Andrew: Hey, this is the part of the interview where I promote the interview by telling you what’s coming up and make you get really fired up to learn and to watch and pay attention all the way till the end. I’m not going to tell you what’s coming up this time. I’m not going to tell you what’s in this interview at all. Instead, what I’m going to tell you is what’s inside you. There are days when you’re not motivated. There are days when you are questioning every decision you’ve ever made. Questioning yourself too. So here’s what I’m going to say. After you finish this program. Save it. Save the video if you choose videos. Save the audio. Save the transcript. However you prefer to enjoy this program, save it for those days. Because it is so inspiring, so educational, and so helpful, that on those days it’s going to come through with both a pep talk and actionable ideas. Save it, and start by paying attention to it now. Here it comes.
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Hey there freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, home of the ambitious upstart. You know that I keep looking for little bits of information in interview that don’t usually stand out but I think have big impact. Well, in a couple of interviews that I did with successful entrepreneurs, I happen to notice that they said cause they sold Cutco knives early in their career, they became good sales people. So I filed it away and said, I think in a past interview, “I wonder what it is about Cutco. What are they teaching their people? I’d like to learn that.” A fan in the audience heard me say that, and they helped me land today’s guest. Hal Elrod, that you see upon your screen is a Cutco hall of fame Sales rep and manager. He’s also a motivational speaker who inspires business people and college students, with stories of what he learned in business and from recovering from a terrible car accident. He’s also the author of, let’s see if I can hold this up properly, really professional style, the number one selling book “Miracle Morning: the not so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life.” Welcome, Hal.
Hal: Welcome, thank you, I appreciate it Andrew.
Andrew: How much money would you say you’ve sold in knives? What is the value of all the knives you sold?
Hal: I’ve sold $754,000 of Cutco.
Hal: If you know how expensive Cutco is, that’s five cents.
Andrew: How expensive are they?
Hal: It ranges. My average customer spent, when I was newer in my career, about $350 with my average sale. As I got more experience and understood how to better present, when I finished my career, it was double that. It was a little over $700 average sale.
Andrew: Unbelievable, not from a store, not from … you know. You’re just walking into someone’s home that you have a referral from or maybe you know directly. You tell them about the knives and you sell them. You talked to Jeremey Wise [SP], our producer, and pulled out a few tactics that you used that helped you become better at sales that I’m hoping my audience can learn from. Starting with, you say don’t just have goals, review them. One of the interesting things that you say is you advise them to review our goals and to share them with our customers. In fact, you did this with a woman named Donna, can you tell the audience what happened there?
Hal: Yeah, I was trying to set a record. No sales rep in Cutco’s 50 years history had ever posted 3 consecutive $10,000 weeks. I had posted two consecutive $10,000 weeks, which had been done just a couple of times. I was trying to hit my third. I was trying to set this record. It was Saturday morning. I can picture the house like if I’m pulling up to her house. I’m at 7,200 for the week in sales, and I’ve got till Monday morning, so basically day and half, two days, to sell another $3,000 at Cutco, which those have to be 2 good days that I’ve got to pull out somehow. I’m nervous, little scared, little stressed. And I go into her house and I was big believer in really rapport, really connecting with the customer and finding out what was important to them and then asking permission to share what was important to me. I would always, I didn’t force my goals on them. I would say ‘Hey, Donna. Do you mind if I share my goals with you real quick? I’m kind of excited about a few things I’m working on and would you be open to me sharing with you?’ And you know, 9 out of 10 times they would say ‘Yes, of course’.
So I shared my goals with Donna, you know, really passionately. I always inspired and I go through the Cutco presentation and now, when I drove up to that house sidenote, I didn’t usually see wealthy people. Like, my average customer was middle-class. I grew up in a small town, not a lot of big houses, you know?
Andrew: Even though you’re selling expensive knives, you’re not going into mansions and trying to sell them. You’re selling them to regular people, middle class.
Hal: Middle class people that put it on a [??]. And so Donna was a different story. I drive up. It’s a huge mansion, right? She’s got a BMW and a Mercedes so in my head I’m OK, I know she can afford some serious knives, right? She can afford some Cutco. So I’m like I got to do my best. I can’t lose this one. And so I go in, I do my best presentation and she basically tells me ‘Hal, I don’t cook. I already have a $1,000 set of [??] in my counter but it’s barely been used.’ So in my head I’m going ‘Oh, God. How am I going to pull this off?’ And I ask for it ‘Hey, do you want to buy our Ultimate set, you know, the biggest, the best set we have?’ And she laughed at me. She says ‘Hal, that’s the size of a microwave. What am I going to do with all those knives? I told you, I don’t cook.’ And I said ‘Donna, I know you’re not a big cook but there’s 3 reasons that I think you would be crazy not to get Cutco. You’d absolutely love it. And she goes ‘All right.’ She sits backs and folds her arms and she goes ‘These better be some good reasons, Hal. Let me hear them’. And the honest truth is I didn’t have any idea what I was going to say at point. I just threw it out there.
Andrew: You just made up a number 3.
Hal: I just made up, I’m like, 3 reasons and then I’m like ‘I’ll think of what these are’. I said something along the lines of they’re the best knives in the world, you’re going to have them forever and she goes ‘I told you, that means nothing to me. I’m going to have those [??] forever.’ I said ‘And I’ll come sharpen your knives once a year. That’s part of the guarantee, the service it’s free and you’ll see once a year.’ And she goes ‘OK. I don’t know if I’ll pay that much money for that’. And I’m searching, searching, searching and I said ‘Donna, I’m not going to be selfish but it would help me with my goal to break that all-time record, you know?’
And I just threw that out there to pull on strings. And she goes ‘Oh, I forgot you were trying to break the record. How far away did you say you were?’. I said ‘I’m about $2,800 away’. She goes ‘Let’s get you there, Hal. Put me down for the Ultimate set and show me what else you have’. And she’s going through the book and she goes ‘Oh, flatware. We need flatware for the pool house. Put me down for 12 sets’. And our flatware is expensive. And we get to the end and she says ‘Tell me about the total’. And I’m adding it on my calculator and I go, I said ‘Donna, honestly I’m really nervous to tell you how much this is going to cost’. And she said, she leans over and puts her arm on my hand and she goes ‘Hal, as long as I’m not nervous, you have nothing to worry about’. And she wrote me a check for like $3,400 that day and I set the all-time record.
So I’m a big believer in sharing your goals in a way that inspires customers to want to help you reach them.
Andrew: You might have noticed me earlier looking down. It’s because I was taking notes. I want to come back and ask you for more details on some of the things that you said and I also am just an obsessive learner and the way I learn in by taking notes. And I know that my audience does too. So let me try and experiment with you guys. If you find one thing that’s it’s useful out of this interview, one thing that you can bring back to your world, even if you’re not offline, if you’re awfully techy and you’re selling everything online. If you can find one idea that you can bring to your world and share it in the comments, we’re going to take the best one and give them a copy of Hal’s book here.
I just want to see if we can pull out some of the gems in my interviews and make them more accessible to people who aren’t for some reason ready to invest an hour of their time to listen to an interview. I want them to see the gem and maybe then they’ll know their value. So in the comment, if you see anything useful, say it there.
Just to be clear about this, you weren’t a natural born salesperson. In fact, I think the first couple you sold to was related to you. Who were they and how did that go?
Hal: Well, the first that I didn’t sell to.
Andrew: Right, right. Good point. The first that you were trying to sell to. Who were they?
Hal: My grandparents. Nana and Papa, right? And so when I was in my Cutco training, you go through a three-day training, it’s really extensive, you know? And it’s mostly college students that are getting their start or getting an internship with the company. So there’s very few sales experience. I had no sales experience. I go through this three-day training and on my second day of training I got inspired. I was like I’ve never done anything great in my life. Like, my whole life my background was mediocre. I was never an athlete. I didn’t get great grades. I wasn’t one of those students that gave my parents a lot of stuff to put on the fridge except for detention notices or something.
So I end up going on my second day and I think, I want to do something I’ve never done before. I want to break this record. It’s called the fast start record. The first 10 days there’s all these incentives and these records, and you can win some stuff. And I thought I want to go sell more than anyone has ever sold in 10 day, which the record at that time was $12,000. And so, I leave the office, I’m high fiving my manager. I’m like, I’m going to do it. I’ve got to average 1200 a day for 10 days, you know, it’s a lot.
And my first two appointments are with my grandparents was number one. Because I thought for sure they’ll buy. I’ll beg them. I’ll say Nana and Papa I’m trying to buy a record, please buy, right? I thought for sure they’d buy. And then their neighbors, who were like my second set of grandparents, they were the second appointment. So I thought, I’ve got it locked. For sure the first day will be great. I go to my grandparents. I give the best Cutco presentation, I’d been practicing it. I do all the demonstrations. I’m cutting stuff. I get to the end and I go Nana and Papa do you want to go ahead and get a set? And I’m optimistic. I’m thinking for sure they’re going to buy. And they said Hal, we’re too old to buy new knives. And I thought, well they’re guaranteed forever. And they go, the forever guarantee is only a few more years for us. Something like that. And I remember, no joke, but Papa, the guarantee is transferable so you can hand these down to me and I’ll benefit from the guarantee. And he didn’t think that was funny and they bought nothing.
I walk out of there just discouraged. I go to their neighbors and I’m thinking, all right, they’ve got to buy for sure. Same objection, same objection. We’re too old. And I’m going through my head, I’m thinking, you know they taught us in training how to handle, you know it’s too much money. You offer payment options, right? It’s too many knives, you go to a smaller set, right? But I’m thinking they didn’t teach us how to respond to we’re too old for knives, right? In fact I think they said don’t see those people. So, I’m ready to quit and I call my manager. And I didn’t want to call him because I didn’t have any good news. I went out there like I’m going to break this record and now I’ve got to call and say I’m 0-2. I call him literally ready to quit. I was like, I guess, I don’t know what I was thinking, I was excited in the moment but this is not for me. I call him and I tell him what happened. He says Hal, how are you feeling? You’re probably feeling pretty discouraged right now, yeah? I said, yeah, definitely man. I don’t know what to say. I feel terrible. He said, there’s one of two ways you can respond right now. I said OK. I really respect, his name is Jesse. I learn from him, he has a lot of integrity, he’s a great guy, so I’m listening. He said you can do what most people would do which is give into your discouragement and just quit. Just throw in the towel before you have the chance to succeed. And I’m going, in my head, yeah, that’s what I was going to do. What’s option number two. And he goes or you could do the only thing that a successful person would do. You accept the things you can’t change and you get on the phone, set more appointments, and move forward. And I knew he was right. I got on the phone that night and I scheduled 10 appointments the next day. I worked from 7:00 a.m. to midnight. Nonstop.
Andrew: You set up that many appointment?
Hal: 10 appointments.
Andrew: 10 appointments.
Hal: So it took an average of an hour and a half per appointment, so a 15 hour work day and I ended up selling 2,768 dollars that day. And the rest, as they say, was history. I had lots of ups and downs during my first 10 days. I worked really hard. I did 62 appointments more than anyone else and that’s why I sold more than anyone else. Not because I was some special salesperson. I was just willing to work harder than everybody else was.
Andrew: Right. You’re not a natural. I’ve obviously seen, we all remember the one kid from even as far back as elementary school who just seemed like a natural sales person. Everyone loved him so much and he had a sense of confidence or she was so comfortable with herself that she could sell anything to anyone. You weren’t that guy and that’s why I’m especially excited to hear from you. I want to also go through this list of tactics that you and Jeremy went over that helped you get here. That helped you sell so much. Why don’t we start with an understanding of the process. I thought that Cutco started out with or Cutco salesmen went door to door knocking on strangers doors and selling. You’re saying that’s not how it works. Why don’t you take me back to where you get your customer? What you do to get in the customers door? How do you develop that rapport that you mentioned? What do you do to show the knives? How to you close the sale? You said that you explain what is important to you and ask them what is important to them, actually the other way the around. Walk me through that whole process. We don’t have to spend too much on it but I do want to understand it. So why don’t we start with where do you get the person?
Hal: So when you go through training, on the second day of training you make a list of everyone you know, kind of like network marketing, but it’s different in that you’re not getting paid for people.
Andrew: There’s no down line.
Hal: You’re not recruiting. You’re just selling, you know?
Andrew: So second day of training, they’re telling you, start making a list of everyone you know. Already, while you’re there, they’re getting you to be aware of the people who you know who could buy knives.
Hal: Yeah. And they’re giving you thought joggers. They’re saying mom and dad is a natural, show mom and dad. Anyone that would let you in. I think part of what helped me be successful in the beginning is I got out of my comfort zone. A lot of people only made a list of 12 people. I made a list of over 100. At first it started out smaller, but I think it was because my manager wanted to break the record he goes, “Hal, you’ve got to go bigger man.” He said, “You’ve got to think of anyone that you know that knows who you are. So it could be your teachers grade Kindergarten through college. And so I just expanded that list. I contacted them. Something Cutco does it that you are paid whether or not you sell. So, that takes the pressure of. In the beginning you can literally, legitimately, and honestly tell people, I get paid just to show you the product, and I’m getting practice, so you don’t have to buy anything. And Cutco knows from experience that the knives are so good they really sell themselves and that’s why the model works.
Andrew: And the sell process is so good.
Hal: And the sell process is so good. And it’s word for word. You’re literally reading a training manual. When you’re new you go, “Hey, I’m new. So I’m going to read this so I don’t miss anything. Is that OK?” And they go sure. ,
Andrew: You know what? OK. We’re going a little out of order here but that’s important to hear. I know many people who I have talked to who do sales call have a script but they don’t acknowledge their script because you don’t want to sound like you’re faking it. You don’t want to sound like you’re inexperienced. And here you’re telling us the opposite worked for you. Why? Doesn’t showing the script someone make them feel like they’re just practice and so they’re not really paying attention and lose, doesn’t it make you lose credibility?
Hal: I found that it takes pressure off. And here’s the thing, in the beginning you’re not in a situation where it’s not a professional sales situation. It’s a much more of a personal situation. So you’re seeing people you know and rather than coming across all polished, you’re like I’m a fumbling guy with a good product that’s going to read this so I don’t mess up. I think it really, the sales wall kind of goes down, they kind of relax and go, “OK. This should be fun. This should be entertaining. You’re brand spanking new.” And then by the time your first 10 or 20 days are over, you’re getting referrals on every appointment. And not to get out of order we can kind of get back through it. Now you’re memorizing it. Now you don’t necessarily need to follow along by the time you’re seeing people you don’t know.
Andrew: OK. So one of the first things I’m learning is you make a list of the people who you could potentially sell to and go beyond your comfort zone, beyond your expectations, and think of people who know you. And most of us who are selling products are trying to sell it first to our friends or people who we know directly. This would help us think beyond our short list. All right, so you’ve got your list. Now when you call to make an appointment, what do you do? What do you say to get them to say, OK, I’ll see you?
Hal: So when it’s new, and by the way I will tell you, you mentioned something about the script. What I have found in everything from other direct sales companies to corporate America to small businesses, that is one of the major differences is they don’t script things. I can’t tell you how many sales people I coach that reach out to me from other companies and I go so do you have a phone approach? And they go no, we don’t follow a phone script. I go, do you have an approach you have memorized to get referrals. No we don’t have that. And it’s like with Cutco, everything is scripted. You memorize your phone approach. You memorize your referral approach. So you’re not just, you know I see a lot of sales companies where they just have the new guys go on appointments with the old guys, the experienced guys and just kind of take notes, or make mental notes and then go do it on their own. Where with Cutco you go through this three day extensive training and then you have to memorize all these approaches so that when you say it you can say it with confidence because you’re not trying to think of what you’re going to say. You’ve got it memorized like the back of your hand. In fact they always kind of joke, they go, you should know the referral approach so well that if we were to come in your house at two in the morning and wake you up and say tell us the referral approach, you could just spout it off.
Andrew: What’s the referral approach? That’s where you ask someone for a referral.
Hal: When you ask someone for referrals. Yeah.
Andrew: So, now, you’ve got the person on the floor. Maybe I don’t need to hear the exact script but what are you saying to them to get the person to say, all right, come on in to my house tomorrow.
Hal: So when it’s your first people to see, you let them know, hey I just started this new job and it’s part of my training. I put up some training appointments and get your opinion on something, on a product. It’s just for training so you don’t have to buy anything. If you want to, that’s fine, but you don’t have. I’ve got three openings this week. I’ve got an opening tomorrow at four and one tomorrow night at five, which one works better for you? That’s it.
Andrew: I see. So I want your opinion, not your sale. I don’t need to have a sale, I training so help me out and then…which of these days works for you. You’re assuming the clothes, you’re letting them pick when they get clothes to when they see you, but you’re assuming they will see you.
Andrew: Okay. So now you get the appointment, you go see them, what happens at that point?
Hal: I start by…I do what I call Two Minute Rapport, which is…my philosophy on rapport is different, like a lot of sales they’ll talk to them for 10 minutes or 15 minutes and then begin it, and ask them about all the pictures on their walls, on their plants, in their yard, and you know. My feeling was that rapport should be built through who you are and how it comes across. If you come across as a really caring, sincere, authentic person then that’s going to build rapport. And that’s done through the entire process, not frontload it in the first five minutes. So in the beginning, my way of building rapport is essentially I express gratitude, I believe that gratitude is an instant rapport builder. I just don’t know how much it means to me, because most people don’t know. If you just go in there and you’re doing a sales appointment for somebody and you don’t let them know how much their time, how much you value their time and how much it means to you, they’re not going to assume that. So I let them know how much it means to me. I usually make a joke, buy going, look Ms. Jones, I know this probably doesn’t mean very to you, in fact you’re probably hoping in and out as fast as possible, I can understand that, but I want you to know this really does mean a lot to me. I value your time, you could be doing anything in the world right now, and the fact that you’re hanging out with me and let me come over, you know, I don’t take that lightly. I really appreciate it, so I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you enjoy this time we have together and we have a good time, and that sort of thing.
Andrew: Okay. And that’s the way you build rapport…
Hal: Then I ask them, by the way, how is your day going today? I always ask that because you got to get in their frame of mind. And if they’re having a bad day and you don’t ask and find that out and connect with them on that and you just go into your presentation, well, the whole time they have something on their mind.
Andrew: What happens if there’s something on their mind? What happens if they say, hey, you know what, my kid just got into a fight with some other kid at school, they’re thinking about kicking him out I just got a call from the principal a few minutes ago. Now their minds going to be completely on that.
Hal: Sure. So I meet them where they are. If they’re feeling terrible, I go, that’s terrible, and I [??] with authenticity and sincerity and I ask them if they want to tell me more. Basically, just getting them to talk and talk it through. And then I usually, and this is why I became a coach, then a speaker, because I just like naturally always…I guess I’m a guy and we try and solve problems anyway. But I would ask, so have you thought about what you might do? And then I just ask them and try and get them to talk through it and share solutions, and that sort of thing. And go, well hey, I’m really sorry to hear that and I don’t want to step on any toes are we okay if we move on or is there anything you want to share or talk about? So just kind of make sure that they feel gotten it all off their chest. And so they’ve voiced it, you know where they are, you meet them where they are emotionally and then you can move on.
Andrew: Okay. So now you have some rapport built in there, what’s next?
Hal: So then it’s sharing goals. I go, so Ms. Jones, this might be a little bit weird, I go, people don’t…I believe in our society people don’t talk enough about what their goals are and their dreams and what’s important to them. They’re usually just talking about the news and current events, so I say, I don’t know if you mind, but I would love to know what your goals are. And if you don’t want to share that, that’s totally fine, but I would love know what your goals are and if it’s okay with you I’d love to share what a couple of my goals are. I’m kind of excited about some things I’m working on this year that are different than I’ve ever worked on before.
Andrew: So by goals what your goals are, you are asking them about…what could their goals be? I want to help my kid into college, I want to apply for a new job, that kind of thing. How can you help them with that?
Hal: I’m not going to help them necessarily.
Andrew: You just want to know it?
Hal: I just wanted to get them to share.
Andrew: I see.
Hal: But, the way I do help is I ask them, I go, hey, what are you doing to move towards that goal? And then if they say, nothing. I go, how come? What do you think, is there anything…I don’t want to step on any toes, Ms. Jones, but is there anything that you could do that would move closer? I think that’s a great, acknowledging them for their goals. Tell them it’s phenomenal, encourage that they can achieve it and see if there’s any action that they can define and start taking.
Andrew: I see. All right, then you tell them your goals. What’s the purpose of telling them your goals? You’re there to sell knives?
Hal: It goes back to the Donna story. Many salespeople, or even sales trainers, that will debate this point with me. Right? And I can debate the other side of…It shouldn’t be about you, you know what I mean? It shouldn’t be about you, so I can argue that point too, but my experience has just been… I mean, I shared my goals for, you know, six years, or however long I was with Cutco, six years I think. And I was one of the top sales reps for the company, and Donna wasn’t the only situation where a customer bought, you know… It’s kind of like, when you’re a customer, here’s an interesting point. Often people don’t feel they deserve something, right? There’s a lack of self-worth, or insecurities, or something.
Hal: So for me personally, I was usually seeing housewives. Sometimes husbands and wives together, but often I was seeing housewives. And, you know, there are many housewives, at least, this is my theory, that they’re nurturers. Right? They’re about their husband and their family, and they might look at something like a high-quality investment in high-quality cutlery and go, I don’t deserve this. Like, I need to put money toward my kids, you know what I mean?
Andrew: Yeah. And so, how does sharing your goals help them feel that they deserve it?
Hal: You know, it…What it does is it aligns with their value of wanting to help other people. So now it’s like they want the product, but their self-worth or insecurity might be preventing them from feeling like, I deserve it. What you’re doing is, by sharing your goal and letting them know that it would help you…Now, I always told them, Mrs. Jones…Anyway, Mrs. Jones, that’s my, whatever. So I would always say, when I would share my goal, I would follow it up. I’d share my goals and I would say, Mrs. Jones, I do not…Let me be really clear, I do not want you to buy anything today to help me out with my goals, you know? Of course if you get something, it helps me, but in no way do I want that to be your determining factor on why you would buy anything. And then, by the way, here’s a little bonus tip. I would transition into setting up referrals there. I’d go, In fact, my main goal, Mrs. Jones, and I know this sounds funny, but my main goal is just that you like me today. You know, that you like me, that you enjoy our time together, so that you feel comfortable introducing me to a few of your friends, because that’s how I get all of my appointments. I don’t cold call or go door to door. Every person I see is a personal referral of someone I’ve seen.
Andrew: And you ask that early in the process? But you don’t ask for the actual referrals, you just set them up and you say, I want you to like me enough that later on when I ask you for referrals, you’ll give them to me.
Hal: Yeah, and then I follow up by saying, Now, Mrs. Jones, don’t worry about that now. You have to make sure you like me first. Fair enough? Now I’ll tell you, that is something that was not taught to me in Cutco training, that is something that I developed over time, and the average representative gets three to five referrals from their customers. I averaged 15 to 20 referrals from my customers, which gave me an endless supply of people to call, you know? And so, and I really believe that was why, because most sales reps, if they asked for referrals at all, which that’s another thing that I coached sales reps in other companies. They don’t focus enough on that and they’re always struggling finding people to call. So for me, I would set it up basically in a positive way, right? I talked about referrals, I planted the seed, I made a joke, I was light- hearted right? So at the end, I’m not for the first time like most sales reps springing it on them, when they’re….In their mind, you know, maybe they bought something, maybe they didn’t. They’ve checked out emotionally. They’re like, alright, the presentation’s done, you know, he’s cleaning up. I’ve got to…And then they’re going through their mind, projecting into the rest of their day. I’ve got to go pick up the kids, I’ve got to make dinner. And then most people go, By the way, Ms. Jones, I need you to refer me to a bunch of people. And at that moment, you’re catching them when they’re checked out, and they’re like…They’ll think of any excuse not to do it.
Hal: So for me, I mentioned it at the beginning, planted a seed in a positive way and then at the very end, I say, Mrs. Jones, now this is the most important part. Remember I was telling you in the beginning my number one goal was just that you like me today? You know, I think we got along, hopefully we got along. But anyway, this is where, and I pull out my notebook, and I would….I always, I’d have it numbered already. 15 to 20. And I’d have a star at 15 and a happy face at 20 in my notebook.
Andrew: And so now they have a goal of getting to 15 and to 20 with you.
Hal: Yep. And their name was already on it from earlier. Either it was already on at the top, referred by and I’d have their, underline their name, or I’d write it right there. And I’d say, Mrs. Jones, this is the important part. i just need you to jot down 15 to 20 people, not people necessarily that you think would buy, you never know who’s going to buy and who’s going to like it. Just anybody that like you is nice enough to take a look and then it will be up to them, if they want to get it, great, you know. If not, that’s totally fine.
Andrew: This is frickin’ amazing. All right, I want to continue with this. This is so, my mind is starting to go to all the different applications of this process to online sales, even. Even to automated sales. Even to the way we design our funnels online I think would be influenced by this. All right, you’ve asked them, you’ve got rapport, you’ve told them that one of your goals is to get referrals and now comes the sale. How do you sell them on $1000 knives?
Hal: The Cut-co presentation is very demonstration heavy.
Hal: Because they’re not salespeople and because it’s such a great product. So for example, we go through the features and benefits and the normal sales stuff. You go through the guarantee, and you’re asking questions along the way, How often do you cook? You’re getting an idea which set will be a good fit for them; but the biggest selling point is the first demonstration you do within the first few minutes of opening the book and showing them stuff. You pull out the super shears, and you cut a penny into a spiral, you show them how these come apart. So right there you’ve set the precedent, these aren’t like normal products.
Andrew: So wait, let me ask you this: how do you demonstrate ideas? Here you have a product that’s clearly meant to be demonstrated. What do you do now that you’re selling yourself as a speaker if you want to create an equally dramatic demonstration?
Hal: As a speaker it’s simple, it’s your video. In fact I’m working on my demo video because I feel mine does not do this well enough. It has to be the in first 30 seconds, they’re like wow that’s different or that’s hilarious.
Andrew: That’s how you demonstrate?
Hal: Yeah, and I think if you’re doing other online products, I think you demonstrate it through testimonials, that to me is a like a demonstration. The power of video is the most effective marketing method.
Andrew: All right, so you do the demonstration and it’s a lot of demonstration a lot of benefits
Hal: Grab your favorite couple of knives from the kitchen, and we actually had rope, but we would actually cut rope with theirs and then with Cut-co, and unless theirs were brand new or just sharpened they rarely cut through well and Cut-co goes through in one shot. Then we would get leather, and they would pull out their steak knife and saw through this leather, and the cut-co steak knife would just fall through.
Andrew: That’s another thing, I heard Noal Kagan, who’s an entrepreneur I’ve interviewed a few times here, say that one of the things he advises other entrepreneurs to do is to ask their customers what have you used in the past, why didn’t it work and then compare the past product to what they’re selling, and you’re doing the same thing here.
Hal: Yes. They can really feel the difference.
Andrew: You’re actually letting them feel the difference which is so powerful. All right, I understand the sales process. Let me ask about one other part of this and then I’ll go to the notes that you and Jeremy made, which is you have to ask for the sale, at some point you have to ask for it. How do you do it?
Hal: That’s an interesting question. First I’ll teach you how I was taught to do it and then I’ll teach you how I ended up doing it.
Andrew: Thanks. I like it.
Hal: I was taught to say, “So Mrs. Jones, I wouldn’t be doing my job today if I didn’t ask you, would you like to place an order for this set of Cut- co today and get your super shears for free?” There were always free bonuses, as Frank Kearns[SP] calls it stacking the cool. And I started giving away a lot more free stuff when I heard Frank Kearns talking about that concept. People don’t care about the value or the cost of the freebies, they want quantity. So I would take as many of the lower cost items, like ice cream scoops and veggie peelers, and added together it would only add up to a fraction of what a larger item might be. They would rather have all the cool freebies.
Andrew: I see so one knife that’s worth $100 is not as dramatic as 10 knives that are each worth $5.
Andrew: and that’s what you want.
Hal: Even 5 gadgets that are worth a combined $50 is typically going to equate more emotion for a customer than one knife worth double that, right?
Andrew: Stacking the cool and say I wouldn’t be doing my job…
Hal: And ask would you like to place your order for Cut-co today and get this for free and then you just be quiet and wait.
Andrew: And then you get objections, I’d like to but I don’t know that I have enough credit on my credit card. Or, I’d like to but I’d have to check with my wife, I’d have to check with my husband. What do you do with objections? You guys practice those?
Hal: Yeah. You practice handling objections, you know. So you go through the five pay, you can break it over payments. You say I totally understand, right? I understand what you’re saying. A lot of customers feel the same way. You know the Phil Felds phone method of selling, right? So I understand how you feel. Other people felt that what.
Andrew: What they found is it’s a good deal.
Hal: What they found is we have a five pay and you can break it over five payments with no interest so it makes it really easy. So instead of paying, you know, 800 dollars today, it’s only 182.55 or whatever. Right? And so then present the investment options.
Andrew: I see. You’re very big on goals. As we went through the sales process you shared your goals, oh actually, sorry. This is the way that Cutco did it. You changed the process? How did you change it?
Hal: So how I ask for the order? Yeah. So here’s what I do. My philosophy was when you ask someone would you like to buy today, you are pinning them in a corner where they have to give you an answer, yes or no. And most people, if they don’t have total certainty that the decision to buy your product is the right decision, which the majority of people don’t have certainty right away. It’s the fifth time the sell is asked for, that’s the popular statistic. The fifth time the sell is asked for, the average sell is made. People have to work through their issues with it. Well, if you say do you want to get this, yes or no? More than likely they’re going to say no because they don’t have total certainty that it’s the right decision. And now you’ve got to deal with the no. So I’ve changed my closing question from would you like to get it to what do you think?
Andrew: I think these knives are dramatically impressive. I like the way they cut. I can’t believe you’re able to spiral a penny.
Hal: And what it does is it doesn’t pin them in a corner. They don’t feel that pressure of oh, I’m being sold or I’m being closed on. Or I have to say yes or no.
Hal: Right? Here’s what you get, you get this for free. Basically leading up to the point where they feel like it’s going to come with an all right, do you want it? And I would just say, so what do you think? And I would just sit back. And what that does, most people still have objections but you’ve opened up a space where they can just talk about them without telling you they don’t want to buy what you’re selling. So just a much more comfortable way. Then what I would do is I would hand the objection. We were taught to say, so, do you want to get it? But I would just handle it and go, how does that sound? It was always these open ended, so what do you think? How does that sound? Does that sound better? Is that closer to where you are?
Andrew: The problem with that is that most salespeople then can’t ever then bring themselves to ask for the sell. So, it’s how does that sound. Oh, OK. So you do like that. All right, and so I helped you overcome that objection. Terrific. But you never say, all right, should I sign you up now.
Hal: If they’re not willing to say yes. That’s a great question. A great distinction. Because most people, here’s the thing, when you say so what do you think? They will, if they’re sold and they’re ready they’re like yeah, that sound great. How do I pay for it? They’re going to ask for the order.
Andrew: I see.
Hal: However. If what you’re talking about where they’re like, I like it. If they’re not ready, if it’s not definitive I go so, will that work for you? Do you want to go ahead and try that set out?
Andrew: I see how it works for you. I could see also how it could be an issue for a new salesperson. Well, here’s my hesitation actually. Someone is listening to this and they’re going to hear, all right. This guy Hal is a good salesman, I hate asking for the sell. That’s when I put myself on the spot. That’s when they can respect me and my product, but mostly me. I’m just always going to say what do you think. Then they’ll never get the sell. How do they move from what do you think? Oh you like it? To, OK, should I put it on your credit card or do you want to pay cash?
Hal: Great question. And I think it’s important as well to be clear I did start my career for the first few years was by asking for the order. So I think that probably does factor in I did develop the ability and confidence to say, do you want to get it? So that’s a good point. For a new salesperson, maybe that’s something they would want to start with.
Hal: It got to a point though where it was a very fluid process, you know, selling. I wasn’t following the exact script anymore. I was adjusting and customizing my whole presentation based on their answers to my questions. It became more fluid. The easier way to ask for the order is to always ask for the order it to always ask for one of two options. So, I still wouldn’t say, do you want to get it. I would say, so what do you think? And they go, yeah, it’s nice, I like it. And, go, okay would you want to go and put it on a credit card, or do you want to put it on payments or do you want to pay it in full? Do you want to do a check, or would a credit card be easier for you?
Andrew: I see, so now, what was that?
Hal: My fan, it’s getting a little hot in here.
Andrew: Alright, but I wonder if it’s going to make noise.
Andrew: It seems good. Alright, so, I see what you’re saying, you’re assuming the close, and you are giving them two options, that each one is a yes. Do you want to pay credit or cash, do you want to buy this set of knives or that set of knives.
Hal: Sure, yeah.
Andrew: Alright, so what I was trying to say earlier is you’re a really big goal setter. You talked about how you did it for yourself early on, when you were starting to sell Cutco. You talked about how you shared it with your customers and you talked about it with your customers and you asked them to tell you about theirs. You also believe in setting very specific goals, why did you do that. How did setting specific goals help you become a better sales person?
Hal: I’m just a big believe in when you set a specific goal, and setting it’s not enough, it’s got to be, number one, it’s got to be specific, but it has to be in writing, right? You have to review every day. We’ll talk more about focusing on it and reviewing it. But, in terms of setting your goals and being specific, I’m a big believer that when you have a specific goal or an intention. I call this the power of intention, when you’ve got a predetermined very specific intention, what you’re trying to create, or what you’re trying to achieve. When you have an intention that is clear or a goal that is clear then the magic starts to happen because you’re thoughts, your words, or your actions all align with that intention, with that goal. So, what I started doing, is I started going from just having annual goals or monthly goals or even weekly goals to, I would decide how much I wanted to sell every single day.
And I’ll tell you an interesting story, the first time I had this revelation, I wanted to double my sales from one year to the next. And, so, I had been selling for five years, I had been one of the top sales people and I was about to leave and I decided, I’ve never fulfilled my potential, I’ve never really, really, committed at the highest level that I could have for an entire year. I had hit hall of fame, I was at this conference where I was going to leave the company. I was going to go to write a book and be a speaker, my next venture, or my dreams. And, I am sitting in the conference and I realized I’ve never fulfilled my potential, I’ve never really given everything I have. I always knew I was capable of doing double what I had ever done before in a year. My best year ever, I tied that year twice, two of the top years, I thought, I knew I could do double because I knew I hadn’t worked as hard as I could. So, I’m sitting at home one night. You know those moments where you’re laying in bed and you’re mind is racing, you’re thinking about your goals or whatever, right? And, so, because I had a specific predetermined goal, my thoughts started to align with it, I thought, okay, the only way I can achieve this goal, there’s one of two ways. I can either work twice as hard, right, and do twice as many phone calls and sales presentations as I did to have my previous best year in order to double it. Or, I can figure out how to get better. What if I could double my average sale-per-customer? And, then I started thinking, how could I do that? And, I started to reverse engineer it, where I was like, well, how do I currently, like my average per sale currently, what creates that. And, I thought, well it’s the series of words that I use, it’s how high I start when I show, you know, whatever I start with. Say, hey, this is our set, what do you think, it’s how high do I start? It’s how slowly I drop down, do I rush dropping down?
Andrew: You mean, drop down in the price?
Hal: The drop down in the price.
Andrew: I see, in stead of starting off with the cheapest product and hoping people like and maybe they want to upgrade to something better, you might start with the more expensive product and think, hey, how do I go higher, how do I slowly bring them down. Maybe not even bring them down to a lower option. And, you wrote this down and you said, I want to double my sales. After having a couple years of stagnating sales numbers, did you hit it?
Hal: Did I end up hitting it that year?
Andrew: Yeah, did you end up doubling your sales.
Hal: Yeah, I ended up more then doubling it.
Andrew: More then doubling.
Andrew: How do you write it down? Do you have something next to you now that you are looking at with your daily goal, you’re yearly goal that you can show us?
Hal: I think they’re all in my affirmations, in my iPod, or my iPad. Let me see, try to see what I have here, here you go, this is kind of my goals.
Andrew: Can you show, we’re barely going to be able to see it.
Hal: Well, I don’t want you to know all my goals. So, right, but so
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Hal: I don’t want you to know all my goals, but I’ve got them broken down. I’ve got my top three goals for the year and then each goal is supported with an action. The number one action I need to do on a daily or weekly basis to produce that result. Right?
Andrew: So what’s the number one action. Give me a goal and one number one action example.
Hal: OK. So, number one, grow my VIP coaching to 300 plus members. So I’ve got this group coach, and it’s a 97 dollar a month group coaching program that you know uses an online membership site and all of that. So, my goal to grow that to 300 members. Then the action is to continue doing what I’ve already been doing, right? Which is through referrals. So every time someone signs up for my coaching, I let them know. I say, for every person you refer you get ten dollars off of your coaching. So it’s 97 a month. Or for every person you refer who signs up. If you refer 10 people and all 10 of them sign up, you get your coaching for free.
Andrew: So your goal today is to get one of your customers to give you a referral?
Hal: A lot of referrals.
Andrew: A lot of referrals.
Hal: So here’s what I do. In order to create a little bit of scarcity I say, you’re going to get a survey now. They just signed up. They’re going to get an email for the membership site with their username and password. They’re also going to get a welcome survey. And there’s a link in the email that has a link to the survey and it’s got questions on, what do you want to get out of the coaching program? What are your goals? Etc., etc. And the last question is, is there anyone you know that could benefit from this coaching? And that’s the referrals. And you just put down their name and their cell phone number. What I let them know is, I say because I work within certain companies. I usually get referrals within one company and then I get referred to everyone in that company and then I move to another company. So I let her know, I say, now this is, obviously when you’re referring people, if they’ve already been referred the credit goes to whoever referred them first, naturally. And they go yeah, that makes sense. So what that means is, I wouldn’t wait on this. I would do this tonight. I’ve got more calls with other people tonight and they’re within your same company. Obviously you don’t want to wait a week and procrastinate and fill out your referrals and all of a sudden you realize that five of them got referred this week.
Andrew: Now there’s an incentive to give you a lot of names so that they can be first with them and there’s an incentive to do it quickly because otherwise someone else might give you the exact same name. I see.
Hal: And I average, um, somewhere around 10 referrals per person. And that’s how I’ve grown it. It’s all referrals. I haven’t had to do any online marketing.
Andrew: I did an interview, actually, a course with Jermaine Gregs, this guy who sales courses that teach people how to play piano by ear. And he is such a good salesman. He has on his wall, and he turned his camera and showed me, different motivational hooks that he got out of books, like the book, Influence by Robert Cialdini. And when he tells someone about his program he always tries to use at least one of those different tactics. So you’re saying scarcity. I can imagine him on his wall saying how do I use at least scarcity when I make this pitch now. It seems like you do the same thing.
Hal: I’m glad you mentioned that book because, you know, that’s why you mention starting high. The law of contrast. Scarcity. If you’re watching this and you haven’t read the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini. You have to read that book. I mean, I’m sure you would agree.
Andrew: Such a good book. Absolutely. Go get that frickin’ book. But I imagine most people listening have already have read that book. It’s so good. I say that because I want them to feel that now if they didn’t read it they better go and read it. Everyone else has.
Hal: After they read the “Miracle Morning.”
Andrew: “The Miracle Morning” I’ve got it right here. You also want to hold yourself accountability. I know that’s one of the things you told Jeremy helps you. How do you hold yourself accountable?
Hal: Well, not hold yourself accountable. That’s the ultimate goal. But I believe that accountability is crucial to success. Right? The parallel between accountability and achievers is irrefutable. If you’re a CEO you’ve got more accountability than anyone else. You’ve got your executive staff, you’ve got the board of directors, you’ve got the share holders, you’ve got all this accountability. I think if it wasn’t for all that accountability, you’d find a lot more CEOs playing Words With Friends all day on their phone. Not that they don’t already, but the point being, accountability is crucial. I believe you’ve got to seek out systems for accountability. So that could be an accountability partner. Could be someone in your company that you work for. Right? But it’s got to be, to make accountability effective it’s got to be rigid, it’s got to be scheduled, it’s got to be consistent. As in a phone call, you know five minute call every morning at 7:00 a.m. right?
Andrew: Let me see if I understand this. We’re going to get to how you made so many phone calls despite the fact that you know, there’s a lot of failure at the other end of the phone. I’m going to ask you about that in a moment. Let’s suppose someone’s listening to us right now and they say, I need to make 10 phone calls a day, every day I wake up and something happens that keeps you from doing it, but really I know I’m just procrastinating, I’m not holding myself accountable? This guy, Hal, is saying he’s got a solution for me, how do I do it? How do I get this accountability? To get myself making phone calls, what do we say to that person?
Hal: For me, my first accountability resource was my manager. My manager Jessie, who I committed, he said if you want to break this record, Hal, you have to commit to calling in every single day, every morning when you wake up, every night before bed, and between every single appointment. He said, if you are committed to that I can support you and hold you accountable the whole way.
Andrew: Meaning he will take your phone call after you are at an appointment, and that’s how you hold yourself accountable to actually take the appointment?
Hal: That’s how I was accountable for everything. And also, so he could help manage my mindset, and having a coach is a great way to get accountability, hire a professional coach. That’s something I’ve done over the years. What I think is the most important thing with accountability is you have to understand how important it is, and why we resist it. See, most people resist accountability, we rebel against it, we resist it and I believe, and I’ve written about this in books, that is because as children it was forced upon us by the adults in our lives. Our parents held us accountable to go to bed at a decent hour, to bathe, to eat vegetables…[SS]…if it wasn’t for our parents…. What did you say?
Andrew: It starts to feel oppressive; no one wants more of that.
Hal: Yeah, we didn’t ask for that accountability, but if it wasn’t for our parents we would have been sleep deprived, dirty, malnourished little kids. Then we go to school, our teachers force accountability on us, so most people when they become adults, it’s this downward spiral into mediocrity where they resist accountability and they embrace freedom and what they don’t realize is the only reason we get results in our life typically is because of some form of accountability. And unless you are one of the one out of a thousand people that are masters at holding yourself accountable you’ve got to seek it from other people. Whether it’s a colleague, a co- worker, a superior, a mentor, a professional coach, or my favorite method of accountability, which, this is what I did the year when I doubled my sales. I reached out to probably 30 other sales reps that were [??] from my company, but that I believed they were capable for more. And I said, are you willing to do an accountability call every week, every Sunday night that I’ll host, but you have to commit to show up every week. And I ran this call for 52 weeks, I didn’t get a commission, I didn’t get paid, but here’s the thing, I was holding them accountable on the call and who do you think felt the most accountable to follow through and not look like a fool? Right, it was me, so I benefited the most. Anyone watching this, if you want to take your accountability to the highest level and do it with no investment of money, you don’t have to hire a coach. Form an accountability team, two people, three, four, five people where you hold them accountable to follow through with their actions on a weekly basis and you share what you’re committed to and there’s no way you’re not going to follow through and look foolish in front of these people that you called.
Andrew: All right. So we’ve talked about all the successes, but when you’re calling people, even if they’re referrals, there’s a lot of rejections, a lot of people who don’t want to see you, maybe say something insulting before they reject you?
Andrew: How did you deal with that?
Hal: There was one of them one night, I was tossing and turning, thoughts were running through my head as I pictured myself in my apartment and I had this realization, I had just had a bad day that day. Actually, I had a bad night on the phone, I had made like 30 phone calls and set zero appointments. And I felt like crap, so discouraged, and I’m second guessing, should I pick another career and get a regular job where I just show up for a pay check? And that night, while I’m falling asleep, I had this realization…I just had one bad day on the phone, but over the course of this year I will have amazing days, I will have average days, and I will have horrible days, that’s just a fact, the average always goes up and down. I thought, I am so emotionally attached to my results every day and it causes me to ride this emotional roller coaster, often doubting myself, second guessing my career choice, etcetera, etcetera. Getting discouraged, feeling overall unhappy, and I thought…my results this year, my income, my goals, everything I want to achieve is based on the process of making phone cals a day for the entire year.
At the end of the year, here’s a little math equation for us. I’m going to sell X amount, right? Ten calls a day equals X amount at the end of the year. If I make 20 calls a day, that equals 2X. I will sell twice as much, almost to the T, within a few hundred dollars maybe. And, I had this epiphany, I thought, I just needed to be committed to the process of making 20 calls a day and not be emotionally attached to my results. Because, I’m not in it for a day. It’s not a one-day job. So, why would I care how a day went. Why would I care how a phone session went. And, even more so, why would I care if Mrs. Jones on the other end was rude to me, said, I’m not interested, don’t call here again and hung up on me. And, if you’re still [??] how you get that call and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach and you’re and this internal dialog, why is she so rude? I’m a good person, I don’t deserve that, right? And, now when I define this new strategy, I thought, my goal every day is to tally 20 calls. You got to have it in righting, Andrew, right? It’s got to be in my schedule, every day, I wrote, 20 calls. 20 calls. 20 calls. And, then every day I tallied those 20 calls. And, my goal is to make those calls as fast as I could because I knew that that was all I needed to do. And, if I set 0 appointments instead of getting off the phone going, man, I can’t believe I didn’t set anything. I went, cool, I get the day off tomorrow, because I knew that the next time I would set four appointments and it would all work itself out. So, now, here’s the beauty of it, of how the strategy is. Now, when Mrs. Jones was rude to me and my prospect, don’t ever call here again, I don’t want what you’re selling, click. I’m like, sweet, that’s the fastest call I could have made.
Andrew: One less, 19 to go.
Hal: And I’m on to the next. And, I’ll tell you, here’s how that result of the big picture. That resulted in, I came out with that strategy the first week of January in 2000. So, 13 years ago. Four months later, our sales was broken into 3 campaigns, spring, summer, fall. At the end of the spring campaign, following 20 calls a day, without stressing over anything, I was the number 1 sales rep. out of 50,000 reps in the company. But, the best part was, they were all stressed out. I have the easiest job in the world, I made 20 calls a day, then I went and laid out by the pool every day.
Andrew: Do you meditate, by the way?
Hal: Meditate, yeah. I didn’t then, but I do now.
Andrew: You do now?
Hal: Yeah, that’s part of the miracle morning, Andrew, yeah.
Andrew: Why do you meditate, that’s where I got it, actually. I got the book here, I couldn’t find the note that I had, so I said, that’s an easy way to introduce it. You meditate, why do you meditate?
Hal: Why do I meditate? I think why I started meditating it because I started reading about it. In fact, when I look in the mirror in the morning I have a..
Andrew: Oh, look, I did have the sticky note on the meditation.
Andrew: I took the sticky note that you use to write on the book when you sent it to me. To highlight the sections I want to talk about. Yeah, so sorry, why do you meditate?
Hal: So, it’s hard to answer that, I mean, it’s one of my favorite times of the day. It’s usually only five or ten minutes in the morning during my miracle morning. It’s the first part of it. But, if you haven’t meditated, and, when I first started meditating, I’m like, if anybody is ADD or my mind is all over the place, a million miles an hour. In case you couldn’t tell. But, the first time I tried to meditate, it was really hard. And, I googled it, how do you meditate. And, I’m reading the instructions and I’m like, okay, sit there and just clear your mind. And, I’m like, it’s not working, you know, I’m not very good at this. Now, practice makes perfect, I’ve gotten better at it. It’s just the only time where, to me, I get to tap into that essence of being, right? Like, there’s no problems, there’s no worries, there’s not even any, just the essence of life, you know. And it’s hard to put it into words, to me ,but I do it because it’s one of my favorite things to do and it gives me such peace. And, it’s really an escape from the day-to-day grind. And, it’s an escape from your stresses and your challenges. And, it’s a chance to just really connect with who we are at our most fundamental level.
Andrew: What’s the apps that you use that helps you meditate?
Hal: The Miracle Morning app? No, but I use, I’ve got five. I just, I’ve googled, like, five.
Andrew: What’s the Miracle Morning app?
Hal: The miracle, say that again?
Andrew: What’s the Miracle Morning app?
Hal: It’s got a journal, it’s got a lot of the practices from the Miracle Morning and every morning I manually send out a message. Like, a motivational quote or something from me.
Andrew: You created the app? Well, you didn’t hand code it, but, your guys created it for you.
Hal: Yeah, so here we go, I’m looking at my meditation apps to remember which ones are my favorite – mindfulness, and simply being. those are my two favorites if you want a male voice, mindfulness. If you want a female voice simply being.
Andrew: As you meditate.
Hal: As you meditate so those are guided meditation activities. It just varies on if I’m really tired I’ll use a guided meditation and in the morning if i didn’t wake up on the right side of the bed I’ll use a guided meditation simply because my ability to focus is not there. If I’m like the average morning where I’m just focused I’m ready to go I meditate without the guided meditation.
Andrew: Alright let me say a couple of thank yous and give people a suggestion and then I want to come back and ask you about two things.
Andrew: One is going to be a bit of a challenging question but I think it’s important to challenge you on this its a concern that the audience has and I know that they’re going to think that as soon as I mention this one word and the second is I want to hear about death since I mention it at the top of the interview and I didn’t talk about it. Something interesting happened to you that’s important for us to bring up, but first the person that introduced me to Hal is Dustin Dell’Era. I only talked to him via email so i hope I’m pronouncing his last name right. I’m looking at it here Dustin Delarrow or maybe Dustin [SP] Deyarrow. I love when someone hears me in an interview and says I can help out and that’s how this interview happened.
The two interviews that if you want to hear guys that were influenced by Cutco who were entrepreneurs but earlier on they were selling Cutco and that’s how they learned to sell. Mike Alfred, you can go to mixergy.com and find it or Dustin winter. Justin is the guy who created candles that have diamonds in the center and when you melt them all the way to the end you get this ring with a diamond on it. It could be worth five bucks, it could be worth I think hundreds of bucks. This just took off because of the reaction that you just gave a lot of people had that .If you want to listen to those interviews and hundreds of other interviews and courses go to mixergypremium.com.
The way Mixergy works is we put these interviews out for everyone to see. We encourage you to download it create a little bit of scarcity because we tell you if you don’t download it now its going to go to Mixergy Premium and so people download it very quickly. If you want to go back and listen to the archive of hundreds of entrepreneurs that tell you their stories, if you want to be inspired by them and learn the way that you see me doing right here by taking notes and by thinking how can I apply this. How can I ask my guest just not about their goal but share my goal with my guest and then drive towards it through out the interview. Anyways if you want to do what I do which is use what I have learned from all these interviews go to mixergypremium.com you’ll get those interviews and dozens of courses I mention Germain Griggs the guy who is incredible at selling. Who has automated the whole sales process that course is part of mixigypremium.com and I urge you to check that out.
All right here is the challenging part, affirmations, that’s the word if i say that is in this book many people are going to say that’s not the book for me I’ve got to go away, because what we think with affirmations is the Steward Smalley character who says I’m not good enough I’m.[??] You say to the mirror, I haven’t found a successful entrepreneur who I have interviewed who starts his day with the affirmations except for people who are coaches. They seem to start to their day with affirmations so tell me your opinion about affirmations.
Hal: I first learned about affirmations when I first read Think and Grow rich. I think that was the first book that introduced me to them. I printed off the self confidence affirmation from that book Think and Grow Rich and i started reading it everyday. I decided to you see I was skeptical too I was skeptical about affirmations and whether they would work. Here’s what I decided to do I thought what is the most deeply held limiting belief that I have? The most deeply held limiting belief that I had and what I came up with was I have a bad memory. Now most people have the belief of themselves but what’s different is because of my car accident and the brain damage that I suffered this is how bad it was. If you would come to visit me in the hospital Andrew in the first few weeks that I was there, you would come to visit me you could spend two hours with me and then you would go to lunch at the hospital cafeteria and come back and I would not know you were there for two hours. I had zero short term memory and it was like that for really six months really bad and then it got gradually over years it got better. I had built in this deep belief that I have brain damage my memory is horrible, so I thought I’m going to create an affirmation not that lies not that affirmations I disagree with a lot of the way that a lot of people teach where you have to say I am statements. I am rich, I am successful. Your brain whether subconscious or conscious goes bullshit you know they don’t buy it. I couldn’t write I have a great memory because I’d like read it and go that’s not true. I could write my brain is a miraculous organism with the ability to generate new cells and heal itself and my memory, I’m committed to my memory improving every day, a little every day, until it is amazing and I have the best memory of anyone I know. So I could buy into that, I could buy into the healing ability, right? So I start reading that every single day and whenever someone says, will you remember to call me or will you remember to do anything I always said, awe, I have brain damage dude, you’re asking the wrong guy, I can’t remember anything, right?
Andrew: Literally, that’s what you would say out loud to them?
Hal: Literally, that’s what I said out loud, I affirmed it was in my own head [??] I would say I have brain damage, I have a horrible memory, I was in a car accident, if you don’t know. And I can’t remember anything. Or I would, just write it down, but I never, ever, ever, I had zero trust for my memory, like a lot or people don’t trust within themselves to, whether it’s confidence or whatever. So I created this affirmation and I read it every single day. And it was, I don’t remember if it was one month or two months after reading it, it was within the first couple of months after reading it every single day that I remember a friend said, Hal, hey, dude would you remember to call me tomorrow or remind me, I don’t remember the exact the verbiage, will you remember to call me or remember this, and I said, no problem. And I hung up the phone and I was like, whoa, and it was just total, I was like, it worked. Like I really believe that I’m going to remember to call him tomorrow and that was nine years after my accident. Nine years of reinforcing the belief with two months of affirmation, and it was changed. So I started creating affirmation for every area of my life that I wanted to change. Goals that I wanted to accomplish, reminding me of my values, why I was doing what I was doing. And I’m a big believer, it’s known as fact, that everything is programmed into our subconscious mind. Everything we read, think, say, etcetera, especially if you do it with emotion. Right, so I talk about it in the book, I break down step by step how to create affirmations the right way and how use them and read them in a way where it’s really going to impact your subconscious mind at a deep level.
Andrew: I see it here. What Henry Ford said, and you quoted in the book is, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right either way. And you have this five step process for creating the affirmations as you described. You mentioned death, what happened? Since the accident. I just said death, over and over. What happened?
HAL: So when I was 20, I had been selling Cutco for a year and a half and as one of the top reps I was always asked to give speeches so I gave a speech one night, I got my first standing ovation and I wanted to call my mom and dad and tell them how great the night was because I got a standing ovation. It was 11:30 pm so got in brand new Ford Mustang that I had just bought with my own money, Cutco money, a sense of pride, new car smell, 11:30 pm, northern California, I got on the freeway and I set my cruise control at 70 miles an hour. And my best friend, Jeremy, got stuck at the red light on the onramp, and my last memory from that night is that I saw Jeremy in the rearview getting stuck at the red light. And I thought, too bad for Jeremy, right, I got on the freeway. A couple minutes later, approximately 11:34 pm, a man I had never met before left the bar a couple miles up, only he was intoxicated off of two beers, he was what you call buzzed, but buzzed enough and tired enough that he got on the freeway going the wrong way. And he got his Chevy Truck, much larger than my little Mustang, up to 70-80 miles an hour, merged all the way over, and he thought he was in the slow lane, it was my fast lane, and at 11:35-11:36 pm his truck hit my car head one at 70 miles an hour. It sent me in the oncoming traffic and the car behind hit me in the door at 70 miles an hour, and crushed the left side of my body. In fact, not to get graphic, but this is, if you can see, this is where a metal rod is in my arm, you can see my elbow. So…
Andrew: I hope the audience can see it, I can see it.
Hal: I broke 11 bones on this side of my body, my femur broke in half and came out the side of my leg, I don’t want to get too graphic, but my femur broke in half, crushed…
Andrew: …is actually on YoPal Hal, as in like Your Pal, yopalhal.com. Your site where people can see what you looked like right after the accident.
Andrew: Uh-huh, sorry, go on.
Hal: And so Jeremy got to the scene first, he was only a minute behind me, he called 911 and he called my mom and dad, woke them up out of bed, letting them know it was bad. I mean, I literally…I broke the bones in my eyes, the top of my head was cut open, my ear was hanging on by half of an inch, so I was bleeding from head to toe. And when Jeremy found me I was in a coma, instantly unable to withstand the pain I was in a coma. So I’m on the side of the freeway at 11:30 pm, freezing cold, December 3rd, northern California in real cold, and my car is just smashed, in fact I don’t know if you can see, yeah there’s me and my car.
Andrew: Let me see it.
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Hal: When they finally pulled me out of the car, it took them an hour to cut me out of the car and when they did I actually died. And I bled to death in the car and I was clinically dead for 6 minutes, in a coma for 6 days and came out of the coma and they said I would never walk again.
So that was kind of my experience with the accident.
Andrew: How did you get out of it? How did you recover?
Hal: I’m a big believer in positive thinking but not that it solves all your problems. I just think it allows you to stay clear headed by focusing on the solutions and focusing on what you have to be grateful for and feeling positive as opposed to focusing on the problem, dwelling on the things you can’t change, etc.
So for me, I completely accepted the fact that I couldn’t change what had happened to me so there was no point in feeling sorry for myself, for feeling bad about it and I focused on my recovery. And the doctors said I would never walk again and I remember I told my mom and dad, this was like two weeks after the accident, I said, the doctors came in and said how you may never walk again. I have a metal rod in my leg, a 14″ rod in my leg, a rod in my arm, 2 screws in my elbow, 3 metal plates in my eye. And when the doctors left, I told my mom and dad respectfully said ‘Look, the doctors are the experts in medicine but they’re not experts in me.’ My mom and dad were like trying to hold back tears. I said ‘I’m going to walk again, you guys. Don’t worry. I’m going to walk again’
And a week later, a week later, they took X-Rays again and they said, they came in and they said ‘We don’t know how to explain it but your body is healing at a miraculous rate and we’re going to let you try and take your first step today’. So it’s a miracle, call it what you want but yes, I took my first step and then I just focused on recovery. 7 weeks later I left the hospital and against doctors orders I decided I wanted to go back to work and compete in a sales competition.
Andrew: Unbelievable, actually. And how did you end up doing with the sales competition?
Hal: It’s funny. What happened was I held the record for the two week sales competition at that point. I set the record of selling $18,000 of [??] in two weeks. That was a year before. And my best friend Jeremy, the one that found me at the scene of the accident, he was visiting me one night and I said ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and he said ‘I got to go. I got to get on the phone. Push period starts tomorrow.’ That’s the name of the sales contest. ‘Push period starts tomorrow’. And I was like ‘Aw, man. I was planning on winning this Push period, you know? I forgot’. And I said ‘Dude. How crazy would it be if I sold [??] Push period? What if someone drove me to my appointments and I sold [??]’ . And he just kind of laughed and I laughed.
And then he left and I was by myself and I thought ‘What if I really did that?’ And I started thinking how could I do that. Like, that would be crazy. Like, I had brain damage where the doctors had already confirmed I would not have a driver’s license for at least 6 months so I couldn’t drive. I had severed a nerve in my left arm so this was the extent of the motion in my hand. I could not lift up my hand, I could not lift up my fingers so I was walking around like this all the time. And I couldn’t walk. I was just learning to walk and so I called my manager and I said ‘How much do you think it’s going to take to win a trophy at the Push period?’. He said ‘Probably $3,000-$4,000, Hal’ and then he laughed. ‘Why? Are you going to try to win a trophy?’ And I got all dramatic and I’m like ‘You’ll see me on stage. I’m going to win a trophy. I’ll see you’ And I think I hung up on him or something, right?
And I get home and any sales person knows, the picking up the phone is the hardest thing, you know? Picking up the phone, making calls, sometimes it’s challenging, specially when you haven’t done it for two months. I’m out of the loop, right? My habits have died. And I was exhausted. My body was healing. I was always tired. Long story short, I called my mentor and we need a mentor. If it wasn’t for my mentor, I would have quit. If it wasn’t for my mentor at this time, I would not have done what I was about to do which was called my mentor and said ‘Man, I have no motivation. I’m exhausted. I’m having trouble on the phone. I don’t know what to do.’ And he goes ‘Hal, why don’t you make 5 calls and then call me back. Can you make 5 calls and then call me back?’ I’m like ‘I could do 5 calls’.
And the lesson there by the way is like, chunk what your activity is, right? Break it down into small chunks. It’s easier to commit to the next step or the next 5 steps. So I make 5 calls. I set one appointment and Andrew, what happens when you schedule an appointment or get with a prospect and you get a sales call? Your energy goes up or down?
Andrew: Starts to go up.
Hal: So I call Jesse back and I’m like ‘Dude. I’m doing it. I’m doing it. I’ll call you later. I got an appointment’. And the next 4 days, there was only 4 days left of the two week competition by the way, so I didn’t have a whole 2 weeks. I had 4 days. My dad drove me to my appointments. He helped me hold the other side of the rope because I couldn’t use this hand. It was a collaborative effort, team effort and I sold $7,000 in 4, and out of 500 sales after the conference, I walked on stage with a cane – you know, limped on stage – and I took the number four trophy out of 500 sales reps. And, I was in tears and my mom – well, because I saw my mom first in the front and she was, like, crying and my dad’s crying, and other people were crying, and I start crying, and, you know, it was probably one of the most, just, I don’t know, the proudest moments of my life because it was the hardest thing I ever did.
Andrew: That is such an inspiring story. It is so inspiring to see – this whole interview, actually, has been inspiring. I want, and I hope that this works out, the audience to just pull out one thing that they got of value out of this interview and just share if with everyone else in the comments. I know that you guys who are listening to me take notes on these interviews because you’re high achievers, and because often you will email me your notes. I don’t want to be just the only one to see it. Put it in the comments, let’s try it with this interview and see if maybe this is something we can start building on. In the comments tell me one thing you got out of this interview. Say it in any way you want. And second, if you want to follow up here’s a great place to do it. The book is called “The Miracle Morning.” I didn’t even get into all the hot topics in here. I’m going to suggest one that we didn’t cover which is how to wake up early. I know a lot of you want to start your days properly and that’s a really good section of the book I’m looking forward to. Did you say you get up at 5:00 a.m. or am I just remembering that?
Hal: No I really say you can up whenever you want. I share – that was when my first day of waking up earlier than I had to – you know, most people wake because they have to and they resist waking up and they do the button and they create this energy of “I don’t want to wake up,” which to me is a really negative energy. It’s like “I don’t want to wake up and live my life and create the results that I say that I want. I’d rather lay unconscious for a few more minutes.” So anyway, that’s another conversation, but, no, so my first time was I was waking up at 6:00 am because I had to for work, and I was like, “If I want to change my life I’ve got to do something different. I’m going to start waking up at 5:00 a.m and working on myself every morning for an hour, from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m., an hour of personal development, meditation, affirmations, visualization, journaling, exercise, reading, you name it. All the practices that we’ve all been told over the years by all the experts and self-help gurus and authors: these will change your life, any one of them will change your life. I put six of them into an hour and within two months I had doubled my income and everything had turned around, so, yeah, for me it was 5:00 a.m. and it was so good, by the way, that after a week of it I wanted more. So I moved it to 4:00 a.m. and now I wake up at 3:30.
Andrew: 3:30 today is when you woke up?
Hal: Actually, it’s funny, this is counter-intuitive to the book, but I snoozed. Today was a tough day. I snoozed until 4:00.
Andrew: You lazy sack of [??]. 4:00 a.m.? Alright, I always say if you got anything of value out of these interviews, also find a way to say “thank you” to the interviewee, You’re not just looking to sit back and be entertained with Mixergy. You want to use it, and you also want to connect with the guests, and an easy, best way to do it is by just saying “thank you.” I was just thinking earlier in this interview how – I don’t know why this random thought came to me, but, how did I get Guy Kawasaki to do so many favors and help out with Mixergy so much? I thought, what did I start off with? Oh yeah, years ago I learned from his book and I built my first company with a lot of help from one of his first books. And I sent him a “thank you” email – it’s got to be in my inbox right now because I’ve kept the same inbox for years – and I just said “Hey, I got so much out of your book, thank you for putting it together and making it available to us.” And he responded, and since then he’s done a lot with Mixergy and I really appreciate it. So, all that’s to say, if you’ve got anything of value, find a way to say “thank you” to Hal, and also, if you’ve read the book just find a way to say “thank you” for the book and tell him what you’ve learned from it. I’m going to do it right now by thanking two people: you the viewer, thank you for being a part of Mixergy and helping me grow this and helping me even find guests the way that Dustin did, and also Hal. Thank you so much for doing this interview.
Hal: My pleasure, Andrew. Thank you so much man. It’s been a pleasure. I’ve been looking forward to this all week.
Andrew: Yeah. Thanks. Bye guys.