. It’s supposed to be some dense reading no?
Dan: 0:56:32.6 Not bad. He explains himself well. But really relevant when it comes to being agile in a very quickly changing marketplace. And staying anti-fragile.
We tend to make choices that make us brittle or fragile to the changes that are inevitable in the culture and in the world. 0:56:52.6 And so it relates like that. He’s very clear. He’s an engineer. He does a good job.
Jordan: 0:56:59.4 Alright guys, check it out. Next question. Dan, what’s the hardest part about remaining – keeping the student mindset over time?
Dan: 0:57:10.3 Well, the arrogance of success.
Jordan: 0:57:15.3 Doesn’t take much to throw you off huh?
Dan: 0:57:18.1 I’ve bought the t-shirt a few times.
Jordan: 0:57:23.1 I listened to your last podcast and you were talking about the process of continual re-awakening. That really meant a lot to me. It’s easy to create this standard of getting woke.
Of waking up, of having this revelation and expecting it’s going to stay with you at all times when in reality it’s like this yo-yo thing and that doesn’t necessarily have to be a guilt trip as long as you’re making progress and it’s all a part of the journey.
Dan: 0:57:46.8 Yeah well you know, I – my dad’s 82 years – 84 years old and I was talking to him the other night. He’s vital as all get out, he’s running a multi-million dollar company and he loves it. Everyday he gets out of bed – and I asked him, “How do you stay so alive?”
He said, “Because I keep reminding myself that life is eternal and I’m temporal. So if things are eternal and I’m temporal there’s a lot still to learn.”
Jordan: 0:58:12.5 Love it, that’s some wisdom right there. That’s some wisdom.
0:58:16.1 Last question of the day, and I am eager to ask this one to you, Dan in your opinion, are entrepreneurs born or bred?
Dan: 0:58:27.1 I believe they’re bred.
Jordan: 0:58:32.2 Alright, we’ll leave it at that. We will leave it at that. Everybody’s got a different take.
0:58:38.5 Dan, if folks want to listen and learn more about what you’re up to, about what you have going on with the Talent Helix, maybe check out your podcast, your newsletter, which I highly recommend. I can’t believe that you give that stuff away for free. What’s the best way for them to look you up and get connected?
Dan: 0:58:55.1 Well, there’s two. TheTalentHelix.com and the other one is BloodandEthos.com. Both of them – Blood and Ethos is a little more developed because I started working on that earlier. Talent Helix is the same technology framed in business. Both of them – my main newsletter now is coming off of Blood and Ethos, we’re just about ready to get started on the Talent Helix. So go to both, check them out.
Jordan: Dan, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today. I think our audience had a lot of takeaways. This is certainly an episode I know I’ll be re-listening to. Thanks again, let’s stay in touch.
Dan: 0:59:34.5 Thank you.