Larry Broughton, an award-winning entrepreneur, CEO, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and mentor to other entrepreneurs, joins me on this episode to unlock tips for personal growth that sellers can use to tie their career back to true meaning.
The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.
Andy Paul 0:35
Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. Joining me on the show today is Larry Broughton. He’s an award winning entrepreneur, CEO, bestselling author, keynote speaker, mentor to other entrepreneurs. Larry, welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.
Larry Broughton 1:10
Hey, thanks for having me. Let’s have some fun.
Andy Paul 1:12
I think we will, I think we will. Introduce yourself, tell us what you’re doing.
Larry Broughton 1:19
Well, that’s a good intro. That’s a great start, by the way, so many people will think I’m kind of the schizophrenia guy. And they might be a little bit right on that. But I’ve got a lot of interest all over the board. And I grew up in rural New York, and traveled around a little bit in my martial arts days before I went to the military. And I spent about nine years in the military, eight of which were in the Army Special Forces, you know, those guys as the Green Berets. And yeah, and was a great experience. And my first job out of the military on active duty was as a night auditor in a small little rundown motel motel in San Francisco. Back then it was called the Garden Inn. And after being there for about six months an investment group came in to buy the thing and renovate it. And the plan was to turn it into a kind of a new concept back then called a boutique hotel. Now, it’s a very popular part of the industry. But back then nobody really knew what we’re talking about. It’s now called the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco, and it’s still there today. Yeah, so that was kind of my entree into the hotel industry. To me entrepreneurs are like, modern day I don’t know pioneers and explorers, they have to look out past the horizon. And so I just love entrepreneurship. And then as I was coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs over the years, I really realized, really what we’ve got is a leadership problem. In this country, we have a big leadership gap. And so now I spend a lot of time speaking about leadership, and helping entrepreneurs and other people actually lead their organizations. So that’s kind of what I do then. Absolutely blessed.
Andy Paul 3:28
You’re being a little modest. I mean, you are CEO and owner of a hotel chain.
Larry Broughton 3:35
Yeah, so it’s called Broughton Hotels, and we really focus on independent and boutique hotels. And we’ve got, you know, close to about 20 Hotel projects, either that that we’re currently operating or that we’ve gotten the pipeline at this point. And we’ve got a pretty hairy goal. And in fact, Andy might be the first time I actually say this publicly. Our organization knows this. But we’ve got a pretty big audacious goal to have 80 hotels by the end of 2020. So to do that, that requires a whole lot of things, right. It requires time, capital and talent. And so there are absolutely unique challenges that come along with that. And so that’s very exciting.
Andy Paul 4:34
That was big. You know, you’ve written and you talk about the importance of being great and and you differentiate great from being happy, successful or even talented. Yeah, so what is great because for our audience, we’ve got entrepreneurs, we’ve got business owners, we’ve got C level people. Everyone wants to be great. So what’s it mean to be great?
Larry Broughton 5:17
I use the term success a lot when I’m out. When I’m doing some writing, or I’m speaking, having short conversations. That’s what people get, you know, success. People want to be successful. But what the heck does that mean, you know, and I was blessed. I was in Scottsdale over this past weekend speaking to about 200, female military veteran entrepreneur doors. And I just kind of went on a tangent while I was on stage, and that’s how many people want to be successful and everybody starts cheering, they raise their hands. And I said, here’s the deal, though. If you want to be successful, stop chasing success, because it’s meaningless. It’s empty, it’s hollow. If you really want to have a life of impact, if you really want to do great things, you’ve got to be a great person. And by that I mean you have to live a life of significance. When you live a life of significance and you significantly impact your communities, your place of worship, your families, your team members, your investors, success is the byproduct of significance. And by that, I mean, are you living a life of meaning? Leadership is tough, trying to drive revenue through sales. a traditional sales program is tough. And if you don’t have passion with it, if you don’t know why you’re doing that, then when the going gets tough, you’re going to quit. You talk a lot about sales Andy. And you know, it’s so funny that most salespeople give up after you know, two or three attempted contacts with a potential salesperson or a potential client. Usually like 13 times before they even know, taking your call right is why cold calling sucks, right?
Andy Paul 7:06
Listen to the show that would attest to that.
Larry Broughton 7:07
So you’ve got to build relationships with people. And people want to do business with those that they know and trust. Oh, we tend to like and trust people who are living a life of significance and serving more than those people who just write, don’t you bump into me all the time. And you can tell this is just somebody who wants to take from me?
Andy Paul 7:25
Oh, yeah, I mean, the typical one these days is you know, somebody contacts you on LinkedIn to connect with you on LinkedIn. And you just know by looking at this request that yeah, if you say except hearing get hit with an email in a day saying it happens.
Larry Broughton 7:41
You know, I’ve got what I have a canned response like cut and paste now because it’s almost daily Andy that I get those things to LinkedIn right request is that the first time they contact me, they’re pitching me. And that is not the way to do sales. You got to build a relationship with people. This is why I really try to get people not to. And this is the dramatic statement, I tell people to stop going to networking events. Do that to get people’s attention, right? Because people don’t want to network, you want to build a relationship with people I go back to and people want to do business with so that they know, like and trust. Well, you have to have a relationship with somebody first. And most of these networking events that you go to, what happens? You’re approached by somebody, they’re stuffing their business card in your hand. They might give you a pitch, but their eyes are automatically scanning the rest of the room to see okay, who’s my next victim?
Andy Paul 8:40
They may have a quote on my cards there. So stick about. That’s all right. Some people go to meetings and define if I don’t make 20 connections, not really 20 connections. Yeah, it wasn’t successful.
Larry Broughton 8:51
Yeah. So if they were to take that next step, actually, in figuring out how I can serve these people that I have cards from That’s the right, that’s the right step. But too often, you know, people will take these, take these stacks of business cards and then do nothing with them except pitch them right out of the gate. So I guess my whole point here is that if you’re gonna live a life of significance, if you want to do great things, you got to be a great person while they’ve got to build relationships with people. Now the thing is, though, that’s scary when you build relationships, that means there’s gonna be a little bit of vulnerability that goes along.
Andy Paul 9:25
Well, it’s hard, right? And that’s one of the things that isn’t taught oftentimes for people when they’re out networking or making connections for sales relationships, is that vulnerability is really important. humanizing yourself.
Larry Broughton 9:39
We are so afraid to be authentic and show our real self for some strange reason. You use the word that I like to kind of push on a little bit for a good reason. And you said, yeah, it’s hard. So when I was in the army, one of the mantras was this. Do the hard right over the easy wrong. And yeah, sometimes Doing the right thing. It’s hard. It’s gonna be uncomfortable. And this is such a cliche, it’s such a cliche, but I mean, it makes sense, right? You know, success is just outside your comfort zone. And you know, you can’t coast in one way. It’s downhill, though, those are all kinds of cliches, but there is real meaning behind those.
Andy Paul 10:19
How do you approach somebody that you don’t know?
Larry Broughton 10:36
So what I do I have to really get psyched up. If I’m going to approach somebody I don’t know what I try to do is I take a wing person with me. Yeah, so what happens is I’m so I’m often surprised at how many introverts are in the sales force and they’re in the sales world. Yeah, but I take a wing person, oftentimes, I like to just take somebody who knows other people, and then we can just play off of each other. And so we generally look together, we’ll go approach someone that we don’t know, what I try to do is I don’t ask, what do you do? You know, or what’s your business, what I try to do is just get some small talk going, right to put me at ease and put them at ease. Because my thing is that oftentimes when I go to these networking events, or somebody approaches me, and they ask, what did you do? Well, automatically, what they’re doing is they’re going through this kind of shifting, like, are you worth my time is really what a lot of these people are asking. Right?
Andy Paul 11:38
As opposed to building a relationship?
Larry Broughton 11:40
Exactly. But oftentimes, it might not necessarily be what I do, but it might be who I know that I can help.
Larry Broughton 11:49
Larry Broughton 11:50
And so there are degrees of separation. That is what I mean, LinkedIn, I like LinkedIn a lot. I think I’ve heard people on your show, talk about LinkedIn quite a bit. So that is one of the things that I like about LinkedIn is that you know, just because I have a contact with one person, there might be something that’s two or three degrees away. Who I need to get to? Well, that’s the same thing when you meet somebody live in person. Just because I can’t you’re not you might not get a sale for me today doesn’t mean that I might not be able to add value to your organization and vice versa. So my thing is this, your question was, what do you do with somebody? I don’t know if it’s an event. I just try to build that trust factor.
Andy Paul 12:31
I mean, there’s been a bunch of research recently talking about just the power of a smile, the scale to start a relationship with somebody.
Larry Broughton 12:37
Absolutely. And I am amazed at going to these networking events then and now I make it almost a sport for me. I stand back and watch me but we’re trying to build relationships and I got this very serious, dour, pessimistic look on their face, trying to grab business cards and like you can just see how painful it is for them. So I smile, try to make some small talk and just build the know like and trust factor.
Andy Paul 13:00
So we talked about life of significance. I mean, it’s, I think the thing that is a lesson for sales professionals in particular, I think entrepreneurs, by and large begin to understand this, but this idea of the life of significance isn’t that transcends personal and business.
Larry Broughton 13:17
Of course, well, here’s the thing, you know, years ago, I used to live my life in these little compartments, you know, I had my professional life, I had my personal life, I had my private life, I had my, all these different lives, right? And, and that was hard to keep all those balls in the air. And what that is, that’s a lack of integrity. When you live a life of integrity, then everything is integral, you know, you blend all these things. And so the person you see, sitting here at my desk in my office right now is the same person. You know, my friend saw last night when we were out to dinner, that same person that my kids see and so, you’ve got to live, you know, a little more authentically, I guess, I’ve got to be more real.
Andy Paul 14:09
I think for that point, it’s really critical for people in sales or people that deal with customers a lot is oftentimes that sort of picture of themselves as being on stage right when they’re dealing with customers. And yeah, being on stages, by definition is playing a part. And, yeah, the customer sees right through that.
Larry Broughton 14:29
Yeah, and I think you can play a part or feel like you’re on stage. I mean, I need to sometimes talk myself up as if I am going on stage, but I can still be real. I can still be authentic if I’m on stage and there is a little bit of performance when I was in martial arts when the phrases my twin brother and I who is a martial arts rockstar stud, is obsessed with his control. And when we talked about getting that internal energy or that vibe, but pulling it back, just enough that You know, you’re not spinning around like a whirling dervish, right. So access within control. And so to me when I have to, quote unquote get on stage, that’s what I do because people pick up on this energy. You know, there is this kind of electricity vibrational thing that happens. I want to get to West Coast California for your international audience. Here you are in Southern California. Yeah, that’s right. But think about it when you meet someone at one of these networking events, or if you’ve got a team member or someone on you know, I don’t know just somebody in your organization who has a really low energy or low vibe. It’s not very attractive. Right? And so if you smile, and you’ve got kind of this eye energy, then it’s a little bit more attractive. Now this life of significance thing is we really do have to realize that we aren’t just here to make a sale. I just really believe that it does transform just our professional and our personal life. If we just do good in the world, somehow the world rewards us for that, but this, you know, back in the 80s, there was that movie Wall Street right and Gordon Gekko. What was the famous quote was greed is good. And he was kind of cheered on back then in the 80s, if you remember, I remember and but what do we realize now that that’s not really the way the world works best, you know, this whole competitive, and this is one of the things about these networking events. It drives me crazy that this whole competitive approach to success is empty and hollow, though I win by you losing I got more accounts and thereby I’m better than you. It’s really a collaborative success. This is where I’m, you know, how can we actually help each other win by you winning? That’s what I was saying, you know, when I go to these networking events, and if somebody goes through their little qualification process, and I don’t fit that, then I have no value to them. Well, I know a whole lot of people and I’ll bet you if we built a relationship If I can help you out. So when we stop looking at everybody as a potential prospect, but more like a human, I think it’s a great mental shift. And it helps whether you’re serving in a soup kitchen, or being a tutor for, you know, some after school program and, you know, inner city, or whether you’re leading a sales team of, you know, 50 people doing great things.
Andy Paul 17:28
I think it’s complicated for people these days, when we talk about this, the serving and you just, you know, put this great paradigm about people believing that, they only win if you lose, or vice versa. You know, you look at our political environment these days. I mean, it’s very distinctly we’re so polarized it very much is, you know, I win, you lose. Right, and there’s no this will be how do we work together to make this country better, right. Yes. And I think that seeps into the dangerous seeps into sort of everything right seeps.
Larry Broughton 18:03
But when we accept that just because one person we think is right that I’ve got to be wrong or they’re wrong because I’m right.
Andy Paul 19:17
So one talk a little bit, you had talked about 12 keys to greatness. And I’d be interested to run through some of that. So, and we’ve talked about some of that here today, but already, but one, which is, to me is just so critical, because what we see in sales too often these days is people sort of being too overly scripted. And whether it’s because of insecurity or there’s new and they’re learning or whatever, but you said number key number one is you have to become more self aware. And I think it’s just so important to you know, if you’re dealing with another person, you know, if you’re more self aware, you can also be more aware of them.
Larry Broughton 19:57
Exactly. That’s the key in the military, we talk about LSA, low situational awareness. And that means kind of like, recognizing what’s going on around you, instead of just being so self absorbed about, your little situation. It goes back to serving other people. And just being authentic in real and checking in with your teammates and your, in your tribe, from time to time. So we really do have to be self aware, you know, it’s a little bit of staring at your navel from time to time. And, you know, looking inward, and one of the things that I do each day is I start each day with a morning routine to get me centered. And just check in how am I feeling today? What’s going on? And start thinking about the positive impact I’m going to make in the world and on my team. But if we’re not self aware, and really organized, what are our strengths, and what are our weaknesses and working on our strengths and then building our sales team and our teams around us. to augment those weaknesses, then you make a bigger impact when we’re when we’re self aware.
Andy Paul 21:07
And so do you take a moment at the beginning of the day, a little quiet time, little meditation affirmation?
Larry Broughton 21:14
Yeah. So what I tell people now is I started my morning routine the night before, because I started doing a lot of reading on sleep and brain activity over the years, and I’ve recognized that the way we go to sleep is the way we tend to wake up. So if I’m putting negative news stuff and war movies in my head before I go to bed, well, that’s what my brain is processing. And that’s the way I wake up. And so before I go to bed at night, I do a little bit of a gratitude journal. If I’m not actually writing down, then I’m just listing in my brain, in my mind, all those things that I’m grateful for. And that kind of calms me down. And then the morning when I get up before I check email before I check voicemail before I get on social media, I make my little green smoothie drink, have a poor cup of coffee, and sit down and take seven minutes. I just start with seven minutes of affirmations, readings, meditations. And sometimes it turns into 15 minutes and sometimes it’s 20 minutes but I can do it in seven minutes. And really truly I’d say I talked myself into this is going to be an awesome day and here’s what my goals are for the day. And oftentimes it’s not Hey, I’m gonna make this many calls today. It’s not hey, I’m gonna you know, close this deal today. It’s Hey, I’m gonna serve this many people that I’m gonna make a positive impact on if I see somebody at Starbucks, I’m gonna open the door for them. But somebody at the grocery store, I’m going to carry the groceries for them. Yeah, I get very intentional. I think that for years I was just like a leaf on the wind, a whole lot of activity and I was floating around but when I actually start living the life of intentionality that actually translated and actually spilled over into the number of calls I was going to be making right that the number of new leads I was going to be making right at that day.
Andy Paul 22:57
Interesting. So sir, along with that then one of the key points you said is learning to love yourself.
Larry Broughton 23:04
That is a hard one for so many people because we carry on or I do. And I thought because I do I get a chance to speak to thousands of people each year on this topic, we still carry around a lot of negative vibes that our second grade school teacher didn’t like our report or, you know, dad didn’t give me enough positive affirmations growing up. And so I’ve got a book out there called flash points for achievers. And one of the flash points in there to kind of daily affirmations is that if we let other people talk to us, the way we often talk to ourselves, we just slap them. Right? That’s great. And we can’t do that we really do have to love ourselves because, you know, I believe that we were, you know, all there was some massive creator out there that created this whole universe in us in that we all have unique IP DNS and that if we don’t recognize what those gifts are, then it’s and use those gifts. I think it’s immoral. And so when we recognize I don’t need to be like anybody else out there, I just need to be the best version of me I can. And this is kind of corny, but I’ll tell you the first several years of entrepreneurship on my own was very rough, because I was trying to pretend I was trying to act. I was trying to speak like I was trying to write like, I tried to dress like other entrepreneurs out there. Because I didn’t really love myself. I didn’t I couldn’t see the real value that I brought, right. And so it’s a process and some people it takes therapy, some people it takes reading, some people it takes, you know, quiet meditation others, it takes a query, you know, asking your closest people Hey, what this is like, really corny, but I had to do this. What is it that you like about me? What is the value I bring to this business?
Larry Broughton 24:54
Let me just want to spend one more second on this If you don’t mind, if you come to my office and you there’s a wall here with shelves on it, they have a bunch of different awards, copies of articles, trophies and that kind of thing that we’ve won or been that we’ve received for entrepreneurship and leadership. You know what, at one point in my career, somebody saw a moment of brilliance. I need to remind myself of that sometimes, you know,
Andy Paul 25:50
Not that at all.
Larry Broughton 25:51
Exactly. And so I think that we need to do that. Sometimes it’s called a talisman. Sometimes there’s something that maybe I can just if I can just touch it. Then there’s power. That comes from that. But we’ve been programmed Oh, you shouldn’t be so now you can you can you can love yourself without being a jerk or without being braggadocious without writing pomp this, right?
Andy Paul 26:11
No, absolutely. So it takes a little bit of humility, right? Well, sir parallel to what we were just talking about is one that I think is key that’s really hard for people and you serve addressed a little bit. But if you want to become great, you gotta let go of jealousy and anger. I mean, you’re trying to start patting yourself on other people as opposed to being yourself and see this all the time and sales, you know, people, it’s okay to model so what you do after someone else, but you’re not that person, right? You need to have your own thing and you can’t be jealous of what they achieve. And you see this all the time as people are so focused on what other people have achieved rather than, you know, doing what they roll over to succeed themselves.
Larry Broughton 26:54
Yeah, and it’s a hard thing and it was very hard for me to be honest with you. Jealousy is one of the deadlies you know, but a lot has to do with comparison and a lot more of it has to do with fear that if they’re winning, that means that there’s not enough out there for me. And I can just promise you, this is not how the universe works. The universe is not about a zero sum game. There’s enough opportunity, success, wealth, recognition for all of us. And so, I did start doing really daily affirmations and there’s, I can tell you, I’m not gonna say it here on the air, but there was one person that was very jealous of in the business world for a long time. And it got to the point where every morning I just had to bless this person. I hope that they do great things today, man, I hope new accounts today. And it felt very fake in the beginning because it was very fake in the beginning. But I had to just keep doing it and talk, you know, because our mind responds to positive things that don’t respond to negative negativity except in a negative way. And so I’ve gotten to a point where I just start blessing people that I don’t necessarily like or enjoy. And I’ve had a conversation over the weekend with somebody about, you know, it comes to politics too. Why don’t we just bless them and hope that they have a really successful term? Because if they have a successful term, we all do exactly the same thing. I think in sales, if we bless our competition, like good for you, guess what? And I’ve seen this over and over again, that those good vibes end up coming back to us because people see that people want to do business and they say it again, with people they know like and trust. If you’re negative and you’re jealous, people pick up on that negativity and they don’t want to do business with you, and they’re not going to refer clients to you. But I want my competitors to be so darn busy that they can’t handle all the business and because I’ve supported them, they start sending business my way.
Andy Paul 28:53
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, in the last year that came to me from someone that, you know, normally I’m a competitor with. But to your point, he was overly busy. He couldn’t handle at that specific time or dual commitments. And, you know, he referred them to me. It’s like, fantastic. I’m like, Okay, what can I do that again? I’m just like, anxious when I can have one kind of return the favor.
Larry Broughton 29:22
Yes. Yes. That’s a great way to live life.
Andy Paul 29:27
Yeah. All right. So the last one we’ll jump into is and this one is, is really important because this comes up. Actually, more and more, and it’s familiar with Robert Cialdini, who wrote the great book influence. He’s got a new book out called pre suasion, which he was just on my show a couple weeks ago and and, you know, we talked about know like, and trust is important, but what he found in the research and what the research is finding is that, that there’s actually a know like, trust and then there’s like, again, because he’s fine is that people are more likely to want to do business with people they think like them. Yeah. So to your point is, you know the key to greatness is to show people you care about them. You’re actually opening them up to a relationship because they think, Wow, this person likes me.
Larry Broughton 30:12
Well, it’s bilateral. It’s not just you know them liking you, it’s you liking them as well. Right. But you don’t know that and you don’t they don’t know that they like you unless you’re authentic. Right. So if you walk out the door of our offices here at our Broughton company’s headquarters in Orange County, California, there is a sign that says authentic people delivering creative solutions. So what does that do for all of our team members each day when they walk by that? Well, it’s a reminder we’re supposed to be authentic, be the same as anybody else. Just be real. focused on solutions, creative solutions. That might have worked one way one year that might work differently this year, but let’s just try to be really creative but it comes down to authenticity. And we’ve all had experiences, right? Where you’ve, you’ve met somebody or there’s a business associate, and they’re just fake. They’re a fraud. You don’t want to spend any time with them. There’s a great book I read years ago, frankly, after I was going through a divorce, called True faced. I don’t remember the author right now, true face. You know, that’s the take on two faces. Oh, they’re two faced, which means that you know that they aren’t living a life of integrity. Right now they have one personality or persona and one situation and something different elsewhere. Well, the whole premise of being true faced is showing your true identity all the time, being authentic, letting your guard down, and being vulnerable once in a while. Now, obviously, you’ve got to there are certain situations you know, you don’t want to walk into a meeting and they weren’t somebody you just met and spill your guts about your kids being an alcoholic and alcohol dependency program or those kind of things, obviously, there are boundaries that you need to meet.
Andy Paul 32:29
Well, I’m gonna make a point about authenticity, because I’ve seen this a fair amount in the last 10 or 15 years or because the whole thing about you know, being authentic has become more to come more to the fore, is that people take that as a license to sort of rid themselves of humility, because they think they’re being authentic. And, yeah, they think they’re smarter than everybody else. While I’m being authentic myself. I gotta tell you that I’m smarter than everybody else. And I just became a jerk. Throughout all this, I think one of the keys to greatness in my book is humility. Because you have to be empathetic to people and their situation, but there’s always people who are smarter, brighter, more creative, and so on, on the other hand. And humility is a great door opener.
Larry Broughton 33:22
Well, humility is a great door opener, but it’s also the lack of it is the Achilles heel. For most leaders and entrepreneurs. When people feel like they need to be the smartest person in the room and let everybody in the room know it. That’s a problem. There are a lot of them again, this is fear based, you know, because they’re afraid if I have people in my life who are bolder and brighter than I am, then, they’re not gonna have the same value. They’re not gonna make the same contributions. tell you this in my organization. I am proud that every executive on our team is bolder and brighter in their area of experts. piece that I am. And I’m a big believer that we should all have boards of advisors. Hmm, both personal and professional advisors that we can count on, who can support us who can, you know, help us during the bad times and serve us during the great times. And all of all of the members that are on my two different boards are all bolder and brighter than I am. But that takes humility. It really does. You got to be willing to say, hey, but it does, it goes back to what we’re talking about earlier. You have to do a little bit of self reflection to know what value I have, it doesn’t mean that they’re better than I am. It just means that in these certain areas, they’re bolder and, and they’re, they’re brighter.
Andy Paul 34:40
Yeah,l sort of summarize what we talked about. It’s not a competition between you and life. It’s not a competition.
Larry Broughton 34:46
You’re right. We can be competitive. Absolutely. I’m as competitive as the next guy.
Andy Paul 36:10
Excellent. Well, good. Well, again, thank you very much for joining me. And friends. Thank you for taking the time to join us today. Remember, make it a part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And one easy way to do that is to join my conversations every day with top business experts like my guest today, Larry Broughton, who shared his expertise on how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks again for joining me until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com.