EP195: Humility’s on the Menu - Serving Sales Success Sashimi-style!
Corey Frank welcome Susan Finch to talk about humility, sales training, and sushi. If you've ever wondered how to turn water into wine without being at a wedding in Cana. Today's discussion is all about nurturing the greenhorns and newbies by diving into how to nurture the budding talent fresh from school or those having a "Is this my life?" moment. Corey expounds on why humility isn’t just for monks in monasteries but crucial in the sales world too. Drawing unexpected life lessons from the likes of the book 'The Alchemist' to 'Giro Dreams of Sushi' - yes, a sushi documentary, because why not? - this episode promises a roller coaster ride through the heart of sales strategies. Listen to the first half of this conversation, "Humility's on the Menu: Serving Sales Success Sashimi-style!"
Full episode transcript below:
Susan Finch (00:21):
Hey, everyone, Susan Finch here, and today I have the pleasure of sitting with Corey Frank, and we have two parts of this visit. If [00:00:30] you've ever wondered how to turn water into wine without having to be at a wedding in Cana, well, you want to join us for this episode. Today's discussion or the first half of this two-part visit is all about nurturing the greenhorns and newbies by diving into how to nurture the budding talent, fresh from school, or those having a "is this my life" moment. Corey expounds on why humility isn't just for monks and monasteries, but crucial in the sales world too.
Drawing unexpected life lessons from [00:01:00] the likes of the book The Alchemist to Jiro Dreams of Sushi, yes, a sushi documentary. Because why not? You know these guys. This episode promises a ride through the heart of sales strategies. Listen to the first half of this discussion, humility is on the menu, serving sales success, sashimi style.
[00:01:30] Some of the things that I notice because you are in the trenches with newbies, new salespeople that are not cluttered with bad habits, and you are able to from the get-go show them based on your experience, of course, the best way to learn as a group, to mentor each other, to make use [00:02:00] of some of their talents. One of the things that you guys have talked about before is give me the dyslexic ADHD person and I will make a great salesperson because they are the good ones. That always cracks me up because there I am.
I love hearing because neurodiversity is such a big topic right now and what it means to people. It's the quiet stuff we don't see. It's that silent diversity, the quiet diversity, however you want to word it, but it's what we don't see in [00:02:30] personalities. Some people are highly functioning with all of those assets, those quirks, however you want to call it. And yet there are some qualities that actually are way better for sales than they are for many other professions.
I wanted to talk to you about that a little bit, and also to see two things, and you can go as far as you want with this because we can just record this and chop [00:03:00] it up too, how to build a sales team from scratch for small to mid-size businesses. Which comes first, the people are the tools? And if it's tools, I mean, we know ConnectAndSell, of course, but what are your must haves that there's no deal without it, you must be using something to the effect of these tools because otherwise this will happen?
And then finally, I wanted to talk about the importance of a mentor in sales, especially when people are only remote. [00:03:30] I have seen the difference when people are trained in person. There is no substitution for that. As much as I love working from home, I also had the benefit though of mentors early on. I would not be successful, I would not know what I know today without being in person working alongside people, bumping along, reacting, responding, and pivoting. Those are the topics I was thinking about.
Corey Frank (03:57):
I don't know how people do [00:04:00] that. It's got to be tough to start your sales career and work from home that way, right?
Susan Finch (04:06):
I would think so.
Corey Frank (04:08):
There's nobody to the left or the right and am I doing it? Yeah, it's got to be tough. Susan, what we do here at Branch 49 is we certainly with the help of folks like you and Chris and the Market Dominance Guys' philosophy is how do you turn water into wine? You and I have had a lot of conversations over the years. One of the things that we [00:04:30] like to call Branch 49, and I think this should be the aim of any organization that aims to hire folks right off the boat, right out of school, maybe career changers, is how do you arm them?
Chris calls it a finishing school for CEOs. When you look at maybe the traits of what we would all want to see as a nearly finished product or a product in progress of development, the biggest one that we see is humility. [00:05:00] It's probably counterintuitive from a sales perspective is that don't you want your sales folks to be killers and to put them in the field and run through that wall? The Goggins and the Jocko and all that stuff has its place. Certainly. What's the axiom? I think the old Zen proverb is, I am nothing, I am everything, I am nothing.
And that approach where I have to start knowing that even though I have a degree, even though maybe I have five, 10 years of sales experience, but if I come [00:05:30] into an environment like this like we have, is that I know nothing. Certainly one of the hallmarks of that is what we talk about at market dominance guys, which is when a call starts, is that mental state that we have to have of true tactical empathy when we run up against a stranger. If I don't have a level of humility to want to be curious, how can I be empathetic if I'm not curious?
To me, they're counterintuitive. I think that's the biggest [00:06:00] one that we see in that we try to test. We use OMG. We use Sandlers and Dave Kurlan's OMG. We certainly use DiSC. We use Shawn Sease's Humantic.AI platform. I look for every edge that I can get to bring folks in. The second part here as we talked about is what we may have jus a little different interview process, but after they take the OMG or the Humantic profile, we give them an assignment and we give them an assignment to do two things.
Number one [00:06:30] is to listen to The Alchemist, great book by Paulo Coelho. It's probably 20, 25 years old or so. It's told in a parable as a young shepherd who is on a quest to find his personal legend. It has nothing to do with sales, but it has everything to do with sales. This shepherd boy goes on this journey from Spain to Africa, eventually thinking [00:07:00] he's going to find the treasure at the foot of the pyramids. And through a series of adventures and off-ramps, he eventually realizes as he makes his way back to where he started from home is that that's where the gold is, that's where the treasure is.
Sometimes we can set forth in a career. You and I, when we first met, we talked about this is that society wants you to set forth into a career of sales or marketing or management. [00:07:30] I guess I'm supposed to be happy doing that, but no one ever asked me if I'm happy. They just shuffle you out the door, right? Austin's going to school for engineering and hopefully he'll be happy at that. But no one talks about the personal legend, which is what will make you the most fulfilled.
Some folks will have 10 years of experience, but we say it's one year 10 times, or hey, I have 20 years of sales experience, but it's really 10 years two times, and they never fulfill their personal legend. They hit numbers. [00:08:00] They go through the motion. But as far as really finding that inner quest as something intriguing, exciting, something to be unwrapped over the years, they just go through the motions, and they just meander through life. That's the first one is Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist and the second one is one that I've used for years too, and it's a movie called Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
It's an incredible documentary, Susan. It's probably out about 10 years ago or so. It's about the only [00:08:30] Michelin rated three star sushi restaurant in the world, and it's in the subway station, the Ginza subway station, in Tokyo. The restrooms aren't even on premise. It's like down the hall. But here you have the hustle and bustle of going in a subway station, and it is a Michelin rated three star restaurant. Now, there's only a couple dozen of those in the world. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about the proprietor, the founder of the sushi restaurant.
It only seats nine, [00:09:00] nine folks, but it is a Michelin rated three star. I think we only have, what, three in the United States, I believe, I could be mistaken, Michelin rated. It'll show you how rare this is. The movie has, again, nothing to do with sushi, but everything to do with life. If we have a candidate who goes through the process and they think they want to embark on a career in sales or even a career in a startup world, The Alchemist and the Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the key. You'll see this, it's highly recommend it.
[00:09:30] The documentary talks about loving your craft. This is a person who's now 87, 88 years old, and he's dedicated his entire life to what should be the simple nuance of making sushi. But everybody from around the world, from the top French chefs to the food critics around the world, realize that something so simple can yet be so elegant the way he does it and how he repeats himself over and over again.
Those are two big ones I think as a topic that you and I have spoken about for many, many [00:10:00] times, as well as Chris, on taking a candidate and bringing them to a state mindset that they've got to reduce themselves, reduce again in order to build themselves up.
Susan Finch (10:12):
I believe that what parallels with that is that openness that goes with the curiosity.
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Susan Finch (10:53):
The ego left at the door. I mean, humility and lack of ego, they're similar, but they're a little different. [00:11:00] We can be proud of what we do, but that's not ego. Because it's like if I can employ everything you have taught me and do something great for a client and give them the solution they needed, I'm proud of myself that I was willing to be open to the process to learn how to do that to get them there. That's a different type of pride than the one that comes hand in hand with ego.
Corey Frank (11:30):
[00:11:30] When you were training me and Chris this concept of the podcast, I think the students were willing, but you gave us and guided us and shepherd us to doing it better and better, from the speaking to the stepping on each other's feet, to the audio, to be mindful of your background, all that stuff. Where does that come from? How do you find, determine the clients that you want to bring on?
Because we're a representation of your brand certainly. As [00:12:00] you and your team promote podcasts like Market Dominance Guys out in the marketplace, people say, "Hey, great. Who's your producer?" Obviously that's part and parcel of if we put out a poor quality product, which we haven't always hit them out of the park, but how do you go through that discernment process to find out if the student is willing, if there is that level of humility from even somebody who may be seasoned as an executive?
Susan Finch (12:22):
That is a great question. I am fortunate. Maybe I should be less picky, because then I would have people banging down the doors [00:12:30] to want to be on the network, but I have to be able to get behind them 100%. If they are not willing to listen to improve, then I can't do anything with them. That won't make my brand good. It won't make them happy. It won't make the people they answer too happy. There has to be that willingness, that desire to be open to improvements, to consider things, and that trust in me that I'm not doing it to make me sound good.
[00:13:00] I am 100% doing it from caring. The three of us have talked about this enough, and with Helen too. If you guys don't trust that I come from love for everything I do for you, then we don't have enough trust to do business together. You guys had that from the beginning, and you knew that we were the real deal and we just want you guys to sound great. We want people to listen to the shows. We want you to build your audience. And to do that by hand, not just [00:13:30] automating everything, not sending it away, we wanted that personal touch.
That's why Austin has been your editor since day one almost, with rare exception when he has too late of a night studying or something.
Corey Frank (13:42):
Susan Finch (13:43):
Because he's invested in it too. He's very protective. He comes from my background with my nonprofit, with Binky Patrol. I'm an advocate at heart. I'm a protector. I protect children. I protect babies. I protect. I protect kids and their creativity when I was an art [00:14:00] teacher. I protected the kids at youth group. I protect my clients. I do that. That all comes into play.
Corey Frank (14:09):
Interesting. That's where the protective instinct to I care about your brand even when you don't want to, and that's why you may not agree with me, but I'm trying to protect you from you. When you do X or Y or Z, Mr. CEO, you're diluting, diminishing your brand in the marketplace, so to speak. [00:14:30] Do I have that correct?
Susan Finch (14:31):
Yes. I might not always have that title and have as many people under me as all of you, but nobody's going to protect you more. I do take that to heart. It matters to me. It matters to us here at Funnel Media Group that you're proud and your guests are proud and they're not embarrassed. Because if somebody's embarrassed, who's going to share the show? Nobody.
Corey Frank (14:56):
That's right. That's right. Well, that's one of the things that my first mentor, Jamie [00:15:00] from 25 plus years ago, this is why we wear the monkey suits today. Those that are listening to this, everybody here at Branch 49 still wears a jacket and a tie. You can say, "Come on, it's Arizona. It's 100 and something degrees. Do you really need to do that? You're doing full work." Our answer is always, yes, you do need to do that. Especially us as an agency model, we're responsible. Talk about being protective.
We're protective for the care and feeding of our client's brand in the marketplace. If we're making a cold call [00:15:30] in a t-shirt and tube socks and short shorts with our feet kicked up on the table, drinking a half a can of Bud Light, you probably aren't going to have the same level of intensity of care and feeding, of just being aware of what exactly you're protecting that if somebody who dresses and acts the part. Now, that may be a little counterintuitive, especially today in today's counterculture, that hey, you got to be comfortable, you got to work from home, you need your mental well-being.
I would argue that you should embrace the hard, difficult things, [00:16:00] and it is hard and difficult. We start early here. We do a lot of development work, the books to read, the journaling. These are things that are "encouraged to do." In other words, we allocate time that we pay for as a business to sit down and do your journaling and do your goals for the day, goals for the week. We have our goal boards prominent posted for everybody in the organization to see, so we know who's working for what.
And now I then have implicit permission [00:16:30] if I see Susan slacking off a little bit to say, "Susan, you have on your goal board a Disney World trip for your kids. You have a new Tesla model Y. You have a down payment on your new house. You have save at a 529. You have $1,000 commission. But it's my job to care about your goals when you don't want to. Right now it doesn't appear that you want to." I have to step in as that protector, as you had mentioned, and give you a little nudge in the ribs.
From our client perspective, [00:17:00] the client facing, when we're on Zooms and they see the ties and they see the books and they see the people all doing what they should do, certainly they feel a little bit more at ease knowing that their jersey name is in the front, our name is in the back, and let's not forget that, is that we're calling on behalf of Cisco or Abnormal or whomever the cybersecurity or UCaaS company is, and we want to leave that person in better shape than how we found them, even if they don't accept a meeting, even if they don't [00:17:30] take sale.
I like hearing that you're a protector. I think that's probably why, certainly Chris, we know our friend Chris Beall is being a protector of the dignity, integrity of our profession, how much of a thought leader he is in the space. I wonder if that's a common trait amongst other entrepreneurs or leaders is that protector trait, because I haven't heard it much the way that you had explained there, Susan. Do you remember this, Susan? What's on the screen here for our folks who are [00:18:00] listening?
Susan Finch (18:00):
View-Master. A View-Master.
Corey Frank (18:04):
Susan Finch (18:04):
Just about a dozen memories on one reel.
Corey Frank (18:10):
There's 13 of those little windows on a circle, on a disc that goes into a plastic viewer, right? For those of you, google View-Master, what it is. For a lot of us, you, me and Chris growing up, hey, we saw there was cartoons on here. If you wanted to see Paris, you could see 13 different images of Paris [00:18:30] and you learned. Well, when I was at Goodwill, this is a View-Master that I saw, and it is how to break-dance.
Susan Finch (18:42):
Oh my gosh, that's so funny.
Corey Frank (18:44):
Somehow with the limitations that were out there, somebody said break dancing. This is probably '81, '82, '83, I would say somewhere around there. This is probably 30 plus years old, but there was a three real set of how to break-dance now.
Susan Finch (18:59):
Those [00:19:00] moonwalk footwork, back spins, and windmills
Corey Frank (19:05):
And windmills. That's what says on this particular View-Master. Now, what's interesting is I'm sure if I hired these folks out for a bar mitzvah or communion ceremony or a graduation for entertainment and I wanted to find or test out their bonafides, I wouldn't probably expect them to say, "Well, I learned to break-dance by View-Master." A lot of folks who try to learn sales [00:19:30] by working from home are really, in my world, my impression is learning by View-Master. I thought that was appropriate.
As David Sandler, Sandler sales method, title of one of his books is, You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. I don't believe that you can teach folks how to master their craft remotely. You can't teach the next generation of Jiros how to make sushi unless you actually cut and work [00:20:00] in a sushi restaurant.
For all those who are, "Yeah, but I want to work from home in sales," I would just challenge you as you're embarking on your career that you may be one of those folks who have five years of sales experience, but really it's one year five times because all five of your sales years of experience, you're working remotely for an organization. There just is no substitute versus being involved and being on a sales floor.
Susan Finch (20:24):
I agree. Thank you for that.
Corey Frank (20:27):
That's all I have to say about that. [00:20:30] This is overdue. Who needs broken down Chris Beall on these things, right? He's out of all fresh ideas. No, he's not. But Susan, it's been great chatting with you, certainly as I learned something new as a protector, that makes a lot of sense of how you care about the Funnel Media Group brand, and certainly all the clients that you have and companies, little brands like Market Dominance Guys continues to go up into the right.
We certainly appreciate all the guidance and the mentoring and the Sherpa-ing, if that's a word, that you do for folks where this isn't our [00:21:00] day job is getting out there and branding the marketplace. Our day job is talking to strangers and asking them for time or money.
Susan Finch (21:06):
No, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Folks, you know where to find it. Go out to Market Dominance Guys and find all your favorite podcast apps. You need a Salesforce? Go look up branch49.com because they are the real deal. They will get you where you want to be.
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