SALES with ASLAN Ep. 136 – High Trust Selling with Todd Duncan

Welcome to SALES with ASLAN, a weekly podcast hosted by ASLAN Co-founders Tom Stanfill and Tab Norris, geared at helping sales professionals and sales leaders eliminate the hard sell. At the end of the day, we believe that selling is serving. ASLAN helps sellers make the shift from a ‘typical’ sales approach, to one that makes us more influential because we embrace the truth that the customer’s receptivity is more important than your value prop or message.

The goal of these interviews is to spotlight various experts in the world of sales and sales leadership. Let us serve you with informational stories, techniques, and expert interviews on the sales topics you care about.

 

The following are notes from Ep. 136 – High Trust Selling with Todd Duncan

In this episode, Tom and Tab interview Todd Duncan, the world’s #1 authority on Sales Mastery, author of 17 books, and host of his own podcast, “Where SUCCESS Happens.” They discuss how to increase trust and reduce tension, conversational productivity, how to “make fear and failure your friend,” as well as the key truth that “transactions will make you a living, but relationships will make you a fortune.” These life lessons have carried Todd through his entire career of equipping people with strategies around growth, relationships, performance, business and life transformation.

 

Listen to the conversation here:

Or check out the full transcript below.

 

Resources:

  • Check out Todd Duncan’s podcast: Where SUCCESS Happens 
  • You can learn more about Todd, his speaking engagements/ events, and his many books here

 

Transcript:

00:14

Tom Stanfill

Welcome to another episode of SALES with ASLAN. I’m your host, Tom Stanfill and Tab Norris. I kind of have announcer voice today.

 

00:29

Tab Norris

You really do. 

 

00:31

Tom Stanfill

I was doing, I was doing my announcer voice and practicing for this podcast. I feel like I’m a little over the top.

 

00:37

Tab Norris

Yeah, I know what they say, Tom, you want to stretch bigger enacting. When I, when I was on Broadway… 

 

00:45

Tom Stanfill

Like gesticulate and make your voice go bigger.

 

00:48

Tab Norris

With them, when he gets real, you bring it down, you pull it back, but you still have that passion.

 

00:54

Tab Norris

You just miss that kind of, let’s bring it all back.

 

00:57

Tom Stanfill

Hey man, I never brought it back. For those of us that are new to the podcast, that’s my trusty co-host Mr. Tab Norris. Who we sometimes call Dr. Norris Norris of sales training, and I refer to him as the best co-host in the podcast industry.

Great to see you.

 

01:15

Tab Norris

It’s great to see you, Tom. Always good to be here.

 

01:18

Tom Stanfill

Well, Tab we are introducing a show different than our typical format. We are talking about a show we recorded in downtown Athens a couple of weeks ago with the infamous Todd Duncan. 

 

01:32

Tab Norris

He was really good. I really enjoyed that time.

 

01:36

Tom Stanfill

He was amazing. I think I’m going to start listing his accomplishments in the order of what I think was the most amazing to me. Maybe because I was in this industry, he became the number one loan originator, number one sales person in the banking industry at the age of 24.

 

01:54

Tab Norris

That really is staggering.

 

01:55

Tom Stanfill

Just, I mean, cause that was my first job out of college. I was that Tab. I was on the list.

 

02:06

Tab Norris

I think you’ve seen, I’ve seen you publish that anywhere. You know what guys, you know that I was.

 

02:11

Tom Stanfill

Our sales organization of 15. I was number one of the 15 sellers in our organization, I think my second year, not in the whole country. I became number one, he’s written 17 books on sales and sales, productivity, and life management and how to have a bit more fulfilled, balanced life, 17 books. Most notably, I think, related to our conversation that we had with them, which is high trust selling and the 14 laws that drive success in sales. So it was a great interview. I thought he, I was seriously, I took notes. I was inspired and I think our listeners are going to love it. I love how he talked about making fear and failure, your friend.

 

02:56

Tab Norris

Yeah, that was really,

 

02:57

Tom Stanfill

I mean, I was like, yeah, I want to say.

 

02:59

Tab Norris

I can’t bring it on. I’m really good at that. Maybe it’s an inspired me because if there’s one thing I do well is failure. So I’m inspired. I was,

 

03:09

Tom Stanfill

He has a, you talked about a process that guarantees your success. He talked about how to drive Tench a trust up and tension down. I think maybe what I was most captivated by tab was how he talked about conversational productivity because really the ability to get the customer to open up and have a fluid, deeper level conversation ultimately drives our success. It determines our ability to uncover those informal decision drivers. What’s their pain. It also the better we get them to tell us their problem, the more they trust us to fix it. It’s just, it was just some great tips. I’m super excited about sharing this for our listeners. To have anything you want to add before we turn it over to our, todd and join our interview in progress.

 

03:55

Tab Norris

No, you did a great job setting it up.

 

03:57

Tom Stanfill

What about the voice? What about that?

 

03:59

Tab Norris

Yeah, it’s come down to perfection, right? He just brought it right on down where it belongs. Just the good passionate Tom.

 

04:06

Tom Stanfill

All right. Well, I hope everybody enjoys this interview as much as we did Todd Dunkin, man. We’re excited to talk to you today. I’ve I have followed you from afar for now. I hate to say it. Maybe 30 years. I started in the mortgage business.

 

04:23

Todd Duncan

Wow.

 

04:24

Tom Stanfill

I know.

 

04:26

Todd Duncan

We went back three decades. Cause that’s exactly when I started the company, you must have been one of the newbies at the front end top.

 

04:32

Tom Stanfill

I was I, yeah, I’d heard a, you gotta hear this guy. Todd Duncan. He’s amazing. He’s unbelievable. And I’m like, who’s Todd Duncan. Well, he’s not, he’s the number one sale seller in the world. I think that was the way they were described. And so, yeah. So excited to learn from you. I mean, like we talked about in the intro, you’ve written 17 books, which I find just unbelievably, incredibly impressive. Cause I’ve written one. I don’t know how you do it 17 times, but really excited to have you. I love to start with this idea, this, the accolade of being the number one seller in the world. So, obviously our audits are in the nation. Our audience are all sellers. We all want to know how do you get to be the top and what was your secret? Obviously I’d love to dive into your bestselling book.

 

05:21

Tom Stanfill

I trust selling. Yeah.

 

05:22

Tab Norris

Can I add something here, but…

 

05:24

Tom Stanfill

You can’t.

 

05:25

Todd Duncan

I can’t even handle, I can’t even handle the first question.

 

05:28

Tab Norris

We’re just gonna make it more complex at the age of 23, I believe. Correct.

 

05:34

Tom Stanfill

Did I not say that?

 

05:35

Tab Norris

That’s really important.

 

05:39

Tom Stanfill

I, I, the thing is it’s legit because I know the business, like they know this in the business that Todd is in or was in and now serves, I guess you serve all, you can tell us about all the industries you serve, but so yeah, they keep up with that kind of stuff. So, so this isn’t just something made up. So yeah. Tell, tell what w how did you achieve that a ranking?

 

06:00

Todd Duncan

Well, yeah, so let’s, first of all, guys, thanks for having me on and look forward to making an impact. I think, I think the thing I’d like to clarify at the very front end is I’ve been studying trust since the age of 23. Obviously I learned it early on with my mom and dad with some boundaries and core values and things like that. When I got into business, I really began to understand that if people don’t trust you, they’re not going to buy from you and you just take the word, buy out of it. And, and let’s, deemphasize seller for just a moment. We’re all trying to convince people of great ideas. When we have products and services, we all want to be able to provide those products and services. What I learned very early on is that there’s two forces that fight each other all the time.

 

06:47

Todd Duncan

One of those is trust and whether it’s higher, low, and the other’s tension and whether it’s high or low. The interesting thing is that most people that sell, try to sell an environment of high tension, low trust that’s product pitches, it’s pitch decks, it’s, it’s conceiving ideas and selling them and promoting them and even talking so much and oftentimes passionately about what they are trying to sell or promote, but they haven’t created the foundation yet, which is trust. Tension and trust fight all the time. If trust is low intentions, high people are going to say, no, they’re going to postpone. Meetings are going to cancel engagements, or they’re going to give you objections. You know, it’s pretty straightforward. If trust is really high, intention is really low. Not only does the sales conversion influence conversation happen faster, but it happens more deeply. It happens in a way that fosters loyalty.

 

07:45

Todd Duncan

I don’t think there’s anybody listening to, this, this conversation that we’re having today on this, that doesn’t believe that customer loyalty is a really good thing. That repeat business is more profitable than new business. That referral business closes faster than non referred business. It was that early, early kind of conception of trust. My mentor at 23 said, before you really get going, and literally I have two weeks in the business, He goes, you have to make a decision right now. The decision is you have to choose between transactions or relationships. He paused and I was such a neophyte. I said, what do you mean? Aren’t they the same?

 

08:33

Tom Stanfill

Why do I have to make a choice?

 

08:36

Todd Duncan

I look at him, I go, what’s the difference? He goes, this is exactly what he said. Transactions will make you a living relationships will make you a fortune. I decided in 23 about relationships, period, right? I have people today. Tom, you go way back to, when I started this company, I got people today that 30 years later are still signing contracts and still send in checks and still engaging us. And it is unbelievable. I got more impact in the world, almost 6 million clients because of relationships and not cold calls and not auto market and none of that. So that’s how it all got started. Guys. They might age 24. I was number one in the company.

 

09:25

Tom Stanfill

Wow. Okay. I love what you said about trust. I love that you talked about it being a decision, because we always talk about the decision that you make before the meeting is actually more important than what happens in the meeting, because it is a decision because there’s somebody that’s first, it’s either your first or their first. There’s no option. It’s like you have to make a choice. If you don’t make a choice to gravitational, pull to self is so strong, that’s going to drive the conversation.

 

09:57

Todd Duncan

Yeah. It goes so far as to understand that trust is the, it’s the greatest currency. It’s more reliable than any dollar, any Bitcoin, any crypto trust is currency and trust is influenced. It’s a super simple thing to say to everybody watching this. If people don’t trust you, they’re not going to buy from you. How do you then create real trust? Because there’s no such thing as manufactured trust can grow, but that’s not manufactured. That’s this that’s relationship. If I can manufacture trust and come up with an SOP on it, life would be a lot easier, but it’s not right.

 

10:36

Tom Stanfill

Well, let’s talk about that. How do we, I mean, I’m sure that’s the focus of the book, high trust selling, which I heard it’s in, it’s the 20th anniversary of that book. Congratulations,

 

10:48

Todd Duncan

Man. Still going.

 

10:48

Tom Stanfill

To get that book, got to get it. And I bought it. It’s an amazing book. We’ll, let’s, I’d love to dive into that. So, but speaking of trust though, I mean, is that, does it take, what’s required to build trust? Is it, is it no. It take a lot of work or is it just a decision or how do we do it?

 

11:06

Todd Duncan

Well, so there’s the, the first thing that’s really the easiest thing to say is you got to understand that it is the only thing that really matters. If you understand that, it’s the only thing that really matters. By the way, there’s product trust there’s company and brand trust, there’s performance, trust there’s pricing, trust, there’s all kinds, excuse me, of trust derivatives, but at the start of everything, depending on what service or product you represent, there’s gotta be some intentional, emotional connection that gets people to understand that you believe in the personhood and the relationship versus just the economics. What we tell people is that you’ve got to really begin to look at the questions you ask. You really have to look at how intentional are they in terms of creating connection. You have to really get into this idea of, I want to build most of our interaction around that.

 

12:17

Todd Duncan

At some level, a service at some level of product has emotional impact. What we know from Gallup and what we know from Edelman trust barometer is the deeper, the emotion, the higher the margins, the deeper, the emotion, the faster, the sale growth sales growth, the deeper, the emotion, the, the greater, the loyalty and the referrals. I’ll give you just one story so that we can have everybody understand this. I was working with a, a company in January. We had about 220 of their salespeople online, and were talking about a concept called conversational productivity. We’re just talking about, do you really think about the questions you’re going to ask? Do you really believe that to be a top performer, you really ask less questions that have more impact rather than many questions that has little impact, right? I said to everybody said, so if you could think of, think about it, and you could think about your client, and you can think about the next meeting, what would be one question that you could ask that if you ask it the right way and it works, like we’re thinking it’s going to work.

 

13:24

Todd Duncan

That would be the only question you have to ask to close one question. So, so we get back on, I give them all an assignment. They had to do it 15 times during the month with 15 prospects. This guy Tim gets on and he goes, I, I, I, I had a meeting with a couple husband and wife moving from Anchorage, Alaska to like us. We go Oregon and were on zoom and I went live and I looked at him and I addressed them. I said, yeah, I’m a lot different than a lot of people that can help you buy a house. I’d like to really make sure I understand your goals. What’s important to you about the entire experience. If I could begin, I want to ask one question, what would it mean to you to own a home? And that was it. Within about five seconds, the wife is crying.

 

14:20

Todd Duncan

20 seconds later, the husband is crying and Tim just let it flow. I told everybody, when you see the emotion, do let it go, right. Just let it happen. And, they gathered their swords and he said, so tell me what that really means. He goes, the, the husband said, if we could get a home, we would be the first couple in the history of our lineage of our ancestral to own property. The lender looked at the borrowers and said, I’m going to help you do that. Are you ready to get started? The whole thing?

 

14:57

Tom Stanfill

That’s one question.

 

14:59

Todd Duncan

Less than five minutes. That loan closed, they now own a home. Just imagine how many friends are going to tell about that lender in that experience. We’ve got to, we’ve got to get away from thinking about the mechanics of selling you. You don’t sell anything, buyers, people buy when they’re ready to buy, they don’t buy.

 

15:20

Tom Stanfill

It. You’re the guy you’re facilitating. Right?

 

15:23

Todd Duncan

Even then you, you can’t even think that my job is selling. My job is connecting. And then it’s helping. If I help all the time, then I never have to worry about business any time it just keeps coming. So that’s a big deal right there. So, take the spotlight off yourself, put on the customer. You don’t matter. The only thing that matters about you is that you make an impact with the people that you serve. And I saw it in your bio. It’s all about serving and you’re.

 

15:54

Tom Stanfill

More successful. If.

 

15:56

Todd Duncan

You don’t sell your help, you don’t sell your help. You’re a solutionist people. People need to understand if I just bring solutions to people, whatever they are.

 

16:07

Tom Stanfill

You talked about it, speaking to the love, your focus on how you position and questions and getting at the emotions. What’s important to the customer and listening with the intent to solve a problem, not sell a product. I love that, but it’s so difficult to get people to shift from my stuff. Cause we’re in rooms all day long. We talk about our stuff all day long. We think about our products ourself. I mean, w we never dream. We never have a dream of, we’re not in it. We are the center of the universe. Everything revolves around us naturally. To get people to shift and to be comfortable doing that as difficult. You’ve talked about, I’ve heard you talk about sellers getting lost in the conversation, because they don’t quite know. Cause people can go anywhere when you open that door and you start asking questions.

 

16:54

Tom Stanfill

I think that’s one of the reasons that sellers struggle to ask these great questions, because then they lose control. They can say something that will cause them to cry. They could go in a different direction. They don’t know what to do. How do you teach sellers to have that conversational fluidity where they can move and keep that a fluid process and not just go through their list of questions?

 

17:13

Todd Duncan

I think, I think it’s, I think the, the easy answer is to understand the most powerful thing you can do as a seller is not think about all the questions you got to ask them and your answers to the most powerful thing about being a productive sales professional is to let the customer take you on the journey they want. They’re the hero of their story. You’re nine, you’re the guide. You’re.

 

17:35

Tom Stanfill

Going in a direction.

 

17:36

Todd Duncan

Well, you’re not yet, but you’re not. You’re not the hero. No, the client is the hero. You’re guiding them to what they tell you they want. Why would I have, it’s like, I’ll give you example. I had cancer about six years ago and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I remember early on with my doctor, there was this list of questions he had, he had it out, he had his iPad out and he was going through all these questions. And, and when were done with question six, he said, I think that’s all I need right now. I just asked him, I said, so how many more questions are there? He said, there could be 15 more. It was just like, it was like, okay, I don’t need to go any further because what we have right now is enough. Right? And I think people, excuse me.

 

18:22

Todd Duncan

I think people, gosh, I think people don’t, I think they underestimate the, the amount of time. It really would take to get somebody engaged to the point where they want the next step, whether it’s an RFP, whether it’s a purchase order, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. I, I want people to start to feel comfortable that you can make a fortune. If you focus on the relationship, I’ll give you one more story. Cause this is pressure, right? The sellers feel pressure. So I’m in a board room. I’m in, let me just say one story. You can go anywhere you want in the boardroom. I’m in a boardroom with my partner and we’re working with the fourth largest bank in America. There are six people from the bank one side of the conference table. Two people, myself and my partner on the other side, all the chairs have been pulled apart.

 

19:11

Todd Duncan

It was almost like the battle lines.

 

19:13

Tom Stanfill

Of a series that have a serial setup where.

 

19:17

Tab Norris

Your chairs down low.

 

19:24

Todd Duncan

Know. But, but the, so it was the president of the bank, the head of human resources, the head of training and six or three regional managers, six people. The head of the bank goes, so tell us about the Dunkin group. That was it. Right.

 

19:46

Tom Stanfill

Was there a little, was there a little air of condescension when you said that? No,

 

19:51

Todd Duncan

We were, were one of wasn’t.

 

19:52

Tom Stanfill

Challenging.

 

19:54

Todd Duncan

No, no. All they wanted to know. Just tell us about the Dunkin grip, the question for many buyer, right?

 

20:01

Tom Stanfill

Absolutely.

 

20:02

Todd Duncan

So, so obviously being a high trust guy, I know, I can’t answer that. Most sellers would launch into a pitch about their company, who they are.

 

20:15

Tom Stanfill

It’s a trap,

 

20:16

Todd Duncan

How much they’ve done.

 

20:18

Tom Stanfill

Right.

 

20:18

Todd Duncan

I looked at the present and I said, the Duncan group has many things to many banks and lenders to make sure we’re the right thing for you, help us understand. What’s important about this training initiative to you.

 

20:32

Tom Stanfill

Well,

 

20:32

Todd Duncan

Zip it.

 

20:34

Tom Stanfill

Perfect.

 

20:35

Todd Duncan

Let’s let them feel the pressure to respond. And here’s what happens. 45 minutes later, they’re still talking and we’re still taking notes. Right? I asked one question and got 45 minutes of Intel. I took seven minutes to tell him some of the things I thought we could do. I asked if it sounded good. They said, yes. I said, what’s our next steps. It’s like a, of a close and the head of training goes, we have two more vendors to interview. We’ll get back to you. Has any seller ever heard? We’ll get back to you. Well, if you leave that conversation with, we’ll get back to you without, when you will get back to us, you’re losing the sale.

 

21:16

Tom Stanfill

Right?

 

21:17

Todd Duncan

I said, what timeframe do you think you might be able to get back to us? They said, we’d like to make a decision within two weeks. I said, fantastic. We left, went down seven floors to the bottom, went to the security guy. Hand-wrote six, thank you. Cards gave the security guy 20 bucks. We said, take this back up the floor six and deliver them to this company. They got a thank you card within 10 minutes of the meeting being over. Every other day for 14 days, we sent them a testimonial from another bank and we got the deal. We got the deal as a, it was a six high, six figure deal. We always ask like, so tell me what made you feel, feel comfortable choosing us. Do you know what they said? You guys, the other two vendors didn’t have a clue what we needed.

 

22:14

Tom Stanfill

They wanted to train the sales reps.

 

22:16

Todd Duncan

Right. Right. So how would you like that? How would you like that?

 

22:19

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. You want us to want to teach your sales reps to do what we just did, which is throw up.

 

22:25

Todd Duncan

Yeah. What I’m saying is I’m trying to demystify and clarify. This is not hard,

 

22:32

Tom Stanfill

But it really isn’t. It’s very counterintuitive. It’s very counter-intuitive but it’s not hard.

 

22:38

Tab Norris

Yeah. I it’s, it goes back to the thing you said in the very beginning, Todd, which I thought was so powerful, let’s re like forcing yourself to really pour into that one question. There may be others, but really kind of putting a huge emphasis on that. Because if you start it right, you can go down the right path. So that’s good.

 

22:58

Tom Stanfill

Well, you also talked about Todd at the beginning of the call, you said there’s there’s trust and tension. You’re managing that you’re managing trust can be high or low tension can be a higher load, but the way that you position that, the way that you said we, for us to determine if we’re the right firm for you, I think that’s, there’s brilliance in that little statement. If, and how you deliver that is to saying, we may not be the perfect fit. We don’t know you. It’s all, all assumptions are arrogant. I’m here to determine what is right for you and determine if we’re the ones that need to serve. You makes them go, okay. Well, this immediately eliminates tension.

 

23:43

Todd Duncan

A hundred percent. What we need to understand is that most sellers, if they are feeling tension, they don’t even know they’re doing it, but they’ll create more tension. Because when you feel the tension, you feel like I gotta.

 

23:58

Tom Stanfill

Respond to it. I.

 

23:59

Todd Duncan

Gotta get going. And, and this is, so this might sound like a foreign language, but I’m going to look everybody in the eyes and tell you right now, you could cut your conversations by 80% in terms of time, in a conversation and get five to six times the conversion rate by asking 80% less questions that have 80% more value. It’s the typical 80 20 rule. And you don’t have 20 questions. You have to ask to get the sale.

 

24:27

Tom Stanfill

Well. If you’re asking that many questions, it’s not going well, because you’re talking too much,

 

24:33

Tab Norris

You’re interrogating these poor people,

 

24:35

Todd Duncan

Right. Because it’s so formulaic, the heart’s gone.

 

24:40

Tom Stanfill

Yeah.

 

24:40

Todd Duncan

There’s no heart in it. It’s just stainless, you know?

 

24:44

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. Like it’s like, they’re trying to, yeah. It’s not, it doesn’t build relationship. When you talked about trust at the beginning, you were talking to the benefits of trust as a long-term benefit. You know, it creates loyalty. I also think trust the beginning of the conversation, like when you position things, the way that you did, or you asked the right questions, or you demonstrate that your purpose is to serve, it opens up the conversation immediately. There’s benefits from the beginning when you start building trust, because they start to tell you things that they don’t tell other people, they open up and there’s more transparency, the comfort zone expands, and they start to communicate at a different level. They kind of lean in and say, well, here’s, what’s really going on. Or here’s what we really need. Or here’s what we’re really afraid of. Or that’s not, we’re not really sure what to do there, or we really don’t have this much money.

 

25:28

Tom Stanfill

When they start to do that, you are getting information that you can use to not manipulate, but to serve them better and more effectively. And that’s when you win. It’s always in your best interest to put the customer’s needs first, but it’s not, it’s not what we naturally do. I think we put too much emphasis on the mechanics of selling, and we forget what really drives success, which is some of the, which is what you’re talking about.

 

25:54

Todd Duncan

There’s, there’s a desperation right now in the world for more trust. Yeah. The thing that’s really important is you don’t have to be a distrust worthy or an untrustworthy person to be distrusted. You can be in an industry that is distrusted. You can be with a company where a buyer had a bad experience, four years ago, not with you, but somebody else that’s no longer there. And you’re distrusted. It doesn’t mean you’re untrustworthy. It just means somebody’s previous experiences. I don’t trust that brand.

 

26:26

Tom Stanfill

Exactly.

 

26:27

Todd Duncan

What I think is important, understand, and I’ll go all the way back where you guys started out. The reason why I won fast as a 24 year old is because I stopped making cold calls where tension was high and trust was low. I started making appointment calls, where was high intention was low. And I did that by referral only. I started working with all I needed was one person who knew somebody and a Bob could tell Shelly, you haven’t heard of this guy, Todd Duncan yet, but I’m telling you right now, he’s a game changer. I’ve asked him to give you a call, to meet with you to, to find out if some of the stuff I’m seeing that’s so valuable would be valuable for you to meet with him. So I don’t have any call reluctance. She already trusts me, even though we haven’t done any business together, because somebody, she trusts said, this guy’s a game-changer.

 

27:18

Todd Duncan

And so that’s at the very start. And then you get to an appointment,

 

27:22

Tom Stanfill

The strategic, that’s just a great strategy. Unbelievable. Right. Let’s talk more about the book, because, we’re, there’s, you unpack 14 laws in the book, which obviously we don’t have time to go into all of those, but obviously the book is still relevant today. I mean, these are principles. These are laws that will never change. And so they’re still applicable. There’s no new truth. I love how you’ve packaged a truth, but I wanted to dive into a couple of these laws. Like one of them you communicated and maybe the first one is the law of the summit. Your direction is result of your perception. That captured my attention. And I thought that was brilliant. Tell us more about that.

 

28:03

Todd Duncan

Yeah. The, the real deal in that law is if you’re going to grow your selling business, if you’re going to grow your revenues, if you’re going to grow your effectiveness in the marketplace, you’ve got to get better. If you’re going to get better, you’re going to try things that you’re not going to be good at when you try them. We talk about getting to the top, when we talk about, arriving at the, at peak performance, if you will to use the metaphor, you’re never going to get there in less failures, part of the experience. I tell people that there’s really no such thing as success. If there were no such thing as failing. And, people understand that failure is failure, but they misinterpret it. And they misinterpret the goodness and failure. And, John Maxwell and I are good friends. He wrote a book called failing forward years ago.

 

28:53

Todd Duncan

The idea is, if you’re not failing, you’re not growing. And, and yet there’s this beauty around making a decision that failing is actually part of the recipe for succeeding. Just like you can’t have hot without cold. You can’t have loud without soft. You can’t have fast without slow. You can’t have success without failure. So we teach people to make failure. Your friend, we teach people to understand that the only downside of failure is repeated mistakes that have created that failure before. If you’re not failing, you can’t learn, but you can fail and not learn, which is even worse because then you make the same mistake again, and the same mistake again. And, and when you understand that law, you take fear, which is generally described as false expectations, appearing real, have a healthy appetite towards failure. You can now face everything and rise. It’s still the word fear, but it’s a different mindset.

 

29:53

Todd Duncan

If you face everything and rise, then fear can actually mean feeling excited and ready. Like, I was scared to death to make sales calls, but when I got really good at realizing it’s not a sales call, it’s a relationship call. Then I didn’t fail at it anymore. I went from call reluctance, listen to this guys to call excitement. What if every seller had nothing, but call excitement, call on better people. You, you do more things to keep loyalty going. You would add more value. Yeah, you can’t be at the top. Everybody would be there.

 

30:34

Tab Norris

That’s good. Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, there’s so many that I’d want to dig into, but I was intrigued by the law of the ladder. Kind of the whole idea about success you achieve is directly related to the steps you can see. Can you expound upon that one for us?

 

30:53

Todd Duncan

Yeah. I think it’s interesting. When you start to marry everything up, you can’t succeed unless you have some intentional ness to your plan. Right. The law of the ladder says, what is the sales plan? I mean, what is, what does it actually look like? We start with like, what would you like? Just as an example, what would you like your sales revenue to be, in the next 12 months, or in three years, what does that number? When we look at that and we say, okay, that’s a revenue number, or that’s a unit number, or that is a, a dollar amount of contracts or purchase or whatever it is, right. Start there. We start to truncate it down and we, we call it chunk down, right? We take all the way down to what has to happen today. We look at the law of the ladder, you can’t achieve annual goal if you don’t achieve a daily goal.

 

31:49

Todd Duncan

The daily goal is all that really matters. The most important part of the daily goal is whether you hit it or not. Pen tomorrow, the most important part of tomorrow is are you ahead based on yesterday or behind, based on yesterday. When we take people from a, a 365 day kind of thought process down to what has to happen today, and then we marry it up with the law of the hourglass, which is all about putting a sense of rhythm and order to your business. All I have to do is help enough people win today where my numbers work, right? I own a coaching company and we have literally thousands of people that we coach and have coached. And, and every day we send them a reminder at five o’clock to go to our dashboard and log six numbers. If they don’t log in by seven, they get another email to nudge them .

 

32:47

Todd Duncan

If they don’t log in by seven, they may get one more at 11 59. And. You’re still up go to the dashboard and put your numbers in because tomorrow is almost here. It’s like a minute away. If we don’t have the tracking from yesterday, today’s not going to have the punch it needs to have. And it’s not, it’s, it’s not exhausting. It’s not, it’s like actually a very free. I knew that in my business, if I wanted to help 600 families a year buy and finance real estate, I needed to talk to four people a day and we needed three out of four to say, yes, that’s all we needed.

 

33:26

Tom Stanfill

And then she broke it down.

 

33:28

Todd Duncan

Just had to close. That was it.

 

33:30

Tab Norris

Tom. That’s like our old checklist and the base.

 

33:35

Tom Stanfill

When we started Azlan and 96, Todd, I mean, we’re in tabs basement to have, you can tell the story.

 

33:42

Tab Norris

Well, yeah, I mean, it was great. We’re down in the basement, with no windows in Atlanta, Georgia,

 

33:50

Tom Stanfill

It was raining.

 

33:52

Tab Norris

We were looking at each other and it was depressing and we’re starting from scratch. We have nothing. To keep us motivated, what we did is we said, we’re going to start tracking how many, every time we make a call, how many times it takes to get to, to somebody. We’re going to just keep trying. We’re not going to worry about that. We’re just going to track the amount of calls every single day. What we’re going to do is over time, we’re going to track how much money we make per hour by just trying to serve people to your point, just trying to connect with people that may or may not need to use our services. It was fascinating because, I mean, it was like, I don’t even tell him, I don’t even remember. It was like, I.

 

34:37

Tom Stanfill

Remember.

 

34:38

Tab Norris

It was, do you remember the exact.

 

34:40

Tom Stanfill

An hour was worth $5,000?

 

34:42

Tab Norris

I was thinking it was for,

 

34:43

Tom Stanfill

I remember saying if I get, if I give up an hour, I’m giving up $5,000. And that’s how I stayed at. I love ticking that we looked at calls, discovery meetings with decision makers that led the meetings and it all back to the law, the ladder it’s like we had the plan and it was the only way we got through it because, went from having, being in offices and having, working for a company and having to pay. We had no guarantees, but were passionate about our dream, but we got through it and became, that came very real to me because we broke it.

 

35:14

Todd Duncan

It’s, it’s super real. And, and what I want to do, if you just give me two minutes, I want to piggyback on that because this is really the outcome of a high trust business model. The outcome is you make more money per hour. Absolutely. And I’m not being shallow. If you look at the subtitle of the book, it’s make more money in less time with less stress who would not sign up for that.

 

35:41

Tom Stanfill

I want them to stay.

 

35:41

Todd Duncan

A little bit, but listen to this. I, I, I was in front of, I don’t know, 4,000 people two Saturdays ago. I was saying, all it really takes to be successful is a 24 7 work ethic. That’s you guys know me enough to know that I would never tell somebody 20, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And, and everybody’s kind of scratching their head. And I go, what’s your belief window. I mean, what do you really believe is possible? People are going well, what do you mean by that? I go, well, 24 7. What if you just redefine that? What if 24 7 was like 24 hours a week, seven months a year? What would you like that work ethic everybody’s gone? What, what are you talking about? We have to do, all we have to do is take you from like $50 an hour to a thousand dollars an hour or $2,000 an hour.

 

36:29

Todd Duncan

Pretty soon you can do an a decade what the rest of the world takes 40 years to do and listen. Those numbers we send out every day. Guess what one of the numbers is we do every 14 days. How much was your hourly rate for the last two weeks?

 

36:43

Tom Stanfill

I love.

 

36:45

Todd Duncan

People from $32 an hour. When they start in coaching to a thousand dollars an hour in 12 months, all we have is time. The greatest, your greatest resource is, Hey, labor in should equal money out labor in no money is stupid because all you’re doing is working hard. The trite response has worked smart. Well, people hear that, but they don’t understand it. There’s about 20 things you do every day that don’t earn you money. There’s about one or two that do. The obvious is you should do the one or two things. Most of the day.

 

37:23

Tom Stanfill

I hate, I love the accountability that you got built in system. Cause people.

 

37:27

Todd Duncan

Crazy,

 

37:28

Tom Stanfill

People need accountability. People need, they need accountability. If people need accountability to do the things they want to do, but they, they struggle to do. And so I love that. The people would just sign up, whether it’s somebody, they know a system, but put it down and look at it and commit to it and it’ll happen.

 

37:50

Todd Duncan

And you know what? What Tom, the other thing is right here. I should say accountability is most evident when you trust yourself.

 

37:59

Tom Stanfill

When.

 

37:59

Todd Duncan

You trust yourself, you want accountability. When.

 

38:02

Tom Stanfill

You don’t.

 

38:02

Todd Duncan

Trust yourself, you’re afraid of accountability. Trust is bigger than just a sales conversation. Every day you look in the mirror, you gotta ask the question. Do I trust myself?

 

38:12

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. Is this an investment worth making? Right. Right, right. I think people don’t want to think about it.

 

38:20

Todd Duncan

I don’t know why you wouldn’t think about like,

 

38:22

Tom Stanfill

Yeah, I agree. But I think it’s the fear thing. You’re going back to your fear thing. I think fear is such, I think fear in a lot of cases, the CEO, not a coach. It’s running people’s lives at rather than saying, okay. Going to learn from that, move on. It’s it’s too tied to their identity. If I, if I make the calls and I get rejected or I do the work, or it’s just, I don’t want to deal with it. I just don’t, I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t wanna think about it rather than I love going through the process of saying, let’s go through the process. You don’t have to do it, but let’s go through it. Let’s figure out what we want to accomplish. What is required to do that, do the reverse engineering and then tell somebody. Like you said, reframe what you think about.

 

39:01

Tom Stanfill

Cause the hard stuff is usually related to a rejection. The way we frame up the call. And it’s not about being rejected. It’s about making sure that people know or are aware of what you offer. And, and you’re just making them aware of that. I remember we thought it w we, we teach people. It’s, it’s really, when you, we call it drop, the tension we talk about is drop the rope. We say there’s always a tug of war. You try to pull it, when you try to pull, they pull back. Just because you have a on your business card, because it says sales rep and you there’s money involved. There’s always tension.

 

39:35

Todd Duncan

A hundred.

 

39:36

Tom Stanfill

Percent, whether it’s just completely perceived or you’re creating it. If you drop the rope like you did and say, I’m not sure if this is a need. I’m not sure if you’re looking for another originator, I’m not sure if you have a need for the solution. I want to make sure you’re aware of what we have to offer. You just continue to make people aware of that and look for those relationships that can refer you. They don’t have to. Then, if you follow the process that will happen.

 

39:58

Todd Duncan

So we’ll just one comment on that. Cause I think you’ve just hit on something that is so internal and, and so real, in one of my other books, that’s entitled time traps. It’s a New York times bestseller and one of the traps, and there’s the failure trap, your trap getting back to, what were talking about earlier is wasting time on yesterday. When we took, take a look at wasting time on yesterday, it is a self perpetuating drill into a sales rut. If you don’t figure out how to leave yesterday behind and start a fresh today, by being able to look in the mirror and have a positive, like, I don’t like failing any more than anybody else likes failing, especially when you do it three or four or five times. And, and yet, if you have a positive attitude towards it, you learn what not to do.

 

40:48

Todd Duncan

Listen to this, I’m going to say it real slow. I want everybody to hear it.

 

40:51

Tom Stanfill

We’ll lean in on the.

 

40:52

Todd Duncan

Way is the right way, because it teaches you a better way.

 

41:00

Tom Stanfill

Beautiful.

 

41:00

Todd Duncan

If you have that attitude, the wrong way is the right way. Cause it taught me a better way. Why would you not want to make failure positive? When we look at, we look at, at Edison and the fire that destroyed his entire complex of innovation, somebody asked him, he said, they said so you’re always positive. What’s good about losing everything. What’s good about your entire campus burning to the ground. And he said, it’s real easy. All my mistakes got burned with it.

 

41:34

Tom Stanfill

That’s.

 

41:35

Todd Duncan

Good. Listen, 90 days later, he invented the phonograph and not have Spotify. Apple. You wouldn’t have any of these music platforms. If somebody, at some point did not invent recording.

 

41:51

Tom Stanfill

You can’t, you can’t re you can’t. You can’t do anything about the past.

 

41:56

Todd Duncan

Yeah, not true. Sorry.

 

41:59

Tom Stanfill

Good to clarify.

 

42:00

Todd Duncan

You can do everything about the past, as long as you don’t make the same mistake in.

 

42:05

Tom Stanfill

The right. Right, right.

 

42:06

Todd Duncan

Yeah. And so you.

 

42:08

Tom Stanfill

Can leverage the past to your point.

 

42:10

Todd Duncan

Is the greatest lesson teacher we have.

 

42:12

Tom Stanfill

Right. Right.

 

42:13

Todd Duncan

To your point earlier, Tom, it’s like, if you’re ignorant of that, I’ll give you an example. People say, you just got to understand rejection. You got to just keep making calls. You just got to keep making calls. Pretty soon they’re going to say yes, and I go, that is just crap. If, if I failed on the first call and I don’t change strategy, I’m going to have to try to make a great first impression on the second call or the fifth call. Cause 80% of the salespeople make one call and quit. It’s just wrong. It’s wrong. Thinking you have a flaw in your sales strategy, you have a flaw in your value proposition. You’re not a bad person. You just, why would you keep making calls when every one of them hurts more without making an in-flight correction,

 

43:00

Tom Stanfill

I’m doing it better, doing it more effectively. That is such a truth. They send the same emails, send the same message on LinkedIn, say the same thing on the voicemail, same thing. And it’s over. It’s like it versus stopping and getting better. One of the things we teach is that if you, the number one way to get somebody’s attention to guaranteed way to get someone’s attention is lead with what’s on their whiteboard. Everybody’s got a whiteboard, whether it’s metaphorical or it’s actually in their office or their home and there’s something on it. And it’s what they care about. If you, if you say something that’s on that whiteboard, they will always listen because it’s about them. It’s not about you. You’re making them the hero of the story, but it to get sellers to stop and say, we’ll learn about the people you’re serving. Like if you’re talking to home buyers, they only care about what five things I made that number up.

 

43:48

Tom Stanfill

Th there’s probably four or five things they all care about, or this boat’s important to them. If you want to get a meeting or a real estate agent, your, or a builder or your, whoever you’re serving what’s on their white board is pretty consistent to their profile. And, but it means that you have to learn right. And do differently.

 

44:05

Todd Duncan

A hundred percent. I think the other thing that you kind of alluded to that’s part of that, but I want to make sure everybody understands is the better you get at business, the better business gets for you and people go, well, what does that mean? It’s like, I remember early on Tom Hopkins is one of my friends, ? He was the guy that actually got me started when I made the decision to leave lending and become a speaker. And I called him years later. I said, I so appreciate how you helped me get into speaking, but I have one issue with what you teach. I, and I just want you to help me with it. Tom would always tell people that you got to have the mindset that every no is actually producing revenue for you. The way he said it is like, if it takes you 10 calls to get a transaction or to get a deal, and the deal is worth a thousand bucks, then every time somebody said, no, it’s actually worth a hundred dollars.

 

45:01

Todd Duncan

Put the a hundred dollars in your pocket and keep on calling. It just didn’t feel right to me, it didn’t solve the problem. Right. And, and I said, I think that’s a failed strategy. And he goes, well, what’s yours. I said, mine is to get so good that you only have to make one call to get a yes. That call is worth a thousand dollars. He goes, well, isn’t that a little naive? I said, no, if you’re really good, you can do that. If you’re really bad, you might have to play that game. 10 calls to finally get this. If.

 

45:36

Tom Stanfill

You’re making the same 10 calls over and over again, for 20 years, people won’t do it. They’ll stop.

 

45:42

Todd Duncan

Having fun. This should be fun, man. You should be excited about what you sell and you should be excited about the impact it makes and selling should be fun. It should be relational. It’s not like, that’s why that first question. You guys transactions living relationships, fortune.

 

46:00

Tab Norris

That’s awesome.

 

46:02

Todd Duncan

What’s another law you want to talk about,

 

46:04

Tab Norris

Man? Well, Tom, I, I had the last one. So you’re up. I have your, yeah.

 

46:09

Tom Stanfill

I’d love to close with this one. Any other tips or tools or strategies or philosophies you want to share with them all? I mean, there’s, I’m loving this conversation. I wanted to dive into the law, the hook, that one really intrigued me. I’m like if a captivated audience stays to the end. In a lot of businesses that we serve, presentations is a big part of how they want to deal it. They narrow it from, maybe eight companies to, to four. The last four, I have to make a presentation. It’s very competitive. That, and I’m sure that’s true for any type of seller where it’s, you’re selling to an individual or selling to a complex organization. How do we keep people engaged to the end?

 

46:51

Todd Duncan

First of all, the end is metaphoric because the end is only the end when both the buyer and the seller die, right? The client that has provided the greatest revenue stream to me over the years is 78 years old right now. He started when he was 20, 28, 29. I met him when he was like 35 or 36. And, and here we are, almost 40 years and it’s millions of dollars and and so w how do I keep him captivated? One of the ways I do it is on the 16th of August, every single year at four o’clock. I send him a video message he’s in Australia, his birthday is on the 17th. I sent him a video message. He sold his company for almost a billion dollars, and I wish him happy birthday. I’ve wished I’ve wished him a happy birthday for 32 years.

 

47:47

Todd Duncan

And it keeps us engaged. I’m still doing business today with that company that I started doing business with when 30, 32 years ago, I think it was when we started, but the, the idea of the law, the hook is think about it. If you want a client for life, you got to add value during their life. You got to talk to them during their life. You, you can’t have a client for life if you’re not engaged with them during their life. The law, the hook is how do I keep bringing people back? Relationship management says like, when I was, I’ll just give you when I was a lender, I would meet with every realtor every week. And I had about 13 business partners. Every single week I would ask them three questions. How can we be more efficient together? How can I help you produce more volume?

 

48:32

Todd Duncan

What needs do you have that we need to continue to solve or come up with new solutions for those are the three questions every single week. It was a discipline every single week. The only time it went from weekly to monthly was when were so good that there wasn’t any needs that needed to be met. Were as efficient as we could be and production was off the grid. We’ve got to understand that the, the law, the hook is you gotta keep people on the line, it’s not catch and release. You don’t do one deal and say, good luck finding stuff,

 

49:07

Tom Stanfill

The trends that you don’t look at it as a transaction, it’s a relationship that’s for life,

 

49:11

Todd Duncan

Right. So.

 

49:12

Tom Stanfill

How can I continue to serve them? Right.

 

49:14

Todd Duncan

Right. And, and I think that, when you can ask a client, that’s doing business with you, how’s it going? Do you have any needs that are on the horizon that I, and my team need to get ready to meet? There anything we can do better for you? That’s all hook stuff. Now, what is not hook stuff is auto marketing that isn’t personal, that isn’t interpretive and selling, selling,

 

49:41

Tom Stanfill

Right. Yeah. But it’s good. It’s great. I love it. I love the idea of the end is death.

 

49:50

Tab Norris

I know I’ve never,

 

49:53

Tom Stanfill

I wasn’t, I was thinking the end of the meeting and have the yeah. The solution. Yeah. That’s great.

 

49:59

Tab Norris

It really is awesome. You think about Tom, a lot of our clients we’ve worked with for 20 years, I mean, and it’s fabulous. And, I don’t ever want it to end. I mean,

 

50:10

Tom Stanfill

All of this know, and it’s so great. It all of this, if you just, if you simplified it down and there’s a lot of great strategies and skills that we’ve talked about and capabilities, but underneath all of it’s really all about serving. It’s really about if you, if you focus on serving the people that you’ve been allowed to serve, and you do that well, and you figure out what’s important to them, and how are you serving them? You focus on what’s their needs are and discovering that it, and by the way, motive is ultimately transparent. That’s not the case, they know it, they smell it a hundred percent.

 

50:50

Tab Norris

Yeah. That was the thing that I thought was so powerful coming up to COVID. It gave us an opportunity to serve people with nothing in return, like calling customers and saying, I know you have no money. You’re, you’re in a tough spot. Guess what I want to serve you. I want to help you transition whatever I can do. Don’t have to pay me. We’ll figure that out later, we all get back on our feet. It was, it was just a golden opportunity to do exactly what, high trust selling. That’s what high trust selling is. Right. I mean, it fits.

 

51:21

Todd Duncan

Yeah. I think, if you take this great conversation and just, focus it down to one thing, to your point, Tom, and tab yours, that the holy grail of high trust selling is the high trust interview. We’ve created a downloadable document.dunkin.com and it’s the high trust interview. It is the most profound example that I could ever give away for free to show you what you just said, Tom, which is got a serve. I got an, I got to learn what people need. It’s a generic guide. We put it, you just put it in the show notes, let people come. There’s no obligation at all. Just, just come and download it and just look through it. It’s just, it takes the high-trust interview and truncates it down to three things you should be doing all the time and gives you examples of it. I’m telling you right now, all you need is that the interview, the interview is the interview.

 

52:22

Todd Duncan

I N N E R. If I can get to the inner piece of this with.

 

52:26

Tom Stanfill

People, right.

 

52:26

Todd Duncan

I’ll have them for life, just to.

 

52:28

Tom Stanfill

The emotional drivers.

 

52:30

Todd Duncan

Right. It’s just going to be superficial. There’s nothing, there’s no value in superficial relationships. In fact, it’s almost an oxymoron.

 

52:38

Tab Norris

Yeah.

 

52:39

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. This has been gold. Todd gold. I really loved of.

 

52:44

Todd Duncan

The.

 

52:45

Tom Stanfill

Me. I would love that.

 

52:46

Tab Norris

Well, I mean, I’m sitting here looking at, balanced life and business success. I mean, I want it, I can do, we could do a whole pack podcast digging in onto that. So this.

 

52:57

Tom Stanfill

Has been awesome.

 

52:58

Todd Duncan

Hey, I’d be down. I’d be down for that. Only because the world is hurting right now, people are really hurting when they look at the collision of have no trust, no competence. Some of the world order, I’m really tired and fatigued from zoom and from COVID funding to figure out how do I jumpstart everything again? So, you know,

 

53:19

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. It’s hard. I mean, it’s, it’s yeah. People are struggling. It’s not easy right now. I think that’s, I would like, so I’d love to continue. Thanks for joining us. Everybody download a high trust interview by the book, High Trust Selling. I also, I love the, the, the name. Give me the name of the book about the failure trap. It’s called time traps, proven time traps, proven strategies for swamp sales people. It’s a game changer. Yeah, that sounded like a must read. So thank you for joining us. Thank you for serving this community, right. We, we, I love how, what you’ve been doing for the industry and the message that you’re sending. You’re making an impact. Thank you guys very much. Thank you guys for your leadership and congrats on Azlan and how long you guys have been helping people as well, and to join and connect with you guys today.

 

54:11

Tom Stanfill

Thanks. And let’s do it again. All right, guys. Thanks for everybody for joining another episode of SALES with ASLAN and leave Todd some comments and reach out to him and make sure you download those tools, the high trust interview and buy his books. All of them all 17. Thank you. All right, my friend, take care.

 

ASLAN teaches sellers an easier, better way to gain access & influence unreceptive customers, by eliminating the hard sell.

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About ASLAN

The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.