Make Selling Easier By Being Perceived As A LEADER

Jason Treu is a speaker, best-selling author and world-class executive coach. On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Jason explains what a “leader” is and how we can become one to make closing deals simpler.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Jason Treu
World-Class Executive Coach

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Do you want to know how you can secure a huge competitive advantage in B2B sales by becoming a leader in the eyes of your customers? Well, this episode is for you. Hello Sales Nation, I am Will Barron. Welcome to today's episode of the Salesman podcast. On today's show we have Jason Treu, he is the author of the best selling book Social Wealth, the how-to guide on building great business relationships. He is a leadership expert. That is exactly what we're talking about on today's show. So let's jump right in.

 

Defining a Leader From a Sales Perspective · [00:35]

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so we're going to talk about leadership. We're hopefully going to talk about teamwork at the end of the show, but first, what is a leader? Is there a definition of one? Is there traits that we should be aiming for if we want to up our leadership skills? And then we'll come on to why being a leader, why having leadership skills is useful in a sales role in a second.

 

Justin Treu:

Yeah, I think it's about the accountability of bringing out the potential in people and processes in an organisation. Because I think when you make yourself accountable, it's the highest level because it's not just a responsibility, you have to take ownership of this. You have to be proactive, you have to dig deep and you have a responsibility to do a considerable amount of work in the process. And not only just for the people and bringing out the best in them and helping them, I think, both personally and professionally because a lot of personal issues come up when I deal with my coaching that derails performance in a significant way but also processes.

 

Justin Treu:

Figuring out how do you set up group dynamics, how do you manage a meeting? How do you do one-on-ones with people? How do you build great teams? All that stuff goes into being a leader and you have to spend the time doing it and not do things, like I find a lot of people putting out fliers or trying to get too deep into the work. You've got to let your people actually execute it because you don't have the time then to be accountable to the people and processes because you're actually doing the work.

 

Do Great Salespeople Make Great Leaders? · [02:13] 

 

Will Barron:

So I promised Sales Nation we didn't prep too much before this interview, but if you were to take everything you said then, Jason, every time you said people and turn that into customer, you're essentially describing a great sales professional, right? Someone who can build a team within an account and build advocates and go back and forth and strategize, they've put processes and buying processes in place or purchasing processes from the other way around, they're accountable to the people or they're accountable to the customer. It's seamless how you describe that then of when we just swap these few words around. So does that instinctively then make good sales people? Do they tend to become great leaders as well?

 

Justin Treu:

They can be. I think that obviously sales is a significant part of any organisation. A lot of sales people are more extroverted, so I think that does help you in many ways relate to other people because of the social awareness that you can have in doing that. So I just think it's really more how you develop your skillsets and what you do with them over time. And then are you investing in your personal and professional development as you progress through your career? And I think that really probably depends on whether you're going to be a great leader than anything else.

 

Skills You Should Be Developing if You Want to Become a Leader · [03:36] 

 

Will Barron:

Let's get practical then on skillsets. What skillsets should we be learning, and to get super practical, we should read this book and do this course or talk to these people, what's the biggest bang for buck things we should be doing to increase our leadership level or skill?

 

“Your ability to relate to your own emotions and your emotional landscape are probably the biggest predictor of your success over any other single thing. Because your level of self-awareness and understanding what's going on internally inside of you will never be higher than your social awareness. The people that have higher self awareness, have higher social awareness, get the greatest results, and are the most successful leaders over the long term.” – Justin Treu · [04:11] 

 

Justin Treu:

And if you want to talk about a book, I love Brené Brown. I think her research is great. I think all her books are must reads for leaders. They're the only books that I give to every single one of my clients and recommend that they read because your ability to relate to your own emotions and your emotional landscape are probably the biggest predictor of your success over any other single thing because your level of self-awareness and understanding what's going on internally inside of you will never be higher than your social awareness. If the people that have higher self awareness have higher social awareness and get the greatest results and are the most successful leaders over the long term.

 

Justin Treu:

And what I mean by that, an easy example on how this can derail an entire team very quickly is I was dealing with a CEO a few months ago and he said to me, “I have a leadership problem on my team and they're just not performing as well.” So that's nothing unusual. So I went in and went to some of the people on the executive team and only had five minutes I spent with them and they basically said that this person is just not listening. They're not hearing, they're not paying attention. They're not really taking their feedback. And so then one of the things that I knew if I went to him is that he would take that feedback and just say, well, they don't get it They just don't understand what needs to be done in the process because his self-awareness was too far down and I could tell.

 

Justin Treu:

So I had to go in and ask questions about him growing up, and he grew up in a family of six people. And so he got the payoff by talking over other kids in the family so his parents would listen to him and then he would get positive feedback, and that happened in several instances. So what I found is that you have to show people these patterns, they have to see the patterns throughout their life really quickly, then take a look at it and I can confront the listening issue and saying, look, it's not them, it's you, and you not paying attention has now cost this company, the three years you've been here, they're a quarter billion dollar company, probably anywhere from 30 to 60 million dollars in performance, at least. And it's going to exacerbate it because you're not doing these things, and it's because you didn't see the patterns. And that's because your level of self-awareness was low and so your social awareness was low, and you're blaming them and thinking this when the reality is is all of them think the exact opposite.

 

Justin Treu:

So that really made an impact, and when I showed that it's hard to really refute that because an intellectual person sees the patterns, can put it all together and knows that the future outcome is going to be really poor if they don't make changes. So that awareness and understanding of the emotions that are going on by doing a few little tweaks, talking last in meetings, doing some other stuff, everything turned around in a couple of weeks where you can see a noticeable difference. But that's really where the difference is because the dynamics on the team completely changed. And then instead of telling them what to do, he was listening, taking feedback, [inaudible 00:07:20] went down actually and he got to focus on more strategic things.

 

Justin Treu:

So I think as a leader, that's a huge piece of the puzzle that goes on with people and these blind spots and patterns they can't see, they end up sabotaging their success if you're managing a team or even dealing with a customer too because you're not really looking at what you can do to necessarily help them because your agenda is trumping that because you can't tell the difference.

 

A Strategic Way of Telling People in Power That They’re Wrong · [07:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So I want to come back to self-awareness in a second. You've just done, and maybe unconscious, I don't know if you've ever though out this process, this mechanism, but you've just outlined a real strategic way to give people bad news. And you were using future pacing then, you were using the environment to not directly tell someone they were wrong, but you were using the environment to show them what could be changed. Do you have a process of telling people like CEOs, high-power professionals that they are wrong in a certain instance or how you would correct them? And the reason for this is I get questions regularly from Sales Nation asking I've got this customer, he's a complete idiot or she's a complete idiot, I don't know how to raise this up to them though because they do half of my commissions each year. I don't know how to change the scenario. So Jason, I know we're going slightly off the tracks here of the main conversation thread, but do you have a process of telling someone that they're wrong, that they need to change, that there's something they can improve upon?

 

Justin Treu:

Well, I think a lot of the conversations I'll have come down with people to be honest and transparent. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Or do you want to be right or do you want to be successful? There's two choices. And so if people are having an impasse, I say to them all the time, you have to practise empathy because I think when you put yourself in someone else's shoes, you start to understand why are they thinking the way that they are? What's the payoff for them to do this? What information are they lacking or where are they stuck in? Can you find some common ground to move them in? Is there a win in the situation that you can create for both sides? And I think you have to talk someone through whatever that challenge may be and try to give them some upside, paint a better picture, and saying to someone…

 

Justin Treu:

Because the instance with the CEO, if I went in and told him, look, you're messing up because you're not listening. Like I said before, I guarantee it wouldn't have worked. So what I did was I said, “Here's the payoff,” let's look at this intellectually and take a step back. If your team is telling you this, even if you are right, they will continue the behaviour and what's going to happen? Where you are today is going to happen tomorrow. So is that what you want to happen? And of course the answer was no. And I said, “Do you realise also there's a cost?” Even if you said yes, and I had to go through that. So sometimes you have to go and drill down and get into real specifics and find where people are pushing back and trying to find some middle ground on it.

 

“When you look at trust, it matters more about caring. Take people in your life that you're closest to, for example. You can deliver news and get into fights and then the next day you'll be back to where you were because they know that you care.” – Justin Treu · [10:42] 

 

Justin Treu:

And I think trying to be positive, trying to be helpful, showing people that you care is also really helpful in the process. Because I think the biggest… When you look at trust, it matters more about caring. It's like with people in your life that you're closest to or anyone listening to this, think about that. You can deliver news and get into fights and then the next day you'll be back to where you were because they know that you care. So it's essential in these situations that you set up situations where you care about people. So one of the things I would tell any salesperson with a client, a customer, is you need to get to know them on a deep, personal level. Do they have kids? Do they have family? What do they like doing? Because once they like you and they know that you care about them, you can argue and you can bring other information and you'll have significantly more latitude in the discussion.

 

Justin Treu:

The problem is when you get into relationships where you're at a neutral or at a deficit, then when you bring news like this, people are more entrenched because there's no payoff for them. The relationship doesn't mean near as much, So your ability to have those difficult conversations with them goes down because their willingness to have it isn't the same because they don't have the emotional investment in it. So I think you have to do that and show people that you care because even the CEO or the person I was showing you, he knew that I cared because I went to other people and asked them the question. And I told him in a conversation like, I want the best for you to do well So I'm looking at this as analytically and from every angle and doing this, this is the path forward. So he could tell I wasn't trying to do it to make him look bad, pick on him, win, be right.

 

Justin Treu:

So I think when you start doing those things, and empathy is the first step because then you start thinking in your head, how is that person thinking and feeling? You get out of your own agenda because a lot of times what happens, so you're sitting down there with a customer, you're thinking about what you're going to say when they're talking. You're not actually really engaged in listening to them. You're too worried about what you're going to say and your attack plan. So I think when you start doing things like that, you'll see a noticeable difference, but you need to set it up before the conversation by creating a deeper, personal connection with them so they actually care and there's more of an investment in what's happening. And that's what I see with more successful salespeople is that-

 

How to Show Your Prospects That You Care About Their Needs on a Cold Call · [13:09] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we… Sorry to interrupt, Jason, so this is a brilliant point, how do we frame up not necessarily when we've known someone for 12 months because clearly if you've been going back and forth it's obvious how to build a friendship with someone because most of us have had friends so we've experienced that before, but from an initial, not necessarily cold call but the first meeting perhaps, how do we set ourselves up as, and I'm writing this down as we go, someone that we have… How do we set it up so that we have empathy for that other individual, so that they know that we care about them, that they know that this all builds us up as a leader, as an advocate for them as opposed to a salesperson who's just trying to just take, take, take? Is there any way to set this up in a short amount of time that then we can go and prove that it's true versus trying to prove it because clearly that takes time and that's experience and that's just time in the trenches with the individual.

 

“Your mindset when going into any sales call should be one of adding value first and living in a world of abundance, so whether the call goes well or not, you want to add value and help them.” – Justin Treu · [14:13] 

 

Justin Treu:

Yeah. I think in the beginning of any conversation with people, I like to find out a little bit of personal information about them. I ask questions all the time of clients that I've just… I'm starting a conversation and literally have never met before. I'll always ask them, so just tell me what are you most excited about in your life right now outside of work? I like to get to know people when I'm having these conversations that I want to understand what makes them tick. Well, that immediately shows someone that you care because you know some information about them. I think secondly, if your mindset of going in into any sales call is I want to add value first and I live in a world of abundance, so whether this goes well or not, you want to tell people I want to add value and help you. And so tell me your challenges and if there's a way that I can help you, great. If there's a connection I can make for you.

 

Justin Treu:

So I think you have to go in there with that mindset beforehand and show people that it's not all about the sale and the deal. Obviously there's a level of taking and you're going to want to do that. So it's never going to be always giving, but I think if you can try to add more value to the organisation and what's going on and do your research and your homework on the people, I think that will end up in a much better place when you're having these conversations with people. And perhaps, you walk in and you give them a book or something like that. I'll often do that. I was out in LA last week with some people I was meeting and I brought books along for people that I thought would be interesting and everyone was really receptive and it immediately changed the conversation. $10 made an immediate impact on people because they knew that I cared about them. I was thinking ahead of time and I actually demonstrated with actual action, not just words.

 

Justin Treu:

So I think if you can find some stuff like that as you're dealing with people, even initially, you'll see these conversations taking a much different turn because that's not what most people would do. Most salespeople going in don't bring books or doing things like this that are different and that are meaningful and really good. So that shows you a different level of engagement from moment one.

 

Will Barron:

It seems like one or two simple questions would do a lot of this work for us. As you described then, of what gets you excited outside of work? I don't know if I could use that sentence specifically, but I've used sentences similar and I did a big ad deal for the podcast recently, which will be coming along, big corporate that we've never dealt with before. And this is interesting as it comes together as we talk on the show here, Jason, but that deal came about because we were chatting, they've got a podcast, they asked if I could help them. So yeah, I'll help anyone. I love podcasters. We've chatted about it before with your podcast as well before we click record here, I'll chat to anyone about podcasting, video casting, whatever it is. I just love chatting and interviewing people. That conversation led to then, well perhaps we could advertise our podcast slash media products on your podcasts.

 

Will Barron:

Fine, if that would work for you, we'll do the numbers and it was all very business and strategic. And again, I enjoy these conversations. I'm super analytical so I enjoy chatting about the backend data side of it all. And then, the deal isn't signed so I won't say the person's name just yet, the lady I did the deal with, she just mentioned that her degree was in biology, the biology of plants. I can't remember the scientific terminology for it. I've just launched a science podcast as like a side hustle to everything I'm doing with the Salesman podcast. I mentioned that to her, and we're on Skype video call, her face lit up and immediately we were best friends. It was as simple as that, the level of rapport went 500 foot deeper than it ever probably could have ever been when we were just talking analytically.

 

Becoming More Influential in Sales is About Becoming Better Conversationalists · [18:06] 

 

Will Barron:

And it was kind of a spur of the moment, a hint, then I grabbed hold of it and we talked about science for two hours. Talked about science for a good hour and a half on Skype. And then the business just came in, all the paperwork just came in on the back of it. We didn't even talk about business after that point. So it seems like not as part of a spiel, but as part of just our… Maybe we just need to become better conversationalists. Is that the answer? Then we can suss out some of this.

 

Justin Treu:

Part of it is, but the other part of it you said was really important too, that people probably don't really understand is that you have become an expert in doing podcasting and video casting and you've invested in yourself. And then your first thing is leading with sharing and giving and helping. So the problem is if you're a salesperson, there are many areas in business that you could invest in and get better by listening to a podcast, reading books, going to conferences and then immediately you have value to do that. And also how you get there is by doing it over a period of time, like you've been doing. You're always learning, you're curious, you're taking steps forward to hone your craft. And then as well as you learn about podcasting and video casting, you're learning about stuff that's tangential like SEO, like advertising.

 

Justin Treu:

So now your expertise in mastery level is starting here and it's now expanding out like this over the years. So now you're able to add a lot more value in your engagements. Same thing with the salesperson. They can go in to any customer and if they start investing themselves and saying, “Okay, I want to build a great team,” well, that's going to lead out to HR processes, hiring, retention, satisfaction surveys, whatever. And over time then when you go in, you can help that person and do triage on some of their challenges outside of what you're selling and add a lot of value. And then that person sees you as an expert.

 

“A lot of people just don’t focus on professional development and personal development and what happens then over the years, selling always becomes hard. Where other people it becomes easy because just put in the time and do the work.” – Justin Treu · [20:03] 

 

Justin Treu:

And then you start bringing in the personal side of being a conversationalist and now look, you make it look effortless. But the reason is you just put in the time and did the work. A lot of people just don't do the professional development and personal development and what happens then over the years, it always becomes hard, where other people it becomes easy because it's just these things start to come all together over time.

 

The Skills You Should Invest In Outside of Sales to Give You That Much Needed Competitive Advantage · [20:25] 

 

Will Barron:

What should a SAS accounting software salesperson, totally off the top of my head this, Jason, what should they learn, invest in, improve themselves in other than the skills of selling, other than the skills of asking great questions? What business things, as an example, should they focus on or grow to give them a competitive advantage so that when they do go into an account, there's probably a reason for them to be there other than just a sell, sell, sell?

 

Justin Treu:

Well, a lot of it's going to be team building, managing people, learning about how to build a great environment, building a culture, maybe it's great sales practises. Sales methodologies, bringing all this stuff down. You can pick a lot of different areas that you start to hone in on, but that will bring a lot of value to people because then if someone in a meeting you say to them, “Okay, well, what are your biggest challenges?” Well, they're going to probably bring up one of those things. It's going to be a sales problem, a people problem, a team problem outside of the technology itself. And you can help guide them on that and saying, “Well, hey, one of the things I've been doing as well is I'm reading all this stuff. I'm happy if you have any questions on this to point you in directions or give you ideas of things that you could do,” or maybe you just bring them a book because you're going to know. So I think you have a lot of areas but that means that you have to do work as you go along and learning this stuff.

 

How to Proactively Improve Your People and Selling Skills · [21:53] 

 

Will Barron:

And what does that work look like, Jason? Sorry, I keep interrupting you but I don't want to skip over any of the steps here. When you say work, what does that look like? Is it conferences? Is it magazines? Is it books? What do we need to very practically do day-to-day to nail this over that six-month to two-year period?

 

Justin Treu:

So I think the way that I look at learning is that there are different modalities and they bring out… One is you have books, I think then you have podcasts, you have things like online courses you can do. You have conferences and you have some sort of more intimate coaching, whether it's in a group or one on one. And I think what happens is you've got to do the whole gamut to get the most out of it and learn and have accountability and be exposed to different things where people are helping you. So I think if you do all of those over a period of years, you are going to get significantly better in a lot of these areas because it's just growth. You're going to be learning. You're going to be more curious and you're just going to get significantly better because once you start a path of curiosity and you start opening doors, you'll start opening other doors and you're learning, you'll apply the experiences, information. You'll get data out of it, and you'll just be on this path.

 

Justin Treu:

And then you can guide other people because even if you don't have mastery at it, you will give them suggestions and ideas and try to be helpful and that people really appreciate that because they know that other people wouldn't bring that up unless they cared at all because they just wouldn't. You just don't do those types of things unless you want people to be successful. And then that shows a customer that you are invested in their success as a person, not just as someone you're selling into. Just like your conversation, just like what you had right there because that woman was like, “Wow, that's awesome. You can understand me. We can have a conversation because we completely get each other because of all that's going on.” And then you're able to even add more value almost instantaneously.

 

“Understanding your emotions and your emotional landscape is the key to great sales conversations because that's the way to make this connection with people much faster and quicker. Showing that you care and that you understand where they're coming from is the most important thing initially in any engagement with a customer.” – Justin Treu · [23:59] 

 

Justin Treu:

So you have to create that emotional connection like we talked about in the beginning, understanding your emotions and your emotional landscape is the key because that's the way to make this connection with people much faster and quicker to show that you care and that you understand where they're coming from, which is the most important thing initially in any engagement with a customer.

 

The Difference Between a Good Leader and a Great Leader · [24:23] 

 

Will Barron:

So I think the biggest leverage point for all of this seems that you just do it. As soon as you get that 10% down, the 20%, that makes the biggest leverage point, and it shows that even if you are not asking the best questions, at least you're showing that you care and there's multiple ripple effects from all this. But Jason, for people who are listening who have been doing this for a while who consider themselves good leaders, what's the difference between a good leader and a good team builder versus a great leader?

 

Justin Treu:

Well, I think that the next step in the process is handling or having difficult conversations with other people that are challenging and trying to give them advice and helping them as a leader and engage in that. And the requirement for that is having self-awareness because otherwise you're not going to be able to have it because you're not going to be able to judge what's going on out there very well. Most leaders do a very poor job of that because they've never dealt with the patterns and things that have gone on in their life internally, you have to do some level of mini therapy, whatever you're calling it because you can't understand your unconscious actions. Because if for an average person they're having 6 to 7,000 thoughts a day, they're only aware of 60 to 70.

 

“An average person has 6 to 7,000 thoughts a day, but they're only aware of 60 to 70. So regardless of what you want to think about anything, your unconscious mind is ruling your everyday existence. And unless you start to understand what's going on in the back of your head, it will sabotage your success because at some point, no matter how successful you are at selling and how good you are, eventually, you're going to hit a ceiling because you're unaware of things that you're doing.” – Justin Treu · [25:29] 

 

Justin Treu:

So regardless of what you want to think about anything, your unconscious mind is ruling your everyday existence and unless you start to understand what's going on in the back of your head, it will sabotage your success because at some point, no matter how successful you are at selling and how good you are, you could be a 20 out of 10, eventually you're going hit a ceiling because you're unaware of things that you're doing. So you have to do that because then your level of social awareness will increase and you'll be able to have those difficult conversations. You'll be able to have empathy, you'll be able to understand what people are going through. You'll be able to understand that if someone's going through a divorce, they're only going to be 60% present and you're going to lose a huge amount of productivity so you have to help them and support them to get them to the next level so you're not losing all that stuff.

 

“What happens with vulnerability is you create psychological safety with people, and that's the key to building the greatest relationships. Because one thing I learned from talking to people at Google and a lot of other companies that are really great leaders is they create psychological safety with their customers, their team and everyone around them.” – Justin Treu · [26:30] 

 

Justin Treu:

There's all these other things. You've got to invest in people professionally and help them on their career path because I get that complaint a lot of the time. So all this stuff will come together, but that's the real requirement. And then what happens in the next part of that is that when you do that, you're much more vulnerable with people. And what happens with vulnerability is you create psychological safety with people, and that's the key to building the greatest relationships because out of my TED talk, one thing I learned from talking to people at Google and a lot of other companies that are really great leaders is they create psychological safety with their customers and their team and everyone around them. And it allows those other people to be vulnerable with them and share and feel like they can just say things without feeling judged or that someone out there cares about them and they can share all this stuff.

 

Justin Treu:

And then what happens is you have great conversation with people, you move across blame and that's what happens in a lot of these situations. So that's what great leaders do. They can stand in front of their team and give them hard news. They can go in front of a customer and say the same thing but also be accountable for it. Not just blame, which is what most people do. “Oh, I'm sorry this technology implementation is going not good because your people are messing it up.” Well, that's what a lot of people do because they're worried about looking bad. Well, the great leader says, “Well, that may be true. There has to be something that we're not doing that is making this process not go the best way, so we need to figure out that and how to make it better together,” or, “Let's sit down and figure out how to get it done so you're successful.”

 

The Right Amount of Vulnerability During That Initial Meeting with Someone · [28:16] 

 

Will Barron:

Is this a step-by-step process? And I might have the order here wrong, I might have some of the terminology here wrong, but feel free to correct me. In that we build rapport, then we build empathy, then we are vulnerable with the individual to build the safety net so they can be vulnerable back. We move past… I love the way you described it as past the blame point of a potential relationship. Is that a step-by-step process or is this something that happens all at once in that we should be vulnerable when we first meet someone or perhaps we need to build a little bit of rapport before we do that so it doesn't look like we're being kind of soft or moany? Is it all in one go or do we need to work on this over time?

 

“When you don't know someone in the beginning and you're too vulnerable, it's oversharing. So vulnerability, initially when you meet people, is sharing little by little and then over time getting more and more. It's not throwing up on them immediately. It's the same thing with rapport. You want to try to find common ground, but you don't want to work so hard that it looks like you're straining yourself to do it” – Justin Treu · [28:59] 

 

Justin Treu:

I think it's both. I think you have to look at it… It's kind of like when you're vulnerable with people, in the beginning, if you don't know someone, if you're too vulnerable, it's oversharing, but you want to share something with someone else that shows what's going on. Like you sharing about biology and everything else, it's being a little vulnerable because it's sharing something that you're doing and putting out there, but it's not so much. So vulnerability about, initially when you meet people, is sharing little by little and then over time getting more and more. It's not throwing up on them immediately. It's the same thing with rapport. You want to try to find common ground possible, but you don't want to work so hard that it makes like you're straining yourself to it. So I think you got to be able to do these things initially, find the opportunities and then do more of them, but then slowly realise you just got to continually do this on a day-to-day interaction with people and that it will grow over time.

 

Will Barron:

So we're saying to the biologist, “Hey, I've just started a science podcast,” as opposed to, “Hey, I've got a fungal toe infection,” or something like that.

 

Justin Treu:

Yes, exactly. Because that's not appropriate for the level of your engagement with them because you don't know them well enough at that point to be doing those types of things.

 

Why You Need to Know Your Audience and Understand The Right Time to Use Vulnerability · [30:22] 

 

Will Barron:

Should you be pushing this a little bit though? And where I'm coming from, I don't know if this translates, but in the UK, if someone was a cheeky chappy, that would be a description of someone who pushes their luck a little bit, perhaps they are building rapport then breaking rapport, taking the piss or taking the mick we'd call it. I know some salespeople who've done that really well with surgeons in my medical device days. I know some salespeople, and I've been on the verge of this, who've tried to do that with certain surgeons and had their head just ripped right off their shoulders when they've attempted it. If we can do that, is that something that we should be doing? Is that an advanced form of all this to speed up the process?

 

Justin Treu:

It can. I think, again, you've just got to know your audience and what you can do and what you can't. And some of that is going to be trial and error because that's how we learn. We have to look at it as an experiment by doing it. So I think when you can push it and you can share things, I think that it doesn't hurt in general, for the most part, unless it's just going so far out there. But then you'll learn if that happens because you'll get the negative feedback and you'll then have to calibrate and that's the key. You've got to recalibrate these situations and think about them after the fact, especially if they haven't gone well. Is it just that person? Is it me? What else is going on here?

 

Justin Treu:

So I can take that feedback and iterate it on. But ultimately, psychological safety is the key in creating these relationships and taking them and moving them further faster with people. And the thing you said earlier which is really important is that when you build psychological safety, this vulnerability with people, you have to do less of a lot of the things right and you have a lot more variability in it, which helps you because then you don't have to be right, perfect, the best at doing it because people will just push it aside because the relationship means a lot to them.

 

How to Become More Self-Aware in Life · [32:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Makes total sense. So final thing on this, there may not be an acute, definite answer so I appreciate this, but with self-awareness I always recommend the book by Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, for people who want to develop self-awareness. It worked wonders on me that the two times I read it and allowed me to align what I want to work towards, what I want to run away from that I should be pushing through difficulties, all these things that would probably cost 20 grand and five years of your life to suss out with a psychologist or sit-down therapy. I got a tonne of value out that book. Are there any other books? Excuse me. Is there anything else you'd recommend, any other processes for people to become more self-aware?

 

Justin Treu:

Yeah, so Tony Robbins is a great place to start. Another gentleman that I've read a lot of his stuff at that's got great things, his name's Mastin Kipp, and he has got a lot and he's taken some stuff from Tony Robbins. And I think that those types of materials are helpful because the difference is going to a therapist and what Tony Robbins-type people are doing is creating behavioural change really fast. And it's really what I have to do and I've learned from a lot of people because business people are chop chop. You got to get in, learn fast. You don't have a year to figure this stuff out. So I think going through stuff like that starts the initial process and now you've got to move it forward by finding someone ultimately to help you.

 

“The problem with doing self-awareness is you can't do self-awareness on your own because your brain is wired for survival and to keep you safe. It's not allowing you to see certain things, so it's impossible for you to do it by yourself without getting outside help. And an example like that would be, you can see other problems clearly and you're like, “Oh my gosh, the solution's super obvious.” And then yours aren't. Well, that's exactly what goes on. I tell a lot of my friends, you're Oprah in your own life, but you can't see anything going on on your own.” – Justin Treu · [34:04] 

 

Justin Treu:

Because the problem with doing self-awareness, you can't do self-awareness on your own because your brain is wired for survival and to keep you safe, so it's not allowing you to see certain things. So it's impossible for you to do it by yourself without getting outside help. We're not built like that and our brains have just not evolved. And it may sound self-serving that a coach is saying that, but I have to find coaches to help me do it because I can't see my own things because I'm too close. And an example like that would be is that I'm sure everyone listening, you can see other problems clearly and you're like, “Oh my gosh, the solution's super obvious.” And then yours aren't. Well, that's exactly what goes on. I tell a lot of my friends, you're Oprah in your own life, but you can't see anything going on in your own. And that's the case.

 

Justin Treu:

So it gets you started and then you can then seek out other help, but I think the point of doing those first is helpful is it starts this process of doing more self-inquiry and starting to ask the questions. And you may not find the answers or very little, but that process does a lot to help you as you move forward, rather than just going cold and then necessarily finding a coach or someone else that could help you.

 

Will Barron:

Makes total sense. We actually experimented with some coaching with our sales podcast audience at the moment. So I'm coaching a few people and then I've brought in a couple of coaches from here in Yorkshire to help out as well. And I was on the phone for the first coaching call with one of the lads today, this morning before I got on the call with you, Jason. And it was so simple. So I said, the podcast audience know this, I don't pitch myself as any kind of expert or guru or anything like that. But, and this is why this conversation's been super interesting to me, I do have empathy for the salespeople who are getting there but not quite fulfilling their potential because that was me four or five years ago. I like to build that safety net and I'm open and honest on the podcast. I'm even more so on a phone call with someone.

 

Will Barron:

And I won't say his name because it'll embarrass him, but he got on the phone and he sounded like he was asleep. He sounded like he was laid back on his sofa, feet up in a big warm jumper with a hot water bottle, just chilling. And he was in the office in a suit. I was like, “You understand that it sounds like you don't care, that you're not paying attention and I don't feel like you're really listening to me?” And he was shocked because no one had ever given him this feedback. And it was such a super simple thing that if he'd asked anyone else in the office, they would've probably told him. Obviously he hasn't asked anyone in the office, and that was worth that 30 minute coaching call because by the end of it, all I asked him to do is sit up straight, just talk with a little bit more force coming out your voice and he sounded a million times better. And if he gets on the calls this afternoon, he will immediately benefit from that.

 

Will Barron:

So I'm totally down with what you're saying here, whether it's coaching, whether it's asking your sales manager for feedback, whether it's even recording… I've talked about this on the show before, I recorded a presentation I did to a bunch of surgeons years ago now, and I'm tall, lanky, I'm six foot three and I was slouched over and it looked like, again, I wasn't really interested. It looked like I wasn't confident in what I was saying.

 

Will Barron:

So then I watched the footage back and I did another presentation a few days later, my posture's terrible still, probably from sitting here all day on the microphone, but as soon as I sat up straight, shoulders back, I stood up straight, shoulders back, I immediately looked way more professional, way more confident and it translated to the audience to pay more attention to the words that were coming out of my mouth. And it was just a subtle thing that no one's ever mentioned to me before because maybe they don't want to embarrass you. Maybe they don't want to point out obvious flaws because they don't want that awkward conversation, which you were talking about before, which is amazing, of being comfortable to be a leader, you've got to be comfortable in having these difficult conversations as well.

 

Parting Thoughts · [38:03] 

 

Will Barron:

So Jason, mate, covered loads of ground on this one. I really appreciate it. I know you've got a lot to share with us. Tell us a little bit about the book, I'll link the TEDx talk in show notes of this episode, and tell us about the team building card game you've got as well.

 

Justin Treu:

Well, the one thing I want to go back on is the pattern recognition is what you put out. So for most people it's one to two degree change. It isn't really that much. And that's the key because I got on a call, or I did a sales training, and one of the people that I was working with, I found out that going on, and this was in less than 10 minutes, found out that when she was growing up, her mother and grandmother made fun of her voice on the phone. And now she's a 30-something salesperson and successful, every time she picks up the phone, she never realised, but that thought goes through and it's like nails on the chalkboard.

 

Justin Treu:

So we took her power back by having her talk to her prospects and then customers and telling them the fact that she got into sales was really to get over this and getting over that has really helped her in her life and that vulnerability and psychological safety opened them up to share. And her sales went through the roof, her excitement going into work with her team, everything changed with that one little piece. And that was more self-awareness of what's going on. So getting back to what you said, that is the juice that will give you exponential results and make you an extraordinary salesperson and leader when you do it.

 

Justin Treu:

So I created this game, Cards Against Mundanity, and it's a team building game based off of research at Google and other people on how to create high performing teams in 45 minutes or less. And I've had this in hundreds of companies and it works, and it's just a question and answer game like the popular game Cards Against Humanity, but it's set up for a work environment. And so literally you go to cardsagainstmundanity.com and you can download the game for free and all the instructions and play with any size group. You could even play it with one of your customers, and that will be great because then you create an instant bond with them and you wouldn't even need to do the vulnerability because it would just be in the game itself. So you go to my website, it's jasontreu.com and it's T-R-E-U not T-R-O-Y. My parents never changed the spelling or pronunciation of my name. And then you can get my book Social Wealth on Amazon on how to build great relationships in business.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well, I'll link to all of that in the show notes of this episode over at salesman.org for anyone who is sprinting frantically at the treadmill at the moment and searching for a pen or riding motorbikes. That's one feedback that I've had, of please put more stuff in the show notes because I listen to this show riding a motorbike to work and I don't want to be trying to remember stuff as I'm razzing around in between cars. So that guy's name was John. John, this show notes will be particularly special just for you, sir.

 

Will Barron:

With that, Jason, I want to thank you for your time, mate, I want to thank you for your insights. I like the loop of this and I like the fact that a lot of it comes back to working on yourself and that projects outwards. I think that's really valuable for the audience and with that, mate, I want to thank you for joining us on the show.

 

Justin Treu:

Great. Well, thanks for having me on again. Appreciate it.

 

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