The Not Unreasonable Podcast

Ga Bartick on How To Sell

December 03, 2021 David Wright
The Not Unreasonable Podcast
Ga Bartick on How To Sell
Show Notes Transcript

GA Bartick teaches people how to sell an underappreciated skill with very general applications. GA wrote a book called Silver Bullet Selling and in this conversation we talk about
- how small organizations should scale their founders
- Has sales changed over time
- What is different about your industry?
- How to make an emotional connection
- How insurance is different!
- Big ticket vs small ticket sales
- Sales books are exemplary training manuals. How to teach, how to train?
- Is sales training generating results? How do we know?
- Do we hate practicing sales more than anything else?
- Does sales training change your life?

Show notes at:
https://notunreasonable.com/?p=7336

David Wright:

My guest today is GA Bartick, president of Concilio, an author of silver bullet selling six critical steps to opening more relationships and closing more sales. Sales, I think is a performance art. And to work with coaches, like GA is a tremendous experience. Though I'm often struck with just how poorly trained I am, and how good they are at it, and how good GA is at this, we will capture some of that energy today and learn some things about selling GA. Welcome to the show.

GA Bartick:

Hey, David, glad to be here. excited talking about this, as you know, sales is in my DNA and just runs through my body. So excited to share any thoughts and just have a great discussion about hey, what it takes to be successful in sales today.

David Wright:

But we will expose your body over audio today, GA, here's our first question. See the old school insurance broker world, which is the world where I live. And I have lived for a long time. And I've seen this pattern play out where you have an alpha producer who worked somewhere else and left put out their own shingle and they started a business. And basically the limit of that business. For the most part, I think, everywhere I've seen, it has been the limit of what that producer can do with his or her time, maybe one or two other people will join them who will also be called Alpha producers, but they find it virtually impossible to scale their business. Beyond that beyond what they can do. What are they doing wrong?

GA Bartick:

Well, it comes down to really their belief system that, hey, I'm great at what I do. So therefore, I can bring on a team and teach them what to do and how to do it like me. And most people have never been taught a how to manage and coach a team. So being an individual producer is much different than leading a team and an organization of producers. So they use this kind of watch me method, they hire people, and they say, Hey, watch me do this. And they think by that watch me us most, they will become top producers like them. So we teach what we call the skills transfer process. Again, most people have never been taught how to train somebody else. But the skills transfer process five steps of explain, demonstrate, practice with coaching, observe, and feed forward is really how you can go about teaching and training somebody. So again, we work at a lot of top producers, when they go out there and they hang their own shingle, they think, Okay, I'm gonna bring other producers in underneath me, and I'm going to then extrapolate that out, I'm gonna make more money, I'll have more producers writing more business, and they fail miserably. Why? A, they don't know how to run a business correctly. They don't know how to set expectations, hold people accountable, and then actually run a business versus being in the business. And number two, it's that it's that training piece. It's that old school of hey, watch me do this. And you'll learn. That's how they were taught. But today, that just doesn't work. You have to use that be able to transfer skills effectively across your entire organization.

David Wright:

That's a really interesting, I reminded of a quote that I read once, I think it was attributed to Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, I think so. Or something like that, where he said, every sales, every salesman thinks he can be a manager. This is a gender bias thing. It was long time ago. And and so what's amazing about that is is that why is that true? And that's true, because in the sense of what is true, is that I think that when you look at managers, you think the thing that they do, really all they do is communicate, right. And salespeople aren't necessarily very good communicators, it is the essence of what they do as well, right. And I think you have to be a phenomenal communicator to be a phenomenal salesperson. So if you are a phenomenal salesperson, you then think yourself, well, I'm an amazing communicator. And managers are only communicators, therefore, I must be a great manager too, or I can easily become a great manager too. But they're not the distinct skills, a different kind of skill, but you know, they have the raw materials, right? So presumably, you know, where's the feeling? Is that that kind of communication? Is there some is there some urge that they're satisfying with the communication skills that they have when they're selling, that is a very different thing they have to satisfy when they're managing you to

GA Bartick:

spot on. Oftentimes they think, Hey, I'm very persuasive, I am able to get people to buy from me. So therefore, I should then be a great leader. But sitting there in a sales situation is very much different than being in a leadership situation. We see it all the time. Here's what usually happens in organizations. David's a great producer. We have a leadership position open up we posted on Monday, David, you apply for an interview on Wednesday and Friday, we say congratulations, David, Monday morning, your supervisor, and now you got a team of eight or 1012 producers underneath you. And again, the skill set of being a manager of how do you set crystal clear expectations? How do you hold people accountable? How do you run a team meeting? How do you transfer skills? How do you have a difficult conversation with somebody who was underperforming? Those are all skills that most people never been taught. And those are the skills even though you're good communicator, and potentially a good motivator? Those are not enough skills. feels to carry you through to be really truly a great manager of people.

David Wright:

And there's a teaching element to this. You mentioned earlier, when you want to educate somebody to show me method, but there's a different kind of structured way to educate. Here's one thing I noticed in reading your book, which is fantastic. And and a few other sales books, which you referenced in your book as being inspirations to you. Importantly, there's the spin method, and there's consultative selling are the two books by Rachman and rock recom. New Rakim and Matt cannon. And what's interesting about these books, and a few other sales books is they're very teaching focused, right? They're teaching books. And if you read that, versus like other nonfiction books, right, just a whole pile of content, which it kind of flies through your head, right? But I get the sense that when I'm reading sales books, that there's a real desire on behalf of the author to actually have you learned this, right. So there's exercises and you have in your book to read saying, hey, fill this out and think about your situation. And it's sort of like it's, it's more like a class, you're trying to run through a book. So I think of these as maybe some of the most intentful educational artifacts for selling should should sales managers write books, right? I mean, you're in the sales business, you wrote a book many people seem to do that is that something people should do more of?

GA Bartick:

Actually, I'm glad you brought that up. I don't know if it talked about this day. But in March, hopefully, if our publisher can get everything done, we have a book on middle management, everything we've been talking about. So far, we have coming out. And again, it's a teaching book. And here's the reason I wrote Silver Bullet selling is I started my background at Nordstrom, and I was so much successful, but I spent a short time selling, and about 11 years in managing when I left there, I failed miserably in sales. Why? Because I had no process I was simply winging it. So then I started reading all these books, and Gitomer and Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy, they're all were kind of tips and tricks on what to do. But I'm a process person. So I needed a process. So when I started interviewing these top performing salespeople, I started seeing that they don't wing it, they almost always have a process in place. And that's where the six critical steps of silver bullet selling came to be. To tell you the truth, it was originally called no silver bullet to sales. That's what the book was originally titled. And the reason was titled that, because I didn't think there was any silver bullet, that if you did a poor job of pre call planning before the meeting, if you didn't build very much report, you asked very few discovery questions. Your solution was really just features and no benefits. You were very confrontational, how you address concerns, you didn't ask for the order, but or at the end, if you can do a poor job and all that stuff. But if you said this magical phrase, like there's a books on 1001 closing techniques, if you do a poor job and all the stuff and you say this magical phrase, that once you say that phrase, the heavens will part the lights gonna shine down in your prospect, I'm gonna hear that heavy music sounds like ah, and then they'll change their mind. And that's what kind of sales was an old school sales. So when I started doing these interviews, trying to hear why am I failing at sales, and I failed miserably at it, you know, at 30 years old, I didn't paper out because I just had to make a few dollars, I kept failing in sales. I started interviewing people 6000 interviews later, I realize that people don't wing it. But there is a silver bullet. And it's those six steps that I saw people doing, whether it was conscious or unconscious, over and over and over again. How did they pre call plan before the meeting? How do they make sure the best version of themselves showed up? How do they then start the meeting off with a great agenda, a short credibility statement? How do they build rapport? How do they then take a genuine interest in the other person and do really good deep discovery? Then how do they really present a benefit rich solution? Then when the address concerns, they're very non confrontational is a very different approach that I saw, usually top performers take, then how do they ask for the order but here's the thing I kept seeing over and over again, those first five steps of pre call planning, build rapport, discovery, diligence, address concerns, if those were done well, closing just seem to be a natural next step. And that's why I changed the book from no silver bullet to silver bullet, because I realized the silver bullet really, truly is those six steps. So that's really kind of what we're seeing is kind of new school sales. And that's why we're writing this next book on leadership on this middle manager. So they're the ones who seem to be stuck in the middle, oftentimes are good producers. Now they're putting this manager role and they don't attract a rundown. So I'm going to step outside and Stacy McKibben, my business partner in Concilio. We will hopefully shortly be coming out with our middle management book yet to be titled,

David Wright:

okay, I look forward to it. Look forward to seeing that. Now. I want to do I do want to come back to the idea of old school selling because I in particular, the when I was doing this research for this reason these other books, I tend to, for whatever reason, I'm on to getting prints of them that were old from the 80s, maybe early 90s. And they were ruthless, and their criticism of old school sales, and the 1001, closing, closing in particular features quite prominently in raccoons book SPIN Selling, where they say that that's not the way you do it. And, to me, I always get a little, I don't know, uncomfortable or sort of weary as the word when I hear people say, Well, this time is different. Now, everybody's different humans are so different today than they were 100 years ago, which I just generally don't buy. I think people were the same back then. And, you know, so the kids these days, you know, they don't, they're all they do is watching the screens. And they're, you know, Socrates hated books, because that was people would just talk to each other. Right? And so that was like, you know, 3000 years ago, doesn't matter. So if people were the same, then what was different? Did these techniques work? Then? Why was this the conventional wisdom for sales back 60 7080 years ago that you that you have to have a closer that you have to have some way of applying pressure onto somebody which now we say that's ridiculous. And isn't I was a salesman a bunch of years, I didn't know anybody who applied real pressure in a sales environment was nuts, you blow your mind to do that? They will, they will, they will boot you out of the office. But did it ever work? Do you think?

GA Bartick:

So I think that whole finding their pain, and really accentuate that pain, find the pain, rub some salt in that pain. And if there's enough pain, they would move forward. And so you've read all these books they talk about find their pain points. And a lot of times I work with salespeople, and the first few questions they start to ask are trying to uncover these pain points. And what we find a why iconic call that whole pain process, old school, I believe today's rule that pain causes paralysis. Excitement causes movement. Let me explain what I mean by that is that I think the one that's little bit different than you know, today than before, 1015 20 years ago, people were very, very secure in their job, then worked for a company for 2030 years, get a nice pension being retired their 50s or 60s, and live a nice retired life. But I don't think that's the case anymore, is that you can just have a job, work there. 2030 years, get that nice pension, people are a little bit more fearful, specially today, we do a lot of research and talk to buyers and talk to a lot of research on work with our clients. And we'll sit there and go into a meeting and have the salesperson libo will interview the prospect. And one of the biggest fears they have right now is I may not like my current vendor. But you know what, I haven't gotten fired over it. And change is more painful today than ever. So people are avoiding the pain. So old school says find the pain. What we're finding today, though, is that people can endure a whole lot of pain, especially if they see it's not going to get them fired or anything. But if I change and it doesn't work out, well, that could look bad on me. So what we have to do is you have to get them excited about a going and potentially talking to their boss or a board or a team and saying, hey, I want to change vendors, I want to bring a new product in. And sometimes the vendor that we're going to, you're going to take over is a vendor they brought in. And so it takes some courage, but more portly takes risk to be able to do that. And it's risk and reward. If I can get excited about what this new vendor what this new product can do for me, it can help me reach my goals, that I'm willing to take the risk and bring them in. So that's a totally different conversation than, hey, let me find out what pain you have. And if you have enough pain, you'll move because we're finding that people are not moving for pain. They're moving for excitement, can this product or service, help me reach my goals help me look good in front of my organization, help me be and run a more successful business. So old school paying new school excitement.

David Wright:

That is very interesting. You know, the world is more painful, maybe as a way of thinking about it now than it was but a little more comfortable, perhaps back then. But

GA Bartick:

they'd rather do nothing. They bet if it's painful, they'd rather stick people can endure a lot of pain.

David Wright:

Let me let me give you another possible angle. So let me think of this. So inspired by by SPIN Selling by reference book, he he made the point that which is not a distinction you make which is interesting in your book between small ticket items and large ticket items. Right? So he says small ticket items just different. So they're different. And he's kind of reconciling the old school view with the new school view and said it's old school is more small ticket. And we're small ticket items, you can talk a bit more about about about kind of like wants as opposed to needs, you can talk about features, you can talk about pain, you sort of have more flexibility and then you can apply a closing formula and apply pressure and get a sale somebody selling something for 30 bucks maybe as opposed to the large corporate you know if you're buying jet turbines from Rolls Royce or GE that just doesn't work right. So that so that if that's true, and uninteresting without because I think you uniquely have experience across a wide spectrum of ticket sizes. If that's true, then the interpretation of new school versus old school isn't the old school, we were just selling more small ticket things. And these days, you don't tend to employ a salesperson to small sell a small ticket item that gets happened, it happens automatically. And then kind of a weighted average of all the salespeople are focused on just on bigger ticket items. And that will just be different culture, but it always was a different culture. What do you think?

GA Bartick:

And I think you're, you're onto that. The key difference being is that I think relationships are more important than ever before. I think that kind of you know, Neil Rackham stuff, love it. It's great stuff, special, a big ticket stuff. The relationship was really, really important, super important, that I think people want away from the relationship and really became kind of cost specific, I'm really looking for the best cost the best terms. But I think it's gotten back in the pendulum swung back to people are still looking today, for a relationship, whether it's on a large ticket item or small ticket item. And so are you as a salesperson, even it might just be a one and done type small ticket, but they're still looking for the relationship, especially if you're not the low cost leader. What's the reason why they should buy your product over another product? And what we're seeing too is how do we take the commoditization out of products, is really what I work I work a lot with my clients on is how do you take a genuine interest and a holistic approach? And find out, hey, where's this company at? And where does it want to go. And they can make product or service bridge that gap. And that's what people are looking for. And again, most salespeople go in wanting to solve a specific problem. I want to, I want to solve a problem, but don't make it much more holistic approach to how we solve that problem. So that I can expand that sale to other products, products and services that we have to offer to have, I think, a much more holistic versus a laser pointed approach to one product.

David Wright:

You know, did you think about that you make this comment in your book, which I found amusing because I was thinking this before you said it, which was you said, Well, my industry is different, right? And you're coming at an angle here, which is pretty, which is pretty interesting. We're like in a world where differentiation is the key, which are selling a differentiation, right? So you're saying, we're going to tailor a sales process to your product, and you are different, and you are special. And we're gonna we're gonna manifest that in a process. And so when somebody says to you, my business is different, you say to them, I know. That is what I'm selling is that you're different. And you know, so maybe can tell you a little bit about how organization is different and what you might bring to them as a different sales process.

GA Bartick:

Alright, so everybody's listen to this, you know, hang out, hang with me for a moment here. Because you and I all know that our clients are pretty close to the same. All right, they are when I'm working with organizations, and we're you know, whether we're working with Google or YouTube or hotels.com, Expedia, any of our clients, we're working with big and small, my clients, they're pretty similar, but they don't think they are. And that is the key that every one of your clients, every one of your prospects, they think that their situation is totally different and unique. And you might have worked and sold and had clients in my industry and my vertical, you might have 100 of them. But my company, we're totally different and unique. That my friends is what every single one of your prospects is thinking. So a big part of the silver bullet selling process that we tend to do to our clients is how do you again, show that genuine interest and take a much more holistic approach to understanding where the business has been, where the person you're talking to where they've been, where they are right now and where they want to go? And it's all about discovery? I think discovery is the heart and sold the sales process. And it is the number one part of the sales process that most sales people skip. Reason being they think, oh my gosh, I've heard this foreigner 37 times before I know the solution. Let me tell how smart I am. Let me give you a solution. It doesn't work that way people. You need your prospect to sit there and say, oh my gosh, these guys get us. You know, my very first sale in consulting was to Oakley sunglasses. And on a cold call, I got an opportunity to meet with their head of their call center. And it was a customer service call center where they were taking calls where people want to new nose pads, lenses or temples for their sunglasses. And they wanted to transition from a customer service call into a sales call selling new Oakley products, their shoes or backpacks, their clothing line. And so I sat down with the GM of this call center. And I went through our sales process of pre call planning I built report there I did my discovery in a much more holistic approach. And when I did my discovery summary I sit there and said, so you have a team of 13 people, that they're taking inbound calls for people who are looking to replace their temples or lenses or their or their nose pads, and that the team loves the customers that they that they bring. But you want to transition this from being kind of a cost center to a profit center by cross selling other products and services. You gotta make sure you don't do it salesy and really what your expectations of a sales training consultant, so we could come in here, customize the program, and really make sure that it has oculis brand on it. And the Oakley experience and not make it salesy. But quickly customer service esque transition to a sales conversation is that pretty much everything we discussed anything I missed, and she goes GA, here's what's going really going on. Our sales are flat year over year, and I was brought in to increase the sales of this department, I'm afraid if I don't increase the sales, I just may lose my job. So I said, Thank you so much. Let me forget put together my proposal. Now I was up against two other multinational companies, and my little company. And when we got the job, I asked him like just kind of curious, why did you choose us and she said, GA, it was obvious that you knew our situation better than anybody else did it that you got us. Now, again, my solution of sales training and coaching was, I'm sure very similar to everybody else's you looked at. And I know we're not the cheapest on the block. But through the discovery process, I was able to demonstrate that I understand, understood her unique situation. And that's what people today want more than ever before, is they want to sit there and talk to somebody who really gets them.

David Wright:

So coincidentally, I should say, because it shouldn't be ironic. You're a good salesman, right? Probably not a coincidence either, necessarily. And what's interesting is that you're in the whole sales business is selling sales consulting as an it must be an interesting kind of like recursive thing for you where you're talking about sales and then living it yourself. And I do want to talk about that, which I find interesting. But I do want to come back to this point you made about discovery is the heart and soul of sales. Because when I read consultative selling by Matt cannon, and I got the copy that was printed in like 1977, or something like that. It reads like a manifesto on Discovery, and and then a very specific way of of actually presenting your discovery of your solution. Right. So it's all about understanding the client all about understanding the client. And is it on and on, it's kind of repetitive, honestly. But But it's good stuff in the sense that it's one of these simple things that you really have to drill into your head. Because if you mess it up, and most people do, you sort of go to Iowa pilot, you don't actually do the discovery properly, then you miss something important, and you lose the client.

GA Bartick:

And you might not you might miss something important. But more importantly, it's that emotional need that you miss. And what we're seeing is most salespeople are selling logically versus emotionally. They sit there and they understand what are your needs? What do you need? How much of it do you need? When do you need it by? And that's all logical. People don't buy logically, folks, they buy emotionally, and they rationalize it logically. And this whole emotional needs, that's what discovery is all about is how do I tap into the emotional need of my prospect? So then I can get them excited emotionally, about moving forward with our product and service? Here?

David Wright:

What did you think about the emotional side? Because I think I think if the rapport building section, right, which you do touch on in the book, and I actually wasn't really there. And some of the other books that I've was reading, where they sort of skipped over a little bit. So this is obviously what you do. To me, the rapport building part is, is kind of like the, the the heart and soul of the let's call it the cultural bias of a salesperson. That's kind of like the thing that salespeople that's the reason why they're in sales is they can do that, or they do that all the time. Right? So yes, anybody can be a salesperson, I believe that I've seen some very awkward, weird people be very successful salespeople happens all the time. But that is the exception. For the most part, you get people who liked talking to people, and who liked building rapport as a habit. And they're the ones who go into sales, because you get that first five minutes, but then we skip over it. Right? And, you know, the point you made there, but emotional content is important to me because there is a balance, right? So you say that by emotionally but you can't just walk in and and and just give them a hug, right? And say I'm going to take care of you. Right? There's got to be some there's got to be some real hard content in there as well. Right? So it's actually this interesting mix of emotional and then we use the word rational but let's call it business decision making and business advisory and consultation that has to happen. You know, is it that we just err on the side of business too much sure that people fail for the other reason, too.

GA Bartick:

I think that often sometimes people are unconsciously competent. Some of these really top salespeople, they build up Pour beautifully, but they also do a lot of other things very, very well. They do a good job of discovery, they do a good job of presenting benefits versus just features. You can't just go in there and give them a hug, and say, great, go buy for me. And I mean, how many times have a have you, or anybody listening to this, have gone in there and walked out and say, Oh, my God, that was great. We just had such a great connection, and they still didn't buy from you.

David Wright:

Totally had a great conversation.

GA Bartick:

Yeah, but a great conversation. And sometimes it's the what the great conversations that are just way too easy, that I oftentimes lose that sale, and it comes down to understanding what we call their primary motivating factor. And again, this is this emotional need their primary motivating factor. I, I was I was having an issue with my bank. And so whenever we get a check, Shani, my marketing person would always volunteer to take the cheque down to the bank. Now our bank I live in San Diego and our bank is actually right on the pier on the beach. So in the summertime, it would take Shani sometimes an hour and a half, sometimes two hours to get back from the bank. Now her name was always looked a lot better when she got back. But no, so it was a serious so I called up my banker and said, Hey, Eleanor, we have an issue that just in the summertime here with the bank, it's so crowded because every is at the beach. It takes to take Shani wait too long to deposit checks. What can we do? And Eleanor my banker said, well, GA, if Shani comes into this big long line, just have her come and sit down or just have him come to my office drop the check off to me or just lay it on my desk? Why don't you guys have ever seen Eleanor's desk but it's got file folders of people's bank statements and all their their loan documents. It's it's a stacked and stacked and stacked all of our desk, it's a mess, last I want to do is put a big fat check on our desk only have it lost. Did you know to never be excavated again. So that was not a great solution. So a gentleman cold called me from a bank, which I usually don't I mean, I actually I take a lot of cold calls. I like to hear what people say. But in a moment of weakness. I said, come on down and check out and see we can talk to you about banking with you. And he sat down and he took such a genuine interest in our company and me. He had done his research. He knew a little bit about me, he asked some really great questions. Nothing about bank, you want to know how did Concilio start? How did I get started consulting? What's going on with Concilio? Right now where's Concilio? Want to go? What's that mean for you? And so it really took this this holistic approach to my company, and me. And then he said, Okay, great. I understood where we've been, where we are where we want to go. Then he started asked me some banking questions and explained the whole situation about Shawnee he goes, he goes well, GA if Shawnee spent less time banking and more time marking would that do for you? So oh, well, I'm assuming that would get us more clients. And again, without being interrogated, either simply asked another very inquisitive question. He says, Well, gee, I've got more clients that do we make more money? And he said, Well, would you make more money? I said, Absolutely. And then again, he had earned the right now to ask this question. He said, Well, GA, and why you earned the right because he had taken so much time, and it wasn't, you know, it was probably 1015 minutes. But he really sat there and really understood me in my business. So he said, gee, if you made more money, what would you do with that? I said, Oh, that's obvious. I would use that to put my kids through college. Now I had to put myself through school took me six years, my wife had to put herself through school, too. We've been married 29 years, we have three kids. We made a promise each one of our kids that didn't get four years of school and a car from us. So when he said what I do a little bit more money, I would use it put my kids through college because Well, great. We have a scanner, you put the scanner right on your desk, da, Shani can just deposit the checks through the scanner, she'll shred them to get back to the positive, she'll spend more time marketing, which will be more clients, which will be more money for the company, which should be more money for UGA. So you can use that to put your kids through college, again, was excited about putting my kids to college. He said his next question was so gee, how many scanners Do you want? Well, you only need one scanner. But I say this sounds great. But you know what? Let me think about it. I'm sure you've all heard that before. And I went home that night. He said, Hey, honey, I'm thinking about switching banks. And she goes, Why would you want to do that? Honey? I'm like you don't I'm always complained about Shani, how long it takes to get to the bank. Well, this bank is gonna give us a scanner. We'll put right on Chinese desk. Whenever we get a check. You'll scan the check, it's automatically deposited, she strikes a check. Then she'll spend more time marketing honey, more marketing means more clients, more clients should be more money for the company, which should mean more money for us. We can use that money to put our kids to college. But what if my wife would tell me to do it scanner, get the scanner switch banks. Here's the key folks. Have you ever switched banks? Is that a pain in the butt to do or no? Why was I so excited to do something that was painful? because it was going to get me, the exciting ended up putting my kids through college. So here's the key, though. So again, painful activity got me pleasant results. That's why I was able to change because my primary motivating factor, that emotional need was to get my kids through college and the scanner was gonna help me do it. The sad part of the story if I could put put a bow on this, David, I called Eleanor my banker and said, Hey, Eleanor, I appreciate all your work the last several years, but we're switching banks. And the first question she asked was,

David Wright:

Who are you going to?

GA Bartick:

That's the second point.

David Wright:

Why,

GA Bartick:

Why. And we saw that I was complaining about how long it took to deposit. This bank, they're gonna go to give us a scanner. And what did she say?

David Wright:

We have a scanner too?

GA Bartick:

Well, how com you never told me about it? Alright. She said. You never asked GA. So let me ask you this too. Do you have clients who should be using products or services of yours, that they're not because they may not know that you offer them. So make sure that you take a holistic approach, understand their primary motivating factor their emotional needs. So they will sometimes do something that's uncomfortable and difficult, like changing banks, because that would get them pleasant results. And again, the only way you get to all that is by doing deep really helps lipstick discovery.

David Wright:

So let me let me let me throw another story on the table here, which is from from your, from your book. And the theme here is, what if they can't tell you? So there's a there's a story you told about two landscaping companies, and you had funny names. And it was like big, bold and small and unassuming or something, right? Yeah. One had the fancy truck with the branding and the guy was looked great, or whatever you worked out. And then the other one was a was a also guy, but was unassuming. Right? Yep, cut to the chase, the second guy read Silver Bullet selling clearly and did the whole discovery and he wound up buying more from him than you would have from from the big bold guy. So here's the here's the thing. So I totally get it. And I'm buying what you're selling. But not everybody is right. So big, bold exists. And I would even I would say like, I would like to suspend disbelief for a second and assume that big bold is succeeding, because he might not be. But let's say they are. He's also selling something that people want. But it's not this consultative stuff. Right? He's selling something else. Right. And there's a there's a an author who had on this show, actually, a guy named Robin Hanson wrote a book called the elephant in the brain says, We have secret motivations for things, which usually boil down to a status seeking kind of thing, right? I want to affiliate with something fancy, something impressive that I can say to people, I went with big boulders like, whoo, wow, that's cool. Well, how was how was he? Right? And then there, and then you're not getting the product? You're buying something else? Right? You're buying this other thing? Which you would never admit, in a consultative selling? Interview? I would think maybe what do you think about that?

GA Bartick:

Yeah. Yes, big bull, would it be big bull if they were not out there selling or being successful? The key is take a look at you know, what are you selling? And where do you fit? And are you the low cost leader or not? Are you the big brand name? Mean? If everybody just want on function, then Mercedes BMW wouldn't be around. Alright, because any, you know, you can get you there. But yeah, so people do have comfort in going with a big brand, because they've done it before. So that again, there's little bit of risk, maybe go with a smaller brand. But the what I oftentimes take a look at is a do they have a pretty good reputation and have people sit there and had good experience with them? And and so I will oftentimes ask for referrals. But again, it's that that experience that I want that that little bit of that velvet glove treatment, and kind of get that from the smaller person, I could potentially get that from the big boat also, you know, I just again, it comes down to the really is this person going to meet my needs? Because hey, my needs are unique and specific. In that situation with my backyard. I was talking to one landscaper came and asked me two questions started mapping out my backyard the way he the way he wanted it. Yeah. And the other guy sat down really thought through it. And again, here's the could they have both come up with the same backyard? Maybe they could have but the buying experience and that's where we really concentrate on what is the unique and different buying experience that you are creating for your prospect. The buying experience with me with the other with the other gentleman who took the time to get to know me, was just a for me a better buying experience. So therefore we went with them.

David Wright:

So let me let me throw a few thoughts. And I do this with a sheepish smile on my face GA but about how insurance is different. There I say it now there I think there are there are a couple of things that I just I want to kind of put out there and you can tell me what you think of this right and you and you've been involved in some insurance stuff in addition to all your the really impressive work you've done. And so, to me, the interesting thing about insurance is you're not typically buying because you want the thing, right, you're buying because somebody is telling you to do it. Right? Either the government is telling you to buy an auto liability policy, or maybe your wife is telling you or husband telling you to buy some life insurance, because you got to put the kids through school business partner, right. So the interesting feature about insurance is the as the active compulsion, very few, I would say almost no, people who buy insurance, buy it because they are interested in the risk management benefits of insurance for themselves, right? Somebody else wants the benefits of your insurance,

GA Bartick:

or you know, actuaries like you, David love to get into that stuff.

David Wright:

And they tell you all about. Now, it does, does it does the dynamic, how do you handle the dynamic where you you're buying a product that you don't really understand why you need it, you actually don't really think about it, you're just being told to buy it. Now, what is the differentiate? Because how do you differentiate yourself there? Because you can ask discovery? And they're gonna say, Well, I don't know. I don't want it. What do you do that? How do you work through that? And do you agree that that is something that is an interesting problem, but insurance?

GA Bartick:

It's definitely unique in the insurance world that most insurance, especially life insurance, the person who's buying, it does not benefit from it? How what product or service out there in the world? Are you selling to somebody who doesn't get a benefit from what they're buying? And so again, quote, unquote, peace of mind, you know, what is that? So

David Wright:

Worthless. Yeah, not worth any money.

GA Bartick:

That's what it exactly. So again, then insurance, talk about an emotional purchase. And that's why again, it's so important that you take a that holistic approach, really understanding what is the person trying to solve? What do they what would look, what would it look like I can I can talk about what to happen if they do nothing. And I will talk about that little bit of pain, but then I'm going to quickly move it forward to what would happen if they do something, and how that's going to look. But again, because there I say it, that insurance can be very easily commoditize and go to the just, you know, people can just sit there and go on line and bite if they want, then why even use an agent? And why do agents still exist? Because people again, I think it's swinging around, they still want that human interaction. They want that relationship, I think today more than ever before. And we're seeing that with COVID, that the need for human interaction is just been amplified. So in the selling insurance, a product that yes, do they need or not? No, but in the whole process of the selling, and understanding the person, it comes down to a candidate create a unique and different experience, because most of the time, they are going to talk to two or three other insurance salespeople, we've already proven that out the stats are out there for that. If you're not gonna be the lowest cost, why should they go with you? And that's going to be a how do you present your solution? How it's going to benefit them? And do they trust and like you to? And again, that trust and like it's not about the nice big hug you get? But can they sit there and say to themselves? Wow, does David really understand my unique situation, because, again, everybody's buying insurance, they think that their situation is totally different than anybody else's out there.

David Wright:

You know, I had this interesting experience a few years ago working with an insurance company who was had a direct to consumer arm, right, so they had marketing to people, and they're selling in a call center. And they also went through agents. And they had an addition to that they had a wholesaler arm, which was agents, agents. And the amazing thing to them was that they had this wholesaler, because here's how that works, right? So you're gonna buy this insurance policy in this company, you customer, I could go online and buy the policy. And then instead I say, You know what, I'm going to go to my agent. And the agent says, I could go online, the same web portal, and I could buy an insurance policy, you know, I'm gonna go to an agent, we have the same Yeah, it's insane. It's something profound about this, actually, it's so crazy. It's that immune, to force ourselves to acknowledge that reality is not what we think they can all do the same thing. And they've introduced two layers of cost into the transaction, because nobody wants to do the work. So there's something like, deeply allergic, about insurance about actually buying insurance, the people just don't want to touch it, you know, they don't want to go anywhere near it, they have to do it every year. They didn't want to, you know, they need somebody to kind of help them through the process. And that sounds like it feels to me, I wonder if you get this distinction, a small ticket item that kind of behaves like a big ticket item, it might only cost you 3040 bucks a month, but you want to spend as little work on it as you know, as if you're buying Rolls Royce jet engines, and you're like somebody, the vendor helped me out with it. Do you agree with that characterization?

GA Bartick:

Yeah. You know, in a lot of ways, absolutely. It is it's so interesting with with insurance, and it's people know they need it Whether it's you know, again, we work a lot with auto insurance in life and health insurance. And the people again, they can do it with absolutely no interaction and lots of people do. But why are insurance people still out there today? Because people don't want to go through the headache and try to understand and figure it all out, they would rather talk to somebody who's a pro knows it. And I just brought, I just got health insurance for my organization, and have a great person who kind of walked me through it and and I had my had my life and health license. So I know a lot about health insurance. I don't want to go through that myself. So it's looking at this small ticket item hype, big ticket item, something like insurance, a lot of people still want to have that personal touch and have somebody help me figure out what's the best policy? What's the best thing for me? So I have to do all the research.

David Wright:

How about big ticket items? We haven't talked about that too much. adapting your process for larger sale? Like what changes? It takes longer? What does that mean?

GA Bartick:

Well, what's fascinate me the six steps, they don't change, right? They don't change at all of what you need to do and how you need to do it. What changes though, is really understanding how do you navigate the organization? And that's a whole nother piece of selling and understanding who is the buyer? Are you talking to the economic buyer? Are you talking to the influence buyer, and what we're seeing happening today, more than ever, before you as a salesperson, you could sit there and if David's my prospect, and he's my influential buyer, I'm talking to David, he may even be the person who's gonna use the product. But more times than not, he's not the economic buyer. So David says, Hey, GA, I love yours are selling this is great, exact product we need. Let me go talk to my team. Let me go talk to my boss. And then when David goes and talks to the team or his boss about bringing in my product or service, where am I during that conversation? I'm not there. And our we're seeing that happening more and more often, the final decision to move forward is happening in a conversation, where the salesperson is not even in the room. So what I need to do is be able to educate my influential buyer, I need to let How can David communicate on my behalf? When I'm not there. So a lot of the tools we teach the why us three by three into three reasons why clients work with us success stories, there are different tools of communication that we teach, that help David communicate on my behalf, where the sale is made, when I'm not even there. And that's a big piece that a lot of salespeople miss is how do we educate in a clear, concise, easy story type methodology. So that my emotional buyer, my influential buyer can go in there and talk. And that's what the feather that could tip the scale my way, is how he talks about me versus the other two companies he might have talked to, because he's his bosses and what are the other? What are other options? And I gotta make sure that David talks best about me. That's hard. That's hard to do.

David Wright:

It feels to me like this is almost a sales training seminar you got to give as a salesperson, right? So you're gonna go into the buyer, you're gonna say, I'm gonna teach you how to sell this. Yeah, as you say, I'm gonna be there.

GA Bartick:

Yeah, exactly. So, and I have actually done times, where we've actually done role playing with the influential buyer on how he's gonna communicate when he when he walks in there. And here's the thing too, a lot of times that influential buyer, they may be the person who chose the current vendor. So sure, so for example, let's talk let's talk about about insurance or financial advisors. You know, they may be the person who, who chose the current financial advisor, I can't put down that your current financial advisor, or maybe the person who chose their current logistics vendor. I'm going to my boss now and say, Hey, boss, I want to change vendors. How can they do that in a way where it doesn't make them look bad about the vendor that they're using right now that they chose. And so again, it's about selling forward is a big methodology we talk about selling for to get again, get them excited about the future. Hey, that other company, David, they've been great for the last four years. We're just a different company. Today. They've done a great job getting us to where we are today. I want to change vendors because hey, we want to expand, we want to open up to more locations. And this new vendor is going to allow us to do that. So again, it's about understanding the holistic approach to where they are, where they want to go, and then helping my influential buyer be able to communicate and get excited about changing vendors and communicating that to their boss. Again, we're not there. So sometimes it's take a little bit of practice, to win and we've done that multiple sessions with our clients. The salesperson and their buyer helping that buyer communicate, why they should change vendors, especially the big ticket items that's more important than ever before.

David Wright:

Is there a difference? Like, are there some other concrete differences in your training process that you use for? Let's say, somebody's gonna call centers on auto insurance? versus somebody who's, you know, an enterprise salesperson selling jet engines? Let's keep going with that one. What do you how do you tweak your six steps, which ones go down a little bit, which ones go up and how

GA Bartick:

they so it comes down to the six steps again, I wish there was some secret sauce that for the big ticket items, it's totally different than the small ticket items. To be honest with you. The process doesn't change. What will change though, is what happens in meeting to what happens in meeting three and four on the because usually it's a four or five, sometimes six, meeting, multiple email, different documentation, processing a big ticket items. But the typical stuff that we're doing, of how do we communicate effectively? I wish I could tell you it's dramatically different. Do we customize it for each client? Yes, but how do you communicate benefits? doesn't change? How do you build report doesn't much change our agenda? T point dank purpose, outline input transition, that format doesn't change. So the framework stays the same, what happens within the framework, that's where the different nuances changed between a one time one call close and a multi call close?

David Wright:

You know, it does strike me that the there are some tweaks and adaptations of it right still, and you live and breathe this stuff, GA so you're kind of rattling off, but I just thought brewing for me. The the thing that comes back to me here is this something I read a lot in rockins book SPIN Selling where he has this appendix, which he agonizes in this appendix about whether what he's done is real. He says, How have I measured this correctly? Like, have I created real impact? Have I you know, you know, many books yourself use those as well, you collect data, you say, my, my process is validated. And I've collected it shows the we've done good things. The interesting thing that we see in rockins book is you have this, this fall off, right? You have this kind of peak, you get the sailing is the sales trainee, like I knew what your next few calls, you deploy it perfectly, it goes great. And then you sort of like, forget, right, stop, right? You go back to the old ways get back to the old habits. And this is a learning problem. Right? So how, how do you keep it in their heads? If you know if sales coaches are the ultimate teachers, right, which is evidence in the books that you all right? How do you, you know, really plug it in deep into their minds.

GA Bartick:

So this is something we've been battling with me doing looking at for 20 years. Again, when they go through the training, they're super psyched up, they go out there. But here's a few pieces. That reason why people don't make it part of the communicational DNA. First thing is whole, what we call verbal knowledge. You went to that class, you went to that seminar, and he walked out and you saw the instructor do it. Like that sounded good. And you think yourself, ooh, I could do that too. And you do it in your mind. And in your mind, it sounds beautiful. That's what I call verbal knowledge. You can do it, you can hear it. But then I don't know about you. But sometimes what I want to say, what comes out of my mouth sometimes are two totally different things. So how do you move from verbal knowledge to verbal skill, and verbal skills, being able to actually say what I want to say out loud. So what I intend to say is what I want and what the prospect hears. So verbal knowledge, knowing what to say verbal skills actually be able to say it to verbal mastery. And verbal mastery is where you can say the right thing at the right time in those critical moments under pressure. And here's the thing, most people from verbal non verbal skill to verbal mastery, it takes practice. And here's the key to how much time do most people practice their communication skills? Now think about it. You know if you're going to golf, alright, do you just go out to the golf course go out to the First Tee pull out your probie one get out your toddler's driver and smack it. Where do you go first? Go to the driver range right? Then where do you go?

David Wright:

putting green

GA Bartick:

Thank you very much. Not a trick question. And you go to the putting green chips. And then if you're me, where do you go?

David Wright:

bar

GA Bartick:

to the bar Thank you very much to the bar. But why do we do all that before we go to the First Tee so that the best version Have ourselves shows up. But as salespeople, we often wing it. And we go right in the sales process thinking we that we could do it fine without practicing. Here's the other piece about why people don't carry through with their training. Because the first few times you try it, you're not usually not very good at it. And what we see happens all the time is will deliver training, and some and we do a lot of follow up. And we're working with the managers and the coaches, internally with our organizations that we work with. So they can make this part of their organizational communicational DNA. But we'll be walking in the building. And so we're coming to be Oga, that whole process that you taught us, oh, it doesn't work for me. I'll go really, let's practice it. Let's practice your credibility statement. Let's practice your why us three by three. And when we practice it, do they crush it? Or do they usually suck? Now, here's the thing, when do most people make a decision about something when they try once or twice when their skill level is at its lowest. So therefore, they don't get the results they want. So they set they say, it doesn't work for me. And that's what we see happen all the time as they make a decision on whether it works for them or not, when their skill set is at the lowest. So what I tell our clients to is, Hey, do me a favor, do not make judgment on this process until you're great at it. And if you are great at it, and it does not work, I will take full responsibility, GE will take full responsibility. Why? Because I know the process works. I didn't make this stuff up, David, I simply taste it from hundreds if not 1000s of salespeople case, see a SC that's our first Acrovyn of the day, it stands for copy and steal everything. So all I have an opportunity to do is we've had an opportunity just to watch really good salespeople and case for them. So we know this stuff works. But most people they go to a program, they go to a training, they it sounds great, they're excited, they try it once or twice in front of a prospect, you don't get the results you want. So they say doesn't work for me. You've got a practice, and I don't roleplay love, you're like oh my gosh, I have to roleplay if you know a better way to get somebody be able to communicate out loud, effectively under pressure without role playing. Bring it on, I'll cut you a fat check. I've not figured it out yet. So we're gonna get people out of their comfort zone up on their feet, practicing what to say how they hadn't how to say it. So they can go for that verbal knowledge to that verbal skill to finally that verbal mastery. So again, they're saying the right thing at the right timing, those critical moments under pressure.

David Wright:

I wonder where my mind goes here is whether there's something unique about folks resistance to this. And I don't know where my head's at, even right now. Because on the one hand, I can say that, why? Why would we? Why would we reject or worry about getting some work? Why would we not want to get better at something if we're convinced the practice works? Is it that, that these skills are something we feel like we already should be good at. And so we're like a little embarrassed to have to practice something that is so kind of natural to human life, right? Just talking to people. And we have to work at this kind of weird, specific way of talking to people. The other hand, like my kid doesn't want his math homework. So maybe we just don't like practicing anything, or his or his sales practice different somehow and you know, harder for us to get our head around.

GA Bartick:

What I love about you, David, you take such a unique approach and how you look at things that I have to say, Wow, I never really thought about it that way. But yes, I do. I do think because we talk every day. And we think that's inherently I'm already good at that. I'm a salesperson. That's why I got into sales because I have the gift of gab. I mean, if you look at my initials, those are my initial gap. But yes, but again, because I think it makes people uncomfortable. And people will they avoid uncomfortable situations. And so if I'm going to sit there and practice with appear or present with my boss, I may find out that I'm not as good as I thought it was. Or I may embarrass myself a little bit. So I'm gonna I'm not gonna put myself in that situation. And people who say, Oh, GA, I can't rule. But I'm when I'm with a client. Dude, I am nails. I crush it. I throw a flag on that play. If that was the case, again, I don't like sports analogies all that much. But think about football teams. They practice five or six days a week for one game. If everybody was better in the game than they were on the practice field, then why practice at all. But why do they practice so much and they don't practice the fences if they practice the fundamentals over and over and over again. Again, golfers, basketball players, they set the free time shooting the free throws why? So when they're down by one with three seconds left and they get put to the line. They've already done that shot So many times they can sit there and drain it. Why don't salespeople do that? It's sometimes beyond me, my friend. If you're not a professional athlete and your professional salesperson, you're a professional communicator, why not practice your skill?

David Wright:

Yeah, I would say, you know, just thinking about this, do you know the people you're referencing, there are the best of the best. And those the heights of those professions might just select for people that just want to practice. Right. I was thinking like, you know, I was a high school athlete, right? I mean, I didn't want to practice. And sometimes I didn't practice. And guess what, that was the end of my athletic career. Whereas, you know, you think about, like, think about, like, Olympics, Olympians or something. They are effective, effectively, professional practices. I mean, they'll have like, I don't know how many how many events that might do in a year. But it's not a lot. And then what they do they practice like eight hours a day, every day all year, like that's all they do. So they must love the practice of it, as opposed to the performance and then sales is maybe flipped around.

GA Bartick:

Yeah. And again, if you talk to most people, they talk about learning to love the journey. Yeah, learning to love it. Because they don't love it either. And think about it. I skaters we have the Winter Olympics coming up, those triple soak houses, double two loops, do they do it perfect the first time they try it? No. Where do they end up a lot on the ice and it hurts. But are they willing to do something over and over again and do it wrong before they ever do it? Right, I talked about it all the time that learning is in the wobbles, you must be willing to do something over and over again and do it wrong, before you can ever get really good at it and do it right. But again, I think that most people just aren't willing to go through a little bit of pain. And here's the thing too, about this whole communication and sales process. Once it doesn't take long to learn 60 days, you could have this stuff down. And you know why might be news for 20 years because clients have seen results. 60 days you have the stuff down, you have it for the rest of your life. And my mission is every morning, I get the wake up and make an impact on how people communicate, because I truly believe that communication changes people's lives. And so that's why I get up and do what I do every single day. But I think if you're a better communicator in sales, it helps in every single aspect of your life. So why not put a little time energy and effort into practicing it? So you get really good at it? What do you got to lose?

David Wright:

As it happens, you perfectly perfectly set up the last topic I wanted to touch on today, which was the general application of this because like you say, like the whole world I used to live in where there was there's this like, I don't know, these trucks, let's call them tribes. There's the brokers and then the underwriters. And this isn't the reinsurance business or big ticket insurance items. And there was always this kind of concept where people were saying, which which kind are you? You know, are you the broker? Are you a salesperson? Are you an underwriter? Are you whatever the heck they were, and I was always on the broker side. And I always kind of annoyed me about that. Because it sounds seemed to me that both are life skills. Right, you could probably be able to do one or the other, if you cared enough to try to learn how to do one or the other. And most people wind up through some accident of history that they are there, they wind up just doing one of the three things and they don't ever switch. And so they they, they they don't they neglect perhaps developing a skill from the other side of their tribe that they might or maybe they do develop it, but they do call it something else. So we can talk about what are the things you get good at and your real life like does this help your marriage? Help be dealing with your kids there? Does it make you worse at it in some kind of strange way? Perhaps How do you How did you do expect your life to change, if at all by being phenomenal salesperson or learning to be a phenomenal salesperson?

GA Bartick:

So I mean, I can think you know, I've been married one time, 29 years to love my wife, Kelly. So there's something to it. But if Kelly sees me starting to use some of my classroom stuff, she may let me know I'm not. I'm not one of your students. She'll say GFC you mastered you know the art of controlling your classroom. I'm not a class member. So I've had to learn not to do that. But again, communication. It's all about listening and asking good questions and taking a genuine interest in another person. So how can that not help you in relationships? How can that not help you be a better father, a better a better wife a better husband? And so yes, I think that the skills you learn as a salesperson are universal, because it's not about selling. I tell people all the time. First thing I say in the classroom, I'm not going to ask you to sell anything to anybody. So I think people hate to be sold. But do they love to buy? So I'm going to ask you to make a positive buying experience for your prospect. And again, do I use certain tack tactics? Yes. If I'm in an argument with somebody, I could object in response object response, and become very confrontational, or I could clarify and ask them good questions and listen, first, seek to understand, before I can be understood, and listened to understand versus listen to respond. That's probably one of the biggest things that I mess up on. You know, a couple of months ago, we actually had my nephew in town. And he's loves tennis. And so my wife thought it would be really cool if he was able to take some tennis lessons while he was in town with us. And so I was in town for dealing with him for two weeks. Over the summer. I went and had to go Chicago in Chicago for a couple days. My wife called me up, I'm like, Hey, what's going on? You're really upset with with with your nephew, Tyler. All of a sudden, he's my nephew, even though it's really hers. Like what's going on? She's like, well, I just dropped it off in a stencil, you know, excited was about a stencil lesson. And when he got in the car, or we got out of the car for his lesson he didn't have any shoes on. So I really said, Well, honey, How come when Tyler got in the car? Why did you look at his feet? Now, how did Mrs. Bartick respond to me trying to solve her problem?

David Wright:

Very helpful of you to thank you for suggesting that?

GA Bartick:

Yes, no. Yes. So did I get my shovel and dig a little deeper? And I said, Well, honey, there's a no there's there's a at the club. There's a little little sports shop, maybe there's some shoes there. Or let's say you still have time to run home get a shoes or maybe stopped by over at Dick's Sporting Goods. You get a new pair of shoes, you probably could use a new pair. Now again, why did Mrs. Bartik call me 1500 miles away if she didn't want me to solve her problem? Was I listened to understand or was I listening to respond? So again, listen, understand, if I would have simply said Hey, honey, wow, that's got to be frustrating to get all the way to the club and realize that that told me she was on. You know, I get that. Then she says, ah, Honey, thank you so much. All she wanted was a hug from 1500 miles. Hmm. Did you want me to solve her problem? No. But as salespeople what do we think we want to do every time? Solve it solve the problem? So listen, understand before listen. responding. Yes, even today. I still screw up.

David Wright:

Amen, brother. That's that time GA. How can people find you? Where can they go silver bullets only you can buy that book forthcoming title forthcoming.

GA Bartick:

We're so Concilio team, co NS li o TT am calm. But also, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, hey, what gets me up out in the morning, away from my wife, my three kids, our three greyhounds are two guinea pigs and our turtle is I went from being unemployed, to really every single day being able to make an impact in people's lives. So if I can help you out, feel free, give me a call my number cell 858-212-4486. Again, 858 to 124486 or email me at GA at Concilio team COMM And I'm serious. I would love to hear from you and hear where you're at right now and see if there's anything we do to help you be more effective. So we'll just help you in sales and help you in every aspect of your life. And David, as I say, it's always a treat, always a pleasure. Again, the way you look at things the way you study them. And it's just a unique perspective that I really honor and respect and thank you very much for being allowed to share some of my thoughts with all the people who know and love you.

David Wright:

My guest today is GA Bartick. Thank you very much.

GA Bartick:

Thank you