EPISODE 300: Author of 5-Minute Selling Alex Goldfayn Says Doing This Simple Thing Right Now Will Put You in the Top 5 Percent of All Sellers

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the CREATIVITY IN SALES Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales and hosted by Fred Diamond on September 7, 2020. It featured best-selling author Alex Goldfayn. We discussed his new book, 5-Minute Selling.]

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EPISODE 300: Author of 5-Minute Selling Alex Goldfayn Says Doing This Simple Thing Right Now Will Put You in the Top 5 Percent of All Sellers

ALEX’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “It’s so easy right now to stand out from the crowd, you just need to do a little bit of being present. We all have people that we know and who know us and we care about them, we need to communicate that care a little bit more and that is what puts you in the top 5 to 10%. If you care without communicating it, nobody knows you care and they can’t benefit from it even though they want to, even though they need to. Show that you want to help and see what happens. It will be good.”

Fred Diamond: Today I’m very excited, we’re talking to the author of 5-Minute Selling, Alex Goldfayn, he’s an author of numerous publications. One of my favorite business books of all time is the Revenue Growth Habit, we actually brought Alex to speak back in 2017 – it was a long time ago, it seems – to talk to the IES and we’re thrilled to have you here. First of all, congratulations on having another book published, I read the book, we’re going to get deep into it. Alex, the book 5-Minute Selling, it’s interesting because you wrote this book obviously before the pandemic and we’re doing today’s webcast, August 28th and you wrote a really nice forward in the book explaining the timing and how people can react differently. Just curiously, before we get to some of the meat, we have 16 great action points that we’re going to get to. What’s changed for sales professionals now that the book is out and again, we’re in this new world of wherever we are?

Alex Goldfayn: First of all, thank you for having me on, Fred. I sure appreciate it, it’s nice to see you. Fred told me he’s going to be wearing a sport coat and I thought I’d better do something nicer than a polo like I’ve usually been in, my “pandemic polo”, as my wife calls it, so we put down a button down shirt. Thanks for having me on, the book launched this week, this is launch week as we speak live to each other and as of today it’s the #1 new release in all of its categories, the three categories it’s been assigned to including the sales category and the marketing category simultaneously so I feel really happy and excited about that. You never know, Fred, when the book’s in your head for months, years and then it goes from the screen in your mind into book form, these only came in like less than two weeks ago to my house that I saw them for the first time. You don’t know how it’s going to be received so I’m pleased at the positive reception.

The answer to your question is that everything has changed. I wrote the book pretty much mostly in January and in January I had 18 audience sessions, so just about every single week day was in front of an audience. They were in different cities pretty much all over, it’s a miracle that I either didn’t catch the virus that month or if I caught it, I don’t know I had it so that’s nice too, that would probably be even better. I would be doing two a day, I’d wake up at four in the morning, write my book with coffee and then go do my workshop, usually half day, all day workshop or a keynote, whatever I’m doing and then go either have coffee depending on the time of day or a drink in the afternoon and write some more. I’d have flights in between all of that and it was normal times, we sold to people how we always sold to people and buyers bought from us how they always bought from us.

Then towards the end of February the world turned upside down like the song in Hamilton goes so in May, as we got through the editing of the book I wrote a forward to it saying everything’s different. And because the book is very much about, “How do we sell to people remotely from a distance?” I understand everybody’s going to do their meetings in normal times so this was about, “How do we use the phone? What do we say on the phone? What do we say to people who call us? What do we say to people who call with a problem or an issue or an urgency?” because that’s mostly why people call. People call when something’s wrong, people call when there’s an issue so we resolve the issue and offer an additional product or service, ask a ‘did you know’ question. “Did you know we can help you with this or that?” a reverse ‘did you know’ question, “What else do you need?” Everything’s different, where we sell from is different, where our buyers buy from is different, they’re in a different place and our interaction is different, there’s no more face-to-face, everything’s different.

Fred Diamond: Again, congratulations. This is your third book?

Alex Goldfayn: This is my fifth book overall, it’s my fourth business book and they’re all behind me.

Fred Diamond: We’re doing a webcast every single day and we’re converting it to Sales Game Changers podcasts and as I’m reading it, there’s a lot of words that have come up during our webcasts that begin with PR. Your book is replete with instructions to be proactive and instructions to prepare, and instructions to provide value to help your company be profitable. You’re right on target with some of the things that we’re talking about every single day and the thing that’s exciting, Alex, about the book is the fact that you give people tools to help them be successful. First, let’s talk about the concept of 5-Minute Selling. By the way, people are logging in from all over the world so it’s great to see people, we have people here from the DC region, we have people here from the central region, you’re outside of Chicago, correct?

Alex Goldfayn: Yes.

Fred Diamond: We have some people in Europe here today, thank you all, you’re definitely going to get some value out of this conversation. One of the interesting things that’s happened during this time is a lot of people have released challenges. Tony Robbins has a 5-day challenge, a lot of people in that space and he had close to 400 thousand people login.

Alex Goldfayn: That’s it?

Fred Diamond: [Laughs] that’s all that he could do. Let’s talk about the concept of 5-Minute Selling and then let’s talk about the concept of the time frame. For example, you put together a challenge to people who read the book as well so let’s talk about 5-Minute, then let’s talk about the concept of the challenge.

Alex Goldfayn: 5-Minute Selling, the idea is that in 5 minutes a day of proactive communications we can grow sales significantly, so 5 combined minutes. For example, throughout the day you can ask ‘did you know’ or reverse ‘did you know’ questions which we’ve already touched on. A ‘did you know’ question is, “Did you know I can also help you with X, Y or Z?”  A reverse ‘did you know’ question is, “What else do you need that I can help you with?” These are 3 second questions and in 5 minutes during the day, I think I can ask a hundred of those questions. We know statistically that 20% of them close, we know this because my clients have asked millions of them over the last 12 or so years and we track it. That means ask 5 ‘did you know’ questions, that’s 15 seconds of your time, and you’ll close one new line item that will be added over time. Ask 500 ‘did you know’ questions, you’ll add a hundred new line items and so on. In 5 minutes, alternately I can all and leave 10 voicemails because my voicemail script takes 20 seconds or so to say, figure 10 or so seconds to call somebody and get the voicemail.

I can leave 10 voicemails, out of those 10 voicemails my average when using the scripts that are in the book is 50% to 2/3 called me back. If 10 voicemails a day is 50 a week and 200 a month and 2,400 a year, 50% to 2/3 call back. Let’s say you really screw it up and only 40% call back out of 2,400 and you’ve only got 1,000 return phone calls in a year from customers and prospects when nothing is wrong. The conversation there is, “Fred, it’s Alex. How are you? I was thinking about you, how’s the family? How are you getting through the virus? What’s going on? How are the kids doing? What are you doing with school? By the way, now I’m going to pivot to the business. What are you working on these days, Fred, that I can help you with? I’d like to help you.” These are helping conversations so the premise of the book is that in 5 minutes of doing these things, you can do dozens of actions totaled throughout the day. Can you spend more than 5 minutes? Of course, you can. If it gets good, you spend more than 5 minutes, you’ll grow more but I’m telling you, 5 minutes is enough. I’ve seen individual salespeople who are clients of mine grow, double their personal sales, triple their personal sales. I have one salesperson that had a client, a manufacturer that is up 3000% on her personal sales by doing this work, that’s an outlier but you can sell a lot more in 5 minutes a day and that’s the premise of the book, Fred.

Fred Diamond: I want to start talking about some of the key things that you bring up. Alex, I want to do a real quick poll. If you’re watching today’s webcast, how many sales telephone calls do you make every day? More than 50, 20 to 50, 5 to 20, under 5 or let’s be honest, close to zero.

Alex Goldfayn: You tell me if this is okay with you, you my want it this way or not. I would be curious about – you veto this if it’s not appropriate – how many phone calls people make when nothing is wrong to people who they know, not cold calls, to people who would recognize you and you recognize them to have the kind of conversation that we just laid out which is, “I was thinking about you, how are you, how’s your family? By the way, what projects do you have coming up that I can help with?” That kind of call is the one I would be interested in here and if that’s okay with you, just let me know.

Fred Diamond: We’ll give people another 10 seconds to vote under that clarification but it’s probably close as well. Alex, just under 40% of the people watching today’s webcast make less than 5 phone calls a day. We don’t have a lot of the heavy prospectors watching today, a decent amount make under 20 and very few make more than 20. It’s interesting, a large part of what you talk about in the book is picking up this [holds up phone] and physically dialing and making phone calls as compared to this [texting on a phone], or as compared to this [typing on a keyboard]. It’s picking up and actually a little bit of a twist. Thank you all for voting, by the way. We’ve been running the Institute for Excellence in Sales for about 7 years now and when people ask me, “What is the #1 sales tool on the planet?”, it always comes back to the phone.

Alex Goldfayn: It’s the same #1 tool that it was folks in the ’50s, the ’60s and the ’70s and the ’80s when there was nothing else, it remained the most important tool in the ’90s and the 2000s and the 2010s even though we went away from it and we continue to go away from it. I would argue with you that right now today it is as important as it was in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, there is no more important tool.

Fred Diamond: Let’s get deep into that. Almost half of your 16 action items – and I want to emphasize the word action, we talk about that a lot too. On a lot of our webcasts we talk about theory and we bring great speakers talking about how to be a better prospector over time, those kinds of things. Right now one of the key messages that we’ve heard from the sales leaders and from customers that we’ve talked to is, “I don’t need to know about the next year, I’ve got to solve problems right now because I’m dealing with recovering from COVID, I’m dealing with recovering from the economic issues related to COVID, I’m dealing with all of those things that we’re all familiar with.” For the first time, Alex, on the planet, we as sales professionals know what all of our customers are dealing with. Prior to this it’s like, “How do you figure out what the strategy is?” All those things which were critical. Now just open up the news and you know.

Alex Goldfayn: Everybody’s doing the same thing, we’re all doing the same thing. Fred, you’re at your desk at home, I’m at my desk at home, most of the people watching us are at their desk at home and look, if you’re in the office, there’s not a lot of other people there, you’re one of the only ones in the office. Everyone’s doing the same thing, we’re all sitting at our desk and next to us is, as you held up, our phone. Our phone is next to us and it is reachable, within arm’s reach by 90% or more of your customers and prospects. I know we did the poll and people said 40% were under 5 and then I think the biggest medium one was 5-20. When was the last time, Fred, that you got a phone call from a service provider or a product distributor/maker who you buy products from when there wasn’t an issue or problem, when nothing was wrong and they said to you, “Fred, how are you? I was thinking about you. How’s your family? How’s life in the pandemic and what’s going on with your work and how are things going? By the way, what are you working on these days that I can help with? Because I’d like to, I want to help you.” Can you remember the last time you got a phone call like that?

Fred Diamond: No.

Alex Goldfayn: I got one in the ballpark of that, what I just described, a month and a half ago. This is interesting, I can remember it almost word for word because it’s literally the only one in the last few months that I got because before that it was months still since I had another one. I can remember who it was, what they wanted, what they said, how they said it, what their voice sounded like, what I sounded like because it was so rare and I said to the guy, “Holy smokes, you’re the only person that’s called me in the last few months.” Talk about standing out from the crowd, everybody watching this, listening right now, however you’re consuming this, if you call somebody on the phone, you’re going to be the only one. Again, when nothing is wrong, not a reactive call but a proactive call, fixing a problem is a reactive call, I’m talking about a proactive call. There is no problem, you just want to know how the person’s doing, what’s happening, “How are you? How’s life? How’s your family? What do you need from me? Where can I help?” If you do that for somebody, they’re going to grab onto you and they’re never going to let go, they’re going to say, “Oh my god, somebody wants to help me, I don’t have anybody like this in my life.” People will literally look for excuses or reasons to buy from you, they’re going to feel like they owe you because you’re the only one helping them and they’ll tell you that like I told the guy who called me.

Fred Diamond: Helping is critical. Let’s go through the concept of proactive phone calls. Again, on Alex’s book, 5-Minute Selling, 16 action items that you could do in 5 minutes repeatedly, proactively to take your sales performance to the next level. I really like the fact that it’s action and even though you’ve already given us a couple dozen great tips, at the end of every webcast that we do we ask our guests, “Give us an action step that people should do today so that they can execute upon it.” You give 16 here, you actually give more because you actually give forms as well. Let’s go through the proactive phone calls, let’s go through the left side on page 30 of your book and then you also have proactive communication. By the way, the book is available everywhere now, I guess?

Alex Goldfayn: The book is everywhere.

Fred Diamond: Do you have a preference where people purchase the book from?

Alex Goldfayn: The easiest place right now is Amazon, Barnes & Noble I think is probably hanging on by a thread just from what I know from my publisher, it shouldn’t be a secret or a shock. Probably Amazon’s the best place.

Fred Diamond: Let’s get to those proactive phone calls. By the way, people, take a pen, take a piece of paper. Of course you’re all going to buy the book but for now, start taking some notes. Alright, Alex, back to you.

Alex Goldfayn: The book is based around a system of planners and trackers, so there’s two planners and two trackers and that’s all there is and as you said, they’re in the book. The 16 actions you keep mentioning are laid out here literally in a checklist of actions. This is a download, both this sheet as well as the planners and the trackers are a free download on my website so if you go to goldfayn.com you can get them for free, you don’t even have to buy the book. I’d prefer it if you bought the book, of course, the book will tell you what to do with the planners but you can get these tools on my website now for free.

Proactive calls are a gigantic missing ingredient from our sales work as we’ve discussed already. I think most people don’t make phone calls, I think that if we can figure out how to use the phone proactively you’ll be like in the top 5 to 10% of salespeople instantly. I think most of us don’t make phone calls because we don’t know who to call, here’s how complicated my stuff is, Fred. I think we don’t make calls because we don’t think through who we should call, I think we’re surrounded by lists of names and numbers of people, we’ve got emails and we’ve got text messages and we’ve got invoicing, we have CRMs, but unless we use that CRM exactly perfectly – which almost nobody does – nothing in our lives tells us who we should call. I’m suggesting at the beginning of the week you spend 5 minutes laying out who to call and just think it through. Not 50 minutes, not 5 hours, 5 minutes.

Fred, I do this exercise in my workshops, I might have done it when we were together three years and and I sent around a similar planner to this one, this is an evolved 2.0 version. But I sent around a call planner and I do this in workshops still and I say, “Just take 90 seconds” – sometimes, I do 60 depending on how much time there is, a minute to 90 seconds – “write down as many people as you can think of to call and reach out to in the next week. The planner has 8 categories and in those 60 to 90 seconds, people write down 10 names, 15 names, sometimes you get 20 to 30 names in 90 seconds, that’s how many names people write down. Let me read some of the categories of people that you can call. Your best customer who can buy more, great group of people you can think through. Customers you haven’t talked to in three months or more, this is one of the most powerful category of people you can call because you’re not talking to them, they’re buying from you but they’re not calling.

Do you know who is calling? People who have problems, people who have urgencies, people who have issues, that’s who calls, the squeaky wheels, somebody who needs something. That’s who calls, but that’s only 10 to 20% of your customers, the other 80% are good, they’re happy so they’re not calling and by definition we’re not calling because we’re busy answering the phone. Look, I’m not suggesting you have free time, you don’t have a ton of free time, I know you’re busy, I know you’re solving problems. We’re in the customer service business, we can’t say, “I’m sorry, I’m being proactive right now, I can’t solve your problem. I’m in my proactive time, get me back when I’m reactive again.” Can’t do that, you’ve got to solve the problem but infuse 5 minutes of proactive outbound communication and your sales will grow. One other category, customers who used to buy but stopped. Try thinking of five customers right now who used to buy but went away, you can’t do it because they’re not in your head, we don’t think about it, they’re not in our head. This gives us a place and gives us oxygen, forces us to think through who to call. My purpose here is to choreograph proactivity, choreograph thinking through the quick plan so that then you can go and quickly do. I want you to quickly plan, quickly do, quickly track. Quickly plan 5 minutes or less for the week, quickly do 5 minutes a day, quickly track.

Fred Diamond: I want to ask you a quick question. There’s so many words that come up all the time on the Sales Game Changers webcast that we do, we’ve been doing these since the pandemic kicked in every single day. One of the words that I mentioned upfront was preparation so you had talked about 5 minutes to plan, 5 minutes to do. Let’s talk about preparation for a little bit and I’m actually going to do a couple shows just on preparation. So many times if you do get somebody who reaches out, it’s just like a non-thought through approach. Maybe they saw your name and you get these on LinkedIn all the time, “I saw your profile, I’m thinking that you probably need a CRM system that allows you…” No, I don’t.

Alex Goldfayn: It’s cold call pitching which we all default to.

Fred Diamond: Yeah, connect and pitch, we call it on LinkedIn right now, it’s the worst strategy for LinkedIn. Let’s talk about preparation for a few minutes here, what’s some of your tips? Let’s talk about preparation plan.

Alex Goldfayn: Because 90% of salespeople operate reactively, it doesn’t require any preparation to be reactive. By definition you’re reacting to what comes in and the things that come in, as we’ve said already, are problems and issues and urgencies, “I need it yesterday, why haven’t you gotten it to me yesterday even though I’m only calling today to ask for it? You’re supposed to predict that and anticipate it.” The top 5 to 10% of salespeople do a little proactive work. 5-Minute Selling is a system of doing proactive work for 5 minutes a day but if you’re going to be proactive, you do need to prepare a little bit. You can’t be proactive without preparing, proactivity requires preparation by definition. Otherwise, you’ll get to your proactive 5 minutes and you’re like, “What should I do?” because you haven’t thought about it. That’s why most people don’t do proactive work, because we’re reacting all day and we don’t give it the time – 5 minutes, it literally needs a few minutes – to prepare what we’re going to do for that week. I think that’s a widely missing rate determining step for success in proactive selling work. I don’t know if I answered your question or not, but I thought it was a good one.

Fred Diamond: You did, we got a follow up question here from Lynne, Lynne is in the DC region and Lynne asks, “How can we prepare more effectively as a team in this virtual world?” Prior, the sales leader brings the team into the conference room, “How are we going to handle going after the Murphy account?” or something. Now it’s a little different, people are “busier” because the video cameras are always on, it’s very easy, you don’t need to travel to meetings. Give us some of your thoughts that you’ve observed with the thousands of sales teams you work with today, because the virtual world ain’t going away for a while.

Alex Goldfayn: I can’t see what’s being typed so if Lynne can tell us if she leads a team or she’s a member of a team, that would help me answer. I’ll start answering but Lynne, tell us if you’re the manager of the team or if you’re a member of the team.

Fred Diamond: Lynne is actually a member of a team, she’s a senior sales professional.

Alex Goldfayn: Here’s what I got. As teams, I think it’s critical to do this in a coordinated way. In my consulting practice that’s what I do, work with teams so we do this choreography with groups. One of the key reasons I wrote this book is to give individual salespeople a way and a guide to implement what I do for my organizations who average 10 to 20% annually new sales from working with me, just directly from what’s in this book. As I told you, individual salespeople can double and triple their sales by doing what’s in the book, it’s literally a silver platter, the book is yellow but it’s a silver platter for how to sell more, quickly. As teams, Lynne, you want to talk about this quickly but a lot in a coordinated way. I’ll tell you what I do for my clients, if you want to use this planner as a team, you get together on a Zoom meeting – because I know all teams love Zoom, you can’t talk to a team anywhere without Zoom, Fred – and you give everybody 5 minutes to fill out their planner while you’re on the call. Then for the next 10 minutes you talk about it, you discuss it. People read their list depending on how big your team is, if your team’s a hundred people there’s not time so you might select a few different people each huddle that you do.

I coordinate this for all my clients, 15 minutes is the length of the huddle, 5 minutes you write, everybody writes, you give people time while together. In normal times we’re doing this around a conference table, we’re sitting together. Everybody writes names, as many as you can, it doesn’t matter which category you put them in, we just want volume. The goal is speed, don’t think too much, just write in your five minutes and then go around and read your list and what’ll happen is other people will respond to it. They’ll say, “Oh, that reminds me, I’ve got this guy” or they’ll say, “That guy, you should also ask him about this product or this service.” Again, choreography of proactivity, we’re making sure that proactivity happens and that’s the work. Hopefully I answered that question okay.

Fred Diamond: I’m interested in your thoughts on this as well. We talked before about today we’re in a different scenario, previously you were going around the world training companies on how to get more habits, get better over time. Now customers are looking for solutions for today, “How do I save my business? How do I stop the bleeding? How do I X, Y and Z today?” Not a year from now, not two years from now but today so proactivity has become such a great word in the fact that we want the sales professionals to already be proactive in what they’re bringing to the customer. We talked about this on Wednesday’s Sales Game Changers podcast, understanding what the customer is going to need three steps ahead of the customer. That’s a critical place that we’re seeing the top sales professionals, the 10% that you talk about, yourself as well. Talk about that for a second, going way above on the proactivity type of spectrum.

Alex Goldfayn: I don’t know if this is where you want me to go so steer me if this is not what you want but as you were saying that, I was thinking that it’s so easy right now to stand out from the crowd, it’s not complicated, I don’t think you need to go crazy way above and beyond. You just need to do a little bit of being present, I think that we all have people that we know and who know us and we care about them, I know you care. I’m not suggesting if you’re watching this or listening to us, I’m not suggesting you need to care more, I know you care a lot. What I am suggesting is we need to communicate that care a little bit more and that is what puts you in the top 5 to 10%. If you care without communicating it, in silence, nobody knows you care. It’s like a tree falling in the forest, it’s nice that you care for you, I suppose, but nobody knows and they can’t benefit from it even though they want to, even though they need to. And you can’t benefit from the business and your family can’t benefit from it. Fred, I’ve heard a million times and I’m sure you have too, some version of, “How can I morally sell to my customers now?

They’re worried about their health, they’re worried about their job, they might be furloughed or at risk of being laid off and worried about their family’s health. How can I pitch? How can I sell now?” My answer always from the first day have been, “How can you morally not try to help people now? They need you now, they’ve never needed you more. People need your help now more than ever, nobody’s calling them, they’re sitting in silence craving to be helped and craving human connection, it’s almost tragic. They want to be helped, they need to be helped, we don’t do it because we’re afraid so it’s really easy to stand out from that crowd right now, easier than ever.

Fred Diamond: A lot of people who are watching today’s webcast have been on many of our webcasts that we’ve done and the other word that you just touched on is the e-word, empathy, but I really liked the angle that you put on there is that you need to communicate that you care. I loved two things, choreography of proactivity and also communicate that you care.

Do you get referred to as “The great Alex Goldfayn” frequently?

Alex Goldfayn: That’s a lot of pressure on my head when you do that.

Fred Diamond: [Laughs] we’ve got five more minutes of pressure for you.

Alex Goldfayn: I don’t know if I can meet those expectations when you do that.

Fred Diamond: We’ve got a question here from Gina – It’s not Gina Stracuzzi who runs our Women in Sales but it’s Gina who’s in New York. Believe it or not, Gina says, “I hate to say this but I’m still afraid to make phone calls.” Let’s talk about that for a second or two, what is your advice? We’ve been telling people for years, “Pick up the phone, make the phone call, your book is all about that. Yesterday we had the great Morgan Ingram who’s a prospecting genius on our Optimal Sales Mindset show, last week we did a show called The Courage to Prospect. Talk for a minute about getting past any fear you might have about picking up the phone.

Alex Goldfayn: I have many thoughts for Gina, the first one is pick up my previous book if you haven’t, called Selling Boldly, it’s the orange one behind me and it’s all about the fear that keeps us from doing this work and what to do about it and how do we get over it. 5-Minute Selling doesn’t address that very much because the last book did and I wanted 5-Minute Selling to be an action manual. Gina, the truth is that you’re not afraid of the phone call, what you’re actually afraid of is the rejection that comes with it, you’re afraid of being rejected. Salespeople are driven by our fear of rejection, I teach this, I write books about it and I experience fear too, I get it because if I call this customer who’s already buying from me and I offer them some additional products and services on the phone and then they say no into my ear, if they reject me into my head intimately, that’s an intimate rejection.

That doesn’t happen when you send LinkedIn messages, does it, Fred? You can’t be rejected into your ear so it’s easier to send LinkedIn messages, it’s easier to send emails, that’s why we send emails, nobody rejects us into our ear holes. They say no to us and then we might die if we get rejected by this customer who’s been with us for 15 years and when we die from the rejection, our kids will starve because who’s going to feed them? Then of course our family will lose their home in the process, to make it even worse, if this customer doesn’t need this one thing that we’re offering.

Of course what I just said is absurd and of course I’m exaggerating for emphasis. However, in our head the fear is that big, Gina, you just said it. It keeps you from doing things you know you should do and it keeps all salespeople from doing the things we know we should do. I want to talk about two circles and the one Gina’s describing is, “I’m avoiding phone calls because I have a fear” and we have avoid the phone calls and we have a fear, this is the vicious circle. We don’t feel good about ourselves so we feel meek and we’re not confident, then we get sad, down or depressed and then we feel anxious because we know we should be on the phone. Then when we’re down and depressed and anxious, that keeps us even further from making phone calls, that helps us avoid the phone even more and then we avoid the next call and then we feel even worse about ourselves going forward. You’re in this vicious circle of procrastinating and avoiding the calls because of fear and feeling bad about yourself for it which makes you avoid them even more.

Over here in this circle we have making the call, feeling good about yourself, having a nice conversation, connecting with somebody, feeling confident, feeling bold, making the next call. Opening up a piece of business, closing a piece of business, gaining confidence, gaining enthusiasm, gaining optimism, those feelings lead you to the next phone call. You have these two circles, what is the exit ramp from this circle to this circle? The first phone call. The first phone call gets you from this circle to this circle because it’ll be a good one, you’ll have a good conversation, you’ll connect with somebody, you’ll feel good about it and then you’re going to want to make the next one. Suddenly you will find yourself in the span of one call with a person who you know in this circle.

Fred Diamond: One of the best feelings in sales is a great conversation, it’s making the call, you’re right, we’re all stressed. Even some of the top prospectors that we have at the Institute, there is that fear. Alex, we have a real quick tactical technical question here, this comes from Alan in the DC area. “When you’re making dials, do you always leave a message if you get voicemail or no? If no, do you call back later the same day or tomorrow?” We could talk about the prospecting process for hundreds of hours but in general, what is your basic thought about leaving a voicemail or then calling back? Thanks, Alan.

Alex Goldfayn: Thank you for the question. Chapter 15, page 118 titled Yes, You Should Leave a Voicemail. I absolutely think you should leave a message and the reason is when you leave a message, people get to hear your voice, people get to hear your name, people get to know that you care and that you’re interested. My voicemail process is 20 seconds long, the script is 20 seconds. “Fred, it’s Alex, I was thinking about you, I hope you’re well. I thought of you because I have this other client and I was working with him and they’re experiencing great growth, tremendous results and they reminded me of you. If you have a few minutes, let’s catch up. I’d love to hear your latest, I’ll tell you what’s working over here with this client that I think will do great for you and I’m looking forward to connecting.” Then I’ll leave my number. That’s a 20 second message and I’m telling you, I get half to two thirds call me back to that message. That’s the voicemail and the script for what I just said is in the book, it’s here.

Fred Diamond: Alex, we’ve gone through so much here. I encourage people to go to your website, goldfayn.com. Before I ask you for your final thought I just want to touch on one quick thing. We do a webcast which we convert to a podcast every Thursday, it’s called the Optimal Sales Mindset webcast. We used to do a session when we were doing live events on mindset one Friday in October. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we do a webcast every single week on sales mindset. You devote a lot in the book about mindset, I didn’t really want to go through it because we talk about it every Thursday. You put one of my favorite quotes of all time in the book which is right there, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” by the great Henry Ford. Talk about mindset for a minute and then I’m going to ask you for your final action step. We’ve been talking about action steps all day long, I’m going to ask you for just one besides buy the book, which of course we recommend to everybody. Give us your thoughts on mindset, why you put it in the book as much as you did and then give us your final action step for the day.

Alex Goldfayn: Do you want any action step or a particular one?

Fred Diamond: On mindset, one appropriate one but then on action step just pick one that people should do literally today.

Alex Goldfayn: I think mindset is critical because we can’t outsell our mindset. I think our behavior is determined by our mindset, I think we only sell like what we think which means if we feel like we’re bothering the customer and we’re annoying them and we’re stepping on their toes and we don’t want to be bothersome, you’re going to sell accordingly which means meekly and timidly and you won’t call. Again, that’ll lead to confidence issues and so forth but if you believe you have tremendous value for this customer and how lucky they are to have you and you know you’re going to help them because you will and the customer believes that, I believe that, Fred believes that but now you have to believe it. Then you’ll behave accordingly there which is confidently, boldly, enthusiastically, optimistically. I think that mindset is everything. When I work with clients, when I work with teams – and I do big projects, I do 6-12 month projects with large teams of salespeople, customers, service people, anybody who faces customers.

When I teach my workshop to them, when we get to the teaching stage of the front line people, 2/3 of it is on mindset, 1/3 is on the actions because we all know what to do. Everybody watching and listening to us, Fred, everybody knows that the telephone is better than email. We’re not telling anybody anything they don’t know, but the knowing doesn’t make us any money, the doing makes the money so we have to do, we have to talk to people and tell them that we’re interested in helping them. This is a book about doing, chapter 2 in the book is called I Don’t Want You to Read This Book, I Want You to Do This Book. That’s the mindset piece.

Fred Diamond: Again, that’s why we do a show every Thursday at 2:00 o’clock just on mindset and it’s just amazing, the lessons that come across. Alex, it’s great to see you again. The book is 5-Minute Selling, it’s a do book, I was going to ask you that question but you just handled it. We’ve got a bunch of people here who are saying thank you so much. Lisa says, “Thank you”, Dran says, “Thank you”, Paul says, “Nice job”, Artie says, “This was great.”

Give us one action step to send us off, you have tons of them in the book, something they should do right now to take their sales career to the next level.

Alex Goldfayn: The next customer or prospect that you talk to, ask them the reverse ‘did you know’ question which is, “What else are you working on that I can help you with?” or, “What other projects do you have coming up?” or, “What else do you need quoted?” We ask them, instead of us asking a ‘did you know’ question and firing the product at the customer, ask them to name their list of things to us. You might even ask them, “What’s on your wish list?” and they’re going to give you a list of things. What nobody will say is, “No, I don’t want you to make my life easier today.” Nobody will say that, they will all say, “They really want to help me.” When you ask somebody for their opinion, they will give it to you so, “What do you need? What else are you buying elsewhere that I can help you with? I want to help you.” Ask that question, see what happens. It’ll be good.

Fred Diamond: Molly says, “This was so good, thank you.” Andrew said he read Selling Boldly, “It’s a great book”, Gene says, “Wow, thank you so much.” Louisa says, “Good job, Alex” and a bunch of other people chiming in. Alex Goldfayn, congratulations again on the book. Everyone else who watched today’s webcast, thank you for giving us a little bit of your time. Alex, stay safe, thank you, it’s great seeing you.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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