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Damon Pistulka, John Barrows, Curt Anderson
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Awesome everyone. I’m going to get us live on LinkedIn and then we are going to be rolling. Great to Great. See you all here today. We’re gonna do this do that.
Happy Friday guys.
Damon Pistulka 00:14
All right, everyone. Welcome once again to the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of your co hosts. I’m Damon Pistulka with me today. I’ve got the other co hosts in here. Partner in crime on the other side of the country for me today, Kurt Anderson. Take it away, Kurt.
Curt Anderson 00:32
Hey, guys, man, what an absolute honor and privilege may add like I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, guys. So Happy Friday. This is such an incredible honor and privilege. I want to welcome everybody we have our Alaska tribe. We’ve got Dan bigger said we started right on time. Our dear friend Mark Hill. So Mark Hill, thank you for this connection to your your your favorite cousin, Farrell. John. Welcome to the show, dude.
John Barrows 00:56
What’s up? Great. Hey, David. Hey, Mike, what’s going on brother?
Curt Anderson 01:00
Hey, this is this is super exciting guy. So first off, I’ve chopped John’s LinkedIn profile, his website and a killer video in the chatbox. Please feel free to follow you won’t be able to connect with John because he’s crazy connections. But John talk a little bit. So JB sales, sales guru talk a little bit about what you have going on. And then what I want to do is I want to go back in time to 22 year old John, when you started your sales journey, but tell everybody a little bit about what you have going on.
John Barrows 01:28
Yes. So right now and we can Yeah, we can kind of go back to how we got here. But I’m doing sales training. I’ve run a little sales training company here. It’s called JD sales. We’ve got about 10 people on staff, which is crazy to me, because I never thought I’d do anything more than just be my own little consultant here. But opportunity knocks you got to kind of run with it. Um, and we’re training some of the, you know, mostly the fast tech startups and some of the bigger tech companies out in San Francisco.
So Salesforce, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Box, Dropbox, pretty much all the tech companies, SAS mainly are the ones that were focused on. And we train them on prospecting negotiations, mostly techniques, right? So it’s not, not about this big long process are this, you know, gross roleplays that you have to go through. It’s super tactical stuff that you can put, you know, put in action immediately, which is what got me attracted to this training in the first place.
So having some fun, I’ll be honest, COVID was probably the best thing that could ever happen to me because I was on a plane, pretty much my entire life. I was I was 6000 miles away from a million mile mark, when everything on that. And that was just on United. That wasn’t on JetBlue that wasn’t on all the other ones. So I’m about 2 million miles in and about eight in less than eight years. If I never get on a plane for work again in my life, I’m gonna be psyched. So this to me, I got my new office set up my camera and everything and I’m going to be living life behind this camera for the rest. Rest. Wow. So I’m pretty happy about
Curt Anderson 02:47
that. That’s hysterical. You know what, and I caught I caught a podcast of yours. I’m gonna say it was like early 2020 rate before the COVID hit. And you were talking about how you’re intentionally transitioning, and maybe it was even 19 it was like COVID wasn’t quite here yet. You’re talking about how you’re trying to make that transition, you know, more virtual more digital, so and so far so.
So again, so I want to dig deep into a bunch of man, we have a ton to cover today. John, again, thank you for taking the time. I know you’re super busy. So I were a little shirt today for you guys. Dan bigger your favorite shirt. I want to be a manufacturer when I grew up, John, I wear this shirt frequently. And I wear this just for you because I believe you have an incredible book. And you wrote it with your daughter and Damon and I were both proud girl dad. Yeah. Yep. Like, can we see what’s the title of your book?
John Barrows 03:34
Yeah, same one. I want to be in sales when I grow up. I go. Yeah, so I wrote it wrote my daughter Charlotte’s probably about 343 years ago at this point. So the final project,
Curt Anderson 03:45
we have a bunch of girl dads, Dan, bigger has twins. We are Paul kishin. Jersey. Hello, Paul, you have twins. So again, all of us proud girl dads just completely admire I love what you did talk a little bit about that process with was Charlotte? Like, what inspired you to write that book with your daughter?
John Barrows 04:01
Yeah. So it’s funny, I appreciate you asking, you know, um, you know, I’ve been doing this for a while. And everybody’s always asked me, John, when you’re gonna write a book when you’re gonna read a book. And I’ve always kind of like, roll my eyes at it. Because first of all, I’m not much of a reader here. I went to a state school drank my way through four years of college. So I feel like it’d be a little bit of a hypocrite if I actually wrote a real book, right?
And also, like most books are like 80% fluff and 20% Decent. So what am I going to write about sales that hasn’t already been written? 1000 times and so I was also marrying that with Okay, well, how do I get my daughter a little bit more involved in what I do? Because I was gone so often. Yeah, I wanted to figure out a way to get her involved and at least understand what Daddy was doing.
And I don’t know about you guys, but trying to explain to a five six year old kid what you do when you’re in sales, like kids know what doctors are, they know what police officers are, they know what all those things are. But when you tell your kid you’re in sales, they kind of look at you like, wow, like so. So I figured this would be Good marriage of the two little project for us to work on.
And it married up with a lot of different things too, because I fundamentally believe that sales is the greatest profession in the world when done right. But it’s the worst when done wrong. Yeah. And problem is, is it sales is the default profession, like most of us go to school to get a degree in whatever we think we want to be when we grow up right at 18 years old, which is absurd to ask an 18 year old kid, then we get out of school, and we realize either Oh, we don’t want to do this or be I can’t make enough money doing this.
So hey, I’m pretty good people, I heard you to make some money and say, let me try that out. Right. And our training is usually Hey, go follow that kid. You know what I mean? Or here’s a script. And so like, we stumble our way into it, and only a few people actually survive, because it’s that tough of a profession, right? And I think if we introduced it to kids, because no kid ever actually says this, no kid says this, right? And and I want them to so the three purposes here, one was to elevate the profession from the ground floor, like I’m doing my best to train kids after the fact almost like once they come out of school to give them the skills that they need. But I’m trying to get kids early.
The other thing was to get more women into sales, because I firmly believe that women are some of the best sales professionals yeah, I’ve ever come across in my entire life. And in the bro culture of sales needs to get up, out and all that stuff, but it’s got to stop. Yep. And then the third thing is 100% of the profits on this will go to charity. So I don’t make a dime on this. My daughter, actually, she does not want to be in sales when she goes up. She actually wants to be a veterinarian. So last year, we were able to get a check to the World Wildlife Fund for about $25,000 which is pretty damn cool.
Damon Pistulka 06:29
Nice. Nice. Wow. That is absolutely awesome.
Curt Anderson 06:36
Man. A lot of great comments going on in the chat box. We have our friends and yeah, we have indoor and gal gals a boy mom and so Greg Micheel another great girl, dad. So again, guys, thanks for joining us today. So if you’re just coming in late, John in Jersey, thanks for joining us, Jeremiah. Thank you, brother. You know, please follow John Barrows. 378,000 followers on LinkedIn, John dude, talk a little bit I it was a perfect segue. So you talked about, you know, you come out of college, what do we want to do?
You know, 2223 years old, you have a great video, I dropped a video in the chat box, and you talk a little bit in that video about like a 23 year old John, trying to figure out this whole sales thing. Talk about like, how did you fire up such a passion in sales? And then let’s go, what I’d like to do is go up to 2013, when you decided to, you know, hey, I’m doing my own gig. I’m going to start JB sales. Talk about that, that sales journey that you went through,
John Barrows 07:28
it was really an evolution, I think, like most of us, right, very few of us are the kind of the natural born and know exactly what we want to do type of thing for me. You know, I again, 18 years old going into college, one of the reasons I went to Maryland where I went was because they didn’t force me to declare my major until I was a junior, right. So at least gives me a couple more years to figure this shit out. And so, you know, and I went from I went, I did everything right. I my first major was actually art.
I was literally that was my first major. And I realized very quickly that I wasn’t good enough. And b i was gonna make any money doing that. So then I went into engineering failed out of that, that I went into science wrong. Right. And so I was like our marketing, because first of all, it’s pretty damn easy. And second of all, it was kind of like the business side, really, I’ve always been kind of driven not by money, but I’ve always wanted freedom. And freedom is, like I said, Money doesn’t buy happiness. But a sure ship is freedom and freedom. Yeah, but happiness in a lot of ways.
So, so I’ve always looked even when I was a kid, right? So so I kind of got into marketing. I’m like, alright, that’s art. That sign you know, there’s a few things involved here. Yeah, get out of school. But when I was looking at those jobs, I was like, Ah, I, you know, I don’t want to be the assistant to the assistant to the assistant making 30 G’s a year and then wait for my 2.5% merit raise to get to be the, you know what I mean? And like, Yeah, years later on the beat, so I’m like, I don’t like that.
And then the wall was so dwelt Black and Decker, they right next to you, Marilyn, they, they recruited pretty heavily out of it. And they had this new thing called the swarm team, which was they positioned it as sales, but it was really event marketing. And what it was was I just drove around a Dodge Ram pickup truck driven or given away free tools to construction workers. So I had to sell, but I didn’t have to sell buy, it was more along the lines that would go to your I would go to your construction site.
And I would say, hey, using the Makita drill, hey, why don’t you try the wall? And, you know, come back a couple weeks later, and if you’re cool, yeah, go buy some more of Home Depot have some fun with it. Like that was my job. It was awesome. But I was working 17 hours a day, seven days a week, right? Yeah, a year and a half into that. I’m like, Alright, I this is a little too much. That’s when I started and I got my real sales education, which was Xerox. So Xerox. You know, I didn’t love copiers or anything like that.
But it was an opportunity. And they defined solution selling back in the late 70s, early 80s. And so they had this eight week sales training program that you went through that was second to none. I didn’t know it at the time. I thought it would whatever. Okay, I’m working at Xerox. But after I went through that, I mean, Bo, you could sell copiers shit. You could sell pretty much anything out there for because talk about talking about selling a commodity, right? It’s like 45 pages of material 42 pages a minute. Yeah, right. But um, oh, and by the way, I sold to the government too.
So I couldn’t even negotiate on contract. My price is my price, right? So that’s where I learned solution. That’s where I learned, you know, relationship development and how to take rejection. And then I didn’t want to do that for very long. And that’s when I went off on my own. And my buddy had actually started a company doing outsourced IT services, and I was never a startup guy, but that was for those weirdos out in California. You know what I mean? I’m an East Coast kid. And I’m like, Nope, you know, put your head down. work your ass off. Yeah, a corporate job, be a VIP.
But and I’m not really a risk taker. I’m a calculated risk taker. I’m somebody who can kind of, you know, I need a landing. I’m not like my buddy was who live on my mom’s basement, you know, ramen noodles type, but that’s not me. But they had had enough. So I was the fourth man on board. And I was like that, that feels better to me. Because my both my parents and Mark noses both my parents were entrepreneurs, even though they really weren’t back then because nobody thought of it that way.
Right? My mom was a career career counselor started her own practice. My dad was a consultant for the FAA. So I had the I had engine, entrepreneur DNA, but I didn’t know it. And the scratch of me, like just working in corporate, I just didn’t fit and I just, I didn’t know why I didn’t fit. But I mean, you guys already probably no, I have zero filter. And I don’t play politics at all. Like, if I think you suck, I’m going to straight up tell you you suck.
I don’t care if you’re the CEO of $80 billion organization, if I think you’re incompetent, I have no problem saying that in a boardroom, whatever it is, and that obviously doesn’t play well in corporate world. So so that’s why I started with thrive. And, and I was taking training, and because I didn’t know what I was doing. I was 24. And so I was like, Ah, so I took every training you could take I took sailor Miller, Heiman, Taz spin all of it, right. And I came across this one company called Basho. And it was the first training that I loved because it was super tactical.
It wasn’t again, this roleplay this theory about selling it was here’s how to send an email, send an email, here’s how to make a phone call, make a phone call. So I use that to help grow Thrive up. And we ended up being the fastest growing company in Massachusetts for a few years in a row got us through about 85 employees and about 12 million in revenues. And then we sold off to Staples. So staples came and bought us and spent about a year through going through that transition and yeah, find out. I’m not a corporate guy. Right. This reconfirm that 100%. Right. So
Damon Pistulka 12:16
it happened again?
John Barrows 12:18
Well, after and after about a year, they offered me another position, which is they fired me. So yeah, I was looking for a job. And Basho came knocking said Johnny will be a trainer. I’m like, No, I don’t like they’re like, why not? I’m like, I don’t like trainers, right? And they’re like, why not? I’m like, because most trail sales trainers are failed sales professionals and professional presenters. I mean, you guys have been through the training, right? Where that guy’s wearing a suit. That’s like three sizes too big doing a roleplay.
That’s so unrealistic. Nobody would ever do that. And in bash, it was like, Don’t worry, you have to use these techniques to sell so you can train so you can get paid. And I was like, like the whole practice what you preach thing, right? Yeah, join them brought on some bigger cons, took over some of the bigger ones and then make a very long story short, they screwed it all up and took it over. And I took it over. So that’s why I went off on my own about seven years ago. But to your point of the Passion side of it, I don’t think I ever really, actually there is a point where I realized and it was when I got fired from Staples. There’s a big learning lesson for me.
Because I was freaked out. I was an IT sales professional for seven years. That’s what I was, I had no plan B I wasn’t looking at other options. I mean, I had built this company and I bled blue like I was the you know, rah rah guy and everything. Now I’m sitting there going like shit, what am I nit sales guy? Is that what I am? I’m like, gross. I don’t even like computers. Right? And so my wife is actually the one who helped me figure this out. And she’s like, well, let’s take a look back. Right? She goes, Why were you the top rep and every one of the jobs that you’ve had so far, she’s like, let’s look at the wall.
She was why was Why were you the top Well, rep in the region for the wall. I was like, I don’t know, the wall power tools are pretty badass. Like they’re, you know, I mean, like I like I like the wall power tools. They’re cool, right? So she’s like, alright, well, let’s look at Xerox. Why were you the best rep at Xerox and I was like, I don’t like copiers. But But I genuinely believed that Xerox copiers at the time were the best copiers in the industry. Right now Thrive my company. I didn’t care about computers. But I but I genuinely believe we were the best at what we did. And so all of a sudden, it opened my eyes to realize wait a minute, it doesn’t matter what I sell.
It matters that I believe in what I sell. And that was the takeaway for me that I tell everybody I firmly believe that sales is the transfer of enthusiasm that if you believe in what you sell, it is so much easier to sell like if you don’t then by the way anybody out there listening right now if you don’t believe in what you sell, please get them out of this session. I because you are the ones who give us a bad name. If you’re just in this for a commission check if you’re just in this for you know for making cash and you genuinely don’t give a shit what the solution is. Please get out yet because you’re giving us a bad name. But if you’re wasting our time, right, man, this is the best profession out there.
Curt Anderson 15:00
Right? And your cousin Mark says, Amen, brother. And you’re getting applause from John and jersey. I know you’re speaking your language, John. So this is, man, this is so good. And here’s the irony with this whole situation, Damon, you know, when you look at the list of the companies, you mentioned, Google, Salesforce, zoom, Slack, Glassdoor, I mean, John, you’re working with a who’s who? Others, corporations, corporations, sales companies. And the thing is, I could be here all day talking like with your testimonials, and whatever.
But I found an awesome video testimonial from Salesforce in an executive from Salesforce says, there’s not a business development person that goes through our company, without going through John Barrows training first. And I’m like, that is so powerful to hear that from a Salesforce. And then she continues, John is part of our culture.
So it’s such an irony that, you know, you’re like the anti corporate guy. However, you’re a great human behavior guy, you understand people, you are deeply passionate about helping folks succeed and helping folks move the needle, and believe, like you said, they believe in the product or the service, and you shine that light and bring that out in them. So let’s, let’s tie into that. So it’s 2013 you draw on your own, you’re your your own shingle, man, it’s time to get the party started. What was how did that feel entrepreneurship, starting your own journey? Talk a little bit of various shit.
John Barrows 16:21
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, and this goes back to me being, you know, I think one of my biggest, you know, people say, what are your strengths and weaknesses and those types of things. And I’m definitely not the smartest cat out there by any stretch of the imagination, right. But I think one of the biggest skills that I’ve been blessed with is I have a very opportunistic lens, in the sense that I can I can look at a scenario and within two or three data points, I can usually make a pretty good decision.
I Don’t overanalyze anything, right. So as you know, I’ve gotten in trouble sometimes. But for the most part, I’m pretty good at it. And what had happened was when we went out, let’s go back to when I when we got fire to Basho. So it was 2007. The economy was doing this, everything was bad. A new CEO came in, we knew things weren’t going great, right. But we figured, okay, well, at least we can chug through this. And you know, we’re in sales, we can figure this out with salary through this crap, right. I mean, we do sales training and a down market should be Yeah, decent.
But, but the way that the company was structured, it was It wasn’t really working. So one day the new CEO came in, and when I’m not joking on this, he walks in the door, and there’s about 20 of us there. When he’s like, Alright, that’s it, party’s over. And we’re like, what? And he’s like, that’s it. We’re done. And we’re like, damn it. All right, you know, so we get it. So what’s the transition here? And he’s like, I don’t think you heard me. Here’s a check. Here’s a box, pack your shit and get out. And we were like, all I know. Yeah. I’m not exaggerating on this. I’m like, wait, like right now.
He’s like, get out. Right? So I literally,
John Barrows 17:55
I grabbed my and I vividly remember this, I grabbed my check. I ran to the bank, because I want to be the first one to get Yeah, any cash left, right. So I I sprinted to the bank around the corner, I cashed that check. And then I came back, and everybody else was a zombie, right? Like, oh, my God, and, and kind of doing and I’m actually working on this keynote. Now I’ve stopped doing what you’re supposed to do, like so many people just kind of do what they’re supposed to do, right? So what do you do when you get fired?
Oh, my God, I have to update my resume, I have to go, I don’t have benefits anymore. I’m freaked out about this, all this stuff. And I’m sitting there going, Wait a minute. This guy has walked in what he didn’t do. He didn’t. He didn’t tank the company. He he was working on a software that was that was supporting the training. And so what he wanted to do was, and he had it because it was a new CEO. He wasn’t the original founder, he could care less about the training, he wanted the software. And I knew that. And so he, what he did was he just shaved off the entire training part of the organization went all in on the software.
And so I sat there and looked at it and said, huh, this guy’s walking away from what used to be a $3 million business with an insane client list that anybody would die for. And a product that everybody loves. And a revenue stream that’s already there. Because he had he had we have signed these big contracts with Gartner, Forrester and all these and like usually back then what it was just like, we signed a $200,000 contract, it was 50% deposit, 50% receivable. So he had gotten all these deposits from these companies. And I knew he wasn’t going to give them their money back. And he had just fired all the trainers.
So I’m sitting there I’m like, so I said, guys who’s coming with me, I went back to my house, I literally said, Everybody come back to my house all 10 all the time, the trainers and the reps total. And I said guys who’s coming with me, I’m like, This guy literally is leaving a $3 million business on the site. Nobody gets to start a business with an immediate stream pointless that people love and in, you know, in clients that are insane, so I’m like, Holy shit, and only two guys came with me. They were the two trainers, they because we had already kind of had a book of business and we knew the revenue was coming.
So it was just the three of us. We fired one of them because the guy was weird. Um, and so the two of went to to the CEO and said, Well, I kind of went to the CEO and said, Hey, look, here’s the deal. You just fired everybody here, there’s a whole bunch of deposits out there that I know you aren’t going to get back. And you don’t have any trainers to do it. So you’re going to either get sued by some really big companies. And by the way, if you’re trying to sell your little stupid software to them, and you don’t give them the training, or their money back, there’s not a shot in hell.
So why don’t we do this, I’ll start a separate company. I’ll go deliver on your training, you keep the deposits, I’ll keep the receivables and then I’ll pay you a residual moving forward, and everybody’s good. How’s that? He’s, like, make sense, done. I’m like, Shit, I got a company. Like, man, this other guy was like, Alright, what do we do here? So we like fired up a company. And this goes back to my networking days to like, I had done a ton like business networking International, early days, it was when I was in my first few companies.
I mean, I network like you, like you read about, I would go to every networking event, I would go to every networking group, I would share leads, I was the givers game, you know, all that stuff. And my whole mentality was give, give, give, give, give. And when I tell kids today that if they don’t network, and if they don’t do stuff, like these types of things, they’re missing out. Because those relationships, they might not short term bear fruit, long term, they absolutely will. Yeah. Because when I needed to start a company, all I did was Hey, buddy, I need a website done, John, no problem, I’ll take care of it. Hey, I need an accountant. John, I’ll give you six months free.
I need a payroll done, John, I’ll take care of you for the year. So like, in less than a week, I had a fully functioning company, and my business partner was like, Dude, what the shit? Like, how did you get all this stuff out? I’m like, yeah, it’s because of all the work that I had done previously, then I should have gone off on my own, because I had the clients that I wanted. And I didn’t need that other guy. But we kind of I put, I was scared to go off. I still was scared to be by myself, you know, I went with him.
All the red flags were there as far as him and I’d be not good business partners. And by the way, another tip for everybody out there thinking about business? Don’t ever start a business with somebody who does something similar to you. Okay, I beg you for that if you have two people to do the exact same role. You’re gonna do this eventually. You need somebody who’s sales, somebody who’s financing operations, or somebody who’s as something else. Because otherwise, I think I can do my job better than you, you think you can do my job better than me?
So we were two alpha sales guys, you know what I mean? Looking at each other, like, Oh, what the, you know what I mean? So, yeah, he had a different business model that he wanted, I wanted to do online. And so I ended up, you know, basically giving him the company after about three years, and then going off on my own about seven years ago. And that’s where so it wasn’t, it wasn’t as as scary as Oh, my God, I’m starting my own company from zero, which a lot of people try to do. So
Damon Pistulka 22:44
yeah. The thing that’s cool about this, oh, John, is you you saw, I mean, you, you saw a vision of what, at least tomorrow or the next quarter looked like or the next year look like and you just went back to vision. It’s like, I know where I’m going. I don’t know how to go there quite yet.
But I’m going. And because I see this as the best opportunity for me today. And that’s what so many people forget, is that, hey, you don’t need to know exactly where I’m going. I just need to go that next step and take it. Right. That’s the biggest thing. What’s the next step? And then take it don’t sit there and you know, in crap your pants thinking about the risk and all this other stuff? No, the next step, we’ll do it. Let’s
John Barrows 23:30
do it. Just yeah, if you fail, that’s fine. And I you know, I’m a huge Gary Vaynerchuk fan. Yeah. One of the things he always you know, he professes is, you know, he did this whole thing where he went to nursing homes and met with a whole bunch of people kind of towards the end of their life.
And he asked him questions, and he said, you know, that his big takeaway, obviously was, nobody at the end of their life ever says, Man, I wish I didn’t do that thing that I did. Everybody always says I wish I did do that. Right. So I’m never and I’m not going to be in that prison. I’m not going to go into nursing. But second of all, I’m not going to be that person. If I am in that nursing home being like, Man, I wish I had taken that chance. I wish I had done that. Yeah, just as I’m not leaving this world with any regrets. I’ll tell you that.
Damon Pistulka 24:11
Well, that’s awesome. Cuz you could be that guy in a nursing home with a little gleam in his eye gone I bet that guy lived.
Curt Anderson 24:19
Yeah, exactly. Oh Giant Man lots Okay, so we got your your watch and we could be here all day. So what I’d love to talk about now is you do high level trainings you do on Demand training. So again, guys, I dropped John’s LinkedIn profile his website in the chat box. I’m dropping it again.
Please follow John on LinkedIn. But what I love for you to share a little bit man you have the 12 your 12 guidelines know your principal guidelines and they and I know we don’t have time to go through you know album in a deep dive. I’d love to scratch the surface here because we have a lot of folks that are consultants are in manufacture we have my friend Jean Val. Hey guys. Happy Friday. Mike bird is here today, Kevin share a little bit about your 12 guiding principles with everybody.
John Barrows 25:03
Yeah, this is something that I came up with a while ago. I you know, I had read a book called Thinking Grow Rich. probably know it right? Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, I got to reread it because I forget where it talks about and I’ll put them in here, by the way. All right. Yeah. For me. I gotta, I gotta reread it here. Yeah, yeah. In there, he talked, I think there’s something in there where he talks about like values, like know your values, right. And I remember doing that early on, and I wrote down 12 Personal guidelines to success.
And they were, they were, you know, it was a good exercise. And I actually recommend everybody do that right now, like I said, I mean, that because COVID, I think, is an opportunity for all of us to reset. Yeah, and kind of look at things of what’s important to us. Now, like I said, again, going back to I think a lot of us were going through the motions for a while there and just kind of doing what we were doing. And and I think COVID Hopefully, the silver lining of it is it got a lot of people to reflect on what really is important, who really is important to them, work life balance, all that stuff.
So I think it’s a good opportunity now to reset your what your core values are. But I was able to put them down and what it what it did for me and I can go through a couple of them. But, you know, they’re like work, you know, people just like work hard and smart. Like people say always, you know, work smart, like, no, yes. But work your ass off. Like people ask me all the time, like, don’t what’s the secret to success? There’s no secret to success. I told you, I dropped my way through four years of college. I couldn’t pass a test right now if you ask me to. But I work my I will outwork you, I promise you that. I promise you that. Like there’s nobody that will all day. Right?
So that’s one of them. You know, what goes around comes around. I’m a big believer in that one, like, you know, so that you don’t try to screw somebody now. Because you know, for whatever reason, I promise, though, the universe is a weird way of bringing things back around to you. You know, find your passion or find something else to do people talk about, like, follow your passion. Wrong. I think that’s the worst advice you could give a kid coming out of college is follow your passion. If you told me to follow my passion, when I came out of college, I’d be a stoner artist on the side of the road. Like, you know what I mean, paint a stick figure for crying out loud, but But find your passion?
Yeah, find something else, you know, find it and then follow it. Right. So these are all things that that I used for myself. And what it did was it helps me make decisions. Yeah. So anytime I was looking at a an opportunity an employee to hire a client to work with, I would marry up my values with theirs and see if they matched. And if they did fantastic if they didn’t piss off. Because if you if we have shared core values, we can argue all day long about something but you and I are gonna We’re still gonna be able to go grab a beer afterwards. Right? Yeah, right. If we don’t have shared core values, man, we’re just gonna argue, right?
And that’s, by the way, if I macro this out right now, think why are we arguing right now as a society? We don’t share those core. It used to be an American Rally did Yeah. Wait left didn’t matter. You asked me what it was like to be an American back. Think about 911. Right. All of us it didn’t matter what color it didn’t matter what creed, you know, we all were like, because there was a core value that all this together. Now you have the right and the left. What’s there? What are the values of being an American? And they are so diverse. Right? Exactly why we’re yelling at each other and there’s no receipt anymore for people and having these kinds of conversations.
Curt Anderson 28:19
Yep. John I net Listen, when it really that I absolutely love and resonate is the your 1% Talk about the 1%. And like that is just and I know, you know, you hear I’ve heard it from other folks, but I feel you do a great job of like, really taking a deep dive in that share with everybody your 1%
John Barrows 28:35
Yeah, that I mean, that one came from the book raving fans, so raving fans by Ken Blanchard, right, he talks about know who you are, know what your customer expects from you, and then add 1% Every single day, right. And the whole concept of that is, you know, people I’ve heard people argue don’t focus on trying to get one person because then it’s demotivating. When you don’t get better. It’s like it’s a concept Shut up. Yeah. Great idea here is trying to I mean, you guys said it. It’s like, just trying to get better.
You know what I mean? Like, I mean, you had said this, Damon, it’s like, every day, I just try to get a little bit better than it was the day before. And if I can genuinely look at myself at the end of the day and say, John, were you better today than you were yesterday than I had a good day. If I wasn’t, then I gotta reset for tomorrow. Right? And I and this is across life. This isn’t just business this, if you are not evolving. You’re a dinosaur, you’re gonna die, you know, you’re gonna die a painful death here.
So it to me it’s just about constant evolution I give is the same thing when I give you know, I’m not going to too many weddings these days. But anytime I go to a wedding, My piece of advice to the to the couple getting married is always the same. And it’s always never make sure that today your wedding day is not the best day of your marriage. Right? Because so many people it is right. Think about it. The marriage. Oh my god, it’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. And I get these horses walking me down and pedals flying everywhere. And it’s, we’re in love. And then a week later, it’s like, and all of a sudden the relationship starts doing this right?
Yeah, the reason I married my wife because we weren’t perfect, right? You know, yeah, but we were better. Right? You were getting better. And that’s the whole thing about 1% Like, I constantly am trying to test different things I’m, you know, I’m analyzing different pieces of my mannerisms, my my talk track my weak words, my, my ability to, you know, do certain things, educate myself on stuff, just trying every day to get a little bit better. And do I do it every day? Absolutely not. Are there weeks where I don’t get better? 100%. But I have the mentality of getting back on track, right? Yeah,
Curt Anderson 30:30
that man, dude, that is so cool. I absolutely love that man. You would love our other John B. John McLean on New Jersey. He calls it he’s a great salesman, great product that he sells. He calls it hunt the relationship don’t hunt the sale, Hunt relationship. And I absolutely love what you’re saying there. You do. I also I absolutely love this. So we have a lot of folks on here. So we target you know, we speak to consultants, manufacturers. That’s what our stick is here on our program. And, you know, obviously COVID through manufacturers a huge, huge curveball, they relied on trade shows for years sales reps on the road. And as you all know, that all came to a screeching halt.
Now in your world with with SAS products, you know, they are digital savvy. You know, a lot of manufacturers, they’re Gen X, they’re baby boomers, they are not tech savvy. So this really hit them hard. Mm hmm. Sure. Little advice for like that manufacturer out there. Maybe that consultant that wasn’t real savvy on sales, they built a nice business, but this really threw them for a loop. What are some what some sales tips and advice that you would give these folks that relied on those trade shows for decades? You know?
John Barrows 31:35
Yeah, I mean, first, I think you need to reset of where, where are you in your career? And can you ride this out? Right? Because look, I’m gonna be dead honest, there’s plenty of people that are on the on the on the back nine, who can ride it out for the next three years based on the three, four or five years based on the relationships that they’ve developed and referrals? It’s going to be declining? There’s no question about it.
So if you’re at that stage, I don’t I honestly, I don’t think you need to freak out that much. You probably should try to figure out a couple of things here. But if you’re in this a little bit more for the longer haul here, you know what I mean? You got another 1020 years in your career, at least man, you better figure this stuff out. You better figure out video, you better figure out like all the tools that are out there. So one of the things is I recommend just grabbing some kids who who are Yeah, who are manufacturer reps who are newer in the space and seeing how they use technology.
I mean, there’s, there’s so many resources out there right now, it’s it is a little bit overwhelming, because of Like, who do you talk to? And what do you do? But, I mean, you can learn anything right now. And you can learn it overnight. All you got to do is care. Right? So, you know, one of the things for instance, you know, it still kills me that you know that people don’t turn on their videos when they have zoom calls. I don’t fundamentally understand that. Um, that’s it. So here’s actually, here’s some tips. Here’s some very tactical things. We used to be able to walk into your office. So Damon, I can look at your office, right? Like if I’m in your office right now.
You know, I can probably look around and say, oh, you know, you’re a fisherman. I fish too. You know, the old school crap. Um, we’d lost that ability right now. I don’t have that ability anymore. Right? That guess what, flip it over. Put stuff in your background that relates to people. Now you gotta you got to start doing other stuff. So for instance, right, there’s Jordan right there. Yeah. What’s up Chicago all day long. My brother even though I’m a Boston kid, I’m a I was a Jordan fan growing up, right. Um, you know, that’s tedy. Bruschi right there. The Patriots.
That’s yeah, you know that. Pete Rose about baseball, as you know, Wade Boggs, beer camp. Those are all things that if you guys see those, and you relate to those, you’re going to be like, Oh, Jordan fan. Oh, man. Yeah, Joe and Joe, you know, so now I’m building rapport different than I was before, right. So we have to start strategizing around these little nuance things. And also reading people. Here’s one for everybody. Um, and this one’s a website that I would highly recommend everybody here check out. It’s an I don’t I don’t get any money for this. By the way. It’s a it’s called Crystal nose.
And it’s not a drug site. So it’s crystal K, N, O Ws? What it is, it’s a DISC profile. So Kurt, so you and I are connected on LinkedIn, right? There’s a little Gmail plugin, or there’s a little chrome plug in where I can click on a button. It analyzes how you write and it tells me exactly how to sell to you so it gives me it gives me your DiSC Profile tells me what you like and don’t like, tells me what stresses you out how to interact with you at the various stages of the sales process. So before I meet you, Kurt, right before we meet virtually I put your name into crystal nose, right? It tells me everything about you because if I can adjust but there’s, there’s something out there, if any.
I’m a big fan of the psychology of sales, not necessarily any sales books or anything like that, because techniques and all that stuff. Those things come and go. It doesn’t come and go is how people buy. Yeah. And so there’s one book that I highly recommend everybody it’s called Influence by Robert Cialdini. It’s a book on it’s it’s a book on psychology. It’s not. It’s not sales, but it’s all directly related to sales, but there’s another one called neuro linguistic programming. So there’s a study out there called selling with NLP, the unfair advantage and whole idea there is there’s two types of words in the English language.
There’s sensory words and there’s digital Words. Digital words are words like analyze benefit capability, change that type of stuff. They do nothing to wake us up, but they make us sound intelligent, whereas sensory words connect with our senses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. And there’s three types of people, visuals talk fast, and they use their hands communicate. Auditory is a little bit slower paced, best way to sell to an auditory is over the phone. Because they want to talk, they send one or two line emails, kinesthetic, much more slower paced, much more active listeners, write detailed emails, but never want to talk.
And so if I can figure out your communication style, and I can adjust mine towards yours, you’re going to feel a little bit more comfortable with me. And I’m going to get you to open up a little bit more. So all these little things, the psychology of remote selling, and getting into other things like video selling with tools like video card, or like LinkedIn videos. I don’t know if anybody’s doing these right now. But LinkedIn video is about half of my pipeline. So you can go on credit, you and I are connected on LinkedIn right on your phone, and anybody can do that. You don’t have to pay a dime for it.
If you and I are connected, I can send you I can obviously type a message hey, Kurt, what’s going on? There’s another button on there, you hit a plus sign and it drops down and there’s a video icon there. You click on that video icon you flip the camera over and I can do a video. Hey, Kurt, what’s going on? Man? I’ve been following you a lot on LinkedIn, I noticed that you posted something recently about this. I wanted to reach out to you because actually we can support doing that. I thought it’d be worth the conversation. Man, give me a call back here.
That type of thing. Like I LinkedIn video has been out for over two years. I’ve been talking about LinkedIn video for two years. I get 300 emails a week in my inbox in my emails. Yeah. Emails, emails. Maybe one a week is video. Yeah. So now don’t get me wrong. Your audience has to be on LinkedIn. So some manufacturers might not be so but that’s where you used to like Vidyard. Right? Like, you know, it just it’s a free tool vi d, ya rd, you plug it in, you do a little video screen share something, send it off to somebody nice little personalized message there. Yeah, these are all things that we got to figure
Curt Anderson 36:56
out. Yeah. And, and this is a great misuse. Dude, you’re I think you’re reading my notes here. So John, I dropped again, I dropped an awesome video that John did retire early 2020. John, you talked about marketing, his content, sales, his contacts, and I just And again, I know I want to be respectful of your time. Gotta share a little bit about that statement right there. And how do you tie in? Or how do you know, for folks that are marketing on the marketing side? How do you marry those two?
John Barrows 37:24
Yeah, I stole this one from Gary Vee, too, right? He talks a lot. And he’s like, everybody talks about content is king content is king. He said fine. If content is king, then context is God. Right. And that, to me is marketing and sales. Yeah, marketing is content sales is context. If we as sales professionals are not putting any context around our content, we’re no different than marketing. So blasting out template emails, right?
Content, I don’t need a sales rep to do that. I got millions of tools that I could write automated email scripts to and let and let it fly. I don’t need to do that. Um, you know, demos, like holy shit. demos are the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Yeah, like, demo, literally. And here’s, here’s the dump, like, every demo is exactly the same. And I mean, exactly the same. I go through probably two or three weeks just because I want to stay up to date on stuff. And they all go like this. who joins us to a good time. First of all, if I pick up the phone for a scheduled call, don’t ask me.
Is it still a good time I pick up like, why would you give me that out? Like, Oh, I gotta go to the bathroom right now. Why don’t we push this to three o’clock right. Now what you should say is, hey, do you still have 30 minutes? Do you have a hard stop at 230? That type of thing. You want to know that? But this is this is a good time? Okay, well, a little bit of a 30 minute demo here that I like to go through with you. And if you have any questions as we go through it, just let me know. Okay. All right. And then they press play and they go through every can slide like they were badged for in boot camp. And they pause intermittently going, does that make sense?
Does that make sense? Does anybody ever said no to that question, by the way? Anybody ever been like, wow, what you just said they’re blue. Nobody ever says no to that they go home. But I still ask it right. And at the end of one of those piece of crap, canned demos, they always ask, they always give us this nice little parting gift. And by the way, here’s another tip for everybody. If you ever hear this word at the end of one of your demos, you know you’ve done a miserable job. And it’s word digest.
Damon Pistulka 39:05
I just Oh, yeah, that’s the you know, John,
John Barrows 39:08
I’m gonna need time to digest what you just told me right there. Let’s just circle back in a couple. If you hear that, stop and apologize to the person you just wasted that it is our time it is our job to help them digest the information. Yeah. So going back to context. So you got a 30 slide presentation. Nobody cares about all 30 slides. They care about the five of them that are most relevant to them. So context is what do you want to get out of today’s presentation? What’s going to help you make a decision here? What should I focus on?
All right, let me skip through all this crap and focus on that because that’s what’s going to help you differentiate. If you tell them everything, I don’t care how great everything is. It all gets averaged. Yeah, if you I like I wrote a blog post cold shoulder the 20% which is my fundamental belief, pick any product or service you own. I guarantee you you only use 10 to 20% of the functionality, whatever whatever that product or service Yeah, yeah, because of that. That’s all really people buy. They only buy the 10 to 20% that’s most relevant to them.
So what they wrote what that is, and then let’s sell to that. So context, take the marketing material before it hits my desk. Tell me why it’s important to me. When you do a presentation to me cut it in half and tell them in ask me what’s the most important part? All these pieces right social selling. Here’s an easy one, by the way, a small one for everybody on social selling. Here’s a nice little hack everybody can do, especially for Gen Xers and above like me who thought social selling was a joke when it first came out.
Yeah, like when social selling first came out. I was like, fantastic. Yet another thing I got to do to be successful in sales here fan, you know, add it to the list, right? And in the whole idea of tweeting, and posting and stuff was just stupid to me. But when I started looking at it as educating myself first, I should be educating myself on my industry, on my personas on my clients, right? So what I started doing was leveraging the social tools to learn and then sharing what I learned with my context, right? You don’t have to be the content creator on social you have to be the Content Curator.
That what when why, right. Hmm. So
Damon Pistulka 41:08
I’m just sitting here laughing because John, it’s it’s so funny. You know, you got the demo down to the tee on that one. is where my elevator pitch right? Yeah, she’s I still do
John Barrows 41:19
I still do my elevator pitch from Thrive networks, you ready for this one? Hi, this is John Barrows. With Thrive networks. We do outsourced IT support for small to midsize companies in the Boston area. And we take a really unique approach to manage your IT infrastructure by combining the best people and technology out to offer. We tie our Network Operation Center and our managed services to your environment.
So we can take care of all the small things on a proactive basis. When the engineers come on site, they can take care of the higher level more strategic initiatives. I’ll drive your business forward. I’d love to talk to you about your IT support needs. If you call me back at 617-529-7271. This is John Barrows with private networks. That was 20 years ago that I came up with that. I can still say it like
Curt Anderson 41:53
that is Yeah, awesome. Right? How would you do that? Five 400 times, you know, a week of yours. Alright, so let’s do this.
Damon Pistulka 42:01
I just thought
Curt Anderson 42:03
I caught you on a podcast where you dropped that digest. And I’m sitting here thinking alright, how many times someone has said that to me? I know I always use that excuse when I’m trying to get out of a phone call directly. Dude, I’ve thought about that. I had that on my list. I’m so glad you brought that up. So think about that, guys. We want to run a mission now to not end a phone call where someone tells us Yeah, that’s just that. That’s our new our new word crack. Giant. I want to wrap up your frequent rejection document. I just I thought that was so powerful. Can you just share that real quick with everybody?
John Barrows 42:34
Yeah, everybody has a Frequently Asked Questions document. I have a frequent objections document like, like the thing of objection handling. And this is a training that we do like it. There’s no rocket science to objection. You know, it’s just science. Write down an objection that you’re getting smoked on right now go into Google and do this revolutionary thing and type in best way to handle objections. There’s like a billion blogs about like different objection handling techniques. Find a couple that you like, you know what I mean, that you think resonate with you and then the next 10 times it comes up, do it this way, the next 10 times do with it that way.
See which one works better? Yeah. The Con, the thing about objection handling is I still find it hysterical that reps react to objections. Like, I guarantee you I could write down 10 objections that all of us get all the time. We don’t have any budget for this. It’s not a priority for us right now. Send me information. I’m, you know what, you name it, whatever. Like they’re all there, right? But yet every time we get them, it’s like, oh my god, this is the first time I’ve ever heard this. Let me figure out what to say in the moment. Like, I know exactly what the objections are walking into a scenario like I’m like, Alright, I’m about to meet with your with Kurt.
Um, at this stage of the sales process. I’m up against three other competitors. I know I’m the highest price so I’m he’s probably going to push me back on price. What’s my approach to this going to be? Right? And I’m going to, I’m going to eat a preemptively address it so you don’t have that objection. I’m going to say it before you do. Or I’m going to clarify. Hey, Kurt, you’re going to tell me Oh, John, we don’t have the budget for this. Well, Kurt helped me understand that a little bit. Like what do you mean, you don’t have the budget? You mean, this isn’t a budgeted thing?
Or you literally have no money as a business? Or it’s just not budgeted right now, like help me understand what his budget mean for you, right? Yeah, John, this risky? Well, uh, Damon, could you help me understand what does risk mean to you? Hmm, you know, like, these are all things like so I have I have here’s all my objections. And here’s the best response I have to each of them now. Do I go by a script and say oh, you said that this No, but at least I haven’t back here to be like this is the one I’m probably going to use on this one.
Damon Pistulka 44:28
Yeah, kind of great advice. Great advice. Yeah, okay, sorry. I said here they just like literally this is one of those we could have a three hour conversation still be laughing at the end dude. So much fun.
Curt Anderson 44:41
This is just phenomenal. So I guess so what I dropped John’s LinkedIn profile again. John talked a little bit we’re gonna wrap up I keep saying I think this is the third time I’ve said it. We’re gonna close out I promise on this. share with everybody how to reach out to you talk about your you have On Demand training. Guys, you just got a little little sliver, just a taste of John Barrows expertise. Just bombshell after bombshell has just been out so much value so much help for us, John, talk a little bit about your training what people can expect going through your training process.
John Barrows 45:15
Yeah, so I appreciate that. So I just dropped something in there that something we’re doing next week as a matter of fact, so we’re doing a workshop next week, it’s December 7, this is going to give you like three hours of straight fire, like tactical stuff mostly focused on prospecting. So we’re going to be prospecting, social selling personal branding, and those type of things. And they’re going to get access to all of our content. So we have a whole on demand platform that has literally everything we do.
It’s Netflix for sales, every program, every piece of content we have out there, you get access to that for a year. And I’m moving towards a different model. Next year, as far as I’m not going to be delivering face to like face to face personalized training for each client, I’m now going to an open model. So I’m going to be running standing trainings, live open trainings, the first and the second week of every month, it’s gonna be 1000 bucks per person, but it gives you a year’s access to all of our content plus weekly amas plus my live sessions. And if you join that on the seventh for 365 bucks, you get the full year of 1000 bucks with my live training as well.
So that’s one way there’s also if you just hit us up on YouTube, LinkedIn, I mean, we get with the amount of content that we put out there for free is bananas. So you can also you don’t have to pay a dime for half the stuff we put out there. So we’re actually 90% of the stuff that we put out there so easy and by the way, if anybody want I’ll put this in here the fastest way if anybody wants any free consulting from me, hit me up on Instagram. My Instagram handles John M as in Michael Barrows. That’s where I do one of my all my one on one consulting and coaching for reps and stuff like that. So anybody can hit me up there as well.
Curt Anderson 46:49
Awesome. And then you also have Make It Happen Mondays, right podcast podcast, flirting with 250 episodes. So I absolutely love that make it happen. That’s your Yeah, mine.
John Barrows 46:58
I we just had a we just had a million downloads. So I’m pretty psyched about oh, that’s cool.
Curt Anderson 47:03
Yeah. For you. And I love on your website active activate your greatness. So, guys, what we’re what we’re going to do is we’re going to wind down So John, first off, dude, man, you are a blessing, man. Thank you. Thank you. I have a page of notes here. That’s it, guys. I just I hope everybody just savor this just absorbed it. Just thank you for sharing your passion, your brilliance. Mark Hill, your your favorite cousin out there.
Thank you Mark for making this connection. You know, Mark is such a great dude, our friend in Chicago. So, John, thank you. Say hello to Charlotte. We wish you guys a wonderful holiday season. And guys, we’re going to close it out on that. So Damon, man, I can’t even I got to catch my breath after this one. So thank you, brother, man. This was this is just off the charts. Thank you. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 47:51
no doubt. Thanks. Thanks again, John. I’m gonna go off a LinkedIn live here, man. We have the comments of enrolling over here on LinkedIn live and I there is even streaming I’d had some trouble getting this going live and I had to restart it. And I think we’ve got 150 comments or something like that, because this is rolling. But thanks so much, everyone for late and watching us on LinkedIn live. Thanks, John for being here. today. We’re going off LinkedIn live or going back to the tables at remail. So we will be back again next week with another great guest but thanks so much today, John,
Curt Anderson 48:24
for stick around John, stick around and John will be at the tables and so guys, thanks. Have an awesome weekend. Go out and keep crushing it. Thank you guys.