BS with Bob Schmidt

E1 David Slain – Sales its that Simple



Things you’ll learn in this episode of the BS With Bob Schmidt Podcast.

1- That you can be an introvert and be successful as a salesperson.

2- Why you need to be passionate.

3- You’ll also learn the best question to ask when making a sales call.

Find Dave Slain here:


Transcript of BS With Bob Schmidt Podcast “E1 David Slain – Sales it’s that Simple”

Bob Schmidt: 00:00 Podcasting is more than just talking, it’s listening. BSing with Bob Schmidt is the first ever BS with Bob Schmidt podcasts and I’m proud to have my first guess would be a good friend of mine, David Slain, he’s an author, entrepreneur, boss, man, friend and tarpon fisherman. Dave Slain. Wrote the book sales. It’s that simple. A. Dave, let’s start off with, uh, with, with being a tarpon fisherman. How has being a fisherman similar to slaying it on the a sales office?
Dave Slain: 00:33 It’s all about, you know, the funny thing is your kind of just shock me with that question, but there isn’t a lot of similarity in sales, in tarpon fishing because it’s all about the hunt you don’t go out and just catch tarpon easily. You got to work really hard for it. And then once you finally do catch on after you’re worn out the reward feels still good. So I think from a, from a lot of ways, I think for tarpon and sales are very similar. Work your butt off to get a sale, but once you do close something and you catch that tarp and then get that business man, the feelings are like any other.
Bob Schmidt: 01:11 Well isn’t. That just shows your competitive side, being a kind of a sports fisherman and a closer,
Dave Slain: 01:19 yeah, you have to be. You have to be competitive to get one on when I’m not like in your face competition because so many people think that if you’re competitive, you’re being or whatever, not at all, it’s the will to win the wants to be able to, to win and get that business is really a huge key because if you’re just nonchalant and you won’t do the right things to get the business, you have to have that passion. That’s a really good point. Bob.
Bob Schmidt: 01:46 David Slain is, uh, is my guest today on the, uh, on the show. And I, I brought up the fishing part just because I have known you for a long time and I’ve gone fishing with you and I know that, uh, that you’re, that you’re good at doing what you’re good at reading the waters and you’re good at reading people. And uh, you wrote a really cool book called sales. It’s that simple. Going from when you started off your career, I know that he was studying to be in the radio and I know that you studied to do what I’m doing and you chose to take a different path. What made you choose that different path?
Dave Slain: 02:16 Well, I have to be a hundred percent honest with you when I say that I actually have a degree in communications with advertising in the concentrations and broadcasting, advertising public relations. And that’s true. But understanding how that came about and I have to be totally honest. I went to school to play basketball and I want to graduate in four years. So my sophomore year I’m like, how do I graduate in four years? If you could do that, if it that’s what I want to do.
Bob Schmidt: 02:45 It’s just the truth comes out.
Dave Slain: 02:47 Yeah. It just so happened that I really did enjoy being on the radio and I was not ready to go when I was a producer of television shows, a recital, things like that. I loved all that on the camera, man. I did a color combination, Jay Cutler, commenting for athletic events, all those things, and I loved it. It was great. But I can’t tell you that’s what [inaudible] was. I just wanted to graduate in four years. Excuse me. Uh, but the key for me was when I graduated I thought I was to play basketball in Europe, but I hurt my knee, my acl and I just never recovered like a lot of these guys can today. So instead I had to go out into the job market. So I went out and my coach knew a few people and I had met a few ads that went on five interviews and got offered five jobs, which was pretty cool. Yeah. Which was really cool. I mean this is 1994. I’m showing. I’m an old guy and um, you know, I took the highest paying one and they’d give you a company car. So I thought that was really cool, which was sales. I didn’t know what sales watch and that’s actually what put me into sales. It wasn’t because I went to school for, it wasn’t because it was something I was sought after. That’s the real story. So I wish I could tell you there was more to that, but that’s how I got out.
Bob Schmidt: 04:05 When you were a kid, did you ever do any a cub scout sales or any fundraising, sales, things like that?
Dave Slain: 04:11 No Way. I was so shy. I was afraid to talk to people. Yes. I’m so shy, so I’m so unsure of myself that I, you know, I would hit in the corner and that was huge, huge and fast. I think it was something like shaving and eighth grade it was ridiculous.
Bob Schmidt: 04:32 Six,
Dave Slain: 04:33 I was six foot four as a sophomore. I think I would split in eighth grade. Um, so I grew fast and I was just shy, very austere with myself. So no way would I do that
Bob Schmidt: 04:45 really to me because I’ve known you and you as a professional and I know you as a, as a friend. And so I mean I see, I see multiple sides of Dave, but I don’t see Dave being shy at all.
Dave Slain: 05:01 I do have an introvert type personality, which I know sounds weird, right? You know, I take these personality tests and I’m part of all these groups, or at least have been part of all these groups with c level positions and I take these personality tests and all these guys are, there’s no way it doesn’t make sense because you know, on am slightly in like [inaudible], introvert and then 49, not, I can’t think of what the letters are for it at the moment. Um, but everyone’s shocked because I’m so blunt or able to, you know, to state and not afraid to go up to someone and say, hey, how you doing? Or just talk about any conversation now. But that was self taught. That was not something that came natural.
Bob Schmidt: 05:44 Is that part of being a sales guy?
Dave Slain: 05:46 I think that that. How do I say that right? Is I think I had to overcome it to be a sales guy. Does that make sense?
Bob Schmidt: 05:55 I’ve asked that question to a lot of people. I think doing things that puts you outside the box, things that challenge you. I think people, a lot of people do well at that, and that goes back to the whole competitive spirit that goes back to the, to the hunt of the fish. Uh, you know, it really does it really.
Dave Slain: 06:15 Whatever your trophy hunting for fish, man, that’s what it’s all about. The same thing with the sale is you never give up attitude.
Bob Schmidt: 06:21 Well, your book is called sales. It’s that simple. Why that is
Dave Slain: 06:28 Sales is that simple. There isn’t, it isn’t that complex. So what I mean by that is you have a product or service and someone wants it. That’s as simple as sales is. If you think about it, you walk into a grocery store and they sell things to you all the time. You walk out, but you don’t know you’ve been sold, right? So sales is very simple. But what becomes complex is once you throw humans into it and our emotions, so our emotions lead us and tell us so many different things and there’s perceived most of the time, like we’re afraid someone’s not going to like us because maybe we don’t speak, write or say the right thing. Maybe we get embarrassed and says, now we’re embarrassed. Our mind isn’t open, so now we do screw up even more, uh, or say that something bad happens. You just shut up. I mean, all these things are really bad if you’re in the field of sales actually is bad for any kid, any type of communication, but the emotions of what happens on both buyer and seller are the ones that can make it complex.
Bob Schmidt: 07:29 How do you work that out of yourself? Because emotions not only are our, with the, with the, with the buyer sometimes or the seller is difficult too because if you go in for a multi-million dollar deal or even a, even a thousand dollar deal and that person is your friend and then they say no. I mean, you got the emotion that’s in there. That’s an automatic built in your life,
Dave Slain: 07:55 right? Five. I think that’s a good point. And a lot of people think exactly like what you just said. You don’t want to lose your emotion. Emotion isn’t a bad thing. It just makes things more complex. Um, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. You imagine having an emotion with society, that’d be terrible, so you want the emotion. What you want to be able to do is control your emotions and making sure that you have enough self confidence in yourself that you’re getting it across. So if all of a sudden I’m talking to my friend Bob and I said he thought this is, this is my product or service, and you say no, I’m going to ask you why? No, can you help me so I know why you said no, so I can learn how to do this different and or maybe clarify something for you. It’s just asking questions to make sure everyone’s on the same page and after you’re on the same page, if Bob’s in the it, why do I want to sell it to them? Because he doesn’t want it. He is not the fit. I move on. I mean that’s as simple as that is.
Bob Schmidt: 08:46 Is it different now though? I mean because that sounds like ethical selling right there. And you mentioned earlier that you know that sales people don’t have the best reputation. I think that maybe nowadays people have a different outlook to a salesperson now perhaps than they did twenty years ago. Thirty years ago.
Dave Slain: 09:08 Yeah.
Bob Schmidt: 09:10 No, I think, but I think probably better. Well, when it comes to face to face sales, you know, you get the W, we all get these telemarketer calls on her phone. We all get the, you know, people calling from overseas with a, with a local number, and those, those types of salespeople I don’t think have a good reputation at all. But I think that sales has kind of changed now. So it’s more of an ethical thing to sales than it was thirty years ago or twenty years ago because I think that 20, thirty years ago we had the Herb Tarlek thought of a salesperson or the used car salesmen.
Dave Slain: 09:43 That’s a good point. I think sales is all part of people are either unethical and the person is who’s going to determine whether or not they do things wrong or right. So no matter what you do, and I don’t care if it’s sales, accounting, operations, whatever you do, you could have someone who’s on ethical or ethical sales is no different than that sales can have on people and I was dominated where the unethical people from years back and the used car lot that would actually lie in order to get us to that. Does that still exist today? Absolutely. Cause people exist today and some people are unethical. That’s no different. But I really believe that you get that seventy percent of all people, you know, maybe more, but that’s kind of a generality of are gonna be really ethical about it. And I do think overall sales has evolved into a much more complex way of selling up into the business world. Even though it’s a simple way of looking at it. There’s a lot more you have to do. Like you can no longer just sell a product without understanding exactly how that product’s going to work and how it’s going to benefit. That’s the type of things. I mean
Bob Schmidt: 11:00 like what about passion? I mean, I would think that you’d have to have passion for the product that you’re selling to in order to be good or maybe to be super successful at it.
Dave Slain: 11:12 Passion Bob. In my book, what I talk about is if you don’t believe in it, don’t sell it, and I think that’s how I like it because if you believe in something that passion’s going to come through. Take. When I go and see a movie with someone, I’m like, this was the greatest move like Shawshank redemption. How many times I watched something on TV for Christ’s sake. It comes down, I sit down, I watched the darn thing. You go and you see Shaw Shank and you tell people that you got Ashton for it. It’s no different with your any product or service you’re going to sell. If you have belief in it, you’re going to have passion and that’s going to come straight through.
Bob Schmidt: 11:46 Well, what does your book, eight simple principles that you have sales that said simple. Do you go through and, and, and I kind of outlined that whole, that whole piece.
Dave Slain: 11:56 Yeah, I do. So there’s eight simple principles throughout the book when you read that book and I go into all eight of them for you step by step by step.
Bob Schmidt: 12:05 So the first one I see here is to think positively. What about when you’re having that craptastic day? Because I think every one of us has had those crappy days and all of a sudden you’re expected to be on when you’re having bad luck.
Dave Slain: 12:19 Let’s talk about positive thinking. It’s one of the most misunderstood parts on and things because people think positive thinking just means, hey, you got to bill. You better be positive. You know when you have a death in the family that suck, it’s not going to say, hey, OK, someone died. That sucks. Part of the thinking is this really sucks. I’m going to have a hard time with it, but I’m gonna get through it and I’m going to be stronger and move on. That’s positive thinking. So a lot of people get miss misunderstand what it means. It’s you can’t have a false reality if your day sucks and you say in positive thinking, Hey, my day is going bad, but I know if I keep going, it’s going to turn around and things will get better for. That’s positive thinking and I go into detail about that, but you don’t want to be stuck in false realities because if you’re stuck in those than you, you’re like in a different dimension. You’re not living in the real world.
Bob Schmidt: 13:19 Live in the moment. Then too when you’re doing sales.
Dave Slain: 13:24 Yes and no, so a lot of most of sales is preparation, so you’re ready to present to wherever your audience is. Then there’s a section of sales that’s in the moment, so you have to understand in the moment what your buyer’s doing, why they’re doing it and how you interact with them, and if you look at your buyer more as a buddy and just changed some of your words, you’re going to do pretty well in sales. Instead of saying, dude, you gotta, check this out. You say, Hey bob, I’d like you to look at it. And it’s the same in the same way, in the same manner as you would anybody else. So you do have a sense of in the moment, but a lot of it’s done with preparation.
Bob Schmidt: 14:05 Is that where your defined strategy comes in then? That’s the preparation part?
Dave Slain: 14:10 That is correct. And that’s why I defined strategy is so important as the principle is you have to know what you’re trying to do when you get there and if you don’t understand what you’re trying to do, how are they going to understand what you’re trying to convince them off. So. And that’s a big thing that a lot of people get wrong real fast.
Bob Schmidt: 14:28 Now, when you say convinced them of a, is that, is that what you mean by that? By the sales where they’re selling them a product or an idea or a.
Dave Slain: 14:37 yeah, correct. So you convince them of what you’re trying to do. And like for instance, selling some sort of cleaner, you convince them that you’re going to do a better job. So then at that point they determined whether they want to buy that cleaner or stay with someone else. But if you convinced them they’d probably want yours,
Bob Schmidt: 14:54 cause I’ve seen some, I’ve seen some of these infomercials on tv where they’re, they’re not really selling the cleaner, they’re selling a co an easier way to clean something. So they’re selling, they’re selling in a different way to make you think that you’re getting a better product.
Dave Slain: 15:10 Yeah. There’s all different types of way to ease of use or not as much worse things are ease of use or not as much work. Same thing. It’s no different than, hey, I’m going to go through an automatic car wash rather than the Washington Karma. So, um, you know, you got sold on. I don’t want to wash the car myself. I’m going to go through the automatic car wash. You know, it’s no different than on the infomercials. It’s all that ease of use, which is very common sales technique all the time used and people willingly buy through them. Uh, but infomercials are unique all by themselves. So much fun. The one day get into those investors,
Bob Schmidt: 15:48 do another, another, a conversation and something like that. What about knowing your product? How do you get to just study your product and be a be a student of what it is that you’re selling?
Dave Slain: 15:58 It’s pretty simple. Just use your a service or the product and just make sure you understand what’s happening so that when you talk to people and you talk about the features and the benefits of it, you can really relate to him. I mean if you know your product can do something because you used it, that works for you. That comes across so well and that and or if it’s something that it’s a business, a business that you see how it’s impacted other businesses in a positive way that comes through so you want to know your product and understand what’s going on because the buyers today are more sophisticated and understand and be able to ask more questions so you have to be able to answer their questions.
Bob Schmidt: 16:35 Is that different B2c than B2b?
Dave Slain: 16:38 No, it’s the same. Other than maybe the intensity level of how well the buyers are educated as maybe even higher in B to b, but even be the scene now. All consumers are being way more educated via the Internet and all those things that are available to them, so it’s really hard to convince someone of something that’s just untrue or convince someone of something that you really don’t have answers to. If all of a sudden they google it, they get the answer, but you didn’t give it to them.
Bob Schmidt: 17:06 He brought up the elephant in the room with Google around. Is it hard to sell with the answers at the fingertip of the consumer when they can go and perhaps find it for ten percent cheaper somewhere else.
Dave Slain: 17:19 Now if you follow my principals, no, because you never get caught and he thinks he already know your product was telling the truth and explaining how it works and if a price point is an issue, that’s always negotiable in the field of sales. So if you’re selling something prices negotiable so you can work through it is can price become an issue at some point? Absolutely, but getting into strategic pricing is an in depth piece that we can definitely cover another time for if people want to get into advanced selling techniques for that, but you definitely need to understand pricing and negotiations for sure.
Bob Schmidt: 18:01 Your principal is resolve. What do you mean by that?
Dave Slain: 18:05 So a lot of times what happens is you do all this for and you’re ready and have a defined strategy and you understand your product and you call on maybe two or three accounts and they don’t go well. So if you have a positive attitude, you’re going to go make another call. But the resolve is does your defined strategy work and are you gonna give up on you defined strategy too quick because it’s, Oh for two. So resolve is two things. Resolve is to believe in your positive attitude. It’s the resolve to make sure that if you go through the work and you understand your product based upon your defined strategy of how you’re going to sell, it resolves the, allows you to keep pushing through no matter what’s in front of you. And that’s what the resolved liens
Bob Schmidt: 18:55 is. That the biggest roadblock that the typical salesperson has.
Dave Slain: 18:59 Yeah, it is, and it’s for many reasons. A lot of times that comes back to what I was saying is like human emotion. So something happens and they just get petrified by whatever happens. Um, you like start to sweat, you have a little panic attack because you can’t believe it’s embarrassing and a lot of times that by itself just makes people not want to go forward or not want to try something here. And the mindset has to be that you’re learning. You know, the first time I wrote I ever was on ice skates was kind of scary and you, I, I fell a lot and it’s no different when you do anything you’re going to fall and it’s going to hurt a little bit until you finally get used to doing it. So failed is no different than anything else. You’ve got to go through that and have the resolve to keep pushing forward.
Bob Schmidt: 19:48 What was your biggest failure, Dave?
Dave Slain: 19:50 It’s, there’s so many failures. Um, see, the thing about that is, is I, I want to talk in general, answer that question for sure. But I had a long talk with a coach of mine that was developing me and he’s like, what’s your biggest failure? And I said, don’t fail. He’s like, you’ve never felt in your life. I go, that’s not true at all. I fail all the time. He’s like, you just told me you don’t fail. I said, I don’t said. He goes, I’m confused. I don’t understand what you’re saying. And I looked around and I said, I only fell temporarily because I keep going, I keep killing and I’m going through succeed at what I want to do. Sometimes it just takes years and sometimes it takes months and sometimes it takes days. Um, so I look at that as there’s a bunch of failures mixed in there, but my attitude law was, is that you just make yourself write upon any failure and it’s not a permanent value. That’s how I look at life in general as we always screw up or to something that we didn’t like, but it’s never permanent. It is something that we can do to write it and keep going and keep moving forward. Me In the field of sales, I would say the scariest thing that ever happened to me was I just got hired as a VP of sales at one company and a year into it and we’re trying to grow this company fast and a year into it I lose a million dollars.
Bob Schmidt: 21:25 I had to go to the elder and go, ah, well I lost.
Dave Slain: 21:30 And he said to me, he’s like, well, how are we going to handle this? And I said, well, what we’re gonna do is put together a plan and figure out how to get that eight, nine dollars back. And he said, really? You said yes, and believe it or not, because I never gave up on it. We actually sold $11,000,000. So we actually grew by three million. Even with an $8,000,000 loss.
Bob Schmidt: 21:53 That having the tail between your legs and go into your boss and saying that I couldn’t even imagine like I a o.
Dave Slain: 22:02 just remember though, that message is we all found and all things are terrible. That happened in the moment. Emotionally you, you’re worried I was. But if you keep pushing forward and looking at it, what are they? Deal with this, you will succeed through the end. And that’s what I need about not, not permanently failing. When I say I don’t feel it, I don’t permanently fail. I just look at it as we keep trying in order to make sure we win. And I like to quote yoga all the time when I do or do not. There is no try
Bob Schmidt: 22:32 have the ability to change. Dave, um, it sounds like you’ve had that ability in the, in the past with your failures that ended up being successes.
Dave Slain: 22:42 Absolutely. So your ability to change the principal really is impacted by a lot of different parts to make sure that because it’s a little convoluted when you go through it. So this is the really interesting part of how all the principles play together. When you go through the principles, they’re written in a specific order on purpose. So the ability to change here because this is the area at this point when you’re learning how to sell that you have to be able to change yourself, your strategic plan, your understanding of the product, when you have to be self aware enough which comes through positive thinking that you’re able to do that. So the ability changes across everything about how can you make sure that if you need to change in order for you to win, cause failure is only temporary.
Bob Schmidt: 23:35 That would be a hard thing I think to teach a new salesperson
Dave Slain: 23:39 that it takes the longest amount of time. But if you understand the first principles that are there before the ability to change, you will understand that where you should change them. But is it the most difficult one to get people to understand? Absolutely. I shouldn’t say that. The most difficult ones. The last one. But is it the second to the most difficult ones? Absolutely.
Bob Schmidt: 24:01 You mentioned earlier that, uh, that you wanted to grow your company faster. Is that the reason you brought in is for fast growth?
Dave Slain: 24:08 Yes. It was. So basically we wanted to more than double the company within five years, so we had to do a lot of work in order to do that and we were able to, uh, even do more than that. So it’s been a lot of fun.
Bob Schmidt: 24:24 So. Alright, so execute then. So you had this, you have a plan, you’ve got your, you’ve got your PowerPoint presentation done, you’ve got to plan to what you want to do. You know your product really well. You got a positive attitude, you’re ready to change if you need to. Now how do we execute that? The process that we’ve gone through,
Dave Slain: 24:48 you go, this is the simplest one, and then the book pictures more than four or five pages, if I remember right, that you just do it all the work you did, and we’ll call it blood, sweat and tears just because it sounds better that you go through and did, is now you just go and do it and actually do the things you’re going to pick up that phone. You’re gonna talk to that person. You’re going to go and research that for you. Actually, do all these things. You’ve been thinking about, you actually put the effort forward as simple as executed. That’s it. You just don’t say it or write it. You’d do it.
Bob Schmidt: 25:28 I would guess that’s one of the harder things for people to do though because people are BS. Yeah, I’ll, yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll call you back.
Dave Slain: 25:38 The easiest one to manage Bob. That’s the good news because it’s written there and you talk to him. So believe it or not, from a managerial standpoint and from a salesperson, you can teach that really quick and most people get that failures in there that you have to figure out older calm because it didn’t go as well as they want, but they’re still executing. Um, so it’s, it’s one of the easier ones to teach because it’s so black and white. This is what I said I would do. And then you put it on a piece of paper with a plan. And this is the day that I said I would, would be done by
Bob Schmidt: 26:15 [inaudible] rule is a, is asking different things. Is there certain things that you need to ask when it comes to closing something or is it just simple as asking for the sale?
Dave Slain: 26:28 As simple as asking for the sale. Ask that when you. So you talked about how difficult the last two you know, you would think would be, this is the most difficult one for people to do and I don’t understand to this day, but this is something people really struggle with. You’ve done all this great work but they’re afraid to ask for the sale and if someone says no, they’re afraid to ask, why are you saying no?
Bob Schmidt: 26:57 Don’t you like about it? Because your whole life, when you’re a kid, your parents say you don’t talk to strangers. Your parents say you don’t ask people for something. So all of a sudden you’re, you know, you’re, you’re asking a stranger for money or for sale. And I think that’s probably part of the psychology of the whole thing is that you’ve been told your whole life not to do this and then all of a sudden you’re doing it and somebody says no. So you’re like, OK, turn around and walk away
Dave Slain: 27:28 that there is a human emotion and public speaking that being the most feared thing there is on her and I understand all that and that’s when we talked way in the beginning of this podcast is that emotion makes it more complex. But to give you the example, it’s like training for a marathon and you did all this work so that you could win and you don’t ask for the question. They’re talking to you for a reason. If they’re still engaged with you, you actually have done a good job that you can actually start asking them questions and they want to answer the questions. So, uh, although there’s the emotional part that gets in your way, as you rightly pointed out, because of however your upbringing was or what people have told you, or um, the reputation of salespeople, whatever that is coming in into the, into your head is all valid and real.
Dave Slain: 28:23 But as long as you keep thinking through the process and the steps, that stuff kind of goes away because you’re kinda like, all right, I’m going to run this marathon. Do all that months and months of training and so you just have to figure out is asking for the business and simple as would you want to get started or is this something you want to buy? Simple questions like that. You can also do a soft close or saying, hey, how about we get started with this? Is that OK with you? There’s just simple ways of asking questions that they say no asking, so just so I understand, why are you saying no?
Bob Schmidt: 29:01 Does that turn into a yes though? I mean if somebody is like, if you say no and then you follow it up with, well why are you saying no? And then they give you an answer and then you say, oh, I, I must say I must not have properly told you about this. And I mean, does that turn into a yes ever?
Dave Slain: 29:19 In more cases they turned into yeses and no’s and the good news is if you ask questions, you may find out that’s a bad product or service for them and often, but I’d say more times than not, you find out that they misunderstood something. You were saying and because they misunderstood it that they said no, and now that they understand that they’re either thinking about it, it’s not a dead cell or they have said yes and sometimes it takes five questions deep before you ever can get to what the real answer is, but you got to be asking questions and you have to be silent enough to listen to the answers.
Bob Schmidt: 29:59 What’s the best question to ask?
Dave Slain: 30:02 Would you like to buy my product?
Bob Schmidt: 30:06 No, I do not.
Dave Slain: 30:07 I would like to know why you did not want to buy it. Would you mind telling me?
Bob Schmidt: 30:11 Basically you just wanna you just wanna peel away the onion.
Dave Slain: 30:17 So either you get to that is it is the wrong product or service or now they understand exactly what your intent was as long as they understand what your intent was. They can choose yes or no.
Bob Schmidt: 30:29 Dave from selling a pen to a car, to a house.
Dave Slain: 30:35 The answer is yes, but I’m sure there’s exceptions out there in some places, but I’m just going to say yes because everything is a big word. Um, worst case scenario would be almost everything,
Bob Schmidt: 30:47 just wondering if it’s different depending on if it’s a five-dollar product or a thousand dollar product or a million dollar product.
Dave Slain: 30:53 No, the principles are still the same. Now you may have different ways of looking at it like commodity non-commodity, the more complex selling service to solving a problem that’s a little bit different selling, but those principles remain the same.
Bob Schmidt: 31:11 Now, your final, uh, the number eight in the sales. It’s that simple lesson is understanding the differential theory. What is driving a car?
Dave Slain: 31:23 The funny thing is when you bring that up, the differential theory is such a made-up term by me. I was just sitting and I was thinking about what the world do. I call, they didn’t know what to call it and I just made up that term. I don’t even know if it’s a real term. In fact, I don’t think it is. I made it up. I made it up out of the blue sky. And what that really means is, is that I wanted to come up with a term that allowed people to understand what’s the difference between good and great in sales, and you can go through all seven principles and be good, but what’s going to make you great [inaudible] what makes you great, and it’s the most important one that only can be effective once you understand the first seven. Well, this one is very difficult to teach.
Dave Slain: 32:12 And the reason why is we have our own opinions on things that are brain washed. You keep leading that. So, if I’m leading in how I think things should work and that’s how I sell something, it’s only people who are like-minded like me are going to relate to it. That could be ten percent. I could be lucky. That could be thirty percent. Instead, if you’re selling to someone, you want to do the converse to that and understand how basic why are they interested in what makes them think that is a good idea. It’s not about what you think. It’s about what they think. And I think that’s the key, that people don’t understand how to apply because your own thoughts from back and dominate. That’s the differential theory person.
Bob Schmidt: 33:01 What are the steps that a person needs to take to go from being good to being great
Dave Slain: 33:08 understanding, understanding the differential theory. That’s it. Why that into your everyday life, the rent, if you do that, the rest of the seven steps are going to be perfectly done and they will understand what you’re trying to do.
Bob Schmidt: 33:21 We’ve gone to the eight simple steps in sales. It’s that simple. I want to kind of ring, ring it back to where we started because I know that you’re a fisherman and now that you tarpon fish, how is tarpon fishing and closing that big deal then? How are, how are they similar?
Dave Slain: 33:37 You know, when you look at it as we began the program, we talked about that hunt and that hard work and that he wanted to get that off. Um, and that payoff either being a sale on the selling side or the catching that carpet on the side. And you know when you’re done and you do your homework and you went and scouted where these fish are and you understand where they’re hitting and you’ve done all the work, so that gives you the best chance to succeed and you lay on that tarpon. There’s no feeling like it. I mean, you’re super excited. You’re shaking. It’s just so much fun. It’s no different than falling. My principals, you do all the hard work that’s going to the location, knowing what the tarpon will eat. That’s the hard work. And then finally, without hard work starts paying off, you’ll find that your ability to get people to understand what you’re selling skyrocket. And after that, those sales and the sales start happening at a level that’s ever happened to you before. You start to say, because it’s really exciting.
Bob Schmidt: 34:38 That sounds awesome. I’m excited to get started on going through these eight. So let me ask you this. Do you do all eight of them in a row?
Dave Slain: 34:46 I recommend through there that you do one by one, so you learn each step the next one, then move on to the next one and then move onto the next one, and then eventually in order you will have all of them completed. I do not recommend trying to learn more than one at one time.
Bob Schmidt: 35:02 Well, because I know that the. It’s a. it’s a pretty quick read of a book. How long is the process to get through these eight?
Dave Slain: 35:09 Depending upon the person and how well the catch on. It could be anywhere from three months to five years.
Bob Schmidt: 35:17 Three months to five years.
Dave Slain: 35:19 Yes. The differential theory people can be stuck on for a long time.
Bob Schmidt: 35:23 Yeah. That’s actually the one that we’re going to have to have another conversation about that one a little bit later in the book is called sales. It’s that simple. Dave Slain, the author. Dave’s website is You can find information about Dave there. You can also find information about his Linkedin and how to purchase the book. Thank you very much, Dave.
Bob Schmidt: 35:55 The BS thing with Bob Schmidt podcast is brought to you by orange computer, find them online at This has been another podcast for production.