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What Sales Is Not According to a Business Coach

The following business transcript is taken from an in-depth Thrive15.com training that features business coach Clay Clark, US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year, and Mickey Michalec, 7-foot sales pharmaceutical sales phenom, on one of the best business schools in Florida!

Clay:                My name is Clay Clark, and I’m the CEO and lead business coach of Thrive15.com. Today I am joined with a man who is very tall, a man by the name of Mickey Michalec. He is a 7 foot super sales phenomenon. He is going to be teaching us a little bit about sales. Specifically, he’s going to be teaching us about what sales is not. I think a lot of us have a misconception that sales is about high-pressuring your brother-in-law to buy a bunch of steak knives at a fraction of the retail price, or to pressure people to buy things they don’t want and need. Mickey’s going to teach us about sales and what it isn’t, and what it is.

We are here today with Mickey Michalec. Sir, it is always a pleasure to have you on Thrive; I appreciate you being here.

Mickey:           Hey, thanks for having me, you prestigious business coach.

Clay:                Now, I don’t want to oversell here as a business coach, but I am kind of your hype man. You know? You are one of the top pharmaceutical salespeople in the region. I say top because I know doctors all over the place, up and down the Midwest, and people know who you are. Attorneys are now saying, “I want to meet this guy. Could I learn how he does it?” Other pharmaceutical reps go, “do you know Mickey?” I don’t know if it’s because you’re 7 feet tall, or if it’s because you’re doing well, but either way people know you, you’re doing well providing for your family. Today we’re talking about sales and what sales is not. You’re one of the top salespeople out there, and so we’re going to talk about what sales is not. Again, Mickey Michalec, top pharmaceutical sales rep. Here we go.

One, sales is not for good talkers only. Now, a lot of people think, “well, he’s a good talker.” Now, Jerry Vass, the author of Soft Selling in a Hard World, he says, “good talkers often choose to become sales professionals. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that selling well means listening to your business coach well.”

Mickey:           Mm-hmm. (affirmative)

Clay:                What are we talking about here? What is sales is not just for good talkers? Talk to me about sales. Why is it not just for good talkers?

Mickey:           Well, I love it when people bring up that, “oh, he’s a talker; he’d be great in sales,” because I think if you’re a talker then you’ll just talk to anybody. The problem with sales and being a good talker is you’ve got to understand what the need is before you can provide the value. You have to know what they’re looking for before you can allow them the opportunity to get what you have.

Clay:                It seems like you’re talking to this person over here, and you kind of almost have to, … if you’re not careful, you have no idea what this person needs. But, if you can ask them enough questions, and find out specifically where their heart is and what their needs are, then you can sell a solution to their problem. You have to find out where their heart is, what their need is, right? You find their need, and then you kind of sell the solution, which kind of connects the need here. Is that basically the idea? You’re selling the solution?

Mickey:           Yeah.

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Clay:                Let me ask you this. In your career, you discovered quickly that high-level sales without a business coach, I’m not talking … we’re not selling snow cones here. We’re talking about selling pharmaceutical products to doctors; life and death situation. High -level sales is dominated by great listeners, and not great talkers. Have you ever ran into somebody who’s struggling in sales, simply because they won’t shut up enough to listen?

Mickey:           I was that guy. Early on in my career, it was almost my learning opportunity every time my manager rode with me was learning how to talk with the doctor, not at the doctor. I think that’s the main problem most people have without a business coach, is they’re so set on getting out what they have to say, that they’re not willing to stop and play the quiet game and listen.

Clay:                It was told to me one time by one of my mentors, he said, “what you’re doing is you’re vomiting on the desk of the person that you’re talking to.” I’m like, “vomiting?” He’s like, “you’re like, ‘bleh,’ and then they’re like, ‘gross,’ and they’re done talking to you.” He said, “that’s how you have to view it, if you’re just spewing data and knowledge.”

Mickey:           Yeah.

Clay:                He told me the 70/30 rule. The person that you’re talking to, connecting with, the person you’re trying to sell something to, they need to talk 70% of the time. Your business coach would teach you that.

Mickey:           Yeah. I’d say.

Clay:                Do you agree with that?

Mickey:           I agree, and we do that by playing the quiet game. I’m going to ask you a couple awkward questions. Just I’m going to throw it out there, know that this is going to be awkward.

Clay:                Awkward.

Mickey:           Awkward. I’m going to make it uncomfortable so we can feel the tension and we can learn what it’s like to be quiet and feel that silence. Hard question number one. How much money do you make?

Clay:                It’s about $54,000 a month.

Mickey:           Is your home life good?

Clay:                I would say, from my perspective, yes. I think my wife would say, “needs improvement.”

Mickey:           Are you Republican or Democrat?

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