The thing that caught my attention when I was looking at your profile was you’re the author of the book Take the Icky and Scary Out of Sales, which I used to trains salespeople for a long time in the radio business and, boy, I wish I would have had that book.
Hugh Liddle: Well, sales has changed a tremendous amount over the last 10 years, and the very first big sales seminar that I ever went to was in a big arena in San Jose, California, a whole string of different speakers that they had come across the stage, and one of them came out on the stage and walked up and looked at the 6 or 7,000 people out there and put his hand in his pocket and he said, “Your prospects have your money in their pockets and your job is to do everything short of going to jail to get the money out of their pockets and into yours,” and that’s how sales was taught and, unfortunately, how it was practiced for many, many years.
David Brower: Yeah.
Hugh Liddle: That was 1972.
David Brower: Yup, I believe.
Hugh Liddle: That I had, that I had that experience. Well, it’s changed now, and it’s, it’s a much easier, gentler, more friendly, more relationship-oriented process, thank goodness.
David Brower: Thank goodness is absolutely right. So, you’re, you, you teach people how to make selling easy and fun and profitable and, and, uh, it says here alternative health professionals and coaches who hire you double their sales and incomes 90 days or less. How do you make that happen?
Hugh Liddle: By teaching people what to say, how to say it, and when to say it because the biggest challenge that salespeople have is fearfulness and lack of confidence when they go into a sales conversation.
David Brower: Yeah.
Hugh Liddle: And once they know what to say and how to say it and, and when to say the different things that they’re going to say, they can approach the sales conversation with total confidence, and it doesn’t make any difference whether they’re talking to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a Mom and Dad down the street. They can have confidence and, you see, there’s an energy that passes between a salesperson and, uh, their prospect, and we receive back from the prospect exactly the energy that we put out, so if we’re hesitant and nervous and we don’t know exactly what to say, then our prospects are going to be hesitant and nervous and it’s unlikely that they’re going to buy from us.
If we approach them with confidence and we’re relaxed and we’re friendly and we know what we’re gonna say and we ask great questions and we’re interested in them and we just have a great time together, the chances of them buying is so much higher, and I’ve had just client after client either meet or exceed the double your sales and your income in 90 days or less. In fact, some have done it in a month or two and, uh, so I’m so confident that people can do that if they do what I teach them to do. That I guarantee it.
David Brower: That’s terrific
Hugh Liddle: So, if … So, if they do everything …
David Brower: Yeah, if they do everything that you teach them … so … there’s a system, obviously, but there’s also, um, sales people and it … relationships are the most important thing in life anyway and especially in today’s sales, uh, arenas. But they also have … One of the things I always taught sales was, uh, you have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionally.
Hugh Liddle: That is absolutely true. And so often sales people make the mistake of doing some research, or they’re used to working with a certain type of company or a certain type of prospect and they make the assumption that everybody needs their product or service …
David Brower: Right.
Hugh Liddle: … or that they know what everybody’s problems are. And we get ourselves into trouble when we assume that. The fact of the matter is that our prospects are the only ones who really know what’s going on with them. They know what their challenges are, they know how they feel about things, they know what they think, they know what their goals are and we don’t know any of that until we ask good open ended questions and start gathering information from them and then if they do have a problem or they do have a goal that we can help with, if our product or service will, uh, work for them, then if we can clearly talk with them about what’s in it for them if they do business with us, most of the time we have a new client.
David Brower: Makes perfect sense and it’s … and that approach that you’re talking about is absolutely fabulous. I mean, you have to have a way to build confidence fairly quickly in order for a, a stranger, a new prospect to start opening up to you, right?
Hugh Liddle: Well, you really do and the, the famous phrase now, and I think it was Jeffrey Gitomer maybe who coined this, uh: People don’t want to be sold, but they want to do business with people that they know, like and trust.
David Brower: Yeah, agreed.
Hugh Liddle: And, and it’s absolutely true and so building report and relationship is giving your prospective client the opportunity to know you, like you, and trust you and you do that by finding common ground with them, and again it’s asking good questions and being interested in them and then finding that common ground that you have with them.
David Brower: So how did you get your start to become the sales wizard? What brought …Where was your, uh, where was your experience and epiphany to kind of move into this valuable place?
Hugh Liddle: Well of course the name “the sales wizard” is one that I gave myself and it might strike some people as arrogant, but really it’s exactly the opposite, because the reason I call myself “the sales wizard” is because I’ve been selling for 46 years and the beginning years of that process were not profitable in the least, because I had no idea what I was doing when I first started selling.
I got my first sales job and I thought I was just going to make money hand over fist and it was going to be wonderful and what I found out very, very quickly I didn’t have the foggiest notion of how to sell and I went through uh, uh, quite a long period of time where I heard “no” almost all the time and the only thing that I had going for me was that I refused to quit. So, I learned the process as I went along and then I got some mentors that helped me along the way and I learned more and more and finally I got absolutely tremendous at it and now the people that I work with can become “sales wizards” in their own right without going through all of the pain and agony, and “no’s” and frustration and disappointment and all of the stuff I had to go through and the beginning of my career in order to learn how to sell properly. They can, in a very short period of time, 90 days or less, they can get absolutely tremendous at the process of selling.
David Brower: Well having those mistakes, as you look back, having those mistakes is really what helped make you the wizard now, right?
Hugh Liddle: Well, what people learn when, when they work with me is not just stuff out of a textbook or a college course or somebody’s program that they set up, they’re getting real life experience that came from being out in the field year after year and selling a variety of different products and services over the years. So, I teach what I learned from experience and also the things that I learned from mentors and from books and from CDs and DVDs and all those kinds of things and …
David Brower: So, you’re always learning, I would assume.
Hugh Liddle: Actually, I have a sales coach …
David Brower: Good.
Hugh Liddle: … that I work with … and yeah, you got to, you got to stay on the cutting edge if you’re teaching other people. You’ve got to continually learn and grow so that you can pass those things along to the people that you’re teaching.
David Brower: Yeah, that makes perfect sense because if you’re only giving out and not taking in, uh, it’s hard to stay current and it’s, uh, probably hard to stay motivated because then you’re doing the same thing over and over again.
Hugh Liddle: Absolutely.
David Brower: So, when you … so, do you take on individual sales people? Do you take on sales groups? How do you, how do you attract your students, for lack of a better term?
Hugh Liddle: The people that I market to primarily are coaches of various kinds and chiropractors and other, uh, alternative health professionals. I can work with anybody who’s in a service-oriented business. Uh, but those are folks that I really love to work with and the folks that I’ve had great success coaching and that I have the most fun with. So, my criteria for working with somebody, and it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s an individual sales person or whether it’s a team. The people that I want to work with are first of all, people who are really motivated to change and get really good at what they’re doing.
I want to work with people who are coachable, who actually will take the things the things they learn from me and put them into action and actually do them and the thing that’s the deal killer sometimes, the people that I don’t want to work with are the people who don’t have a sense of humor. So, if I tell a joke and they don’t laugh, that’s it, David. I …
David Brower: Right.
Hugh Liddle: I just don’t work with them anymore. Life is way too short to not have fun doing what you do most of the day.
David Brower: That is absolutely correct. Absolutely correct. So, let me ask you this, do, do, speaking that because humor is very important, uh, having some kind of sense of what the big picture is and, and using your training to, you know, help them get there. Do you, do you vet your students before you work with them? Do you interview them for half an hour and figure out whether they’re really going to be a good fit or not?
HUGH LIDDLE: Actually, we talk for a whole hour … and, uh, that’s, I actually have an offer for the folks who listen to your show and that is that if they’d like to have an hour with me to pick my brain, ask questions, get some really good sales tips, start, strategies and ideas, uh, I will make an hour of my time available to them and there’s no strings attached, there’s no charge for that hour, there’s no obligation and there’s absolutely no pressure for them to go any further than that. At the end of the, our time together, if they want to talk about, um, having me coach them on an ongoing basis and if I feel like they’re really a good person that I really would like to coach, then we can have a conversation about that. If not, if they don’t really have an interest in ongoing coaching or if I feel like I really can’t help them, um, I might suggest some alternatives to them and they go on their way and they can take the things they learn from me and apply them in their business and hopefully do well.
So, that’s, that’s sort of the way that I, uh, work with people to start with just to find out whether my coaching is a good fit for them or, or whether it’s not and whether they’re a good fit for me, uh, as a client or whether they’re not.
David Brower: You got to have, uh, a way to create, uh, a win-win opportunity and that sounds just absolutely streamlined, simple, easy, easy in, easy out. That’s a, that’s a great idea.
Hugh Liddle: And unless they don’t like red hats we really do have a lot of fun.
David Brower: [Laughing] Well that’s my next question. Does every graduating student get a red hat?
Hugh Liddle: [Laughing] Not all of them. I’ve done that some, but not everybody, no. They can afford to buy their own red hat by the time I get finished with them.
David Brower: Especially after 90 days they can afford a whole lot of stuff.
Hugh Liddle: Absolutely.
David Brower: That’s awesome, man. That is, that’s awesome. And what a gift to be able to go through all those struggles, all those learning opportunities, all that great success, and then get into a position where you can pay it forward and have fun doing that.
Hugh Liddle: You bet.
David Brower: So, you’re … let’s talk about the important stuff: your wife Priscilla, Jasmine the dog, Mooch and Minnie the cats. You got grand kids, you got great grand kids. I mean you’re, you’re not only working hard, you’re playing hard. You got some balance in your life, it sounds like.
Hugh Liddle: We really do and, and we love Florida and there’s just all kinds of great things to do here. My wife Priscilla is an absolutely tremendous, um, wildlife and landscape photographer. So, we go on day trips and I chauffeur and she takes pictures and we were …
David Brower: Boy, you’re in the right place in the world to do that, aren’t you?
Hugh Liddle: We are. Uh, over Christmas break we were over on Sanibel Island, uh for a few days and went to the bird sanctuary there and Priscilla had been trying for five years to get a picture of a Roseate Spoonbill, which is a pink bird kinda like a Flamingo.
David Brower: Okay.
Hugh Liddle: Never, never had a, been able to get a picture of one and she got a picture of one rising up out of the water from the back
David Brower: Oh, my gosh
Hugh Liddle: … and it looked like a pink angel and she got the reflection in the water and that made her entire holiday.
David Brower: Right? Oh my gosh. So, does she publish those?
Hugh Liddle: She does. She has, uh, a website called “NaturesBeautyPhotography.biz” and you can take a look at her portfolio there and you can, uh, arrange to download things to print, if you’d like to do that.
David Brower: Nice. How do people get ahold of you …?
Priscilla: There’s more on Facebook.
David Brower: … Sales Wizard, uh, to take advantage of your, your one-hour consultation and free trip, free tips, uh, if you will and learn more about your sales process?
Hugh Liddle: All they have to do is go to bit.ly, that’s “b,” “i,” “t,” dot “l,” “y,” slash wizard dash strategy (bit.ly/wizard-strategy) and that’s my calendar.
David Brower: Nice
Hugh Liddle: And they can just find a time that’s available, that works for them, and schedule it for themselves and I’ll be there to have a chat with them virtually and, uh, talk about their business and their sales.
David Brower: Great. Repeat that “b,” “i,” “t,” dot “l,” “y,” forward slash …
Hugh Liddle: Wizard dash strategy.
David Brower: Awesome. That is terrific. Well, it’s such fun to talk to great sales people and sales trainers and you certainly are the “sales wizard” and I’m glad you wear that, uh, part in the pun. I’m glad you wear that hat proudly.
Hugh Liddle: Well, David, I really appreciate you having me on the show today and I want all of your listener to remember that a salesperson’s job is not to talk people into doing what the salesperson wants them to do, it’s to help your prospect do what they want to do.
David Brower: Well said. And don’t forget folks, he’s the author of “Take the Icky and Scary Out of Sales,” which is available in paperback or Kindle versions at Amazon.com. Hugh, thank you so much. Have a, have a very enjoyable, uh, rest of your week.
Hugh Liddle: Thanks David, this was a ton of fun. I appreciate it.