Landon Porter How to Sell Without Being Salesy
Donnie B.: All right. So a lot of you guys have been asking for this one and I'm looking forward to bringing Landon on. This is going to be a fun time. You should see his eyeballs right now. I got them all wigged out. But this is going to be a fun time. I'm bringing on the Sales Gorilla himself, Mr. Landon Porter and I think we're just going to have a killer time. I’m going to make fun of him a lot because I dig his hairdo and everything. So I think we're just going to have a fun time with that.
I'm Donnie Boivin. This is Donnie’s Success Champions. Landon, welcome to the show, my brother. Tell us your story.
Donnie B.: Hey, guys! Before we get rolling with Landon, I wanted to jump in here and say thank you to Point Blank Safety Services and Blue Family Fund. They've been with us for almost the entirety of 200 episodes on this show and they've just been amazing and their message and what they do in protection of our freeways, our buildings and I'm honored that a company that takes care of our police officers and their families has been such a gem in supporting our messages, this show and everything they do and what they're doing for police officers and their families is truly a beautiful thing.
I mean, we all know the stories that teachers, police officers, military, they're all underpaid for what they're sacrificing with their lives. And I love the fact that Stacey and Michael found a cool way to get them additional income so they could take care of their families. It's really a beautiful thing.
So if you’re looking for security services or you're looking for highway protection and patrol, those type of things, man, do me a favor and reach out to Point Blank Safety Services and you can find them at PointBlankSafetyServices.com and tell them Donnie sent you, you heard it on the Success Champions podcast. But man, what an amazing company, amazing people and guys, do me a favor, follow them on social, follow all their stuff because I couldn't do this show without them.
Here comes Landon.
Landon P.: Thanks for having me on, man. So back in late October of 1977, right? My story is not the typical sales guy or finally made it big in business story or whatever. I learned early on that I was really good at a couple of things but I didn't really like doing them for a paycheck and I ended up in sales in my early to mid-20s and really out of necessity and I figured out pretty quick that the way sales is done doesn't feel very good.
Is it possible? Sure. Is it easy to learn and if you put enough practice in, get good at it? Absolutely. But it didn't feel good. And even though I got really good at doing it the way that it doesn't feel good, I eventually figured out that I just don't like everybody and that eventually turned into, if I don't like everybody, there's something in there that causes some people to want to say yes to me more and other people to say no to me more.
And I went about figuring out what that was and it turned out that relationships, right? This thing that us salespeople have figured out how to engineer, this relationship thing, if you understand the parameters of how it works naturally for you and who you want to deal with and you just leverage that, it's so much easier and it makes so much more sense and I'll finish that all by saying this, that's from the stance of a sales guy who was tasked with bringing on new clients, but the money wasn't in bringing that client on. The money was in dealing with that client long-term because all the money was long tail.
So I had to bring on clients and then I had to deal with all their bullshit and like, I don't really want to do that. So long story short, after about 15 years in sales, I decided, “Okay, cool. I want to go do something else.”
My wife and I went into a parenting thing and in that process, I was asking some people about running ads and they were asking me about, “Okay, cool. What about the sales thing?” And within a week, about five people were like, “Dude, you need to fucking teach this.”
And I was like, “Dude, no the fuck, I don't.”
Here we are almost two years later and our take on sales is it's all relational. Welcome to the relationship economy. People are tired of being sold to and sold at and it's a whole lot easier for business-owners and people that have a cool thing to sell to just figure out who you want to deal with and just be open and honest with the public like, “Hey, I'm a little off. I cuss. I'm weird and if you don't like that, it's okay. Go away.”
So that's kind of the, that’s me!
Donnie B.: I love it. I love it. So here's what's interesting about this, man, is I grew up in the sales game as well. And to me, sales success early on was, you had to talk a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way and I got really, really good at being that asshole. And here's the one difference in my story and yours is, I get really good at the transactional sale, right? I could get the deal done.
This whole concept that you talked about, it's a long tail, that was not me. And my sales cycles were so wicked because you get the deal done, you’re rocking it out and then you're like, “Okay, I'm on to the next one.” And I’d pass it off to a company. So my CEO, they always encouraged me, like, “Get it done. We'll take care of it. We’ll take care of it.”
Well, they weren't taking care of it. So my cycles would be way high, then all of a sudden, you’d bottom out because you had nothing sitting behind it because you were just killing deals. And it wasn't for me until I stopped being that egotistical asshole that didn't give a shit about people, who’s just trying to get the deal done that I found relationship sales.
So this is just an interesting paradigm to find somebody else that kind of went the same path that I did. So here's the thing, I knew part of that story, right? Because I saw a video of something of yours somewhere and I knew part of that story.
Didn't you sell like in an almost pit-like setting like it was more boiler room type thing or something along those lines?
Landon P.: Yeah. And actually, you bring up a good point about the whole relationship thing and cycles up and down and I will tell that story in one second. I want to preface this for everybody that's listening. There are salespeople and if you're listening to this podcast because you're a salesperson and you're actually, your job is to go sell a thing for somebody else, do it however the hell you want to do it. I'm not here to tell anybody how to do something.
What I do is I take business-owners that aren't really salespeople and I un-brainwash them from all the shit they think they have to do to get the sale done.
So with all that said, yeah, let's actually talk about that. In right about the time the crash happened, I went to work for a company called COFAS and we sold commercial collections all the way through to commercial credit. And this is like business to business asset management protection and I was literally hired as a sales monkey, right?
There was 30 or 40 of us on the sales floor, full-on boiler room style. You said whatever you had to, to get the deal done and it was such a turn and burn. Literally, it was like this. Every week, they hired seven people. At the end of 30 days, there was one of those seven people left. At the end of the next 30 days, there was one of those seven people left.
I was in that industry almost a decade and there was one guy that I was hired with, same training class, we were hired on the same week. The next closest person that we knew in the three companies that the two of us worked for in ten years had been in the industry for like 3 years. It's just one of those industries that people can't hack it.
I kind of came in and this is what I wanted to say about the relationship thing. I kind of came into that. There's an interesting story about it. I had a client that was household. They were Fortune like 10, Fortune 12. They were big. Everybody on the planet has something in their dwelling.
If you live in a hut with a dirt floor, you've got their products and I had a 45-minute conversation after having them for like ten months and this guy is just m-effing me for 45 minutes, screaming and yelling and pissed because the idiot who sold them told them something that we could do that was just absolutely against company policy and it was a little itty-bitty thing and it took like eight months for it to happen and I had to tell him, “No, we're not doing that. We won't do that.”
And I walk out of my office, I walked down to my buddy, Billy. He was the guy that was, we were hired together and I opened the door and he looked at me, he's like, “Feeling awfully gorilla today.”
And I said, “Yeah. Because these stupid fucking monkeys will say anything they need to, to get the deal done.” That's great for getting money on the frontend but if you're trying to get money on the backend and build a sales business, it doesn't work.
Donnie B.: No, I love it. I love it. I love it. So talk to me about this a little bit because you said a phrase that I haven't heard thrown around the sales game. Because typically, when you get these sales gurus through, right? They’re, “Let me bath you with my bullshit. Let me tell you how awesome I am, the millions of dollars I sold and I flew into my Learjet with my slicked back ass hair and let me 10x your ass,” right? That's the shit that gets thrown around on a regular basis.
You just said something that's powerful as hell when you said, “I try and take business-owner and reprogram from all the bullshit that they've been programed and all the stuff that they've learned.”
Dude, talk to me. I mean, because that's not an approach you see in the marketplace at all because you're supposed to be the grease ball. You're supposed to kill it. You're supposed to be the transactional guy and we all know in this day and age, if you do that, you're going to lose but they're teaching it still anyways.
How do you take a business-owner and teach them to just be their damn self and grow a business?
Landon P.: Well, your listeners can't see it. But this image behind me actually used to be a poster with our logo on it. One of my early catchphrases was, “Just be your weird-ass self.”
Let's really break this down for a second. Relationships happen two ways and I was that asshole, right? Ten years ago, I was that asshole with the car and the money and the … fuck all that.
We can learn how to psychologically trigger people to make decisions. Whether it's in their best interest or not and if that's you and you take somebody and you just make them understand that what you have is what they need to fix their problem, then fantastic. Go do that. I don't want anything to do with that.
Us salespeople for 30 to 60 years have learned how to do that so well that we can make people do shit, right? Advertising, marketing, sales. It's just the way it has gone.
Society as a whole is sick of it. The way that that works naturally, there's a reason that we in the wild are naturally attracted to some people and naturally repelled by others.
Well, if you take that stance of, we're all weird and it's okay and some people just aren't going to like me and that's kind of fine because there's some people I don't naturally like and you just go about it that way. It makes it really easy to go, “That's a fit. That's a fit. I don't think so. That's a fit. That's a fit. Nope.” Right?
And here's why. Business-owners that are really good at a thing that they do, they really don't want to learn how to like, what's the process? How do I enter the conversation? How do I then turn it into qualifying? Just make it easier on yourself, right? There's an easier process to that.
And there are a lot of good people out there that do the sales training the right way, right? The Sandler Training for an example. In a lot of ways, they do it the right way.
Donnie B.: Are you ready to laugh your ass off?
Landon P.: Yeah.
Donnie B.: For the last seven years, before I started my company, I was a national trainer for Sandler Sales.
Landon P.: See what I'm saying? So I don't want to work with salespeople because I don't want to teach people how to sell. I want to teach people how to be their weird-ass selves, give them permission to just do that, figure out who it is that they actually really want to work with and then craft a very simple message and offer that gets those people to take notice and go, “Oh, that person might be for me. I should have a conversation with them.”
So much easier than learning how to sell.
Donnie B.: Yeah. But you're asking people to reprogram themselves. And here's what I mean is, most people have gone through society and been told, you act a certain way, you carry yourself a certain way, you dress a certain way. I mean, for instance, I was at a speaking engagement about a month back and this guy, when he walked up to me, he had a curled mustache tie clasp, he had a curled mustache cufflinks, curled mustaches all over his tie itself and I said, “What's up with all the curled mustaches?”
And he goes, “Oh, you can't see it right now. I got it tucked underneath.”
“What do you mean you got it tucked underneath?”
He goes, “Well, I don't think people would see me as very professional if they actually saw.”
And he worked in banking or something, right? Where you got to wear the suit and everything.
And he goes, “I don't think people would respect me very much if they saw my curled mustache.” He turned around, literally pulled out his mustache. It must have been curled up into his mouth which is just disgusting to think about and we both got beards and he pulls it out and he actually combs it into these big-ass curl. I mean, huge curled mustache.
And I'm like, “Dude, that is you. Let those things fly.”
And then two seconds later, another guy wearing a suit walked in the room and you saw him turn around and immediately tuck it back under. Right?
So what you're trying to do is actively reprogram people to go against what they've been taught by society for a long time. That's a tall task, brother.
Landon P.: Well, what's interesting is society is going that way. Like, I didn't coin this term, but I've been saying it a lot the last couple of years. “Welcome to the relationship economy.”
Go look at any of the people that have kind of been on the forefront of kind of telling all of us marketers where shit’s headed that have been doing it for a while, that have been proved accurate, they're all talking about, it's the relationship. Even some of the sales monkeys that I'm sure both you and I get their emails, they're all like, “If you pay me,” when they're in the conversation with but then they're telling the market, “No, it's all about relationships.” Right?
Here's the bottom line. If you're being anything other than who you actually are, you've got a mask on. And our BS meters are so sensitive that people can smell that from a mile away.
Just be yourself. Yeah, it's a tall order. But here's the deal, that for me weeds out all of the people that are just bullshit artists and can't even tell themselves the truth.
Like, look, I've got a crazy head of hair. I've got this giant beard. I don't wear suits. I've got gorillas in all my stuff. I cuss. I am who I am and if you don't like it, that's fine. Unless you're elderly or somebody else's kids, I'm going to be exactly who I am the way I am and if you like that, fantastic. Stick around. And if you don't, go away. And my take is, everybody should be that way.
Donnie B.: Well, and I love that aspect of the elderly and kids. It's still you. It's just, you're respectful at that moment, right?
Landon P.: Right. Mm-hmm. Yup. To put it in context, I'm not going to drop f-bombs in front of my grandmother's or my buddy’s kids.
Donnie B.: Right. Well, I will. But most of my buddies, they know me.
Landon P.: They know better.
Donnie B.: I’ll walk into a room and I'm usually that guy that gets a, let me tell you about Donnie before he gets there, right?
Landon P.: That's awesome.
Donnie B.: A lot of people don't know what their real self is because you go to work or business or whatever else and you're one person wearing that mask and then you come home and you're somebody else. I know that was a lot of my journey because I was always trying to be somebody I was not all the way through it and really, it took me opening my own company before I really realized that I was doing it because I didn't realize I was doing it living that 8:00 to 5:00 lifestyle versus running a business.
Outside of doing the crazy thing that I did and jumped out and started my own company, how does somebody actually understand what their real self is? Because, man, I understand you’re going after business-owners. There's a huge market of salespeople that are doing this, right? And they're selling shit they don't even believe in. But it's the job they took that's in front of them which was, once again, a lot of my career. You don't choose a path. You just happened that, “Oh, I'm here. Okay, I'll sell this.”
How do people discover who the hell they actually are?
Landon P.: It's an ongoing process and really, for most, I would say, most people, it's a never-ending process. It's all about self-awareness. And here's my thing. Like, this is the epitome of everything I stand for. I'm not here to tell anybody what they should do and I'm not here to convince anybody of anything. I am happy with the people that go, “You know, the thing that he just said made a whole lot of sense and I'm not sure quite how to do it. But that's interesting.” And they stick around.
It's the whole idea of, you can lead somebody to water. But if you try and stick their head in the bucket, you're just going to drown them, right?
We're all to an extent becoming a little bit more aware of who we are and what life is like. This also weeds out a lot of the younger people. Like, don't take offense to this. If you're 22 and like all full of bravado and standing in front of a Bentley for your picture that everybody knows you don't own, that's fantastic. You've got your own path to go through.
My take on it is, I'm not here to like forcibly change the way sales is done. I'm here to offer another way to the people that go, “Oh, that actually kind of makes sense.” And we do it through a podcast and a group and all of that stuff. So our message is getting out there and you'd be surprised how many people go, “Man, I don't even know if I can say this publicly but like, what you said on that, blah-blah-blah, like, oh my God. I didn't think that was like permissible.”
Donnie B.: Right. Now, I love it because I call it letting your hair down.
Landon P.: Yeah
Donnie B.: And it's so funny that luckily, there's been a couple of guys that are out there that have cleared the path, if you will. I mean, you take somebody like Gary V, then his freaking foul-mouthed talking. You don’t have to agree with his philosophy but he made cussing mainstream before guys like Andrew Dice Clay and Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor, prior to him but Gary's like the first one that brought it into the scene that it is our culture because you're at home, you cuss like a freaking sailor, you're hanging out with your buddies and then you go into the business mode and you become robot boy or whatever.
My parents give me hell still about cursing. My nieces will come up to me every once in a while and they’re like, “Why do you cuss so much?”
I'm like, “Honey, you should know by now. That's just how I fucking talk.”
There was one time and my niece had some friends over and she comes running up to me and she goes, “I need a favor.”
I said, “Okay. What's the favor?”
She goes, “Will you not cuss? They’re from church.”
I’m like, “All right. Since you asked, I’m in.”
But there's this whole thought process of being yourself and watching the world just open up and see what happens. But even so, I mean, okay, be yourself. Cool. How do you find the other people that are going to vibe with that, with you?
I know how I think about it. But I have a feeling you're going to have say exactly what's going through my head but say it anyways.
Landon P.: Well, it's simply the matter of putting yourself out there and like, Gary V's on this kick about a hundred pieces of content and to an extent, I agree with him from the perspective of, right now, it's all real estate. Like in the late 1800s, you could buy up New York, right? Fantastic!
There are people that need to build a long-term brand doing that. But you can do that just by doing that with people that you're already talking to and here's the thing. It all comes down to this.
I believe that relationships are the most important thing on the planet and the relationship you have with yourself is the most important, right? And I'm a little too woo for some people and I'm not woo enough for other people and that's fantastic. But what I think about is, if I lay down at night and I'm happy with myself and what I do and what I did and how I do things, that's the payment, right?
So to me, for me, that's the highest level of achievement for myself. Beyond money, beyond all of that. Even beyond the relationships that I have with other people. It's the relationship that I have with myself and when you start doing that, you notice pretty quickly. Some people just escape your world and other people start paying more attention and when other people are like, “Wow!” And they don't even do that out loud usually but they start bringing other people to you and they start bringing other people to you and some people go, “I like this. I like this. Not for me.” And other people go, “Not even close.” And other people go, “Holy shit. This is exactly what I'm looking for.”
And if you're a salesperson, if you're a business-owner, your job is to effectively build a book of sales clients who buy more stuff from you and you can do it the hard way by trying to talk to everybody and be a salesperson or you can identify the people you actually like to be around and just be yourself.
Donnie B.: I love this. So I had a guy come up to me not long ago and I try and get everybody into podcasting, right? That's just my thing. I think everybody should flip and start a podcast. It is just such an inexpensive, low-hanging fruit to get so much massive attention, exposure and it's the best networking tool on the face of the Earth.
And this guy, after one of my speeches and I tell everybody to get into podcasting, he walked up to me and he said, “I've got the most boring job in the world.”
I said, “Okay. What do you do?”
He goes, “I run an HR consulting business and nobody in the world gives a shit about HR consulting.”
I said, “Okay, good. We agree on that.”
And he goes, “What the hell would I start a podcast on if I were going to start a podcast?”
I said, “Okay, cool. What did you geek out on as a kid? What was that thing that as a kid, you just totally did?”
And looked at me and his eyes lit up and he goes, “Dude, I raced motorcycles.”
I said, “Oh, tell me about motorcycles.”
He’s like, “We built them from the ground up. I raced them. We did all.” And this dude goes on this whole almost monologue, diatribe of motorcycle races.
And I'm like, “Why the hell wouldn't you start a motorcycle podcast?”
“Because I run an HR consulting business. Why would I do that?”
I said, “Why wouldn't you? Who's easier to have a sales conversation with than somebody you can absolutely geek out over something on and talk to for hours about motorcycle? And oh, by the way, I happen to do this HR whatever on the side, right?”
If you go get in your world of whatever you geek out on, you're going to find other people that geek out on your stuff and I think that's what you're saying.
Landon P.: I even have a term for it. It’s your Genius Zone.
Donnie B.: I love it.
Landon P.: Right? So there's a lot of people that do something similar to what they really love. Web designers, right? This is a perfect example. A lot of web designers really love doing the aspect of like, visually creating the most amazing-looking website. But all the other shit that they have to do for their clients, they’re like, “I don't really like it,” or “I'm not even that good at it,” or whatever. That thing is their Genius Zone.
But most people, myself included for a long time, we do shit that we think we're good at, we think we're supposed to do, somebody told us that we needed to do this. We spent too much time getting a skillset that we can't not do it. But there's this other thing that I am so in love with. That's our Genius Zone and really, what happiness, here's a little insight for everybody listening to this. Here's what I found in my 40 almost 2 years.
What causes happiness is simply spending your day doing whatever the hell you want. If you can spend your time doing what it is that you enjoy doing, that's happiness. Genius Zone.
Donnie B.: I love it. I love it. I love it. And it's the truth. I mean, you look at a lot of business-owners and the phrase, they’re the president, chief bottle washer, trash-taker-out dude and it's because that's what they know. That's the business they’ve built and they haven't figured out how to either outsource some of that other stuff or get some of those things off their plate but this whole Genius Zone, that really, really got me hung up for a second because how does somebody just embrace that Genius Zone and not have to take on all the other stuff?
Landon P.: Two things. One, many people will never take the step to go, “I really wish I could just spend my time doing that.” Most people will, right? Golden handcuffs. The people that are in their own business that are doing nine different jobs, they have their own bottlenecks, right? They've created their own glass ceiling.
Most of us are only good at a couple different aspects of what we do, right? I don't know about you. You've got your own podcast. I do my own podcast. I don't do the editing. I don't do the … right? I don't do any of those things that I'm not good at, right?
Well, if you own a business and you spend your time focused on your Genius Zone, the thing that you do, guess what? You get to work with higher quality clients who are higher value for you. You're happier doing it. Generally, you work with fewer of them and make way more money. And if you go that route, you can get other people who their Genius Zone is the shit you don't like to do and now, you can actually have a real business.
Donnie B.: I love this. I had a … his name’s going to escape me. But I had a gentleman recently on the show and he has created the hotels.com of outsourcing.
Landon P.: Wow.
Donnie B.: So you can go to his website and whatever you need an outsource for, you can go through and he brokers the services, okay? He told me flat out. He's like, “Look, I don't care what business you're in. You can go get a COO for your business for $1,500 to $2,000 a month.” Which means, if you're the face of the company, outspoken guy and you suck at operations, you can literally pick up a COO. Now, they're going to be overseas, they’re going to be in another company, they're going to do everything virtually but a COO in this day and age will cost you between $120,000 and $150,000 depending on what kind of business you have and you can get one for less than $2,400 a year to take all that crap off your plate that you don't want to do and turn your business into a functional business. So you can go spend time in your Zone of Genius or a flipside of it, you can go find the other person who wants to be the face of the company, who wants that brand out there and let you be the operational Zone of Genius, the things that you geek out on for about the same price.
There's no reason that your business should be functioning in any way that is not allowing you to step in and do what you love to do. This is so awesome. This is so awesome.
Landon P.: Yeah. Since you’ve brought his name up a couple of times, Gary V., I'm a fan. I'm not a fanboy. I don't model everything in my world around Gary but I think a lot of what he says is truth and I think he's got a lot of real-life experience that has proven that he has an idea of what he's talking about. And it's been a while since I've heard him say this but there's nothing wrong with being the number two or the number three or the number four and most people like, “Let's face it, right? If there's 19 positions in a company, not everybody on the planet’s a number one.”
Well, I think a lot of people take that the wrong way, right? That number one position and the way he brings it up is, “Well, everybody thinks it's the owner. It’s the CEO. It's the entrepreneur. Oh my God.”
Cool. Well, if you like playing with numbers and that's your love language and you're a freaking accountant, then you're number one at that regardless of what you do or who you do it for and I don't think a lot of people recognize this.
There's a lot of things. You and I both own a business. There's a lot of things that need to be done. And I tell you what, man, 92% of it, I can't stand doing.
Donnie B.: You and me both.
Landon P.: So why spend any of my time doing that shit that I don't like and for you, right?
Donnie B.: Yup. The only thing I had to throw out when I bring up Gary V. is I love a lot of his philosophies. The one philosophy I hate is the grind, the 18-hour days, right?
That works for Gary, right? The other thing is he says, he's going to buy the jets. That works for Gary. Most type of people can't wrap their head around working that hard. Not even that hard but that many hours.
Two, people can't wrap their head around a goal that large. They already are setting themselves up for disappointment and they already believe they can't accomplish it. So they're never going to go after it.
So go ahead.
Landon P.: I just want to be happy. Don't you want to be happy?
That’s part of his new tagline. I think that's a misconception and in the world that I play in, there's a lot of entrepreneur people that hang out of my world and a lot of people seem to play life that there's a set of rules that applies to everybody. And that's just not the case, right?
I like to work a lot. That's part of who I am. But I don't want to spend 18 hours a day doing grind work. You told me before we got on here, how many of these you've done today?
That like blows my mind. But then I think about it and I go, “You know what, if these are an hour-long each, I've done almost that much already today in mentoring calls and I love it.”
It's work. But that doesn't mean that everybody should see that and go, “Oh, so I should work 6 or 7 hours a day, 7 days a week because so and so does it?”
No. Figure out what it is that makes you happy and then spend your time doing it.
Donnie B.: Yeah. I mean, that's a great way of putting it. When I do these Fridays and I'm interviewing these people, dude, I just had an interview right before yours where I talked to a guy who spent 30 years in the symphony and he's literally bringing these executives from Fortune 50 companies to sit in the symphony and teach leadership skills by screwing up conducting. I mean, it was the most brilliant conversation.
This dude totally had me geek out on his entire everything he did and I would have never met this guy without the podcast. So for me, that's my Zone of Genius. I love having these conversations, networking, this, that and the other. I love being on stages.
You have your platform with … you got a nice huge following of, what do you call them? Gorillas?
Landon P.: Gorillas.
Donnie B.: That are geeking out because you are such a straight-talker, no bullshit, let me just tell you how it is type of thing which continues to draw people to you and your story. When you find that thing, hold on and do more of it.
Landon P.: Well, it’s like that guy that you just mentioned, 30 years in the symphony, do you think he's got an interest in that kind of music? Do you think he's got an interest in that kind of scene? Do you think … I mean, birds of a feather flock together, right? If that's who he is and then he goes, “Oh, you know what? When we're not all playing our part, the symphony sounds like shit.”
And I can translate that to these other people that I like, these corporate people who need the leadership thing and I can demonstrate to them what I'm talking about. Do you think that guy needs 50,000 people to buy his thing?
Donnie B.: Nope!
Landon P.: Probably not. But he's being himself. And he's playing in his Zone of Genius and he's probably the happiest guy on the planet.
Donnie B.: And when you talk to somebody like that that has their style and their thing, I mean, you can feel it because they're not making up some sort of cliché saying. They’re just speaking their truths. And it's fun to get in those type of conversations.
So back to the kind of the sales a little bit, you got a business-owner that's trying to grow their business, you're telling them to just be themselves. Now, they've got to go interact and engage people and find people that are going to jive and vibe with their personality. How do they do it?
Landon P.: Well, even with everything that I've said about sales, right? Here's the bottom line. There's principles and everything. There's a reason it takes X number of years to become a black belt, a 9th degree black belt in any martial arts. There's a reason it takes that amount of time to get that good at sales or engineering or being a brain surgeon.
There's principles. Well, the sales world, this getting clients world, there’s still principles and fundamentals that are in play. The bottom line is, you got to get the right message to the right market at the right time. And there's a conundrum there. It's actually a riddle.
To have the right message to put in front of the right market at the right time, it's got to be in that order once you get it. But you can't figure it out in that order. You got to figure out the ‘who’ first, right? Who's the right fit for this thing that I do so then I can go have conversations with them to craft my message and then I can put that out to the marketplace?
Then there's some other principles. There's a lot of ways to get clients. There's a lot of ways to do prospecting, cold calling, cold approaching, cold messaging people on social media. There's right ways and wrong ways in my opinion to do those things and then there's other ways to do it.
Client attraction. You can build funnels and there's all of that. If we will just use the principles to do those things, they all work. But if you're a business-owner and you need clients and you don't have an audience established, right? There's two times to plant a tree. 20 years ago and today. If you didn't do that and you don't have an audience, well, really, you should start building one. But in the meantime, you need to figure out who needs your thing and go start, I call it, social currency.
You go mingle with people a little bit. You’re a sales guy. You and I used to do this, right? You find somebody. You start a conversation. You see where it goes. We’re qualifying at every stage.
If you can figure out who it is that wants and needs your thing and then you can filter them against, do I like this person or not, all it comes down to is having conversations.
Donnie B.: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I would add on there, discipline conversations and the only reason I say discipline is if you don't have a regiment on a daily basis to do business growth in your business, you're going to be stacked up against it too often.
The one thing that … I started in January for my business. It was a minimum of 10 reach-outs every day. Do I go to LinkedIn or I go to Facebook? And I just start reaching out to the followers, right? Not even trying to go after people I don't know except for getting guests on the podcast. I do that as well.
But I go to my followers and I can tell you, just having conversations with people that are already into you, maybe you know each other because you're in the same group or you hang out. Just jumping on a 30-minute Zoom call is an amazing game-changer of what it can do for your business.
Landon P.: If you want to get fit, you have to do the doing. If you want to get rich, you have to do the doing. If you want to get clients, you have to do the doing, right? And a lot of people, like the people that I tend to focus with, they go kill it and they bring on five or six clients and then they've got to do all that client work, right?
It’s this rollercoaster. Real estate people are a perfect example of this. They prospect all month long and next month, they've got seven deals that close and then the next month, nothing. So the month after that, then they go prospect all month long and then the month after that and they do like four or five decent months throughout the year and they're like, “Man, I should be making so much more money but I only did like $150,000 this year. What the hell?”
It's that process. It's the wax on, wax off that you need to do every day. And there's a lot of ways to only put 15 or 20 or 30 minutes into it every day just to initiate those conversations. People just don't know how to do it. How do you start a conversation with somebody?
Donnie B.: You say hello.
Landon P.: Right. Exactly.
Donnie B.: Here's a theory that I realized somewhere along my journey is people want to plateau. They want to get to a spot to where they can say, “I'm done,” right? And I did it even on part of my journey is I was always that, “If I could just get to this sales number, I can turn it off.”
What I realized is every time I got to that sales number, if I turned it off, it would go the other direction, right? And so it took me a long time to quit making the gigantic leaps and start doing the incremental growth. Something I could do consistently and steadily on a regular basis.
Landon P.: Okay. So let's talk about that. When I started in the commercial credit and collections industry, I was tasked like literally, when I was hired, I was told, if you take this job, you're required to make 300 dials a day.
Okay. So I did that and as soon as I could figure out how to make less dials in a day, I did that, right?
For everybody listening, let's kind of like paint the picture of how this looks from an actual sales guy’s perspective.
Cool. I don't know what I'm doing in this new industry. I don't know anything about the products. I don't know anything about the clients. I don't know anything about even the sales pitch, the script they handed me. So I'm going to go practice and I'm going to screw it up and I'm going to do that three hundred times a day for as long as it takes to get good enough to begin closing clients.
And once I begin closing clients, I look at it and go, how could I do this more effectively because I hate the grind? And then pretty soon, you're making 250 a day and then pretty soon, you're making 200 dials a day and pretty soon, you're making a hundred dials a day and most salespeople go, “Oh, one fish at a time? Go get a net full of fish. How do I do that?”
And then people go, “Well, they're all still small fish. How do I get a bigger fish?”
And then they go, “Fish for a bigger fish.”
And most salespeople end up hunting for whales, right? Which is why it's a cliché in the industry. Most salespeople stop there.
I only need to prospect 30 people a month because two of them eventually will come in. Even though it takes six months. Eventually, those come in and I've got all these whales and it's amazing and they stop there.
But if you stop doing that prospecting, the new whale stop coming in because that perfect referral business doesn't exist at that level. You got to go to the next level. Who also serves all the whale clients that I want and has a problem because their whale clients have a problem that only I can solve? How do I solve that guy's problem?
You do that two or three times a month and now, they're sending you whale clients and it's on autopilot because you're solving a problem at a much higher level.
So I went from calling 300 times a day to, at the end, it was literally the last two and a half years, maybe ten calls a month and they weren't to cold calls. They were to people that I had already had some interaction with on either social media or through another contact and that's just it.
As a business-owner, how do you perfect the ongoing lead generation strategy in your business? This is interesting. We're actually doing stuff with this right now. There's all these tactics. There's all these things you can do, right?
Facebook ads, excellent. But if you turn the Facebook ads off, your lead flow stops. LinkedIn stuff. I can go hammer people on LinkedIn 15-20 minutes a day, every day. But when I stopped doing that, they stopped coming in.
All of these are add-ons after you've established the stability in your business of referral partners, right? Referral partners that you're not paying them to send you stuff. You're solving problems for them that they happily send you all of the leads that you actually want and then you can scale using all of the, what are actually meant for scaling, not for stabilizing a business.
It's just, I don't know if you can tell but this is what jazzes me up because this is what I like doing.
Donnie B.: Well, here's the interesting thing. Most of your business-owners now, face the same dilemma that I faced is I was an employee. Going from employee mindset to business-owner mindset is a massive leap because it's turning off the, “I do a job. I do my eight to five. I do what’s expected of me,” to thinking about, “How do I scale it? How do I grow it? How do I level that up and make a bigger business?”
And if you've spent your entire career looking at it from one perspective, trying to step back and look forward can be in a monstrous leap. It proved that way for me when I first launched my business and I got really good at making a good sales job and not a company as I started out figuring this all out.
How do you make that mental shift to be able to wrap your head around what referral partners should I be going after?
Landon P.: The truth?
Donnie B.: Yeah.
Landon P.: Most people have to go start at three, five, seven businesses and screw them all up before they have that because here's the thing, you and I can tell anybody anything and it can be the right advice. It can be the thing they need to know but until they draw that as their own conclusion and go, “Yeah, that's correct,” they will never follow that with the actions that take that advice.
If people will understand that if you take the skillset that you've got or you take a new thing that you've never had any money generated around but you love doing it and you go do that doing and all of the pieces to that that you don't like doing, either find somebody else that can do it or find somebody else that will do it temporarily for trade.
Finding referral partners is as easy as solving a problem. If you can figure out who has a problem and you can figure out how to solve it in a way that other people haven't been able to figure out, that's where you make a lot of money. And here's the thing with referral partners. It's like sex. If you have to pay for it, it's probably not the kind you want, right?
So a lot of people think of this referral game as this, “Oh, they sent me a client. I'm required to send them a client.” That shit never works. “Oh, they sent me a client. I've got to pay for it.” That stuff never works.
Now, marketers, we can do stuff where it's like affiliate commissions and we can do JV partner stuff. But business-owners, they need to go about it. Who can I solve a problem for that has people they can send me and I'm solving their problem by helping their clients?
Real estate agents, here's one way to look at it. If you're a real estate agent, the best way to look at this is, if you're selling homes in Phoenix, who owns the best pool company in town, right? Because most of the homes that you're going to be selling have something wrong with the pool because pools suck, right?
If you're a mechanic and you do transmissions, who's the best referral partner? The people that manage the fleets around town that don't have their own in-house mechanic shop, right?
There's a lot of ways to look at this. It’s just getting creative. Who is already serving all of the perfect-for-me clients that has a problem that I can creatively figure out, “Oh, if their clients all had this, they benefit like this and if they benefited either monetarily or made their life easier or it made them a rockstar to their clients, that's a pretty easy sell.”
Donnie B.: Yeah. You've been taking them smarten-them pills, haven't you?
Landon P.: You know what, dude, it's all out of necessity. I hated the prospecting thing but I did it because if I could get somebody on the phone, I could talk them into doing the thing. And once I figured out there's an easier way to do that part, it's all based on relationships, my model changed. Then I went, “Okay, cool. What's the fastest way I can get to that next level that I want to get to?”
And it was all out of necessity. I don't want to have to work doing stuff that I don't like and I might be biased but I think most people kind of feel that way.
Donnie B.: Yes, I would agree. And I love the fact that you're so focused on business-owners because my mind going from years being in Sandler doing that training, I'm always so focused on the salesperson, right? Because that's the arena I knew, right? I knew how to grow and adapt and I knew what was going on in the salesperson’s head.
It's refreshing to take this all to a business-owner standpoint. So good on you, brother. Good on you.
So where is all this crazy-ass world going to take you? I mean, you're becoming a name in some circles. Not a good name, by the way, but a name.
Landon P.: That's funny.
Donnie B.: In some circles and I can't tell you how many people came to me and said, I got to get you on the show and were throwing your name around and that's fun when you get several people you trust that are throwing a guest’s name around.
So what's the vision for this whole thing?
Landon P.: Honestly, I don't and here's an interesting thing. As a sales guy, most of us are supposed to have this predetermined endgame or our agenda. I don't. I was basically dragged into kicking and screaming doing this thing because here's my take on it, I'm a sales guy, right? There's a lot of names that you and I can both drop that they do it the old school way and they teach the tactics and those people go make money.
Fantastic. Awesome sauce. I don't dig it. I just, like, right? I think society is headed in a direction where we're kind of tired of that which is why it's … and here's … all the way down to the very bottom of it.
Either you're playing the long game to win the long game or you're playing to eventually lose. There is no other way in my opinion to look at life in any way, shape or form. Whether that's your business or your relationship with your wife or the relationship you've got with your neighbors. Either you're playing the long game to win the long game or you're playing intentionally to eventually lose and I didn't want to come into this sales arena, sales training game from a, “Oh, he's a sales guy but he's got a different take on it.”
No. You know what? I actually teach people how to people. I teach people how to have relationships with people they want to have relationships with. Where this eventually goes, I have no idea.
Donnie B.: I love that honesty because here's something funny about me that I love telling people. I don't think goalsetting works, right? And the reason it doesn't is, as soon as somebody sets a goal, it automatically demotivates them because they don't believe they can get there in the first place.
I'm all about incremental growth and milestones and knocking down a target. And once that target’s knocked down, then going for the next target. And just seeing what turns up and what comes and what relationships happened from there.
I love that you actually don't know where this is going to end up which allows you to be in the moment and just go with the flow, man.
Landon P.: Right. There's so many ways this can go and to your point with the whole goalsetting thing, a lot of people miss a lot of really cool opportunities and experiences because they've determined, “This is the thing I'm going to go get.”
Life is so fluid and shit happens and changes so fast that if you pigeonhole yourself with a goal like that, you’re just screwing yourself.
And not only do most people demotivate themselves to actually accomplish that because it's usually way too big, but other people on the other side of that, they think, now it's been accomplished and so they're demotivating themselves because they've created a goal and it's always just down the road. It's always three months. When I get here, when I get that, when I do that, right?
No. It's what's going on right this minute.
Donnie B.: Yup.
Landon P.: I will continue to do what I enjoy doing. And right now, what I'm enjoying doing is working with people that are like, real people, down-to-earth that are like, “I do this really cool thing and it's fucking amazing.” And the people that I do it for love it and it gets them this crazy result and I don't know how to turn them into clients because I don't know who they are or where they're at.
And I love walking people through that process to where they go, “Man, six months ago, I didn't know where my next client was coming from and now, I've got too many clients and I just waitlisted a guy. That's never happened to me before.”
That's what I enjoy doing. And for now, that's what I will do.
Donnie B.: That's awesome. Landon, how do people find you? How do they get in touch with you? How do they make fun of your funny hairdo? All that stuff.
Landon P.: I have a fledgling podcast and I'm actually a little like hesitant. No, I'm kidding. I do a podcast every week on this whole idea, relational selling and relationships and all that. SalesGorillaPodcast.com or you can come hang out with us on our group, our Facebook group. It's www.facebook.com/groups/gorillajuice and if you're a fit, stick around. If you're not, go away.
Donnie B.: It's really called Gorilla Juice?
Landon P.: Yeah. The URL for the group is Gorilla Juice. It's Getting Clients Without Being Salesy. It's Gorilla Army Nation (Getting Clients Without Being Salesy).
Donnie B.: That's awesome. That's awesome. Are you going to make an energy drink called Gorilla Juice? You should.
Landon P.: Dude, we've been, yeah. Mustards and hot sauces and coffee drink. Yeah.
Donnie B.: Well, you got to get the microbrew in there as well. I mean, if you're going to go, you got to go all out. I mean …
Landon P.: A vodka, a whiskey, right?
Donnie B.: For me, a spiced rum and I'll be perfect. But dude, this has been a blast, man. Thanks for jumping on and doing this. I was looking forward to this one. This was every bit of what a kind of conversation I was expecting out of this, man. So I appreciate that.
So here's how I wrap up every show and I do stump some people. So get ready. If you were going to leave the Champions that listen to this show, 78 countries, people all around the world that are going through it on their journey and they’re hearing other people's stories of what they've overcome to get where they want to go. If you were going to leave them with a quote, a phrase, a saying, a mantra, something they can take with them on their journey especially when they're stacked up against it and going through it, what would be that quote or phrase you would say, “Remember this,”?
Landon P.: Stop thinking about all the stuff you don't like and don't want and actually put time into defining what you want and how you want it to be.
Donnie B.: Love it. Love it. Landon, thanks for doing this, brother. I appreciate you. One of these days, if you bring guests on your show, I'm going to come on there and make fun of you there too.
Landon P.: That would be rad.
Donnie B.: But thanks, brother. I really appreciate it. Thanks for doing this.
Landon P.: Awesome sauce. Thanks for having me on. Peace out, Cub Scouts.
Donnie B.: Well, there you have it, guys. Two badasses sitting down and just having a freaking balls-out killer conversation. Man, I got to tell you. It's a rarity that I get to sit across from a guy like Landon and really dive into some freaking tactical stuff. I mean, every time that guy opens his mouth, I swear, he's embracing the mindset of a teacher and throwing out just knowledge that the everyday Joe can use to really up their game. I fucking love talking to him.
And I know I probably sound a little bit of a fanboy of the guy. But dude, I rarely find somebody who lives off life with a lot of similar philosophies of my own, man. So I really, really appreciate him.
Let me tell you, if you're not hanging out in the Gorilla Army Nation in Facebook, Getting Clients Without Being Salesy, get your ass over there. It's a phenomenal group out there. I don't know how many members are but it's in the tens of thousands and he's doing really, really cool stuff. So you need to check it.
Also, if you will do me the favor and go to Facebook, type in Success Champions, click on groups and come hang out in our group. We are doing some amazing things from launching masterminds, to doing some really, really cool things and the whole thing is Badasses Rise Together.
So you really need to come hang out so we can all level up. We can all go for it and you can hear more from guys like Landon and other past guests I've had on the show blowing some shit up so we can step into our own.
I fucking love you guys. I really appreciate you always tuning in. I appreciate the feedback, the comments, the emails, the messages. Do me a favor, share this show with somebody, send them some love, leave me a review on wherever you listen to podcast and for the love of God, go blow some shit up.
Music by Freddy Fri