Training Programs that Boost Sales with Jeffrey Gitomer – Episode #13
Cordell speaks with author and consultant Jeffrey Gitomer. Is “more sales” really the only sales metric you need to measure? Listen as this interview unfolds aspects to consider. Jeffrey is the author of the books The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. Find Jeffrey on Twitter at @gitomer. – View Infographic
Announcer: Welcome to “Training Unleashed,” the show that will help you design and deliver training that’s off-the-chain and will make a difference. Now, here’s your host, Cordell Riley.
Cordell: Pleasure to have you here today. My pleasure also to welcome Jeffrey Gitomer. Jeffrey is a bestselling author, speaker, and founder of “Training Train One” [SP]. Jeffrey, welcome to the session today.
Jeffrey: Thanks, Cordell. How are you?
Cordell: I’m doing super, my friend, doing super.
Jeffrey: Good. Yeah.
Cordell: So Jeffrey, you do 100 sessions, plus, a year. I remember going out and talking. I heard you mention several businesses that you consulted with and done things for the organization from a training perspective. Jeffrey, how important is training inside of a company? Companies are talking about, “We’re trying to do this. We’re trying to move this needle. We’re trying to get here.” How important is training inside of a business?
Jeffrey: I would say that it’s the biggest paradox in the world. Any CEO is gonna go, “Training is real important, unless we’re not making enough money. Then we cut that budget.”
Jeffrey: So the person who says it doesn’t really understand the impact of morale. And when people are not trained to be…I’ll give you a fundamental. Why doesn’t every company in the country start with attitude? Why are there no attitude courses in America, in any corporation? Answer, “Because training departments don’t get it, and their budgets are cut so low that they have to train on their product and crap that doesn’t…” You know, you can almost go to Google and get all the stuff you need.
Jeffrey: I tell salespeople all the time, “If I could Google your presentation, why the hell are you giving it to me? Why don’t you just email it to me and say, ‘Hey. Take a look at my slides. I know they’re a little boring. They were put together by marketing.” I’m gonna give you some facts that are not on the slides, and I need you to study up. So when I talk to you, there’s impact.
Cordell: Do you see it? Do you see it moving? Do you see more people really putting a focus that training is one of the key metrics that’s gonna help get our company, our business, our association to that next level? Is it moving?
Jeffrey: No, not really.
Cordell: Not really.
Jeffrey: I think that there’s a comeback right now. The economy is slightly better. As you know, Cordell, we’ve been in the crapper for the last eight years.
Jeffrey: Training budgets were cut severely. So were marketing budgets, by the way. Training and marketing, first two things to go.
Jeffrey: And now it’s making a comeback. There’s more meetings. There’s more things being…that are taking place. But the keyword now is “online.” Can I do something online and reach everybody, rather than reach 50 people in a classroom? So the smartphone is taking over. You know, all my stuff is available. If you’re looking for me, it’s GitomerVT, Virtual Training, and dot-com. A lot of my intellectual property is up there so that people can learn from it. It’s measurable. It’s trackable. It’s sustainable. It’s fun. You know, it’s my stuff. There’s webinars on there. There’s 10-minute lessons, power-lessons on there. All my books are on there.
So I have found that my effectiveness is better if I can follow up after an event. Like, it actually will pull through, and people will actually sign up and take it. It’s time for me to deliver something that every person who’s listening to this will cringe. Ready?
Jeffrey: Trainer gets up in front of the room, and he says, “Okay, everybody. Listen up.” Seriously? Listen up? What does that mean? That means you couldn’t get their attention to begin with.
Jeffrey: I mean can you imagine Bill Gates walking into a room and saying, “Okay, everybody. Listen up?” No, that’s not gonna happen. Okay. So they get in front of the room, and they go, “Okay. Listen up. We have a lot of material to get through today, and I want everybody to…” They’ve all said it. In fact, they probably say it every single time they’re in the room. Do I really care about that? I mean do I care if that trainer drops dead right in front? Someone’s gonna go, “Hey. The trainer died. Let’s try to get his clicker so we can look at these slides.” Because the guy is predominantly, or the woman is predominantly boring.
Jeffrey: And if you tell me there’s a lot of material to go through, I’m gonna get my phone out and immediately start to text my girlfriend or my boyfriend. Now, suppose the same guy comes out and says, “Hey. Today’s gonna be the single best training day of your life. We’re going to talk about things that will impact your mind, your family, and your income. So I need you to sit up straight. Take out your pen right now, and write one thing down. I want you to write down one place that you got to travel to before you die.” Everyone’s gonna stand up and give their place and then tell me why. I want to go to Italy because my grandfather…I want to go to the ancient ruins of…I want to go to the Galapagos because I like big turtles. Whatever the deal is.
Then I’m gonna challenge the audience, “Go home and buy some tickets. Don’t tell me you want to go there. Go invest in yourself and buy some tickets.” If there’s 25 people or 50 people or 100 people in the room, 10% will go buy tickets.
Jeffrey: I’ll get emails saying, “Thank you so much for making me buy those tickets. It was an experience of a lifetime. I saw my family, my ancestors. I…” Whatever it was. But that’s the beginning of my training.
Jeffrey: The beginning of corporate training is horrible. To me, it’s literally disgraceful. No wonder they cut the budget. It’s worthless.
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Cordell: You know, Jeffrey, that was a great segue to those two openings, you know [inaudible 00:06:41]. I know which one I’m gonna focus on. The one that said I got a lot of information I want to cover, or here’s what’s gonna impact you and why. I know which one is gonna get my attention. Absolutely.
Jeffrey: Right. Right. Of course. But they don’t even think about that. They’re looking at their guide, you know, their facilitator guide, and there’s no humor whatsoever, or little humor. There’s all about me, me, me because I’m the guy in front of the room. I’m training. I got this. I got that. It’s horrible. They have this inflated sense of self. Now, Cordell, it ain’t everybody. There’s good trainers out there.
Jeffrey: But there’s more bad than good. That’s what I’ve found. When I go into an organization, a training organization, and I talk to them, they’re scared of me because they think that somebody’s gonna look at them and go, “This guy is crappy. I want somebody better in here.”
Cordell: So Jeffrey, you said something I want to drill down on. You said, “There’s more bad than good.” What makes somebody a good trainer? So give me some of that. You’ve talked to somebody. Give me some tips of a good trainer. What makes somebody a good trainer?
Jeffrey: Number one, they know not just their material. They know how their material is used in the field. I don’t want somebody to teach me printing from a manual. I want somebody to teach me printing who’s been a printer. So that’s big. If you’re a sales trainer, and you’re not the best salesperson in the room, I ain’t listening.
Jeffrey: That’s for any salesperson on the planet. If you haven’t set a record somewhere or you’ve been doing this for 10 years or, you know, you’ve made your 10,000 cold calls, whatever it is, don’t tell me about cold-calling if you don’t make them. I tell salespeople all the time, “If your boss tells you you got to cold-call, tell them to sit down next to you and have a context. Let’s call 100 people and see who gets the most leads.”
Jeffrey: If I get more than you, you’re fired.
Jeffrey: That’s pretty ballsy. Isn’t it?
Cordell: Yeah, yeah.
Jeffrey: Okay. So I look at it from the perspective of there has to be an ability to implement this once the training is over. Number one. Number two, the trainer has to be approachable, friendly, and fun.
Cordell: Approachable, friendly, and fun.
Jeffrey: Yep. When I go do an event for a company, I walk the audience before I start. I’m talking to people [inaudible 00:09:09]. Now, there’s a secret. If you’ve ever seen my marketing, I wear a work shirt. It’s got, “Sales Maintenance Department,” or, “Sales Attitude Department,” or, “Customer Loyalty,” whatever the theme of the speech is that I’m giving, and my name, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: So I’m walking around, talking to people. They think I’m a maintenance guy. When I get up on the platform, I go, “Hey. How many people saw me walking around and thought I was some kind of maintenance guy?” Half the audience will raise their hand. I’ll go, “Why are you prejudging me? Oh, wait. In sales, you prejudge everybody.”
Jeffrey: So I immediately have their thought attention. The trainer must get thought attention. Otherwise, they will wallow in the three steps that you got to use…First thing you have to do…Like, I don’t have any steps.
Jeffrey: I don’t want…I’ll give you some rules. I’ll give you some things you need to follow, but I’m gonna do it in terms of your customer, or I’m gonna do it in terms of you. I just feel like there’s not enough dynamic in the room.
Cordell: Jeffrey, I want to go back to something you talked about when you were giving those two openings, and you talked about people right now, where they want to go and why [inaudible 00:10:22]. We talked about why.
Jeffrey: I want to…Listen. I want the audience to stand up and tell me why.
Jeffrey: Make it participatory.
Cordell: Yeah. I love that. I think people get more when they get involved and really do something. Get engaged with it.
Jeffrey: And say something personal.
Cordell: Yeah. One of the things that you talk…Our audience, again, a bunch of training people out here, all looking at how they make their craft better, how they do a better job. I know you gave some great tips already. When I was looking at some of your material, a couple things that you talk about were…I want to make sure I get this right. The two most important words in sales…I’m gonna let you talk about those, but there was one reason I’m asking you today. We talked about why, and the other one you’re talking about you. Because really, for people to really make themselves better…That’s really the goal that why we’re doing this. We’re trying to bring people like yourself to this audience where they can make themselves better. So talk about the two most important words in sales and how you think those are relevant.
Jeffrey: Okay. The two important words are “you” and “why.” The first piece of any kind of training is the trainer. Fifty-percent of information is transferred because the audience likes the trainer.
Jeffrey: If they don’t like the trainer, you lose at least half. So I want each trainer to challenge themselves. I have a “You Test” on my site. You can go get it for nothing. I ask you, “What are your qualifications for doing this?” I explained earlier when we were off-camera. I sang karaoke, three nights a week, for years, and that’s where I literally learned the art of performing in front of an audience, not presenting in front of an audience. It’s a performance. The trainer thinks that because they are the trainer, that they automatically command some kind of respect or attention, and they don’t. You earn that. You earn it by being approachable. You earn it by being a great communicator. You learn it by making…by giving transferrable concepts, and you learn it by being dynamic.
Jeffrey: I don’t want somebody sitting behind a desk with a wrinkled shirt or…You know, I…It’s got to be right.
Jeffrey: It’s show business. They don’t understand. They think it’s training. Maybe it’s the wrong name for the department.
Cordell: What should we call it?
Cordell: Performance? Yeah. So Jeffrey, as you were talking about performing versus presenting, two big differences.
Jeffrey: Huge. Huge. I don’t want a presenter. I want a performer.
Cordell: Yeah. So you talk…
Jeffrey: So here’s the…Let me go back to the “you” and “why.”
Jeffrey: The trainer must self-actualize first. The trainer must determine whether he or she is literally qualified to go in front of that audience and be dynamic.
Jeffrey: Transfer concepts and put themselves in a position where people actually want to go. I tell trainers and leaders all the time, “Do they want to listen to you? Or do they have to listen to you?” Huge question. So that’s…Then the second part of “you” is the person you’re addressing. If I don’t capture that person’s imagination, if I don’t have that person’s attention, if I cannot engage them, intellectually and emotionally, I’m done.
Jeffrey: I’m totally done.
Jeffrey: Okay. So one of the secrets that I have is I bring my family in to this process. I show pictures of my kids and grandkids and talk about stuff that I do with my family, and people love that because it makes them think of their family. When I tell you a story, it makes you think of your story.
Jeffrey: So if you have kids, then if I talk about my kids, you immediately think of your kids. I’m sure you think your kids are smarter than my kids, but whatever the deal is, it’s fine. I want you to think about that. Okay. Then the second part is why. I want everyone to understand what their “why” is. Are they training because they want a paycheck? Are they training because they want to write a book? If they do want to write a book, is the first chapter written yet? Why not? The answer? Because they’re pissing their time away instead of allocating their time or investing their time. Why do they need to do more? Why is a question that you ask yourself.
The second part of “why” is why does the customer want to buy. Because if you don’t know the why they want to buy, what are you selling for? You may be selling what they don’t want to buy. You may be selling a service experience when all they want is a product and get out the door. You may be trying to sell a product when they’re concerned about service.
Jeffrey: Whatever it is. You may think everyone focuses on price, when in fact, they want value.
Jeffrey: Most people…The most interesting thing: You train for the moment. So for example, if you’re a car salesperson, some guy is gonna stand up and say, “Here’s how you sell a car.” Really? First of all, I don’t want to be sold a car. I want to buy a car. So a trademarked phrase of mine, trademarked, is, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” You never say to your significant other, “Honey, let’s go get sold a car.”
Jeffrey: She doesn’t go to a department store and say, “Boy, I sure hope they sell me that dress.” No, it’s…That’s part of the deal. We live in a society where people are trying to sell, and the customer wants to buy. Big disconnect.
Jeffrey: So if I can find out their emotional “why,” I’m gonna make that sale every time.
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Cordell: Jeffrey, I want to loop back to something you talked about earlier. You talked about so many of your materials being online right now, and certainly that’s one of the big shifts. You hear so many things moving online [inaudible 00:16:58].
Jeffrey: Cordell, it’s the shift.
Cordell: How’s it working for you? How long have you guys been online? How’s it working for you?
Jeffrey: I went…I invested $400,000 in an online digital studio in 1999. I misspent. Government term. I misspent $250,000 of it, but I didn’t know which $250,000 when I started.
Jeffrey: So I learned a very valuable lesson. Since then, I have made or earned millions of dollars through that online studio. It is what sets me apart from the rest of the training world because people look at my…Other trainers look at my stuff. They go, “Holy mackerel.” But I have a studio right downstairs.
Jeffrey: I have a videographer and an editor and a sound guy. I go downstairs and shoot. I have a teleprompter. I write my own stuff. I literally can go downstairs right now, record 5000 words, and it’s up on YouTube in three hours.
Cordell: So Jeffrey, so you have a lot of stuff online. Our audience probably is doing some online training. Give me some tips to make online training effective. What are the things that you have to have to make online training?
Jeffrey: Short lessons. Short lessons. Two minutes, three minutes at the most. Testing of some kind when it’s done, so that someone…There has to be a learning management system that will document that and let a manager see what’s been done, so that the manager can come in, or the leader can come in and coach his or her people.
Jeffrey: So short and sweet, entertaining, measurable in terms of, “I want to take a test,” and then coachable.
Jeffrey: If you only measure it, and you don’t coach, you’ve wasted your money.
Cordell: Let me come back to a couple things, and I’m gonna maybe make this [inaudible 00:18:51] our final question. We got a bunch of training professionals that are out listening, and now they need to make their training. They need to make that department better. What are some big-bucket tips that you give…
Jeffrey: Okay. Hang on one second, Cordell. Let me just go back to that for just a second. Do I want people to be better trained? Or do I want them to be better performers?
Cordell: Yeah. Performers. Yeah.
Jeffrey: So why would you say, “I have a great training department,” when you should say, “I have a great performance department?”
Cordell: How do we make it better? How do we make it better? If you had to give some tips to this audience, how do we make it better?
Jeffrey: Make it fun. I’m not going into a boring training session for all day and not have it…and not be laughing and learning.
Cordell: Jeffrey, thank you. Thank you for the time. Our audience, thank you for joining us. Please come back for others. Thank you. Take care. Have a great day.
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