S2Ep113: Sell or Die-Why Sales are So Crucial to Startup Success

In today’s episode, Allan welcomes Kelly Shaw. Kelly has a passion for sales and salespeople. He has been in sales for over 40 years and still has a thriving sales practice today. Increasing sales is the most effective way for businesses to manage and solve financial concerns. In addition, hiring and training a strong sales team will help your business bring in new customers and create lasting relationships with existing customers.

Guest Links

Kingdom Sales Academy with Kelly Shaw



Allan has started and grown several multimillion dollar businesses. His mission is to help you do the same. Welcome to The Business Growth Pod, building the future one entrepreneur at a time.

Hey, everyone, Welcome to The Business Growth Pod. I’m Allan Draper. I’m your gracious host. Happy to be with you. today. Thank you for spending some time with me. My endeavor is to help your businesses help you get to the next level whether that’s just getting them started or to the next tier of top line revenue. Make sure to reach out to meet Allan draper.com. Schedule a free appointment. I do 15 minute free sessions. I’m also an angel investor, as most of you know, and I’m looking for my next opportunity as we speak. today. Our guest is Kelly Shaw. Kelly has a passion for sales and salespeople which so do I. He has been in sales for over 40 years, and still has a thriving sales practice today. He’s been in sales, management and sales training, which has been his true passion in life for over 25 years. He’s trained and manage in multiple industries, everything from men and women’s clothing, automotive dealership, boat dealerships, nightclub restaurant management, you name it, Kelly is also the author of retirement, the final frontier, which is a unique and fun book based on Star Trek of all things. This book is all about retirement planning, which can be extremely boring, but Kelly puts a fun spin on the subject to keep the readers engaged, we’ll make sure to check that out. Welcome to the show, Kelly, glad to have you.

Hey, thank you. It’s my pleasure to be here, man. Thanks. Thanks for having me on. So Kelly’s reaching out to us. He’s from the Phoenix area, which most of you know is where I reside, it’s of the year, but he’s currently in Mexico and enjoying the sunshine and beach down there. The Super Bowl and waste management open are both taking place this weekend, which this episode will air well after that, but he’s avoiding the crowds and smart man. So let’s get into it. You know, a lot of our listeners are, they’re wanting to start a company, they’re wanting to start their business, they’re not necessarily fulfilled with their nine to five or their day job. And I think that if I had to pick one thing that is like the key to early success, at least early success in a business, getting some cash flow, going things like that. And one of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with the most I would say, sales, I have 17 or 18 business partners at this point. And almost all of them are incredible, incredible salespeople. Why is it that sells is so important to early stage entrepreneurs. And here’s the way I look at it, you can drive all the traffic you want to a website, you can get a bunch of people, you know, giving you their emails and everything else. And you may have a great product and you have a great service. But if you don’t know how to present it properly, if you don’t know how to ask the right questions, and you can’t get your message across, that’s really all sales is right? It’s taking the energy and enthusiasm that you have your product or service and transferred or somebody else. Once you do that you do it successfully, they’ll buy the product. Now, I coach a lot of people and talk to a lot of people and we’ll call it the roofspace. Right. And they want to serve they want to help people you know, they want to add something to the world that naturally want to change the world one person at a time.

If you don’t close them, if they don’t buy your product or service, you’re just talking to a wall and you’re not doing them any favors. You’re not doing yourself any favors. And the bottom line is if you’ve really on a mission, then you’ve got to really make sure that you can present your product in a manner that makes it fun and easy for the customer to purchase. So I don’t use the word sell as much as I do. I love the language of talking about make it easy for them to own your products. Just don’t make it hard, because you want to affect the bottom line. Number one thing affects the bottom line.

As yourself enough money to become wealthy, and independent, and travel and be location nonspecific, you can only do that by creating some sort of wealth. Now, that can be a few $100,000. And it can be a few million dollars, whatever it is, whatever lifestyle you want to live, the only way to do that, in any company, the fastest and easiest way to increase the bottom line is increase your sales. I, you know, I think that at least in the short term for startup businesses, you know, and I alluded to this before, but nothing trumps the importance of sales. And by sales, I don’t mean marketing. And by sales, I don’t mean telling people about your product or your service or what you’re doing. I mean, when I talk about sales, I mean, bringing revenue into the business. And I think that I’m so hung up on it, for two main reasons. One, I know that the main reason why businesses fail in the first couple of years, is because of a lack of cash flow, which cells would solve that. And then second, the businesses that I’ve started, I’ve scaled like crazy with this emphasis on sales and salespeople. And I own a with some partners, a door to door marketing firm. And I’ve just seen how sales solves a lot of problems for early entrepreneurs, early businesses have all sorts of issues, they have issues with HR, they have issues with finding good help, they have issues with product or service development, they have issues with understanding their financials and their goals and all these things. And a lot of those problems are solved, just through sales. And I think the reason why Kelly is because when you have cells, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to practice. If you’re not moving anything, then you don’t need to practice hiring because you don’t need those people or you don’t need to work with your financial statements, because nothing’s happening on them. You agree with that? You know, I totally agree with that. I know that a lot of people when they start a business, first thing they want to do is create a perfect website, the perfect marketing, the perfect is to perfect that. But the one thing they don’t work on is okay, let’s say all of that works. How do you get revenue? Like how do you get money coming in, until you can figure out, you know, the systems that work and where you need to tweak and reinvest your money, because they may pick three or four avenues to invest money, right. And out of those four, two of them may work extremely well. But when I talked to a lot of people that start up their own business, whether it’s a carpet cleaning business, or whether it’s a plumbing business, or whatever, it’s like, they don’t really know their numbers on the back end. Like they don’t know exactly how many phone calls they’re getting. They don’t know what their true closing ratio is, they can’t really figure out where they’re missing the sale. And they realize that if they can just get some deals closed, and they can analyze every deal. Like one of the things I learned many, many, many years ago, I think I learned this in the military. But when I was a salesperson, and when I was a sales manager for I wouldn’t say the very first time but later on, I would always go out with sales reps. Like in the field, like you said, you have a door to door sales company, right. So I kind of did that with annuity sales and insurance sales, but back in the day, and I learned two things. One was from Tony Robbins, and that is see the end result first, and get in that state of mind. So I would pull up to a door, I would get myself all hyper, you know, get my state up into a positive framework with a little bit of energy. And I would actually look at the front door. And I would see myself walking out of that door shaking hands with those the people who I didn’t know what they look like and saying Congratulations, you made a great decision. So in my mind, I present the outcome. Right. Now I knew what I was working towards. But then when I went in there, I knew it was Showtime. And I had to number one, I learned to ask a lot of questions. Now. It’s one of the things that most salespeople really don’t get. They think their job is to talk talk talk pitch, pitch pitch. And I just ask questions, bro. Like, I just like, when somebody says something, I just go like, Oh, that’s an interesting, yes. interesting statement. You said there, Alan, like when you say you think it’s expensive. Exactly. What do you mean by that? Or you say this? Well, why do you say that? Uh huh. And what does that mean to you? And like, number one, I dig deeper.

I really understand the value of what my product does for somebody. And if I don’t close them, then they lose. And I lose, my employees lose. And so when I come out of a sale, first thing I do, when I was by myself, I would say, Okay, what did I do good in that sales call? You know, well, I think I did this. Well, I think you can did that. Well, what are some of the things that I want to make sure I do on the next call, but maybe improve a little bit more? And then what did I mean? If not do correctly then I want to stay away from on my next call? And then what can I do to change that around? And I would do that when I would go door to door or house to house not door to door, but house to house in the field selling financial products. It’s like I come out with a rap. And I’d say so you’ll go ahead and do me a favor, analyze yourself, tell me the three or four things that you think you did, right. And you did really well. And they wouldn’t tell me and I would almost always agree. And say and but I also think he did this? Well, this well, this well, and what do you think you could have improved on? They would normally come with one or two things? And I would say I agree. You know, but I think you also could have improved upon this and listening. So in the military, that’s called the debrief, right? I mean, you go out into a mission, you come back, everybody wants to know how the mission go, you guys all came back live. So it must have been okay. You know, what can we do? Right? What did we do wrong? Where can we improve next time? You know, how was the communication? You go through all that? And most salespeople, most business owners just kind of live haphazardly. They look at themselves at the end of the month, they go, Okay, well, we survive this month, we just need more leads, well, do you really need more leads, or just need to get a heck of a lot better, become a lot more natural, make it easier for the client to buy and make the experience a much easier, quicker experience, where not only do they buy, but maybe they spend even more money than you hoped they would spend? You know, I’ve over the years and something that surprised me about business was a little bit of butting of heads between cells and service or product fulfillment, whatever. And the guys are the folks on the service side think that, you know, the sales guys promise too much or over promise. And then sometimes the folks on the sales side think that the service or the product fulfillment side that they underperform, have you seen this in your career? Have you seen this kind of conflict? And if so, what’s the solution to that? Because it seems to me it’s this never ending conundrum. Yeah. So this last week, my wife and I were invited to a hotel del if you know what that is in San Diego Hotel Del Coronado, probably one of the top 100 hotels in the world I guess, to meet with all the bigwigs from Blackstone, if you know who Blackstone is largest private equity firm in the world, and a company called HPA so they bought HPA about a year or so ago for, I don’t know, $6 billion. And they have some serious issues on the customer service side, right. But when you go through the complaints on the website, and this is always going to happen between sales and service, right, if the salespeople aren’t communicating properly, that

95% of the complaints could have been handled by the salesperson, if they actually gave it down. A lot of salespeople get really satisfied if they’re good. If you remember the book, Good to Great, you know, being good is only that far away from being great. Like, do you want to be a good husband? Want to be a great husband? Do you want to be a good partner? Want to be a great partner? You just want to be a good dad? Or do you want to be looked back upon and said, Man, what a great dad I had. And I gotta tell you, it doesn’t take that much more effort, right. But now part of that is on the salespeople to master their craft. And to make sure that they don’t over promise. If anything, they should under promise.

And over deliver.

That should be the mantra for every salesperson, under promise, over deliver.

Then when they get to service, and things happen quicker, better and easier. Right? Who’s the winner? Service sales, most importantly, the client, right? We have I think we have a salesperson, right? But we have a tendency to always talk about the best case scenario and how things should happen, versus how things probably will happen. And you’ve always got to account for the unexpected. Because I don’t know about you

I do not live in a perfect world. Like, if something can go wrong, like I tried to log in five minutes earlier, what does my computer do? It wants to update first, like, really today, long days.

After I update my computer, I got two minutes to get on the call, and one of the zooms to do it wants to do a new update some like,

thank goodness, I started five minutes early.

That’s one of the things I learned in automotive sales. A lot of people look at automotive sales and say, Well, you know, they’re like used car salesmen, bla bla, bla, bla bla, but I will tell you that it’s a great place to learn sales and how to build great rapport with customers. So when customers came in, I would never start pitching a car. I’m asking a little bit about them, their family, how they’re going to use their new car, or they’re going to drive by themselves for work. Because if it’s a pleasure, you know, what are the things that are important? What are they driving now to buy that new to Dubai, that us? How many miles a year they put on it? Is it going to be the same going forward? I might ask those kinds of questions. And then I would say, Hey, listen, I’m not here to sell you. I’m here to educate you and to help you find the right car. Hopefully, we have one in our life, we might not. But let me do this. Let me tell you a little bit about the dealership first. So if you were to buy today, we would put you on a team.

Right? And you would have a very specific service advisor. His name today, if you bought it would be Tony. In fact, Tony is working today. Let me take you over and introduce you to Tony, I will take him to the service department. I introduced him to the service writer how to service writers get paid kind of on commission, right. So first off, they’re like, oh, they get to meet Tony, Tony gives them their card, I then take them to the service manager, and then take them to the parks manager. Then I take him to the office manager. Say hi, this is Marge margin has been running our office, she runs a tight ship. Let me tell you, she doesn’t like hiccups in the back end, it’s my responsibility to make sure that all your paperwork is done correctly. So when it gets back here, everything is processed. And if you ever need anything, these are the people you’re going to be dealing with on a day to day month to month, year to year basis. Now, I might even introduce him to the sales manager and tell them hey, you picked a great day, easiest guy to work with. I haven’t even looked at a car yet. I’ve probably spent 1520 minutes showing them the dealership, and what the experience is going to be. After they purchase. I bought our $4,000 pot and pan set one time, not from a door to door salesperson because I was at some health fair.

And I saw this demonstration that was so over the top. Like,

man, if I don’t buy his pots and pans I’m gonna die from like all sorts of like problems with Teflon and nonstick and this and that. And then about a month later I went. And that was a really good salesperson because I don’t even know how to use the sock on things look good. And I knew I made the right choice. And you know, we finally figured out like how to use them. And they’re awesome pots and pans. I don’t know if they’re worth $4,000. But if you would have asked me what I spend $600 for a pot and pan said I’d say no, you’re crazy. There ain’t no pot and pants that I would spend that kind of money for. But I stepped up and bought those why I met somebody who was passionate about their craft. And they’ve demonstrated that to me where I went, Wow, this is something I should get. That’s the sales man. It’s such an interesting point. And it reminds me of this. So they did a study with pharmaceutical sales. It’s been five, six years since I read it. But there was this top female, she was the top pharmaceutical sales rep for this company, female male didn’t matter. And they tried to learn what she was doing so that they could, you know, rinse and repeat with the other sales reps. And when it came down to it, they found out that she had a relative that this medication that she happened to be selling save their life, right. And they found out that she really wasn’t doing much different in terms of her habits. She was working hard, but not necessarily harder than everybody else. They found out they pinpointed that the main difference was her belief in what she was selling and and that translated into her passion and affected these other areas. But so she didn’t look at it as a sales job. She looked at it as hey, I’m helping people I need for my sake to get this drug into as many you know hands as possible. It was almost like a mission to her. And it wasn’t about the dollars and cents and she made incredible incredible money as you could imagine. But there was something higher at play and it kind of you know reminds me of this you know pots and pans scenario. This person it sounds like they’re demonstration was passionate and you

inviting and all these things, do you think that there has to be this kind of higher? Why behind what you’re selling this belief in the product? Or can somebody just sell whatever they’re given to sell? So the answer is, I gotta believe 100% of the product, or I can’t do it. Like, when I learned the sole income Mercury’s back in the day, I knew every positive about a Cadillac, whatever I was competing against. I knew more about those cars than the salespeople that were selling them. And I knew where they had maybe an edge over my product. And I knew how to position that it. But most importantly, I knew my product inside and out. And I knew why it was far superior, especially for the dollar invested. And I could talk to the analytical, I could send them truth, you know, I know the forward styles of personality according to disk, right? So I knew to either speed up or slow down, focus on the task, focus on the people. And I knew where to direct people if they were C personalities to get information, because they’re not going to listen to me or believe me. Now, that being said, I’ve never ever, ever sold a product I didn’t know or didn’t know him first. That’s number one. So a couple of years ago, when I met my wife, I was getting ready to leave the country for two years trying to figure out how to be a digital nomad. And make money from my laptop. I found that I was really good at spending money, Alan, but not the greatest at making it but you know, hey, I’ve turned that around. But my wife wanted me to join the real estate team and I go, Hey, you know, I’m not really interested, I just can’t sell to sell, I gotta have something unique, something that I can get behind. I mean, she was doing this thing on the side. With his company college Pa was leased with right to purchase, right? So they gave somebody qualified to rent, then this company pays cash for the home. And then the tenant can buy that home any time over the next five years for just a few percentage points over what HPA was in this home. That’s why Blackstone bought them. They love their business model. And I went, Well, wait a minute.

I’ve purchased homes in my life with Lisa right to purchase. I go, man, if you’ll let me take over that part of the company. I’ll get my license tomorrow. But I’m going to blow you up girl, you’re going to be the number one agent in the country here real soon. And three and a half years later, she is the number one agent. So Blackstone HPA in the country. And one of the top 3% of all agents in exp Realty in the world. And that’s all because of number one. We bought our product first. We got a home through HPA. And in a year of renting that home, we made $170,000 Which, you know, then we went on TV to explain the process, who we are what we do, why we do it. And then we have testimonials from people like I’ve had people call me crying, saying we’re the only ones that ever gave them a chance because we just don’t quit. I’m a former Marine. And when I jump on a task, like it’s do or die, dude, like I’m not quitting, you’re not quitting. I’m not letting you quit. Don’t be a we’ll see. We’re gonna see this through, I’m gonna make it happen. And when it does happen, it’ll be the best thing. You know, we had a guy we had to submit 22 holes before we got on one. But the 22nd home was really the right home, right? And we just worked for six months to get a gallon to a home. And it’s the perfect home her husband’s disabled. She’s really low income, nobody would give her the time of day. But why do we have similar success? Well, because not only did we get a home to that business partner, we got a couple homes through some other business partners. Because I understand leverage. I’m a retired financial advisor, and had a thriving practice. And I understand controlling large assets but being able to take advantage of those if it’s in my favor. So again, I own it first. Everything I’ve ever been successful at selling whether it’s financial products, insurance, the only thing I never own that I was really successful at

was a boat. I took a Bayliner boat store from being bankrupt in 1994 To by 1995. One year number one in the world.

The only thing I know about a book, the pointy end goes forward.

And the only reason I know that because here’s a picture on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune around 1994 During the Boat Show, where I was backing a boat out of a harbor backwards because I didn’t know how to drive it down bow and and mess on Bayliner. At that time, they were looking to hire me as their full time trainer but they wanted me to move to Indianapolis. And they said how are you doing it? I go well, after spending two weeks examining the sales process and all the stuff you guys do. It came to the realization boats are only about one thing. Son and family. I don’t know what else we voted for. Nobody could ever tell me it’s for anything else been fun and family. You can say fun friends, friends or sometimes better family but the bottom

Why is so what do we sell? We sold Son family and friendship and gatherings we sold memories. We need to sell a boat. We sold memories. And so you alluded to in a minute ago, Alan, the big why, right? Like, what is the big? Why? If you don’t have a big why, if it’s just money, and you might be marginally successful, you’ll never be truly successful. And you won’t build raving fans who are going to send you clients. One thing I learned from being in the automotive industry is, all your great reviews come from your highest paying clients. So I went through a project one time where I showed all the salespeople.

Here’s everybody’s five star review. What can you tell me about the client? Oh, nail, they all paid.

They paid the money for the car. None of them were grinders, none of them wanted a super deal below cost and blah, blah, blah, go. So people that understood the value, you sold the value, you deliver the product, you made them happy gave you a five star review. They’re sending you referrals. And they’re coming back and buying a second car. The people that are grinders, people that are looking for the best deal in the world, that’d be an unrealistic, you’re spending 80% of your time with them. Instead of figuring out what did you do right on those people that gave you five star reviews, and duplicate that and forget about the rest. And so those are principles that I talked about, I talked about in my book, a book called frothing at the mouth. And by the way, anybody who’s listening to your podcast gets a free ebook, it’s I don’t know how many pages is but it’s the first chapter of my book and a section called several essential selling principles, most sales people get wrong. But one of the things I talked about is, first thing you got to do is get your mindset right about sales and about money and about family and about the Lord and how the Lord wants you to make money because he doesn’t want you to make money, he doesn’t want you to be broke. And you got to get that right. And then you got to sell yourself in the product or service, like you got to put your blinders on. And you’ve got to know that product, if they don’t buy it from you, when they’re in front of you, they’re probably going to get on the road by an inferior product, someone inferior person

with inferior service, and they’ll probably get no follow up and no service afterwards. So you know, you got to make that sale to yourself. Like first and foremost. And when you do that, you’ve got the enthusiasm, that gal who was selling the, you know, drugs, medical stuff, she made the greatest sale because it saved someone in her family’s life. But when she’s telling a story, or she’s selling the product, whether she brings that story up or not, it’s coming through and everything she does. If you’re desperate to make a sale, if all you’re in there for is money, that’s going to permeate through your skin like you ate 15 cloves of garlic the night before and an Italian restaurant. You know, people are just gonna sniff that out and go, you’re just in this for the money. Last thing you can ever think about in a sale is the money part. You got to give service, we’ve got to give value. You got to give first and receive later Yep. 100%. I say frequently that, you know, if you do things for the right reasons the money’s going to come. It may be a while but it eventually will come. If you know a lot of people say hey, once I make X amount of dollars, I’m going to do this or you know, once I have whatever success financially, then I’m going to change or whatever. And that doesn’t always necessarily follow. So well. Kelly, this has been a fantastic conversation. Where can people go to read or learn more about you and how you can help with sales processes and things like that? Yeah, we have a website called Kingdom sales academy.com. You know, we don’t market just to Christians, but we do have a very Christian based approach to sales, which is all about serving first. If you actually look at all the great sales trainers, you know, there’s a lot of good sales trainers out there today. Almost all of them badmouth the old sales trainers, but I don’t really know who they’re bad mouthing goes to stuff they bad mouth. I’ve never really heard from a high quality sales trainer. And whether you’re talking about oh gee man, Dino, or Norman Vincent Peale, or any of those guys, they were all Christians and all their books. They never talked about systems or techniques or methods. You don’t they talked about LM serving the client, serving first, giving first reaping the rewards later. If you have that mindset, then and only then will you get true happiness in sales and the money will flow. But you got to learn to get first. Yes, so Kingdom sales academy.com. I’ll make sure my assistant send you a link as a free

book, they just need their email address, I think in their name, if they’d like to book a 15 minute free consultation with me, they can put their phone number in there. And I’d be glad to sit down with us and 15 minutes analyze, you know, kind of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. I’m finding out, I’m pretty good at writing scripts. I didn’t really think I was. But I’ve helped a lot of people lately by giving them some simple basic word tracks, and telling them how to actually talk to people how to use the body language a little bit, how to use their facial expressions, maybe to slow down speed up a little bit, you know, whatever. But hey, look, I’m here to serve. I’m here to serve your audience. So whatever I can do, whether it’s the ebook or you know, sit down with them for 1520 minutes, one on one. Again, I’m here to serve. So, okay, sales academy.com. Okay, we’ll make sure to put that in the show notes. Thanks so much for joining us, Kelly. We appreciate all the great information about the sales process and how it can help entrepreneurs. Thank you very much. My pleasure. Thank you, man.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please leave us a rating and for daily inspiration and business tips. Follow Allan on Instagram. Until next time, remember, we build the future one entrepreneur at a time!

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