JF1951: Lessons Learned From A New Book Based On Napoleon Hill Writings with Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey has a long background in selling, both as he was and is in the selling field, and he also trains people on the science of selling. He was given access to Napoleon Hill’s first writings and wrote a book about what he learned from the writings. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
Best Ever Tweet:
“The average person in business goes for sale tactics rather than value tactics” – Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey Gitomer Real Estate Background:
- Author of 15 books, renowned speaker for sales and personal development
- Host of the Podcast Sell or Die, getting over 100k downloads per month
- Based in Charlotte, NC
- Say hi to him at https://www.gitomer.com/ or seegitomer.com
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.
With us today we’ve got Jeffrey Gitomer. How are you doing, Jeffrey?
Jeffrey Gitomer: I’m doing fine. How are you, Joe?
Joe Fairless: I’m doing well–
Jeffrey Gitomer: I was gonna say “How are you doing, Frank?” but I didn’t wanna–
Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s my business partner actually, so it would have made somewhat sense… A little bit about Jeffrey – he’s the author of 15 books, he’s the host of the podcast Sell or Die. It gets around 100,000 downloads a month. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. His most recent book, called Truthful Living, The First Writings of Napoleon Hill is something we’re gonna talk about, and get some lessons from that.
With that being said, Jeffrey, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners first just a little bit more about your background, and your current focus?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Sure. I grew up in Philadelphia, so that means automatically that people who live in New York, Washington or Dallas can hate me. It’s standard. Teams don’t care about pre-season games unless it’s Philly Dallas. Then we care.
Joe Fairless: [laughs]
Jeffrey Gitomer: So we kicked your butt just to show we could, and football season will commence September 8th; I’ll be Philadelphia, watching the Eagles play the Redskins and beat the shit out of them because we now have [unintelligible [00:02:28].05] and that’s my background.
No, actually I grew up selling in New York City. I owned a couple of manufacturing plants in New Jersey and in Florida, and I cold-called in Manhattan for years, and made a bunch of big sales. And I used all of those strategies and technologies to write the books that I’ve written. I wrote the Little Red Book of Selling, which is at the moment the largest-selling sales book of all time. That’s where I’m at, and I’m having a good time; I love going on podcasts, I love to talk to other listeners who may want to involve themselves a little bit more in the science of selling, not the art of selling… And I do as much online as I can; not just my podcast, but we have a live virtual series of trainings that’s going on right now. If you go to SeeGitomer.com, you can see what the next offering is. I don’t wanna make a pitch out of it, but it’s pretty darn cool.
Joe Fairless: You said the science of selling, not the art… Will you elaborate?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Sure. Selling is a repeatable, understandable, learnable science, just like any other science. People say “The art of sales…” There’s no art of sales, unless — there’s one small, subtle thing, and that is never let the other person feel like they’re being sold. You walk into a car dealership and the guy says “Are you looking for a car today?” I’m like “No, I’m looking for a f****n house… What do you think I’m doing?” And “Did you have a trade-in today, did you have a budget today?” If it wasn’t for the word today, they couldn’t say a word, and they feel put upon. When I walk into a place, I don’t wanna feel put upon. I go into a hotel and they say “Checking in?” I go “No, I’m here for my hair transplant.”
Joe Fairless: Right…
Jeffrey Gitomer: What do you think I’m doing?! I’m here. I’ve got a bag. Just help me. Like “Welcome, you’re gonna have a great stay here.” “Oh, cool.” But they choose to say the dumbest things on the planet. “Can I help you?” “No, I’m just looking.”
Joe Fairless: Right.
Jeffrey Gitomer: So there’s a science to that, and the science is “Can you create something using the science of creativity, that impacts me emotionally, and feels good about you as a person, and will I tell the story when I’m done? Hey, I went into this department store today, and they said “Can I help you?” Like, seriously? No one’s gonna talk about that.
And the department store people don’t realize it, trainers don’t realize it… There’s all kinds of things that — they don’t ask anything that’s emotionally engaging. All they do is do the easiest thing they can do, so they can get back to texting their boyfriend.
Joe Fairless: What should a department store salesperson say when you enter?
Jeffrey Gitomer: It depends on what department they’re in, but let’s say they go into the men’s clothing department. You look at the person and go “I have something perfect for you. It just came in. Let me show it to you.”
Joe Fairless: That would get me. I’d follow them.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly. But they don’t. They go “Can I help you with something specific?” Go away from me. Go away. And I don’t understand what they do and how they do it, I just don’t understand.
Joe Fairless: What are components of this science? You mentioned something that creatively impacts me emotionally…
Jeffrey Gitomer: Right.
Joe Fairless: Is there more to the science than that?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, I wanna make a connection, I don’t wanna repel you. “Thanks for calling. Your call is really important; please select from among the following nine options.” Seriously? Is that to help me? Was my call important, or is that just to piss me off? So I’m asking the person to think in an emotional way, to say “How can I engage this person? What’s engaging about me, what’s different about me?” and you have to use creative science in order to be able to do it. It’s not that difficult. I promise you, it’s not that difficult.
Joe Fairless: What are some other tactical examples? That department store example was really good, and it helped me understand that. Do you have a couple other ones?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Let’s do a real estate one. How about that?
Joe Fairless: Cool.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay. I’m gonna go to a home, I’m gonna go to a real estate agent that sells homes, and they’re gonna greet me like I’m here. I walk in, “Hi, my name is Jeffrey.” “Oh, hi. My name is Bill.” “Yeah, I’m looking for a home here in Charlotte, North Carolina”, and the real estate guy says “Do you have a home for sale?” and I’m gonna walk out of that place… Because he’s trying to qualify me, and I don’t wanna be qualified. He’s gonna say “Do you have a mortgage right now? Have you been pre-qualified? Have you ever missed a payment?” Like, dude, back off. “No, I’m just trying to help you.” “No, you’re just trying to qualify me.”
Real estate agents, they’re one of the few people in the world that already know everything. It’s unbelievable. And don’t take my word for it, just ask them. They’ve been doing this for 14 years and they’ve got it down. Meanwhile, they’re pissing people off.
So if it was me, and somebody walked into my model home, I would say “Would you like a cup of coffee?” and they’d go “No, we just wanna see…” I’d say “Look, before we go out, I just wanted to ask you one question, if you wouldn’t mind…” And I’d bring them over to the sofa and sit down, and I’d look at the guy and I would say “Tell me about the bedroom that you grew up in.” Can you think of yours?
Joe Fairless: I can. Yup.
Jeffrey Gitomer: If you have siblings, did you have fights with them, are your parents still alive? Maybe you’ve moved from home to home? Whatever it is, I just flashed your entire youth by your head. And then I’m gonna turn to the woman and I’m gonna say “Tell me about the bedroom that you grew up in?” And she’s gonna go “Tah-dahdah-dahdah…” And then I’m gonna say “Is that the kind of bedroom that you want for your children?” Because it’s gonna help me when I show a home. Got it?
Joe Fairless: Yup.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Now let’s talk about the home tour that everyone screws up completely… Because the real estate person is taking them on a three-home tour so they can sell their own listings. Any argument with that?
Joe Fairless: No.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay. So I go into a home, and the person says “This is the master bedroom. It’s 16×19”, and I’m gonna say “Well, I have a tape measure with me. Would you mind measuring this? Because if it’s not 16×19 I’m out of here.” Why wouldn’t that real estate person who already knows everything ask “Where do you think in a room like this you should put the television?” And then I’m gonna go to the walk-in closet; you know how they all have walk-in closets?
Joe Fairless: Mm-hm.
Jeffrey Gitomer: And the real estate guy is gonna go “This is the walk-in closet.” No shit! A walk-in closet. What do you do, you walk in? Is there a light switch? No, I’m gonna look at the woman and I’m gonna say “Will all of your clothing fit in here?” Because if it doesn’t, that house is out. Correct?
Joe Fairless: Right.
Jeffrey Gitomer: So why wouldn’t they ask that question? Answer, because they’re the smartest people in the world. Any other questions on real estate? [laughs] I could ask you a question – why do real estate agents go to closings?
Joe Fairless: Why do they closings?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Mm-hm.
Joe Fairless: I don’t know, it depends on the agent.
Jeffrey Gitomer: No, they all go for the same reason.
Joe Fairless: Everyone doesn’t act and think and do the same thing. They’re not robots.
Jeffrey Gitomer: They go to get their check.
Joe Fairless: You can get your check outside of the closing.
Jeffrey Gitomer: I know, but most of them need the money, so they get the check right away and they go to the bank.
Joe Fairless: Well, they could be going to build a relationship with their client…
Jeffrey Gitomer: They could be, but for what I’ve seen in my career in real estate – and I have been fortunate enough to talk to a hell of a lot of real estate agents; like in the thousands, not in the hundreds. And I’ll ask them, “How many of you go to real estate closings?” and people raise their hand; I go “How many of you go to get your check?” and no hand goes down. Not one. And I explain to them that they’re missing the best opportunity on the planet if they go to the bank. Why would you not go to the person’s home with them and walk in when they walk in? Could there be a more emotional time in any human being’s life than walking into your new home?
Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s a good approach, for sure.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, why wouldn’t they video it and then send that back to the customer? The kids running to their room and claiming their space.
Joe Fairless: Yup.
Jeffrey Gitomer: The reason is they don’t think beyond the close, they think “Oh, this person’s not gonna be good for me unless they get me a referral.” And they’re gonna send me a postcard saying “Thanks for your XYZ. I run my business on referrals, so please fill this card out or call me with anyone that you know that might be moving.” Tear it up, burn it, throw it away, never talk to that person again, ever. Because they don’t care about me, they just care about the referral.
Joe Fairless: Right.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Correct.
Joe Fairless: Well, I don’t know if that’s a correct statement, but the perception certainly could be correct.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly. So why wouldn’t they, when I move in, go “Congratulations! Here are the 50 best places in the community. Restaurants, dentists, barbers, hairdressers, clothing stores, car rentals…”, anything. Why wouldn’t they send me that list of preferred merchants? They’re new to the community, and even if they’re not, they’re still moving across town… So I wanna know “These are the places that I go, these are the places that my team members go. These are the places that we personally recommend. We don’t make any money from them, we just want you to have the list.”
Joe Fairless: Cool. Yeah, that’s a good approach.
Jeffrey Gitomer: It’s a value tactic, not a sales tactic.
Joe Fairless: Right.
Jeffrey Gitomer: So the average person in business goes for sales tactics, rather than value tactics, and they lose the long-term business, even though they may gain a little short-term business.
Joe Fairless: I like the value tactics.
Jeffrey Gitomer: You buy insurance, don’t you?
Joe Fairless: I do.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah. And you have a property and casualty guy? You probably have a big one for the business you’re in, right?
Joe Fairless: Yes.
Jeffrey Gitomer: And the guy calls you up on the phone and says “You know, we’ve been doing business for a couple of years now and I was wondering if you would mind sitting down with me and going through your friends and see if you have any referrals or people that really would wanna do business with me the same way I do business with you.” And you feel a little uncomfortable about it, because you’re not 100% crazy about this person… So you say “Let me get back to you in a week”, and the guy says “Okay.” And of course, you don’t get back to the guy. And he calls you up on the phone and says “Remember last week, we talked about referrals? I was wondering if you had a chance to go through your list?” And you say “No, I haven’t had a chance yet. Call me again next week.” And the guy goes “Okay.” You’ll never take that guy’s call again, ever.
Joe Fairless: Compared to which approach should he take?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, he’s a taker, isn’t he? But suppose that same guy calls up and says “Hey, I know of a couple apartment buildings in town. I think these guys wanna sell. I think you can get a really good deal. Would you like me to introduce you?” “Sure. Let’s have coffee.” “Okay, fine.” Isn’t it better to give a referral than get one?
Joe Fairless: Mm-hm.
Jeffrey Gitomer: But see, that takes work. And most salespeople are not willing to do the hard work that it takes to make selling easy, because their boss said “Now as for a referral. As soon as you’re done, blah-blah-blah.” Really? Why are you asking me for a referral? You have earned nothing.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I like the approach that you’re talking about, for sure… And it certainly makes a lot of sense.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, and it’s not that difficult. I haven’t said anything to you that’s like “Well, explain that nuclear physics theory again?” No, dude; it’s giving value.
Let’s go back to the original thought of this. I have a relationship with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, and they came across Napoleon Hill’s first writings, and called me to see if I wanted to edit and annotate them. Now, why did they call me? And the answer is 15 years ago I met the guy who runs the foundation, and told him my story of Napoleon Hill when I read Think and Grow Rich ten times in one year, yadda-yadda, and it literally launched my attitude. And I said “Listen, does Napoleon Hill’s Foundation have an email magazine?” and he said no. I said “Well, look, let me do one for you on one condition.” The guy said “What’s that?” I said “That you never pay me a dime.” And it was like a stunner. Because people always will ask someone successful “I can make you a lot of money, all you have to do is give me some of yours.”
So I’ve been doing their email magazine for free for more than a decade, built a list of almost 100,000 people, and everything that goes with it. So when they came across this stuff, they figured “Oh wow, here’s something we can help repay Gitomer. That’s pretty cool.” And they did. And that’s where Truthful Living comes from. It’s the first writings of Napoleon Hill.
Joe Fairless: Nice. Is that out?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, it’s out now in the bookstores, you can get it on Amazon… It’s actually published by Amazon. You may not be able to find it in Barnes & Noble, because I think they hate each other, or something; I don’t know, something stupid.
Joe Fairless: Cool!
Jeffrey Gitomer: But go online, go on Amazon and look up Truthful Living by Napoleon Hill and me, and you’ll get it. And I didn’t change any of his words, I just annotated things for the 21st century, because these are the first writings of Napoleon Hill from 1917.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, they spoke differently.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh, my gosh… It’s [unintelligible [00:14:58].02] but it’s accurate. Just look at the table of contents. The first chapter is “Success is up to you.” The second chapter is “Finish what you start.” The third chapter is “How to think”, and there’s 23 different chapters in the book, all about how you can become successful by the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think, and the way you dedicate yourself to the way you work. Just that simple.
Most people do not have a foundational, fundamental education about how to succeed. You didn’t get it in school, did you? Algebra, and geography, and bullshit like that, which – it’s great, but only in Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy… And all the way through college, same Trivial Pursuit/Jeopardy. And now you’re in the real world and you need to have a great attitude, and you need to have enthusiasm for what you sell, and belief and love in what you sell… And that’s what this book is all about – helping people understand how they can become a better person, both in their family and in their business. But it uses old words.
Let me give you an example of the old words. Do you know the new word mindset?
Joe Fairless: I do.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay. It came from the word “focus”. That was the second iteration. The first iteration is “concentration”. Hill wrote about concentration. And what it meant was “distraction-free concentration”. And in today’s world, distractions play this amazing role in your life, and my life, and everybody else’s life… Because you get a text, or you get a phone call, or you get a notification of some kind… I have a 10-year-old daughter, her phone dings more than it rings, but she likes to get those notifications. I’m trying to wean her off of them, but when you’re ten, you wanna know what happened on TikTok. Do you do TikTok?
Joe Fairless: I don’t.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh. It’s a…
Joe Fairless: I know what it is…
Jeffrey Gitomer: It used to be called Musical.ly. But it’s huge, they have a billion users. Unbelievable. Where did they come from? So the world is changing, and you and I and everyone who’s in our genre has to change with it or die. That’s why we call our podcast Sell or Die.
Joe Fairless: Got it. And the best way for the listeners to purchase the book – you already mentioned. What about learn more about what you’ve got going on?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Just go to Gitomer.com. Or actually go to SeeGitomer.com. That’ll take you to my virtual events that are taking place, and people can learn more about me by watching me work.
Joe Fairless: Well, Jeffrey, thanks for being on the show, talking about the value tactics, and giving a lot of specific examples for how to do it, which were very valuable themselves. Thanks for being on the show.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Joe, it’s a pleasure.
Joe Fairless: I appreciate it. I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you again soon.
Jeffrey Gitomer: Thank you.