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John: What if you get anybody to do anything you wanted? On this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, I’m going to visit with sales trainer Phil Jones, where he talk about his magic words and this is not just for salespeople, in fact this is for non-sales people. Check it out.
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Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is John Janssen my guest today is Phil Jones, he is a sales trainer and speaker and claims to be on a mission to teach the world to sell by helping non-sales people to understand how they can use magic words to achieve more influence stronger relationships and more sales. So welcome to the show, Phil.
Phil: Hey John thanks for having me here and to everybody’s listening.
John: So you know a lot of sales people out there that are getting all trained up and why are you going to go and pick on the non-sales people.
Phil: Well I think you’re right there are a lot of sales people out there that are getting trained up to use your words and these guys pull themselves into a cool little area that everybody else looks at. Says I don’t want to be anything like those people, there’s this viewpoint about what a salesperson is. That is an ugly person or is something that no child has ever said in their entire life that when I grow up I want to be one. Yet everybody in the world finds themselves in a position where they need to influence to negotiate to persuade and then there are all these people in the world that are experts, they’re good at something kind of person.
They decide they want to set themselves out into the world of business and regardless of how good they are at the thing they’re good at, they don’t get to be good at until a sale takes place. So my mission or passion really is found myself in this error of saying how do I help people who are good at what they do, get paid the right money for being good at what they do by helping them stand out from the crowd of the other people who are claiming perhaps winning business from them through being better selling as opposed to being better at the things they said they’re good at.
John: Well, unfortunately I have to just say that everything you’ve said so far I can’t really relate to because it’s rubbish. Because I grew up wanting to be a salesperson.
Phil: Hey good there is one of them, I’d like being in search to meet you guys.
John: Actually my father was and I just thought that was the greatest thing in the world and I think…
Phil: And you wanted to use the word rubbish as well, right? That’s why you….
John: I warned you but I really think that I mean I saw it as a really noble interesting helpful thing and I think that that you know it’s a shame that so many people have that impression.
Phil: Well here’s the thing John as well it’s like one of the things I also question in all my seminars and presentations. I ask people to throw some adjectives and describing words at me that would be used to describe a stereotypical salesperson. And what I lean towards is things like pushy, arrogant, cocky, liar, dishonest, manipulative and I also think about the picture they see in the head right now and many of them shut up and I think this is part of the problem. You’re in a situation where you understand that there is an art involved from reading or study any of your work, you’ll know that selling anything to anybody is not a bad thing, it’s about helping identify a need and helping them realize that you are the person to help fix it. So isn’t what being a salesperson is, that’s the problem, it’s people’s perception.
John: Yeah and I imagine some of the folks that probably one of the challenges biggest challenges the non-sales people think, is they think they have to be something else.
Phil: Correct something they’re not.
John: Yeah and I was going to ask you flat out what are some the problem areas and common mistakes, I think we just hit on one, didn’t we?
Phil: I think we just found a huge one there, and people believe also that this whole idea of asking for money from people puts them in the field of being evil and that it’s a bad thing to be able to talk about such a thing as money. I often share the example with people that if you had to run out into the street all strangers with $50 bills, then you’d probably feel a little awkward about it. But if the reason behind it was the fact you had maybe somebody who was the other end of the town that was awaiting some form of emergency transport and we needed to raise funds to get a helicopter to bring him from the other end of the country. How would you feel about running out asking for money right now and people are jumping up and down happy to be able to do it. So it’s not that they are fearful of asking for money but they kind of fearful for asking for money because they don’t like it being seen as something for their personal gain or don’t like to feel like they are making a profit from somebody.
John: You have spent a great deal of your work around this idea of magic words and if I can just take a stab at what I think it is, it’s really kind of a way to create a device that I think makes people a little more comfortable with getting to the right conversations, but obviously you’re going to go on deeper. So tell us about this idea of magic words.
Phil: Well what I’ve realized from working with people around the world in sales and on sales environments, is often the difference between somebody who gets great results and somebody who gets not so different results. Outside of the effort and the energy and the attitude type things we know to be important is knowing exactly what to say when to say it and how to make it count. We all know that people like to actually buy things, so the minute you can make the resistance yes as opposed to no, then what happens is decision making gets easier.
I’ve learned that people hate making decisions so if that becomes a natural path to follow then people are happy to be out to run down those tracks too. And what I’ve learned through experience and then working with thousands of people around the world, is there are certain sequence is it was that just happened to bypass this whole proposition of maybe, this is costing people absolute fortune in business and lead towards a yes or no by having the subconscious brain do the work as opposed to people having to make their own mind up. Go ahead, John.
John: I was going to say I want to get into some of the words but I want before we even dive into those I want to discuss this idea of yes or no. A lot of times I think people salespeople where they feel, they figure as long as I don’t have a no I’m still in the game. And that leads to endless proposals and endless e-mails and wringing their hands. I mean a lot of sales training folks pretty much say look you want yes or no as fast as possible.
Phil: Right and those are important, my dictionary definition of what salesperson is, is a professional mind maker up, and I think that’s what people’s job is to help the other person make their mind up. Indecision is the killer of all opportunity and if we can do anything to help somebody make their mind up quickly we can increase the right decision and find more success. So no’s are a good thing providing that’s not all you get. I’ve heard this every now is one step closer to a yes thing but that in my mind too is just a nonsense. Because every time I’ve had someone say no to me I’m beating myself up about it, I wonder what I’ve done wrong. I found myself up at night wondering how I could have done things differently, so getting to that decision quickly and then getting all over it quickly is one of the keys to be able to be on how to get yourself ahead of the pack.
John: Yeah I think I always found that I hated the no or the maybe land, I need more information land. Because it just wastes a lot of time because in many cases, most cases in my experience it’s still lead to a no, you just bled to death instead.
Phil: Well let’s take that maybe thing for a second, right, and the maybe thing gets described in and perhaps even comes out in a variety of different guys but one of the sequences of words that we hear a lot back from customers or potential customers is these words I just need some time to think about. And I’m going to think about what I’m really means from an objection point if you, because you want certain what it doesn’t really mean is that they’re going to go home and do a SWOT analysis about whether they will or won’t move forward with you, or they’re going to invite board members in to do a pros and cons about whether you’re the right person for the job. It means I’m pushing this decision away for another day, and I used to hate this thing and people would say I need some time to think about it, because the time to think about it to me was now, we were in the room together being able to put ourselves in the situation to lead this decision. And all that I wanted to say to these people was things like, what is it, just tell me what it is that you want to think about we’ll probably find a solution we can work around it, we can find a way to make it work.
John: What actually are you afraid of, that’s my favorite.
Phil: Yeah, but people are so scared of being and to ask these big brave questions to people to get to that nitty gritty. So they say things like it’s okay I’ll leave it with you. And they say things like, okay we’re ready when you already no rush no pressure because they don’t want to be seen as this pushy salesperson. And this was one of those areas where I started to learn that word choices could allow you to be at a thing so you could get to the key piece of information that otherwise you wouldn’t by changing the way the other people perceive the thing you’re really asking, so you can get to the thing you really want. And here’s an example of some magic words because I learned that if you preface any direct or quick or obnoxious question with the words just out of curiosity, you can ask whatever the hell you like and you can turn something that would have been obnoxious and rude into something that was soft and fluffy.
So if we take that example of I need some time to think about it and you want to scream and shout at them to get to the heart of the issue, you start up doing that and you just said to the same person just out of curiosity. What is it specifically you need some time to think about? Now all of a sudden you’ve reversed a control in the conversation and got yourself into a situation they need to give you an honest answer. Which is all you are truly looking for, you weren’t looking for them to buy you or buy the thing that went with you, you just wanted the truth so you could get to the point of being able to find something agreeable.
John: I think a lot of times I can’t make a decision is really my, in some cases just means I don’t have enough information, we haven’t talked about what the real problems are and you know a lot of people going in and assume what somebody’s objectives are and you never get around to it and so all of a sudden it’s kind of in the stall.
Phil: And sometimes it’s the money John, sometimes he’s out the money people and people aren’t brave enough to be able to say it but you’re better to know it. I know you work with a lot of consultants and trainers et cetera, people can also give him some help but they don’t know whether the $500 by $5000 or $50,000 and I find themselves loving everything you’re about, you present a price and it’s five times the number they have available at this moment in time but they love you so much they don’t want to tell you the truth.
John: Really great point. I believe you I mean I think this just out of curiosity you’re right, it’s sort of I don’t know what the right term is but it sort of softens it in a way but it actually just makes it approachable. So do you have a sense of why that is so powerful?
Phil: Well everything in conversation is about permission. And what it allows us to be able to do is it just gives us some purpose for asking the rude obnoxious question. It allows you for them to be able to say, well okay it’s not because he had to have the answer, he was just curious. Now that he just curious, what you’ve almost correct is a hypothetical scenario, and in a hypothetical scenario, it is easy to make decisions.
I remember playing a game as a kid with my sister that was the easiest game in the world. When we were bought it was running out, it takes my mom shopping catalogue and at nine years old we could play the game what do you want on this page, so we could run through every page of the shopping catalogue and I could choose which head dryer I would want, which set of scales I would like, which type of pens I would like. I mean I was nine years of age I didn’t have a house it didn’t matter to me. But picking in a hypothetical context is easy, so somehow just lifting it out of the reality you’re in and taking an elevator above it just allows you to be out to go, okay I owe the guy a decision.
What’s important now about asking those kinds of questions is the ability to shut the hell up off the boss, you can’t start suggesting possible options alternatives? You just have to stay quiet, the silence becomes your friend. And I think I hear people in silence saying, well this guy is great he’s got the gift of the gabble, he’s the one with all the words. Yet most of those people have sales prevention offices as opposed to people who truly go out and get results, so many of your customers will talk you into, took themselves into choosing you if you stay quiet long enough and this being one of those examples.
John: You know I love that but I know for a lot of people sitting in silence, you know can you imagine. Because I’ve had it since where you throw it out there and it’s like I’m not talking until you talk and it’s 10 seconds seems like about 10 minutes in that… But I think once you do it and you experienced it a couple times you get pretty solid on doing it.
Phil: And I think it’s also the body language that comes alongside it too. It’s not less aggressive silence where what you’re doing is leaning into what other person saying come on, come on let’s go result.
John: Who’s going to blink first?
Phil: Yeah and there’s a position I think that we need to adopt to as professional salespeople is that just south of arrogant position. You know it’s that’s high level of confidence, it’s this I’ve got this, it’s this when you turn up to the hundred meter race with your seven-year-old daughter alongside you think if I need to win I know I can but I’m allowing this one to go on for the purpose of the lesson, is that level of I’ve got this. And that comes through experience.
John: So I want to see if you’ll share a couple more examples but I’m having trouble getting past why nine-year-old would want a hair dryer.
Phil: I didn’t want them I just knew if I did want one that was the one I’ll have.
John: All right so give a couple examples if you wouldn’t mind, a couple more example.
Phil: Okay, well let’s give you a quick and easy one, one that you can start to use in your life as long as your listeners promised not to go use this on friends, family and loved ones to get them to agree to do things. And this is a set of words you can use to get just about anybody to choose just about anything in a given period of time. You often find yourself in the position particularly as an expert where what you’re looking to be able to do is to tell the other person what to do. But it becomes very difficult to tell the other person what to do because you don’t want to appear rude and obnoxious.
Now you can’t do that but you can do it if you just substitute a few words around and it works on some basic principles that people like safety in numbers, we take great confidence from the fact that other people like us who follow a certain path before us. Plus we like telling people what to do providing they don’t feel like they’re being told what to do. Now if what you do is you phrase the thing you’d like the other person to do with the words most people. What now happens subconsciously in the other person’s head is they realize that they too are most people, so that’s what they should do.
Imagine yourself in a situation where you are sat in procrastination with a client where they can’t choose between your bronze package and your silver package. And they’re just 50/50 between the two options. Is either you say I think you should take the silver, you say well what most people tend to do is to sell themselves off in the silver package that way they get to experience us, for any reason it doesn’t work out you can always drop down to the bronze and if you find yourself wanting more you can step up on the gold. That’s what most people would do. And you watch the world go, okay.
John: Yeah and you see tons of examples of that even online, so not even human but you know you see the gold silver bronze package and they’ll have most popular you know under the silver.
Phil: Yeah so the words most people will allow you to be able to tell the other person what to do, and they get you out of pockets of indecision time and time again. I’ll just give you another one you wanted a couple of examples. Is sometimes you find yourself wanting to introduce something to somebody but you are certain that you might get some rejection from them or you’re fearful of that rejection.
So here’s a set of words that you can use to introduce just about anything to just about anybody at any given time where it’s completely rejection free. And what you do is you position your idea to the left or to the right of somebody and then you use a powerful three letter word, a powerful three letter word that we had used on us time and time again and we know what it means. The powerful three letter word is the word but, because we know the word but negates just about anything it was placed in front of it. I mean for anybody who’s been in the corporate ladder and received feedback from an employer that says you’re a really valuable member of the team, we love everything you do, we love what you’re about but we remember everything that follows.
So but is powerful, let’s see how that plays into the sequence of words. If I want to introduce just about anything to just about anybody but I could say the words look I’m not sure if it’s for you but. Now what that allows me to be able to do is to make you rejection free. The fact that I say I’m not sure if it’s for you, a little voice inside its head it says, well what is it. So it creates curiosity and intrigue towards the thing, naturally they lean in they want to find out more. The word but means little voice really heard you might want to look at this.
The worst anybody says is, what is it, that’s interesting. The best somebody says is tell me some more this sounds like it could be just for me. What it allow you to be able to do is to share stories about the type of work that you do with the results of the work that you do and build a reputation that could lead to an abundance of new clients, without saying would you like to buy my XYZ package.
John: It kind of also feels like it has the effect of taking it away a little bit before you even give it. So it’s kind of like, what do you mean it’s not for me.
Phil: Exactly, that’s exactly what it does, it just trace this little inward motivation to say, tell me more about it and it’s the fact that we’re giving somebody a now in the back door and you’ll see this happen on online stuff. The minute you allow people or don’t force them down a path and allow them the felt like can’t get out of jail, then they feel more confident to be able to take a leap of faith to find out more.
John: Now you introduce this idea when you said as long as you don’t use this for evil. I mean so where do people who take powerful concepts like this to maybe sell stuff to people that people don’t really need or that they really can’t afford or that I mean is there a fine line between using something to help people get a result and using something to scam somebody.
Phil: The end of the day whatever is that if you’re looking to be out able to see the other person to part with money for. Is if you don’t believe with absolute certainty it’s worth it and some you’ve got a problem. Quite literally is if you’re not convinced that it’s worth it you cannot convince somebody that it is worth it. So you need to be out to do some of this for some ethics inside of you to be certain you can deliver value.
So I’m talking about the area of influence and persuasion when you’ve got somebody who’s got a genuine need to your product or services not about, you know I still eskimos as a stand up for great salesmanship is a complete problem in my mind. Because the eskimo wakes up tomorrow with an issue and in today marketplace I don’t think there is much time for shysters or con artists to the people that have existed so much in our past because of the transparency that exists through the Internet. Because reputation is the thing that we need to be out to protect more than anything else and the consumer is far more educated than they ever have been at any point in buying history. Well, I certainly sleep better at night knowing that if somebody is going to use a good tool for the wrong reasons they will get caught out when they will come around again.
John: Yeah that’s so true you know sort of the fool me once thing, it kind of blows up in people’s face I guess because you know tomorrow somebody will have a YouTube channel talking about it.
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So let’s talk about the whole human element of sales, so much just what you talk about, the buyer doesn’t wake up and call up three companies and say send me your salesperson anymore. They go online they research and go to Facebook, they ask their friends in many cases have maybe made 70% of their decision before a sales person ever gets there. How does that impact the role of the sales person?
Phil: It impacts in that it involves it. Sales people are unlikely to go out fashion, they just need to evolve and change with the marketplace. What you are is you are meeting consumers who far more often are educated to a point of being dangerous and this is coming through a result of the internet. So you do need to find yourself in a position where you often need to reestablish credibility in a conversation with the consumer to help them realize that you are truly the expert.
Now you often meet a client who says I’ve read about this in this and what I’d like to be out to buy is this and you know that nothing’s the wrong thing about. So learning more sets of magic words by being able to reopen the books again. Words like so what do you understand about. A prefix a question what do you understand about, the difference is between us and people like us. Now all of a sudden the consumer is thinking well maybe I don’t know as much as I should. You don’t need certainty to sell anything to anybody, you need doubt to reestablish expertise to create a new version of certainty and then choosing you.
So that’s a big, big change but the other big change that comes in here is people’s perception of the fact that you still don’t need a salesperson. Now I see lots of people will have developed fantastic online fun that get people to take their lead bait for example, so they’ve generated some success through a hundred people have downloaded their free report on their white paper or their e-book on something and then they send a series of email auto response, it’s a wonder why people don’t buy.
One of the things that we do a lot of is that we introduce a simple process into these auto-respond process that when somebody downloads the first piece of lead bait we introduce a telephone conversation. And the telephone conversation runs something like this. I can see that you’re on a website the other day and you downloaded XYZ report, I’m just checking that it downloaded okay. Not did you read it, did you like it, what did you take from it? Because chances are they didn’t read it anyway. Did it download okay?
Now that we’ve asked a question earlier on in the conversation that we’ve gotten yes back from it we now have permission to continue the conversation, so it’s what was it that brought you to the website in the first place. Now we’re into understanding a problem about how a true consultative or service base proposition could help them as opposed to allowing automation to be able to do the whole thing through clever copywriting or a series of emails. So I think there’s a place that these things can come together.
John: And I think that’s brilliant too because I have seen tons of research that it’s sort of in conflict but people want to go out and find these websites, find the answers find the downloads but they ultimately want that guide still.
Phil: They absolutely want it.
John: Yeah and so I think it’s the companies that can put those two elements together that are really rocket.
Phil: And I was only having this discussion earlier on today is that we live in the information age, there is so much of help there that it’s now almost impossible to decide for which one of these experts should I lead on, which one of these products should I could buy because the information is now conflicting. Which is bringing it back to more of those old fashion scenarios of what feels right. So if you can introduce a human element to an online proposition and say, hey I would really like you to be my customer. That in itself could be enough to allow somebody to choose you as opposed to somebody like you.
John: Good stuff. Phil where can people find out more about you and how to pick up a copy of magic words?
Phil: Well you go to Amazon you can find more stuff on magic words you can find some YouTube videos. There’s an abundance of stuff on my app which is completely free. Head on over to Philandjones.com and you’ll find links to ever thing that you could possibly find and if you search Phil with the M in the middle Jones then you’ll find me all over the Internet in different places. But if you miss the M, you’ll find England’s feature soccer captain who stolen all of my Google rankings and I will never ever, ever, ever be able to bit because he’s written about 50 times a day.
John: There are a number of folks like yourself that have somewhat common names that have had to resort to some sort of vehicle like that to get themselves ahead of an NBA star or an astronaut or a politician or something.
Phil: Yeah my mission is to become the most famous Phil Jones, so I feel somewhat to go.
John: The second most famous Phil Jones has a nice ring to it too.
Phil: Yeah that works, it works just make a difference everybody. John thank you for having me on.
John: Oh it was my pleasure and hopefully we will catch up with you out there on the road Phil.
Phil: Very much likely, have a good one.