014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

 

Strong for Performance Podcast

 

014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

by Jody Holland

Ready for a boatload of practical tips you can use to acquire and keep more clients? Jody Holland is a fire hose of ideas! In the past 20 years, he’s published 20+ books, been a keynote speaker 300+ times and trained almost 300,000 leaders. Jody shares the approach he takes in conversations that cause people to ask how they can work with him. No chasing or pushing involved!

You’ll discover:

  • What Jody did to generate a six-figure income his first year in business
  • Metrics you can use to help quantify the ROI clients get when they work with you
  • How to create multiple internal champions so you don’t lose a client if someone leaves
  • The exact words you can use to ask for (and get!) referrals
  • How Jody uses his face-reading skills to identify his most promising prospective clients on LinkedIn

Watch the episode:

 

Connect with Jody

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Jody’s books on Amazon

www.amazon.com/author/jodyholland

Website

www.jodyholland.com

eLearning Site

www.psycheofsuccess.com

 

Read the Transcription

Welcome back to another episode of the Strong for Performance Podcast. I’m your host, Meredith Bell, and today, I am so excited to have with me, Jody Holland. Welcome, Jody.

Thank you very much. Glad to be on the podcast.

Well, I’ll tell you, I want to let everybody know why I’m so excited to have you with me. Because for one thing, you are just a prolific human being. Jody has written over 20 books. He has been the keynote speaker at over 300 events now, and he has trained … Is it 200,000 leaders?

Yeah, we’re getting pretty close to 300,000 now.

Oh, so we’re counting by hundreds of thousands. That’s awesome. What I think makes me so thrilled when I hear those numbers are just the impact that you’re having on the world and other human beings, which is so important these days, that there be these positive influences. So, before I dive into specific questions I have for you, I’d like you just to tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you get here?

So, it has been, definitely, quite a ride. My first job out of college, I started with a bachelor’s degree in communication. I now have a master’s in psychology, as well. The first job was working with ex-cons, and that was a fascinating job. My job was to teach them to be nice in the workplace and to get a job and keep a job.

So I was doing behavior modification from the very beginning. It turns out executives are easier to modify than convicts, so did that for about a year. Then I worked for the Boy Scouts, and I designed ropes course programs and built ropes courses for them around the country. And then from there, I went into business for myself.

So I’ve been in business since 1999, and, just from the perspective of business, I got here because I had a lot of really great mentors that poured into me. I love how much easier it is now with podcasting and the things that you’re doing, for example, to get that information that I didn’t know where to get when I first went into business.

So I was scrambling, trying to find people that would spend an hour with me. Let me buy them lunch, and so I could pick their brain and learn what they were doing, and just figure out how success happened. So anyway, it’s been quite a ride. I’ve had a whole lot of fun over the last couple of decades.

When you first got started, I’m curious, what kind of strategies did you use to get off to a strong start with your business?

So, I used to always tell people I had a stark raving terror of poverty, and that was the great human motivator. But the reality was, I found a couple of really great mentors. I found a sales coach that would help me out and I did pay him, and I found a guy that was a multimillionaire and been successful in business for, at that point, about 35 years.

And I picked both of their brains. One of the things that I was told before either one of them agreed to work with me was, I had to commit to reading at least one new book every month. And I remember asking Homer, the guy that told me that, “Well, how long?” He goes, “Well, until you die.” He goes, “No, but if you want me to coach you at all, then you have to commit to that.” So I committed to that.

And then from a sales perspective, which was where I was kind of weak, Mac, the other guy that was a sales coach that was helping me, just said, “Look, you got to have a system and you got to work the system. If you think you’re going to be successful off of inspiration, that’s for amateurs. You got to show up and work.”

And so I created an interview system for how I would get new business. And in my first year, I made more than 3,600 cold calls. I presented to 500 potential companies. I did 10 a week for 50 straight weeks without skipping anything. So even on holiday weeks, I would work around the holidays and make sure I still got my 10 a week average. But that made me more than six figures in the first year in business.

And now I’m a multiple, multiple six figures on an annual basis, and I still use some of that same model. Now, it got a lot better. Once you start having some clients and doing a great job, you just ask them for referrals, and as long as you’re doing a great job in giving them more than they believe that they paid for, never have any trouble with the business.

So I’ve got some clients that I started with in October of ’99, I went in business in September of ’99, and I still have several of those clients from that first month and a half in business. So that’s pretty cool.

That is very cool. There are two things you said, well, more than that, but two that I want to dive into because one of them is that kind of longevity with clients. And I’m happy to say, we are in a similar situation. Our software, 2020 Insight, has been out since ’94. We are 25 years in with that product, and we’ve got clients and resellers that have worked with us for almost that whole time.

So, I love to find out from others, what are your secrets for developing those kinds of long-term relationships? And I’m asking in the context of, we often feel that we’ve got to be looking for that next client, when in fact, there’s often opportunities to go deeper with the ones we’re working with. So talk a little bit about how you’ve developed these long-term relationships and how that’s led to more business within that one client.

So, one of my mentors right after Homer had worked with me, one of the things that he told me, maybe six months into business, he said, “If you always show that you were making them significantly more money than they’re spending with you, or measure your return on investment, then you’ll always have business and they’ll keep using you, because they can’t justify getting rid of a, say, $50,000 a year expense that has consistently made them half a million or more in additional revenue or cost savings.”

So I started looking at, well, how in the world do you do that as a trainer in consulting? Because a lot of times, what we do doesn’t seem quantifiable. And I ran across some formulas that the Saratoga Institute had put out. They were out of Canada. It’s the largest HR consulting firm there. They’re now owned by PriceWaterhouseCooper. But a friend of mine did consult with them, and he said, “Hey, we share these with clients, so I’ll send you a copy of our turnover form and our productivity metrics and some things like that.”

So I started measuring, as I started, like maybe six months into the business, let’s look at where your turnover is. Let’s look at an actual cost of turnover. And their formula was so good that, within a 10% variance, I could predict how much more money they would have at the end of the year based on working with me.

So I knew that using the training models that I’d put together, some collaboration with a couple of PhDs that I worked with at the time, I could cut turnover by between 25% and 50% in year one. I also knew that I could increase overall productivity and performance by more than 30% in year one. So if we’re going up in performance and down in turnover, that generally resulted in, we didn’t need as many FTEs, which is a cost-saving.

We lowered turnover costs, which, it’s anywhere on entry-level from 33% of what annual costs for that person would be, to the executive level, which is 400% of what the cost of that executive would be to replace them. And then when you look at productivity, you’ve got a 30% increase, let’s say, for every three people that we get fully engaged at that productivity level. We’re now doing the work of four people.

So, you have three very specific metrics that you can tie to money. And that’s what I started doing early on, is tying that to money. The second piece of that is, I do get to know my clients well. A lot of consultants go, “I will work for what I get paid for, and the end of my six hours of consulting for the day, I’m done.” A lot of times, I would consult for six hours and then I would go out with them to dinner, and we would talk about their family. We would talk about anything we could think of. And I got that out of Harvey Mackay’s book, How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.

He had what he called the Mackay 66. 66 things to memorize about every client that you work with. And I didn’t do all 66, but I had about 20 things that I would memorize about every single client that I worked with. Particularly, anybody on the C-suite level. So, I might have half a dozen people and remember 20 things about each one of them.

I know about their families, I know about their birthdays, I know about their hobbies, I know about their struggles. So, I learned at that level about who they were as a person so that you take it beyond just the ROI. I think the ROI is critical, but it’s still just a number, and I never wanted to be a commodity. I want to be a relationship. I wanted to be a partner with that company.

And that’s why Vanguard Resources, one of my best clients, one that was the third client that I closed, and I still work with them today. But right before this, I was on the phone with their CEO, talking about what we’re going to do with an upcoming program at one of the hospitals they have and talking about, then, after that, how his kid’s doing, and I was talking about how I brought my kids a lot of times to training programs.

Oh, it’s a great idea. So, those relationships go beyond the billing hours. And I think that’s the thing that is tough for a lot of people, is, they want to do just what they’re paid for. But if you do so much more than you’re paid for, you always deliver more than what you’re paid to deliver your family.

That is so cool. And you know what else I’m thinking of? I’ve seen situations where a consultant or coach loses a client because their key contact person leaves the organization, and they have no other internal champion. Am I hearing you correctly that you’ve got multitudes of internal champions, so you’re not dependent on one individual to keep things going in working with you?

Absolutely. Yeah, and I think that it’s really important to just spread out a little bit. And a lot of, with what I do, I do a leadership development, but then I also do the executive coaching, and typically, those are coupled together. So I’ll go in and do leadership development over one year, and at the same time, I’m back another day, or sometimes two days, coaching the people that are going through the training.

So we’re taking the application of the material and making it real for them within our business. And you naturally evolve some great relationships as you’re coaching that person, because they’re always going to go beyond just, “Hey, I’ve got this problem with this one employee.” You get some emotion, you get some connection, you learn about their life.

Yeah. So you’re doing that at different levels, then, in the organization. And I love that you talked about going the extra mile and doing more than you’re paid for. I think that it’s a whole attitude of service. I’m here to serve, and people sense that.

I would like you to talk a little bit about what you see the impact on them being, of you taking that kind of interest in them. Because I have to think that you stand out with them among all the other … I hate to use the word vendors, but the outside resources. What kind of feedback have you gotten from your clients about the approach that you take?

So, the new CEO of Vanguard, the son just took over from his father. This is about two months ago. He goes, “Man, I figured you out.” I said, “Really? What have you figured out?” He goes, “You know me so well that I tell you everything in my life. There isn’t anybody that I would trust to open up to as much as I trust you.”

I said, “That’s a good thing.” He goes, “Yeah, it’s a good thing, but I can’t fire you, ever.” I go, “That’s an even better thing for me.” No, I think the key is, you’re trying to just develop that trust, because like we talked about with that servant’s heart, I just want their life to be better. And a lot of times, entrepreneurs and business owners, our life is stressful. The incident to divorce for entrepreneurs is incredibly high.

Divorce rate’s high anyway, in the U.S., but it’s even higher when you have that high-stress job, and when you’re a type-A personality, which most entrepreneurs at some level are. I’m aggressively pursuing success, so we stay out of balance. So a lot of what I’m doing is helping them find their balance without giving up their success.

And I think that people just truly appreciate being able to breathe, being able to be a human, not having to worry about being judged or evaluated based on what they said. They can be open. They can be honest. I have clients that go, “Look, I need to cuss at somebody. Can I cuss at you?” I’m like, “Absolutely.” “Cuss at me. Let’s just get it out, and we’ll be good after that.”

You’re a haven. You’re a haven for them.

Yeah. You go from adviser to trusted advisor. There is a safety net there, and I had an HR director last week at a group that I work with, have about 3,500 employees, and she started crying when I was talking to her. She goes, “I don’t cry.” I’m like, “Okay.” She goes, “You have …” I have a consultant voice when I’m coaching. So you’re very calm. You’re very soothing. You’ll allow people to say whatever it is they need to say.

She goes, “It’s your dang voice. If you would just be riled up, I’d be used to it, because everybody’s riled up when they talk to me.” And I said, “Well, I need to be calm for you,” and so I just keep everything calm and easy in that coaching setting. You can get excited when you’re speaking, you’re on stage or you’re doing training, but there’s a variation in the way you present yourself that I think has a huge impact.

Our communication is evaluated by 93% based on non-verbals. So you’ve got your 38% facial expressions, and you’ve got your 55% your body language, and all of your tone of voice, and you add all that up, and you just go, “Holy cow, my words don’t mean that much unless I know how to say them correctly.”

Well, I’m curious. In a training setting where the participants may not know you, right, before they’ve come to the class, what do you do to help build that trust with them quickly so that they can get into the content and the processes you need them to address?

So, I usually do just a very quick introduction of me, and then, I don’t go very deep into my background or my expertise, other than I’ve been doing this for over 20 years of training. 20 on my own. I am here to make you successful. My focus is not to train you. My focus is to equip you in such a way that you go do something with it.

And then I do introductions of people to each other, where they get to know the people in the class. And it’s been a funny transition. When I stopped caring so much about them knowing me and remembering me, and spent more time connecting and interacting with each other, because they see each other every day, it’s funny how much more people sought out understanding who I was.

They’ll go to the website, they’ll watch YouTube videos. They’ll look for things about me, because I’m not up there going, “Look, I am the smartest guy in the room, and I have a masters in psychology, and I worked in all of these places,” and you’re like, “Nobody cares.” Everybody cares about what you can do for them to help them be successful.

And so, I think that’s the quick connection and the rapport building. I’m a very non-threatening guy. I’m nice. I’m funny. I tell a lot of jokes and reference a lot of movies throughout the training so that people can tie the skill sets back to what they would do in real life. Like in conflict resolution, I asked, “How many of you have ever seen a movie with no conflict?” And nobody raises their hand.

And I’m like, “So we can’t say conflict is bad. If Batman Versus Superman, Batman would have gone, ‘Superman, I think you’re too powerful.’ And Superman would have said, ‘Look, Bruce Wayne, I’m not here to threaten you. Let’s get a latte.’ They go get a coffee, they talk about things. It would be a horrible movie. We needed conflict and we needed resolution.”

So a lot of times, I’ll play out things like that, and people crack up, and that makes it easier to connect.

That’s great. Go ahead.

Little shock value on them. I do face reading, and so you can tell the psychology of a person based on the structure of their face, and you look, for example, eyebrows tell you how to approach a person. Forehead tells you how they make decisions. The nose tells you if they have any defensiveness and insecurities. The mouth area tells you whether they’re businesslike or outgoing and fun-loving. And the chin area tells you how they evaluate themselves and what they need. And then the ears tell you how a person learns.

This has been psychology, kind of, it’s been around since Freud, where he started looking at phrenology and then the physiology, or physiognomy, excuse me, which was Chinese medicine for understanding the health of a person. You take that, and you correlate it into the workspace. I can go, for example, “I know that you, Susie, over here, or you like this. And John over here, I know your standards are higher for work than they are at home.”

And so you can go through and you can pick out little things on a person and they kind of like, “Oh my gosh, what did he just do to me? He’s like a weird voodoo guy.” So, it’s fun, and then they’re fascinated, and they’ll come to you like, “Here’s a picture of my spouse. What’s wrong with them?”

Well, I’ll put a plugin here, because you have a book. One of your many books is on face reading, right?

Yeah. So it’s called Faces of Reality. And I have one right there.

Excellent.

I have a few besides me. Just in case, but …

Oh, good.

It’s a great book. And I’ll show you, as a father of two daughters, page 163 is the page that fathers of daughters need to look at. And it’s the profile, the not-going-to-date-my-daughter profile.

Oh, boy.

That is kind of a funny chapter that people put out on Facebook to all the people that follow Jody Holland training, like, “Okay, what do you want to know?” One of my friends immediately put up who should not date my daughter. And I’m like, “Gotcha.” And so I described it out, and then my illustrator, who, she’s out in California, she sent it back, and I’m like, “Holy cow, that was my daughter’s boyfriend freshman year. He looks exactly like him.”

Oh, funny. Well, I’m sure you’ve got some people intrigued, now, to check that out. So thank you for showing that one. I want to circle back a minute to the referrals, because you talked about getting referrals, and I could see how it would be easy for you to do that with the trust you’ve built up with them.

But I’m curious to know, what’s your exact approach in asking for referrals? Because I know that’s something people hear all the time. You need to be getting more referrals. But they’re at a loss for how to ask without sounding salesy.

Right. So what I typically do is, first, I prove that I’m worthwhile. So I won’t ask for a referral until I’ve been there at least 90 days, because they start seeing benefits of the programs I do at about the 90-day mark. And then I will go to the person and say, “Hey, have you enjoyed what we’re doing?” “Well, yeah.” “Are you seeing the benefit of it?” “Absolutely.”

Say, “I’m not asking you to give me a list of your friends, but who else do you know that would like their people to be more productive, or turnover to be lower, and to have less stress at work?” Well, that’s pretty much everybody. So I’ll say, “Well, what would be ideal for me if you don’t mind giving me a referral? I’d really like two people if you could just introduce me to two.” I don’t ask for five, I just want two people.

“Would you email that person an introduction, and copy me on the introduction? And I’d be glad to send you some wordings, some bullet points if that would make it easier. I’ll write the email, and copy and paste it if you want, or you can just write it, whatever’s best for you.” Nine out of 10 times, they want me to write the email and send it to them, and they’ll tweak it to kind of fit what they want to say, and then they’ll send it to two people and will copy me.

That’s all they have to do, and I take it from there. Some people are never going to respond, but most of the time, when you get a warm referral like that, I’ll get somebody who reaches out and says, “Hey, sounds fascinating what you’re doing with XYZ Corporation. Love to visit with you sometime.” I go, “Fantastic. Let’s schedule a time. Would you like a phone call or would you like me to be in person?”

And I always put the option out there, no matter where they’re at. Now and then somebody will go, “Yeah, I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How about in person?” You’re like, “Oh yeah, that sounds great.” I’ll go anyway, but I kind of hope for the phone call on the first introduction just to get to know them. But I don’t say, “Will you give me a referral?” I ask, “Who else do you know that would like …?” And I list the results that I’m achieving for them.

That’s great. Excellent approach. And then I would think that the people you are contacting, as a result of that introduction, it’s not like a cold call. It’s got to be a lot more pleasant than when you first started that first year. That cold calling that you did, I’m sure, prepared you for … And I would assume you built up some resistance to the rejection feeling over time.

Because I know that’s something that concerns folks, and why they kind of hold back on reaching out to people, because they’re afraid of that rejection. What do you suggest to help get past that, since you’ve done it?

Yeah, so it’s a fun way to do it. And my little brother is the one that came up with this, and he is a farmer and a rancher. Has a big farm ranch outfit in Texas. And he said, “Man, I love poker. Why don’t you use poker chips to track what you’re doing?” So I started thinking, “That’s a great idea.”

So I have white poker chips for every time I made a phone call and talk to a person. Making a phone call and leaving a voicemail did not count as a phone call. I had to talk to a person. And then I have blue poker chips every time I made a presentation, and I had a green poker chip every time I closed a deal. And I spent about the first six months doing this, of just tracking. How many phone calls does it take to get to a presentation?

How many presentations does it take to get to a deal, and what’s my average deal worth? And year one, my average deal was $2,000. My average deal is much bigger now than what it used to be, but I have a lot more that I’ve developed. So I would go, every time I got somebody that I’ll get them on the phone, “Hey, this is Jody Holland, and I’m with Jody Holland Training. I wanted to talk to you about …”

And you get a, “Shut up, I hate all humans,” and they hang up on you. And that’s the part where we’re like, “Oh, they don’t like me. I can’t ever do this again.” We freak out. You just take that white poker chip, and you’re like, “A hundred bucks.” Because you know the value when you convert backward with your ratios, that … Every single phone call my first year in business, it was worth … It wasn’t worth a hundred bucks, but it was worth about $40 my first year.

And you look at now, if I make phone calls to set things up, every phone call is worth about a thousand dollars. So I make a phone call and talk to somebody. Even if they tell me to jump off a cliff, I go, “Thousand bucks,” and I know that I’m moving closer to that money. I started with, let me see if I can get 30 people to tell me no in 30 days. Because I had all this angst about, “I need them to say yes, and it feels awful if they say no.”

Because I don’t like being rejected. I’m like everybody else. So when I took the pressure off, and said, “I’m trying to get 30 no’s,” then that’s easy. I made 10 grand trying to get 30 no’s in my first month of doing that. Geez, I should’ve done this month one. That was awesome. So because you get so many more people saying yes, and all the pressure’s off you. If somebody says yes, awesome. They say no, score. You don’t have to get the yes.

Now, LinkedIn didn’t wasn’t around back then, but how would you use LinkedIn today if you were just starting, or somebody didn’t have the kind of network and clientele established that you do?

So, I still use LinkedIn quite a bit for just expanding my conversations with people. It’s how I get a lot of my keynote gigs, is through LinkedIn. I use the face reading, which I know, that’s kind of an unfair advantage at this point, but I have a profile of people who typically will say yes.

So I’ll go through and I’ll sort the criteria of, they’re in charge of a company that’s this size, or they have an executive-level position, and you can do all the searching and sorting components through LinkedIn, as long as you have a pro account, which I highly recommend the pro account. It’s 700 bucks a year, or something like that. It’s worth the money. So I’ll sort it down to 50 people, and then I’ll go, “Okay, well, I know that people with a dominant personality characteristic as their primary, they’re the most likely to say yes to me.”

And you look for a square chin and a rounded forehead, and on the disc profile, that’s a D. So, of all the people, the 40 people on the list, there might be 11 people that are D’s. I know they’re very driven by the result or outcome, and that’s the easiest thing for me to sell to them because that’s what I’ve conditioned.

So I then target those specific people, and I’ll try to connect with them first. Once I’m connected with them, I’ll give it 20, 30 days, then I’ll reach out to them by phone and just say … I don’t spam them with the LinkedIn messaging. I think that’s so annoying. But I’ll reach out to them and I say, “Hey, I like to actually at least have a conversation with anybody that I’m connected with on LinkedIn. I’m not necessarily really selling you anything, and I promise I’m not tricking you. I just like to get to know you.”

And I try to have a conversation and to have something to offer them that might be a benefit to them or their business. And then say, “Hey, I’d love to have another conversation at some point. Let me know if you would.” So far, about 90% of people are like, “Yeah, I’d love to have a follow up conversation.” I’ll do a little more research on their company, and get to know the company, then I’ll call them back, and I’ll talk about what I’ve done for other companies.

And the technique is, or what I call it is, my friend John. I was working with my friend John. He has a company kind of like yours, and this is what he was struggling with, and here’s what we did, and here is the outcome. So it’s not me going, “I see that you have a struggle and I think I can fix it, and this is what I can get you.” Because that is sales.

But if I tell a story, all of a sudden they’re like, “Could you help me?” And I’m like, “Yeah. I’d be glad to.” And then you’re just helping. You’re solving problems is all you’re doing. And it is a slow, deliberate pace. It’s not a one-call close. It’s a relationship close. I think that’s what makes it last, too, because there’s no buyer’s remorse when somebody asks you if they can buy, versus you trying to sell to them.

Oh, that’s so smart. I just love that. And of course, I resonate with it, because I’m very similar. Although I don’t do the phone call, I’m exchanging messages, typically on LinkedIn, and then it becomes a natural thing as you and I did. “Let’s have a conversation to learn more about each other.”

And it sounds like you also take the approach of really listening so that you can add value along the line. Not from the perspective of, “Hire me to do this for you,” but, “Are there people or resources that I could introduce you to that could be helpful for you?” Am I reading that right?

You are. I have a very big network of people that I’m connected with, so a lot of times, our biggest struggle is, we’re trying to find X person to do this job. I probably know somebody that would be great at it, that is … Got on their LinkedIn profile, “Looking for other opportunities.” And I go, “Well, hey, I think I could introduce you to a person or two. Would that be helpful?”

And they’re like, “Are you a recruiter?” That’s almost always the first question. I’m like, “No, I’m not. I’m not going to bill you for it, or anything like that. I know somebody, it would help them. You seem like a good person running a great company. It would probably help you. I just want to connect you.” So you do some things, solve some problems, help in some way, and ask nothing in return.

Right. I had that experience just today. Jody, you’ll appreciate it.

Did you?

There was somebody who I had met through LinkedIn, and she said, “Yeah, I want to talk to you.” Because I had sent her one of my business partner’s books, The Dark Secret of HRD, and she had been eager to read it and wanted to talk to me about it. And while we were talking, she was mentioning, “Oh, I suck at sales.”

And then she mentioned something else because she’s a consultant coach. And so I started just rattling off some books or some other resources, and she said, “You’re not charging me for this, are you?” I said, “No, I’m just trying to be helpful.” She said it jokingly, but I was kind of firing some ideas at her. And that’s what you do, I can tell, in a different … In our style. It’s listening to what would be useful for this person right now.

Absolutely. And if you’ll send me your friend’s name and address, I’ll mail her two books that would be very helpful. No charge. Just, I’ll send them to her.

Oh, that’s great. I’ll have to get her address from her because I don’t have her address. I’m curious about one other thing, because I know we’re going to be getting close to our time here. When you think about the leaders that you have worked with, at 200,000 that you’ve trained, what would you say are some of the most prevalent issues that you run into with them, and what approach do you take to helping them deal with those?

So, I think one of the biggest challenges we’re facing is, I’ll call it a communication challenge, but it’s the shift in generations that we’ve experienced. We have a lot of people that look at young people and go, “Oh, good Lord. There’s no hope.” When in reality, they’re just different than the previous generation.

Because you know what, the Xers were different than the boomers. Boomers were different than the traditionalists, and so on. So, I think one of the biggest challenges is understanding the diversity of thought, and diversity of values, and learning to embrace the potential of every person. Not looking at them and going, “I don’t like these people,” but instead, looking at them and going, “Let’s see what they have to offer, and let’s see what I can learn from them.”

Because when we go in with that open mind, and we understand how to set expectations, and how to listen effectively, most of the challenges we face in the workplace can be easily solved. So if you’re setting an expectation, what do you want? When do you want it? How are you going to measure it?

Most of the time, we say what we want, and we stop at that. As soon as possible. And then on the listening side, you have to focus on the other person. So stop all the distractions. You have to respond non-verbally. Just have to know that you’re physically moving as they talk. You have to ask good questions to get deeper information. You have to feedback on what you heard but put it in your own words.

And that’s the active or reflective listening model. When you do those four steps and when people practice those, that’s the base for being good at motivating, for being good at understanding diversity, for being good at resolving conflict, for eliminating groupthink, for building behavior change models. Communication is a base for everything that we do. The differences in values are the struggle part.

When you say the struggle part, what do you mean?

Well, I mean, when my values are not the same as your values, for example, then we tend to think only from our perspective. But when you listen effectively, you get out of your head and you get into the mind of the other person, so that you have an understanding, empathy for who they are, and the way that they’ve developed into the human that they are.

That’s great. Yeah, and I like something I’ve heard recently from more than one person, is, observe instead of judge. Because we tend to, I think, when we’re talking generational, or sometimes gender differences, or cultural differences, there’s that filter of judging the person, being effective or not. If they match what you think they ought to be, versus not. There’s a judgment that interferes with the ability to listen.

Yes, I agree. And it’s called unconscious bias. And we have that automatic, “Here’s who they are because of they … I’m bald, so oh, all bald people are …” And you have these assumptions. And when you get past the assumption, and you have a conscious choice of what you want to be like as you interact, it eliminates the prejudice, whether it’s a prejudice based on age or skin color or anything else. The objective is to see people as people and to love them for being another human, and that gets people to open up to you.

That’s a great note to end on. I love that because I think we don’t talk about really loving other people enough. So, Jody, I know that this is so valuable. All the things you’ve shared today are profound in the depth of your thinking, and your thoughtfulness about building relationships. Tell us how people can find you online, and also where they can get your books or learn more about your books.

Awesome. I think that’ll be in the show notes, but my author page on Amazon, just amazon.com/author/jodyholland, or Jody N. Holland. I can’t remember, but it’ll be on the show notes. And then, or they can just go to my website, jodyholland.com. J-O-D-Y-H-O-L-L-A-N-D.

And then, everything that I’ve got is actually on the website or linked from the website.

Perfect.

Got a whole e-learning series, and I run it through psycheofsuccess.com. So whether they’re trying to learn sales, or trying to learn leadership, or management, or customer service, I’ve got courses on those.

Excellent. And you’re on LinkedIn, I know. Are there any other social media sites that you’re on?

Facebook and LinkedIn are the two biggest ones for me.

Linkedin, I think it will be in the show notes as well, but you can just search for Jody N., like Neil, Holland. And then on Facebook, it’s facebook.com/jodyhollandtraining, or just search for Jody Holland training.

Great. 

YouTube is the only other one. I’ve got a ton of videos out there if you ever need some great content. I put together book studies, and that’s what I’ve been working on the last year, for a lot of my book. So you can buy the book and then have access to a 10-minute summary of a chapter, and then questions to ask for discussion.

Excellent. Well, just like everything else you do, it’s very well thought out, so it’s well worth people checking that out. Thank you. And thank you for being my guest today and providing such tremendous value to my listeners. I appreciate all you’ve shared and I appreciate you.

Thank you very much. I appreciate getting to know you.

Thank you. 

013: Simplify Your Message to Explode Your Income

013: Simplify Your Message to Explode Your Income

 

Strong for Performance Podcast

 

013: Simplify Your Message to Explode Your Income

by Jeff Moore

How do you become the trusted advisor with your clients for life? My guest Jeff Moore has succeeded in doing just that in a highly competitive industry. Jeff is a brilliant marketer who helps his clients simplify their description of who they are to their audience so it’s easy for people to quickly “get” the benefit of their product or service. This interview is packed with usable gold nuggets that can help you create unforgettable and remarkable experiences for your clients.

You’ll discover:

  • The real reasons your clients choose to do business with you
  • How to create business friendships that last for decades
  • The ValYOU Discovery Session that helps you identify your own value
  • How to ask questions that help you understand the other person and create a strong bond

Watch the episode:

 

Connect with Jeff

Get this free PDF.

Give it to the leaders you work with!

Read the Transcription

Welcome back to another episode of Strong for Performance. I’m Meredith bell, your host and I am just so excited to have with me today, someone who is a very special person and entrepreneur. Jeff Moore. Jeff, welcome.

Thank you. It’s an honor to be here, and you and I go back a lot of years.

Let’s not say how many!

Okay.

I’ve been a fan of Jeff’s for quite a while because he’s such a smart marketer and salesperson. He is currently the director of seafood and business development for Global Protein Group, which is a division of Porky Products. What size is that company? 5 billion?

No, a little over 2 billion.

2 billion.

They just are a fantastic group.

That’s awesome.

Always

Well, one of the things I want to brag on you about that you probably wouldn’t say for yourself is that, in less than a month, Jeff took the sales of this group that he’s in charge of from 5 million to $18 million. Now, that is really significant, and we want to go a little bit deeper about how did that happen. But meanwhile, I want to, just his background, let our listeners know that in addition to running that business development unit, you also involved with a Mastermind that includes high level consultants and coaches. Your focus with that group for your own role with them is helping them with their messaging and positioning. That’s a real strong area of expertise for you, and we’re going to go into that in more detail today in our conversation. But to start with Jeff, I want you to give us a little bit more about your journey. What has happened to you over the years in your progression here as an entrepreneur?

It’ll be real fast and I’ll go through it. But, my entire life I always knew that I was meant to be in sales, and I was, from early on, even in elementary school when we would do the fundraisers, I’ll never forget coming home, I think I might’ve been in third grade. I had the candle box, we were selling candles as a fundraiser. I was showing them to my dad and I had the box tilted so I could read the candles. He goes, “Wait a minute,” he goes, “Set that in your lap.” I’m like, “Okay,” and there’s the pictures and all the verbiage about the candles beneath me upside down. He goes, “Step one in being a salesperson,” he goes, “You need to learn how to read upside down.” “What? I’m having a hard enough time reading right side up.”

It was always that point where I grew up with a father that was a dynamic sales leader in food service. My grandfather was one of the first guys to create the time motion studies in retail and was just a super dynamic guy, was actually given the Pepsi Cola bottling franchise from a conversation. I had a lot of pedigree growing up with these people. In seventh grade, this young entrepreneur, he was a junior in high school, hired me as a friend of the family and he was making about $10,000 a month in his summer business. He was an entrepreneur, and hired me to be one of his door to door salespeople in seventh grade where I was making like $300 a week selling lawn aeration, which is something out here in Southern California with the hard soils that we have.

But love that, love having been in the conversations. I actually still know the pitch, it was one of those things, and just really got the bug and learned a lot from him. He’s been a mentor of mine and like a figurative big brother for a lot of years. Just always had that gift of wanting to entertain and educate. As a produce man, people would come by and ask for what kind of fruit or melon this is. There was an old guy on the news way back when called the Green Grocer, his name was Joe Carcione, and it would be a segment in the news, and he had this great voice, and it would be like, “Hi, this is Joe Carcione with your Green Grocer tip of the day.”

Well, I’m 16 years old. Somebody comes up, ask me what this is, and I would break into a Joe Carcione impression for these people. Everybody knew who he was at the time. It’s an old thing, and ages me, but just everything was that way for me. I always knew I was going to be in sales. I was able to… I worked my way through college, even as a bartender, I started my own bartending service, called More Good Times Bartending Service and had the… As far as marketing goes, there was the tagline, “A professional bartender can add that special touch of class to give your guests a lasting memory of a fine affair.” Doing all the things. But I always wanted to know, “Why do people care? Why do people hire somebody? What would be that thing that would separate me from everything?”

I would have all the bullet points about specialty drinks and all this type of stuff, and the very last thing that I had, my last bullet point in bold and bigger type was, complete party cleanup, and people would just hire me for that. I actually… In college… I’ll tell you a quick story, and I know we don’t have a lot of time. But one morning, it’s a Friday morning. Everybody’s partying on Thursday nights, I went to UCLA. I get a phone call, and I answer the phone, and I’m like, “Hello,” still out of it. It’s like, “Hi Jeff, this is Barbara Billingsley.” Well, if you don’t know who Barbara Billingsley was, it was Mrs. Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. I’m like, “It is not.” She’s like, “But it is.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” I’m like, “Leave it to Beaver, starring Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers as the Beavers.” She’s like, “Oh my God.”

Well, she saw a flyer of my complete party cleanup and hired me to just do her Christmas Eve dinner for her family, and to pull this stuff out of the oven and do all this kind of stuff, and I’m making hundreds of dollars a night. I’m like, “This is awesome and just…” But then I started to figure out, “Hey, wait a minute. Do I want to be the guy that’s serving the meal, or do I want to be the guy that’s hiring the guy that serves the meal?” It was just a thing where, I just have always had that entrepreneurial spirit no matter what I did, no matter where I worked. I always had a drive that would position myself differently.

Fast forward in sales and marketing, and I was president of a seafood company and just… The adult next level entrepreneur thing, and marketing thing, came when Tony Robbins did his Ultimate Business Mastery summit back in 2009. It was, what is now Business Mastery, but it was Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins doing their first thing out in Vegas, and I attended. That was the first time I ever met a young, brash Jersey kid by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk that literally changed everybody’s perspective that night. I started this thing after that because they had a home study course. I told some friends of mine, I said, “Hey, I’m going to do this home study course. Come over with me on a Thursday night after work at seven o’clock. Be there, don’t be there. I don’t care. I’m going to get better.”

Four people showed up one night. We watched Vaynerchuck’s keynote, we talked about it, and I help people understand what it meant to them and really told their story better than they could to themselves at that point. It grew from four to eight, to… I mean, I think there’s now just under 800 people from 26 countries in Thursday Night Boardroom, totally free, but I got to meet some of the greatest people on the planet. Fast forward, I had my own seafood company. We sold my seafood company to a company out of Miami. I don’t think they really knew what they were doing, and it turns out that, that wasn’t going to be where I wanted to stay, and so I left the company.

September of last year I started with Global Protein Group with $0 in sales. We went from zero to 5 million by February, September to February we were doing 5 million annualized. That really was the testament at that point, was the relationships that I had built over the 20 years or 17 years that I was president, and the 20 years that I was in this business. The relationships were beyond, they transcended transaction. My customers always knew that I had an obligation to present options, opportunities, and offers on everything they did, whether it was mine or not. That was a positioning thing, right? They always knew that they could say, “Hey Jeff, I need some information.” They knew that it wasn’t going to end up in this hardcore sales pitch or whatever. It was, “Hey, this is great.”

When I left, I had Cheesecake Factory as one of my customers, and BJ’s Restaurants as one of my customers, and House of Blues, and Lazy Dog. All these different restaurant chains are contracts that I’ve had over the years forever.

When I left and Cheesecake Factory called me up and said, “We’re going to go with you, and we’re going to go with you now,” because the previous company that I sold to really wasn’t servicing them well. I go, “Gosh, this is going to be…” It was really telling because I’m like, “Well this is really challenging. It’s December. It’s all this stuff,” I’m thinking out loud. She stopped me and she goes, “Jeff, do you know why we do business with you?” I said, “Because I’m cute?” She’s like, “No.” She goes, “You don’t make your problems our problems. You make our problems, your problem, and then you come up with the solution. We’re supporting you, we’re giving you our business. We’re not telling you that we’re expecting the world, but we want you to fix it. Whatever’s broken, you fix it, and that’s what you’ve always been. The level of trust we’ve had with you for over 17 years is literally that,” and-

Stop a second, Jeff. This is a really important point that I want our listeners to think about for themselves, because in the corporate world these days, there’s constant turnover in people in various positions. Someone that you’ve cultivated a really strong relationship with, because I’ve worked with coaches and consultants over many years, and it’s very discouraging when they’ve taken the time, they’ve built this relationship, and that person leaves, and now the new person they have to start from scratch if at all. But sometimes the new person that comes in is attached to a previous vendor. What I’m hearing you say is, “Stay in touch with those people who leave, that you had the great relationship with, because they may bring you in for your services in that new position that they get involved with.”

For me, I have business friends. If I don’t know, like, and trust them, and they don’t know, like, and trust me, there’s a very low probability that we do business together. If it’s not a person that I would like to, and eager to have over to my house for dinner, introduce my family, I brag about them, all those things. If I can’t do that, really my ability to be the best that I can be for them is lessened. It’s still probably more than my competition’s going to be able to do in a lot of cases, but I have a relationship with my customers, they can call me. It might not be about seafood, it might not be about anything, but they just want to call and they just want to share some stuff. That’s really the connection that I have, that I’m most proud of with the people that I work with.

It really comes into the fact that I have, over the years, created this ability and this skill to be able to tell somebody’s story better than they can to themselves. I paraphrase like Wyatt Woodsmall that said, through Eben Pagan, “If you can articulate the needs, desires, challenges, fears, and aspirations of the other person, no matter who that is. Customer, spouse, friend, child, sibling. If you can articulate their needs, desires, challenges, fears and aspirations better than they can. Not better than they can to you, but better than they can to themselves, you pass the tipping point of being their trusted advisor.” Then all you need to do is carry forth with that same conversation with those same attributes, and you’ll be their trusted advisor for life.

When I hear about people that say, “Hey, I used to have this customer, or I used to have this client and then we moved or did this. Something happening and it went away.” In my mind, I don’t understand anything less than clients for life. For me, I’ve had people that just pay me $2,500 a month to keep me on speed dial just to be their trusted advisor because they don’t have to fill in a lot of context with me. They can pick up this conversation. They can be in the middle of a sentence and I already know what they’re talking about, and it’s always-

Yeah. Let’s talk a minute about how you go about being able to articulate their problem better than they can articulate it either to you, or to themselves. What’s your process for getting inside their heads in such a way that you’re able to do that?

It’s very much about, where have they come from. “Hey, how long have you been here?” “Two years.” “Oh, where were you before that?” “I was here.” “Oh, for how long?” “Oh, a couple of years.” “What about before that?” I start to find this commonality of what their path was and to be able to understand where they were leading up to here, right? Because every moment brings us to this moment, and this moment brings us to the next. I find out, I get to know them, and so anytime I’m sharing something with them, they understand in the context of what I’m sharing is that this is them. I’m sharing it about them, because I’m able to utilize where they came from to bring them to where we are today, and show them that they really do understand this.

To be able to tell somebody’s… It’s funny when you can tell somebody’s story better than they can to themselves, and you’ve established that relationship. There’s a funny look on their face when you walk in the room and it’s like they’re almost saying to themselves, “Here he comes. Here comes Jeff. He’s going to tell me a story about my favorite subject. Me. Today. Where am I going to go?” I take this all the way back to…

My mom, who was a super talented woman, and still alive and in her late seventies. She would tell me bedtime stories, but it wouldn’t be out of a book all the time. It would be a story that she would tell about me as the star of the story playing out in front with the kids in the cul-de-sac, and all of a sudden a helicopter landed in the middle of the street and it was my grandpa and he came and picked me up, and we’re going to go fly around the city and look at things from up here. All the kids were like, “Oh my gosh, look at this.” It was so cool that I got to do it and I got to bring friends and whatever.

She would just tell these fantasies that would just be, oh my God, they would just… You’d have these great dreams and all of these things, because that was the last thing. That’s always been a thing that, to be able to tell somebody’s, not just their story, and I’m going to use fantasy just because that’s got so many connotations, and I’m in a messaging place when somebody says, “Oh, well that word has a lot of meanings,” I’m like, “Well, get rid of the word then.” But it’s just to be able to tell this story that makes them feel elevated and feel better about themselves. An experience that they might not have had, but they’ve just experienced it in their mind’s eye.

You’re painting a picture for them of where they aspire to be, but maybe haven’t been able to see themselves there because of their own limited beliefs, perspective, experiences.

Let me tell you. Thursday Night Boardroom, when we’re talking about it, and there’s some questions that we had introduced and we’ve narrowed it down to this compelling introduction that you and I will talk about. But there was, “Who are you? What do you do? Who is your customer? Singular. What is that unique product or service that sets you apart from your competition? How does your customer brag about you? Your client brag about you?” And they mess that up all the time. Then the last one was, “What do you do that makes you the best in the world, in the eyes of your customer or client,” right?

Whatever you’re going to use in this. They go, “Oh, I do this, blah, blah blah, blah.” And it’s like, “Guys, there’s an answer to this, and the answer is, I am you, and I know where you’re going, and I’ve been there before. I know the shortcut on the way, I even know the obstacles you’re going to face. I even know what you’re saying to yourself while you’re on this journey. I know something else. You’re already there, you just don’t know it yet. Let me show you the way.”

When you can impart that, and you don’t say it like that to people, but in your actions and in your conversation. When you can help somebody see themselves as their better self, and then realize that, we’re not future pacing that this is today. You are this person. In any client meeting that I have, anything where I’m dealing with a coach or I’m consulting for a business or whatever, there’s no homework. We finish and you are this new person because this is who you really are. That’s what I wanted to lead to that because you introduce them to their better selves, but the most powerful thing is that it’s their better self right now. They don’t have to do anything. They don’t have to jump through some flaming hoops. They don’t have to do this. All they had to do is just decide, “I am going to become this person now. I am this person, so why not just become?”

That’s great. I love that. Because too often we do think we have to complete some steps to get there, to arrive at this place that’s different than where we are, instead of just peeling back the layers of ridiculous things we’ve said to ourselves or beliefs we’ve adopted and just let those go.

The beauty of what we do at the network, which is our Mastermind Group that we have with my partner Nic Peterson, is the messaging part, the val-you discovery, V-A-L-Y-O-U. We call it the Valyou Discovery Session. Valyou discovery and compelling introduction all come together because I’ll listen to somebody and I’ll listen to them and they’ll start to use words and I’m like, “Define that word. What does that word mean?” Or they want more impact in their life. Well, “What is impact?” “I know I’ve got great impact when…” Give me all the elements. What’s the stuff? What are the ingredients of this thing? Through this discovery process, all of a sudden people start to see in more defined shapes, in more vivid color, who they are truly. Really, to be able to hold up this magic mirror that says, “So you do this?”

I had a guy, Steve Sims…he wrote the book Bluefishing. Number one private concierge in the world. He had a contest for his book and we won the contest, friends of mine and I, and we did a tour of Tesla and then we did a Mastermind session at the bar after. I said, “Let’s do this, introduce yourself with this compelling introduction. ‘My name is blank from blank company, and we provide blank product or service to blank type of clients, so they can have this type of benefit without this kind of hassle.'” I was going through the whole thing and I said, “Let’s just get rid of the jargon, do all this type of stuff.”

The first guy stands up and he says, “My name’s Jay. My partner and I are social philanthropers,” and everybody’s like, “Oh, nice to meet you Jay.” I’m like, “What’s that?” He’s going through this whole thing and I go, “Can you just tell me what you do?” He goes, “Well, we do a couple of things, they both have to do with trees.” I go, “Okay.” He goes, “One of them is, we actually plant trees in inner cities of third world countries that the species of tree actually eats more carbon than regular trees, and so it helps with the environment.” I go, “Oh, so you help the world breathe easier one tree at a time?” He’s like, “Holy, how can I use that?” I’m like, “Yeah, you can, but I want everybody to see what just happened.”

If you sat down after I’m a social philanthroper, that never would’ve come, right? It was that easy helping somebody. Tell me specifically, what are those things that you do? In the messaging, because people want to be articulate, they want to be brief, they’ve got this elevator speech and so they want to come up with all this speech that makes them sound smart. Like Dean Jackson, you can talk about, “Oh we generate leads.” I create customer getting websites. It’s like that’s… people know what that means, and it doesn’t matter who you are. Then it prompts a conversation. That’s where the messaging part comes into. We have this form, and I’d be more than happy to share it with you so you can share it with your listeners. The valyou discovery-

Sure. We can put that on the show notes page on our website.

I’ll send it over to you.

I love that example that you just gave. Thinking about how you work with the folks in this Mastermind Group, as you mentioned, some of them are very high level consultants and coaches. Can you give an example of one or two of the folks there that you’ve helped simplify their message. Just as an example, Jeff, looking at different profiles on LinkedIn and reading people’s headlines in the descriptions. You commonly see phrases like “A proven professional in blah, blah, blah, a proven process…” You have these phrases, and I love what you just said about, “What does that really mean?”

Business strategist.

Simplify your message. Give us some more examples of how you’ve taken something more esoteric sounding or conceptual or vague and made it more compelling.

There’s a gentleman that maybe he could be on your show as well. His name’s Bradley Grinnen, and he was one of the first people to join the network. Just a wonderful guy, dear friend now. He was teaching people that had the desire to become a coach, take them from zero to one, and then one to 10, and then they’re off. That’s his job. He introduces himself, right? “My name is Bradley Grinnen.” “From what company?” “From Own Your Life, and we provide, a platform or process to teach people how to become a paid coach and take them from zero clients to one, from one to 10.” I’m like, “Okay.” I’m listening and I go, “Own Your Life. What’s Own Your Life mean?” “Well, once you’re able to do this, you can own your life,” and he’s got this big long explanation. I said, “Okay.” I go, “What’s the brand that you use? What is it?” He goes, “Oh, well, I’m known as the coach launcher.” I’m like, “Okay, get rid of Own Your Life, and ‘My name’s Bradley Grinnen the coach launcher.'” He’s just like, “Oh.”

It was so simple that he then became that. He took off the jacket and the shirt and underneath was the superhero suit. This guy became, right? Not because of that magic moment, but who he became. That we watched his business go from high five figures a month to six figures a month. I mean, I’m sorry, high four figures to five figures a month, and then he had a six figure month four months later. It was just this trajectory. Then all of a sudden he’s just like, “Oh my gosh, now who am I?” Right? We all get there. The greatest stress we can experience is success beyond our vision. The world is lined, the cemeteries are lined with these people. Janis Joplin, people in the entertainment world, that they all of a sudden explode and then succumb to drugs or some other thing, and it becomes scary.

With our Mastermind, the difference in what we do is, you don’t join our Mastermind, you become the center of our universe when you join. He’s like, “Who am I? I don’t know.” Then all of a sudden he’s disconnected and his messaging is getting a little weird. I said, “Listen to me, an entrepreneur alone is an entrepreneur at risk. We’re going to continue to help you understand what you’ve become.” While this message is today, that who you are today, as you continue to evolve, we’re going to allow you to stay grounded with who you are, but be able to have your message evolve with your evolution. That’s really where that messaging becomes super important. Then the positioning. The positioning part is, once you’ve honed down that message, now you place yourself in the lives of your client. But so many people are approaching people from the bleeding neck like, “Oh, I need help with this. I need help.” The first question in my positioning deal, “What was happening in your client’s life five minutes before they even thought they needed help?” Remember I said when I connect with people?

Yes.

When I connect with somebody in what was their life of… You hear the old, “We all lead lives of quiet desperation.” It’s the things that we just decided to tolerate, and all of those things. We didn’t even ask for help at that point. When somebody can tap into that and really truly connect with somebody where they were before they decided that they needed something, you’ve got a connection with them that will never be permeated. It will never be infiltrated. It is… Or breached I guess is probably then best word.

What would you suggest as an actual strategy for someone to understand that? Do they ask a direct question or how do they discover that?

Well, they do ask, but it’s about asking intelligent questions but easy, right? I go to meet the new person at Cheesecake Factory, who’s the buyer. Now, “Hey, cool. Where were you before here?” “Oh, I was at Trader Joe’s.” “Oh, how long were you Trader Joe’s?” “I was there for three years.” “What were you doing before Trader Joe’s?” “I was in college.” “Well, college to Trader Joe’s, what was the… Tell me about that. Did you get recruited by Trader Joe’s out of college? Were you part of… Did you know somebody?” You learn something about somebody’s history and you can really, really tell how they’re going to move through their future.

You know what else you’re really getting at there, Jeff, even though you haven’t used the word yet, is you’re listening. You’re really-

Oh, effectively-

You’re not just listening, you’re connecting the dots. To me, your brain just works at lightning speed where you ask a question and you’re categorizing it with other things you’ve already gotten from them. I think that, that’s such an important skill and what you’re really doing there is connecting with them on an emotional level. You’re not just gathering facts. My guess is you’re learning more about what was their experience like when they were at this company or that company? So you get a sense of what’s important to them.

Yes, yes. For me it’s not… Meredith, this is just who I am. I didn’t one day go, “Oh I’ve got this evil scheme where I’m going to learn all this stuff about people.” I’ve always been that person.

Curious-

I’ve always… Oh my gosh. I mean, the history of my family. I’m fourth generation Orange County here in Southern California in food service. Just to embrace my own family’s history, that gives me that confidence of, “This is my house, this is where I am here.” To understand where people have come from and just truly cherish their history and who they are, the foundation of who they are. To me, I don’t want to live another way.

Really think about it. You’re setting yourself apart by even asking those questions because who else bothers to ask them those kinds of questions. To get a sense of their own journey and experiences.

If I was to give myself a label, for me, is evangelist. Every person that I connect with, from a business side or personal side I’m asking those questions pure and simple, because I am so proud of who they are that I want to know more, because I can’t wait to share them with somebody else, right? I mean, think about it. I am in the food service business, right? I’ll go and I’ll speak to a restaurant chain owner or somebody that’s got just a big restaurant or something like that. I’m out there making that call and I’ll say, “Hey, what’s the goal for the customer?” They’re like, “What do you mean, what’s the goal? To have a great meal?” I go, “Really?” “Well to have a memorable dining experience.” You’ve heard that a million times, “We just want you to have a memorable dining experience.” I’ll be like, “So that’s it? A memorable dining experience.” They could just say yes, but if you know me, they’re going, “What Jeff? What?”

I’m like, “How about a remarkable dining experience?” They go, “What the hell is the difference, it’s a memorable, remarkable, whatever.” I go, “No, no, no, no. A remarkable dining experience is an experience that’s so great that they’re literally talking to each other, the people that are having this meal there, or they’re talking to themselves, whatever the case may be. They’re literally talking to each other and saying, ‘Who do we want to bring here next? Who do we want to share this experience with?’ They’re not just willing to do it, they’re eager, and they’re starting to talk about it.”

He goes, “Well, how do I form that?” I go, “You tell them that,” and he goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “You walk up.” You know how a manager walks up, “Hey, how’s the meal?” “Oh, it’s fine.” It’s basically, “Leave us the hell alone.” “Okay, great. I just want you to know that I’m the manager. I’m here. If there’s anything you need from me, I’d be more than happy to help you, but I just want you to know.” Every other manager is going to tell you that they just want you to have a memorable dining experience. They want you to enjoy your meal. “I really want you to have such a great experience here that you’re talking amongst yourselves on who you’re going to bring here next, because it’s been that great.” He’s like, “Then what do you do?” I go, “Walk away. You’ve just anchored that conversation right there. They can’t help but think about that. If they’re having a great experience, that’s exactly what they’re talking about next.”

When we talk about messaging, and people… I love it when I’ll get into these conversations and somebody goes, “That’s just semantics, isn’t it?” I’m like, “Yeah, it is, and it’s the ballgame.” It’s so much-

Words matter. The choice of word does matter. Which is why you work so hard with people to get their messaging as simple as possible. To me, that’s such a huge takeaway for our listeners among many other things. You’ve said, your sharing of all these different experiences, for those who are creative and are always looking at, “How can I up my game?” You’re really stimulating them to think about, “Wow, am I creating a remarkable experience for my clients? Will they talk about me in a good way after I’ve left and done my work with them today? What are they saying? What do I want them to say?” I think that what you’re getting at is being proactive.

Big time. Here’s the scary part. When you really, really are confident in what you’re doing, you could have a client come in and say, “Okay, I want you to help me with my messaging. Here’s who I am, here’s what I do, blah, blah, blah.” If that’s all I was doing in that, because remember the compelling introduction is one part of it. The valyou discovery, and valyou is a word, V-A-L-Y-O-U that represents the most powerful, profitable, and enduring relationships in the world. It’s a language, right? To have a client come into you and say, “This is my message. I need messaging to help me do this.” Through this discovery process, you find that, that’s absolutely not what they should be doing or even want to do. That somebody told them that they should be doing it. That, that’s the next step. That they should be scaling this and making it automatic, and making it where you never have to talk to a client again and do any of that type of stuff.

You watch and see this friction going on, and this discovery process, and it’s like, “Not judging here, but can I just make an observation?” All of a sudden I watch somebody… I’ll be in a valyou discovery and this is how they came in and they leave somebody else. But it was them all along. We just helped them, right? Whether they knew it or not, it was like we just helped them become who they really wanted to be. How powerful is that?

Well, it’s very powerful. When you think of people who are in these various service professions, that’s really their goal is to help people make transformations in whatever area it is that they’re working in. When you think about what is your magic, and of course this is thinking about a magician giving away his secrets, but you’ve shared so many different things. When you are in that discovery mode, what are the things that are going on, whether it’s your questions or the way you interact, or the way you respond that help that person become different during that conversation?

In a lot of ways the delivery, may be a parable or sharing an experience that’s guiding them towards… It’s an experience you share, they go, “Oh, this is like me,” but the story ends with them being something else. You’ve just helped them guide and see, because we can tell stories. I can tell you stories about my first date with my wife and how we went… and you’re going to experience your own experiences that you had in the past, right? You see yourself in these stories. To be able to look and tell, understand where they came from, understand their path, the trajectory of where they’re going, and to be able to create this scenario that helps them really either validate what they’re doing or make that adjustment to who they want to become. But then say it in a way…

Remember, it was Mark Twain said, right? “There’s two reasons why people do stuff. The reason they tell you and the real reason.” Usually the real reason is this person…, right? Meredith, if something great happens today for you, right? Or something particularly crappy happens to you, and you want to talk to somebody, you’re going to call the person that gets you the most, not the person that you have to fill in all this context and all this backstory, right? Because as human beings, as our entire race, we all share the same frustration. We don’t feel understood. We gravitate to those people that understand us. I don’t know where that happened for me, but I understood that the most interesting person in the room is the most interested person in the room.

That people will gravitate to the person that understands them, they will make those phone calls, they will share those intimate details, they feel safe. Now that’s another part about this, right? Every person that’s ever been married or been in a relationship forever knows this. When the relationship went south and you started to have to protect yourself, the single thing happen was you stopped feeling safe, emotionally safe around this person. You felt the need to protect yourself, or the need to defend and go back at them, and all of a sudden things crumble. My wife and I were having that type of relationship back in about 2012 2013 and I just told her, I said, flat out, “We don’t move forward unless we could feel safe with each other again.” That we don’t feel like the Miranda rights, right? Anything I say can and will be used against me, right. The way to understand somebody and make them feel safe in their vulnerability, that person is going to always think about you because you’re always thinking about them.

That’s so powerful, Jeff. Wow. You have shared, to me, some really critical truths here in our conversation about human nature, about relationship, not just relationship building, but relationship maintenance and extension, and really like you said, lifelong relationships. When you go in with that goal and not a transaction to make this sale, or get this contract signed, you have a whole different way of being. You show up differently. You interact differently, and people feel that. They sense that from you. I sense it. I mean it came across, and comes across in the passionate way you talk about what you do. It’s clearly just in every cell of your body. I think that, that is such an important insight for everyone listening here is, because anyone who goes into the service profession where they are providing a service that’s going to be a value to other people, they have a deep sense of caring about others.

Oh, it’s an ache, right? It’s an ache.

Exactly.

This person, I just want so bad. That whole vessel and whatever, the vessel and the lighthouse or whatever that metaphor is. Man, I am a vessel 1000%.

Right? This whole idea, what you have done is you’ve embraced that. You have no reservations with letting that show when you’re with somebody. You want them to know you have a depth of caring about you that’s different from other people. To me, one of the big takeaways today is, for each listener, when they’re thinking of, or when they’re with a client and interacting with them, how can they be that present, that caring, so that they’re not concerned about… Because I never heard you once say is you were concerned about how you were coming across. It’s always, “What can I do for you? How can I help you? Let me learn about you?”

You know what you’ll never hear me say, by the way?

What?

How can I help you? When somebody says that to me… I’m a client, and that’s why the history thing is, because people want to become… Coaches are like, “I want to help this person go to the next level. I want to become part of their future.” I’m going to tell you that you’re never going to truly become part of this person’s future if you have not positioned yourself in part of their past. When somebody comes to me and says, “Hey Jeff, thank you so much for what you’ve done at Thursday Night Boardroom.” I just have one question. “How can I help you?” Right? Magnanimous. Thank you. Right? Thank you.

I’m such an ass. You know what my answer is? “How did you helping me become my burden? Why don’t you just tell me? Watch what’s happened to me in my life. Look at how I behave. Look at… I’m an open freaking book. Look at what I do. Why don’t you tell me how you can help me? What don’t you offer something? Why don’t you give me an observation and say, ‘If I may, I think that I might be able to give you a perspective that might help you through this.'”

But if I’m paying you, especially, and you ask how can you help me, that is the laziest damn question ever, right? We had a Wild Things warehouse sale back in the day. We’d have one Saturday a month where we would sell just awesome restaurant quality seafood and steaks and all this great stuff, and it was so fun to do. I’d cook and we’d just have this great deal. People would walk in at the beginning of this thing, and our assistants would go, “Can I help you with anything?” Right? How many millions of times you’ve heard that? “No thanks. Just looking. No thanks. Just looking.” I’m like, “Okay, we’re going to stop saying, ‘How can I help you? Can I help you with something?’ I want you to ask this, ‘What’s your favorite kind of fish?'” Because now get into a conversation with them. “Are you a fish lover? Do you love steak? What’s your favorite cut of steak?” Get them into that conversation? Words matter. The way we position them matter.

Then we used to sell these awesome insulated bags at the checkout counter. Great ones, huge. I mean, you could have picnics, whatever you could do, beach anything. Or put crap loads of seafood and steak in when you come shop at our place. If you shopped with the bag, if you had the bag, we gave you a free piece of fish at your checkout. “I know you want some, oh here’s salmon.” “Oh, yeah, whatever.” Well you get up to the checkout counter and I go, “Hey, would you like to buy an insulated bag?” “No, I’m good.” I go, “We need to stop doing that. You want to become part of the free fish in the month club?” “How do I do that? Yeah. Free fish in the month? Absolutely.” “Oh, well you just buy one of these bags for 9.95 and then every time you come back and shop here, we’re going to give you a free piece of fish. As a matter of fact, when you buy it today, we’re going to give you a free piece of salmon. You pay for that bag in three visits.” “Yeah, absolutely.”

I would sell out so fast, Meredith, those bags, that I would get a new shipment of bags in, like 100 bags, and I’d send an email out on a Thursday. Now we know how fast email… it doesn’t work very fast. Text message? Yeah. Okay. You’re going to get an answer. Email, you got to be a little patient. I would send an email out. I was so connected with this group, this customer base that we had, our family that I would send the thing out, and I would explain the new bag we got in, and it was people that had already bought bags, right? “The new bag and, oh my gosh, this one, we’ve bench tested it, it has got 200 pounds.” Not that you’ll ever lift 200 pounds, but 200 pounds. You can pull on this thing. You can drag it behind your car it’s not going to…

Within an hour, we would almost sell out of the bags. I’d forget to tell the people in the office that I’d sent the email. I go, “You need to call in, because we’re going to run out this Saturday. If you’re not going to be there right when we open, you’re going to run out.” People would call in and you’d hear this, “Jeff, did you send another email?”

But it was all about the position and the story, and helping people become part of the story and be able to do things. You see this thing behind us, right? You got banners and my wife’s got her college prep counseling business. Before we even started the business, before the business was even a thing, I already knew the lead magnet, the white paper we were going to do. I was like, “What can we do to make people absolutely feel that they have to have this information?” First thing I even thought of, because how are we going to tap in to the parents on this? Because they’re the customer, right? The lead magnet is College Prep and the High School Experience: 10 Things Parents Wished They Would Have Known Before it was Too Late. You don’t even have to be a parent at that time. You’re like, “What are they?” Right? It’s so funny because the other day my wife’s like, “Yeah, 10 things parents should know.” I go, “No, that’s not the title.” She’s like, “What?” I go, “Dream.”

That’s perfect NLP. You really need to understand that every word that’s in there is super important. Like you talked about, words matter. We so badly want to be expedient in our delivery, whether it’s our own desire to get the hell out of this conversation or hoping that somebody else wants to get the hell out of it. If we’re not impactful, we then go to expedient and so much stuff gets missed

Really, what you’ve gotten at there to me with talking about the title and your emails, and the different questions that you ask. It, to me, all comes together as engagement. What’s going to evoke curiosity on their part? They want to be a part of it, they want to know more, and you’re just a master at that. I’m glad you shared all those different individual situations because they stimulate our own thinking about, “How could we do something similar in our business? What does it take to get that kind of response like you did with your bags selling out? What’s our equivalent of that?” People listening to this, there’s so much richness here from what Jeff has shared, and it’s worth listening to more than once because we are in different places at different times. When you think about…

Really, what you’ve talked about today, Jeff, applies in two parallel tracks for our listeners. In one is for them individually, for their own development, their own journey as an entrepreneur, as a coach, as a consultant. Then as they are meeting with their clients thinking about these very same things and applying them to that relationship they want to establish, so they become the only choice person. I mean just listening to you and thinking about how much you really love the people who you have done business with. You care deeply about them, and they know that. Our individual challenges are, how can we do that with our own clients? You’ve given so much richness today. Is there anything else that you might’ve thought of as an additional tip as we wrap up here? Then I’ll ask you to share how people can connect with you and learn more about you.

I would just… In every engagement that you have, search for something that excites you about the person that you’re talking to. Search for that thing that really, truly makes you light up. When somebody can see that you light up about them, that’s a very attractive thing. I mean, look at me, I’m not a very good looking man, but I married a beautiful wife and there’s got to be something that works in this type of thing because she’s my best friend. I’m so proud of her. She looks at her private practice, not like a job, but like her ministry. I think that for what I lack in physical attributes, I make up for in just the absolute way I love the people I’m dealing with. That’s just me being a little self-deprecating, but

No, what you just said is pure gold, because I think sometimes we’re too quick to brush off somebody as possibly not interesting or not clicking with us, when it’s really up to us to find that thing like you just said. That’s wonderful. Because we all have it. Every human being wants to be recognized, you said understood, but also recognized

No doubt. No doubt. Yeah, the recognition is such a beautiful thing too.

It is. Tell people where they can connect with you and find you either on social media, on your website.

Well, social media, I guess you could just find me at Jeff Moore on Facebook. Thursday Night Boardroom is my free connection. We’re on Facebook there, you can ask to join there. Go to thursdaynightboardroom.com, but if you want to elevate this relationship, there’s a couple of steps, masterymode.com, where you can join the Vault or The Network. Those are my partners, Nic Peterson and Dan Giuglianotti. They’re just a brilliant group of guys, and they invited me in and we created this thing called The Network and it’s these high end service providers that… Where, as a matter of fact, we have a retreat that starts tomorrow. It’ll go Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday. But people have us as their support system. Masterymode.com, as far as marketing and outward marketing and things, we’re so hell bent on that organic connection that there’s not this funnel. We don’t believe in funnels anyway. We believe that, because funnels need gravity, we need to be able to, through engagement, help elevate people through the process.

Oh, I love that.

Masterymode.com you can get ahold of us, but heck, if you want to email me and tell me, “Hey, this was great,” or, “Boy, I wish you would have slowed down,” or something like that. You can get a hold of me at jeff@masterymode.com.

Excellent. Thank you. Well, Jeff, it’s been so much fun to watch you in action, listen to you in action with your energy, your passion, and your commitment to really elevating other people, and I want to thank you for your commitment to do that.

Well, thank you so much, Meredith. I’m so glad that you and I have connected again, and you’re just doing some great work. I can’t wait to introduce more people to you to be on your show, because I just think that this is going to be an awesome.

Oh, thank you. Well, I look forward to talking to you again soon. Thank you, Jeff.

Thank you.