But before we dive right in, let us introduce ourselves in case this is your first visit. Welcome to the Sell or Die Podcast. We’re your hosts, Jeffrey & Jen Gitomer. Between the two of us, we’ve written the books The Little Red Book of Selling, Sales in a New York Minute, plus 15 other best selling books. We’ve also created the 7 figure sales formula program and the Breakthrough Business Babe Community. Meanwhile, Mitch Joel is author of Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete, as well as a global speaker (who is currently not speaking.)
Sell or Die is for sales professionals, sales managers, entrepreneurs and business owners who want to sell more at full price, earn loyalty, and have an unlimited stream of referrals. Every single episode will give you real-world, easy-to-implement solutions so that you can get your calls returned, your proposals read and acted on, while creating relationships that you can take all the way to the bank.
It’s time to sell or die…
So read the points below to find out more about how you start building a legacy TODAY by taking control of your present situation. And for even more details on each point, listen to ALL of episode 504 of the Sell or Die Podcast on your preferred streaming platform!
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This personal challenge e-book describes the personal evolution necessary to become a super-star.
Today, we are blessed to be joined internationally by the great Mitch Joel, who has written Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete. He is smart. He is funny. He is a global speaker who is currently not speaking, and we’re going to talk about how his work is shifting as we emerge into the new normal.
We began with talking about life BC – before Coronavirus. Before 2020, Mitch was doing 40 to 60 events a year as a speaker. Before that, he’d been running a digital marketing agency called Twist Image (later Marium) that did quite well as one of the larger independent agencies in North America. When he left it two years ago, Mitch decided he was going to talk, invest and advise. His podcast, Six Pixels of Separation, is probably the longest-running podcast in the business space, and he still writes three or four times a week. So when he went into 2020, Mitch was feeling great.
And then everything happened. The analogy Mitch tells his friends to describe his speaking career in 2020 is sitting at the airport and watching all the departure flights get canceled. This analogy of mass cancellations is especially true since Mitch doesn’t feel like video is the same as the speaking he does. So, instead of trying to brand himself as a “virtual speaker” when he doesn’t feel confident with that title, Mitch’s reaction has been to sit it out and really think about what he will do when he can hit the stage again. And until then, he’s focusing on his podcast, on collecting conversations by taking notes, and on thinking and writing. Because if Mitch is going to start a new business, he doesn’t want it to be selling a webinar.
And part of that is because Mitch feels like too many people faking it in the world of sales right now. You can fake it a little bit. But if you’re getting paid 30 grand to get up on stage and speak and you think you’re worth 30 grand because you bought two lights on Amazon and a clip on-mic, know that it takes a lot more to be good at speaking – especially in a digital context – than just turning on a video camera and talking.
Now, I – Jeffrey – wanted to challenge Mitch because I don’t believe he’s “sitting it out.” Instead, he’s “doing it out” because he’s doing podcasts and writing and compiling content and getting ready to give his next speech. And by doing all of those things now, Mitch is building a foundation for whatever it is next. It’s almost like he is slowing down now to speed up later, and rather than just jumping into something, he’s thinking, “What is it that I want to build?” And we know that some of our diehards don’t have the time or luxury to do that, but others can use this time to invest in themselves and take courses and get to the next level.
What Mitch wants everyone to know is that you also need to frame time and speed. For Mitch, pre-pandemic, he was running an agency, had a very young family, and was speaking 60 times a year while still pumping out five to seven pieces of content. So when he didn’t have the agency or the speaking, he went from going 300 miles an hour to 180 miles an hour, which may be way faster than other people but still feels slow to him. And a lot of people are saying, “Now is chaos.” But it’s not. It’s time to reflect and move a bit more slowly. You’re using time in a different way.
A story about Jeffrey and his father has actually become a piece of mythology in Mitch’s life. The story involves Jeffrey’s father always coming into the living room and taking notes on a pad of paper after a long day of work. Jeffrey asked him one day, “What are you doing?” And his father very quickly said, “I’m doing my homework.” Essentially, he was taking notes on the day and what he needed to complete tomorrow. And that story is part of what inspires Mitch to never want to be caught not doing his homework or not taking notes. In addition, Mitch believes the magic of the story is that it lets Jeffrey’s father be a father to every kid who hears the story and realizes the importance of homework.
This importance of notes is also seen in Jeffrey’s recent course, The New Normal Course. In it, he teaches salespeople how to get back into sales without selling anything, and it’s by asking their customers what’s been going on and taking notes on their answers. Because these notes will show you opportunities to go after and after you talk to and take notes on ten people, you’re going to notice trends.
Another major influence on Mitch is Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. One important concept from it is the artist state, or the opportunity to be an artist. And every week or month, you should give yourself an artist state by going to a concert, building something from a bunch of stuff you find at the dollar store, reading poetry, etc. You can also engage in morning pages, or writing three pages with a pen and paper as soon as you wake up without stopping. All of those activities aren’t necessarily things that you will purposely use later on, but they are an amazing primer to get you to write and think creatively, including in your business.
So often, people don’t think they’re creative, but they’d be surprised how creative they are if they just try. Try a YouTube video about drawing. Pick up a book from an author you had never heard of. Pick up a magazine that you would never think to look at. All of those are amazing triggers that can open up new doors and pathways.
And if you’re still wondering, “But how do I get creative?”, Mitch’s usual gateway to introducing people to creativity is sending people links to documentaries or YouTube videos on the topics that interest them. For example, care less about cooking but watch Gordon Ramsay and feel inspired to get in the kitchen.
Mitch’s specialty could be considered “collecting conversations,” and he’s here to share with our diehards exactly what that means. He agrees with Jeffrey that your network is your net worth…so Mitch focuses on having more conversations. That way, he can collect more from those talks, whether by sharing that information in a podcast, turning it into a presentation for others or turning it into an area for him to invest in or advise on. Mitch’s secret skill is getting things out of people that not only provide value to them but also end up providing more value to him.
Mitch believes everything he has originated from a conversation before it and his ability to come into that conversation open to hearing what the other person says and letting them finish their sentences. Instead of going into the talks with a bunch of questions that need answering, he takes notes and asks himself, “Where do I want this to go?”
And that is a key takeaway for all diehards because you need to know the difference between meeting with a customer and meeting with a customer to collect the conversation. That intention totally changes the frame of your conversation because you go in thinking, “I can learn something from this, regardless of whether I sell something or not” versus “I need to make a sale.”
It’s also important to go into a pitch with the knowledge of how you can break the typical pitch cycle or saying the exact same thing as all of the other agencies or people competing against you. You want to do everything you can to learn from Jeffrey and others about how you can stand out and be unique. Similarly, just because everybody has a script doesn’t mean you have to follow the script.
Extemporaneous wins over preparation sometimes. But it’s important to realize that the people who can do extemporaneous really well have been spending decades cultivating that skill. And for Mitch, one of the biggest lessons that we can learn while speaking and selling and creating is that you actually can’t just “fake it until you make it.” Everyone starts somewhere, but don’t overestimate how much knowledge or expertise you have. And instead of trying to be the next Jeffrey or Jen or whoever, try to be the next level version of yourself. On a related note, I – Jeffrey – don’t necessarily believe in fake it until you make it. My expression has always been “live it in advance.” That way, you’re projecting yourself rather than faking it.
But one thing Mitch and I both agree on is that the value in a speaker or a book or any big project is not just from the time that person spends creating that project. It’s from all of the years and experience that created the wisdom they have to share. And so many people who try to do online speaking just click “live” and start talking. But what successful speakers actually do is spend hours planning so they know exactly what’s going to happen when they click that button.
People don’t remember that in order to “go,” they need to “get ready” and “get set” first. Just like people often don’t realize that making money as a speaker isn’t as simple as asking yourself, “What should I speak about?” Instead, at least for Mitch, it’s about doing interesting things and cultivating a lot of deep knowledge that makes people want to hear you speak. So if you want to become a speaker and you don’t have enough experience, go out and dig ditches for a while. Get blisters and recover from them and then tell others about what it’s like to dig.
As Mitch mentioned earlier in this episode, the present day feels chaotic for a lot of people. But now is actually an opportunity to start thinking about your future and building a foundation for what you want to happen in the new normal. And to hear even more of Mitch’s tips and wisdom on doing just that, don’t forget to tune in to episode 504 of the Sell or Die Podcast.
Thank you so much for listening to Sell or Die! We hope that this episode has helped you to transform the way you think, given you new ideas, and provided a new perspective on the sales and business challenges you face every day so that you can win the customer all the way to the bank.
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Known as the King of Sales, Jeffrey Gitomer is the Author of 16 best-selling books including the Little Red Book of Selling, the Sales Bible, and his newest book Get Sh*t Done. In 2008, he was inducted in the Speakers Hall of Fame – the highest award in the speaking industry. His world-class list of clients include companies from Fortune 500 companies around the world. His digital Learning academy and signature course, The Seven-Figure Sales Formula, offers individuals and teams real-world sales strategies they can implement immediately.
Jen Gitomer gained her prowess in NYC as both a salesperson and award-winning sales leader for a Fortune 500 company. She is the best-selling Author of Sales in a New York Minute, CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Business Babe and a master business growth coach.
Jeffrey and Jen thank you, Diehard, for helping Sell Or Die achieve more than 2 million downloads!