JF2155: Sales Skills to Improve Your Business With Bill Kurzeja
Bill started his career in the military serving 8 years working his way up to Sergeant and is now the Owner and Founder of Professional Success South, a sales training and business consulting firm, he is also the co-host of a podcast called “Get Focused with Bill K and Gina Faye”. During Bill’s conversation with Theo, you will learn Bill’s principles in communication and sales to improve your business.
Bill Kurzeja Real Estate Background:
- Owner and Founder of Professional Success South: a professional sales training and business consulting firm
- Started his career in the Military with 8 years of service working his way up very quickly to Sergeant where he learned discipline, leadership and the importance of clear, effective communication.
- Started as a salesman in the automotive industry and quickly worked his way to GM.
- Bill now follows his passion in training and coaching, specializing in the basics of communication and how paying attention to details will build a strong foundation.
- Co-Host a podcast called Get Focused with Bill K and Gina Faye
- Say hi to him at https://professionalsuccesssouth.com/about-us
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Best Ever Tweet:
“The biggest fault that people run into is the lack of preparation and not understanding how important it is.” – Bill Kurzeja
Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m your host today, Theo Hicks, and today we’ll be speaking with Bill Kurzeja. Bill, how are you doing today?
Bill Kurzeja: I’m doing great. How about you?
Theo Hicks: I’m doing great as well. Thanks for asking, and thank you for joining us. I’m looking forward to our conversation, and we’re gonna be talking about sales and communication skills. So Bill is the owner and founder of Professional Success South, a professional sales training and business consulting firm. He started his career in the military with eight years of service, working his way up very quickly to Sergeant, where he learned the discipline, leadership, and the importance of clear, effective communication. He then transitioned into sales in the automotive industry and quickly worked his way to GM. Now, Bill follows his passion in training and coaching, specializing in the basics of communication and how paying attention to details will build a strong foundation. He also has a podcast he’s the co-host of, called Get Focused with Bill K and Gina Faye, based out of San Diego, California. You can say hi to him and learn more about his business at professionalsuccesssouth.com Okay Bill, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you are focused on today?
Bill Kurzeja: Well first, I want to thank you for having me and it’s really exciting to be on such a great platform with you guys. It’s interesting, I focus obviously in sales, real estate being sales, investing being another concept and avenue within that realm… And I really apply what we do, what we teach and train to all aspects of life. So teaching sales, people tend to get the connotation of “I have to deceive someone in selling”, where that is not the case. Communication is key, and the ability to communicate in order to convince and help people make a buying decision. So what we focus on and what I’ve learned over many years of working with people in many different realms of sales and products, is that it’s all the common theme. The consumer has a question, they’re searching for a result for an answer, and if you can clearly, first off, understand what they’re looking for, their wants, needs, thoughts, desires, you can communicate the solutions to those questions, which helps them make that decision and that purchasing decision or that investment or anything along those lines.
So that’s what we do, is really dive in, focus into what is the mindset within whether it’s just an individual or a full company of 100+ employees, how are we communicating to our consumer and also how we are communicating internally? It’s such an overlooked part of the mindset of a business that we need to be able to communicate all the way through our business. And while serving in the military, it’s in a matter if you were the newest enlisted soldier into the unit or if you were the commander of the entire unit, there had to be a clear line of communication of what the mission was and what we needed to do to accomplish that. So taking those principles and applying it to your business or to your life and how you approach things really helps accomplish the mission through clear communication. So that’s really what we focus on.
Theo Hicks: Okay, thank you for sharing that. So I think a good way to structure the conversation would be to do an introduction into these principles that you discussed, and then maybe after that, we can go into some of the more unique principles that maybe most people don’t know about. So if you could condense your top five sales principles, communication principles, what would those be?
Bill Kurzeja: Great question. So my top five principles in sales would be – the consumer comes to us already interested in whatever product it is. Whether you’re selling a vehicle, a home, investments, they’re approaching you already with the interest in that product. So one of the things you want to focus on is that relationship. So you really want to establish a bond, a trust, and how do we do that? We do that with first your body language. So if you’re an open body language, that’s a form of nonverbal communication, the client is going to feel welcomed, and that’s key. So we want to feel safe as people. So if they feel safe with you right off the bat, there you go, you have step one.
Now you’re starting your verbal communication… Whether verbal I consider through call, text, email, so on and so forth, or face to face… And you want to speak with confidence, and the way you portray confidence is to answer questions and to ask questions. So obviously, you get over the meet and greet part of it, but then you dive into so what brought you here, what is it about it you like, what is it about it you have questions about, and the more you can answer those questions, the more confidence that consumer has in you, that trust, and then you can move on to the next step of really presenting whatever that product is and those features and benefits… Whether it’s an investment, “Go with this investment, over this amount of time, this is the return you’re looking at…” And since you set the steps first, what you’re telling them now is extremely more valuable and believable, because they have that confidence in what you are saying and that trust in you.
And then you lead right into the timeframe, the closing and all those steps ahead of time make the closing that much easier. I call it setting the table. So if you set your dinner table properly and it looks beautiful, when that meal gets served, it tastes that much better, because you have everything led up to that point in time.
Theo Hicks: It’s actually funny that you say that; this is more of an anecdote to talk about setting the table. I was talking to my wife last night about room service, and how typically for room service at hotels, it’s just the restaurant food, but I don’t know what it is, but it always tastes different when you’re sitting on your bed than when you actually get it served at a nice restaurant with a nice ambiance, the music and the waiter and the tablecloths and the silverware. So that’s what that reminded me of you talking about setting the table and how the context of what you’re doing is really important.
Bill Kurzeja: It’s the groundwork. It’s something that we talk about on a daily basis with any other product. If you’re building a building, you need a strong foundation. It’s the same approach within sales. You need a strong foundation, and that’s your meet and greet in your interview right at the beginning. Like I said, it doesn’t matter what the product is or what type of service you’re presenting; you need to have a strong foundation to build upon.
Theo Hicks: So changing gears slightly, what would you say are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people make, besides just doing the opposite of those four principles we just went over? What are some of the more common things that people do that are not setting themselves up for success when it comes to sales and communication?
Bill Kurzeja: Well, the biggest things are in the preparation prior to ever having that encounter, and that is sitting around and thinking that the consumer is going to come to you, the clients’ going to come to you, and it’s just going to be, “Oh, here’s the product. Here we go.” So the biggest fault that I see – and this is along the lines of any line of work – is the failure to prepare. Back to serving in the military, all we did from the time we woke up to the time we went to sleep was prepare, prepare, prepare. You never practiced for wars so much in your life as you do when you’re serving in the military. So that when the time comes, you’re not thinking, you’re reacting. So to me, the biggest fault that people run into is that lack of preparation and not understanding how important that is.
Theo Hicks: What are some of the things that we can do, because it sounds like you’re saying you need to practice. Sports analogies, military analogies, really anything that you do, unless you’re some savant, you’re not going to be able to just wing it. So what are some tactical things that I should do in preparation for one of these types of encounters? So let’s say, for example, I don’t know, just a simple real estate example, I’m a real estate agent and I’ve got an open house the next day, I’ve got people coming in… What should I be doing? Should I be reciting things in front of the mirror? What are some tips you have for that?
Bill Kurzeja: Well, when it comes to having the confidence in order to communicate, absolutely. I wear a suit and tie every day of the week and I practice and speak to myself while getting dressed. Tie my tie, hello, welcome. Just normal, common, everyday conversation that builds confidence, so that when the time comes and you’re actually face to face with someone that’s a total stranger, you don’t [unintelligible [00:11:57].20] your words, you don’t hesitate… Because all those little hiccups [unintelligible [00:12:02].23] because here we are, we’re taking ourselves especially in an open house situation, those consumers are coming into this home, and not only are you trying to present yourself for that home and that showing, but those people are also looking to probably sell a property of their own, or looking for a real estate agent to help them purchase, maybe not that house but a different home, and what is the best way to earn their confidence, and that is to have confidence. And the only way we can have confidence is to practice it.
So the night before, obviously, do to the normal research of the demographics of the area, what type of consumer should we be expecting, where is the school districts, how are they rated, so on and so forth; that’s the obvious and easy thing. But practicing that conversation, normal conversation with whether it’s a significant other, your children… I constantly go back and forth with my kids not only for my benefit, but I want them to be able to go out in the world and effectively communicate with everyone, whether it’s their teacher, so on and so forth. So that back and forth gives that ability, and then that confidence that they know what to say and how to say it when the time comes.
Theo Hicks: Okay, thanks for sharing that. What are some tips you have on overcoming objections? So I’m an investor, I’m sending out– let’s say I’m driving for dollars or I’m door-knocking to find leads, and I get to a house and I don’t know them, they’re a complete stranger; they’re not really coming to me, I’m going to them. What are some tips you have for me to get them to sell me their property?
Bill Kurzeja: Are you asking in the line of “I want to buy that property from them”, correct?
Theo Hicks: Exactly.
Bill Kurzeja: So again, it comes down to in order to get to that question – so that’s the stake at the end of the day, that’s the meal, getting them to say, “Yes, we will sell it to you.” You need to lay that groundwork and find that information out ahead of time because, just like you said, overcome the objection– the objection obviously is, it’s a cold call. They have no intentions of selling at this point in time, nor do they know you or know that you’re going to knock on their door. So you need to overcome that with your lead off, with your conversation of, “Hello,” and what I would personally do is pay attention to walking up to the door, what does the house look like, what’s the surrounding area, maybe what’s the neighborhood… You have to find a common ground. So whether it’s current weather, or if it’s wintertime and you’re in the north-east, talking about what the winters are like, and wouldn’t it be nice to not have to deal with this, so on and so forth… Because if you can find that hot button– so for example, if you knocked on my parents’ door, they’re at a point in their life, they’re in the north-eastern part of the country, and they’re teetering on that edge of wanting to move to a warmer climate so they can get out more. You need to ask questions to find out where they are and what they like and don’t like, and then focus in on those… And “What if I could accomplish that for you?” And then you lead into the big finale of looking for the purchase at that point in time.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Bill, besides what we’ve talked about so far, what is your best ever communication or sales or leadership or discipline or really anything that you specialize in advice?
Bill Kurzeja: Listen. I know we’ve all heard the analogy, especially in a sales world. We have two ears and one mouth, use them accordingly, but I cannot stress that enough. What I have experienced and witnessed throughout my career, and it’s just sales and this is just meeting people on the street – they’re telling you exactly how to win them over. You just have to listen, and you have to hear, and then use that information and apply it back. So if there was one thing that all of us could do better at, that’s listening.
Theo Hicks: Yes, and I think, to play off of that, that’s why that preparation you’re talking about is so important because I think most people when they get nervous, it’s because they’re not prepared, and when they’re nervous, they just talk and talk and talk and talk and are afraid of awkward silences and things like that. So easier said than done, but I think that in order to implement that best ever advice, you definitely have to set the table, as you said earlier. So thanks for sharing that. Alright Bill, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?
Bill Kurzeja: Yeah, let’s go.
Theo Hicks: Okay, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?
Bill Kurzeja: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink.
Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?
Bill Kurzeja: I would start a new one.
Theo Hicks: What would that new business be?
Bill Kurzeja: I would start a business of teaching and educating young adults.
Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?
Bill Kurzeja: By volunteering and working with our men and women who have served, and helping them learn how to transition from the military into the civilian world.
Theo Hicks: Typically, we ask about what your best ever deal is. So I’m going to change it up a little bit and ask you for either yourself or one of your clients, what is the best ever deal that they’ve done, regardless of what the product was?
Bill Kurzeja: So the best ever deal is doubling your sales goal. So I deal with a lot of companies that sell multiple products, and taking that number and duplicating it over last year’s number. So take something like February’s objective and doubling that in 2020 over 2019.
Theo Hicks: Then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?
Bill Kurzeja: The best ever place to reach me is professionalsuccesssouth.com.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. Alright Bill, I appreciate you coming on the show and giving us your advice on sales and on clear, effective communication. So you talked about how sales really applies to all aspects of life, and that communication is the key to sales to convince and actually help people make a buying decision. It’s not about tricking or lying to anyone, or whatever negative connotation people have about sales… And you said that the theme of sales is that the consumer has a question and they’re searching for an answer, and your goal is to understand their thoughts and needs, wants and desires in order to communicate that solution to them.
Something that I really liked what you said is that when you’re thinking of communication, most people are thinking about me or my business communicating with the consumer, but it also applies to internal communication within the company. This was just very important. We didn’t necessarily get to talk about a bunch, but I think the concept we talked about applied to the consumer can also apply to the business.
We went over the top principles for sales communication. We took the context of the consumer comes to you and they’re already interested in the product; your goal is to focus on the relationship to establish a bond and trust, and the four steps were – one is a non-verbal body language.
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