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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the OPTIMAL SALES MINDSET Webinar hosted by Fred Diamond, Host of the Sales Game Changers Podcast, on July 18, 2020. It featured Resilience and NLP expert and motivational speaker Klyn Elsbury.]
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EPISODE 258: Resilience Expert Klyn Elsbury Shares Optimal Sales Mindset Lessons Learned Having Been Hospitalized 67 Times for Cystic Fibrosis in Her Scant 32 Years
KLYN’S’ TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Check in with your gut and ask “are you actually a professional?” Because if you are a professional what’s happening right now isn’t going to stop you. You’re going to do the growth work, you’re going to do the trainings, you’re going to get educated and you’re going to leverage it. Recognize what was that superpower that got you to be called a professional and then what is that extra thing you need to reach out and then go for the vision? What I want you to understand is what made you a professional and keep doing that.”
Fred Diamond: Klyn, it’s great to have you on the show. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you? Give us a little bit about your background, there’s so much interesting about your background that leads to why we had you on the show today.
Klyn Elsbury: Let me give you a little bit of background about myself particularly for my engineer thinkers, my numbers people, I know you guys are busy looking at forecasts all the time and how many calls have led to how many conversations to how many leads, to how many sales. We’re going to do this by the numbers strictly for you today. I want you to know, 32, that’s how old I am, let’s just get that out in the open. 32 years old, I am a millennial. One, that was when I was diagnosed with a condition called cystic fibrosis that is a genetic condition that fills my lungs with a thick, sticky mucus that I cannot cough out. 26 was how old I was when I lost my 6-figure corporate recruiting career and that was agency side, not HR side and I was responsible of running a $26 million dollar recruiting operation strictly involved in reaching out to the sales companies convincing them to hire our recruiters, then recruiting recruiters to become salespeople.
All of that went down. 154 is how many days I spent in the hospital back in 2015, 2016 is when my book became a #1 international best-seller propelling me out of social security disability status. 2019 is when I created my first 7-figure partnership relating to all things sales, all things neuroscience, all things mindset. There’s a little bit by the numbers, I’ve been hospitalized 67 times in my 32 years, on average it’s every single fall and spring and the length of those hospitalizations typically ranges from two days – which is a rarity – all the way up to 14 days. The longest has been 6 months and during that 6 months stint, one entire month was on life support on a ventilator for getting diagnosed with diabetes with a blood sugar of 1,236.
Fred Diamond: You’re also an expert on NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming – which we’ll talk about in a little bit as well. Prior to the pandemic you were traveling all over the place, as a matter of fact one of our past guests on the Sales Game Changers podcast, Pramod Raheja, was actually the gentleman who turned us onto you and said, “Fred, you really get to know Klyn.” You really make a lot of sense for the people who are joining us today, I’m looking at the list here, we’ve got so many sales professionals, we’ve got some people in Europe, we have a couple people in Australia, a lot of people on the east coast of the United States. Quick question here, let’s talk about energy and productivity. We’ve been doing the Sales Game Changers Optimal Sales Mindset webcast, we used to do one event per year on mindset on a Friday morning in October. Now we’re doing the show every single week and we’ve had close to 2,000 sales professionals log in to the show just to get some kind of boost, just to get something going.
Let’s talk about a couple of the concepts, the first one is energy and productivity. Give us some of your insights because as you saw from the poll, more people than in the past were below the mean, if you will. What do you suggest? Again, it’s July 9th, it’s almost the middle of the summer, a lot of the people who are joining us who are sales professionals had to have been homeschool teachers, now they have to be camp counselors, they can’t go to the beach and they can’t go wherever they might be going. What are some of your tips for maintaining the energy and productivity right now?
Klyn Elsbury: Energy and productivity, we’ve never been taxed more than we are right now and we’re taxed from our living rooms so we can’t go out, we can’t meet the prospects, I’m not telling you something you don’t know. What I will tell you that may be new to you is something called baggage. During times like this and dare I say, uncertain, unprecedented – insert your bumper sticker quote here – our baggage or the unresolved things we have never worked with before that we know we need to gets lit up. This is the experience where you come back from the grocery store and you’re feeling stressed because you had to wear the mask or the mask popped off or you had to drop your mask and now your mask is on the floor so you pick it back up and you’re putting it on your face and you’re believing the myth of carbon dioxide in your mask.
Whatever that thing is for you, you will notice that in times of stress something is going to trigger in your mind that you weren’t necessarily expecting to happen, that’s called baggage. It’s okay, we all have it, it occurs whenever there is some high stressers in the environment and it serves as a way of letting you know there’s something going on that you have not dealt with before that you should have dealt with in the past. If you find that you are low energy, what this is essentially saying is your brain is saying, “You’re triggered by something” and this could be something that happened years ago. Interesting story, I was working with a guy and he’s doing all these calls, nothing seems to be happening and he had the audacity to blame it on COVID. If you know me, we’re a no-excuses girl, we belong on the east coast, not San Diego because we like to hit you where it lives. Come to find out, about two years ago he went through a traumatic divorce and he never processed those feelings and now he’s being stuck in home, he’s starting to have this anxiety come up again where he’s not as productive as he once was.
I want to first of all tell you, if you’re feeling low energy or low productivity it’s probably because there’s some unresolved baggage going on in your brain that COVID, protests, riots, whatever you’re watching on the news, it’s exacerbating it. Take a moment to be gracious with yourself and recognize the reason we have feelings is to feel them, feelings are for feeling, that’s it. Take that time, first check in with yourself, say, “Self…” [Laughs] “Where is my baggage right now? What is that thing that I’m trying to work through? What is that thing I’ve been suppressing?” What’s interesting is if you close your eyes, you inhale through your nose, you exhale through your mouth and you ask yourself that question, your gut is going to tell you something and it works constantly. If that is you right now and you’re experiencing the low energy, low productivity, close your eyes, breath in through your nose, out through your mouth and say, “Self, what’s that thing I need to address right now?” That’s going to be your first tip on how to figure out what to do next with that information.
Fred Diamond: By the way, I know you have a way for people to text you to get some of your content. If you want to tell us right now, how can people get some more information from you?
Klyn Elsbury: Thank you, it’s super easy, you just text the word ‘inspire’ to 66866 and you will get access to the free masterclasses, you’ll get access to guided meditations where I actually use the slow voice, we’ve got some for ultimate relaxation to help you zonk out at night and then we have some confidence manifestos in there. If you need to hype yourself up even if you’ve got three minutes, hype yourself up, you’re going to get access to all of that.
Fred Diamond: We’ve got some questions that are actually coming in. Klyn, we have a quick question here which says, “How can I do the breathing when I have two dogs, a spouse and three kids in the house?” I don’t know where this person lives, it’s Jerry, thank you so much, Jerry. Those type of scenarios, normally a lot of salespeople love to go to the office or meet customers because they’re out of the other elements and they’re really in their true element. How can people right now do some of the things that you’ve started to recommend when they’re in either a small apartment or in a room like Jerry says here? He’s in a house with a spouse, three kids and two dogs.
Klyn Elsbury: Here’s the deal, Jerry. What I want you to do is recognize there is somebody else out there in the planet who’s living in a house with 15 dogs, 2 spouses, 3 kids, whatever it is and they’re still able to check in with themselves. First of all, figure out what it is that’s making you not truly want to check in and I’m not asking you to do anything longer than a 15 second breath work exercise. All you do – literally, we can do it right now – you shut your eyes, breath in through your nose for a count of three, exhale through your mouth audibly making the sound for a count of four and say, “Self, please show me what it is that I need to work on first today.” You can do this in the shower, you can do this when you’re using the restroom, you can do this while you’re brushing your teeth – obviously don’t exhale through it. It’s that simple and it’s 15 seconds.
Fred Diamond: Breathing, to be frank with you, is one of the most powerful things you can do and we’ve had 100+ speakers come to the Institute and breathing comes up so often. One of our experts is an expert on prospecting and he recommended you take 15 seconds of breathing before you make a phone call because you want to be present, you don’t want to be bringing in some of the baggage, as you talk about, before you’re dialing with a prospect, you need to be so present. How about when people are getting ready to do Zoom calls? Someone asks here – this is from Kristen, thank you so much, Kristen – she wants to know, “I’m doing Zoom calls all day long, I don’t have time to breathe.” Obviously she probably does but what is some of your advice with that, with the constancy? Everybody I talk to, all the sales professionals, all the sales leaders, everybody is so busy right now because we’re not leaving so we’re going from meeting to meeting to meeting. What are some of your suggestions and mindset techniques to be even more present when, as I like to say, looking at the dot? We’re focused on that not just internally but externally with prospects and customers.
Klyn Elsbury: First of all, you already are breathing [laughs]. You may not be breathing in the level of depth that you want to do but no matter what, you’re already breathing so that tells me if you’re truly going back to back to Zoom calls I get it, I’m right there too. I just did it, I just did a slow, manual breath through the nose, exhale through the mouth, that’s all we’re asking you to do, I’m not telling you to reinvent the wheel, do intense breath work. I’m saying anytime you need to ground yourself inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Sure, maybe right now it feels awkward, you haven’t done it a lot but it was also probably pretty awkward for you the first time you picked up a phone to make that call. Overtime it just becomes a habit and it’s stored in something called your unconscious, your unconscious is that part of you that you’re not necessarily in tune with and this quick little inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth actually resets your nervous system.
It helps you to understand what it is that you need to be called to do so if breathing intensely is too difficult, that’s fine. By the way, I’ve got 74% of my lungs on a good day. If I can figure out how to breathe while talking [laughs] you all are experts at talking, you can figure this out too even if it’s just as simple as putting a note on a sticky and then putting it on your monitor just saying, “Remember to breathe.” All you’ve got to do is just remember and then it becomes habit and then you don’t have to worry about it.
Fred Diamond: We’re going to start talking about some of the fears that the sales professionals are facing right now and your suggestions for overcoming them but before I do, you’re an expert in NLP and I don’t want to spend a huge amount of time, but I want you to give us a little bit of an understanding of how your brain categorizes information and some of the science behind some of the things that we’re going to be talking about today. Klyn, give us a little bit about the brain science behind this so we can understand why this works the way it does.
Klyn Elsbury: This is part of the thing when you text ‘inspire’ to 66866, you’re going to get a three hour training on this because I light up on this one. Here’s the deal, I’m a master practitioner of something called neuro linguistic programming and one of the things we need to know about mind mapping and how to map our brain is that any given point – and I’m going to go through this very fast, remember, this is a three hour training. Our brains right now, we are experiencing roughly 2 million bits of information per second and you might say, “What is a bit?” By bit, I mean the things that we are picking up through our senses so visual, auditory, the senses in our head, what we’re saying in our itty-bitty committee in the back of our brain. Kinesthetic, what we feel and our emotions, olfactory, sense of smell and then gustatory, sense of taste. Plus, we are experiencing 30 thousand to 50 thousand thoughts a day so you get this entire culmination in any moment we’re experiencing 2 million bits of information coming at us per second but our brains are only able to store 7± bits per second.
From that perspective without going into the science behind it – unless we get the time – every single problem you are experiencing right now, every single fear, every single stuck state when you’re frustrated, you’re angry, you know the thing you’ve got to do but you can’t figure out quite how to do it. Lack of creativity, lack of confidence, any lack of mindset comes from you picked up the wrong bits of that 7± out of that 2 million per second. What we do is we teach you how to rewire your brain to notice some of the other bits that you may have not noticed before because the same mindset that you created when you found out you have a problem, think of it, we wouldn’t know it’s a problem unless we created it. Let that sink in. If we can create the problem there’s also a solution within that same level of creativity and that’s the thing I want you to be aware of today. Wherever you’re stuck for the zero people who said that they’re rock stars, for everybody else, think about right now on this webinar, where is it that you are stuck? Recognize that part of the reason that you are stuck is because you created that stuck state – not necessarily the situation, I didn’t create cystic fibrosis, but I decided not to put me in the stuck state and I started to pick up the other bits of information that I wasn’t necessarily seeing.
Fred Diamond: Klyn, throughout the first couple weeks and months of the situation that we’re all in we told people, “Go back to your existing customers, help them, find solutions for them because everybody’s dealing with their own challenges.” Now people are being told in sales, “You need to start going back to your customers to start prospecting for new ones.” Let’s talk about that specifically, what are some things you think are in the way? Making new prospecting calls right now, it’s summer, it’s July 9th, everybody is dealing with challenges. It’s the first time that we know where everybody we know has challenges but specifically for salespeople, picking up the phone which is always hard. Picking up the phone is one of the hardest things that there is to do in sales. Some people excel, not everybody does but they have to start making more outreach right now. What would be some of your suggestions, this fear and getting past this?
Klyn Elsbury: We’re just going to do the 64% but if you were not part of that 64%, this still applies for you. There are only at the core of every single one of us, two fears in the world. If I were to say all the polls that we put out there, “What’s your fear?” I could say the fear about sales, I could say the fear about your relationship, I could say the fear about who you are, I could say the fear about your body, I could say any of that. No matter how we categorize it, it comes down to two things: the fear of we are not enough or the fear that we are not loved and by not loved it can also mean not accepted. When you tell me that you are afraid of prospecting calls or you have a fear of picking up the phone I’m sure you do, I’m not discrediting that and if you go deeper, is it the fear of the rejection of when you pick up the phone? We’ve all heard that the very first day at our first sales job, “Let’s talk about how to deal with rejection, go for no’s, not for yes’s.”
We’ve all heard this and remember what I said earlier, baggage is lit up in times like this. If you were afraid to pick up the phone before COVID you’re probably more so afraid to pick it up now. I want you to consider the deeper meaning of you’re not enough, meaning you may or may not get the promotions you want, the extra territory you want, the compensation you want so you therefore feel like you’re not enough of a salesperson or is it the fear of them rejecting who you are personally? I heard it too, the very first week when the pandemic hit we all got inside our houses and mind you, most of my stuff is done online. I was told, “Don’t put your funnels out, don’t reach out to your prospects, don’t do any of that because it’s not the time to sell.” We fast-forward three months later, the people who are making it on the upside of this pandemic were the ones who did not listen to that and they did sell, they did reach out to their customers.
My deeper thing is address what it is that’s going on that’s making you afraid to prospect because you’re either at the core of it feeling like you’re not enough or you’re not loved and it stems from three beliefs. #1, if you don’t do it correctly that you will experience less – less income, less territory, less responsibilities, less abundance in the world – you will experience loss and by loss that means your job could be completely eliminated, the product line is completely eliminated, or the feeling of never. Never could be, “You will never pick back up the way it was, your position will never continue the way it was. The new normal is starting to become trendy, the new normal is tapping into the fear of never so right now do that check and we’re going to do it. Breathe through your nose, exhale through mouth and simply ask yourself, “Which fear is being lit up for me right now?” When you do, something triggered for you and that’s what we start to lean into on how to address it.
Fred Diamond: That makes so much sense.
Klyn Elsbury: True story, I’m right there with all of you. Get this, what is my job? I’m a keynote speaker, I was slated for 72 paid keynotes this year, I’m doing webinars [laughs]. Here’s what I want you to know, you are not a tree, you can move. If you have a deep fear that your industry is gone and it is not coming back and you have mouths to feed, you’re not a tree, go somewhere. If we look at it from a company perspective, the job market, there’s a lot of candidates coming on the market but if you’re good at what you do then consider an industry that’s scaling right now. I can list five companies on the top of my head that are desperate for high performing salespeople right now, absolutely desperate because when one industry shrinks, it’s natural, other industries grow.
If you’re at all questioning this, ask yourself, “Do I know anybody right now that’s crushing it?” I do not think that COVID was the worst thing to happen because I do know businesses right now who are seeing the best years of their lives, janitorial companies all time hiring, RV’s, anybody in the RV market, absolutely hiring, any type of warranty product, sky rocketing. Remember, when we started in sales we had that story, “These two guys go to Africa to sell shoes and the one guy goes, ‘no one’s buying shoes’ and the other guy goes, ‘What are you talking about? Nobody’s wearing shoes, everybody will buy.'” Which side of the narrative do you want to be on that will serve you and what is the fear holding you back from making the decision you know you need to make?
Fred Diamond: Klyn, I want to talk about how you achieve goals. You’re an expert on that, you mentioned you had 72 paid gigs that you were expecting to have, we’re grateful for the pandemic to be able to have you – no, that’s not true, we wish everybody was doing what they wanted to. Let’s talk about that, you’re an expert on achieving goals, you go around the world telling people, teaching them how to do that, I know you have five steps. We have about 10-12 minutes left, I know you do this usually a whole half-day type of a program but right now no one’s goals for January are valid. Everybody’s had to rethink their goals, we had a conversation with Frank Dimina from Splunk a couple episodes ago, he said your January and February plan are obsolete and that’s the case for everybody. Talk about the five steps towards achieving any goal to help people start thinking about how they can make 2020 a great year with everything that we’ve just touched on.
Klyn Elsbury: The reality is it is a great year [laughs] and if you’re not buying into that reality, surround yourself with the people who are and watch yourself explode. I don’t want to say it’s that simple and it is so watch this: #1, know your outcome. Some of you listening, I love you [laughs], I’ve got empathy, I’ve watched my entire business – there’s no stages to speak on so I’ve got to know my outcome. An outcome for you can simply be figuring out what it is that your market needs now because maybe the market need has changed for you.
Step 2, know your why. Why gets an interesting rap because of Simon Sinek, I’m not necessarily talking about, “We are designed to help people live better lives and enrich the planet.” I don’t mean the superficial why, what I really want you to consider is why do you care? This will come down to your core values. There’s a worksheet in that number you text ‘inspire’, 66866, and we’re going to give you these worksheets to uncover your core values, your unconscious values. When you understand your unconscious values, decisions can be made in an instant. When you don’t have a why you are in a place of indecision and that creates the stuck state that we were talking about earlier further exacerbated by whatever the baggage tends to be.
Step three, take action. You don’t want to make the prospecting calls right now, that’s great but you’ve still got to take the action. Small daily consistent action outperforms anything else, there’s this story I wrote about in my book, if a plane takes off from LA headed to New York and it’s one degree off, it winds up over 270 miles off course. It’s the daily small consistent actions and take the actions in route of the outcome. Busy work isn’t going to create a profitable career that allows you to give back in the way that you want to. Step four is something called failure as feedback and this is fascinating, you have not failed, you’ve gotten feedback on [why] what you were doing was or was not working. I have not failed as a speaker because there are no events but I will fail as a speaker if I cannot implement step 5 which is pivot and change.
There’s no stages but there’s webinars so think of this, a long time ago radio was the thing, then it became podcasts. You didn’t fail as a DJ, you just did not pivot in route to your outcomes and then you repeat that step, know your outcome, know your why, take the action, take failure as feedback, pivot change and you’re going to do that for the rest of your life. Wherever you’re in a stuck state ask yourself where in those five places are you experiencing frustration, anger, resentment, lack of motivation, lack of productivity, it’s one of those places, take that very next step. It’s a very interesting wheel to get you out of wherever you’re at.
Fred Diamond: What might be two or three things that you would recommend under the take action bullet for the sales professionals watching today to continue to stay as a professional?
Klyn Elsbury: That’s how quickly time travels, right? In addition, got to ask it, check in with your gut, are you actually a professional? Because if you are a professional the pandemic isn’t going to stop you, you’re going to take the growth work, you’re going to take the trainings, you’re going to take the education and you’re going to leverage it. You’re basically on step three of that five steps, you’re going to take the action and there’s few things that come out of isolation, consecration where you re-learn a skill or you tap into something you forgot you’ve already learned and then transformation.
Right now if you really need a thought to cling to, right now you’re a caterpillar in a cocoon, it’s not your time to blossom, that’s fine. Focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t, it’s an interesting paradox, I actually talked about this this morning on Instagram. Interesting paradox: how you’ve got it is how you keep it. If you got to be a professional by doing the work on yourself and mastering sales and going forward and picking up that call and creating the rapport, if that’s how you got to be a professional that’s how you can keep it as your profession.
Here’s where it gets interesting is the paradox and this little twist, like the gut twist. How you got it is how you keep it, also, what got you here does not get you there. It seems paradoxical and what I want you to consider is you wouldn’t have that dream, you wouldn’t have that goal, you wouldn’t have that drive especially in sales, you wouldn’t have that goal, dream or drive unless you had a vision beyond what your current capabilities allow you to have. Recognize what was that superpower that got you to be called a professional and then what is that extra thing you need to reach out and then go for the vision? Because some of your industries are tanking right now and there’s no end in sight, we don’t know when COVID ends, there were thoughts we were on the first wave, there are thoughts that we’re on the second wave, there’s thoughts that we don’t know what’s going to happen when these vaccines are put out there.
I get the fear, what I want you to understand is what made you a professional, keep doing that, figure out step 1, know your outcome because what got you where you are will not get you there, take the time to learn, to study and implement the things that you have been neglecting and you know what it is. Take the thing to implement that you’ve been neglecting and leverage that to get you there and that’ll get you through any pandemic, any protest, any riots, any industry, slump, any failed sales career because if you are truly a master at what you do there’s an abundance mentality that you need to have. You may not be a master on stages anymore but you can master what you have while you learn the skill to get you closer to your vision.
Fred Diamond: Klyn Elsbury, you’ve done a lot of great things in your scant 32 years, you bring so much value with your podcast as well and all your speaking. I do want to say you also have a Facebook group, do you mind if we talk about that for one second? Then I’m going to ask you for your final bit of advice. Again, you talked that you have cystic fibrosis and how you’ve dealt with that and you’ve created a support group on Facebook to help people in relationships with chronic type of illnesses. Do you want to talk about that for a minute or two?
Klyn Elsbury: We talk about pivoting, I had a conversation at the beginning of the outbreak when I found out that stages are gone and a girlfriend, she’s end-stage cystic fibrosis, it means she may not have much longer and her big fear boils down to both, she won’t be loved or enough and she’ll die alone in a hospital. She asked me, “Can we use NLP to help me with this fear?” and I typically use it to help executives sell more so on one side it’s like, “How is this so different?” We created something called the Sickly Confidential, you can find it sicklyconfidential.com and it serves as an empowerment and dating website to help people with chronic illnesses get past the limiting beliefs that they are not enough, that they are not worthy, that they are a burden, that the quality of their life is not tied back to how much it costs them medically to survive.
If we can get rid of that mindset chatter in them then they can develop the relationships that they have been creating for so long and if we really look at it, that same philosophy is no different than building rapport with our customers, it’s the exact same thing. It starts here, so that’s my passion project that I’m so deeply involved in is running the Sickly Confidential. Thank you for bringing that up, that means a lot to me.
Fred Diamond: You’re welcome and again, you’re doing so much good and you’re bringing so much value. Klyn Elsbury, give us one final action item, you’ve given us tons of ideas but give us one action step that our listeners can take right now July 9th, 2020.
Klyn Elsbury: Check in with yourself. We started before with that and I got to end with that. I had something totally different planned for my action step but you’re all going to opt in and get it. Honestly, if you don’t think you have time to breathe, there’s bigger issues there [laughs] so what I want you to do is I want you to inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, close your eyes and just simply say, “Self, show me what I need to do next.” It’s going to light up for you, trust your gut.
Fred Diamond: Klyn Elsbury, thank you so much. To all our listeners, thank you all so much.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo