Fellow podcaster Donald Kelly reveals keys to being more persuasive, building influence, and hustling everyday.
- Principles of sales that everyone can use to become more influential
- Two strategies to overcome the fear of rejection
- Approaches for making an effective cold call or email
Donald Kelly evangelizes effective ways for salespeople and entrepreneurs to find more qualified prospects, close more deals and make more money. He does this through motivating sales training, online courses, one-on-one coaching, workshops, seminars and dynamic keynote presentations.
Items Mentioned in this Show:
- Sponsor: TextExpander, the productivity multiplier – Now 20% off!!!
- Donald’s Website: TheSalesEvangelist.com
- App: Boomerang
- App: Calendly
- Book: Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
- Book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Book: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- Book: The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
- Book: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Ben Holden-Crowther
- TED Talk: Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- Previous Episode: 164:Brad Stulberg
Donald, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.
I am excited to be here, Pete, and I’m looking forward to not only share some strategies but also to improve my job and become more awesome-er, if that’s even a word, but we’re going to create it.
We’ll take it here, absolutely. Well, I’m so glad to have you. So, let’s see, we met back at Podcast Movement which was a lot of fun and it was like the very last night. It was like how very fortuitous. We almost missed each other.
Yeah, it was like one of those movies, man. It’s just like the perfect scenario, Cinderella leaving the ball or something.
That’s right. Well, I want to hear your story. You mentioned, as I kind of researched the background on you a little bit, one thing that you have admitted to is that you are a Jamaican but you don’t like seafood. Tell me, does that make you feel kind of out of place or what’s the backstory here?
So true on that, man. So, growing up in Jamaica, I moved to Florida when I was nine. So, that’s the other caveat to this. You’re a Jamaican-American who live in Florida, and you’re telling me you don’t like seafood? Yes, that’s the truth. So, as a kid in Jamaica, we used to get like fresh stuff. I’m talking they go fishing, come back with snappers and all the stuff, and you have like fresh fish.
And in Jamaica, it’s not like you have like your parents are going to take care of that. Guess who’s left to clean the fishes? You got it. The kids. So, we have to clean those fishes and stuff like that. And I think just early on then it just started, I was like, “This kind of smells disgusting.” And then as I got older and did more fishing and stuff, I was just like, “Man, I just don’t like the way the salty seafood smell that you get.”
And even though it’s fresh it’s still the same thing, people tell me, that means the food is not as fresh. I’m going to tell you, we’re getting stuff straight out of the water so you can’t get any fresher than that. But for some reason I just didn’t like that seafood-y smell, and as a kid it just kind of grew on with me, so when I got older I was like, “I don’t like that.” I associate it with the smell, with the taste, and then texture and then I just started psyching myself out.
So that’s how it all came about, man. So, I live here and I have amazing stuff. My friends get mad at me. They’re like, “You can get some really good stuff, you’re right next to water,” and I’m like, “Yeah, I know, and I just don’t like it.” But there is a change. I think your taste buds, every so often your taste buds change as you get older.
And people have told me, if somebody is listening to this right now, they’re like, “You need to try tilapia. It’s mild.” And I tried it and it’s okay but it’s just like, “Yeah, it’s a mild fish.” But then I tried – this is where my expensive taste came in – I tried a Chilean seabass and, oh, my goodness. I was like, “This is not fish,” and I taste it. So, that’s the only fish that I will eat this point. So, Chilean seabass. It’s absolutely delicious when it’s well-done, not well-done well done, but when it’s done well, there you go. It’s just hmm, so good. Cut it like a steak.
Okay. Well, now, I want some, so thank you with the whistle there. You know, I was going to ask with the association with the smell and the texture and the work itself was unappealing. But you used the word hustler frequently across your website TheSalesEvangelist.com. So, tell us, what is the site all about and what’s your take on hustling?
Thanks, man. So, hustling gets that. We know the rebranding of hustling came within the past, what, 10 or 15 years or so, where prior to that, it was either like you’re in something sleazy or something Vegas. But there is more to it where it’s more of the hard work, you’re giving it your all, you’re going to try and do whatever humanly possible to make sure you’ll accomplish your goals. You’re just going to hustle as opposed to just, “Let me walk.”
A soccer coach or football coach might say, “Come on, hustle, guys.” You’re putting everything into it as opposed to, “Just run the lap,” you know. So, the TSE, The Sales Evangelist, I’m all about doing as much as we can to hustle to make things happen. Because one of the things, I came to the United States and came to this country, our family was not wealthy and we’ve had situations where we’re homeless at time and so forth.
And what I saw was my mom was a hustler. So, homeless, we weren’t on the streets. We were houseless is probably the best way. We were living with other people like we got kicked out of our place and stuff like that, but we had people take us in. But it showed me that we needed to, I saw my mom hustle working two jobs and doing all she can, so that mindset came to me, like, “If you want something, you make it happen. Don’t sit around and wait and beg for a piece of the pie. You make it happen.”
So that’s where the whole idea come. And especially in sales, as a sales evangelist I evangelize the methods of effective selling, interview top sales experts, and we’re the source, and I want to be even better a source where people can come, for new and struggling salespeople come and gain the insights and strategies needed. And they learn the stuff, and then now they have to take it and apply a heavy dose of hustling. Do their part with the education they receive. So that’s what we’re all about.
So, we have a podcast. I do one-on-one coaching. I limit that to a certain amount of clients. We have a wider group coaching where we can have as many people in that but we still limit it as well which is TSE Hustlers League. A name insinuating that we want people to come every week and hustle. It’s a group coaching program for 12 weeks. And each, we call a semester, in each semester we have a different focus and different theme.
So, right now we’re focusing on two tracks, two classes, so to speak, one on building value and one on prospecting, and a new semester beginning January. And I do speaking so I get a chance to go to events and speak. And I also do consulting. I have a few consulting clients that I allow to do business with, I take on, and we work with their sales teams or their organization to develop processes and plans. So that’s what it’s all about there, man.
Okay. Well, it sounds like a whole lot of stuff and a whole lot of expertise, and that’s what excites me. Because, frankly, I’ve seen or received numerous pitches from folks who have some sales type stuff, and I have the utmost respect for salespeople and the profession and I have no animosity or kind of negative associations. But I think that many folks, they just don’t… I’m not convinced that they have the goods, you know. And I am convinced that you have it, so I’m so glad to have found you, and to have a moment to tap into some of your wisdom.
Now, with our listeners, only a small sliver of them are sort of active sales professionals, but I think every one of us – myself included – really does have a need to be persuasive and influential and have folks say yes to what we want them to say yes to, and have people reply to our emails, our phone calls even if they’re coming in cold. So, that’s really what I wanted to have our conversation about today. Could you start us off by sharing, maybe just as an orientation bit, a couple of the top principles you think are totally applicable to anyone who needs to be influential?
So, I mean, great question on that, and I love the fact that you said influential because here’s the thing, as a seller your job is to influence and to help others. Like, say for instance, if I have the… I use this example at times, and it’s a silly – not silly – but it’s a cliché one. But if I had the cure for cancer, I’m going to do all I can to let everyone I know, know about that, and people that I don’t know, know about that.
So, you need to help influence people. The goal of a great seller is not to trick people into saying yes or to buying their product, but is influencing or educating someone enough that they sell themselves, and that’s why you see some of the greatest sellers. So, when it comes to being that influencer, it doesn’t matter if you’re selling in the traditional way, or you’re an entrepreneur, or you’re selling your boss, or you’re influencing your organization.
I have a program I’m working with right now and they’re not all salespeople but they’re looking for training you on how they can influence inside, internal sellers, to their bosses and to higherups. But the first thing that I find is that recognize it’s not about you when you’re trying to become influential. Too often we see where people think that, “I have to be charismatic, and I have to be a sleek talker. I have to have a master plan to trick someone.” And you see this and glamorized in movies especially when really good “influencers.” But those are really crooks if you look at it.
[The Wolf of Wall Street, no one would like that guy, but because we’re watching movies, it’s so glamorized, it’s cool but he’s a jerk, he’s a liar, he’s a cheat. So, the same idea applies to us as individuals. Don’t think about yourself first. Think of, “How can this help someone else?” And that’s where you have the empathy towards them.
So, if I was selling chairs, instead of saying, “Well, I want to get 15 chairs this week,” I want to say, “I know how frustrating and annoying it is when you’re uncomfortable at work. I want to be able to help people, relieve people of their uncomfortable situations at work. I want people to go to work and feel like they’re sitting down in their La-Z-Boy at home. I want them to be that comfortable.”
So, then, you’re just like you have a mission and there’s a way to do that when most people think an office chair needs to be hard and broken and crappy. So that’s how that comes about. You see, you have to have empathy, and I think that’s a very, very first thing that people often overlook when it comes to influencing others, and also when it comes to becoming an effective seller. Am I making sense on that, Pete?
Absolutely. And I think that empathy is just good for your own motivation, you know, in terms of, I think that, and I guess there’s some real great research we heard from Brad Stulberg on a previous episode. Folks will push themselves harder for a higher power or purpose or for others than they will for themselves.
So, I think just for like a motivation and rejection endurance kind of a thing, if you say, “I want to get me a fat commission,” I’m imagining it has less long-term motivation staying power than you’re going after a mission and helping people.
So, so true on that. It’s that why, right? I just interviewed David Mead from Simon Sinek’s team.
I’m talking to him soon, too.
Yeah, he’s an awesome guy, huh? But one of the things that he emphasized was just how important and how effective it is to have that meaning, that why, that purpose. And we’ve all heard talk of if you haven’t, you need to go move from underneath the rock you’re living under and watch that YouTube of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why talk.
But, yeah, it’s a higher purpose and that’s why religion is so important, too, because in many different instances with people, it kind of help people to have the higher vision or higher purpose or a power, so. Anyways, I think it’s a key factor that motivates and drive influencers and people who to become more influential.
I’m with you. So, step one is the empathy, “How could I be of service to you?” Looking at it from their perspectives, solving their problems, help them out. What are some other kind of universal principles?
Step two, the second most important thing is that everyone has a challenge or a pain. So we can tie this to the first one, but the first key is really you need to have empathy. But the second part, you need to understand that everyone has some kind of pain or some kind of challenge, and sometimes people don’t know they have that pain or that challenge.
So, it’s a term, it’s called the unconsidered need. As a top influencer or someone who influences or guides people, like a teacher or so forth, your job is to know so much about your industry that you can share stuff with me that I may not know. Say, for instance, I may go to the shop and my car is making a clicking noise. And, for me, the last time it made a clicking noise it was really just my fan was broken or whatever. I’m just making up stuff at this point.
But I go and that’s all the knowledge I have, my limited knowledge. But because I recognize that there’s more to it that you may have more pain that you don’t necessarily know about, it’s called the unconsidered need. And effective sales professionals, and effective entrepreneurs, effective influencers, they’re able to point out unconsidered need, things that are may affect you that you probably don’t even know are affecting you, and help you to come to conclusion about that. And I’ll go into that in step number three.
But the unconsidered needs, so in that car scenario maybe that unconsidered need is that, “Yeah, you may think it’s a fan and it could be that, but actually it turns out it’s something even deeper. It’s your radiator, and good thing that you brought it in because if you didn’t then it could’ve exploded and you would’ve been out two grand.” So, it’s another example.
Here’s another one, it’s a simpler example. I went to this networking event and I met an optometrist at a networking event, and I’m just like, “Oh, boy, how is this guy competing with folks like Warby Parker and these other companies that can do online prescription glasses?” Right? Because all you need to do is just figure out what your prescription is, you go online and you just get your glasses. Wham! Bam! You’re done.
Or zennioptical.com sporting some right now.
There you go. Yeah, it’s neat. But here’s the thing that he pointed out to me. A thing that I thought my eyesight just needed to be improved because I just need to get the proper prescription, but there’s an unconsidered need. He threw something out there that made me think and made him become more valuable. You want to know what he said?
He asked, “Have you considered internet glasses?” I’m like, “What in the world are you talking about? What is an internet glasses?” But it turns out, they are prescription glasses for folks who utilize computer screen a lot, for folks who are utilizing, not just the internet, but computer glasses. If you’re sitting at a computer, like for me, I sit at my computer probably 80% of my day, so I’m looking at these screens, and there are actual prescriptions on that.
I just thought the world was black and white. You have these glasses and these glasses, near-sighted or far-sighted, or a combination of both. But now there’s something totally different. It was an unconsidered need in my mind so that became… his level of expertise was elevated. So now I would consider him now as opposed to maybe saying going online and just doing it myself because he proved something more valuable.
So, a top influencer can point out unconsidered needs to help the client recognize true value. Am I making sense there with that?
Oh, absolutely. And so now I want to know about these computer glasses. So, Donald, do they do something above and beyond what a normal pair of reading glasses might do?
In my mind, I haven’t finished up. I met with him at a networking event and now I’m investigating it, but I don’t have all the details to give a full diagnosis on it. But the whole point is just that it helps to, I think, it’s softer around your eyes from what he was sharing with me, and especially when you’re looking at the screens so I was like, “Oh, man, interesting.”
That is interesting. And I want to follow up also, I noticed, Donald, you have a little bit of a conversational habit in which you share something and then you check in with me, like, “Does that make sense? Are you following through? Does that answer your question?” Now, I got to know, is this a master sales approach? And what’s the underlying thinking behind this habit?
You’re going into number three.
Oh, that’s awesome. How convenient.
It’s questions. We didn’t stage this, ladies and gentlemen. But it’s asking meaningful questions, and those questions are just clarifying at that point. Like, say for instance, go back to this use of internet glasses or this computer glasses for example. If I come into your practice, most people might say, “Well, I need glasses.” “Well, you should try these new glasses. They’re cool. They’re awesome. They’re neat if you look at computers a lot. They’ll help you out.”
And some people make sales on that, where it’s, “I’m telling.” But when you ask questions it becomes more meaningful. If you’re telling me about them, I’m like, “Okay, whatever.” But when you start asking me questions, they’re making me think, it’s like, “Oh.” Or like when your parents try to point out something wrong that you’re doing. A great parent will sometimes tell you but usually they’ll make you tell yourself.
So, you might say, “Well, I need the car tonight.” “Okay, you can have the car tonight. Just out of curiosity, were you able to… what’s going on?” “Well, I’m going to a party.” “Whose party is it?” “I’m going to Rob’s party.” “Okay. Is this the same Rob that got grounded for having pot?” “Ah, yeah.” “Okay, you need to understand what can happen if you get caught with somebody with pot, right?” “Yeah.” “Okay. And do you really think it makes sense for you to spend a lot of time with somebody like that?” “Huh, ah, no.” You know what I mean? No, don’t go to that party.
And that’s where you ask, you make people think. And the same thing happens in business or in sales. So, go back to the example now with our internet glass. You might say, “Well, I need a new pair of glasses. Can I go ahead and get this? This is my prescription. Give it to me now. I did my research online.” Bam!
Like, “Okay, perfect. I can get you that. Before I can get you that prescription, tell me a little bit more about what’s your typical day like.” “Well, I go to work. I’m an online trader, stock trader.” “Oh, great. Congrats. The economy is doing well.” “Yeah, doing great.” “How often would you say you spend time at your computer?” “I don’t know. Probably 10 hours a day.” “Great. And what are some of the things you’re doing to help protect your eyes?” “I don’t know. I eat carrots and take vitamins.”
“Okay. Have you ever noticed like sometimes you get a little dizziness after using your glasses or your contacts a lot?” “Actually, yeah. Sometimes little headaches. Yeah, and I thought it was my prescription.” “It very well could be but a lot of cases there’s something that could be because we look at screens a lot, and our bodies are not used to that. Have you ever heard about computer glasses yet?” “Say what?”
And then, now, intuitively, instead of me telling you about computer glasses, it’s more you are convincing yourself because I’m like telling you and educating you, and then you start to say, “Well, now, I need that stuff because it makes sense because I look at computer 10 hours a day and I didn’t even think about that before. I just go to work and go sit at a computer.”
But when you are able to ask meaningful questions, you help people to sell themselves, and great sellers help the buyer to persuade themselves as opposed to what we see in a movie where it’s like, “You should do this. And this is the reason why you need to do this… You’re going to buy today, right? You can three other one. I can give you some clothes.”
It’s more of a, “Let’s have a meaningful conversation,” and that is able to keep the person engaged and it helps them to like to think and it logically makes sense and emotionally makes sense for them, and they’re just telling themselves because they’re rationalizing and thinking about it as you go through it as opposed to telling. And the theory comes back to this concept of – and I just head this on NPR, and it’s so stupid but we all know it.
But I was listening to this thing about meteors, and we probably don’t see a lot of meteor showers. We find a lot of meteors on the earth, and there’s like 100,000 little meteors that are coming towards the earth every day, and I was like, “No way.” And then the person pointed out, “Well, probably the reason why you don’t see it because you don’t get to see a lot of them on the earth it’s because they burn up in the atmosphere, or 70% of the earth is covered in water.” And I’m like, “Oh, that’s right.” So, if all those they’re landing in water and not on land so our likelihood of finding them is not as high.
And this principle ties to selling when we realize that, as a sales rep, we need to listen 70% of the time and talk only 30%. And the way you can get that to happen is by allowing your buyer to ask meaningful questions, it allows your buyer, or the person you’re trying to influence to talk the most. Because the person who talks the most leaves with the most. And if I’m able to do that to my buyer, man, I’m in a good situation.
And it’s the same idea, this 70/30 rule, and in the example here with the atmosphere and meteors, again, sometimes in my mind I just thought like, “Yeah, I can go and find a meteor, but this is the reason why I’m not seeing a lot of them because 70% of the earth is covered with water. The planet that we live on, 70% of it is water and 30% is only land.” And I see that there’s a reason why because we need water to live and our body, that so much of us need water.
And as a great seller, it’s not so much of us that needs to talk. We just need to ask so much more better questions and listen so much more because that’s how you truly influence. I’m not sure if any of this is making sense to you but that’s how it all logically comes out. But it’s all a mission, right?
Oh, absolutely, yes. And I guess what I’m wondering is, because you mentioned that scenario with the glasses, like, “Hey, I already know what I want. I’m going in there, I’m good to go.” And then you get some questions coming your way. And it’s interesting because I think how good the questions are and how much I already know about the subject, sometimes that exercise is valuable and I appreciate it. And other times it’s like, “Oh, you’re just slowing me down. I want to finish the thing that I set out to do, and you’re kind of going deep into all these questions.”
Like sometimes, I don’t know if you’ve ever been shopping, it’s like, “I just want to know the price to see if this is even in the range of possibility.” And they’ll say, “Well, tell me about your event or your thing, or what your needs.” And sometimes I just don’t want to go there. So, you tell me. I imagine that must be a frequent piece of resistance or an objection. Maybe you can call it impatience or kind of fixedness or narrow-mindedness
Because I’m imagining this in a corporate environment. I think it’s really cool how you could sort of share some empathy, you kind of highlight an unconsidered need, you asked a number of questions associated with that to kind of move in a direction toward what you may have a solution. But I’m kind of wondering, if folks just don’t care to engage and sort of talk about that stuff at all, and sort of say, “Hurry up and get to the point. What are we talking about here?” How do you play that game?
Yeah, you know, great question. What I try to do, and especially in my line of business, I try to educate as much as I can prior to them coming to me. So, for instance, TSE Hustlers League is my online group coaching program. If somebody wants to learn about that, they go that page. I push a lot of stuff to that page. Everything that you need to know about the program is in that page. There’s nothing else. There’s a video that explains everything.
So, I try to educate as much as I can prior. And here’s the other thing, let me give you this simple example here, too. With TSE Hustlers League, I was finding I would get people and I would get them to pay for the program and then they would drop off the face of the earth, or they didn’t continue with the program. They pay for one month and then left.
But here’s what happened to increase my retention rate. I put a signup form, a registration form as opposed to call or email me and let’s start talking business. I have all the education there, and then I set them up for a call. I have them fill out a questionnaire “like an application” through a type form which is awesome. I use that with Google Form. But type form and it’s intuitive, just pretty and cool.
Then I have a “if this then that,” so it sends me an email and it sends them an email if they finish it up to schedule a time on my calendar. So that conversation now, I go through a questionnaire and everything that I would typically ask they’re able to answer it. And if somebody is not willing to do that, they’re not willing to be a client of mine because then I’m able to find out the true details. And that’s helped my retention rate tremendously, and is able to bring the right prospects.
But in a selling situation, that’s where that unconsidered need has to be important. Say you’re in a retail space or something like that and somebody brings those things. They’ll say, “I know what I want and know what I’m going to get.” Just ask him. “So, I work with clients like this all the time, and if I can show you a better way that you can get a better type of glasses that’s going to be more effective than what you research online. Would you be interested in learning that, finding that out?”
And they might say, “Yeah, no I don’t care.” Like, “Okay. Well, no biggie. Take the glass that you want.” Those people are going to have bad eyes. But if I can help somebody, somebody is going to really want to learn. If you ask a question like that somebody is going to say, “Well, tell me a little bit more about that. I’m interested.” And that’s where your unconsidered need comes in a form of a question.
They might say something like, “Over 60% of the population are sitting at a computer more than ever, or whether that’s a smartphone or so forth. How much time do you spend on a computer right now?” And you might say, “Well, I spend seven hours.” And I’m like, “If I could tell you there’s a way that your bifocals that you’re looking at right now is actually hurting your eyes, would you be interested in finding something better?” “What are you talking about?”
“Have you heard about computer glasses?” “No.” And then that’s how you lead them into it. Because, again, yeah, we’re all impatient so that’s why I handle it two ways. One, educate them enough on the frontend before they come to me and put those, give them opportunities to weed themselves out. And then, if I’m in a retail space or a one-time call close or something were to come into my establishment, I might use that second approach where you can ask a quicker question that makes them think, and you want to be a lawyer and pose enough reasonable doubt. But that’s pretty much what you do.
“Is it true that your eyes do not always feel amazing?”
“Objection. Objection. He’s leading my client.”
That’s good. That’s good. I was recently looking at some legal documentaries and riveting stuff. But back to the subject. I also want to get your take here, I know rejection is huge when it comes to sales. What are your pro tips for pushing past rejections, staying tough, overcoming the fear, being persistent, that stuff?
Jeb Blount is an awesome author, and if you guys haven’t checked out who he is, check him out. He has a book called Fanatical Prospecting. Awesome. And he has a thing that he mentioned and kind of gave me some food for thought. Sometimes we try to ignore it, but he just says accept it. Even he has fear of rejections. And even I, I’m just going to tell you straight up, I still have a little fear of rejection. It’s our human tendency.
Whenever our brain, the way it’s created, and we have it, it’s there to protect us, to save us, right? So, in our mind, when we hear or feel a rejection, or we hear a rejection from someone, our brain doesn’t know any difference between that and a rattlesnake. But we are the ones that put the emphasis on it. So, when it’s all said and done, we create this fear, this underlying fear. But there are strategies that you can do to help alleviate or to fix that, and I’ll give you two of them today.
The first one is to do it. And you hear people say that, “Just do it. You just got to do it.” But the reason why they say that is because it’s habit. When we become… I love another book by Charles Duhigg, it’s called The Power of Habit. And what it comes to realize is that we do stuff without necessarily thinking, like tying our shoes or brushing our teeth.
At one point we probably were terrified of tying our shoes because we’re like, “Oh, my goodness, I’m going to mess up,” when I was a two-year old, “and it’s going to be frustrating. I’m not going to be able to leave the house. I might trip.” So, it’s like you have to tie the shoe and I always have my anxiety about that, if you don’t know how to tie your shoe. But the more you do it you don’t even think about it anymore.
Same thing with any of the other practices. The first day of a job you hate it sometimes because you’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to mess up and I don’t want to look stupid.” But then the more you do it, the task, you become proficient at it. So, the same thing with prospecting, or the same thing with receiving rejection, the more you do it the easier it becomes to recognize that, “Yes, it is going to happen. And, no, I didn’t die. So, life went on. The person said no, and it wasn’t the end of the world.”
So that’s the first part, first strategy. Is that clear on that one?
Oh, sure, yeah.
Second strategy that I recommend is something to help diminish the severity of it, and I learned from one of my sales trainer early on. And it comes down to we recognize to separate our roles from our identity. So, the example that he gives, and for time purposes I’m just going to go straight down into it.
Say I take you and put you on a deserted island, and I strip you of all of your roles that you have. You’re no longer a husband, or a dad, or a brother, or a business owner, or a podcast host, or a son, or daughter, or mother. Take away all of your roles, a college student, or lawyer, you have no more roles. How do you rate yourself on a scale of one to ten? One being, “I am nothing,” and ten being, “I’m amazing. I’m still amazing.
Usually, people will say anywhere around five, around that range, average. And the reason why they do that, because they have been prone to think that they’re judged by their effectiveness in their roles. And so, if you take their roles from them then they’re nothing. But the idea though, if you have a strong sense of self-worth or self-identity then it doesn’t matter what people say about you in your role, or it doesn’t matter if you don’t have that role anymore.
And we see this back in school, and it’s kind of sad where people might say, “Well, Donald is a horrible math student,” but then Donald takes that as a horrible student, and then I don’t perform well in English or in Science because I got an F in math. As opposed to saying, you know, “Donald is a strong-willed individual. He doesn’t get some of the math concepts as much but, my goodness, this person, he has a capability of being a president.” We don’t get graded on that. We just get graded on that stuff and then we label ourselves and society labels us, “You’re a bad student. You’re a bad golfer. You’re a bad baseball player so, therefore, you’re bad at everything else.”
And the ones who have a strong sense of self-worth, self-identity, and most of us, when we look at them, we say they’re over-confident or they’re cocky. It’s just that person have a strong sense of self-worth. Some people are just jerks and cocky but some, for the most part, have a strong sense of identity. So, the key, and I promise you all this makes a point, is to recognize you are ten no matter what.
Your roles don’t define you but you, your self-worth, your self-identity, how you see yourself, define your roles. Your performance in your role will be, will become from how you think about yourself. And I think we can see that in many different areas of our lives. So, when somebody rejects us, or me on a sales call, the idea now is not to take it that they’re rejecting Donald Kelly, who I am, my sense of self-worth and self-identity. They’re rejecting a salesperson who is interrupting their day or their meeting and they might get angry and hang up the phone but that doesn’t mean they’re saying, “I hate you, Donald. You’re a horrible person. Don’t call me. I wish you get lost, you jerk.”
They’re just saying, “I am focused on something else and you just interrupted me.” And then if I call them tomorrow they will probably be a different person. They’ll probably not remember that scenario. And that’s how you kind of trick your brain by recognizing, by separating your roles from your identity, and by doing it enough, practicing enough it becomes more habitual that you know what to do and that these people are not necessarily mean. We all say sad and stupid stuff at times but it doesn’t mean that we’re a stupid person. We just make a rash decision when we’re under pressure and somebody is interrupting us, and we apologize later.
So those are the two strategy I’ll say will help with that fear or rejection. Could you implement any of those?
Oh, sure. Yes. I think that is handy. And that has come up again with regards to mindset and what your self-esteem is contingent upon. It’s been sort of recurring theme so it’s a powerful lesson. Certainly, that kind of has implications in many, many spots.
Now, Donald, I’d love to get your take on when it comes to the occasions when you need to send out a cold email or do a cold call for whatever the objective. I think, often professionals they need something that might not be a sale per se but they have partnership, or they want an introduction, or they want to setup a quick chat to learn more about a potential role or opportunity.
I think these moments can be high anxiety in terms of, “Oh, I don’t know them and I’m interrupting them and I’m inconveniencing them, and I don’t know how to get their attention. I ignore a lot of strangers. They’ll probably ignore me.” I mean, what are some of your approaches for acquiring attention in these scenarios and doing so in a, I guess, non-annoying way?
You know, there are so many silly things that we do as sales professionals or influencers or individuals to grab people’s attention. The key comes back down to the very first thing we talked about was having empathy, right? Understanding people and recognizing that people are people, and people like people things. That sounds so stupid but so often I find that we think that the other person on the other end is just a prospect or just a buyer, or a business owner, and that means they’re a robot or they don’t have feelings or emotions.
But when you can understand that the buyer comes from a human standpoint you can have a humanistic conversation or what will other humans like. If I’m trying to sell golf equipment what will other people who like golf like? So, what if I was to send something to grab their attention? What if I sent you, I’m trying to get a key accounts, or trying to grab the attention of several businesses, key businesses?
I’ll probably use a snail mail or use different tools to grab your attention. Maybe if I sent you a big giant golf ball in the mail as opposed to just calling you and saying, “Hey, would you like to buy some new golf clubs or buy a golf ball?” What if I was to send that big giant ball in the mail and say, “Make sure you go hit a hole in one,” or something? Or sent you a little something like that that’s inexpensive that’s going to grab your attention.
When I call now, I can say, “Hey, this is Donald.” “You’re the guy who sent the big ball.” “Yeah,” I grab your attention in a humanistic way as opposed to just seeing you as a number on a sheet of paper or something. I see you as an individual. And it applies to all other areas of business. Sometimes we want to grab an individual’s attention or you’re trying to track into that person, think about it from a human standpoint. What would they like? What are some of the things that they care about that I can quickly show?
And that’s why you see sometimes you get those emails when somebody reads your blogpost, and they say, “Hey, Donald, love point number five on your blog that you produced last week.” It’s like in my mind I’m like, “Oh, yeah, somebody reads my stuff. That’s cool. I’m a big deal.” Or we see Facebook capitalize on it with the likes and Instagram, all these social platforms with the hearts. We all are addicted to it. And when somebody comments on our stuff, we’re like, “Oh, my goodness, my comments. Somebody commented on my post.” Or, “I have 1,500 comments.” It gives us these little sense of excitement.
So, going back to that, think over what would make that person excited, what will make that person happy as a human being as opposed to a number on a screen, “Let me just send you a blanketed email or let me just send you something that’s going to annoy you but I want to grab your attention.” Send something that’s going to, they’ll probably going to like that’s going to grab their attention.
And some people might say, “Well, Donald, how do you scale that?” Well, it very well depends. I would say the key is to find the best ideal customers for you. I’d go off of a dream list. So, I have a dream list any given time of 50 to 100 potential clients that I’m trying to get and then I do targeted approach to them, and that works amazing for me because those are people who are more likely to buy as opposed to just going shooting in the dark. I am shooting towards a specific target and grabbing their attention and then making a meaningful connection and leads to a wonderful discussion and a conversation as human beings, as opposed to just a telemarketer or a personal list I’m trying to dial to.
Understood. Okay. So, we got the empathy, the human connection, certainly. And so, then, I don’t know, maybe are there any sort of just don’ts in terms of, “Don’t put this in your email”?
Got you. Yeah, the first I would tell you not to do is, first off, don’t lie. In the day of Internet we can find all kinds of information so don’t lie. And people sometimes might think, “If I do that stuff it’s going to grab their attention,” but it quickly points you as not cool, so don’t lie. The other thing is don’t make your email long. Keep your emails like five sentences or less.
The subject line, make sure the subject line is, again, that human approach. Don’t put free or don’t do stuff like that. If I can make my subject line more provocative the better it is, and I’m not saying you put crude stuff in there, you know. What I’m saying is make it provoking to the person, and that usually comes from a question or a statement about them.
Like, “I didn’t know you like golf too, David.” And keep that as a short thing, “David”
“I thought you’d like this to help your golf game,” or, “Improve golf game,” or something else. Maybe you find something on your social media that you can use but now it becomes, “Oh, let me see why.” It’s something that provoke them to open it up and to keep going further.
The thing that I like to do with emails, so things that you shouldn’t do, is try to give more than one outcome or unclear outcome. So, in that email, it needs to be one clear theme and one clear question. And I’ll give you one way that people make silly stuff. Oh, the other thing, too, I learned, and this gives credit to Jeb Blount, don’t say, “Hi, David,” because when you say that, people automatically know that, “You don’t know me. There’s some kind of selling.” Just put the name, “David,” that’s it and then we start it off.
And any salesperson on a call that’s listening to this, will probably be like, “Oh, yeah, I do do that.” Like, “Hello, Mary,” or, “Hi, Mary.” It’s like, “Oh, yeah, here’s comes the pitch.” So, just start it off by saying, “David,” and then going to your point. If that point is, again, you’re trying to get on there, like my podcast, don’t give me a whole bunch of crap. I don’t need to learn all about your company. Just give me straight to the point. What’s the message? What’s the main thing?
Well, yeah, tell me how do I go on your podcast? I’m interested now.
For you, you just have to call me.
Oh, yeah. Thank you.
We’ll square that up. We’ll find time to make that happen. And I’m usually lenient with people but I get these books, I’m not lying, I get these like a long email, and I’m like, “I don’t want to read this. Like it’s a waste of my time.” But somebody sends me a quick little thing, subject line, they give me what the message is, “I want to get on your podcast. This is what I feel can benefit your audience.” Again, have an empathy towards me and my community because they want to know when you give good content, and, “Would you be interested?”
As opposed to sometimes they say, “Hey, Donald. How are you doing? I’m doing this. Have you heard about our company?” Question number one. They go into next thing, like, “We’ve had many different guests. What’s some of the favorite things that you like to have your guests speak on? We’d love to hear about that.” Question number two. At the very end they might say, “Well, let me know if you’re interested in having us on your show.” Then there’s another third question.
Am I going to reply to all of those questions or answer any of those? It’s like in my mind, I’m like, “That’s so much work. I am not going to do that. I’m going to do it later when I have more time. And do I have more time to do that? Heck, no.” So, when does your email get answered? Six months from now, and then your thing may have gone and your window may have closed.
But if you send something quick and simple, the clear theme, “This is what I’m thinking. I think it can benefit your community.” You grab my attention in some humanistic way then you tell me this is the main thing the whole email is about, “I would love to come on your show. Are you interested?” And it’s given me a yes or no, and I can say, “Yes,” or, “No, not right now. We’re not looking for anyone to speak about motivation. We’ve had tons of those.” Or, “No, we’re not looking for anyone to speak about building a sales team. We just had many of those. But connect with us and in mid-2018 we can get you on a schedule.”
But you get a quicker response, and that’s what you want with your buyers. You want people to respond quickly. Treat those emails, we treat emails a lot like text messages nowadays. So, think about that from a humanistic standpoint again, from my buyer’s standpoint if they’re trying to do it like that. Let me help them by giving it to them clean, simple and easy, so that’s how I’d say do your emails, five sentences or less especially if you’re trying to pitch something to someone.
Okay. Awesome. Well, Donald, tell me, is there anything else you really want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about your favorite things?
I think we hit on a lot of those, but I would just say the key thing is just to have fun. No matter what you’re doing, if you’re trying to influence others is to have fun. The moment you stop, whatever you’re doing stop becoming fun, the moment you stop progressing, so figure out a way that you can have fun.
Okay. Awesome. Thank you. Well, now, can you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?
Something that I heard this and I don’t know where it came from but it’s something I adopted. It goes more like a principle and over the years I just started living it, and it’s, “In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.” So, again, I coined that exact wording but I heard a principle, other places, where, “Be different,” or stuff, but I’ve just come to realize, especially in selling and being an influencer, or you’re trying to influence people, or you’re trying to run a good organization, you’re trying to run an awesome podcast. In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
Because, in life, people will tell you to do it, “You’ve got to do it this way. You have to do it this way like everybody else.” And when you stand in line you don’t stand out. And when you don’t stand out you have a harder time. I remember a story I heard, people who are creative, there’s this girl that was trying to get into Brown University, and she wrote her college entrance exam on a brown piece of paper bag, or brown lunch bag or something. And it was totally different and it grabbed their attention, but she was able to get in. Everybody else had their perfect little paper in a perfect little line.
So, tailoring it towards the organization you’re going towards and figuring out how you could be different, that’s what stands out. With the grabbing the with the big ball in the mail as opposed to sending you a cold call, I’m standing out, I’m being a little different. So, there are many different scenarios that you can apply to. So, in order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
All right. Thank you. And how about a favorite book?
As a sales professional I listen and read so many books but the top one I’d probably say is The Science of Selling, David Hoffeld, I love that one.
The other one, too, is Think and Grow Rich. This is an all-time favorite from the mindset. The Richest Man in Babylon is also another great one for like self-helps and so forth. So, I would say those top three is where I’ll leave it off at.
All right. And how about a favorite tool?
Favorite tool as far as software or any tool. I would probably say Calendly. I love Calendly. It’s awesome. It saved me a lot of time where I schedule a lot of my meetings. And I have paid for the paid version so I have multiple levels. And another one that I like is Boomerang, and there are many different out there but I can schedule my emails, but I can schedule my email to go out like at 6:00 in the morning, and people think, “Oh, man, Donald is a hard worker.” Man, I wrote that email like yesterday at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon but that’s one thing that I like as well.
Awesome. And how about a favorite habit?
I’d probably say consume books, and I do a lot of it through audio as well. So, that’s one of the things. So, you got to keep sharpening your tool, so I spend some time, 30 minutes a day or so, consuming content that’s going to help me professionally and that’s relaxing for me as well. When I drive I can listen to the book or if I’m winding down or getting up in the morning, I get some good stuff in.
But a family habit that my wife and I really like to do, we love driving, man. So, we’ll do a little bit of relaxing and drive. We’re in south Florida so we go on A1A, if you know what that is. That’s the road right next to the water. And we’ll just drive for 30 minutes, 45 minutes and that’s like a date night. We just chill. We’ll have sometimes music and sometimes just chill and chat and just cruising. So that’s a little habit we do once a week or something like that. Just chill.
All right. Thank you.
And is there a particular nugget or piece that you share that seems to really resonate, gets people nodding their heads, retweeting, vigorously taking notes when you utter this brilliant gem?
A quotable one, I would say go back to be successful do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Another one that I would tell you is that out-hustle yourself and you’ll always be successful, that’s another one. And sometimes we find people that they try to compete against other people, “I need to beat, Pete. I need to get more downloads like this person,” but just out-hustle yourself.
If you’re always looking at your goal and just recognizing you need to out-beat yourself, your best, you’re going to be better. And the last little tip with this, I run track, being Jamaican we run, but you look towards the finish line. Sometimes when you look back you slow yourself down, you have wind resistance, “Why am I turning my head to look at my competitor?”
Look straight and just try to beat the time that you had yesterday. And if I did it in 10 seconds, I need to beat it, get it in 9:55. If I can do that, beat myself, then I start performing better, and you will more than likely beat the competition because everyone else is running around looking at other people. Let them look at you and try to chase you. But out-beat yourself and that’s all you need to worry about.
Awesome. And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?
Best place to go, go to TheSalesEvangelist.com. You can find a lot of good information there, and just learn a little bit more, and that’s probably the best place. And if you’d like to connect with me, I am totally connectable in social media DonaldCKelly on Twitter, Instagram DonaldCKelly, and on LinkedIn DonaldCKelly, and I’ll personally respond to you if you send me any of those messages or so. That’s it, man. I love it, man. I hope this can help you in your career as you’re listening to become a little more successful, guys.
Awesome. Well, Donald, thank you so much for this. This has been a treat. I was looking to talk to a sales genius for over 200 episodes so I’m glad we crossed paths because you brought the goods, and much appreciated.
Anytime, my brother. It’s an honor. And I love what you’re doing here, man. I wish I had your podcast back when I was in my full-time gig. I listened to one of the episodes recently about the drama, and those things not only apply to the workplace but also apply to home or church or community, so you’re fulfilling, you’re helping us fulfill those voids that we have in our lives that we probably don’t even talk about because we didn’t think there’s a resolution for it. So, we know how to fix drama now. So, thank you.
Oh, cool. Well, thank you.
That’s all. You guys listening to the show, I would ask you to do one thing. Go out and share Pete’s podcast. If you haven’t done in a while, just share it on social media. Get the link and share his podcast or tell somebody else about it because this stuff that he provides are total gems. So, I just want to give you a big pump up to your group because just to validate.
You know, people sometimes, your neighbor’s kids will come over and talk about how you’re a cool parent. It’s the same thing, so sometimes you might think, Oh, Pete is cool.” But I’m telling you, Pete is really, really cool. I’m the neighbor kid coming over telling you, so your dad is cool.
Awesome. Well, much appreciated. Thank you. Oh, shucks, you’re super cool, too, and, yeah, it’s been a blast.
All right, brother man. Appreciate it.