Lessons From Door-To-Door Sales – with Ramu Tremblay

If you do a search on Mixergy for the phrase, “door to door” you’ll notice that dozens of the successful founders I interviewed got started by knocking on doors and turning strangers into paying customers.

So, I invited Ramu Tremblay, who used to sell software and books for families with kids using door to door sales, to teach us what he learned from the experience.

Watch the FULL program


About Ramu Tremblay

Ramu Tremblay works in sales for Paperless Pipeline, which takes real estate transactions and related documents online.

Raw transcript


Mixergy’s audio transcription is done by Speechpad

Andrew: So coming up in this interview you’re going to hear why these three words – feel, felt, found – can turn someone who has an objection to buying from you into a customer. You’re also going to understand why sales people, door-to-door sales people, are invited into people’s homes and why those strangers end up buying from them. What kind of magical words are these salesmen using? You’ll hear it in this interview. And why should a salesperson actually tell a customer that he only has a few minutes for her? All that and so much more, man, if you are looking to increase your sales or are just curious about the magic that good sales people use to get strangers to pay them, this interview is for you. Stay tuned.

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: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart and home of almost 900 interviews with successful entrepreneurs who told us how they built their businesses. And if you go to mixergy.com/find and put in the phrase door-to- door, you will notice that dozens of successful founders who I’ve interviewed have said that they got started by knocking on doors and turning strangers into paying customers.

Now I noticed this and decided that we have to learn about what they learned, how that process works. So I invited Ramu who used to sell software and books to families with kids. He used to do it using door-to- door sales. I invited him here to teach us what he learned from that experience. Today, by the way, Ramu works in customer service for Paperless Pipeline which takes real estate transactions and related documents online. Ramu, welcome.

Ramu: Thanks, Andrew. Glad to be here.

Andrew: One of the things you told me before we got started with this interview is, “You know what? A lot of people may not care about door-to- door sales.” And that’s when I hit you with the number of interviewees who said that that’s how they got started and what I thought we’d do to really emphasize the significance of this is talk about a sale that maybe you made recently over the last few days that you were able to close because of what you learned back in the day when you were doing door-to-door sales.

Ramu: This was actually just this past Friday, the 15th.

Andrew: Okay. And today we happen to be recording on the 17th. Uh-huh?

Ramu: Yeah. And I called this gentleman, a broker out in Palm Springs, California. I said, “Hey, this is Ramu with Paperless Pipeline.” He was receptive. He said, “Yeah, I heard about you guys.” He was receptive when I called so I said, “Are you in front of your computer?” He said, “I can be.” So I said, “Okay, go hop in front of your computer. I’m going to shoot you a link. Let’s do a go-to meeting right here. I’m going to show you how our system works and how it can take your business to the next level.” An hour later – this is unusual. Our sales cycle with Paperless Pipeline is usually about a month to two months. But we connected, created a rapport, it fit his needs and actually while we were on the call there I could see his screen and I said, “Go ahead and click the upgrade button,” and he put his credit card information right there and bought.

Andrew: And you used many of the same tactics that we’re going to talk about throughout this interview. That’s my goal here in this interview, to really break down the process that you use to turn a stranger into a paying customer. You even told me that when you made that sale a few days ago that you mentioned a bunch of brokers in his area. Why did you do that? Why did you tell him that a bunch of brokers in his area bought?

Ramu: So people are social creatures. They always want to know what their neighbors or competitors are doing. The more you can draw in social proof to document and demonstrate that to get their attention, at least on the front end, and throughout when you’re presenting your product, the more you can draw in real-life customers and testimonies; it just validates, and it makes the product so much real-er, automatically. It’s social validation.

Andrew: And at this point it seems to come naturally to you. You just include it in conversation. But you weren’t always like that. In fact, when you got started, you told us this crazy story that happened to you. Can you tell the audience?

Ramu: Yeah, so, my first summer, selling door-to-door, and I was selling in Bloomington, Indiana. And, we received about a week of sales training, and I immediately, once I got to my sales field, forgot everything that I learned. And so, I was knocking on doors, scared out of my pants, just because, these are people I’d never met, and I was straight commissioned, and I must have, when I was talking to one of the neighbors, rubbed them the wrong way, or I just did not come off as professional, and I was driving down the road to the next house, and I had this truck pull up alongside me, and the guy’s pointing at me to pull over. And so, I pulled over…I’m just a naive kid, and he immediately got out of the car, pointed a gun at me, and said, “If you ever come to our neighborhood again, I’ll use this.”

Andrew: Wow.

Ramu: And, that was a good shake-up. [laughs]

Andrew: Wow. By the way, are you nervous? ‘Cuz, for some reason, I’m a little bit nervous. How are you feeling?

Ramu: I’m feeling pumped. I’m super psyched.

Andrew: Good. All right. I think I’m nervous because we’ve got mutual friends, and I’m, kind of, in my mind, thinking, they’re going to be listening to this, are they going to feel that I did a good job, because they know your story. Are they going to think that I screwed up your title. Did I screw up your title, by the way, for Paperless Pipeline?

Ramu: The title on the Site is Customer Development, but I’m essentially doing sales, so….

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: Closing deals for them.

Andrew: All right. I think someone on my team turned it into Customer Service, and as I read it, I looked at your face, and I thought, “Something’s up with that.” [laughs]

Ramu: [laughs] Just to address the voices in your head, I think your audience is going to see your five-o’clock-shadow, and they’ll re-fall in love with you, so…

Andrew: You like the beard.

Ramu: It’s amazing.

Andrew: My wife’s been trying to get me to grow a beard for months, now, so I thought, let’s try it, and I’m kind of liking it, too. Speaking of self- talk, that’s one of the things that you had to learn by doing door-to-door sales. You had to learn how to control your self-talk. What did it mean to control your self-talk, and how did you do it?

Ramu: So, one of the things we were taught, and I still use this today, it’s one thing to try to control your self-talk by logically thinking, I’m great, I’m going to make a sale, but it’s another thing to actually engage your full physiology and engage your voice. So, the mind…If you throw it into attention, I heard this – W. Clement Stone [SP] used to say, “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!” Like, 30 times in a row, and when you say something with intensity, with your whole body, and you proclaim it, that’s the next degree of self-talk, and your mind will follow. And so, that’s one of the things we learned, is from the point you wake up, it’s going to be a great day, it’s going to be a great day, today I’m meeting an awesome family…

Andrew: That’s what you would say.

Ramu: Yes.

Andrew: Why would you say that?

Ramu: There were certain things that I could control when I was selling door-to-door. I couldn’t control the number of customers I’d have in the day. That was something that was…I had no control over. But, I could control the number of presentations I gave, and I could control my attitude. And I could control the hours I worked. And so, there’s a saying, “Control the controllables.” And in that situation, when you’re selling door-to-door, and you’re selling anything, those are the three things you can really control – your attitude, your effort, and the amount of time you put in. And so, all my self-talk was related to those three things.

Andrew: I see. If you wouldn’t, what would happen? If you didn’t take control of it?

Ramu: I can tell you perfect examples. My first summer, I had a customer by my…actually, on my first day, which is….it doesn’t mean anything, they say the first three weeks of the job, or of any job or on- the-job- training, ‘cuz you’re just developing habits, some habits are good, some habits are bad. But, I remember it was my second week out, and they had us fill out this little card, put it in our wallet, and it said, “The reason I’m reading this is because I’m illogical out of my head. I wrote this while I was sane and I had a sound mind.” And I remember getting that card out, and I was so frustrated, Andrew, it was hot, it was humid, people were saying no right and left. I think it was about 4:00 in the afternoon and we started knocking on doors at about, actually 7:59 every day. 4:00 rolled around, I had no customers, my presentations were sucking, and I was pissed. I was like, “It’s time to pack it up and go home. I could be making more doing something else.” Before I got that card out, I was so pissed with my lack of effort and just the no’s getting to me, I punched my windshield and the whole thing shattered.

Andrew: Wow.

Ramu: And then I got that card out, and it brought me back down to state. And I was like, anyway. So that was an example of a day where I let the no’s get to me. And my self-talk was not fully on its game.

Andrew: I see, and so, instead of waiting for that moment to happen again, you would start off your day, 5:59AM is when you’d wake up, and immediately you’d start to take control of your mindset by repeating the phrases that you shared with us. And you repeat them out loud?

Ramu: Yes. So, I had roommates, we’d always have roommates, and one of our rituals was we would hop out of a bed, high-five, just do dorky stuff to not take ourselves seriously. And we would affirm each other: “It’s going to be a great day. You’re going to have the best day ever. Tonight, when we see each other at 10:00, you’re going to have left it all on the field.” So yeah, while we’re together we’re just self-talking, and then when we’re at breakfast we’re self-talking. And then driving around we’re self-talking too.

Andrew: Do you realize as you’re saying this, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’ve got to because people are pausing and stopping and moving away from this video right now as you’re saying it because they’re saying, “This is some self-help mumbo-jumbo. I came to Mixer-G for business talk, not for the kind of stuff that multi-level marketers tell each other.” What do you say to that?

Ramu: I went through the same doubt when I first started and I tried it both ways. I tried to just control my attitude through discipline and “I don’t need to do that.” There’s something about the voice that when you command, when you talk out loud and speak what you’re going to do out loud, it activates stuff. I don’t know how it works, I just know it works. And so try it both ways, I would say. Try self-talk for ten days. Pick two affirmations, put them under your mirror in your bathroom, etch them onto your arm, put them on your steering wheel. This is what we used to do. We’d put our affirmations, the things we’d say repeatedly, so that they’d be all around us. So when we’d be down after a negative experience, after a bad rejection or door in the face, it was something we could go back to. That’s what I’d say.

Andrew: That’s the way to respond, there you go. Alright, April pre- interviewed you, and one of the things you told her that you had to do was understand that whoever brings up the objection first wins. I thought if objections are raised, then it’s a problem for a sale. Why do you say, “Whoever the objection first wins”?

Ramu: So remember at the beginning of the interview when you were saying, “I’m feeling a little nervous,” and I’m guessing that bringing that out and identifying it helps to minimize some of that just because you bring it to the conscious level. So, knocking on doors or whether you’re calling a customer over the phone, they’re asking their self-certain questions when you first encounter them either way. The key is to understand what questions are my prospects asking when I first make contact with them? Or when I make contact with them in this stage of the sale, what are the types of questions that they’d be asking?

Andrew: So what’s an example of an objection that would go through your customer’s head when you knocked on their door and tried to sell them this educational books and software?

Ramu: So if it was a guy, a father, one of the first things I’d say is, “Mr. Jones, I don’t even want, I introduce myself, I’m the one talking to all those families showing those educational books. Listen, I don’t even want to waste your time with something like this.” Because that’s what he’s thinking!

Andrew: He’s thinking, “You’re going to waste my time,” and so you have to bring it up.

Ramu: I bring it up and somehow he’s like, “Wow, this guy understands me.”

Andrew: Doesn’t it by saying, “I don’t want to waste your time,” aren’t you making him aware that his time is about to be wasted?

Ramu: That’s a great question. And the only answer I can speak to that is one of the other things we’d say. I would say, when I approached a new prospect, is, I’d be like, I’d point at my watch, Andrew, and I’d be like “I apologize Ms. Jones, I only have a couple of minutes. Do you have a place we can sit down?” Or if I am doing it with Mr. Jones, I would apologize for only having a couple of minutes. And I really did. My goal was to see everybody in the town. It wasn’t to dibble and dabble and I was on a mission to see everybody and so, yeah, my goal wasn’t to camp out, but, bringing that objection up told him that I am not going to waste your time. That is what I assured him. I am not going to…I do not want to waste your time with something like this. And then, the next actual question would be most of the dad’s I have been talking to, like, you know, Rick Smith down the street, you know him, right? He works over at, you know, Meyer’s Garage. He told me that his wife handles all of the educational stuff in the house. Is that kind of how you guys work? And I’d be…

Andrew: You’re nodding as, hang on, I want to get to that. Let’s leave that out there for a moment. First, I want to continue with this objection first. I will say that I remember when I researched Neil Strauss in preparation for my interview with him about how he started meeting women and, you know, he wrote the book on being a pick artist, The Game. I remember researching and seeing that he did the same thing. When he approached a woman, he would often say “I have got to go because my friends are something and he would make an excuse and then he would start talking to them because he knew they were afraid that this guy was going to linger all night and he reduced the objection. My question for you is, why not wait for them to bring up that objection and then respond? Why not wait for them to say “this is going to take too much time” and then say ” oh no, I will only take five minutes.” Why are you anticipating?

Ramu: Because at that point, I have lost. Whoever brings up the objection first wins. And so what am I going to do? He has already solidified in his mind, or she has, that I only have a couple of minutes so I want to bring it up first, because what am I going to do? If I start trying to argue and address the objection and trying to circle around that and “no no no, this is only going to take,” he is already going to have solidified it in his mind.

Andrew: I see. Now it sounds like you are making excuses.

Ramu: Yes. Exactly.

Andrew: OK. Alright. The other thing you started to say, and I interrupted because I wanted to go back to objection, is you brought up the name of other people on the street. Why? That is intentional.

Ramu: Social proof.

Andrew: Um-hmm.

Ramu: From my prospect’s perspective, if I have talked with so and so, and not just talked with, I was actually collecting a names list of all my customers, and I would flip that out first thing, because that gets rid of fear and I would actually go straight to that. So, an approach, can I give you an approach?

Andrew: Yeah

Ramu: OK. So, it would be knock on the door, take two steps back, do a side profile because I don’t want to be, when she comes to the door, so it is non-invasive, it is not up in her face, and it looks like this harmless college student. I’d be waiving around to neighbors and stuff like that, looking dorky. I want to take her off her guard. When she opens the door, or he, I don’t step forward. I just pivot and kind of lean back on my haunches, on my heels, and go “hey, is it Ms. Jones?” and wait for her affirmation. I already know her name. Or it might be “hey, Ms. Jones, right?” And she would be like “yeah.” “Hi, my name is Ramu and I am a college student from Tennessee and I am talking to all the families here in Indiana about the kids’ education. I apologize for being in a little bit of a hurry, but I have to catch everybody in town. I kind of feel like I am running for mayor out here.” I reach down for my bookcase, point, “do you have a place we can sit down?” And so…I do not even know what the question was that you asked me. I feel like I went off on a…

Andrew: Don’t worry about it.

Ramu: Yeah. But I wanted to give some context to the approach.

Andrew: I see. We will get to why you were pointing also, and the list of…Do you want to say it now? Tell me.

Ramu: Yeah. It came to me. So, one of the things I had is a customer list.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And so, it would be before I ask for a place to sit down, it might be “yeah, and you might know some of the families I have been talking to Mrs. Jones. Like, I do not know if you know” and I would step to her so she was on the same side of me so we are on the same, so we are together. It is not dog against dog. It is, we are together.

Andrew: You’re not facing each other, like you are confrontational, but side by side like you are both looking at the paper together.

Ramu: Yeah. Because she is curious. She is like, “Who is on this list?”

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And then, describing my customers. It wouldn’t be vague like “yeah, you might know so and so” but actually describing, giving them context. “You might know Sonny, she works down over at the salon on 5. She has got such and such kids in such and such grades” and so it is instant rapport with a stranger she did not know five minutes before.

Andrew: That’s how you get rapport. By mentioning other people. What if she doesn’t know those other people?

Ramu: Then I keep going down through the list until I recognize somebody she knows.

Andrew: OK. And people in these neighborhoods that you’d sell to were close enough that they would know their neighbors?

Ramu: Yes, I was typically selling in smaller towns, which I found was more compatible with my selling style.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And it worked really well because in a small town everybody knows everybody, rather than selling in a big city where sales resistance usually seems to be a little higher.

Andrew: That makes sense, because I grew up in New York and I was thinking, “Would I even know my neighbors? Would my neighbors have even talked to you?” And are these people who you’ve closed sales with, or people in the neighborhood who you talked to?

Rami: So to begin with, when I started in the sales territory I would have no customers.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: One of the things I would first do would be to go … the parallel for this would be, if your audience is selling in a new sales territory, so to speak, on the phone or in person, then, say people you’ve talked to. You don’t have to say people you’ve closed. And that’s what I would do.

Andrew: You start off by saying, “I spoke with Brad Feld of Foundry, I spoke with David Cohen of TechStars, I spoke with … etc.” You don’t say, “I closed with them.” But just enough to say we’ve got this familiarity here. We both know the same people.

Ramu: Absolutely. And so one of the things I do would be to go to influencers at the beginning. So I might go to the fire station and go meet … before we’ve even started selling … to go meet some of the influential people in the community. Not to sell them. Just to say, “Hey, I’m looking to learn about your community. I’m here for the next three months.” Or I’d go down to the City Council office and say, “You might get a couple of calls about me. This is who I am. I’m a harmless, harmless salesman.” And I would actually use those names.

Andrew: Wow. So, I’ve got to ask the audience … I’m seeing the value here. I’m seeing the connection back to tap into businesses that are not door-to-door. But I’d like to just hear from you guys in the comments or email. Find a way to just give me some feedback on this. I think this is incredibly important for us to talk about. No other tech start-up site seems to be covering this. I have a fascination with it because of something that I notice in my interviews but I care about you–the person who is listening–more than I care even about my own personal interests. So, tell me in the comments, tell me in feedback, one way or the other, what you’re feeling. Alright, you started pointing. So, you go through the list, and then at one point I saw you point. Why were you pointing?

Ramu: Pointing away, or pointing at the list?

Andrew: After you were pointing at the list, you were pointing inside their house. That’s intentional.

Ramu: Because the whole purpose of an approach is to get a demonstration. In that case, when I was selling door to door, that was the purpose of my approach. It wasn’t to sell them at the door. It was just to take them to the next stage of my sales process.

Andrew: OK. And the next stage has to be inside? Why point? Why not just say, “Hey, can I come in to show it to you?”

Ramu: Because people follow action. And so, if I took action, I’m telling her what the sales process looks like, and what I’ve done with other prospects, and how this is going to work. So I’m almost kind of taking command of the situation, but I’m still asking. I’m not stomping in. But, I would put my head down, reach for my sales bag that has all my samples in it, and point to the front door, and actually wipe my feet. I’d be like, “Gee Ms. Jones, it’s a little hot out here. Do you have a place we can sit down?” I would just ask. And I would keep my head down, looking at the front door. I wouldn’t make eye contact with her. And I would just watch her feet. If her feet moved away, I knew I could start walking in the direction. If her feet stood there, and I’m looking at her feet, I feel like an objection is coming so I’d move to the second step which would be to answer any objections and then go for the sit-down again. So, it’s gauging the sales cycle and breaking it into smaller steps.

Andrew: What is it about wiping your feet, about having your head down, that gets the person to let you in the house?

Ramu: OK. So if I sat here, and you were at the door in New York, you probably would have pulled a gun on me.

[laughter]

Ramu: But if I sit here and I’m looking you in the eyes, and I’m at your door, and I’m like, “Hey Andrew, do you have a place we can sit down?” I’m waiting for your response. Whereas I’m taking action, I’m wiping my feet, I’m letting her know that I’m coming in. In a gentle way. I’m still asking permission but I’m indicating action rather than standing there, waiting, and putting all the power in your hands.

Andrew: And at that point, I imaging that the homeowner isn’t even giving it much thought. Unless they’ve got an objection to you coming in and are really resistant, they’re just reacting the way we have been habitually trained to react. I know sometimes when someone gestures in a conversation I’ll reach out my hand to shake, even though it’s in the middle of the conversation, they clearly didn’t try to shake. But the gesture triggered some signal in me that says we’re about to shake and my hand just went out before I even thought of it.

So I imagine you start wiping your feet, you start moving like you’re going into my apartment and my mind just goes into the same habitual actions that I’ve been trained to go through for years. Let the person in.

Ramu: There’s those studies, and I don’t know the exact numbers, but human communication is something like 75 percent physiology and isn’t the spoken word. That’s exactly where what you just said, it’s indicating action through your body rather than through your words.

Andrew: You also identify the decision maker at this stage, right? How do you do that?

Ramu: We would get into the house and as we’re walking in, I’m still just making small chat. People like to buy from people they like. My goal at this stage is to connect with her and build rapport. The kitchen table, a lot of times is where families make these type of buying decisions. Sometimes in the living room. If the kitchen table is covered in stuff I’d ask “Is the living room OK?”

But typically I’d go for the kitchen table and then we’d sit down. Again, I would come a rapport building. I would say some stuff like “I feel like I’m working harder out here than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.” Just stuff like that just to lighten up the mood.

Then I’d go back to the names list to continue to build rapport. “Who’d you say you know?” Then after going through that rapport process I would ask, again, to bring up the objection first. If she’s going to bring this up after a 20 minute sales presentation “I need my husband to be here,” I don’t want to waste my time. I’d rather come back later, do the sales presentation once.

So one of the questions I would ask, and you can ask this. I do this with this pipeline on the front end before we start doing a demo “Who’s in charge of making this decision?” Door to door it wasn’t that direct of a- I wanted her to know we were in a sales situation, first of all, so I’d be like “These are all the families that bought. It’s great, everybody’s been so excited about these things.” And I’d use examples “So and so said she’s kind of in charge of making those kinds of decisions, but I talked with so and so this family, the Jennings, and she kind of wanted her husband to be around here. How do you guys work together?” I’d want to get to that real quick.

Andrew: I see. So you’re not saying “Are you the decision maker?” You are saying “In this family,” and bringing up a specific family, “The wife was a decision maker. In this other one the husband was and we needed to wait for the husband.” Why are you doing that? Why aren’t you being more direct instead of giving all the social proof?

Ramu: More direct as in asking “Are you the decision maker?”

Andrew: “Are you the decision maker? Should we wait for that?” You winced as I said that.

Ramu: It almost feels like a too much of a direct, maybe some sales people would be successful with it. I myself was, I’m still in the rapport building stage, she just met me five minutes ago, I want to use some examples. I guess I could have said “Are you the decision maker?” Maybe in certain situations, if I just felt a green light I would ask that. But I would typically ask it by giving examples and say “How do you guys work?” Almost to give her an out to say “No, I don’t make these types of decisions.” Rather than a yes, no, which is just very black and white.

Andrew: If the spouse is the decision maker, and the spouse isn’t there you do what?

Ramu: Schedule an appointment.

Andrew: I see. And now you’ve got them locked in for a specific time and you’re basically invited.

Ramu: Yeah, and a lot of times I try to aim for late in the evening because we would knock on doors until 9:30 at night. It’s a little weird knocking on doors when it’s dark just completely cold. So I would try to setup those types of appointments where they would know I was coming and that fear of knocking on somebody’s door when it’s dark… I tried to get away from that.

Andrew: Let’s take a step away from this process for a second. I want the audience to hear about this sale that you made. When you get things right, you can do incredible things. There was a sale that you made on Dad’s Week. Do you remember the one I’m talking about?

Ramu: Like it was yesterday.

Andrew: What happened there. What were you able to do because you mastered this process that you’re teaching us?

Ramu: Every week there were all these contests and you get this if you break your last week’s record or if you have your best week of the summer. Maybe it was week five out, it was Dad’s Week, and my dad actually passed away at a pretty young age. So I have, he’s now a really good friend, I just saw him this past weekend, but at the time he was the mentor to me who told me… I asked him, “What have you done to be so successful?” because this guy has a lot of money, and to me, at that time, money was success. So he told me to go sell door-to-door, and I said, “That sounds crazy, but I’m willing to listen to you because you obviously know and you’ve done it.” So this week, Dad’s Week, I wanted to dedicate to him because he had made a huge impact on my life. It was Saturday night, we sold six days a week, took Sunday’s off. 9:30 rolled around and I was one customer away from having my best week, and I had no more appointments, it was dark, and I was just freaked out about knocking on people’s doors at 9:30. By this time it might have been 10:00, and I think I had just gotten out of a demonstration and they said “no,” and I’m like, “Damn! It’s 10:00, I should just go home and call it, it was a great week.”

But something wouldn’t let me, like my commitment, or resolve, or self- talk, or whatever. I said, “I’m going to make this happen.” So I started driving around and looking for houses with lights on, and finally by 10:30 I worked up the nerve — I was freaked out — to actually knock on one. This family came to the door and I did my approach, and they let me in. I was kind of surprised, I didn’t show it. I sat down with them for almost an hour and a half, connected with them on a deeper level than just about books, connected with them on a lot of levels. They didn’t have a lot of money, but at 12:00 I walked out of the house, at night, with the sale, feeling on top of the world. I got home, my roommates were sleeping and I was so charged I think I had a hard time going back to sleep. It was just the victory of hard work and resolve…

Andrew: Midnight, you closed this sale.

Ramu: Yeah.

Andrew: Did you win the Dad’s Week Award?

Ramu: I totally did, and I recognized him for it. There’s an awards banquet at the end. You can invite people who are significant to you and I invited him. He was so proud of me because he thought I was going to quit. He was scared, he thought I was going to quit week three because, I don’t know the numbers, I want to say 50% of the people who start the door-to- door sales with this company actually quit. So, he was praying. It was awesome recognizing him.

Andrew: These kinds of competitions seem to be common to companies that do door-to-door sales too, and now I can see why. They motivate you.

Ramu: Totally.

Andrew: All right, let’s see what’s next. Actually, you tell me what’s next. I know what it is. It’s ask questions to find their pain.

Ramu: So, the process is the same in any sales situation. You want to understand how your product is going to meet their needs. You can’t ask them, “How’s this product going to meet your needs?” because they don’t even know about the product. So, with educational books, I would ask questions to begin with. I would start with very broad questions, and then I would kind of narrow them down to learn the specifics of their situation. One thing I remember is that parents pay for the books, but the kids are the ones who kind of buy them. They determine whether they are going to use it or not. I would focus on those kids if they were available and… “Hey, Johnny, what grade are you going into?” That’s an example of a pretty wide question. Then I would follow down, “What’s your favorite subject in school?” “Cool, what’s your toughest subject?” That’s where the pain is.

Andrew: The “Cool, why?” subject.

Ramu: What’s the hardest subject for you in school?

Andrew: Math.

Rami: Math. What’s hard about math?

Andrew: I just can’t focus on it. It’s too difficult.

Ramu: Can you give me the example of a problem you were recently going through that just drove you through the wall, Johnny?

Andrew: I see. So once you get that specific problem that drives them crazy, what do you do?

Ramu: So, once I truly narrowed it down, and that might not be the pain, that they have a tough subject in school. It might be they are straight-A students in this case and they just don’t have enough time. Take that and apply it to any sales situation. They need more time to get the stuff done that’s important to them, so I would focus on time saving. But once I zeroed down on what that pain is, and I would try to extract any more pain — “Is there anything else that’s tough about school?” — or “Is there anything else that is challenging about this situation?” Once I’d zeroed that down, I’d go, ‘That’s what this is for!’ And then I would demo, and I’d whip out the product.

Andrew: What is this product that can magically solve all these kids’ different problems?

Ramu: So it was, I mean, we have different products. But one of the products was a. It was almost like Cliff Notes for homework, like a shortcut. And it was kind of cool for parents. You’ll notice when you have kids–I don’t have kids yet. But kids are learning very different than they were, in school, way back when we were in school. So it would show the way the parents learned on one side, and it would show the way the kids learned, so the parents and kids could do homework, and not get into fights together. So that’s an example.

Andrew: Oh wow, I see! If I’m used to doing math a certain way but my kids didn’t learn it that way, if I try to teach them my way it’s going to drive them crazy and it’s going to be confusing! I see. So this book shows both ways. I get how I do it, they get how they do it, and we get to work together.

Ramu: Absolutely.

Andrew: But what you’re selling is, it’s not one book, it’s not one piece of software. You have a collection of different books that help kids with the kind of classes that they take.

Ramu: Yes.

Andrew: I see; OK. And that’s when you pick out just the right one, and show it to them.

Ramu: Technically I try to sell all of them, but I would show them–instead of showing them everything, they buy because they believe, and you showed them– and I hope your audience takes this and applies it to their sales situation. They are going to buy because they have identified the pain, and you should show them how your product is going to fulfill that pain. You don’t have to inundate them with features on learning that paperless pipeline. You show them one or two features that are going to solve that pain, and then close.

Andrew: I see. All right. You say, ‘That’s what this is for.’

And by the way, it’s not that I happen to know his process. I’m saying to the audience, we do pre-interviews here, we do research on guests. I’m looking right at my (in this case) the pre-interview notes, and that’s why I know what the process is and how it breaks down.

You show them what this is for, and then it’s time for you to close. But you don’t just say, “So, do you want to buy it? Here’s a pen.”

What do you say?

Ramu: So, you’re always looking for green lights and validation when you’re talking with a prospect. You’re looking for maybe nodding; you can tell by their body language.

Andrew: It’s so strange. You were saying they’d be nodding, and you were nodding like this, because that’s the reaction you want. I found myself nodding right now! Thought I’d call it out.

Ramu: Yeah. So you’re always while you’re demonstrating your product, you’re looking for validation that they get it, that they connect their pain with your product solving that pain.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And so if I was demonstrating the section about math, and how that’s going to health the eliminate some of that confusion, I’m asking questions throughout to look for a green light to move to the next stage. If they, and you can tell that with body language. Over the phone you might be able to tell it with verbal cues. You’re looking for that green light and their, yeah!

If you’re like, “Isn’t that great! Can you see how that would help? You know, I was talking with so-and-so who’s in your grade–you know, Amanda– and she’s got straight A’s, but she said this is great because that’ll help me save tons of time when I get home from school at 7:30 at night and I’m done with sports, and I’ve got two hours of homework! That’s what this is for. Do you see how that would help?”

“Oh, yeah!”

So I’m looking for that oh yeah, or the yeah–and then that’s a green light to move on.

Andrew: I see. You don’t say, “Do you want to buy?” You say, “Do you see how that would help? Do you see how this would solve that problem?”

Ramu: Yes.

Andrew: And you also; I notice you wouldn’t say when you’re late or, when you don’t have enough time, this will solve the problem for you. You say, ‘Amanda found that this solves that,’ and then you tell Amanda’s story.

Ramu: Yeah. It’s social proof. So you don’t just do that once; you do that all throughout your sales presentation because people are social creatures, and social validation is so powerful. And so if this is going to help her save time and she’s got straight A’s, or if this is going to help this broker, and wow, they do a lot of business–it’s probably going to help us.

And so . . .

Andrew: I’m sorry, go ahead. People hate when I interrupt. I’ve got to work on that.

Ramu: Go for it.

Andrew: I can’t come up with these examples on the fly. And so what I’m likely to do if I’m in a sales situation is go, “This will save you time.”

I’ll go in my head: do I have a story? Can I remember someone I sold to, who said it would save them time? No–this will save you time. That’s what I stop myself and say.

How do you solve that problem of not being able to on-the-fly come up with all these stories that answer all the objections?

Ramu: So, one answer: product knowledge and sales territory knowledge, and prospect knowledge, will create massive levels of confidence.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And so the more you know your customers, and the more you know the way, why they bought, and you study that, that’s part of it. I had a contact back with a–anyway, I had contact with a company recently and the sales rep was like, let me check with my manager and this and get back to you in a couple of hours and it did not create confidence. And so one of the things we do and I do this with my current sales position is I want to know and I ask somebody after they buy. I used to say, “Why did you buy? What was the reason you buy? Was it because of the time saving?” I’m going to have them write it down on my little customer cards so I can study that when I wasn’t selling or I was in between sales calls. And I was just committed it to memory so that when I was in the situation, boom! I can use it.

Andrew: I see. Why do you have them write it down instead of writing it down yourself?

Ramu: You ask great questions, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks. I thought that was kind of strange. You said I have the card and I ask them to wrote it down. I thought, he made the point of telling me that. They wrote it down what they bought, you didn’t write it down.

Ramu: Because I’m believing that I want those sales to stick and I’m understanding that they may have some buyer’s remorse after I leave, like holy crap, what just happened? I didn’t know that guy 25 minutes ago, and I just wrote him a check for 450 bucks.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: Am I crazy? I must have been caught up in the sales situation, so them actually almost at the end of the sale kind of asking them why did you buy and sink in the process of writing it down. By making them write it down it’s like they’re putting it in stone, putting it in their ink. So …

Andrew: I see. That makes a lot of sense. Now they’ve explained to themselves. They’ve committed publicly and you also have the clear understanding of why they bought.

Ramu: And one of the other things I would ask is this is my cool family’s list or this is my customer list. I would ask them because some families didn’t want their family’s name to be seen in the community. I guess I could say it was almost like a status thing, you have the privilege of being on the Cool Family’s list.

Andrew: Not my customer list, the Cool Family List.

Ramu: Yep.

Andrew: What if you did those trial closers and they had some objections, like it seems expensive?

Ramu: Great question. We identified and the company that I worked with had done a good job training and help us identify what the top objections would be, price would be one of them. And then a lot of times there would be different ways of dealing with objections. I did this yesterday with a prospect and it works. I’m still surprised when it works. I did a Feel, Felt, Found, so give me a price objection.

Andrew: Four hundred, five hundred dollars. I don’t know. Times are really tough right now. I just bought a new computer. I don’t think I could buy more books.

Ramu: So, notice I’m smiling?

Andrew: Uh-huh.

Ramu: I love objections. They are a way to sell, and they are entry points. And so …

Andrew: As I say, you’re not upset with the objection. You’re not holding back. You’re smiling. You’re happy that I just said this.

Ramu: I love it. Yeah.

Andrew: You’re encouraging me to keep telling you what’s on my mind so that it’s not hidden and you can address it.

Ramu: Yeah.

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: And so, I might ask some more questions, like, huh, what do you mean by that, Andrew? Why is that so important to you and you don’t have to answer that. It’s an opportunity to go deeper and understand. Objections can be used to push a sale along. I’d rather it be brought up now. There’s a three day cancellation thing when we sell, and they’ve got three days to cancel. I’d rather it be brought up now and so just stick with it and smile. It’s confidence. I definitely understand how you feel, Andrew. In fact, you know Mary, right? Down the street? She’s got the triplets. She felt the same way at first, too, because she had a lot of expenses last month. What she found is … I forgot what I was going to say … What she found after taking a second look at the books was that, you know, next year with her triplets they’re going in the third grade. It’s already getting crazy hard to help them with their homework and it’s only going to get harder. So at first, she felt like 450 bucks was a lot, but then she thought, “No, all the way from third grade to twelfth grade to have something that can help us out kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?”

And then I go back to demo section because they might feel sold, but if I show them a section, in other words, present another section of what appealed to them. And another thing that Mary liked about the books was this. What it does is it sorts all subjects by these color codes and so, boom–nine o’clock next year, Wednesday evening. You’re overwhelmed, your husband and you got home from work, and you still have an hour of homework. And you’re like, the Internet is way too populated to find the answer. Boom! It’s got this cool color-coded (what do you call it?), table of contents where you can find exactly what you need. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Andrew: And then you’re nodding. What is it? It’s Felt Found [SP]? What’s the framework?

Ramu: Feel, Felt, Found.

Andrew: Sorry?

Ramu: I think you froze. Can you hear me?

Andrew: Are we having a video issue here?

Ramu: For a second you froze.

Andrew: OK. What are the three things?

Ramu: It’s Feel, Felt, Found. I definitely understand how you feel, Andrew. A lot of the customers, a lot of the people that I’ve been talking to have ‘felt’ the same way until they ‘found’ that.

Andrew: I see.

Ramu: I used it yesterday.

Andrew: Feel, Felt, Found. I’ve heard about it for years. And just like you noticed, even though it’s so old of a framework, it just works!

OK. So, you keep addressing their objections and doing trial closes. You finally realize that they will; that they’re interested and they do want to close. What do you do? Now you’ve got a $400–and it looks like it could go as high as $1,200–in sales that you want to close. How do you do it?

Ramu: Well, collecting the money, baby! So yeah, I’ll ask a couple of trial closing questions, and I think I walked you through those. Can you see how this would help you save time?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ramu: Oh, yeah. Cool. What did you like best about it? Did you like the way it does this, or did you like the way it does that?

Andrew: OK.

Ramu: Why do you say that, and why is that important to you? Let them talk, let them talk, let them talk! They’re selling themselves. Listen.

If a customer; if you’re talking, like, 80 percent of the talking should be done by a customer. That’s how things are sold. So asking questions like that: Why do you say that? Why is that important to you? Just taking them deeper into the sales funnel, or the sales process.

If I have a green light, and their reasons are strong, we’re transitioning to the close, which is–you know what? And eye contact is huge here! Whoever flinches first loses. So maintaining strong eye contact, but not like, you know, overwhelming, like psycho eye contact, just confident eye contact.

What everybody likes about the way I do business, Andrew, is: I’m delivering your books at the end of the summer! You know what that means? You get to see me again! Isn’t that great? Injecting humor. So, just transitioning from; so it’s a transition. Letting them know how we do business, what to expect, and the next step would be; what is it?

Andrew: Price?

Ramu: [?] Yeah, it’s been years. Oh yeah, and I’d be like: Yeah, so you’re probably wondering about the price, aren’t you? Yeah? Cool! Well, that’s the best part about it.

A lot of parents have, like so-and-so; like Cindy and Lisa and Jennifer, they compared these to encyclopedias, which they have a set on their shelves that’s just collecting dust. And they spent 3,000 bucks for those things! Some of the; and if the prospect had high school children, I’d say: Have you heard what college textbooks are going to cost?

Oh, yeah! Well, a lot of the parents have compared these to college textbooks. And so I’d use that as a price anchor to get them thinking the price is going to be exorbitant. And then I go, ‘The cool thing is it’s not 1,800; it’s not even 1,200. The whole thing’s just 394–isn’t that great?’

Andrew: I see. So you anchor them with the high price and they think it’s going to be thousands of dollars, and then you bring in hundreds of dollars, which doesn’t seem that big in comparison.

Ramu: Yeah. And I might; I wouldn’t always do this, just kind of–I might compare it to other things that they would spend money on with the drop of a hat and not think about it. One mom said that’s like groceries for two weeks. If I see something in their garage on the way in, I might say, yeah; you know, I wouldn’t always bring in outside stuff that they’d spent money on, like jet-skis or anything. But I use price comparisons to help them assimilate–you know, it’s really not that much.

You can do that in any sales situation. Use things that they’re used to buying, to bring them some comfort level to what they’re about to buy.

Andrew: You also told April that you assumed the clothes, you assumed that they’re going to be [??}? How does that work?

Ramu: Confidence. I like confidence. People love confidence. I can’t say I was always on my game. After a day of like, no’s all day, I might be like a puppy dog, like “You want em?” But, as a rule of thumb, the more confident you are, like asking, “Do you want to buy these?” It’s going to bring about “Well, let me think about it and I’ll get back to you. Do you have a business card, can I call you?” Rather than. So, what I need, so the way I do business, is I’ll drop you a green card in the mail a couple of weeks before I come to deliver your books. And that way, you can leave me a note if you’re not going to be there that day. In order to get you that green card in the mail, I just need your mailing address. Do you receive your mail here or at the post office. Look down; wait for the order. So, assumptiveness is just, it sells things.

Andrew: So, Dane Maxwell, is the guy who created the company that you work for, Paperless Pipeline. He also has something called The Foundation where he encourages entrepreneurs, maybe even requires them to call up potential customers and find their pain. And, as I understand it, many of the people who went through the first version of The Foundation had a lot of hesitation, maybe even fear of picking up the phone, and calling up potential customers without even trying to sell them, just to understand their problem. So, if they can’t call up customers to understand their problem, how did you get the confidence to walk over to a stranger’s door, do what you needed to to get in the door, hold your head down when you need to to take the order, assume the close and don’t look up until they buy. Like all that stuff takes a lot of confidence. Where did you get it?

Ramu: I’ll tell you what, the first 3 weeks were miserable. And that’s, I would say there’s very few salesmen who are just naturally born, who can go out and crush. And maybe I’m wrong. In my case, I was not that person.

Andrew: Do you think, it’s doing it for 3 weeks, gave you the courage to do it for the rest of your life, but then how do you get through the 3 weeks? Most people would give up after the first day. How did you get through those tough 3 weeks?

Ramu: Blood, sweat and tears, crying.

Andrew: Why did you put in the blood, sweat and tears when other people wouldn’t do it?

Ramu: So my purpose for going out that summer was, like this mentor that I mentioned earlier. I so wanted to please him, and show him that the time he was putting in to help me grow and help me become the person I wanted to become, that it wasn’t wasted time. And so that was like, I get goose bumps on my back as I say this because my purpose was bigger than any circumstance or any momentary setback that I could fix. Like it, and I had it, I wrote it down, but besides I wrote it down, like it was in my heart. And you can see me grinning right now. I could go out and knock on doors right now for that purpose. That’s, so purpose, I think, a strong purpose will conquer any obstacle.

Andrew: And you wrote it down?

Ramu: I think I wrote it down, but I got so clear on it. I lived in California and I moved out to Nashville, Tennessee for this training program, this crazy job of selling door to door. And so, I pretty much gave everything. I shouldn’t say I gave everything up. I didn’t even have anything at the time. I was working with a tech company, out of, near Silicon Valley doing outbound telemarketing calls. So, I had a little bit of experience with it, but door to door was a different thing. So, I knew, like I knew from the get go what my reason being out there was. I probably wrote it down, but beyond that, it was an emotional thing that you couldn’t shake from me, like shred it up, that piece of paper.

Andrew: Wow. I wonder, too, if leaving your house and going somewhere else, is part of the reason why it worked? Was it, the Jonestown, that maybe just taking people away from their home and moving them to South America is one of the reasons why that cult leader was able to, to take control of them? And actually, in a, in a more pleasant analogy, maybe I can even compare it to Y Combinator. Where, I remember doing the first interviews with founders of one of the Y Combinator, understand what it was about that accelerator, that with very little money, was able to get all these entrepreneurs to build and showcase and really create incredible companies. And maybe it was also leaving their home and being in this environment where all they have to do is work. Where they’re expected to work, where they have colleagues who are all building things. Maybe that helped them too the way that you leaving your house and going somewhere else to make these sales calls did?

Ramu: Makes me think of a story called “Burn the Boats”, which is the long version, where these conquistadors who were just, I think, Magellan, or whoever it was…

Andrew: Cortez landed on a beach, told all his men to burn the boats. There’s no way they could leave now unless they won.

Ramu: Yes.

Andrew: That’s what you’re saying. You get to a new place, there’s no way you’re going to go home unless you win.

Ramu: I think it’s a good back story. Prior to going and selling door to door, a year ago, a year before, I was homeless for probably about a month and a half. I could’ve gone home. I grew up in Hawaii. But I could’ve gone home and just called it quits. But I never wanted to go back to that because that represented ultimate pain. To me it was like I need to do whatever it takes to get to this guy’s level. He told me to go do this. So no matter what I encounter finishing what I start.

Andrew: So after you close a sale you have them fill out a card that tells you and also tells themselves why they bought and reaffirms that it’s a good decision. The next thing you seem to do is you ask for referrals. How do you do that?

Ramu: I didn’t pick up on this until my… I was never taught to do this until my later Summers. I sold door to door for four summers, four and a half, I came back for half a Summer when my girlfriend was selling, now my wife. But I think later in my Summers I started asking for referrals because referrals are golden to any business. It’s a way to not cold call. It’s a way to have a warm introduction. So I would ask “Remind me again, why did you buy?” And they would fill it out. I’d reiterate why they bought. “Who else can you think of who might have the same problem you do? Who could benefit from these?” Then I would put my head down and wait again.

I had them wait, indicating action.

Andrew: It does seem part of your sales approach. You just expect that they’re going to do what you need them to do and then you give them all the physical indications that you’re about to do this together. Expect them to let you in and then start wiping your feet to give them the indication that you’re about to walk in and sit down to have a conversation.

Ramu: People are smart, people can pick up on fear, people can pick up on doubt, people also pick up on confidence. So the way you portray yourself and the state you approach and the mindset you approach them in is going to dictate a lot of how they respond to you.

Andrew: I’m going to do a quick plug and then I want to ask you about this list that the audience has actually been asking me to get from yes. But first let me tell you guys who are listening to this about Mixer G Premium. As I’m about to tell you we have courses and interviews for you to frankly buy and be a member of Mixergy Premium. You’re probably feeling “I don’t pay for education, there’s YouTube, there’s online stuff. I pay for other stuff. I don’t pay for education.”

I used to feel that way. I once felt that you can pay for, I would pay for vacations, but I’m not going to pay for education because it’s all available for free. What I found was that if I get education from real entrepreneurs and actually get to use it I end up feeling happier. I end up making more money, I end up growing my business.

That allows me to take vacations that allow me to pay for all those other things that I feel comfortable paying for. I know that thousands of other entrepreneurs on Mixergy have found the same thing. That’s why there’s so many Mixergy Premium members including Dan Maxwell who I met, the guy who found Paperless Pipeline because he was a Mixergy Premium member I got to know him and I invited him on here to do an interview.

If you are a Mixergy Premium member, first of all if you’re not go to Mixergy Premium and I think if you sign up you’re going to see the value of it. But, if you are and when you are as a follow up to this interview I suggest that you check out a couple of programs.

The first interview that I did with Dan Maxwell back when he talked about the launch of Paperless Pipeline. You get to see the different ideas that he had, you get to see how he tested them in a unique way. By charging for them I think even before he built them. It’s an incredible program that go my relationship started with Dan. Especially because I saw all the work that he put into it. You’ll see him, I think, hold up, if you watch the video and not just listen to the mp3, you’ll see him hold up notes. The guy spent, I don’t know how many hours preparing to be interviewed on Mixergy, and it pays off. The second thing I suggest you do as a Mixergy Premium member, is check out the copywriting course that Dane did. This was back when I was starting ad courses. Dane came in and, again, Dane being Dane, he wasn’t happy to just prepare for the course.

We got together at South by Southwest. I think I rented a conference room because he was so eager to really work out all the details of it and we sat. Instead of partying at South by Southwest or going and participating, we sat in that conference room for a couple of hours and we worked on the different ideas that he was going to teach in that copywriting course, which is why so many people, to this day, tell me they love it.

One of the things that you’ll learn in that course, we talked about price anchoring, that’s one of the things that he talks about that you can use in your copywriting to increase your sales. A lot of the tactics we talked about in this interview, you’re going to hear Dane talk about.

Finally, if you’re someone who says, “Well, I like copywriting and I’m happy for Dane that he was able to build this business. But what about me?” I suggest you check out Sam, is it “oh-vens” or “ovens”, do you know him, Ramu?

Ramu: I do. It’s Ovens [oh-vens].

Andrew: Ovens. So the whole interview, I mispronounced his name, or actually at least in the intro. So Sam Ovens, he’s a guy who learned from Dane, had a starter business. He used the methodology that I hinted at earlier in this interview, which is calling up customers, finding what they’re pain is, building a product for them and then charging and so on. He used that process and if you listen to that interview, you’re going to learn along with me how he did it. It’s exceptional and many people have done it and then gone on to basically copy the format on their own.

“The Dane Maxwell collection”, we might as well call it at Mixergy Premium. One of many programs that are available to you if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to grow your business, that’s where it’s at, www.mixergypremium.com.

As a sales person, give me some feedback on my product.

Ramu: Your Mixergy Premium is the best deal hands down on the web as far as education goes.

Andrew: Thank you.

Ramu: I remember a time when I listened to Mixergy daily. I remember a time when I think you were just launching Premium and you had “pay what you want” and then there was lifetime access.

Andrew: I was selling [simultaneous speakers]

Ramu: Like $250 or something? Does that sound right?

Andrew: Uh-huh.

Ramu: I’m like, looking back, “You are a fool, Ramu, for not taking advantage of that.” Nonetheless, yeah, it’s awesome.

Andrew: Thank you.

Ramu: Thank you for doing what you do.

Andrew: Thanks. When you go back to the first 50 interviews, you hear me say with confidence that this is going to be something big but after I stop recording, I thought, “Really? Am I just fooling myself? Will real entrepreneurs be listening, not wannabes?” I’m so proud. I’m walking on air everyday as I do this that so many of the entrepreneurs who I interview today used to listen to those interviews back when they were starting and when I was starting. And here they are successful and ready to share what they’ve learned with other people, ready to teach it and I’m proud that we started out together.

Ramu: I saw your interview with Nick Francis from Help Scout last week.

Andrew: Yeah, what’d you think?

Ramu: I thought it was awesome, both of you. Nick’s a friend and I remember when they were just doing client work and I want to say I learned about Mixergy from them. What he said was, “We’ve been listening to you for years and you’ve been a great inspiration.” It’s true so I think you. There’s people out there and I know you have the voice of doubt sometimes of, “Am I providing value?” It’s big value.

Andrew: Thank you. The list is this, people have been asking me for links of books and other resources that they can have, I guess, as follow-ups to these interviews. I probably shouldn’t be recommending books. I should be saying, “The only way to learn is Mixergy Premium.” But frankly the library, the bookstore, the Kindle store, the iBook store, all really helpful and so April asked you in preparation for this interview to think about books that helped you and that could recommend to people who are entrepreneurs or salespeople listening to this interview. What do you recommend?

Ramu: I think I gave her five but the first one that comes to mind that I’m reading right now again is “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. Have you read it?

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely, so long ago though.

Ramu: Yeah, so it’s one thing to read it and the scrolls talk about reading them for 30 or 45 days, three times a day. What happens when you read something over and over like that is it moves from the conscious level to the subconscious level. I read Og Mandino, that “Greatest Salesman in the World” all throughout my time selling books and it really helped to reset my attitude on days that were hard or challenging and I think kind of conditioned myself. And I’m actually reading one of his scrolls again right now. And so, that’s one I recommend. Because, I mean, tactics are a dime a dozen. But mindset, when you can program your mind, that’s a great one.

Andrew: Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandingo. What else? Ramu: Mandingo?

Andrew: Did I say Mandingo? Og? Yeah, that’s what I have down here.

Ramu: Oh really? Mandino.

Andrew: Mandino. Oh. Did I…boy did I just misread that. No it does say Mandino. Thank you.

Ramu: Another small book, and the mentor I was mentioning to you. One of the things, when I lived in California, he would send me books all the time, because he loves books. One was, what do you call it, “The Go- Getter,” by Peter Kyne. It’s a small, tiny book. You could probably read it in twenty minutes. But it packs…it’s a story, and it’s all about kind of burning the boats and doing whatever it takes to get a job done. “20,000 Days and Counting,” by Robert Smith is another one. Another super quick read, but it’s all about mindset of doing what you need to do today and doing the most important stuff…because your life literally, the days are counting. The title of the book is “20,000 Days and Counting,” because…you see it?

Andrew: Yeah, I’m Googling it. I started out by Googling the name that I had for Og, instead of Mandino to see what that was, and then I moved on to Googling the books that you were recommending. This one is 144 pages, like you said, fairly short, “20,000 Days and Counting.”

Ramu: Yeah. Should I keep going?

Andrew: Yeah, please.

Ramu: So another one would be “The Traveler’s Gift.” It’s almost similar to a…Og Mandino type of book with scrolls. For some reason I love those things, because again, tactics…there’s times where I’ll read a book, and I’ll have the head knowledge but I think the heart knowledge is really where life change takes place. And so the repetition of that material is, again, what will change you. So that’s another one.

Andrew: And he’s a Christian teacher?

Ramu: Yeah, so the plug, the context. I think he writes books that Christians give to their non-Christian friends, so to speak.

Andrew: I see.

Ramu: So, yeah.

Andrew. Good way to put it. Final question, how did you end up at Paperless Pipeline?

Ramu: Great question. I was, I thought you might ask that. So, I was…

Andrew: I was wondering if I should. Or is it off-topic? What happened?

Ramu: Totally cool. So, I launched a product out of the foundation, the first one, and…what’s that?

Andrew: You were in that? OK.

Ramu: Yeah, so that’s how I met Dane, through your…see? You influence, you have a ripple effect that you don’t even know, Andrew.

Andrew: So you heard him on Mixergy, then you heard him talk about the foundation, you signed up for the first one. The one where many people had trouble making those phone calls that I just was referring to, like you didn’t know what I was talking about. OK and then what happened?

Ramu: So I built a product, called Happy House, for the real estate space. And I underestimated…I wouldn’t say I underestimated the cost of it, but I overestimated how quick I was going to get customers. What I’ve learned, from that, is…I ran out of money to continue developing it. And Dane now teaches, go get customers to pay before you build the product. I didn’t do that at the time. So there’s quite a few mistakes I made. So I built this product, and it’s still a very painful problem that brokers and agents have. It’s just, building the actual app out completely. Anyway. So I, after doing that, while I was doing that, I was still in real estate in Hawaii, and just getting kind of burnt out on it. I loved the software space. I wanted to learn to sell something different, with recurring revenue. I knew the real estate space and I helped roll out Paperless Pipeline at the company that I was working with. So that’s kind of…anyway. So I showed Dane that I can sell this thing and I called him. And I was like, dude, you guys have an inbound sales funnel, why don’t we develop an outbound one? So he introduced me to the CEO of Pipeline and I would say the rest is history, but now I’m working with them.

Andrew: Alright, I do remember you saying. You were telling them, hey, we can start calling out to people, we can get them through our pipeline, we can get them to become customers. We don’t have to wait for them to come to us. And now you’re working there. Alright. People want to find a way to, people want to say thanks to you for doing this interview, what’s a good way for them to connect?

Ramu: So, they can visit my, they can contact me through RamuTremblay.com, if they want to contact me through there.

Andrew: Alright, I’m going to go that site too. And we should link that up also in the interview. No, wait. This is going to a GoDaddy page.

Ramu: Really? Try the www. I use www.RamuTremblay.com. Is that different?

Andrew: No.

Ramu: No? OK.

Andrew: Check it out, but we’ll link it up before the interview is up. I mean when the interview is up, we’ll link it up and it’ll be working by then.

Ramu: OK.

Andrew: Alright Ramu. Thank you so much for doing this interview.

Ramu: You’re welcome. Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: You bet. Thank you all for being a part of it. Bye guys.

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Share

  • http://twitter.com/TheCommando Dick Larkin

    I really enjoyed this conversation, and as a guy with 200 outside sales reps in my organization, we respect the systems and behaviors that the Southwestern Company teaches. Andrew, great job pulling out the nitty gritty of the sale, and Ramu, you’re an inspiration to all who need to learn to sell before they can succeed.

    The systems, rah-rah, attitude, and sticking to the schedule are what make the process work.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thank you.

  • Arie at Mixergy

    Thanks, Dick.

  • http://www.PaperlessPipeline.com/ Ramu Tremblay

    Dick- Thank you for your kind words.

  • Tam Jones

    cool article

  • Roger Williams

    That was awesome, Andrew! I will now whip out my pocket notepad and pen when asking for names or websites. I usually don’t because it breaks up the eye contact and converstation. Or, at least I think it does. But, this intentional action is great.

  • http://www.clawhammersupply.com/ Kyle Brown

    I just have a quick minute to comment, but I wanted to say that everybody needs to listen to this interview.

    I was a book man for 3 years and worked for the same company as Ramu. It was the hands down the best work experience of my life and definitely contributed to the fact that I’m currently a successful entrepreneur.

    Selling books door to door taught me that if I work hard, control the controllables, and never give up, just about anything is possible. Ramu did a great job explaining these fundamentals. Andrew also dug deep and Ramu shared a ton of awesome “sales finesse” strategies.

    I bootstrapped my company and lost money for a couple of years before getting ahead. Now i’m chilling in my back yard under an umbrella, drinking some coffee and browsing Mixergy interviews! Looking like “it’s gonna be (another) great day.”

    Thanks Andrew for having Ramu on the program. Thanks Ramu for taking time to talk about your experience with SW. Also, props to Mixergy Premium. I literally listened to (no joke) 1000+ hours of free Mixergy interviews (while commuting to my old day job) before upgrading to Premium. Wish I would have done it long ago. It’s invaluable.

  • http://travelisfree.com/ Travel is Free

    Andrew, Please shave. My wife sometimes sees these videos! :-p

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  • Sam Ovens

    Awesome interview Andrew and Ramu! There is a TON of stuff in here that can be applied to an online business – even though the lessons are learned from door-to-door.

  • Guest

    Door-to-door selling is not that diffe

  • http://www.PaperlessPipeline.com/ Ramu Tremblay

    Thanks Kyle! What years did you sell with SW?

  • http://www.PaperlessPipeline.com/ Ramu Tremblay

    Thanks Sam!

  • http://www.clawhammersupply.com/ Kyle Brown

    2000, 2001, and 2002. It has been so long ago that a lot of the details are getting fuzzy. Your interview was awesome because it reminded me of some really great stuff that I had forgotten.

  • John Ndege

    Great interview yet again. So much to learn from Ramu’s words.

  • Arie at Mixergy

    It’s always good to hear an interview was useful :)

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks Sam! Looking forward to having you on again.

  • http://www.HireYourVirtualAssistant.com Owen McGab Enaohwo

    @AndrewWarner:disqus this interview is so good it should have been a Mixergy Premium course. @ramutremblay:disqus will you be interested in do a deep dive into your sales tactics as a Mixergy Premium course? I am very eager to improve my sales skills so I can apply it to my Software app.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks. I was hoping you’d like it.

  • http://www.PaperlessPipeline.com/ Ramu Tremblay

    @PropertyLion:disqus Glad you found this useful!

    A couple more tips you might find helpful:

    1. Create a buying atmosphere. People love to buy, but hate to be sold. How can you make it as easy for a prospect to say yes as it is for them to say no?

    2. Put the Law of Averages to work for you. Here’s what I mean (and it goes hand in hand with creating a buying atmosphere): Out of X number of people you show your software Y will buy. Learn what X and Y are for your software.

    -In selling door-to-door, X was 30 and Y was 3. If I presented my product to 30 prospects a day, the law of averages said that AT LEAST 3 would buy. On any given day that number could be 6, 7, or even 10 out of 30. On another day it might be 0, 1 or 2 out of 30. Averaged over the course of the summer (as long as I was doing 30 presentations a day), the Law of Averages told me that at least 3 out of 30 would buy. And if 3 out of 30 bought, I would hit my goal!

    The Law of Averages applied to creating a buying atmosphere. Instead of focusing on selling people. I was focused on two things: 1) Hitting my presentation goal for the day 2) Giving an exceptional, enthusiastic presentation. People sensed that I didn’t care whether they bought or not. And that took the pressure off them. In fact I would tell them flat out, “If you like this, then great! If not, no big deal. I’m having a ton of fun. When I’m done you can say Yes or No. You’re not going to hurt my feelings, because I didn’t write these books (or software) anyway.”

    3. Crystallize your goals into daily goal periods. What is your goal for the day? Break your goal up into smaller segments.

    I broke my day up into six goal periods. Each goal period lasted either 90 minutes or 120 minutes (alternating). My goal was 5 demonstrations per goal period. In order to hit that goal, I had to make 8 to 10 sales calls per goal period. When one goal period was done, I crossed it off with my pen (on my goal card), and mentally focused on the next 90 (or 120) minute goal period. This kept my sense of urgency high each goal period. It was like a race, because getting in 5 presentations wasn’t easy! How could you (or do you) break your day up into goal periods?

    Hope you find these tips useful! And yes, if the Mixergy community benefited, I’d be glad to dive deeper into some of the sales tactics I’ve used selling door-to-door and selling software b2b.

  • Gonzalo Paternoster

    Great interview. Love the idea of bring up objections first.

  • Gonzalo Paternoster

    Just wanted to share with the group. I been emailing @ramutremblay:disqus with questions about hiring my first sales person and questions related to the topic. He has been very generous with ideas and solutions. I am humbled by how generous people are in our community. Mixergy guests are amazing and want all of us to succeed. @AndrewWarner:disqus you have built a group community.

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  • Alex Buyanovsky

    This interview resonated so extremely well with me that I just had to say thank you to both Andrew and Ramu for taking the time to provide it!

    For the current business model I am working on, I am planning to implement door-to-door sales and this was just the confidence booster I needed.

    The way Ramu turned something that generally has a negative connotation, such as door-to-door sales, into a sort of fundamental “rite of passage” into the relm of success was brilliant.

    I will most definitely be re-watching this multiple times as it is packed with prolific sales advice.

    I also want to give respect to Andrew for being comfortable enough to show his vulnerable side. Most people (myself included) would be too nervous to admit that they are feeling insecure about what they are doing for fear it ruins their credibility. I have seen you reveal such details in other interviews as well. Not only does it build my respect for you but it also helps me realize that it is ok and in fact, can make you more relatable if you show this side since everybody has similar feelings at some point.

  • Arie at Mixergy

    Alex, thanks for listening. I’m happy to hear that you really connected with this interview.