Selling without "commission breath," with Landon Pitcher

Selling without "commission breath," with Landon Pitcher

Introducing Landon Pitcher

[00:00:00] Hello there, dear listener. I am Steve.

[00:00:09] Tyler: And I'm Tyler and welcome to another episode of It's Not About the Money, the podcast where we help you gain the clarity you need to run a successful small business.

[00:00:17] Steve: Tyler has a financial coaching practice. I run a tax business. We are both small business owners like you. And this podcast is our exploration of entrepreneurship one episode at a time. this is another episode in our series, The Many Hats of an Entrepreneur, where we cover business functions that every business has, even the small ones, uh, and, but where you as the owner may not be the expert, um, marketing, IT, sales, finance.

Today we're excited to have a sales expert on the podcast.

[00:00:50] Tyler: That's right. Uh, Landon Pitcher, who's a friend of mine, but more importantly, he's a co-founder and CRO of Listo Global, a company that makes it easy for [00:01:00] organizations to find higher and pay their global teams. Landon has an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and has lived, studied, and worked in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa with travel experience spanning 20 countries.

Throughout his career, Landon has supported hundreds of companies in their efforts to find, hire, pay, and upskill their workforces, enabling them to save billions of dollars via international labor arbitrage. Uh, when asked about his greatest accomplishment, Landon emphasizes the fulfillment he derives from being a father and husband, placing this role above any professional title, accolade, or achievement.

Landon, welcome to the podcast.

[00:01:41] Landon: All right. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Appreciate the intro. Tyler, I'm going to say, uh, being a friend is above my title too. So being a friend of Tyler Smith goes above

[00:01:49] Tyler: Okay. I was fishing for that. So thank you. No.

[00:01:55] Landon: Awesome.

[00:01:55] Steve: CRO, is that Chief Revenue Officer?

[00:01:58] Landon: Correct. Uh huh. [00:02:00] Yep. Basically all things go to market. So sales, marketing partnerships. Um, and then I also oversee our recruiting. We do some recruiting for our clients, which is essentially a channel for getting sales. You know, it's not our moneymaker, but it's a way to get more clients using our software and paying people around the world through our platform.

[00:02:21] Steve: Makes sense.

Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm

[00:02:22] Steve: We know a little bit about, uh, what your company does, and the thing that I would love to learn from you is kind of the skills of how do you get good at sales. Uh, so what, I don't know if you could talk about like what are the crucial skills that a solopreneur specifically would need to get good at sales, whether that's hard skills or soft skills. Does that make sense?

[00:02:45] Landon: Yeah, um, absolutely. I think there's a, there's a couple of thoughts that come to my mind as you asked me that question. Um, and I'm a little bit different from, you know, you, you probably could have had a couple dozen different guests that have done all sorts of different, you know, [00:03:00] they started out in sales in their careers and maybe they did.

door to door sales. And then they went into, they finally got a job, like, you know, appointment setting in a software environment, call center environment. And then they've just been a lifelong sales person. You know, Tyler mentioned in my intro, I did a global MBA and I really wanted to, you know, do consulting and I was in corporate finance.

So I often call myself a recovering accountant. Um, but it was like, I, I was in, well, in fact, I took a career assessment. It was a Harvard assessment that you answer a zillion questions, as you know, as assessments do, and it ranks your, your skills. Your motivators and your, um, and your interests. And it comes up with a whole bunch of different job types, that would be a fit for you.

And when I did it, mine was like screaming sales and sales management. And, at the time I was, I was selling, for a [00:04:00] bank. And so I thought, Oh, it's just skewed. Cause that's what I'm doing right now. Like I just ignored that assessment. Four years into doing corporate finance and accounting, I was a little bit curious and you know, I'll be honest too, like scrolling Instagram, I'd see all my friends like hiking and golfing.

And it was like, man, do these people ever work? Meanwhile, I'm in quarter close at 10 o'clock at night in the office, like, you know, reconciling ledgers, which was just not my personality at all. Uh, so I decided to pay a hundred bucks and take that assessment again. And it still said sales, sales management.

So now it's like, okay, I guess I have like the personality for it. But I don't really have the experience in business sales, you know? So what do I do? One of my favorite kind of sales gurus says. Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm. So, um, I think that the first thing to go for is like, are you selling [00:05:00] something that you're enthusiastic about?

Are you passionate about it? Because if that's the case, it's just going to come natural to you. Because you're just transferring enthusiasm from one person, you know, from yourself to the next person. And you know, I'd say don't overthink it in terms of like, okay, how do I get good at sales? People that, you know, naturally buyers, all people, we have sales resistance. And so when we feel like we're being sold, that sales resistance comes up and it could be the best thing for them, but they're going to decline or deny it because they're smelling what my co founder calls commission breath. You know, it's like, ugh, get that out of here.

I don't want to, I don't want to buy from you because I can tell you're selling me. So if you were to read all the books and learn all the, you know, spin techniques and hacks, like, uh, for example, like things like, if I could save you 700 a month, is there any reason that you wouldn't want to, you know what I mean?

Like to move forward today, right? Like as soon as people hear [00:06:00] those, Tactics and gimmicks and techniques like they're gone. So I would say to your listeners that are listening to this because they don't have a heavy sales background. Congratulations. You've, you've got the first step of becoming a good salesperson.

So I would just say be yourself and make sure that whatever it is that you're selling, you're enthusiastic and passionate about.

[00:06:24] Tyler: That's a really interesting perspective, actually. I, a couple of things that stuck out to me was you mentioned personality, right? There are personality types that might be more inclined, uh, naturally to this type of activity. And, uh, that's not me. For example, but, but, so I was kind of depressed when you were talking about that, but then you talked about enthusiasm and sales being the transfer of enthusiasm.

Right? So I think that's an important message for people who might be in a situation like mine, or maybe Steve's, I don't know, Steve, if you're like a natural sales.

[00:06:55] Steve: Uh, no, I don't think so.

[00:06:57] Tyler: something tells me no, but, but, but, [00:07:00] but, uh, you know, the reason you get into small business often is because you have something you care about, or you want to provide a service or a product to someone that you are enthusiastic about.

So that kind of gave me hope that renewed. Because if you're enthusiastic about it, I'd say that at least based on what you're saying, Landon, it's like a, a big chunk of the equation.

[00:07:19] Landon: I would say the biggest, frankly, you know what I mean? Like, um, you know, my, my grandma, for example, she was one of those like lifelong Mary Kay ladies, and she was just so passionate about it. She couldn't stop. Like she was your classic MLM person that it's like, chill out. I bring a girlfriend, you know, to meet my cute, sweet grandma.

And next thing you know, she's like, can we do a facial tomorrow? And it was like, Grandma, this is my girlfriend, like, don't do a facial with her, but she loved it so much that it was just in her to, you know, it was natural and she didn't have to do any gimmicks or techniques and sweet old lady had her pink Cadillac from, from winning the awards with Mary Kay.

[00:08:00] So anyway,

[00:08:00] Tyler: Amazing. So

[00:08:04] Steve: to be, how do you make sales feel more authentic? And it seems like this is the key of, it's something that you're very enthusiastic about. You know, it will help the client. Um, you know how to deliver really well and show them the value of it.

You don't have to have all of these gimmicks and the, the sales techniques that nobody, nobody likes, as you said.

[00:08:25] Landon: Yeah. Yeah. I, I hate to disappoint your audience. If they were going to join this to listen to like which hacks and gimmicks and techniques are going to get the deal closed. There's a lot of other, you know, podcasts and people that make a lot of money spewing that, you know, kind of stuff because they are salespeople, but the same guru that said sales is the transfer of enthusiasm.

Um, I was at a company. So my passion is global. I love connecting, um, people from around the world. I love what, you know, creating opportunities [00:09:00] through education and employment does for an individual, but that individual's family, often even their community to improve their livelihood. And so, um, my passion is global.

So pretty much every sales role I've had has had something to do with, global employment or global education. Anyway, I was at a consultancy. What we were selling was awesome. The delivery of it was not awesome. The consultants, um, it was a culture of fear and it was a, you know, very, I don't know how to explain it, but like, um, I would sell a deal, right?

I would get the deal closed and this, this client would, Wire over a whole bunch of money in advance because we're going to help them set up an office for example in the Netherlands and they're going to hire 15 people and our consulting team is just going to handle it But as the sales guy I need to hand that over and then we're gone and and then like a week later I would get an email that was like Hey Landon, this isn't going very well.

Like, we just sent you a lot of money, [00:10:00] and I haven't received a reply to an email for two days. You know what I mean? It's something like that. I'm not talking, like, half a million dollars kind of deals, right? And it's like, Ugh, I cannot handle this anymore. And so, Anyway, one time, um, I was listening to a podcast of this guru of mine, um, that I, that I follow.

Um, and he mentioned like, Hey, I'm always want to hear from my listeners. Give me some new ideas for content. Um, what's on your minds. And so I messaged him on Instagram directly first time. I just thought maybe he'll see this. Maybe not. We'll see. But I said, what, like not all of us salespeople are selling the best in class product or service, you know, so.

What do you recommend for the, let's say 70 percent of us that, you know, don't get to sell the best in class. And he read right through me in his reply with some expletives, you know, it was like, um, if he said [00:11:00] sales is the transfer of enthusiasm. And if you're not passionate about what you're selling and you don't believe in what you're selling, quit your job as fast as you can and go somewhere else.

I'm not going to do a, I'm not going to do a podcast or a newsletter about that. And then he said, staying in that job is what gives sales a bad name.

[00:11:20] Tyler: interesting.

[00:11:21] Steve: Hehe.

[00:11:23] Landon: a faulty product, um, I don't know if you guys ever remember the, like the movie, Matilda and her dad is like, you know, selling these lemon cars and marking them up a whole bunch of money.

And I actually, at that company I was at, I showed that clip to the president of the company and said, this is how I feel. I feel like I'm selling, selling a yacht and I put my clients on this big boat and I like send it off the dock. And I'm like waving to them and watching the boat just sink. And I can't do anything to help them.

And so that was, you know, a few weeks before my exit interview, as you can imagine, but people remember that [00:12:00] I was very vocal at this company, like. If you don't take good care of my clients that I'm bringing in, I can't keep selling this. And so, anyway, sorry, that was kind of another tangent, but, uh, essentially just like truly caring about your clients, being passionate about it.

There's no hacks, you know, gimmicks or whatever. There's things that you can do. I would say like preparation. That's basic. That's not a sales tactic, but like preparing for your meeting when you have a sales call, look at their LinkedIn on certain, we joke that like, I've got one of those meetings, like with, with the type of prospect that, you know, I'm going to, that you're going to say a prayer before you, before the meeting starts, like this, you know, so do your preparation, know a little bit about them.

Not so much that it's creepy. But be able to have a good natural flowing conversation and then ask legit curious questions. Um, so again, not a hack, not a sales gimmick, but asking valid questions, like open up [00:13:00] your brain types of questions and get them to do the talking. Um, is going to make all of those sales conversations much, much better.

How to "dequalify" a lead during a sales call

[00:13:08] Tyler: That's amazing. So what I'm hearing is like, there's, you're more, it's more of a search than a coercion. Basically you're searching for people who want and need what you're selling. And if they actually don't want it or don't need it, then your job is not really to get them to pay you anyway, is what I'm hearing basically.

Although we've all been on the side of the receiving end of, uh, People who are trying to coerce us to buy things. I remember I got a call for a, uh, like, uh, someone's trying to sell me a home equity line of credit or something. Right. And they use that exact line. You just said, they're like, if I could save you 500 a month, you would want to go forward.

Right. And I was like, no. And they couldn't, like, they couldn't give up. They asked me the same question, like eight different times, 10 different ways. And I should have just hung up, but I was just curious to see. Like this [00:14:00] poor, you know, this is like some poor person in a call center just reading a script, you know, but I just like, and they wouldn't, that they, they got to, they, it was just like a loop, they just kept asking the same question over and over again.

And finally it was like, I'm just going to have to let you go. Sorry,

[00:14:10] Landon: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:11] Tyler: this is not going to happen. So

[00:14:13] Landon: Yeah.

[00:14:13] Tyler: anyway,

[00:14:15] Landon: Well, and you know what? They, they're, they're going to hang up the phone and go to their boss and be like, What else could I have done? You know, like this guy was perfect for us and he needed exactly what we have. But the fact that he had commission breadth just turned you off enough that you're like, Nope, I don't care about 500 bucks a month.

I feel like I'm being scammed.

[00:14:32] Tyler: yeah,

[00:14:33] Landon: feel safe and secure. And so a good salesperson has the confidence in their offering to actually go the opposite direction and what we call dequalify. So when you're selling your, your offering and you're asking those good questions, Ask the ones that maybe will have cause you to lose the deal.

You know, so, um, that home equity [00:15:00] line of credit, you're asking the kinds of questions that's like, how much, you know, how much equity do you have? Yada, yada, yada. But also why would you not want to do this? And then you, a lot of people gain quick credibility by saying, okay, yeah, maybe you're not necessarily fit for us, but if you want, I have a partner that I could refer you to or something like that.

Or maybe you're going to be a fit for us in six months. And that just totally changes. That actually is a tactic and a gimmick called the takeaway close, you know, like when, when, when someone is just about there and then you're like, ah, nevermind, I don't want to sell it to you anyway. Like you're, you're, you're not going to be a good fit for this.

This kind of car is for the really, really wealthy people, you know? And I get the impression that, you know, whatever. So not necessarily saying do a takeaway close, but dequalify your prospect. And, and know why they shouldn't be a good customer for you. And it will also save you heartache, both from the standpoint of making the sales.

You know, you're not, you're not wasting time with bad prospects in a sales [00:16:00] process and chasing them and following up. But also, uh, when they become a client, you know, you're working with clients that are a fit for you.

[00:16:07] Tyler: that makes a lot of sense.

Uh, Landon, you're making me feel a lot better about sales. Thank you. This is, this is great.

[00:16:13] Steve: Yeah. Thing I also liked about what you just said was, uh, the, the alignment between the salesperson and the delivery person. And if you're a solopreneur, that's you on both counts. And if you're passionate about the thing you're delivering and you can sell it, well, like you've, you've already got that alignment there.

So that's kind of another. Encouraging superpower of being a solopreneur where you have to wear all of these hats at the same time.

[00:16:40] Landon: totally. Yeah. And I think I would also say use your natural interests. And, uh, I mean, sales is such an art in my opinion. There is definitely some science to it, but it's such an art that everybody sells differently. Um, one of the things that I bring to sales that's different from my co [00:17:00] founder. I mean, I think I am more on the science side of it, you know, coming from the corporate background and finance and spreadsheets.

And he is a musician. He actually has like, you know, he's on iTunes and Spotify and everything. And when he's on a sales call, it is actually like you get goosebumps. It's beautiful. It's like, When he's pitching to investors to invest in our company, I'm like, wow, that was so good. I never, I don't do that for my, you know, prospects, but, um, a couple of the things that I do, reasonably well as I'm, I've had to learn how to manage my time, manage my tasks. I know Tyler got me into, you know, Todoist and more productivity, time management, those kinds of things that allow me to like, I will follow up, you know, like I'm not going to miss that opportunity. If it's three days have gone by and you said you were going to get back to me, like, Hey. Um, you know, text message or a call.

What has anything changed in the last three days? Are we still on track? Those kinds of things. Um, and then [00:18:00] I've been one that like kind of, it's a weird brag, but I sell with a spreadsheet instead of a slide deck, you know, I'll leave the PowerPoint at home and I'll bring out the spreadsheet. So, making it, really obvious and clear with numbers, why this is going to be a benefit to you, right? Like how it's going to, uh, how we can quantify the savings, the risk reduction, or whatever it is that, uh, that, that, that benefit is, let's put it in numbers, put it in a spreadsheet and show it to you on a call rather than, you know, pumping through a bunch of slides.

But if you're really good at slides and you got some cool animations or whatever, you know what I mean? Like if that's your skill and that's your interest and you're good at it, go for it, do it, like work it in. And it'll make it so that you're having a. A better time in sales. I would never say like everybody should sell with spreadsheets because that's what I do.

Like do what you do well and have fun with it. And, uh, it will put your, your prospects more at ease and they'll enjoy the sales process more.

[00:18:59] Tyler: That's really cool that you were [00:19:00] able to bring in your background in accounting and, and numbers and spreadsheets to, to,

[00:19:06] Landon: I kind of, I couldn't not do it. We were selling a product that was, you know, in this, this consulting space. So if you wanted to hire, uh, 10 people, for example, in, uh, Brazil, and let's say we were going to charge you, we, we could use our own legal entity. To hire them. And so, you know, let's say we're gonna charge a thousand bucks a person, or we could help you set up your own legal entity.

Um, and it might be like $90,000 in consulting services for it to help you set up your own, you know, or it's gonna be 10 grand a month, right? So it was pretty easy to take, like both proposals, put 'em all in a spreadsheet. And actually show like, here's how many people you're paying. Here's how much you're paying them.

And here's all the things you're going to need besides us to setting up. You're going to need an accounting, you're going to need HR, you're going to need legal, you're going to need all these things. So here you go, Mr. Customer, here's a spreadsheet. [00:20:00] You put in the inputs and it's going to tell you which one.

Luckily for me, both of those options were, you know, going to be a deal for, for, for us if they, and then that makes them not go to the other options. They're, they're not talking to other companies when they're just, Comparing our offerings side by side. So, um, some of those kinds of things can really help, you know, make it, make it perfectly clear to your audience, but yeah,

Developing your sales pipeline

[00:20:25] Tyler: So you've had a lot of experience in, in, in. Sales throughout a lot of your career. I'm curious, what, uh, could you say to us about how to get better at it? Is it kind of a practice makes perfect thing? Should we expect to fail so much of the time? You know, what's, what's your journey been like there? And, and, you know, are there any words of wisdom you could share with, with us about how to get started and keep going?

[00:20:51] Landon: Whew. Where do I start on that? Um, okay. Two things. Well, the first I'm going to answer the part like about [00:21:00] failures. Um, and should you expect to fail? Yes. Should you plan to fail? Yes. And should you pick certain prospects that you're going to experiment with? Knowing that you're probably going to fail. Yes.

You know, like there, there's certain, maybe you're going to try this question or you're going to present in, in this format, starting with this story, for example, and explain the, the, the context. And then you're going to come in with questions, or maybe you want to start with your questions and then go into the story.

And experiment with those kinds of things. A, B tests all the time and know that you are going to fail and that's okay. I think the key is having, where that concerns and panics people is, well. I need, in order to do that, I need to have enough at-bats. I need to have enough sales appointments that like every single one of those appointments isn't so precious that I can afford to, uh, you know, to, to, to experiment and lose some.

Um, [00:22:00] so that's, that's another piece. That's another skill of sales is the grit and the grind to go get those appointments. So I guess I would say it depends too on how hard it is for you to get sales appointments, what, what you're doing to generate leads and. And sales conversations, um, whatever it is, try to, you know, get that throttle fully loaded so that you have so many appointments that you can afford definitely to experiment and fail.

[00:22:26] Tyler: Interesting. We recently interviewed an expert on marketing and that, you know, it seems like there's a little bit of an overlap there, right? I, again, that, uh, she had a really nice take on what marketing is as, as far as like an activity and a business function and things, and we kind of talked about the overlap between marketing and sales and how it's not like, anyway, it's great conversation, but, but, um, yeah, that's, that's where I'm going with that is. Again, back to the, the, the solopreneur, the small business owner, who's, who's [00:23:00] kind of trying to do this all themselves, maybe, yeah, what about, uh, focusing on generating those opportunities versus, you know, Because you don't have like a business development rep, right, necessarily. You are that person, and you're the person that's coming in to close the deal, potentially.

[00:23:15] Steve: Like, how, how do you fill the pipeline? How do you make sure that you,

that you have

[00:23:20] Tyler: I guess.

[00:23:21] Steve: calls that you can then afford to experiment and be willing to lose some of the, the prospects because you don't need them all. Hmm.

[00:23:31] Tyler: that I had before we did our episode on marketing is that that was the job of marketing, right? It's like the marketing team gets leads and then hands them over to sales. I, I think that was a misconception though, based on, on that conversation. And it seems like there's a lot more overlap potentially.

And of course it's going to depend on the organization and how they're structured and all those things. But, uh, because from this conversation, I'm getting that, yeah, a big part of sales is the grind of, of filling the calendar, right?[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] Landon: And so the thing about marketing and sales in a corporate world. hate each other. That like they, it's, it's this environment where, especially in software sales, where marketing is like, Hey, you guys aren't following up on my leads. You lazy salespeople that are always out golfing. Like I got you 10 leads and you've only talked to five of them.

And then sales is like, I'm not going to waste my time with those stupid leads. Like those are, those are just tire kickers and they're no good. And, and then, you know, marketing will come out with the new slide deck that sales needs to use in all their presentations. And sales is like, You didn't put any of my good questions in the slide deck and like all the, the reasons that people buy aren't what like, you're not talking to prospects.

So I know you don't. So first of all, sales has got a huge ego. They think they can do marketing all day, every day. And, and, and I happen to know like, I'm not the marketing guy. Like, and I kind of put it like if it has our brand on it, that's where I divide between sales and marketing. If it's branded, you know, and [00:25:00] if it goes to the masses, if it goes to the general audience, then it's marketing.

I draw that line on if it's a conversation more like one to one than it's sales. Um, and so, and then, so yeah, you kind of just always have that tension. If you're a solopreneur and you've got to do sales and marketing, Dang it. I'm sorry.

[00:25:21] Tyler: just going to hate yourself.

[00:25:22] Landon: yeah, you're going to hate yourself. Like I would say, okay, now you got to like, cause you can't just like have leads falling in your lap.

Um, so you either need to be like, you're either going to need to get in front of people all the time. So now you're cold calling and cold emailing all the time and going to events and networking things like crazy. Um, and then next step is automation. And, uh, so then you can do email automation and like LinkedIn automation.

And that used to work like five years ago. And it was like, Oh, wow. Tyler's emailed me three times. He must really want to meet with me. But, [00:26:00] but now like nobody believes that Tyler's really emailing me. We all know that's like the third automation. That's just getting in my inbox and causing sales resistance.

So now if Tyler sends the most perfect email that is exactly what I need in this home equity to save 500 bucks a month, I don't even want to talk to him cause I'm ticked that, you know, he disrupted my, my day and I've got other more important things to do. So that sales resistance can go up with automation.

So, um, the little bit of advice, I guess I would have two, two pieces there. You kind of can't live without some form of cold outreach. Um, And so shameless plug for my own company. Like my SDR is in South Africa. Um, you know, we eat our own dog food. We do global hiring. His base salary we started was 1, 500 a month, which was great for him.

So if any of you out there can afford to sliver that off, um, then he, like my calendar today, I literally have. [00:27:00] Including this, um, 15 appointments today. I've told him like all your appointments I want on Fridays and Thursdays, if they are in Asia or Europe, you know, so he set 15 appointments for me this week.

He's amazing. And he, it's like Filipino wage level, you know, but English is his first language. He's like a former semi pro soccer player. He's, Maybe one of the favorite employees that's ever worked for me ever. And at that price point, it's absolutely incredible, right? So there, and so what he does is he handles all my automation.

Um, he impersonates me on email and LinkedIn. We have multiple burner accounts, so it's going out to people all the time. with very specific information. So I hope none of my listeners, um, have received one of these messages on LinkedIn, but I'll give you an example. Um, because we hire, because we do global hiring, I'm a part of a group called LDS [00:28:00] Professionals in, on LinkedIn.

And so, and then, um, you can search by a keyword. So for example, we got a list of languages that are very specific to only one country. And so over the last two weeks, we created a list in LinkedIn Sales Navigator of people in that group of LDS professionals who speak Ukrainian or Zulu or Tagalog, right?

For example. And then if they speak Tagalog, then the message is, Hey, I saw you're in the LDS Professionals group and you speak Tagalog. Did you serve a mission in the Philippines? Same with Ukraine, same with Zulu in South Africa. And like, yes, I did. I was there from oh three to oh five and then. Did you know this person or, you know, so, and I, I'm not going straight for the kill.

Josh is back there in the background, like following up and saying, uh, that's really cool. What part of Ukraine were you in for the most of, you know, and so it's generating what actually is like a [00:29:00] legitimate conversation and then he will slip in our co founders, at least though my co founders also serve missions in Brazil and Mexico.

We're really passionate about global hiring. Have you ever thought about hiring from Ukraine? If so, we offer 10 hours of free recruiting to people that have volunteered in a country before. So taking you through like a very, very customized specific list, that's not like spewing to the masses. Um, and knowing ahead of time, like, okay, here's exactly the way I'm going to tailor this conversation.

So, uh, to any listeners here that are in the LDS professionals group, save me the trouble and just tell me where you serve your mission. And if you want to hire there. Otherwise, uh, you might get a connection request from me and, uh, say hi to Josh, uh, in South Africa, if you get that connection request.

[00:29:49] Tyler: Oh, that's cool. I just feel like I got like a peek behind the curtain there about how, how things are done.

[00:29:54] Landon: Yeah. I mean, we have to, you have to get, it's guerrilla warfare, so you got to get scrappy and whatnot. [00:30:00] So I guess what I would say is like, hire someone that can handle the automation and the followup for you. Because I could get 25 people that said like, yes, I serve in Ukraine, but I'm never going to have time to go back and like generate, like have a conversation that's going to drive them to the appointment.

You almost need someone. That's totally dedicated and paid based on appointment to go back and follow up three days later. Like, and again, like where in Ukraine were you, or you have any interest in hiring in Ukraine? Um, those kinds of things.

Asking for referrals

[00:30:29] Landon: So, and then the other part, I would say, if you're a solopreneur, um, Tyler, you actually don't know this, but I sent your email to the rest of my team when you started your business for financial planning and you started your newsletter, not, not even the newsletter, you emailed your friends and family and said like, Hey, I'm starting a newsletter on financial, you know, whatever it is, please click here to subscribe to it. And my wife and I were both like, Oh, that's so awesome. Like [00:31:00] I'm supporting Tyler. I'm signing up for that newsletter and it's amazing. So then now you have a little newsletter base, now grow it.

And, um, I would say maybe a suggestion for you, Tyler, and this might be a little out of your comfort zone where you're like, I'm not a salesperson, but, uh, incentivize referrals. In some capacity, right? So like, do you know someone, uh, cause your audience has all sorts of people, uh, from very financially secure to probably really need some help.

So for you to say something to the effect of, if you know someone that could benefit from financial advice, a brother, cousin, neighbor, friend, um, I'm always happy to do a consultation or two for free, um, please send them my way. And so now you're start generating a referral. Outreach, and, and that's, those are the best leads anyway.

So at, at Listo my company, we're, our sales app, like appointment setting efforts [00:32:00] are essentially Josh in South Africa. And then all the rest of our salespeople are working to get referrals, just driving, referrals from our referral partners, law firms, recruiters, accountants. Payroll companies. And, and so they're, they're more warm and there's less sales resistance when they're, when a referral comes versus the cold outbound outreach.

[00:32:23] Tyler: Yeah. Um, yeah. Wow, you're showering us with wisdom. This is, amazing. And thank you to you and your wife for being, uh, like the original subscribers. You guys are

[00:32:35] Landon: yeah,

[00:32:36] Tyler: support. So,

[00:32:37] Landon: of course, of

[00:32:38] Tyler: um, you, you mentioned a couple of things that might fall into this, but you know, mental blocks, like, like for me, right?

You're like, you said this might be out of my comfort zone and yeah, this is a little bit of my comfort zone, but I'm willing to go there. You know, I mean, this is a whole, this is like an experiment for me, kind of a new challenge for myself. So. So what, what are some, and even with your level of experience, do you still experience any mental blocks or kind of, do you [00:33:00] get nervous ever, or, uh, you know, that's kind of a personal question, but what do you, so you could answer that, but then also what would you say, would you say to someone who is new and kind of does feel nervous about this?

[00:33:11] Landon: Okay. Yeah. Oh,

Great question, Tyler. So I've been in sales for quite a long time now. And, just yesterday had like a super cringe conversation. Like it was, I couldn't wait to get off the phone. Like it was a gal in India and she was at like some kind of a tourist place. The music was loud. I couldn't hear her.

And she was truly trying to just. Shake me down on price, like trying to get rock bottom and, Oh man, it was just awful. And so, yeah, I get nervous. Even there's emails that will sit in my box. It's like that, this one's going to take a little while to write because I need to be very. methodical about this and prepped for it, which kind of stinks cause you need to be able to respond quickly, but I need some, some dedicated time for this.

So no matter how good an experienced you are in [00:34:00] sales, you know, when. You know, this email or this conversation or this meeting is going to be a little bit uncomfortable. You're going to have to negotiate something. You're, you know, redlining through a contract or offering a discount, but still staying your ground.

Like, yeah, some of those conversations are uncomfortable. Asking people for referrals or asking people for business. It's, it's just one of those. It's like last year in the summer, I was running like a deer. I don't know why, like I started hiking and then I started doing some trail jogging and I, it was like amazing.

But if you go a week without running once, like. The next time you go run, it's almost like, Oh my goodness. Have I ever ran? I was like last week, you know, I did seven miles of trail running and then I didn't run for 10 days. And now I feel like I've never run a day in my life. And that is a little bit like, it's a muscle that you've got to just develop and keep going.

I would even say, you know, there's a great area for the, like the practice failing is just like, I am going to fail on this one. And I'm just going to ask someone. [00:35:00] For their business. I'm going to follow up with this person that I haven't talked to for nine months and just like, Hey, is now the time, anything changed between now and then?

Because you know, asking for the business is a little bit, that's the scary part, like, you know, that we all have, but if, again, if you're enthusiastic and you believe in what you're selling, what you're offering and you have other people that are enthusiastic and believe in what you're offering, um, it just makes it a lot.

A lot easier to go about doing that and especially asking those enthusiastic people to refer business to you is like no brainer. So, you know, if you're, especially if you have data on it, so if you get people to leave you a good review. Or, you, you send out a net promoter score, uh, NPS, uh, how likely are you to recommend on a scale of one to 10 and they say nine or 10, you gotta go ask them for the recommendation that, you know, like, Hey, I noticed you said a nine or a 10.

I just wanted to let you know that if you do, um, I will give you, you know, 10 percent of the income on [00:36:00] any referrals that you sent to me or a little, Vacation voucher or you know what I mean? Like a hotel night stay for any referrals that you send my way. I just want to know, like, thank you in advance.

Really appreciate it.

[00:36:12] Tyler: So you can't see this if you're listening, but I just did a literal facepalm because I actually, I actually have been doing an NPS. Server, whatever, you know, the scale of nine to 10, uh, one, sorry, one to 10. How likely would you be to refer? I've done that with my clients and I've got nines or tens, uh, most always, and I've never asked them for a referral.

So way to go, Tyler. Wow.

[00:36:36] Landon: you go.

[00:36:36] Tyler: But it's not too late.

[00:36:37] Steve: Well, there's some good low hanging

[00:36:39] Landon: not too late.

[00:36:40] Tyler: Yeah.

[00:36:41] Landon: hanging fruit. And again, like make it say, say thanks in advance instead of I'll take care of you.

[00:36:47] Tyler: Yeah.

[00:36:50] Landon: Thank you in advance if, you know, you gave me a nine or a 10. So I imagine you'll come across a conversation where you talk to someone that could benefit from the consultation that I gave to [00:37:00] you. Um, if you send someone my way, uh, just want, you know, I'm going to send you and your wife a hotel to stay at this Marriott downtown or something, whatever, you know, like do something for them like that.

[00:37:13] Tyler: Interesting. Well, very good.

[00:37:16] Steve: so it sounds like it, it will be uncomfortable. It's maybe forever. It will, there will still be uncomfortable things, but you gotta keep practicing, keep pushing through it, uh, because the. The experience, you'll, you'll get better at it. And also it's, it's worth becoming better at this skill.

[00:37:36] Landon: Yeah, absolutely. Yep. That's, that's one where like asking for the referral or asking for the appointment, um, is, is one of those that's, that is like, don't, don't ever let yourself get too tired to go up the stairs, right? Like, you know, like don't, don't ever let your, that muscle undeveloped to the point that you're too nervous or too scared to just ask for, uh, You know, a recommendation, a [00:38:00] review, a referral, um, or an appointment.

If, if that's, uh, if you know that it's going to benefit that individual or that business.

How Landon became a co-founder

[00:38:10] Tyler: This has been great. I kind of want to circle back to one thing you said earlier that really inspired me a lot, which was the story you told about when you were working in a place in sales and you felt like it was not the best in class. And that really bothered you. Um, and it seems like that was like a big turning point for you in your career.

Maybe even in your life. I don't want to overstate things, but, but when you had the interaction with the sales guru and he gave you that response of, you know, like, if you go, if you can't get excited about it, like quit. Right. Go, go do something else. I'm curious. Was that a contributing factor to becoming a co founder for your own company?

Like, and, and did you, were you just like, you know what, I'm going to create the best in class thing here and, and so that, so that I can be enthusiastic about it,

[00:38:57] Landon: Yes, 100%. I mean, there's a, there's a [00:39:00] handful of variables that go into starting your own company, of course, and everyone's variables are different, but, um, Yeah, I was begging my co founders who both worked at that same company with me. One is, was the general counsel for them. And then the other one was, you know, on my team, a very close friend, the one that I said, like, sounds like he's singing when he's doing presentations, you know, and so every, every time I would get an angry email from a client, you know, I would, and they felt the same way, you know, Freddie was, he couldn't handle it.

It was so frustrating to us. And so I was always just like, come on, let's go do this on our own. We know the industry, the demand for our offering is through the roof. Let's stop making these other people rich that don't care about our clients or, or their employees. And so it took me a little while to get that sale done, but they eventually broke away and we, we came back together two years ago.

So, yeah.

[00:39:57] Tyler: that's great.

[00:39:59] Landon: Yeah, [00:40:00] that story, I could tell more about it. You know what I mean? Because it's like, and I think your audience would really, that, that probably is really, really resonates with them that you don't have to be like a sales sensei to do well. You just, if you truly care about what you're doing and who you're, you know, selling to, and you believe that will help them, then you're already 75 percent of the way there.

[00:40:24] Steve: Yeah. That, that part has been real inspiring to me today. So I'm glad you told those stories.

[00:40:32] Tyler: Yeah. I think this has been a really interesting conversation. Um, I've learned a ton personally. I'm, I have some action items to do, so, in my own business. So, uh, yeah, Landon, thank you so much. Oh, go ahead.

[00:40:48] Landon: maybe, maybe I could throw in one more story.

[00:40:50] Steve: No, go for it.

[00:40:52] Landon: I was at a bank, um, and I was having success in sales. And so this, this, this bank actually [00:41:00] got a lot of press for being overly sales aggressive.

Wells Fargo bank, if you haven't heard about them in the last 10 years, like they got a lot, you know, it was, it was out of hand, but what they, a couple of things that I learned from how long did I work there three or four years during college. Um, number one, they converted bank tellers to appointment setters, like salespeople.

Um, And so you had like old ladies, you know what I mean? That were just working part time and they were like, now I have a sales quota and I hate it, but they were good. Um, and you know what I mean? So it's like, you don't have to be that shiny tooth sales person to be good at it. So, but what these, so the tellers would set appointments for.

The bankers who would then say like, Oh, I saw that, you know, Sally here, your teller noticed that you don't have a savings account or a credit card with us. And we can put this in a bundle. It won't cost you a thing. And now, you know, you'll, you'll have a savings account and, uh, you can start saving, right?

[00:42:00] Okay. Yay. So the personal banker would close the deal and sell the savings account. And then Sally would get credit for the referral. Right. And so anyway, I was transferred to a different branch. Okay. Um, and. I kind of came in with a little bit of like a reputation of like guy is top of the charts in Utah for sales.

And here he comes. And like a couple of the tellers were like, Hey, I know that you've been like Mr. Sales guy at Wells Fargo, but this branch, we just, we don't sell like. We give really good customer service. Our customer service scores are through the roof, but like, I just want to temper your expectations that like, you're not going to be Mr.

Sales guy, unfortunately, now that you came to our branch. And so it was like, Oh, cool. Well, instantly I'm like, well, if we have that great of customer service scores, there's no way that we won't also get the sales because that means that we have the trust, we have the rapport with our audience that's coming [00:43:00] in.

And, and so all I needed to do was help the tellers to see that like. If you just ask, just do that, that one hard piece is just to ask for the appointment, then I will close the deal and we'll make it happen. And so we did, it was like March Madness. I think it was March. And I said like, I don't care what you have to do to get someone in my seat, whether it's like, Hey, I need you to update your driver's license.

You know, whatever, like any come up with any excuse for your customer at Wells Fargo to come get in my seat. If I sell them something, then great. You get credit. If I don't sell them something, then you advance in our March Madness Bracket and we were going to give away like, you know, an iPod or something, right?

That dates me. It's like 2008. Um, so anyway, we had this like March Madness Bracket and it's me versus the teller in every single game. And, we didn't end up finishing because what they saw was, oh my goodness, if I get someone in Landon's chair, He will sell [00:44:00] them something like he'll find it and make it good.

And the customer is going to be happy walking away. Like, yay, I just got a savings account. I didn't even know that that would be something that would benefit me. But now I can see that like having a savings account or using online bill pay, or why have I been living without a debit card all these years?

You know, like. And it, they, so then the tellers could see like, I'm just transferring enthusiasm. I'm helping them improve their financial, you know, system or whatever you want to call it. And, and they can do it. And so that branch truly went from like bottom feeder in sales while top in customer service, remained top in customer service and became a top selling branch.

Only because. People recognize like, all I got to do is open my mouth and, and offer it. And, that people will find the fit and it will be a benefit to them. Kind of a fun story. That, that hopefully that will inspire people too, that have customers that love them. Just, just make sure you keep asking.

[00:44:56] Tyler: Awesome. Well, Landon, thanks so much for coming on here [00:45:00] and, and sharing your experience, your expertise and especially the stories. Those were great.

[00:45:06] Landon: Yeah, they're fun. They say stories sell. So there's, there's your last little tidbit.

[00:45:11] Steve: Yeah, yep. There you go. Yeah. Thank you, Landon.

[00:45:15] Landon: All right. Thank you guys. Appreciate you having me on.

[00:45:18] Steve: that'll wrap it up for this episode. You can email us hello at not about money. com and we'll see you again on another episode of It's Not About The Money.

Selling without "commission breath," with Landon Pitcher
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