How to Network for Authentic Connections, with Jeff Beals [Episode 386]

Joining me once again on this episode is Jeff Beals, a sales speaker and author, and Vice President of a major real estate company. Among the many topics that Jeff and I discuss are, Jeff’s multiple current jobs, the biggest challenge to salespeople in 2017, how to connect with prospects, how to do networking effectively, whether in person, or digitally, and what you should allow on your own social media.

Jeff was also the guest on Episode 056.

Key Takeaways

  • Jeff is a sales author, speaker, and strategist, who trains and speaks all over the world. His second job is VP of Sales and Marketing for a Midwest commercial real estate firm. He also does a weekly business radio show.
  • Cutting through the clutter is the single biggest challenge facing salespeople in 2017. It’s getting harder and harder to reach people where they live and work.
  • Jeff believes in grassroots selling — making connections with people at home or at work. Marketing is at a disadvantage compared to face-to-face interactions by salespeople.
  • Jeff advises reps who use phone and email marketing, (1) to be exceptionally interesting, and (2) to be other-focused. The demands on salespeople are not decelerating at all, while the difficulty of reaching contacts is accelerating. Any big data you have, your competitor probably has it, too.
  • Jeff started selling 30 years ago, face-to-face, and by phone. The ability to know how to behave in a networking space can really help you do business in 2017. People crave the personal touch, if it is relevant and interesting to them.
  • Andy’s trend prediction for 2017, is to start seeing the return of the human element in sales. The last mile of the sale is connecting from the data pipe into the client’s needs.
  • Andy mentions Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room, as a bestselling guide to networking. People know networking is key. Networking benefits Jeff, in both his careers.
  • The goals of networking: clearly state in your mind the desired outcomes — “I’m going to get a prospect, or at least a very good lead on an opportunity, and I want to get valuable information, and meet valuable people, to further my goals.
  • Use the Rule of Thirds. Spend ⅔ of the time with any one person asking about them and their interests, and ⅓ of the time on your own self-marketing expertise. People are self-obsessed; give them a fascinating reason to think of you.
  • Always go to a networking event by yourself. Since that might be challenging, fill your mind with a vision of success. Act the part of a successful networker. Decide to be outgoing. You will incorporate those traits into your personality.
  • Facebook and Twitter impact your personal brand. Don’t post anything there that your customers won’t like. Post photos and things, even family items, that will make you look good in front of your clients.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: It’s time to accelerate. Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales, automation, sales process, leadership management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you.

 Hello and welcome to accelerate Coming back on accelerate today as a previous guest, his name is Jeff Beals. Jeff is a sales speaker and author and moonlights, actually, I know it’s the other way around but I’m going to say, moonlights as vice president of sales for a major real estate company. I think it actually is your main job, maybe moonlight as a sales speaker. But, Jeff, welcome back to accelerate.

 

Jeff Beals: Thanks, Andy. It’s an honor to be back.

 

Andy Paul: Oh, my pleasure. My pleasure. So maybe for people that didn’t hear Episode 56, which they should go back and listen to. We had a great conversation about your book about what you can learn about sales from big-time college football coaches, which as you know you knew at the time was one of my passions.  Take a minute and introduce yourself again.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah. Well, as you said, I’m a sales author, speaker, and strategist. And I do training and keynote speeches all over the world and written a couple books. And then like you said, my other life I basically have two full-time jobs, drives my wife nuts. But, the other one is in charge of sales and marketing for a commercial real estate firm that operates in a couple Midwestern states. So, Andy, I’ve got a little bit of career ADD, I got to do a lot of things to keep myself sharp.

 

Andy Paul: I guess, you’re just not satisfied.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, or I get bored too easily. Yeah,

 

Andy Paul: Or you get bored too easily. So, do you have kids?

 

Jeff Beals: I do, I have two a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old and they’re both going to grow up to be little salespersons they, they’re with me all the time. I host a business radio show every Saturday and they come to the studio with me that’s fun to hear some of the business jargon that they use from spending too much time with dad.

 

Andy Paul: Okay, so that you started hinting at a third job as a radio host. I see. Yeah, gosh, you just don’t, you’re not busy enough.

 

Jeff Beals: That all goes together though.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, you’re trying to catch up with your neighbor  Warren Buffett?

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, I do. I do live in the same town as Warren Buffett. We don’t hang out a lot, but I did meet him one time in 2001 when he ran into the back of my car.

 

Jeff Beals: It’s a true story. .

 

Andy Paul: True story so you had a fender bender with Warren.

JB

Jeff Beals: I had a fender bender with Warren Buffett and unfortunately, there was no damage so I couldn’t share in his wealth through his insurance account, but he was a very nice guy during the whole part. Very nervous to by the way.

AP

Andy Paul: Well, yeah, I would imagine when you have that much money, anything happens I’m sure he’s thinking okay, this guy’s going to sue me. He’s probably a dialing his lawyer already.

 

Jeff Beals:  Yeah, he’s driving his car, no bodyguard or anything.

 

Andy Paul: That’s amazing, isn’t it? 

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, that’s, I think why it was in Omaha. So we can have a life right. If you wouldn’t if you’re in some big celebrity, you know, saturated areas, like LA or New York

 

 

Jeff Beals: That’s probably true. It’s a pretty down to earth place here.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. All right. So, we’re talking now it’s the early part of 2017. Yeah, we’ve done the kickoffs already. But now like asking, in your mind, what is the single biggest challenge facing sales reps in 2017?

 

Jeff Beals: Well, I think there are a lot of them. But if you ask for the single biggest one, it’s, it’s probably cutting through the clutter. Because there is so much noise in the marketplace, it doesn’t matter what your industry is, Andy. There’s just so much noise and people’s attention, their attention spans are being stretched so far and so wide that I think that’s the hardest thing is cutting through the clutter. Once you have a group of prospects that you’re working with, you can use your good skills and let your products and services stand on their own merit. But it’s getting harder and harder to reach people where they live and work in the first place.

 

Andy Paul: So, okay, what do they do about it? Okay, now, what’s the problem, what’s the solution.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, I think, I think in some ways, it kind of depends on your selling style and what you sell. But I’ve always been a big believer in what I like to call grassroots selling methods in which you, you find people where they live in work and you make a connection with them, and I think any industry that lends itself to that has an advantage in a world where it’s hard to cut through. In other words, let me translate that if your industry depends almost exclusively on marketing efforts, it’s tough in this day and age, because there are a lot of benefits if you can go reach people one on one face to face or at least over the telephone.

 

Andy Paul: Well, but yeah, I think there’s a gradation we’re sort of talking about you said yeah, companies are largely dependent on marketing to generate interest and awareness and leads. On the other hand, you were initially started talking about the grassroots selling at least I envisioned this sort of more classic field sales type role. In the middle, then we’ve got this emerging inside sales model where there was not face to face, at least oftentimes not in person or very limited in-person face to face connection, so in that environment, I think that’s really the hard part for some people now if you’re only contact us through email or through phone, how do you cut through the clutter?

 

Jeff Beals: Well, and that is, that is hard, I think, I think there are a couple things you can do om that that type of marketing based environment. Number one is you’ve got to be exceptionally interesting, there’s got to be something compelling about your messaging, which allows it to be not only noticed but certainly given any extra attention in a crazy, hyperactive world. And I think the other thing is, you always have to remember to be other-focused. In other words, people will care about what they care about, and pretty much nothing else. And I think those marketing type salespeople that remember that are more likely to have that email opened or that direct mail piece read than someone who doesn’t really obsess about what the reader, listener, viewer cares about.

 

Andy Paul: So really research being the key I guess if you’re saying if we’re going to find out what somebody cares about, we really need to understand who they are and what they do care about, so let’s take some work.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah

 

Andy Paul: And I think that’s one of the conundrums we face is that you know, some of the power and some of the tools we have is enable sort of mass personalization if you will. But other hand the goals that are put out there, and the processes in place don’t always seem to allow a lot of time for it.

 

Jeff Beals: No, because the demands on the people who are doing the selling don’t seem to be decelerating at all. And the other thing that makes it tough is that any sort of technology that you and your company can use to, as you say, personalize mass marketing, your competitors are probably using it too. And so, it is awfully difficult, but I think that’s why you really have to whether you’re doing the grassroots type of selling, which I’ve always greatly preferred, or whether you’re in a heavy marketing environment, that that other focus that being obsessed with the would be client cares about is paramount.

 

Andy Paul: Okay. So part of that grassroots marketing is networking. And this is a topic that’s near and dear to your heart. You have published a book about it called Goals Based Networking. So what was the impetus to write this book?

 

Jeff Beals: Well, I’ve always sold that way.  I started selling things in one way or another 30 years ago. And so, I’ve always believed in selling that way. And certainly, in my practice, I do a great deal of inbound marketing work and content marketing work and know that it’s important but ultimately, most of my business comes from getting on the telephone and talking to people or showing up at events and, building relationships and, that also helps me even with people who are geographically far-flung from me. I go and travel all over the country like I assume you do too, and I can meet with people before or after a presentation at a conference or some sort of meeting and develop business from those conversations.  I think that that ability to be out there in a networking environment and know how to behave in it, and know what to do when to do, what not to do. That can really help you do business in some ways, maybe even more so, in 2017 because people crave that personal touch at least a personal touch that’s relevant and interesting.

 

Andy Paul: Well, I think that that’s right. I mean, somebody asked me to predict what I thought was a trend in 2017 and my feeling was that we’re going to start seeing the return of the human the element in sales, it’s not that we’ve gone to an extreme one way and now going to the other extreme.  But, we certainly got through here the last couple years where all the talk has been about technology and process and not very much about at the end of the day. You have this issue, I call it the last mile sales, that just like an old telecom days where you know, it’s easy to get the big data pipes to the central office, but how do you get the connection to the home.  It’s that last mile, same thing is true in selling, and that’s really where the rubber meets the road. Yeah, you can leave all your automation to generate your leads, getting people into your funnel, your content, marketing, so on and so forth. But, at some point, someone’s got to talk to another person.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, yeah, and the more complicated and big ticket the sale is, the more important that human touch in the last mile probably is, you know, if I’m buying something that’s pretty low cost, low risk, fairly commoditized some ways I prefer to work with a machine. But,  if I’m dealing with something that requires budget consideration on my part or a lifestyle change, I definitely want that consultative human approach.

 

Andy Paul: So, back to networking, because it’s certainly one way then to start injecting human element into it. Is, I get the sense that, again, we’re seeing the change in sales models that well, okay, who still networks? It sounds like it’s a foreign concept to some number of people that are in sales is that especially perhaps again with the solid move to inside sales saunas, but it’s still really important. I don’t think it’s an accident that like Susan RoAne’s book if you read her book, How to Work a Room, by networking, yeah, it’s one of the it’s a huge seller. We’re talking over a million copies sold. People want this knowledge on how do I just make a fundamental connection with another human in an environment that’s sort of work-related, but not entirely.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, I think the reason why her book has done so well, is because so many people now as they always have, know, innately that networking can make them a lot of money or help them reach their goals or make their work responsibilities easier. They know that but frankly, they’re lousy at it because some people, they’re either too gregarious, and they think they know everything and they talk too much or more, what’s more, common is they’re too socially timid or hesitant and so they avoid going to certain things because they don’t know the right person, or they have unrealistic expectations about what they should get out of a networking event. And so that’s why I think it’s really important to, to have a plan to have a strategy to have some skills with networking. And again, that’s probably why the book you referenced is sold so well, people. People aren’t easy with it. They aren’t comfortable with it, but when they learn how to do it, they get a great deal of benefit.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, and so you look at, professional services, field sales, solopreneurs. A field of one of your  many responsibilities, real estate sales, that’s fundamentally a local  business in many categories not exclusively, but that’s another one. I mean, it still is very relevant.

 

Jeff Beals: Oh, yeah. mean, you know, in my life I am involved in the sale of real estate, which is a local regional play. But the other part of my life selling sales, training and keynote speeches and books and all that is very much an international play. And interestingly enough, I derive almost as much benefit from networking like activities on the consulting and sales training side as I do on my real estate career. It’s just that if the thing you sell is more national or global, your networking is going to be a little different. It’s going to be geographically dispersed. A lot of it’s going to be virtual online, but the same principles certainly do apply.

 

Andy Paul: So in your case, you said multiple occasions you get hired by clients overseas to go speak? How are you networking with them?

 

Jeff Beals: Well in-person networking with someone who lives in a different country is probably not going to happen all that much. Although once you get there,  you don’t just speak or you don’t just do a sales training, there’s going to be a reception or a dinner the night before, there’s going to be a lunch in the day of there might be cocktails following the sales presentation. And I always feel that during those times I’m trolling for additional business because I want to go back to that country and speak to a different audience perhaps. And then also, I think you take the same principles of face to face networking, which I’m sure we’ll talk about in a few minutes,  you can apply those same principles to virtual or electronic networking Just because the medium changes doesn’t mean that the messaging and the technique changes.

 

Andy Paul: No that’s interesting. So you have three goals of networking. Then we’ll get into the specifics of techniques as you just referred to, and like a lot of things inside I think one of the things that doesn’t happen with networking is that people don’t approach it with a plan. It’s not just hey, roll your eyes, I’ve got to go to this networking thing tonight because my boss wants me to go, roll your eyes again. But instead, it’s like, hey, this is an opportunity. So you may feel a little uncomfortable because maybe I’m a little bit of an introvert but hey, this is an opportunity where I can actually engage someone face to face as opposed to through an email or phone call.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, I couldn’t agree more. Because, you know, if you think about it, we sales consultants will recommend to a sales rep never go into a meeting or a phone call without clearly stating in your mind what your desired outcome of said meeting or phone call is. And I think that, I don’t think, I know the same thing applies to networking events. Andy, one of the reasons why most professionals are somewhere between poor and lousy at networking is the very lack of the plan we’re talking about. That’s why I named this ebook we’re talking about Goal-based Networking. I believe before you go to any event or place in which networking will take place, however you defined networking, you put a three-tiered goal in your head. You say to yourself, goal number one, I’m going to get a direct opportunity out of this event. Now, sadly,

 

Andy Paul: meaning a prospect.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, yeah, I mean, a prospect, a customer. Sadly, that doesn’t happen most of the time. But then you want to say to yourself, I at least want to get a very good lead on a direct opportunity, which pretty much should happen most every time, almost every time. If it doesn’t, it means you’re not talking to enough people or, not saying the right things, or asking the right questions. And then finally, goal number three, you say to yourself, and I want to get valuable information that furthers my goal and meet valuable people who can help me reach my goals and that should happen multiple times at every single networking event. And if again, if it doesn’t happen, it means you’re either not talking to enough people or not asking the right questions or possibly having the bad attitude, like you said, rolling your eyes and saying my boss is making me go to this damned to networking today.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah. Or, and again, perhaps just a little uncomfortable in that environment and you don’t ask the additional questions,  you don’t prob, you’re not others centric, in the case of what you really need to be interested in the other person to get them to open up to you. And I see all time in networking events is something that might be a little uncomfortable. They find the one person that will talk to them comfortably and maybe you can listen to them a little bit, and then they stick to that person throughout the evening, as opposed to saying, okay, now I’ve got an obligation to talk to as many people as I can here and have conversations.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah. And that one person you talk to very, very likely is not a buyer. And I think that’s one thing we have to keep in mind. When you go to a networking event, sure you don’t know who could help you don’t know who knows whom and could give you great advice. So you don’t want to ever you know, ignore any person and leave anyone but you have to be logical and commonsensical about it and that is, hey, figure out, who among these people here have the highest likelihood of helping me close a deal now. And that’s where we want to spend the preponderance of your time.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah. And I think, for salespeople think about this, if in the buying sense, right, if you look at a specific type of buyer and set aside networking event for a second, and in the challenger customer, they did a good job describing this. The individual, I forget the name, they gave out the type of individual, the one that really will talk to the one will give you a lot of time, the one that seems sort of friendly and open, you know, that’s not the one that’s going do the job for you. That’s not the one that’s going be the one that’s making the decision and this is the one that you know, it’s just happy to have somebody come to talk to them and you sort of gravitate to them because they will talk to you and it’s not leading to where you need to go. So, if you’re at a networking event, and yet you’ve latched on to all these people or they latch on to you, part of the skill of networking is how to excuse yourself from that situation go on to someone else.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, you absolutely do have to shake people every now and then because and this is especially true if you sell a high dollar item like, frankly you and I do the high dollar intangible things like you and I do a lot of people at a networking event want to live out a personal fantasy with someone who sells something. You know, they know you they know that never be a buyer. But sometimes it’s kind of fun to engage a salesperson who sells something that’s maybe seen as prestigious, glamorous or whatever. And it maybe makes a person feel a little big time, whatever, you have to be able to kind of tactfully, politely, professionally sniff that out, and, and move on. And, you know, there are a lot of little things you can do very tactically, if I’m at a traditional networking event where they have drinks and cocktail, and more hors d’oeuvres, that sort of thing. If all else fails, if my little verbal attempts to leave a conversation don’t work, I think to use the bar, I use the hors d’oeuvre serving table. I’ll even use what I call the smart bomb, which is the restroom run. But you can always think of one way to get away from that person is just two people and time user.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, no, absolutely. So interestingly, the bathroom excuse, that’s a good one. So, we’ve already got the three goals, getting a direct opportunity, getting lead on a prospect, and meeting new people, learning new stuff. So once you’re at the event, then you have some specific tactics you talked about. And what I liked was what you call your rule of thirds. Once you tell people about that,

 

Jeff Beals: yeah, the rule of thirds basically says you spend two-thirds of the time with anyone person talking about them their interests, you know, thoughtful, creative, probing questions about them. And one third about yourself and, you know, this makes total sense. We’ve heard it many times before you’ve got two ears in one mouth, use them proportionally. But the reason that works is that people tend to be obsessed with themselves. Even the most generous and thoughtful person really is obsessed with himself or herself. I mean, I’m not afraid to admit, Andy that I am my favorite subject

 

Andy Paul: that you’re an egomaniac.

 

Jeff Beals: I’m fascinated with myself. And if you show sincere genuine interest in my favorite subject, I simply am powerless not to like you.

 

Andy Paul: What’s that Nebraska Football?

 

Jeff Beals: And well, that’s certainly I that’s my alma mater. So I wouldn’t mind talking about that either.

 

Jeff Beals: Although not after,

 

Andy Paul: Not after the after my Badgers beat them last weekend, right. Okay.

 

Jeff Beals: Oh, thanks for reminding me. Okay. All right.

 

Jeff Beals: But I think you know, I think that that focusing on them is critically important, but at the same time while you want to focus on the other people, a networking mistake that a lot of salespeople and other professionals make is that they end up focusing too much on the other person.  For instance, and they say to themselves, subconsciously, if two-thirds of the time is really effective, what would happen if I listened to the other person three-thirds of the time? And they’ll certainly love you, they’ll think you’re a sparkling conversationalist because all you did was let them talk about themselves. But if you don’t reserve your third, your name and face don’t pop into their head the next time they hear of an opportunity for which you would be perfect. You’ve got to reserve your third.

 

Andy Paul: Okay, I like that. I have a rule I talked about it’s called the ask, don’t tell, which is, you know, when you’re in a conversation, you have the temptation to say something about yourself, ask a question instead. But what’s going to happen invariably is they will turn around and ask a question at you. And answering with a question at that point is not good form and you need to be prepared to talk about what you call it the area of self-expertise.

 

Jeff Beals: Actually the I call it the area of self-marketing expertise. But basically, that is something about you, that is fascinating to someone who does not do what you do. And so when you do reserve your third, you want to be very choosy and selective about what you say. And that’s where their self-marketing expertise comes in. And sometimes when I say that to audiences, that something about you that’s fascinating as someone who doesn’t do what you do that sounds like a little bit of a tongue twister, but you want to find the sexiest, most prestigious, glamorous part of what you do. To kind of give you an idea, we mentioned my day job, so to speak is in commercial real estate and when I started doing that, 16, 17 years ago, I remember once being at a party after I had just been on the job a couple weeks and everyone was asking me about new buildings being built or when is this retailer going to come to town or why are they bullied some of the expensive condos downtown, and all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks that people were very interested, fascinated, obsessed with what I did for a living commercial real estate. But they didn’t give a damn about how to negotiate a triple net lease or to figure the load factor of an office building. And to know about the sexiest, most glamorous parts of what I did. Now, no matter what you sell, even if you sell something that frankly you think is kind of dull and boring, there’s something about it that is interesting to someone who doesn’t do it and by God, that’s what you want to focus on that’s what you want to touch on. Leave the behind the scenes inside baseball stuff with your colleagues and only focus on what’s glamorous because if you do that, then you are pleasantly memorable.

 

Andy Paul: I like that, so when you what’s glamorous about what you do besides the building in the sales consulting and speaking world.

 

Jeff Beals: And I kind of have an unfair advantage actually because the two jobs I have to tend to be a little more glamorous and others you know, for instance, like I said, when we people saw me at that party, they want to know about new retailers and cool buildings and all that sort of thing. And so people, people like that. And then as a speaker and trainer, you know, you meet fascinating people, you go to class A venues and, and travel all over the place. So there’s certainly some glamour there. But I think ultimately when the listeners are thinking about their own businesses, and you want to know what’s interesting, think back to all the times you have been in a public event at a social event and think about what people ask you about what you do. And if you’re having a hard time coming up with something that would be your area of self-marketing expertise, think about is there anything about your profession that intimidates people that they think is funny, that angers them, frustrates them? Is there anything about, are there any perceptions about your industry that would maybe make someone want to do it you know, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Is there any reason why somebody would want to reach their fence and nibble on your grass so to speak. And I think those are the things that lead you to an area of self-marketing expertise. And then I guess finally would be, is there anything about what you do that changes people? Because that whole dynamic of people going to change or becoming someone different overcoming an adversity if there’s anything about your product or service that causes that, that might take you down the path to a very good area of self-marketing expertise?

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, in that array, you become the hero of the story. And people remember the heroes,

 

Jeff Beals: Right, yeah. And, and to kind of give me an idea in Omaha, I work in commercial real estate, and in this town, people primarily know me through that role. And I will go to a social setting and, and someone will say, oh, well, just last night, I was at a social event and someone came up to me and said, tell me about this big development that’s happening just west of the Med Center. I heard there’s going be a hotels and all this sort of stuff and a bunch of retail and everything else and, and what they had heard was correct. My particular commercial real estate firm has absolutely nothing to do with that project yet because I’m in the field they expected me to know about it. I did. And so we talked about it a little bit. And that person probably thinks, left that conversation thinking, at least subconsciously Jeff Beals fascinating guy, commercial real estate. If I ever know anyone that wants to invest in property or leased space, I’m going to send them his way.

 

Andy Paul: I’m calling Jeff. One of the strategies you have been for working in networking is what you called a positive vision. So what did you mean by that?

 

Jeff Beals: Well, a lot of people are somewhat intimidated by networking. You know, one of the things I always recommend is that you should always as much as possible, go to networking events, stone cold by yourself. Don’t bring a spouse or significant other, colleague, friend, anyone, because it’s almost inevitable unless the person you are with as an extremely skilled networker that you will gravitate to them, you know, you’ll go, you’ll have the hors d’oeuvres. I love the bacon-wrapped scallops if they ever still serve them, and you sit around and talk about shop or life. And so I always say go by yourself, but that scares the hell out of a lot of people. Because there’s something intimidating that reminds them of the seventh-grade dance or something like that, where you’re going and you don’t know anyone, and you have to go up to strangers. And so I think some people get intimidated, and I say, one of the ways that you can kind of transcend that is to visualize success. So, you know, if you were ever an athlete, your coach may have had you visualize success before a game or a match. It may sound cheesy, but I literally think you do that before networking event.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, and I sort of carrying a little bit with that point, too, it is you know ac the part. Right? I mean, that’s a perfect opportunity. There’s Jill Konrath and her new book talks about this thing, as if phenomenon as you know, acting as if you are this type of person. And there’s actually research showing that if you do it for sort of short bursts over an extended period of time that you actually start incorporating some of those things you want to be into your personality, and to the way you talk and so on.

 

Jeff Beals: Oh, absolutely. 100% through some practice repetition, you can become the type of professional that you want to be, you know, it’s just like, I know much of our audience are people who work in sales. And a lot of times I’ll work with the sales reps who will say something like this, well, I’m, I’m a lousy closer, or I just don’t have what it takes. Or, you know, I don’t think I’ll ever be good at closing. And, and I always say to them, well, what if we really examine the root cause as to why you believe that? And what if we started attacking that? And then what if we started to essentially act like or pretend that you’re a really good closer, over the course of time, you’re going to become a highly effective closer because our brains are so powerful that can literally turn ourselves into almost anything that we want to be and networking is no exception Andy.

 

Andy Paul: Right. And in fact, we do in life anyway. So that’s why I think that it’s not really that much of an odd phenomenon because this is how we grow as individuals.

 

Jeff Beals: Absolutely.

 

Andy Paul: This particular instance.

 

Jeff Beals: yeah, we can just you can just decide to be outgoing, you can just decide to be networking competent, you just then after you decided to have to put in the

 

Andy Paul: put in the time and effort.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, I mean, it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s like you flip a switch. But that’s why is said, Jill that I talked about in her book is just you practice it in limited quantities, and eventually, it starts to stick. It’s like any habit. Okay, so the last point about networking. Before we go to the last segment of the show is you had some cautions in the book about virtual networking, I thought was sort of interesting about because this is a, you know, this is an area of debate we see a lot about. How much of your personal stuff should you be sharing online? The impact that’s going to have on your personal branding and business. So you had some thoughts about that.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah. And when you think about virtual networking, originally, LinkedIn was all about business and careers. Facebook was all about the personal and social stuff, and Twitter was kind of whatever you wanted to make it. And what’s happened, though, the lines have become very, very blurred. And there are a lot of reasons for that. One of those reasons is that most of our listeners have gathered huge networks of so-called friends, right? And so, you know, it’s pretty common these days to see someone with a LinkedIn profile of 500 plus, in fact, if someone doesn’t have 500, plus, sometimes you’re almost taken aback by it. And you see Facebook connections with 1000 or 2000 or 5000 friends and I don’t know how anyone can have any friends but you can call them whatever you want, so the lines have been blurred and I’ve always defaulted on the side of abusing social media. primarily for professional reasons. And a little bit of social I use, I use LinkedIn exclusively for business reasons, professional reasons. And then Facebook, I do a hybrid on that. And so basically, when I post something personal on Facebook, I deliberately post things on Facebook that are not only okay for my clients and prospective clients to see, I actually want to post things on Facebook that actually make me look good in front of my clients. So I do post pictures of my kids, but I’m going to strategically choose which pictures to put on there.

 

Andy Paul: Standing in front, that new building you’re trying to sell.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, yeah, are they you know, put on the one which they, you know, they got their hair combed or whatever their case may be. Because I think you as a professional as someone who sells you always want to humanize yourself. And you got to remember to that in many of our industries, not all but in many of our industries our personal connections can lead to business connections, either referrals, or more personal people themselves. So I think that line has blurred and it’s okay that it blurred some people aren’t comfortable, but I think it’s okay that it blurred as long as you understand what it is now. And as long as you are acutely aware that everything you post personally needs to pass through the filter of not only being acceptable to the would be clients and current clients but actually makes you look good in front of those people.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah, and again, it gets back to what we talked about before about having a plan as is I see this with people and they consult with me about the personal brand and so on and, to your point people are seeing everything so if you just don’t care that’s one thing they don’t care what the impact is on how people perceive you in the business world hey, that’s fine, you can do that. Or if you know,  if you’re Kim Kardashian, your businesses your personal that’s one thing but if you’re like most of us and the two are fairly separate, then you’re just trying to use humanize yourself. Yeah, you have to have a plan, what are you going to post and what’s acceptable and maybe what you would have posted when you’re in college, you’re not going to do that now and maybe you’re going to open up a second account, separate accounts or something or close on and open a new one that reflects, we’re going to be professionally.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah. And then for some people, they need to get a pseudonym account. I think ultimately, when we’re talking about virtual networking, probably the most important advice I can give to people who sell for a living or really any professional is that the exact same fundamentals of networking apply to virtual networking, as in-person networking. And I’ll tell you why I think this is important. Remember, back in 1999, when the .com thing was going crazy, and there were all these companies selling crazy items, and we’re actually getting venture capital because people thought the novelty of being able to buy something on your computer would make everything profitable. And the old joke was, that’s why there’s no more pimentoloaf.com that ever existed or not. But that all came crashing down because fundamentals of business eventually ruled the day. Well, in social media and other virtual networking platforms, a lot of times see people doing things just because of the channel or the medium. And I don’t think that works. The same things that are interesting to you if you and I are speaking face to face at a cocktail party, are the same things that will be interesting about me to you if you’re following me on one of the social media. So people need to do that they need to remember that every rule applies in social media, you have to still do things that are interesting. You have to do things that further your personal brand as opposed to detract. You got to give a person reasons to follow you. If you go to a networking event and you are just the dullest, wettest blanket at cocktail parties eventually, people will catch on to you and they’ll stay on the other side of the room from you. The same thing goes on social media.

 

Andy Paul: Okay, Jeff last segment of the show. I’ve got some standard questions I ask all my guests and actually sort of rapid-fire questions you can give me one or two answers or elaborate if you wish. So the first one is, in your mind, is it easier to teach a technical non-salesperson how to sell or to teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product?

 

Jeff Beals: Definitely the second one, I have a lot of experience with that. I think anyone that knows how to sell you can teach them the product details or bring them up to speed. It’s harder to get a person who doesn’t sell or certainly doesn’t enjoy selling to get started.

 

Andy Paul: Okay. So I have to phrase this one carefully because people keep misunderstanding. So what’s the one great literary book, meaning a nonbusiness book, you would recommend that every salesperson read

 

Jeff Beals: you mean like a novel?

 

Andy Paul: Yeah,  or Shakespeare anything you you’ve read in your life that’s had an impact.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, that’s a hard one for me to answer because almost every book I’ve read for the last 10 years has been a sales or leadership or management book.

 

Andy Paul: We got to get you out  more, buddy, we got to get you out.

 

Jeff Beals: I know I, I’m one of those guys. I literally read the book every week, but I probably haven’t read a novel in years, I’m embarrassed to admit that. So can I take a pass on that one?

 

Andy Paul: All right, we’ll take a pass. Put it on your list to do for 2017, though.

Jeff Beals: okay, because I would want to, and I’d want to think back to, you know, the last several novels I did read, which are probably definitely more than five years ago and give you a right answer.

 

Andy Paul: no problem. All right, and we don’t invite Jeff back to the show. Okay. Now so now the next one is, if you could change one thing about your business self, your business self, what would it be?

 

Jeff Beals: You know, believe it or not, I sometimes have call reluctance. And, you know, I’ve been selling things for 30 years, but I sometimes if I’m, if I have to call a person who lives in the C suite, I still sometimes get that tinge and I sometimes will procrastinate. And so even the guy who preaches about sales has to get better himself.

 

Andy Paul: Yeah. Oh, my gosh, I think that’s probably universal. All right, the last one for you. Do you have a favorite quotation or words of wisdom you live by?

 

Jeff Beals: I’ve got so many of them. But there was one I read recently and you’ll laugh because it’s actually a quote on a poster in the bathroom wall at my office.

 

Andy Paul: It doesn’t matter what the source doesn’t matter.

 

Jeff Beals: Yeah, you see it every day. But it’s a quote from Muhammad Ali. And any I don’t know it word for word, but he talks about all of the preparation that goes into succeeding long before he quote dances under those lights referring to the actual boxing match, and I love it because it reminds of closing sales. I mean, if you think about it, when you go see a boxer if you’re a boxing fan and the boxing matches, but if I were to go to a boxing match and let’s say I was back in the 60s when Muhammad Ali was in his prime and I watched Muhammad Ali and I saw him just destroy some other guy, I might think to myself oh, he’s the best I wish I was like Muhammad Ali, but you don’t think about them all of the investments that he made to get to that point. And I like to use that as an example when I’m thinking about doing deals or closing sales and all that because people get so wrapped up in the end or maybe the glory that comes from succeeding but really, the end is a foregone conclusion for people who put in the work on the front end. And that boxing quote applies to life and business.

 

Andy Paul: Will track down a quote from Muhammad Ali and put it out there. Well, good. Well, Jeff, thanks again for joining me on the show is to tell people how they can find out more about you.

 

Jeff Beals: Well, they can just go to my website which is JeffBeals.com easy enough, and certainly be happy to connect with any of the listeners on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

Andy Paul: Okay, yeah, So, again, thanks for being on the show. And remember friends, thank you for joining us today and make it part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And one easy way to do that, take a minute to subscribe to this podcast Accelerate. And that way you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today Jeff Beals who shared his expertise on how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks for joining me and until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.