Ben Chaib, Founder of Sell and Succeed
Ben Chaib on Big Sales and Big Success
Ben Chaib is about as high-energy as it gets. This veteran of sales and marketing drops some serious growth bombs that will change the way you look at sales conversations.
After 25 years of grinding it out for someone else, Ben Chaib decided that enough was enough. During his career he generated massive revenues for his employers in the insurance industry and education sector and even spent six years as the Vice President of Admissions and Marketing at The Los Angeles Film School and The Los Angeles Recording School; yet there was something missing.
A pivotal moment came when he read an article about retired basketball great, Michael Jordan. The article reported that the former NBA star had earned $90 million off of the $1 billion Nike had sold that year in Air Jordan products. “I realized that I generated $1 billion in sales for the companies I worked for but I did not make $90 million; that’s when I said, ‘enough is enough.’”
Launching Sell and Succeed
As a marketing and sales guru, Chaib is a seasoned-professional; as an entrepreneur, he is a newbie. Sell and Succeed launched just ten months ago but is already achieving tremendous success. Inspired by mavericks like Gary Vaynerchuk and our own Nathan Chan, Chaib felt his “entrepreneurial tendencies” pushing against his chosen career path for many years. “I’ve done it for everybody else, we are great at doing it for other people but we are terrible at doing it for ourselves” Chaib says of his decision to strike out on his own.
Achieving Rapid Growth
When Sell and Succeed launched, Chaib looked to Facebook marketing to find clients. He learned how to target specific audiences and then created an avatar of his ideal client and focused all marketing efforts on that avatar.
His next step was to create a webinar, which was difficult for a guy who feeds off of interacting with people. But, the numbers don’t lie; Chaib’s inaugural webinar generated $100,000 in revenue for Sell and Succeed.
The webinar wasn’t a sales pitch, it was an offer to jump on a “strategy call.” The key to Chaib’s success here was the value provided during the call. He didn’t use it as an opportunity to launch into a sales pitch; instead, his only goal was that the person on the other end walk-away with an “aha moment.” He gave them real actionable value that they could use to achieve success in their business. Going in with a genuine gift made people want to work with him.
Chaib’s Words of Wisdom to Other Newbies
First and foremost, believe in your product. “You have to be convinced, through and through, that what you offer is going to help your client,” Chaib says. Working from this place requires asking a lot of questions and narrowing the gap between what your prospect has and what they want to achieve to the point that your offering fits perfectly into that space. If your product won’t meet their needs, that’s OK, too. Simply refer them to someone that can help – Chaib promises that this mindset generates more sales than clawing for every close.
To grow your business, double-down on your strengths; find out what you are great at and hire someone to do everything else. Chaib urges entrepreneurs to focus all of their efforts on their strengths and their investments on their weaknesses. In Sell and Succeed, this means that Chaib spends nearly all of his time on sales and generating teaching tools – all other aspects of the business are handled by someone else. “Make money on your strengths,” Chaib says “understand how to monetize your momentum…if I spend a lot of time prospecting and talking to people, I win; if I stop, I won’t.”
Selling Success with S8
Chaib provides his clients with a serious framework for sales success. Each step is actionable and the method can be applied to any sales process, product or offering. With his clients, Chaib uses the process to increase the value of the product offering, handle objections early and quantify the impact success will have on the prospect’s life or business.
Chaib works with both entrepreneurs and sales teams to change the way they approach the sales process; and in many cases, it comes down to mindset. When working with a sales team, Chaib focuses on behavior to build The 4 C’s: Commitment, Congruency, Confidence and Communication. He does this by reverse engineering from the root: mindset, to the achieving the goal: success.
Chaib uses his understanding of the sales team member’s beliefs to help them create better versions of themselves. He focuses on inner communication, how each individual takes personal responsibility for results, to get the team to the point that they are outperforming their best numbers using the same tools but operating from a new mindset.
In fact, Chaib recently used this method to increase the average number of transactions per a week from 18 to 34 at SaaS business that provides artificial intelligence software. The increase in weekly transactions translates into an annual revenue increase of $17 million for his client.
Chaib’s success is founded on quantifying value: “In almost every situation I can see how you can create monetary value in your offer” Chaib says. He monetizes the product both in the brain of the prospect and in their life. He encourages others to be great a listening and at asking questions to determine the root issues and address each of those issues so that the prospect is enabled to make the right decision for their business. Using this approach, Chaib rarely has to ask for business; instead, he does such a great job of listening and engaging that the prospect sells themselves and becomes convinced that they want to do business with Chaib. Pretty powerful stuff!
One of the greatest misconceptions you’ll encounter in the startup world is the one about age. You’ll hear would-be entrepreneurs constantly telling themselves that they’re too young, or that they’re too old, or that they’re just waiting for that right moment to finally become an entrepreneur.
There is no perfect moment waiting around the corner for you, because the perfect moment only comes to those who actually go out there and create it.
Ben Chaib, founder of Sell and Succeed, is the perfect example of that. After working in the corporate world for 25 years, he decided that enough was enough. He had the skills and ability to generate millions in revenue, but he wasn’t getting the return that we wanted. So he set out and created his own business, and today he’s consulting hundreds of other aspiring entrepreneurs on how to market for success.
“We are great at doing things for others, but we are not great at doing it for ourselves. But we deserve it more than others,” he says.
While relatively new to entrepreneurship, Ben is no slouch when it comes to knowing how to make a business work.
In our interview with Ben, we get invaluable insight from one of the top business coaches in the world as he breaks down his sales process and shows us what it means to be a great marketer.
- Ben’s 8-step process of marketing and making sales
- The advantages of having a business coach and good mentors to help you start your own business
- Tips on how to make a sales process that is authentically you
- How to find clients and target audiences through Facebook marketing
- Why you need to get your customers to connect and feel comfortable talking about their business with you
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Ben Chaib
Nathan: Hey, guys. Welcome to another episode of the “Foundr” podcast. My name’s Nathan Chan. I’m coming to you from my hometown, Melbourne, Australia, repping. Okay, I just had to mix of the intro. About today’s guest, wowzers. This is probably one of the most dangerous podcast episodes that we are going to release. I just know that if you use this stuff, it can be absolutely game-changing and explode your business. One of my favorite quotes from Mark Cuban is, “Sales cures all,” and this couldn’t be more true. Now, I’m just going to leave you with that.
Ben Chaib’s an absolute sales weapon, this is an extremely dangerous episode. If you are enjoying these interviews, please do take the time to leave us a review. That would help more than you can imagine. And now, let’s jump into the show.
Nathan: The first question I ask everyone that comes on is, how’d you get your job, Ben?
Ben: You know, for the last 25 years, have been in a position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing. And I decided…I started…I guess you’d say I started in the sales business when I went into insurance, about 25 years ago and transitioned from that industry to multiple different industries. I went into design works and just always been in the–I guess–selling business, right, just really helping people grow and try to get products out to market. Then, I went into the education space and really launched my career.
But what I was really excited about and…is, see–and that I’ve noticed–a lot of entrepreneurs were struggling with their performance in sales and generating revenue. And then, I think for me, Nathan, is: there was an article written when I noticed that they were talking about Jordans. To me, this was a pivotal moment last year. Read this article and they were talking about how Jordans had $1 billion in sale and how Michael made $90 million. So I went back throughout my career as a VP of marketing and sales and noticed that I generated $1 billion of revenue for the companies I worked for, but I didn’t make $90 million.
And that’s when I said, “Enough’s enough,” and I went out and launched my company, Sell and Succeed, to really focus on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses and medium-sized businesses generate more revenue. And by doing so, it really has taken off for us and it’s been an exciting ride over this last year and we’ve really done well.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. Okay, that’s interesting. So in terms of as an entrepreneur, then, you could say you’re kind of new to running your own business, or you’ve run other businesses? I’m really curious, because you seem quite senior, man and you’re crushing it, dude. And you know a lot about sales, you’ve taught me a lot, so I’m really curious. Yeah, if you…
Ben: Yeah, it’s not…I would say Gary Vaynerchuk talks about entrepreneurial tendencies, right? And I’ve always had the entrepreneurial tendency for most of my career, but never just went out and launched something for myself. And then, last year was a time where I just hired a coach–a business coach–spent a lot of time really contemplating it and I just said, “I need to go for it.” I’m not getting any younger, I
have six kids, seventh on the way. And I just said, “I’ve got to do it. If I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it.” So I just went after it. I’ve been inspired through people like yourself, Gary Vaynerchuk and many others that really just pushed me over that edge.
Nathan: That’s amazing, man, because you know, sometimes, people reach out to us, whether it’s through our support or just to me personally or someone on our team. And a common thread that comes through–even when I just speak to people–is, people say, “It’s too late for me. I’m 40 years old,” “I’m 30 years old,” “…50 years old,” and, “I have kids, family,” “I don’t have time, I’ve got a day job and I’m locked in.” What do you have to say to people that are on the fence right now that don’t have time? Someone with seven kids. That’s a lot of kids, man.
Ben: Yeah, seven kids. I own a consulting firm and so does my wife…owns a consulting firm, you know? Well, she’s going to be my wife, actually. You know, the love of my life here. But she’s…we both are in consulting, independent and just decided to go for it. She left a big COO job for a makeup company to launch her consulting firm. So we just said, just, “Enough’s enough.” And I would say, “You know what? Yeah, it’s scary. It’s absolutely scary, it’s nerve-racking.”
But what I hold true to is, the numbers don’t lie. And I’ve always been consistent in my life in sales, about the numbers and understand the value and how to monetize your momentum. But that’s the only thing that keeps me sane: if I’m out there, prospecting, talking to enough people, that I’ll win. If I stop, I won’t. But I’ve done it for everybody else. And I mean, that’s what I’ve learned. I think that’s the hardest thing: is, we are great for doing things for others, but we’re not great at doing it for ourselves. But we deserve it more than others and I just had to take that ownership and go for it.
Nathan: Yeah, I see. So I’m curious. This might be an interesting discovery session, but you’re very, very good at sales, Ben. So when you started out, what is…? Can you work us through the process of how you’ve built up your business? Because I know you’re doing some amazing things not only for your clients, but your own business and you’re a sales master. And that’s why I really, really wanted you to come on and share with our audience the sales process and how you take some…like, a prospect or even find a prospect and take them into…make them a paid customer, a personal paid customer. So can you take us through how you’ve built that business up in the past year?
Ben: Sure, absolutely.
Nathan: And then, also your process, your sales process.
Ben: Absolutely. Well, first off, what I did focus on is what I was great at. And then, I found ways to generate revenue in the things I’m great at, which is sales and teaching sales. But then, I took all of the things that I’m not great at, which is marketing, building, you’ve referred some great people to me on the technology side. But anything that I’m not great at I didn’t spend any time on. I just doubled down on my strengths. And so, I really focused on what I’m strong at.
So if someone’s strong at marketing, but they’re not strong at designing things, I’d say hire someone to design and go market your products, right? If you’re strong at sales, but you’re not strong at the back end of your CRM, go hire someone to do the CRM and focus on talking to prospective clients. So that’s what I did. And you know, my partner, she’s strong at consumer analysis and trend analysis and that’s what she focused on and she didn’t focus on anything else, right?
So I think you have to focus on what you’re strong at that’s going to generate your money and then, you have to start investing in the areas that you’re not strong. And I think that’s key. And a lot of people get scared and say, “Hey, it’s like the chicken or the egg,” right…
Ben: …”the cart and the horse. What’s first?” If you focus on your strengths, you can make money on your strengths, you can make money on your strengths. And so, but I’ve always taught people is, the sales process…which I’ll talk about this right now…is, you’ve got to make a sales process natural and you and authentically you. You have to understand that you’re taking your potential client through a journey through your conversation. And when you’re leading them through this journey, it’s important to understand that it requires a lot of listening and asking questions.
And a lot of times, Nathan, people go so fast in giving their pitch that they don’t know enough about their plan to even know if what they offer is right for their client. And that’s what I really focus on, is really teaching others how to find us. So would you like me to get into that sales process?
Nathan: Yeah, I would. But before we get into that, how did you find clients for your new business, man?
Ben: Well, how I found clients for the new business is, I went to Facebook and started doing…learning some things, investing into understanding a little bit about Facebook marketing and how to target audiences on Facebook. And once I did that, I actually found a person that I hired to take care of my Facebook marketing. And it doesn’t cost a lot of money. I mean, I spent less than $500 a month on a great Facebook marketer.
Nathan: Yeah, wow.
Ben: I just…I expect high amounts of work from people and I was able to find a very skilled person at that price range. But I learned more about Facebook marketing first, how to target an audience. And then, I just stayed in…I think first, I created my avatar–who my ideal client was–and then, we focused marketing only to that ideal client, not everyone in the world. And I just started getting customers from that. I did a webinar. And honestly, Nathan, webinars was my biggest weakness, because I like interacting with people. And my first webinar that I did generated over $100,000 in revenue.
Nathan: Yeah, wow.
Ben: And I was scared to death. I did not know how to do a webinar.
Nathan: That’s crazy. That was a pretty good first webinar, Ben.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. It’s…I did…what I did is, I wasn’t selling a product in my webinar, I was selling to get on a…what I call a strategy call. And my whole mission during my strategy calls was to offer a lot of value to the potential client and then, only work with the ones that it’s a good fit. And I didn’t go into these strategy calls–which a lot of people do–to make them sales calls. I went into it to make sure I offered a lot of value and the person walked away with an “aha” moment, that they had real value they can go to use in their business to start having success.
But what was interesting is, after my strategy calls, a majority of the people started asking, “How can I work with you?” Because I really went in there with a genuine gift and then, they wanted to work with me.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s interesting you say that, because a lot of times…and I’ve gone through this phase. And now, I’m not too bad. I’m quite comfortable with selling and…because I believe in what we do at Foundr. But I think when you first start to…you know, when you’re first getting into this whole sales stuff…is, you feel like a scammer, you feel…it’s scary to sell, you feel guilty. What advice do you have to people that are just getting started, or they’re starting their business and they need to go out and get sales? Because I get something that…I love what Mark Cuban says. He’s like, “Sales cures all.” And it really does.
If your business is struggling, you need to get out there and hustle and start selling. But how do you bridge that gap between…inside of you, not wanting to be this kind of person that’s really sales-y, you don’t want to be one of those slimy, sales-y, kind of car salesman kind of guys? What advice do you have for people, to show people a way to not be afraid of selling?
Ben: Well, I think first, you need to have a lot of conviction in what you have to offer. You have to be convinced to run through that what you have–whether it’s a product or service that you have to offer–that it’s going to help your client. And that without a doubt, that it’s…they’re going to lose out if they don’t hire you or do business with you, because what you have to offer when you ask all the right questions… Again, this is not about pitching, this is making sure that you uncover the needs of your client and you find out that what you have to offer fits that need and narrows that gap that they have.
Only then, when you’re thoroughly convinced, it’s really not selling. It’s about asking your clients to write questions to uncover if there’s truly a need or a gap in their life–where they are compared to where they want to be–and that you can fulfill that gap. If you cannot fulfill that gap, it’s okay to let them know you can’t and refer them to someone that can. And what I have found is when you have that kind of mind-set, you generate more sales.
Nathan: That’s really interesting. So dude, take me through this sales process, this framework that you have. You showed me this diagram last month. It was killer, I loved it. And you started taking me through it and I was like, “Dude, let’s save this for the podcast. We’ll…
Ben: All right.
Nathan: “…we’ll put it in the show notes.” Take me through it. And can we use…can people use this framework for not only just getting on the phone, but also if they wanted to do webinars to sell their SAS…a SAS product, or anything at all?
Nathan: A sales presentation, whatever, in person, on the phone, webinar: you can…this applies to all, right?
Ben: This applies to all. The difference is how you would go about…if you’re not talking to something you’re doing on a webinar, you need to answer the questions in the webinar, right?
Ben: But the framework itself answers to all. And I think what’s key in the framework is to know that it’s an eight-step–it’s called the S8 process–and I’ll walk you through each step in the process, okay? But like I said before, it’s taking the customer through a journey. And also, Nathan, I’ll send you something that you can use that anyone can download, to walk them through the process. So after they listen to your podcast, if they want to run with it and go on it on their own, they can do something and they can start generating revenue from it.
Ben: Because I just know if they learn how to do this, they’ll make more money.
Nathan: That’s what it’s all about, man, you know…
Nathan: …get more customers, growing your business.
Ben: Absolutely. So you know, what’s important is: one, you have to be great at listening and great at asking questions, because your clients’ needs and issues, they vary so much. And what our job is to do, is to determine the root issue and address it appropriately for each client, so they can make a decision for himself or herself, “Is this a good fit?” So what I’m going to do is take you through the process. There’s a lot of open probes which I’ll talk about throughout the process. And open probes are basically, how to get your customer to engage, how to get them to speak more. And I’ll share what those are throughout this process.
So the first step in the process is called “share.” “Share” is about listening to stories and building rapport, because when you’re first talking to a client, Nathan, it’s about connecting with them. It’s about building trust, making a friend, showing an interest, making them laugh, finding a common ground. And how you do that, it’s really getting them to open up, so they speak more freely and they can build a connection. It’s asking them, telling them about what you…what they currently do, asking them, “You know, tell me about what you currently do. What else should I know about what you currently do?”
And when you get one-word answers is when you go in, “Hey, do you mind elaborating a little bit more on this? Can you share more with me about what you currently do?” It’s getting them to open up. What happens is, we’ve got to get our customers to feel comfortable with talking with us. And a lot of times, what we do is, we go in there pitching. And our goal in the sales process is to really…when you have your offer…is to determine the person you’re talking to, if they qualify to see your offer, because not everyone does, because you can’t help everyone. That’s the reason why there’s so many different offers out there, right?
Ben: So it’s getting them to open up, share…
Nathan: To establish rapport.
Ben: …establish rapport, listen to their stories, build up rapport. And when you get short-worded answers, it’s getting them to elaborate, “Tell me more about that.” That open probe, getting them to speak up a little bit more. The second step in the process, Nathan, is suitability. Suitability is about confirming a basic need and seeing if that client qualifies for your offering. You know what your offering is. This is not the time to share your offering with your client. This is the time to understand their needs and to see if they qualify for your offering.
So it’s making sure there’s a good fit between your product and your customer’s needs, understanding their needs and what they’re trying to accomplish. Asking basic questions like, “What is your current challenge and what goals are you trying to reach? How long have you been trying to reach this goal,” or, “How long have you been trying to find a solution to fix the challenge you’re going through?” Understanding what avenues they’ve already explored.
It’s these kinds of questions that really start to give you the ammunition to see if it’s going to be a good fit. And I recommend when you’re asking these type of questions, you take a lot of notes, because you really want to understand your client’s needs. Asking them what do they think they would be using the solution for, using the developmental probes. When you get one-word answers, Nathan…this is where it’s key. Every time you get a one-word answer, it’s about, “Can you share a little bit more with me? Would you mind elaborating a little bit? Tell me more about that.”
You want to get them to open up. You want them to share more, because what’s interesting is, the more you get your customer to share about their problem, the more they’re selling themselves and they need a solution. That’s key. So if you think about it, when you’re talking to someone about Instagram and what’s their challenges of getting out there and where they looking to using it, what happens is, if you just be quiet and let them speak, they start selling themselves, why they want and need a solution. It’s amazing.
Nathan: Is that called future pacing?
Ben: Yeah, I guess that’s the technical term for it and it’s future pacing. But to me, what I found interesting is, I rarely have to ask a client if they want to do business with me. They usually tell me…by the time I get to the eight steps, they’re usually asking me, how can they get started with me, because I take such an interest in that client that it makes me…And that’s what I train everyone on, too. And that’s what happens: is, one client that I’m working with right now, it’s an $8-million company. We’re already pacing to $25 million and we just started working together just two months ago.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. All right, let’s…I really want to delve in on the work that you’re doing with one of your clients, because I think that would be really interesting. But let’s keep going for this process…
Nathan: …because we’re not finished yet.
Ben: So the second step was “suitability.” The third step is called “significance.” Significance is where you really uncover the problem and discuss the implications of inaction. This is where you start to understand their motivation and what it’s costing them for not finding a solution. See, price is only an issue, Nathan, in the absence of value and between these next two steps is where all the value is built in your conversation. It’s having them recognize how important it is in their life and the pain of doing nothing. How important it is to find that solution and the pain of doing nothing. Help them realize where they are and if they don’t make a change, what are the consequences of that inaction.
So some of the questions I usually ask people is, “What’s motivating you to pursue this solution? Why is it important to you? What will change if you move forward?” See, this is what’s interesting. When you ask a person, “What will change if you find this solution? If a solution existed that was able to generate more leads for you, what would that do for your business,” this is where your customer starts to build value. They might tell you, “Well, it’ll bring me more customers.” “Okay, how many more customers are you thinking? If you had a solution right now that would bring you…”
Like, if I was in marketing and I generated a lead–so I was a Facebook marketer–and I said, “If there was a solution that existed that would allow you to get more leads through Facebook, what do you think it would do for your business?” This is where your customer will start building value in a solution. And then, if they say, “Well, it’ll bring me more customers,” “Well, great. How much is that customer worth to you?” Then, they’re going to give you a dollar amount. “Okay, so how many more customers do you think it will bring you if you had this solution?”
Get very specific of what it’s going to do to their business, once they have their solution. And the more specific you can get and narrow it down to a dollar amount, this is the true value of your offering.
Nathan: I love that, because then, it becomes a no-brainer.
Ben: It does, because usually, what happens is, they give you a value. Like, one person might say, “Oh, each one of my customers is worth $1000. If I had this solution on Facebook, I’d bring in 10 more customers a month.” Well, that’s $10,000. And if I am a Facebook marketer and I only charge $2000 a month, well, it’s free to hire me, because a person’s going to make $8000 dollars profit on that investment. They know that in their head. As long as you get them to verbalize it, it’s true. If you start verbalizing it and you tell them the value of it, that’s suspect. So you’ve got to get your customer to verbalize it.
Nathan: Gotcha, gotcha. Because if you say it, then that means they’re being sold to. And people don’t like to be sold to, right?
Ben: No, they don’t. They like to be sold on their own ideas, but they don’t like to be sold to. So they’re happy to sell themselves. They would love to convince…they love convincing themselves why they want something and why they need something, but they don’t want to be convinced by anyone else. Because every time we purchase something, don’t we justify it?
Ben: We always do, regardless of the purchase. Regardless of if you’re buying shoes, a watch, a car, a toy, it really…a widget…it really doesn’t matter, you always justify it. So the greatest salespeople really get that person to sell themselves on the idea of the reasons why they need this solution, this widget, this gadget, whatever it is. So I think it’s significance is also to understand what’s get them from pursuing this before–pursuing the solution–because you need to understand where have been the hurdles in their life. And you need to know what’s kept them from moving forward, because if that thing still exists, you have to overcome it.
But then, they’ll let you know what has kept them. And then, I’ll say, “What happens if you do nothing?” You know, what happens if you do nothing? That answer that that person gives you scares them. If they say, “Well, I won’t be able to accomplish my goals,” then you have to follow with, “How does that make you feel?” Because you’ve got to remember, Nathan, people make decisions–buying decisions–because of their emotional decisions, right? So you’re trying to get movement, motion. And I said you cannot get any customer to move towards a direction until you put an “E” in front of that word, “motion,” which is…?
Ben: Emotion. If you don’t have your customer emotionally engaged–understanding how they feel, what are they thinking–they will not move forward. Or if they do, they have buyer’s remorse. Now you notice, we’ve went through “share,” “suitability” and “significance” and I still haven’t shared what I do.
Ben: So that’s the importance of these steps. So the next step after “significance” is “stretch.” It’s helping them imagine the possibilities, getting them to think big, imagine the future with this solution, creating vision, the value of making change, move them forward towards their goals. So this is where you can say, “Well, what would your life look like, once you learn X or have Y?” Or just help them build the vision and you’ve got to make it visceral. You’ve got to get them to give you the details.
And they’re…you know, great. If they say, “I’d make an extra $10,000 more a month if I’d learned this,” or “I had this,” or if they say, “It would really improve my business,” or, “It would improve my team’s performance,” you’ve got to say, “Okay, great.” And then, once you get that dollar value, it’s not enough to know what it’s going to be per month. You need to know what they’re going to use it for, because it’s not the money, it’s the use. What does that allow them to do? Now, you’re making it real for them, because now, they’re putting…they’ve already started spending the money in their head.
They’re saying, “Well, I’ll be able to reinvest in my business,” or, “I’ll be able to hire a person or give a person the reins.” Then, you’re able to get deeper in it to…and ask them questions like, “Tell me, how does that make you feel? Why is that important to you?” You get them to really buy into this idea that the solution has provided this value in their life. You know, it’s asking questions like, “What opportunities will open up for you once you’ve mastered this skill, or you’ve…Your team has mastered the ability to do X?”
Whatever it is that you’re selling, you’ll go, “What opportunities would open up? How do you believe your life or your career would be different once you complete X,” or, “…once that solution is involved in your life or in your business?” You know, “Once you find that right solution, how will this improve your income?” Per month, per year, it really doesn’t matter, because what you need to do is, once you really understand this and they’ve put a dollar amount to it, you can ask them what they’re going to do with it. But what’s important is not take it to the month.
Take that monthly, make it a year and ask the question, “So you plan on being in business for the next five years, 10 years, 20 years? How long do you plan on being in business?” They’re always going to give you a time that’s longer than five years, usually, right?
Ben: So if they say, “Ten years,” the value of your product or your offering or your service is basically that monthly amount times 12 times 10 years.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. This is killer, man.
Ben: So that becomes…now, you can start to see…I talk to a lot of coaches. I have a lot of coaches and clients that…as clients of mine. And this is where I learned that coaches undervalue what they do for people. And I show them, “You understand that you’re making a difference, right?” I deal with people that do marketing, right, and they do Facebook marketing. And I really try to show them how they can build so much value in their offering, or people that do team excursions to get team performance.
Getting people to see the value in what you offer, if that solution existed, I always say, “So if there were a solution that would allow you to do X, what would that mean to you in your business?” Because you’ve identified their problem. Now, you’re saying, “If there’s…a solution exists…” You’ll notice I always say, “If there’s a solution…” I didn’t say, “Well, I have the solution that can fix that.” No. I said, “If a solution exists that will allow you to go from X to Y, what would that mean to you?”
What happens is, they start selling themselves on why they need that solution. They’re selling themselves this whole time on why a solution will really change their life, but it’s still not time to pitch. You go from “stretch” now. So we’ve covered “share,” “suitability,” “significance,” then we hit “stretch.” Now, we go to “select.” Select is where you’d learn their options and why they want you. This is where you get them to verbalize that they’ve looked at other options, but they see you as the only option now.
This is where you get them to sell themselves on working with you. This is, “How long have you been thinking about finding a solution? What did you like about the people you were working with before? Who else did you look at and what didn’t you like?” This is where you start building the ammunition, so when you give them your solution, you have all the things that are important to them and none of the things that aren’t. “You know, “What’s kept you from pursuing this,” or, “kept you from completing this…finding the right solution before now?”
And then, it’s okay to tell them, “Look, you can get these type of services other places. Why are you interested in working with me?” I ask that a lot. And what happens is, they start selling, “Well, you’ve really listened to me, Ben,” or…
Nathan: This is crazy, man. I’m laughing because this is so powerful. Just please, keep going. This is crazy.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, because once they…what happens by asking them, “Why are you considering working with me,” they sell themselves on it. I don’t have to sell them. I don’t have to tell them why I am, they’re going to start telling you why you’re so great for them. You’ve listened to them, “Well, I’ve looked at your website,” or, “I’ve heard a lot about you.” They start selling themselves. Then, they start identifying the things in other places that did not suit their needs. You’ve got to say, “Tell me more about that. How did that make you feel?” You really need to uncover these things.
It was…it’s so amazing. Sometimes, I spend so much time in “select” that the person I’m talking to says, “Okay, just tell me, what do I got to do to work with you?” Because I’m getting them to verbalize all the things they did not like with the other person they were working with. I’m not talking negative about the other person or service. I’m just getting them to identify why it didn’t work out for them, because if they verbalize why it didn’t work out, they’re more thinking, “Man, the person I’m talking to right now will work out for me.”
So after I get through “select,” I go to “spend.” Now, “spend” is not a place where you’re trying to say, “This is how much it costs.” “Spend” is identifying the financial resources and their willingness to invest.
Nathan: What does that mean?
Ben: All right, so if you look at that, it’s assigning a value to your program before you even ask for the investment at the end. So as an example, if I talk to a person and they said, “Well, you know what? If I had a solution that would really improvement sales skills…” because that’s what I do, right? They said, “If I had that solution, I’d increase my revenue $10,000 a month,” all right? And I say, “Okay, so how much is that a year?” I make them do the math, I never do the math for them. I literally say, “Go get your calculator.” And I wait, because if I’m not there physically, I’m on the phone, I have them do the math…
Nathan: Do they do this on the webinar, too?
Ben: On the webinar, too? What I would do is, I’ll ask the questions like…you know? And then, I’ll take the average of all the totals that people are giving me and just say, “Hey, can we all settle at this number?” And they said, “Yes, of course.” But what I’m trying to get them to do is create a value. And if I can take it from $10,000 a month to $120,000 a year, I ask…I say, “You know what, Nathan, I’ve got a funny math question for you. If I were standing in front of you right now with $120,000 cash, would you give me $30,000 for me to give me $120,000?”
Nathan: Of course.
Ben: Of course. So what did I just find out? Their willingness to invest. Now, because I already got them in the headspace that they need to invest to get…because they just talked about a solution given, now they’re thinking in their mind–it’s already seeded–“This can be $30,000.” But then, I ask them another funny question. I say, “Okay, you know what? Let’s say you only had two hours to come up with the $30,000. How would you do it? This is where people start telling me, “I’d put down a line of credit,” “I’d write a check for it,” “Take savings,” or, “Take a loan out,” “Put it on my credit card. You start finding resources they have.
Sometimes, I have a client that says, “Well, you know what? I just can’t do it.” So I’d say, “You’d let $120,000 walk out the door, because you just couldn’t figure it out?” And they go, “No, no, no, no. I’d figure it out and this is how I’d figure it out.” It doesn’t matter what they say, I just want them to think. I want them to communicate to me what they could do. Now, my offering, I always use a ridiculous amount, usually double or triple what my offering is.
Nathan: Yes, why?
Ben: Why? Because what I want to do is, when I give an offer, they already were seeded that the offer could be more. But I come in at $20,000 and I just use a $50,000 example or $30,000 example, they thought they got a discount. And it makes…there’s less apprehension to invest and get started now. And what this also does for you, as you’re learning and you’re building your business, it starts giving you what your true value is. So for me as an example, when I first started, working with me was $3000. Then working with me just started increasing to $5000, $6000, $7000, $10,000, $20,000. And it just continued to increase, because I started seeing the value I was bringing to people.
Nathan: So it helps raise your confidence?
Ben: It does. It helps bring you a lot of confidence, because once you see…when you start taking a person that was only doing $10,000 a month and you get them to $158,000 a month in revenue, it’s a big difference.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. This is really amazing, Ben. And what I’m curious about is, how can you apply this to if you were selling software on the recurring? Like, let’s say–as an example–like, a Dropbox. Let’s say it’s something like nine dollars a month or $200 a year. What about software and some other different things, not just so much personal coaching or one-to-one type kind of stuff when you’re working with people? I think people might be curious around that, too.
Ben: All right, so let me give you an idea. I have a…one of my clients has a SAS product. It’s artificial intelligence, all right?
Ben: And when I work with that client, what they were charging per month was around $1200 a month for their product, okay? And they were getting clients at that much. And I showed them…and I went in there as an example and I took the same offer that they had and brought it to $8000 a month.
Ben: And they were like, “How in the world did you do that?” And I said, “Because I’m asking the clients–the people that you’re having me talk to–if a solution existed that did X, what would it mean to their business? They’re giving me dollar amounts that are $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 $50,000 a month. So investing $8000 to get to $50,000 is a no-brainer for them.” So you’ve got to make sure, if you have a SAS product, that you’ve got to be able to ask the questions in a way that your customer sees that if a solution existed that’s a SAS product that would make their life more convenient or more profitable, you’ve got to find out how much more profitable.
Nathan: Gotcha. And what if you’re a local brick-and-mortar business who was selling a physical product?
Ben: Okay. Well, it depends on what your physical product is, right? So the whole goal is to find out with whatever you’re doing, what value it adds to your customer. That’s the key. So if you’re selling an automobile, how…you’ve got to figure out how it creates value in their life, whether it’s their ego, prestige, mileage, whatever it is. If you’re selling a widget, how does that widget bring value in their life? What does it mean to that person? You’ve got to understand…I can usually, almost in every situation…that’s the reason I do this strategy calls.
In almost every situation, when I learned about someone’s business, I can see how you can create a monetary value in your offer, meaning that your customer sees values into it. So that’s the key: is, you’ve got to find out how it helps your customer. So let me give you an example, one that I deal with a lot that people didn’t understand how to create value into it. Fitness, right? You know fitness coaching?
Ben: Okay. So fitness coaching–people trying to get in shape–people are like, well, it’s getting them healthier. No. What does being in great shape do for a person? Besides being healthier, what else does it give a person?
Nathan: More energy.
Ben: More energy. What else does it give a person? If you are in the best shape of your life–you’re thin, your clothes fit good–how do you feel?
Nathan: You feel great. You live longer, too. You would…
Ben: You live longer, you would feel great…
Nathan: You would assume you would live longer.
Ben: Do you feel more confident?
Ben: Okay, if you feel more confident, could you…what would that do for your business? How many more presentations would you go on? How many more people would you talk to? How many more videos would you be in front of? Whatever it is, right?
Ben: You start to do that. Then what happens is, they start to monetize that because it gets their creative juices saying, “Oh, if I was in front of more people–or I was on the stage more or I was talking to more people–I’d get more money. I’d get a raise. If I was more confidence, I’d probably ask for a raise. I can do more, I can sell more, I can be more.” Now, you know what? Fitness has now generated more income for that person, not just made them healthier.
Nathan: I see.
Ben: And now, that creates…that created monetary value for that person, now guess what it’s done. Now, it’s saying a $1000 investment in the fitness coach makes sense. I mean, why do you think Gary Vaynerchuk has done that? He’s hired a person because it helps him in his life and in his business. He’s quantified it, right? And I think that’s a lot for all of us: is, in…it’s a lot for any one of your clients. If you can help quantify what a solution would do for them and how they can monetize that–in their own brain, in their own life–of what it would mean to them, that becomes a real value of what you have to offer. And that’s how you can start raising the prices.
Nathan: I see. Awesome. Well, look, we’ve still got one more step, right?
Ben: Yeah. Well, we’ve got two, because…
Nathan: Oh, sorry.
Ben: …we have “start…” It’s okay. So we went through “spend,” then, we have “start.” “Start” is about confirming the intent and clarifying timing of success. “Start” is not about when they want to start the program, “start” is when they see the outcome. The easiest way I can say this is, no one wants to start a diet, but everyone wants to be in shape, okay? So starting is about getting them to commit to moving forward, focusing on when they want their desired outcome, their desired success.
And then, you start to reverse-engineer when they should get starting with this solution, because if they want their desired success tomorrow, they’re already late. They know that. But if you tell them when they want …if you start asking questions–when they want to start a new program or when they want to start with a new business or start buying a new widget–it’s never. But when you ask when they want to start seeing the outcome–that solution, the result–it’s always “today,” “yesterday.” And then, that: what it does to that…your customer starts to realize it’s costing them money not to move forward now. And it…
Nathan: Is that an urgency…sense of urgency?
Ben: Yeah, it creates a sense of urgency without you having to use scarcity as the model. You can use when they want the outcome and what they’re going to lose out on, because if they just told you that whatever a solution is means money to them per month, every month they go out without having that solution, it costs them money. That’s the other thing. Every day, because I’d reduced that dollar amount that they said it would make them to a daily amount. And every day they don’t make a decision, that’s what they’re losing out on.
Nathan: That’s very powerful.
Ben: And then, the last step is called “solution,” which is selling and closing the deal. This is where you take all the information you gathered in the seven steps above and you just…you repeat back. You say, “Nathan, so let me just make sure I understood this correctly. You said, here is what your problem was, this is why and this is how long you’ve been looking at it and this is what it would do for you if you found it, this is what it would mean for you monetarily. Am I right? Am I missing anything?” And you keep on going down, using their words. “Yes, yes, yes.”
And at the end, you go, “Okay, so did I catch everything?” They go, “Yes,” and say…then I go, “Nathan, do I have your permission to share with you what I do?” This is where the wall goes down. They’re like, “Of course.” Then, I take everything they said and I’d show them how my solution fills in the gap and answers all of their concerns, based on their words. And what happens is, during this time, I really slow my speech down, my pattern down, my tonality changes.
And I really spend some time and I said, “Okay, so this is what you said your problem was and this is how I can help you. Let me tell you what we would do here versus what you did before.” And what happens is, by me using my tone and I slow down this way, it gets that person a little antsy. And I do that on purpose, because I want them to start to finish my sentence and just say, “So what do we need to do to move forward,” or, “How do we move forward,” or, “What does it take to move forward? What are the next steps?” You get your customer to that point before you even ask, you’re in.
And then, of course, the cardinal truth is, depending on the type of business you’re in, sometimes it requires a proposal, sometimes you can do it all at one step, right? But if it requires a proposal that you’re going to give a person, I always recommend you document everything that you’d talked about, you send it to them in writing. Just say, “I want to make sure that we’re aligned and this is what you need,” they say, “Yes,” then you get back on the phone with them to talk about price. But when you give them price, you give them price and you’re quiet.
Ben: Quiet. If I tell someone how much it cost to work with me, I immediately be quiet. I just tell them the dollar amounts and then, I shut up, because I’ve already handled everything and we’ve already talked about everything and we always talked about how I can help them. But once I give them the price it would take to work with me, I shut up. It’s very interesting, because this time, when you be quiet…and we’ve all heard this rule, but it’s so true. When you’re quiet after you give the price and you don’t say another word, you’re giving your customer the time to think about how to make it happen.
As soon as you say, “And but we have payment options,” or, “We can do this,” you’ve lost your customer. The first person that speaks loses. And I don’t mean that in a competitive way, it’s just a figure of speech. If you speak first, you’ll lose the sale. If you let them speak first, they lose the ability to not move forward. They’re going to move forward.
Nathan: So how do…would you do that? bring it back to one-to-many, because I like to do these interviews as well, to help benefit me. I can be selfish sometimes. So…
Ben: Yeah. No, I understand.
Nathan: …we do webinars to sell our courses or Founders Club or any of our products–educational products. How’s that work? Like…
Ben: Well, this is what I would do. First of all, you have to handle all the objection that come up ahead of time, right? So when you’re doing one-to-many and you’re doing all of it and when you’re talking about the value–I think you and I talked about this at one time–I said, “Well, if you had a solution, then it was creating your followers, right? And you ask people, “If you generated 10 more followers and you had a product offering that you give to your followers, how much do you think you would make?” They start giving you dollar amounts, right?
Ben: And then, what you do is, you’d settle down on one dollar amount and you’d say, “Okay. So based on 50 responses, our average dollar amount is $5000 a month.” So if you sit there and say, “If you had $5000 a month, would you be in business one month”–two months, 10 years, whatever–you could start getting people to give you time, now you can quantify the value. If they said a year, at $60,000. If they say 10 years, $600,000, right? Now,everyone in the group is starting to say, “Wow, this is big. Maybe I was going too low,” or, “maybe I was going too high.” And they’d just start to realize how valuable your offer is.
So every day they don’t make a decision–because I built it all up front, “Every day you don’t move forward, this is what it’s costing. You guys have all said…we’ve all agreed that $5000 a month would be the return if this solution existed. That’s what everyone on this call said,” right, because you’d have your feedback on your webinar. “So if you’ve already said that and we know that’s that dollar amount, every month that you don’t move forward, it costs you $5000.”
If you take it and you reduce it to every day, right–and you just take the $5000 and divide it by 30–whatever that dollar amount is, “Every day you don’t make a decision, it costs you X. The great news is, our product is only X dollars,” which is usually less than what they’re investing in. “So every day you don’t make a decision, it costs you more money than to invest in a product today.”
Nathan: Gotcha. And what about the silence part? What do you do…
Ben: Well, after that…
Nathan: …with the silence?
Ben: …but…silence, it’s…I wouldn’t justify…I guess where it’s different in the webinar is, “This is what it costs to get involved, get started now. This is how you do it. Get started now and here is the cost.” And then, you go into Q&A, if you’d like and let them go into Q&A, right?
Ben: But I don’t believe in really…I think you handle the objections up front before you give the price. Then, once you give the price, that’s where it is. You don’t need to justify the price after that.
Nathan: Gotcha. So within your system–the eight steps–which part do we handle the objections?
Ben: Well, that’s where you get in…you would handle the objections in “significance” and “stretch.” So “significance” is cost of inaction, right?
Nathan: Yes, yes.
Ben:”Stretch” is get them to see the value of it. Then, you go into “spend,” which is investing, testing their willingness to invest. But right there, you could sit there…is where you could put some of the objections you know people will have, in those three areas. You might be saying to yourself, “Can I really do this?” But as you notice earlier, we talked about, “This is how much you would be making per month if you do this. So the question is, can you afford not to do this?” And really start honing in on those things.
Nathan: Gotcha. And then, after the silence, what do you do?
Ben: I guess on the one-to-many…well, when it’s one-to-one and when I’m talking to people, it’s very easy for me to be silent, because I’m just dealing with one person. But on the one-to-many, I think what you would go into the silence would be “significance” to just having Q&A’s. You wouldn’t be talking about your price. You’re just answering their questions, which has nothing to do with the price.
Ben: What what’s interesting is, you just say, “All right, we’re going to go into Q&A. But here’s the “Buy” box at the bottom there, go ahead and get started. Who has a question?” And you just be quiet and let them…you can’t talk over it, you’ve got to let…
Nathan: Let it set?
Ben: Yeah, you’ve got to let it set, because if you start talking and you start justifying, they won’t buy.
Nathan: And why won’t people buy if you start talking? Why is that?
Ben: Because you haven’t given them enough time to process. You’ve interrupted their processing. You’ve given them something else that derailed them to think about.
Ben: Right now, if I told you…if I was talking to you, Nathan and we’re talking about a product, then talking about hiring me for my services and I tell you the price and then I said, “So how’s the weather over there?” It just…you see, it totally distracts and takes away from the moment. But if I let you set with a little bit, you are going to either ask a question, which then means all you…it’s great on my side, because all I need to do is answer your questions, answer a solution. But if I talk, I don’t give you time to think about it. You know what’s great, Nathan? The longest I’ve been quiet with a person, one-on-one, was 30 minutes straight.
Nathan: You’re kidding, right?
Ben: No, I’m not. And I was talking to another salesperson, that’s why. And the person laughed on the phone and they said, “I guess you know the deal, right?” That’s what they said and I said, “I guess you know you lost. So let’s go ahead and get started.”
Nathan: That’s hilarious, because on all these sales things, I…it’s so funny: the way you broke it down, I have experienced…it’s funny, because ever since I got into this whole stuff, it really opens your mind up to understanding the sales process. So when you go to buy a car, or when you go to buy anything, even if you walk into the shop somewhere, you can see what’s happening and you kind of start to see it, which is…when you’re speaking with someone on the phone, or you are speaking to someone like a consultant and if they’re good, you can see a few of these bits and pieces that you shared. So this has been amazing, man.
Ben: Yeah. And I always say it’s great. When I go purchase a car, it’s the funniest thing, because I go in there and I let them and say price. And I just look at them in their eyes and I move my body–I’ll shift in the chair–and they talk and I’m like, “I got them.” If they talk first, I’m going to get a better deal.
Nathan: That’s killer. All right. Well, look, dude, this has been amazing. You’ve shared so much gold. I cannot thank you enough, Ben. We have to work towards wrapping up, but I have to hear about this case study, this…you work with many different clients in what you do and you’ve just shared a small portion of your whole system around sales. But how are you…? I’m really curious. Tell me about this business, how you’re going to take them from $8 million-$25 million. Well, are you…
Ben: Well, this…
Nathan: …training their sales team, or…?
Ben: Yeah. So this…yeah, I’m training their sales team. This team has about 10 people and they were at around 18 to 20 transactions a week and their average transaction was about $50,000. And we’ve just taken that transaction to about 34 a week only in the last couple of weeks. And really, what I’ve focused on when I focus with sales seems, is, I look at the behavior. Before I teach them, tactics, I really get into their hearts and who they are, because if they have a lifestyle they’re trying to accomplish, before they can have a lifestyle, they have to have successes, which is achievements, right? And this is what I train on.
And before they can have achievements, that all comes from actions. And in order to have great actions…and actions are broken down into the tactics that you’re doing, right: getting on the phone, talking to people, having interviews, talking to customers. But what happens is, people lack the courage and commitment to stay consistent. So I get into, well, why aren’t they consistent? Which comes from feelings, but feelings are rooted in beliefs. So then, we get into the foundation, which is, what are their beliefs?
And I’ll start building them up from the ground, about where their beliefs are. And I’ve always learned with teams, it’s…with sales, it’s not about tactics. I really believe it’s about state, right, where the main…your state of mind is. And I really get them into that state and each person gets into a positive state differently. And so…but that’s where I focus in. And I help them understand where their belief system is and I get them to be a better them–a better person–and it’s amazing.
I teach them these other skill sets, but when I get them to be a better them, they outperform anything they’ve ever done using the same things they’ve always done. And I’ve been able to take teams and turn around companies in 60 days, to where they’ve doubled or tripled their revenue on a per-monthly basis, just because I get them to focus on the inside–the inner communication they’re having with themselves–so they can stop blaming everything else around them and start taking personal responsibility for their actions and they start performing better.
And then, I teach them all the sales conversations and process in between it all, but I really get them to be a better them. And it’s amazing. I’ve seen…in my career, I’ve seen the worst reps become the highest performance, because they have the willingness to learn and to become a better person internally.
Nathan: I see.
Nathan: So it’s not so much their sales process is broken, it’s the mind-set?
Ben: Yeah, it’s the mind. And for me, look, I’m a big hip-hop lover. I love it. I used to dance for The Fat Boys years and years and years ago. That’s a little bit of my history in. But what’s amazing is, I really focus on a person becoming a better them and get in the right state, to me. My state, if I listen to hip-hop, I have a lot more confidence, a lot more swagger. And that’s what we get them to focus on. We help them build their core values, which is about commitment, congruency, confidence and communication. When they build that, they’ll be better at everything they do. It doesn’t matter what they do.
Nathan: Love it. Awesome. Well, look, dude, this has been an amazing conversation. This has been probably one of the most dangerous conversations I’ve had on the podcast, in the sense that if people actually use this, it’s going to change the game for them so much. So look, I just want to say thank you so much for your time, Ben. But before we wrap, where’s the best place people can find you? And we’ll work at that diagram stuff.
Ben: They can visit me at my website at sellandsucceed.com, or send me an email at, [email protected] Those are the best ways to get ahold of me.
Nathan: Awesome. Well, look, thank you so much for your time, Ben. I really appreciate it. It’s been an amazing call.
Ben: No, thank you.
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