The One With Stephen Jones
Unfortunately, however, a lot of people have a lot of stuff and even fear around sales. And that is just as true for a lot of people in business!
Join me where I discuss the topic with my guest Stephen Jones, as together we explore –
- Why people are scared of making sales
- Why you should stop selling!
- How this helps you to start growing
and a whole lot more.
Note – this is currently an automated transcription, so some of the text might not be wholly accurate – we are working on improving this over time!
You’re listening to the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show, helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. Here’s your host, Keith Blakemore Noble…
Keith: Welcome back to another episode, dear listener Dee, if you. However, you’re catching us. Welcome back. And this week I have got as my guest, Stephen Jones. Stephen Jones. Stephen Jones, the business disruptor. Those of you who listen to some of my previous shows, we caught Stephen about a year ago. This was this time where we’re going to be highly focused all around her. And the fears around around sales can be a really interesting one. He’s got a rather different take on it. So it’s not stuff that you look at before. But for those of you who haven’t come across Stephen, or maybe those of you haven’t heard kind of one bit of a refresher. Let me give you a little bit of a little bit of his bio. He was always going to run his own business, basically when he was 10.
Keith: He went round to other houses in the area doing chores for cash. Then he realized his friends who wanted money could do the work for him and he could just collect some of the money, deal with the clients and pay his friends half. Many’s a lesson was learned in that time that he draws upon even that this was at the age of ten. You can see this is quite a remarkable guy. He tried real jobs, several Saturday jobs. He didn’t like the concept of working hard for somebody else to profit. Just never seem fair. Fast forward to university. Final year election campaign against Hillary. Ban a job interview with a publishing house. And suddenly he graduates his bank, we’re talking about pension schemes, mortgages, life insurance. He ran to Australia, obviously. He said he set up a little sales consulting business, reviewing sales teams and sales processes. And yes, this was at the age of 21 and he was published for his efforts. He then took a year off, went to the US, wrote a gold ring around. Now, that’s an episode we need to record sometimes ended up in Canada selling investments. Which he did well at. And by the late 1990s, he had established a venture capital company with offices in Dallas and in London.
Keith: He has lost everything twice. He’s rebuilt twice, been divorced twice. He’s a single father twice. He has two kids.
Keith: Stephen doesn’t do things by half. He doubles up. That’s my guest today, Stephen Jones. Hey, Stephen, how are you doing?
Stephen: Hello. After that, I’m doing quite well. Yours makes me sound amazing. Let me take you into my networking events with me.
Keith: Fantastic. Let’s negotiate the rates later and you can get half of the commission. See, I’m learning!
Keith: So, yes, you’re the sales disruptor. What’s all what about?
Stephen: Business disruptor, I do sales disruption as well. It’s born of a concept. The. Quick backstory on it. Two thousand and three. I lost all my money the first time.
Stephen: 2005 six. I was back in the U.K. rebuilding. Nobody would hire me because I was unemployable, because I’ve been running my own business for so long. I didn’t have a sector that I was a specialist in. So I set up, went around the networking events and set up manage growth programs for small businesses and realized that everybody hates selling. Because it’s really difficult enough. That’s really weird because I’ve been selling most of my life. And technically, one way or another we all are selling, whether it’s why we need to go out with our mates on a Friday night to our wife or girlfriend or, you know, whether it’s why we can’t go round to our parents for Christmas this year, we’re all trying to think up ways to sell stuff, but we don’t call it selling. And then I went off to the Middle East in and out of line. And several years later, I’m back in the UK, went to the networking events and realized people that know how to sell, they’re scared of it. It’s a problem.
Stephen: And it took a while for it to sink in that the reason people are scared of sales is if we sit in a room now with a thousand or 100000 people. The guy won’t give me the first. Well, we’ll do it. Give me the first thoughts that come into your mind if I say salesperson character traits.
Keith: God. Yeah. You always do this, put me on the spot!
Stephen: It’s my job to put I disrupt.
Keith: What can I say? You certainly do!
Stephen: If I said salesman are you going to think?
Keith: I think sleazy is that is the first one.
Stephen: That’s normally the first one or second that I get. And variations of that, you know, shiny suit, pushy talks too much, doesn’t listen above. So, I mean, you’re in hypnosis. You know a lot about NLP and hypnosis and all the all the rest of these these sort of brain retuning things.
Stephen: Here’s me sitting here running my own business and I realize I have to start selling. But when I think about salespeople, I think of negativity.
Stephen: I think of. Can we say arsehole on radio? But we don’t think of nice, genuine people. We think of horrible stuff. And then we think, okay, now going to go out and sell. So your brain is basically telling yourself you’ve got to become something that you despise or fear because we don’t like being sold to. And then people wonder why they’re not very good at it. Because they’ve created this system where right from the beginning, they’re already in negativity and in the position of, quote, your. Your work fear. So the reason I called stop selling, stopped growing. What I called it was because people need to stop associating what they’re doing to grow their business with selling and make it more about growing the business so that the very basis of it is that we we stop selling our stuff to people and we start engaging in conversations with people who might be in a position to buy what we have. So we’re trying to create an environment where somebody comes to you and buys from you rather than you pushing stuff in their face. You know, I could go through all the history and IBM sort of doing that. The different levels of IBM, you had to wear a different color suit with a different kind of tie. So you knew is like robots and all those guys are sales all those guys to admin, although this is a management based on the color of the suit, the tie for Chrysler. But they would turn up in the middle, I guess, 60. He’s late 50s, 60s, 70s with a briefcase.
Stephen: They put that briefcase down the next man up and take it all the stuff, nigga, go look at me. This is IBM. Got a dog and pony show and all this stuff and all these things and features, advantages, benefit. This is a book. What’s the feature? Well, it’s a book. You can write to know what’s the advantage. You like it? What’s the benefit? We’ve got something to write.
Stephen: Yeah. A much more intelligent to say intelligent. Much more open to the concept of what we buy. So now if you’re going to buy something, whether it be a service or product. Chances are you’re going to go online. The chances are you’re going to research it. If you’re working in a company, you probably have to get three quotes anyway. So you want to make sure that if you’re quoting, you’ve actually got a chance of winning the business before you start quoting. But the whole thing feeds back into that fear in that if you’ve started off on the wrong foot, i.e., I’m trying to sell, I’m trying to sell and trying to sell, you’re always going to have that resistance in your own mind before you have it in that. And that resistance creates more resistance.
Keith: Sure. Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, what was will go on to look a little bit about the whole stop selling side of things in a couple of moments, because that’s a fascinating area. I really want us to dive dive into, even though we’ve only got 25 minutes in this episode. We could still do us a shallow dive, but we can manage it. But hey, before we go into that, I mean, we talked very briefly and you mentioned that people are scared of selling. Obviously, you’ve you’ve done a lot of sales training. You work with a lot of people. What kind of the big the most common fears that people have around selling?
Stephen: Again, I think the biggest one is this whole concept of what sales is.
Stephen: And again, we’re setting ourselves up for that negativity because we instantly think of bad things when we think of salespeople. Ergo, I have to become a bad thing. And then people start saying things to me like, Oh, well, I don’t like talking on the phone, you know?
Stephen: I’ve had women tell me. I don’t like talking on the phone. I’ve never met a woman yet that doesn’t like talking on the phone to her friends.
Stephen: I’ve looked at the whole organization. I’ve looked at all that. We can edit that bit out, hopefully bright.
Stephen: Since the basic fear for me comes from that. It stems from that basic concept at the beginning of. I can’t do something because it’s very negative and very bad. That’s that’s the start of it again. People talking on the phone. Guys tend not to like to talk as much on the phone if it’s their girlfriend or their wife or their mother. But if you put them down in front of their mate in the pub or talk for hours.
Stephen: So again, if we can disassociate selling on, pushing something to people and we can start talking about having a conversation with somebody that has indicated they might be a potential user of what it is that I say that I do or off right have, then we’re basically creating a paradigm shift in the brain, which is probably what your hypnosis does with people who are scared of spiders and things in that I’m no longer thinking of. I’ve got to sell to this person. I’ve got to sell this person. Instead, you’re having your initial call with somebody with a lead. So you have a lead. And that lead you have an initial conversation with to find out if they are a prospective client or not. Your qualifying them. So you’re not saying, oh, hi, I’m I’m Steven and I do I do business development projects and I’m in business survives and I can come in, can fix problems. And then I have clients that have this problem. I fix that. And then I do this and I do that and I do that. And the other guys are going and have any problems of my business. What the hell is this guy going on about?
Stephen: Or in the case of a God that said my stop and a group. He doesn’t actually have a business. He’s a personal trainer. He’s being targeted by an action by a well known company. Does coaching to sign up to his training course?
Stephen: He doesn’t. It’s. Sorry, can a business coach somebody if I haven’t even got company in place yet? It’s a ridiculous concept.
Stephen: So the idea is that I’m going to have a conversation, for example, with UK’s and I’ll say, hi, Keith, I’m stating I understand through whatever the direction the lead came to me is whether it is through networking.
Stephen: I saw a comment on Facebook. I understand that you’re having issues in your business.
Stephen: You wanna talk to me about that? Come on. What’s going on? It’s as simple as that. Wow.
Stephen: Now, if we built up some sort of rapport or we’ve commented together on Facebook a little bit and I ask you that question, the chances are you’re going to say, well, yeah, you know, I got a problem with this or that. Your clients or the client, at least I’m getting them in 13. I’m not invoicing people properly. I lose track of where I am with my clients.
Stephen: Like whatever the problems are. As you start to talk to that, your creating my proposal.
Stephen: Right. So all the problems.
Stephen: Are there things that I can go back and say, well, okay, I understand what you’re saying about me. You don’t have enough clients. I’m not a lead generation specialist by any stretch of the imagination. What I can do, though. I’m going back. And then I will give examples like that where if I can’t help you on something, I will be saying during the conversation that that’s not something that I specialize in. I could do this. I could do that, and I could recommend somebody to help you with the other. But that’s not something that I concentrate on. Why am I doing that? I’m doing that because I’m engendering a position of trust between the two of us where I’m being open. Not actually, Keith, I can help you with that. He’s not just trying to sell me something. Yeah, it’s interesting. So I’m now becoming a consultant to help you solve your problem.
Stephen: So, again, the biggest fears have gone off on tangents again, I do that love. But the biggest fear is rejection.
Stephen: Know, we used to do cold calls and I used to dial 20 to 30 dials an hour where they were the phone. Keep it in the crack of the neck. She had to shoot me some special things you could put on your shoulder if you wanted to. And I’d just basically dial numbers and I’d get five an hour, which was enough for me to get out. One book an hour, which is enough for me to get at netbooks day that I could close. Minimum two units a week. Hundred thousand dollar unit. And that’s that’s what we did. And we would bring people into that environment than they do.
Stephen: Oh, cause they might say no. What else? They’ll say a lot worse than no one ever gave them up when you’re selling oil wells. Believe me, because some people have lost a lot of money in oil. F off year old bandits. I’ve had variations on that. We had one guy who went through the whole process. The guy accepted and get the job done. He got the FedEx template ready and he put the check in the contract and the FedEx unloaded and sent it back. We open up all the FedEx envelopes in the morning. We opened up this one and the guy had taken a dump in the envelope all night and sent it back. That’s that’s a level of rejection. Most people don’t do that.
Stephen: Yes and no on the phone is nothing compared to. Oh, you’re exactly right.
Stephen: Luckily, it wasn’t me, those only on that day. So I was quite happy. But the idea is, if we can shift our thinking from thinking, I’ve got to sell to this person and shift it to an environment where we say, actually, this person might want to pay what I have, we should be able to remove that fear entirely and it shouldn’t be an issue.
Keith: Got it. So I guess a lot of people’s thought when they’re making that initial call is, oh, I’m gonna make a sale.
Keith: I got a. Whereas what you’re actually doing is you simply make having a chat with them. Figuring out is there anything that you could usually do to help this person?
Stephen: Absolutely. Let’s take it a step further. You got a lead. Mm. I’ll use UK’s example because you’re sitting there and I call you Keith. John told me to give you a call. He said you having some problems in your business. I understand you might just being banter at the pub or whatever, but I’ve helped quite a lot of businesses lost countries. If there’s anything I can do to help I’d love to. What? What, what? What’s going on? What was that? What was the issue there? And you actually, I’m fine. I don’t have a problem here. Great. So do all that. And if that changes, you know, here’s my number or my email, Facebook, whatever. I happen to have a chat. No commitment, 20 minutes. See what’s going on and see if I can help. Thanks. Done. That’s the worst that can happen. Yeah. Realistically, because you can’t reach through the phone and hurt me.
Keith: Why not? Darn it, OK.
Stephen: Well, we’re not going to get into the whole we could hurt me with words because I want. But but my attitude is, okay, look, if somebody is. Somebody come to me as a lead, and I don’t care how they’ve come to me as a lead, that that tells me they are potentially somebody that I could help with a problem. And that for me is the key, because if I’m thinking I’m going to pick up the phone and speak to somebody and I speak to lots of people for 20 minutes, half an hour, they’ve never paid me.
Stephen: But they’ve got Officer Jesus. You know, what that guy’s done from is amazing. I’m just grateful for it as well. Because that’s my marketing. You know, it cost me 20 minutes of my time. Somebody is happy. They’re going to talk about me or they’re going to mention people have done that. You actually you do need to speak this guy because he helped me with my problem. The worst is going to happen. Is you going to say, no, I’m not interested? That’s fine. There’s obviously, you know, there’s a problem. I didn’t cold call you out of the blue, out of a telephone book. Done that before. There was a genuine inquiry of some description. And I followed up on that to try and see if I can help you. Why am I going to be scared of helping people?
Stephen: And that’s the paradigm shift that I think people need in selling is to stop thinking of it as a as an archaic, horrible, scary tussle and fight. And you know what? You’re going to get into objections and then they’re going to say, you got to call the water ice. And I’ve got to ask the vet if the dog’s OK this month that I have to pay in vet bills to manage what they can afford it because the phones won’t be renewed and it’s January or December or August because there’s always an excuse to say no.
Stephen: Yeah. And if you’re in a sales battle, somebody is going to wait and somebody’s going to lose. And I don’t like fighting. I’m not. I’m not. I’m if I have to fight to defend myself, I will. But I don’t want to go into a situation where I’m fighting from the start. And that’s what most people do when it comes to sales. That’s the biggest mistake in sales is it’s a fight I’m going to win or they’re going to win. If you watch films like Boiler ROOM, things like that, they’ve got coach like NLP.. Everybody wins on the sales call that he wins by convincing you why he’s not going to buy from you. Will you win by convincing him why he is? Why make a fight out of it? Jesus, if you need help. Yeah, I’m here. I can help. If you don’t want my help, that’s fine. But if you want it. Let’s talk about why you might need it and make sure if you do. Because when I’m qualifying people, I’m not qualified to see if I can work for them or with them.
Stephen: I’m qualified to say if I want this person working with me and taking up my time. Because there are a lot of problem clients out there.
Keith: Tell me about it. I think that is a very important point that you that you made that it’s worth reiterating. So when you when you’re having your initial chat with someone, it’s not a case. So we’ve already covered. You’re not funny, OPSEC. Hello? Yes. Buy my stuff because I was also going to work. But you’re also just as much as you’re seeing if you can help them and they’re seeing whether they feel they could work with you. The reverse is also true. Your absolute back to saying, do I really want to work with them? Can they be a good client for me? Perhaps someone. I that that’s something’s going off track slightly, but it’s still still a very important part of that.
Stephen: I feel it is part of the important paradigm shift to stop people being. I don’t have a magic wand to wave and say, okay, go in there and go sell because it’s not going in and selling isn’t going to work anymore the way that it used to do. You know, you go to a car. I used to use the example. If if you went out, you’d buy a new sofa, for example, and you’d spend a couple of weeks online. You look to different styles, prices, you know, your budget. You walk into a into DFS or any other variation of the sofa shop on Saturday morning with your significant other or on your own if you don’t have one sells or walks up. Can I help you? The first thing out of your mouth is nearly always going to be no thanks. We’re just looking. You lying bastard. You get what you want. You know how much you want to spend. You know what the material is that you want on it. But you’ve said no to a salesman because. Well, it’s a bit like the salespeople. You don’t get help for that. But because, you know, he’s going to try and sell you something. You have to buy something. Yeah. Something you don’t want to be sold to. The other example, right? There’s another example. Demented mode to keep you a kick, kick, kick your podcast shorter than an hour. Saul Stone.
Keith: I’d love the example of the bait. Yeah, you’re right.
Stephen: You basically boils down to I want to buy something. I go into a shop. The person in the shop says, would you like to buy something? I say, no. That’s a good point. You make that it’s weird some of the stuff that we were do and doing these things.
Stephen: And it’s the techniques that you’ve got to start thinking. That’s why I always laugh about, oh, let’s get outside of the box. I’ve never lived in a box. I’ve always been weird all my life. But if you if you think about that, for example, you don’t want to be sold to. So why the hell do you utter them? You don’t read those e-mails that come in from the spam e-mail campaigns and stuff that you wanted to look at a thing from. You just delete them or they go straight to your junk box. Why do you think people are going to read yours? If if you examine your behavior and why you buy what motivates you to buy from people, then you’ll start to understand how you can get people to buy from you.
Stephen: Brilliant. I think that if you don’t want to buy from me, no matter how good I am as a salesman or closer, you’re not gonna buy from me. Still inside a tip that I’ve worked in environments where people have been persuaded, cajoled, whatever terms you want to use into buying stuff.
Stephen: And again, films like Boiler ROOM and Wolf of Wall Street, look at those. That’s the environment I used to be in. And I’ve seen people buy that didn’t want to buy by being pushed into it, bullied, cajoled, mocked, whatever. And guess what? They make crappy clients. I can imagine. Yes. If you’re selling boiler room stock and you don’t give a damn about your clients and you just want the money. Go ahead. You know, bully people into it. And don’t worry about giving them the money back when they complain or whatever and see how long your your success lasts. If you want to build a truly successful business and really have good relations with your clients, take the time to understand their needs and deliver on those needs. And you will never sell in your life. Ever.
Keith: Yeah. Got it. Got it. I’m still thinking back to that sofa shop example you gave. I guess really the set the salesperson there is the one who almost killed the sale. His approach and I guess the approach should be make it easy for the person who comes in to feel safe and to feel that when they’re ready to buy, they know the person to say, hey, you know what, I’m interested in this.
Stephen: This is a silly example of how that can be an administration of trading on this floor with people. But customer walks into the store and normally the sales guys gathered around like like like hyenas at watering hole waiting for fresh meat to come in. And then they’ll be a power line and I’ll be the guy that gets the first one and they get to. So come over and they’re hunting already sort of doing that. Separate yourselves around the store, walk around, move things around, you know, fix the cushions on the sofa or move the book on the coffee table on their whatever walk on when you see something that’s height.
Stephen: I’m guessing you’re just browsing. I’m going to say that anyway. So let’s get that objection out of the way right up front. I guess you just browsing, but is there any particular style of sofa you’re looking for today?
Stephen: No, thanks, I’m just browsing. Shit. Can’t say that anymore because he’s already there. Well, yeah, we’re looking for a two seater. Okay, well we’ve got some Mexicans over there. Take a look if there’s anything you need help with. Come give me a shout. My name’s John. Know big. Be happy to chat with you again and see if we can get the right sort of style for your needs. Like it? Yeah. And they walk off to where the two are going.
Stephen: He’s not selling this anything.
Stephen: Now, you’ve almost got a takeaway scenario going on when you’ve taken away the opportunity for them to be sold out and they go online in order to be sold off and off they go. If you see my thing on three packages, you’ll see people literally push away the cheap option and look at the most expensive in the middle one knowing that they’re going to go for the middle one and you take away the most expensive one. When you take away options from people, you the objections that people come up with at the end as to why they’re not going to buy, you use the front end for the. Qualification process. So you say, I know you’re probably just browsing, just want to have a look around. That’s fine. Is there any particular style you’re looking for? Bang. Suddenly you’ve just you’ve just changed the entire dynamic of that store because now people are thinking, oh, they’re not here to sell to me. That’s good. I actually did have a question. I wanted that style. But with that material, is that possible? Well, actually, yes. Now you’re having a conversation about buying not being sold to. And that’s the entire that’s the entire point of this is to stop selling.
Keith: I think that is a brilliant point at which to to draw that draws to a close.
Keith: I know there’s a lot more stuff that you can share with people, if any, those who want to get in touch and have a chat and just find out a little bit more about what you do. Let me just chat a bit about some of the problems that they’re having. What’s the best way to find out more? Best way for them to get in touch with you.
Stephen: Speak to me on my Facebook page. The business is wrapped up. It’s the easiest way to get in contact. Going to be any more on Facebook. I have got a separate group on Facebook, which is to stop selling stock. Growing group. And that’s designed for people that maybe don’t want to take the plunge and spend money on one to one training or they don’t have a group of people or team and they just want to sort of ease themselves into it. And that’s just 20 quid a month so they can get on there. And the guy in question I was talking about for the personal trainer. He doesn’t have a business that he’s been on there. And he doubled his sales and paid for four years worth, of course, in the first. I think it was four weeks ago that I can live with those sort of recommendations and testimonials. They didn’t hurt.
Keith: So, yeah, if they want to find you, just look up the business disruptor on Facebook and they’ll find you. Yeah. Really?
Stephen: Well, Stephen, it has been an absolute blast, as always. Jackie, I never know where these things are. I think we’ve we’ve got some really cool stuff in there. And anybody who wants as anybody wants to find out more. You can get hold of you can find them at the businesses rupture on Facebook or check out the website for this episode. You’ll find all of the all the episodes at Keith Blakemore-Noble dot com slash show. Look up this episode with Stephen Jones. You’ll find more information, you’ll find more contact details, show notes, summaries, etc. But not really, is it for for this episode? Thank you, dear listeners and viewers, for joining us. Thank you, Stephen, for joining us. Without that, you thank you for having me. It’s been a very weird episode. And as always, I’m going to leave us all with my guests. Favorite quote and Steven’s favorite quote is – Sorry this is this letter is so long. I didn’t have time to write a short one.
You’ve been listening to the Keith Blakemore Noble radio show Helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. To find out more, please visit KeithBakemoreNoble.com
The Business Disruptor
I was always going to run my own business… when I was 10 I went around to other houses in the area doing chores for cash, then realised that my friends – who wanted money, could do the work for me and I could just collect the monies, deal with the clients, and pay them half….. Many a lesson was learnt at the time that I draw upon even now
I tried “real jobs” several Saturday jobs, but really didn’t like the concept of working hard for someone else to profit…. Just never seemed fair!! Fast forward to University – final year – election campaign against Hilary Benn, and a job interview with a publishing house…. Then suddenly I graduated, and my bank were taking about pension schemes, mortgages, and life insurance….! I ran… to Australia….
I set up a little sales consulting business reviewing sales teams, and processes (yes at 21) and was published for my efforts. Then I took a year off and went to the US, rode a Gold-wing around, ending up in Canada selling investments…. Which I did well at, and by the late 90’s I had established a Venture Capital company with offices in Dallas and London.
I have lost everything twice, rebuilt twice, been divorced twice, and am a single father twice (two kids)….. I don’t do things by half, I double up!!!!
Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes the launch of this Show!
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.