Why “Covert Contracts” Kill Your Sales

In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Dr. Robert Glover explains what a covert contract is and why “nice guy syndrome” is killing your ability to get deals done.

Robert, an entrepreneur, writer, coach, public speaker and the author of three bestselling books. He is also recognized as the leading authority on tackling the “Nice Guy Syndrome”.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Dr. Robert Glover
Best-Selling Author and Psychology Guru

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Hi, my name is Will, and welcome to today's episode of the Salesman Podcast. On today's episode, we're going to be talking how covert contracts kill your sales effectiveness and today's guest is Dr. Robert Glover. Robert is a entrepreneur, writer, coach, and public speaker, and is the author of three bestselling books. Robert is recognised as the leading authority on nice guy syndrome, which I'm sure we're going to cover in this episode and with that, Robert, welcome to the show.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Well, thank you for the invitation.

 

The Recovering Nice Guy · [00:36] 

 

Will Barron:

You more than welcome, sir. Just before we click record, I've read all your books. I'm a huge fan. Is there a way to describe someone who was a nice guy, who had nice guy syndrome and now no longer, well, hopefully no longer suffers for it. You can diagnose me in this episode mate and give me some feedback. Is there a way to refer to someone who is through some of these pain points?

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Well, I refer to myself as a recovering nice guy because I started working on this stuff in myself before I knew it was nice guy syndrome, about 25 years ago. And what's interesting to me is that layers keep peeling off of this whole nice guy thing and mine show up mostly in relationship, but I see it in work and everywhere else as well. So what I found about any, I believe nice guy syndrome, a lot of it is due to maybe partly natural temperament and partly due who internalised conditioning in childhood.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

So that means is pretty deep into our emotional operating system. So I've noticed that the anxiety or shame I tend to associate with nice guy syndrome still arises from time to time, but I notice it quicker, I can soothe myself, I can take action, I can move forward. So as I refer to myself as a recovering nice guy, if you like that term, you can use it, it just means that you notice this stuff a lot quicker, and it doesn't seem to take control of your life, especially in those unconscious hidden ways that you're not aware of what's driving the bus of your life.

 

What is The Nice Guy Syndrome and Are You Suffering From It? · [02:01] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay. So I want to get into covert contracts. I mean, this is really valuable for the salespeople listening to this. I used to do this and put my prospects on a pedestal. I would have covert contracts with these individuals that they didn't know about. We'll touch on that in a second, but we've mentioned nice guy syndrome here. Can you give us a definition of what it is and I guess how we would know. Is there a test? Is there a way to know whether we are afflicted with it myself and the listeners right now?

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. Nice guy syndrome, and I'm going to reference this primarily towards men, because that's what my book was written towards, but it also affects women as well. There's lots of nice girls out there. And my view of the nice guy is that at a very early age, as a person that internalised an inaccurate belief about themselves in the world and that inaccurate belief is that if I want to be loved and liked to get my needs met, I have to become what I think other people want me to be, because I'm not okay just as I am. And I have to hide anything about me that might trigger or get a negative response from other people.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

So nice guys then are out there trying to be good, trying to please people, trying to avoid conflict, trying to look like a decent human being, they're generous, they're giving, they're caring and all thinking that will get them loved, it'll make them be liked, it'll help them get their needs met. And that's what will tee up into the covert contracts that you mentioned.

 

Covert Contracts: The Relationship Killer · [03:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. And the audience will be going, “Okay.” I get tonnes of negative responses from potential customers all day every day. Now hopefully it shouldn't be as dire as that, if you're selling the right product to the right person, but salespeople are getting rejected and conflict is part of sales. We need to negotiate, we need to balance value, we need to adjust our offerings based on price, we need to go by and forth. So conflict in a positive sense as in there'll be conflict with a positive outcome is part of sales as well. So hopefully there's a couple of 10,000 sales people listening right now who are nodding, along as we go through this Robert. Can you give us a definition then of what a covert contract is? Because I think this is like a part of nice guy syndrome, right? But I think this specific slither of it is incredibly important for the audience.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Well, let's tee that up of what the covert contract is, let's see up where, where it came from. And I used to think for many years of my life that, oh, I could never be a salesman, mainly because I hate being rejected. I want everybody to like me. I want everybody to have a positive response to me. I don't know how people get up every day and get rejected time, after time, after time. Now, ironically, these days when people ask me what I do, my doctorate is in marriage and family therapy, but I'm not in private practise anymore. I don't necessarily do marriage and family therapy anymore. I've written some books. I'm an online university, I do consultation, I lead seminars and workshops, but if I have to tell them, if I'm to boil it all down, I'm an online marketer.

 

“Most of the nice guy syndrome is emotional beliefs we internalised at a very young age, maybe three weeks old, three months old, three years old.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [05:40]

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And here I am being a salesman and so backing up to the covert contract and I know a lot of people have told me that's one of the most powerful dynamics they got out of the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy is this concept of covert contracts. And I know it resonated for me. It gives me clarity of certain unconscious patterns in my life that don't serve me and don't help me get what I want, but to back it up, a lot of the people I work with as children and again, most of the nice guy syndrome is emotional beliefs we internalised at a very young age, maybe three weeks old, three months old, three years old. Before our rational thinking mind was online, our survival brain was working, our amygdala, the fight flight freeze, part of our really old ancient brain. And this part of the brain controls just life functioning, heart rate, breathing.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And it keeps us alive. And that was the most evolved part of our brain online when we were born. And it stores up emotional memory of early experiences. Now, not in words, not in pictures, but just in emotion. So it's really very primal inside of us. So at a very early age, a lot of children for one reason or another, before they were thinking about it rationally internalised the belief I'm bad for having needs or is wrong for me to have needs or my needs put burden on other people or everybody else's needs are more important than mine or other people's needs come before mine. And these are all emotional belief systems that we then later put words to or create stories for and then start manifesting in our life. Now he here is the hitch, the problem. We all have needs and we have to get our needs met.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And when we were little children, we were completely and entirely dependent on the big people in our lives, our parents, our caregivers, to recognise our needs and to meet those in a timely judicious and hopefully consistent way. Now there's a great book out there, been around for a long time called The Road Less Travelled by Dr. M. Scott Peck. I've been told it's the best selling self-help book of all time. And he talks in there about when parents are meeting their own needs, are then attentive to their children's needs and respond to those needs in timely and judicious ways. And I add consistent to that, a child emotionally internalises the following beliefs about themselves. I'm valuable and lovable, my needs are important and the world is like my family, meaning, hey, everybody out there's going to value me and want to help me get my needs met just like it happened in my family.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Now, if our parents were not attentive and did not respond to our needs in timely judicious and consistent ways, we internalise emotionally opposite beliefs. I'm not that important, I'm not valuable, I'm not lovable, my needs aren't important and the world's going to be just like my family. Nobody else is going to care about my needs either. Now again, we all have needs. We got to eat, we got to sleep, we need love, we need physical contact, we need sex, we need adventure, we need stimulation. Maslow came up with the whole hierarchy of needs that we have. So we have needs. So how do we get the needs met when we believe we're bad for having needs or that other people are going to get angry at us for having needs or that other people's needs are more important than ours? And so we have to do it in a secretive covert kind of way.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And that's the covert contracts and there are three of them. And I've really even honed these down further than what I wrote about in the book. But the three basic covert contracts of the nice guy or nice girl syndrome are number one. If I'm good, I will be liked and loved. So if I'm a good person if I'm generous, I'm caring, if I help people, I'll be liked and loved second. And this is really a really powerful one, and probably a lot of the salespeople listening will recognise it, if I meet other people's needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask. Now, of course it shows up in relationship, it shows up to strangers, it shows up in the workplace.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

We mind read for other people, we anticipate their needs, we try to do nice things, we build rapport, we do whatever it is we think we need to do so that they will inclined to read our minds and give us what we need without us ever having to ask, because we feel like that would make us a bad person. Now, again, I assume most salespeople have gotten over that to some degree and learned to make a close because if there is no close, there is no sale. And we can't wait for the other person to close the deal. And then the third covert contract is that if I do everything right, I will have a smooth problem free life. And of course this world is not smooth and problem free. We're living in a time of pandemic. You know. There's always chaos and business and sales is not and problem free.

 

“In a nutshell, these are the three covert contracts. If I'm good, I'll be liked and loved. Number two, if I meet other people's needs without them having to ask, they will meet my needs without me having to ask. And number three, if I do everything right, nothing will ever go wrong. I'll have a smooth problem free life” – Dr. Robert Glover · [11:17] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Like you said, there's negotiation, there's conflict, there's dealing with customers, there's dealing with your sales manager, your company gives you, okay, here's the formula in which we'll compensate you for your sales. And then you go out and kick ass and you do so damn well at it, the company goes, “We're going to revise that compensation schedule.” And all of a sudden, you're not making as much money. You go, “What the fuck? That's not fair. It shouldn't happen that way.” But that is life. We think I was doing it right. Everything should keep going the way I expected it to. So those in a nutshell are the three core over contracts. If I'm good, I'll be liked and loved. If I meet other people's needs without them having to ask, they will meet my needs without me having to ask. And number three, if I do everything right, nothing will ever go wrong. I'll have a smooth problem free life

 

Will Barron:

As someone who's fell into this, Robert, right? And then now interviewed 800 odd people, trained thousands of salespeople, done thousands of consulting calls with salespeople and sales leadership, it's now intently obvious to me that we live in a world of evidence that none of that is true. Almost the opposite of this is true, almost verbatim, right? Of bad people have success, which not all the time, but there was evidence of that out that you could see that in many places, this idea, and I love the way that you say this one of, if I meet the needs of other people without asking, they'll meet my needs without asking, and then you add the layer on top of well, if they can read your mind. So that makes that obvious. There's no logic behind that whatsoever.

 

Will Barron:

Even like my partner, Emily right? She knows me much better than probably anyone other than maybe my dad. Neither then to know what I'm thinking about most of the time, it's more obvious is that Emily doesn't know what I'm thinking about the random strangers that I'm prospecting or trying to do business with. So there seems to be a tonne of evidence there as well. And then if you do everything right, you have a smooth life, as soon as you get a layer deep in into that, and you look at some of the evidence, the logic things, we all understand inherently, it's common sense that the world is in flux. There's many things we can't control. Driving on the road, you use that as an example or a metaphor for this of all you could do is stay in your lane and perhaps maybe react to the people around you.

 

How to Overcome Your Nice Guy Belief System · [13:25] 

 

Will Barron:

Someone could easily just crash into the side of you just because they're having a bad day, they're on their phone or not paying attention. So the evidence of that, it's remarkable to that obviously in hindsight, isn't true, but how can we grow up? And I grew up as a young lad with nice guy syndrome, right? I fell into each of these buckets of covert contracts for decades until I was in my mid twenties when I started to read your book and then uncovered, started doing a bit of work on myself and uncovered some of this, how can we get so far through life? I know thy about 40, 50, 60 year old people listening to this right now are going, “Crap. I wished we would've heard this 20 years ago.”

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yes, I hear that a lot.

 

Will Barron:

How can we go so far through life with all the evidence that poses the opposite of this is still having these belief systems?

 

“Everybody has distorted emotional beliefs about themselves and the world because we internalised them when we were immature, dependent, needy, and undeveloped little children, and that's stored in such a deep part of our brain that it influences everything.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [14:49] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

That is such a good question. And it makes you wonder. And as I said, these belief systems are recorded in an emotional part of our brain that is wired into our rational brain, our prefrontal cortex, that makes decisions. And you would think that our rational prefrontal cortex would see right through these obviously distorted belief systems, but because they are emotional operating system trumps rational break every time. The unconscious is so powerful and is stored up in our body. I mean, it's deep. And we go through life with these emotional belief systems and everybody has them, not exactly these, but everybody has distorted emotional beliefs about themselves in the world because we internalised them when we were immature, dependent, needy, undeveloped little children, and that's stored in such a deep part of our brain, it influences everything.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Now how these stay embedded is that probably as much do anything through confirmation bias, is that you hear people talk about, “Well, those jerks over there, those bad people, don't be like your dad.” Or don't be like that person that did that thing and you keep thinking, well, I see if I'm good, if I'm just good, that's what people want. The value a because your confirmation bias ties into that. And so we find stories and experiences to confirm what we already emotionally hold to be true even when the majority of what we experience doesn't. I had a PhD in marriage and family therapy at 29 years old. I'm 66 now. I'm in my third marriage. And I often say, I bumbled my way through every relationship I've had.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And I think many of us do mainly because trying to do intimate parabonded long term, lifelong relationships is not in our DNA and there's not a particularly good instruction book for it, but we're all bringing those deep emotional belief systems about ourself and the world into any relationship, intimate, family, work, it doesn't matter, and trying to make it work. And therefore, we do tend to bumble our way through a lot of things.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And probably every salesman out there can look back a few years ago when you were operating from some kind of naive and untested, but deeply held emotional beliefs about yourself in the world. And you look back and you go, “Oh man, how did I ever survive? How did I ever make it in sales?” Because hopefully we all bump into something. We have a wake up call, a come to Jesus meeting, a crisis, a major failure, major loss.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

It could come from a lot of different things. And it's like, something helps us start reevaluating our emotional belief systems and our view of ourself in the world. For me, it was my second wife said, “I can't take you being a nice guy anymore. Everybody thinks you're such a great guy, but you don't always treat me well. You're passive aggressive, you could be mean, you can say hurtful things, you blow up at me.” And she said, “You've got to get to therapy, because I'm not going to live with this. I'm going to leave.” And I'm thinking, “Wait a minute, you're the one who needs to go to therapy. You're the one who's moody all the time, angry all the time, never available, never wants to have sex anymore, so up and down.” I'm going, “Okay, I'll go to…” I was a nice guy.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

“I'll go to therapy. I'll go find out why me being such a nice guy doesn't make you appreciate me more, it doesn't make you want to have sex with me more often.” And luckily I landed into some good places, a good men's programme, good men's group, a couple of good therapists along the way. And quickly started learning that my paradigm, my roadmap of the world that was operating at a deeply emotional level was faulty in so many ways.

 

“I think it's the fortunate person that has some sort of crisis, some major loss, some illness, some financial crisis, something that wakes us up and we go looking and hopefully find a more accurate paradigm for living in this world in ways that allow us to live up to our potential, get our needs met, have the things that we want.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [18:39] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

All the ways I hid myself, hid my needs, hid my wants, never asked for what I wanted, gained to get, avoided conflict, tried to please tried to external approval and validation. All those things just had a bright spotlight put on them and I started seeing where they came from and why they didn't work so well. And I think it's the fortunate person that has some sort of crisis, some big stick up side the head, some major loss, some illness, some financial crisis, something that wakes us up and we go looking and hopefully find a more accurate roadmap, a more accurate paradigm for living in this world in ways that allow us to live up to our potential, get our needs met, have the things that we want.

 

Will Barron:

Well, hopefully this episode of the show is a big stick whacking people on the head and will do a little bit of that motivation and paradigm changing for them. And with that Robert, I'd like to, if possible, go through each of these three covert contracts and see how it relates specifically to salespeople. I think it's relatively straightforward, but then I've read your book and I've worked on this. So maybe it's not as straightforward. Maybe for someone who's new to this, you can add a layer of common sense to this and speed up the process rather than me just whacking them over the head of a stick. Maybe you can [crosstalk 00:19:46].

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

We'll tag team them, right? You come out of from that side of the stick, I'll come from that side of the stick.

 

You Are Worthy of Being Liked Regardless of Whether or Not You’re a Good Person · [19:52] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, mate. So this first one, If I'm good, I'll be liked and loved. Now you are not saying here that the inverse of this is true, that if you are bad, people are going to like you and love you more. Tell me if I'm wrong, what you're saying is you can be liked and loved regardless. You are worth you of being liked and loved regardless if you be yourself. Explain that one for me.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. Let's take it. Cause they all the covert contracts have many layers to them. And so for example, my profession is mainly working with people and their relationship. So that's usually where I'm talking about covert contracts and for many of the nice guys I worked with that they were told, “Don't be like somebody.” Dad, the other bad men out there whatever. And so we're trying to be different then. So we create this model of what does it mean for me to be good, right? And we're the scorekeepers of that. We have a big scoreboard here in our home or in our office where we go, “Look, I helped that person out. Look, I did that for them. Look, I sacrificed myself to make that easier for them. Yeah. I was willing to give that up. I was willing to work that extra hours. I was willing to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And we think that makes us good. Now, all the covert contracts are an if then proposition. And one thing I didn't say is that usually we're unaware of the covert contract is covert and the everybody else out there is completely unaware of the covert contract. So where I see it a lot, for example, like with single men, they go, “I'm a good guy. I'm not like the jerks I hear women complain about. I do this, I do that. And then I go out and they don't even notice me. I don't even exist. They ignore me. Or they just put me in the friend zone and don't want to be my girlfriend, don't want to have sex with me.”

 

“Nice guys are typically terrible receivers. We don't give to ourselves very well, we give to everybody else first, and we don't accept other people giving to us very well.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [22:26] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Or married men will say, “I do this for my wife. I do that for my wife. I treat her better than her ex, I'm raising her kids, I do this.” And go, “But she's still upset all the time and never in a good mood and never wants to have sex.” And so there's this, I've done this, this should come back to me, and it ties into yes, a sense of deserving or worthy, but paradoxically, we don't believe we're worthy or deserving because here is one of the core flaws in the thinking. It's not really thinking. It's more of an emotional of covert contracts, is that nice guys are tip typically terrible receivers. And we don't give to ourself very well, we give to everybody else first, we don't accept other people giving to us very well.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

All the while, we're trying to get them to give to us because down to that core emotional belief is I'm bad for having needs, my needs aren't important, people will be angry at me if I have needs, their needs are more important. Excuse me. So I think she's right. Every woman I've had in my life has told me, “Robert, you're difficult to give to.” Okay. When you start hearing messages like that, “Robert, you're…” Your name isn't Robert. They say your name. You're difficult to give to, or I can never do anything for you, that's because it goes against our core belief of ourself and the world. People aren't supposed to be giving to me.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

So here's the thing, all the while we're doing this cover contract, if I'm good, you'll like me and love me and you'll sign the contract and you'll appreciate me, and you'll value me and all that stuff, to actually have the good things happen runs contrary to our belief about ourself and the world. So this is a core piece that we do have to go work on that it is okay, not only okay, it's essential that we get our needs met. And for me, that began with me doing good things for me. And an example was really early in my nice guy recovery, my wife and I were both in therapy. And I came to the realisation I was doing a lot of giving to get. And so I went on a one year, 12 month giving moratorium where I quit giving anything to anybody other than when my kids needed things. But I didn't give my wife gifts, I didn't give her mother's date cards, I didn't give her surprises.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And she knew that. So she was in because she didn't like all my covert contracts either. And so for a year, every time I had the impulse, oh my wife would like that or I could get that or that'd be a nice surprise, I had to stop, resist the urge and then I had to do something good for me. Right? That was the hitch. I then had to turn around and do something good for me. Now from that practise of doing that, and I've been doing have for 25 years, I've also learned to start practising asking people for what I want and saying, “Can you do this for me? Can you do this for me?” And then add to that when people offer to do things for me, I've learned to say yes and to let them. And just almost a trivial little example.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

My wife is Mexican and she grew up Mexican culture where she likes to do nice things for her man. And she likes to do things with me and she likes to just make my life better, which those are all good things. Right? And so I'll be taking a bag of garbage out from the kitchen, just going out the front door and got to open the front gate, put it out on the street. It's not difficult to take a bag of garbage out and put it on the street. But frequently my wife will say, “Do you need help?” And if I answer that rationally and go, “No, I don't need any help. This is a really simple task.” I'm just taking garbage from the kitchen, opening the front gate, put it on the front sidewalk.

 

“Practise making your needs a priority and doing good things for yourself. Now, you can't meet all of your own needs by yourself, so you have to surround yourself with people who want to help you get your needs met and you have to be clear with what you would like them to do to help them meet your needs. Don't make them guess.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [26:32]

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And so I used to say, “No, no, no, I got it. Don't worry.” Because I didn't want to burden her. Right? There's no reason why she would have to help me carry garbage out. I can. And then I realised, she wanted to help me and I wasn't letting her. And so those were the little cues I had to start picking up on. Let her help me. Say, “Sure, come help me take the garbage out.” And then we got to go take the garbage out together and have a little together time walking the garbage out to the street. But that's an important process, as small and trivial as that might seem is that it is part of how we recondition that emotional operating system. So practise making your needs a priority and doing good things for yourself. Now you can't meet all of your own needs by yourself. So you have to surround yourself with people who want to help you get your needs met and you have to be clear with them, what you would like them to do to help them meet your needs.

 

“When people are available to help you meet your needs, say yes, give them the opportunity. People find fulfilment in giving to other people. Don't rob other people of that fulfilment of giving to you. Practise saying yes.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [26:51] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Don't make them guess. And number three, when people are available to help you meet your needs, let them say yes. Give them the opportunity. People find fulfilment in giving to other people. Don't rob other people of that fulfilment of giving to you. Practise saying yes. And those three practises have been really powerful in my life to rewire that belief system that I'm bad for having needs or other people don't want to help me meet my needs or other people's needs are more important than me or people have a negative reaction if I have a need or ask for what I want. So that's where I would start with that first covert contract, is us actually working on our own belief system that it is not okay to have needs or to get them met.

 

Healthy Relationships Are Built When Two People Choose to Be Together · [27:40] 

 

Will Barron:

You mentioned The Road Less Travelled earlier on. One thing that I took away from that book when I maybe I read it like 10 years ago now, was that healthy relationships are when two people choose to be together and are happy to make that choice as opposed to unhealthy relationships. So when someone has a whole missing and the other person fills that a bit of the hole and perhaps vice versa. And it seems like what you're saying there Robert, fits practise of you don't need your wife to come and help you take out the trash. She doesn't need you to accept it, but you choose to do it and she wants to help, so you going to have a nice natter and a chat as you take the bins out. Am I in the right tracks with that?

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. And yeah, of course, well, when I worked as a marriage therapist and I did for 20 something years, couples would come to me and say, “We have this problem and this problem. We want you to help us save our marriage.” And I'd always tell them, “I have no goal of helping you save your marriage. What I will help you do is both grow up and become more mature adults and deal with whatever's getting in the way of you guys having what you want in the rela…” And I said, “Then if you guys decide you like hanging out with each other, you'll keep hanging out with each other. But as you grow into maturity and deal with some of your childhood defence mechanisms, survival mechanisms that are showing up in your relationship, you may decide you don't really like being with each other.”

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

“That's okay too. Then it'd probably be better that you don't hang out with each other. So trying to save your marriage is not a goal. Let's just help you guys just grow and become more mature. And in the process, if you like hanging out with each other, great, if you don't, great.” And that's a good mantra in anywhere in life and especially in the workplace, because here's the crazy thing. I don't know if it's crazy, but here's, reality is, as I said, I'm mainly trained as a relational therapist and focusing on people's intimate relationships, but just like everybody, co-creates a relationship with a partner that lets them live out their earliest, emotional beliefs, their earliest training and paradigm, we all co-create that, we find a person that lets us use the tools that are in our relationship toolbox that we created when we were three months old, three years old.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Because if we get with people that we can't use those tools, we don't know what to do. And so we invite people into our life to help us co-create really old relationship patterns and our partners doing the same. Now, the thing is we do that in the workplace as well. We find bosses, we find managers, we find companies, we find customers that all help us recreate our earliest life experiences. And here we are using these tools we developed as a kid and covert contracts are a really powerful set of tools in that childhood toolbox. So we get with our boss and our boss is triggering us in this way. So we start trying to manage that by avoiding the conflict or never doing anything that we would upset him or saying what we think he wants to hear or not telling him there's no way we can deliver on that product in the time they said they needed done by.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And so we, “Oh, no.” And then we just keep doing what we've done since childhood. So I believe that, for example, intimate relationships, because of the way they trigger all this really old emotion beliefs, they're really powerful, personal growth machines. I also believe that every relationship we have and work is often just as in a sense, intimate as the person we might live with because we're also recreating really old stuff with them, which means even how we relate to a coworker, our manager, the CEO, a customer, if we do it consciously and use it as an opportunity to grow and deal with our old paradigms, that's a powerful, personal growth machine. And so, for example, I teach guys about dating. I say, “Hey, when you approach dating don't approach dating, you're trying to get a woman to like you, or trying to get a girlfriend, or trying to get a woman to sleep with you, how about you just go out and you're using that experience to just challenge yourself and grow and work on skills and practise saying yes, and practise things you want to practise?”

 

“I believe, instead of approaching my customer like I’ve got to get them to buy, I’ve got to get them to sign the contract, how about we approach our customers from the point of view of what can I learn from this experience? How can I grow? How can I challenge myself? And the really ironic thing is when I teach men to approach dating in that way, they often quickly become highly successful at attracting women and having good experiences where in the past they weren't.” – Dr. Robert Glover  · [32:01] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Hey, we could approach sales in the exact same way. Instead of approaching my customer like I got to get them to buy, I got to get them to sign the contract, how about we approach our customers from the point of view, what can I learn from this experience? How can I grow? How can I challenge myself? How can I look at my covert contracts and stay aware when they tend to come up? And the really ironic thing is when I teach men to approach dating in that way, they often quickly become highly successful at attracting women and having good experiences where in the past they weren't.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

I think the same thing could happen in sales and business as well is when we let go of any attachment outcome, just say, “Hey, I'm just going to lean into something here. I'm going to practise something here. I'm going to get out of my comfort zone here. I'm going to watch how my anxiety comes up here, how my fears come up here and I'm just going to soothe myself and do it anyway and see what happens.” And what a beautiful template to take into how we interact with coworkers managers, customers.

 

Will Barron:

I'm glad you mentioned this earlier on, and you brought it back perfectly because I wrote it down a big letter there. I wanted to bring this back up, Robert, this paradox of when you don't soak up to your customers, when you treat them like a peer as opposed to someone who's got the wallets that's going to buy you that new car or whatever it is that you're aiming towards of your commissions and that side of things, when you don't stink of what we call commission breath, where you desperate to get a deal done.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Commission breath. I love that.

 

Will Barron:

Is that a new one for you?

 

“People can smell desperation. And the other thing I've been saying for years is our anxiety is contagious. If you're approaching a sale with a strong attachment to the outcome, like Buddha said, “Attachments are the cause of all suffering.” I add, it’s also the cause of all anxiety. So if you go into a sale like, “I’ve got to get this sale. I got to get them to sign. I’ve got to make it happen.” Not only are you going to suffer, your anxiety level will go up. And when your anxiety level goes up, you actually become less effective and your customer will sense your state of anxiety. They will then feel anxiety, not knowing why, and when people feel anxious, they don't want to sign on the dotted line.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [33:44]

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Well, there's the same kind of terms in the dating world that you stink of desperation and women customers doesn't matter. Doesn't matter the context, people can smell desperation. And the other thing is, I've been saying for years, our anxiety is contagious. If you're approaching a sale with a strong attachment outcome, the Buddha said, “Attachments are cause of all suffering.” I add is also the cause of all anxiety. So if you go, “I got to get this sale. I got to get them to sign. I got to make it happen.” Not only are you going to suffer, your anxiety level will go up. And when your anxiety level goes up, you actually become less effective and your customer will sense your state of anxiety. They will then feel anxiety, not know why, and when people feel anxious, they don't want to sign on the dotted line.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. We had a Harvard professor come on the show to talk about, it's not quite as simple as this, as Pop Science puts it out there, but this idea of mirror neurons of people have empathy against the emotions that you're feeling and subconsciously they all mirror that back to you. We debugged or debunked some of it, but some of it makes total sense. And especially when a lot of salespeople now doing this over a Zoom call rather than a telephone. A lot of these emotional triggers, a lot of these, the emotional intelligence to the person that you're engaging with, it comes across more over video than a call so it's even more impactful. And you can use it as a tool to push the buyer one way or the other way and not manipulate, but perhaps nudge their emotions.

 

Will Barron:

If they're having a crappy day, you come up all charming, happy, smiling, and full of good energy. You can nudge their emotions one way or another as well. But I love this idea of this paradox. And it's something that I try really hard for our training, Robert, to drill into the brains of our students, that you're there to provide a service, you're there to help people, if you start your call by going, “Oh, I'm so glad that you managed to speak with me. You found some time in your diary.” Or if you try and book a 30 second call to see if you're a good fit, as opposed to just saying, “Hey, it takes 10, 15 minutes for us to have an adult conversation about this.” You're immediately framing yourself up as bit of a loser in the space, right? If you are truly an expert on your product, your industry, if you truly have insights that are valuable for the customer, then you're going to approach the whole sales process differently.

 

Will Barron:

And this is what we teach. The analogy that I like to use is if… I don't know, one of the listeners calls me up and goes, “Hey, I've got a stock pick for you. You've got to buy this stock.” I'm going to go, “Okay, I hope you enjoy the show. I'm glad you're a fan.” I'm definitely not going to buy this thing. Warren Buffet calls up, he doesn't even need to have to introduce himself, I'd recognise his voice. And he just goes, “Hey, [inaudible 00:36:22] halfway buying a load of Coca-Cola. You should probably buy it as well.” I've got so much trust at distance in the way he framed the conversation as an expert, without begging me to jump in on the deal with him, I'm immediately going to do it. So that's how I try and set things up. And I love this idea of this paradox.

 

Will Barron:

And I'm glad you enjoyed the notion of commission breath, but I've got it with salespeople who ring me that they're so desperate to get people on the phone that it puts you off and it's counterintuitive. You've done the hardest bit. You've got the person on the phone, hopefully you've got the right product for the right person at the right time. And then you just [inaudible 00:36:56] the whole thing. Just the words you use, the framing of the conversation and even the language that's pre or post conversation as well to follow up. So with that said, I think that's relatively easy for the audience to understand. It's something that they know they've got to do. And maybe there's a confidence element to this, maybe there's a mindset shift they need to implement, but this final covert contract of if I do everything right, I'm going to… I'm paraphrasing it slightly what you said earlier.

 

Be Comfortable with Life Getting Uncomfortable · [37:24] 

 

Will Barron:

If I do everything right, I'm going to have a smooth and simple life. This is something that I think I still struggle with a little bit, because I know logically that's not true. I've got a degree in chemistry. I understand entropy. I understand chaos, right? I've read books on chaos theory, game theory, all these kind of things were like, it's demonstratable even just how irrational humans are. You know what I mean?

 

Will Barron:

And you're surrounded by billions of people on the planet, nevermind the environment and everything else that's shifted and constantly influx. But how do we… I feel like I've yet to accept this. I feel like I can just earn a little bit more money, I can buy a house a little bit further away from people and I can do this and I can do that. And I can try and mitigate some of the risks and the potential pains of life. How do I, or am I on the right tracker of how do I get to a point where I can flip a switch and be like, “Okay, I'm comfortable that life is uncomfortable.”

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

That's such a good question. I'm smiling through all of it, because me too. I'm still thinking how come she got mad at me? I did everything right. I didn't do anything wrong. She's mad at me. Or how come this… I bought this house here in Mexico, five and a half years ago. And I love my home. I'm in my home office right now. And I love it, got a swimming pool. It's just great. And Mexico's noisy. There's a bar across the street that three nights a week plays really bad live music till two in the morning. And it's like, “That shouldn't happen. I don't want that happening.” Dogs bark, places I've lived before make go, your rooster's crowing at two in the morning, neighbours playing their music loud.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And it's just like, there's this part of me, “That shouldn't be happening.” But I live in Mexico and it does happen. And I've looked at that and I'll get into my… I call it my wishful thinker. The corrupt government here instead of stealing all the money they take should actually come and repair the roads every now and then. And then I go, “Oh, well, that's not going to happen.” Government in Mexico's is corrupt at every level. The government is used to benefit the people in government, not the people being governed, but it's that part of me that says, “It shouldn't be that way. It shouldn't be that way.” And I think for me, it is almost childlike, almost Peter Panish.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

It's like hey, everything should be good in this world, everything should work well, everything should always work out, people should always treat each other nicely, people shouldn't be unconscious. And it is funny. My wife and I, we've learned to laugh at this. Early on it was actually a little bit of a conflict between us. My wife grew up eight out of 10 kids in poverty in Guadalajara, Mexico, an alcoholic father, being picked on, abused by family members, neighbours, family steals from family, neighbours steal from neighbours. That's just her worldview. And I grew up more of a white bread, suburban, lived on the suburb of Seattle, Washington. And everybody I grew up with, their dads were Boeing engineers and it is like my world experience is people sometimes go unconscious and do things not thinking about the consequences of it, but I don't think they're evil or bad.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

They're just unconscious. My wife thinks no, they're all evil. They're all [foreign language 00:41:16], as she would say, assholes. And so we'd have these arguments while driving, why did that person just cut us off? And she said, “Because they're [foreign language 00:41:24], they're an asshole. And I go, “Well, I think they were just unconscious. They just weren't paying attention.” And we both have kind of learned to laugh at our different worldviews. And I've adopted a little bit more of her worldview that there are bad people out there. There are people out there that consciously and willingly hurt other people and do bad things. And she's actually coming to understand, yeah, sometimes people just aren't paying attention. They're just unconscious. They're not thinking ahead about something or the consequences of their actions.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And so I think growing up is partly accepting, we do live in a world where there's evil, there's chaos, there's hurtful people doing hurtful things to other people. And we live in a world, as you said, just from a physical material point of view, that is ever changing. We have pandemics, we have viruses and the nature of a virus, I mean, viruses are the basis of all life, but yet here we are trying to kill a virus. And because we don't want life to be chaotic. We don't want grandma to die 30 days sooner than she was going to, and I'm not trying to be dismissive. I had a sister-in-law, passed away of COVID a year ago. And so, I mean, this stuff is real and it touches close to home. But the reality is, yeah, we have a worldwide pandemic.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

There's been many others in the history of this planet. There'll be many more. And as you watch the panic of peoples, people going, “This shouldn't be happening. This should be fixed right now. We shouldn't have to do this. We shouldn't have to wear masks. We shouldn't have to get vaccinated. We shouldn't have…” And I'm not trying to make a political point of anything about it other than it is still wired into our emotional operating system, life shouldn't be difficult, life shouldn't be hard. And even going back to Scott Peck, first paragraph of the book, The Road Less Travelled, goes something like this, life is difficult. And he says this is a truth. This is an important truth. One of the greatest truths, because once we accept that life is difficult, life ceases to be difficult because we're not fighting against it.

 

“We need to accept that life is going to be difficult, that life is going to be challenging. And I love the serenity prayer of the 12 Step Programme. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” There are things we can influence, there are things we have no power or control over, those are the things we learned to accept, surrender into and quit fighting.” – Dr. Robert Glover  · [43:49] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

I mean, he ripped off the Buddha for that, life is suffering and once we accept that life is suffering, we transmute it into joy. So it doesn't matter how you say it. Once we accept that life is going to be difficult, life is going to be challenging. And I love of the serenity prayer of the 12 Step Programme. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. There are things we can influence, there are things we have no power or control over. Those are the things we learned to accept, surrender into and quit fighting.

 

“If we can use life's difficulties and challenges, the losses, the setbacks, the disappointments, and embrace them as just part of our powerful, personal growth machine to grow us up and help us live in reality, that's how we begin to learn to surrender and embrace the things we can't change, that we can't control, that we wish weren't happening.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [44:39]

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

I can now sleep through the loud music from the bar till two in the morning. I mean, earplugs help, but I quit getting worked up about it now. It is what it is, and if I'm not worked up about it, I go to sleep. If I get I'll resentful and worked up about it keeps me awake all night long. And if we can use life's difficulties and challenges, the losses, the setbacks, the disappointments, and embrace them as just part of our powerful, personal growth machine to grow us up and help us live in reality, that's how we begin to learn to surrender and embrace the things we can't change, that we can't control, that we wish weren't happening.

 

Will Barron:

Robert, have you read the book… And I apologise for the audience about the language now, but The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. I was really sick four years ago. I had a tumour blocking my small intestine come to find out, but nobody could find it. And so I was sick for three plus months, lost over 30 pounds, went to doctors in Mexico, America, nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. That was one of the talk about things like this should not be happening to of me, that was one of the most challenging things in my life, to not be able to eat, to not be able to use the restroom, to be fatigued all the time, to lose over 30 pounds, to not know what was wrong, to know is this killing me? Am I just going to live with this forever? Is somebody going to find an answer to it? Man, I did a lot of surrendering, a lot of it accepting.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

But during that time, not only I take a lot of naps, I did a lot of reading. And people that asked me, “Robert, do you know Mark Manson? He mentions you in his book Models.” Which was the first book that he wrote. And I said, “Yeah, we've actually had an email exchange or two, but I don't know him personally.” But I'd never actually read at the book Models. And then of course Mark wrote The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. So during that time when I was dying, I read both of the books and I love his approach and finally found out in Models where he mentions me is in the epilogue, the very end of the book. He says that No More Mr. Nice Guy is probably the best book for men's emotional development out there. And I go, “Thank you, Mark.”

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

And then when he got famous with The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, and then people probably went back and read Models, that probably sold a lot of books for me. So I'm very grateful for Mark Manson. So yeah, his approach that yeah, we often give too many fucks about too many things that either aren't that important or that we don't have control over, it's another way of saying the serenity prayer. If I can do something about it, let me do it. If I can't, giving too many fucks about it doesn't serve me.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I love it. So I didn't know that, your story there, but it's amazing to see the feedback loop of content and insights that goes back around. Right? Because I was with Mark on the show maybe like two years ago I had him on the Salesman Podcast and I'd read the book, but I don't think it sunk in, right? I had a chat with him, really nice guy. I had a good chat. We ended up talking nothing to do with the book. We were just chatting all kinds of stuff. Right? Well, I revisited the book maybe about a month ago. Really enjoyed it even more so second time round. And just as you were saying then, this idea of, with this third covert contract of, if I do everything right, I'm going to have a smooth and simple life, Mark's idea of, well, you're going to give a fuck about something.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck · [47:54]

 

Will Barron:

And there's only so many fucks that you can give. So if you choose to give a fuck about things that are more useful and empowering to you, not having a simple, smooth, pleasant, Disney life is less of an issue because you just not focused on that and you can focus on something that's more valuable and fulfilling is a bit of a woo woo word, right? But there's an element of that we want to cultivate in our lives. And heck, if you've got dogs barking one day, but you get to live in Mexico and you got a pool the next day, give a fuck about that rather than the dogs and net you're going to win. Right?

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. We'll talk about woo woo for a minute. I've been practising gratitude for 20 plus years, where I just started just daily, just thinking of things for which I felt grateful. And I wake up every morning and just say thank you and feel grateful for a good night's sleep, for a comfortable bed, for the woman I wake up next to every morning, for air conditioning, for my pit bull Nala, for my health, just that I get to do stuff like this. I mean, I love my life, and having that as they say, and again, 12 Step Programme, the attitude of gratitude, yeah. Life is difficult. Life is suffering. Life is challenging. Life has like Mike Tyson says, everybody has a plan till you get hit in the face.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

We get hit in the face and it shatters our plan and we panic. But what if we could even be grateful for those punches in the mouth, for the being pummelling upside the side of our head? What if we begin to see loss, getting fired, losing a customer, losing a contract, getting sick? What if we started developing gratitude for those things and seeing the blessing and the gift and the lessons and the growth? And I mean, how many people listening to this, years back, struggled with something really difficult, really painful. And they were thinking the whole time, “I wish this wasn't happening to me. Why is this happening to me?” It might have been the loss of a relationship, breakup, it might have been a loss of a job.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

It might have been a personal illness, a loss of a loved one, a financial crisis. And they're going, “Why do I have to deal with this right now? This is difficult. I don't want to be here. This wasn't my plan.” When I was divorced in my late forties and went through some real big struggles. And as I approached 50, I thought about writing a book called Not Where I Thought I'd Be At 50. And I am glad for every one of those struggles I went through at that time in my life, because they've all helped give me a direction and a foundation and a mindset that's created the life I live right now, which I absolutely love. I love. And even like that near death experience four years ago, what a blessing it was, it rearranged.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

I mean, when I came out of surgery and woke up and first thing I woke up, I thought I'm alive, that was a plus. And then, but I also, it just hit me and I'm back. My mind was clear. I mean, I'm still under anaesthesia but I thought, “I'm back.” I don't have this fog, this thing I've been having for several months. I laid in my hospital bed that night and reorganised my business, how it's going to approach it, how I was going to just reorganise how I was going.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Most people are retiring at my age. It's like, I'm on fire because I almost died. Right? And it is those experiences, instead of saying, “Why is this happening to me?” We can say, “What can I learn from this? How is this going to take me down?” And your listeners probably have all had an experience that they did not enjoy going through and now they're grateful that they did because of the way it pointed them in a new direction, gave them clarity, gave them skills, gave them empathy from being able to relate to other people better and therefore be more effective sales person.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. So-

 

“If we can accept life being difficult, life ceases to be so difficult.” – Dr. Robert Glover · [52:10] 

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Yeah. If we can accept life being difficult, life ceases to be so difficult.

 

Will Barron:

I've never had a near death experience, but I've had plenty of crappy experiences right, on a few steps down from that. And what I find interesting is some of those tough times as crappy experiences, I now look back at them and it's hilarious. It's like it's a source of humans look back and go, “How stupid was I to do that?” Or remember this when this happened. And it was a pain in the ass. The boiler broken or I had a leak in the office and we had this and this, you look back and laugh about at all. And if you hadn't have gone through some tough times, you also don't the dynamics of the good times as well. There's no counter balance to them. And so they don't perhaps impact as much.

 

Parting Thoughts · [53:17]

 

Will Barron:

Well with that Robert, I'm conscious of timing, because you said before we click record, that we're probably going to speak for longer than what we plan to. We've already done it. And I'll rub the things in me because if we start on another train of thought, we're going to be speaking for another 45 minutes, which I'd be more than happy to, but I'm conscious of your time there mate. Tell us with that then where we can find out more about you, the training that you do online and the workshops and that and the online university. And then tell us a little bit about the books as well, in particular, No More Mr. Nice Guy is we've touched on that a bunch in this episode.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Sure. Yeah. Just I'm at drglover.com, D-R-G-L-O-V-E-R.com. If they Google Robert Glover, if they Google No More Mr. Nice Guy, I've got the top 10 spaces on both those pages, even beat out Alice Cooper's No More Mr. Nice Guy. So just go to drglover.com and it talks about my workshops, my seminars, my online university. I teach one online class. It's actually coming up. I don't know how if people are going to be listening to this in real time, but coming up soon called Nice Guys Don't Finish Last, They Rot In Middle Management, and this is the first online class I developed almost 20 years ago, and it's been popular ever since. And it applies the nice guy principles too, having the success we want in working career.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

So yeah, drglover.com and the books on Amazon and No More Mr. Nice Guy is my first book for anybody out there who are single. Second book is Dating Essentials For Men. Most recent book is Dating Essentials For Men, frequently asked questions. And what's interesting is my books on dating are actually really great for people in relationship and people in business because the skills I teach men in terms of dating, how to interact and get what they want, are actually great sales and marketing skills.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

I teach testing for interest, something that I call testing for interest. And I tell dating guys, this is the basis of all sales. And I teach the assumptive close, the man talking to a woman. Take out your phones. It's like, oh yeah, of course you're going to give me your number. You already start putting it in your phone before, you don't just go, “Can I have your number? Would you want to go out with me sometime?” And so the assumptive close is a powerful for sales tool. So yeah, that's me. So then you go to drglover.com and you'll find a link to everything,

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I'll link to all of that in the show note this episode over at salesman.org as well. And with that, Robert, I appreciate your time. I appreciate the insights. I appreciate you going through some trials and tribulations ups and downs and pains in your life so you can help support us young guns, right? With your knowledge and insights. I appreciate that mate. And I want to thank you again for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Dr. Robert Glover:

Well, thanks for invitation.

 

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