In this episode of the BKOT podcast, Chris has discussed with Bob Burg who is a keynote speaker and co-author of the best-selling book "The Go-Giver". They had discussed "The Go-Giver Way" Imparted with wit and grace, its a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”
#BKOT 47: BUILD A KICKASS OFFSHORE TEAM
THE GO GIVER WAY
Hosted by: Chris Rivera, Director Client relations, Entigrity Offshore Staffing
Guest: Bob Burg, Keynote Speaker & Co-author of "The Go Giver", Burg Communication, Inc
Chris: Alright! Welcome back for another series and our #BKOT. Very excited today to present to our audience. We have Bob Burg who has over 30 years of experience and we're going to be talking about the “Go Giver Way” and I think this is very valuable for the accounting industry as we are trying to utilize the resources out there to make the firms more efficient productive and can pretty much take on anything in the near future. So Bob thanks for your time today please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Bob: Oh my pleasure Chris! Great to be here well I am just a guy who started out as a broadcaster first on radio and television was not very good at it at all and I graduated into sales I like to say. For the first I would say three or four months I floundered because I had no experience in sales I had no formal training but once I began to study it and realize this is you know a long time ago now this is 40 years ago when I first got into sales and started picking up books and back then it was cassette tapes that's how long ago this was and going to seminars and realized that it was a skill set and realized that selling unlike what so many people think about it that it's trying to you know convince someone to buy something they don't want or need that's not it at all. G
Great selling is simply discovering what the other person does need want and desire and help them to get it. So I really got very involved in sales and the personal development aspect and eventually worked my way up to sales manager of a company and then began to teaching others. Teaching others what was working for me and working for those on my team.
Chris: Now the go giver so tell me about this, what is the premise for this book here and what is the meaning?
Bob: Yeah it's a business parable so it's a short story basically co-authored with the John David man who's a fantastic writer and storyteller I am much more of a how-to guy. I am step one step two step three so I am the boring one john's a great story teller.
It's a story about a guy named Joe who is that sort of young up-and-coming ambitious, aggressive but very frustrated business person because his focus was on the wrong place and what the go-giver really is all about is understanding that shifting your focus and this is really where it all begins Chris shifting your focus from getting to giving, now when we say giving in this context we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others, understanding that doing so is not only a more pleasant and fulfilling way of conducting business it's actually the most financially profitable way as well and not for some way out there kind of magical mystical reason but for very logical rational reasons.
When you're that person who can move your focus off yourself and on to serving others helping them overcome their problems and challenges helping them get closer to happiness people feel good about you people want to get to know you they like you, they trust you, they want to be in relationship with you, they want to do business with you and they want to spread the word and tell others about you.
Chris: I couldn't agree more with that if they like you, they trust you and they trust your product, service whatever it may be they will definitely buy in and that's important you may know everything about your product or service inside and out.
Chris: But if the person don't like you could be the best product in the world you're just not gonna they're not going to work with you whatsoever.
Bob: They don't trust you in terms of both competence and character, there's also an issue you know so it really is that kind of full that full idea they need to either know you or at least know who you are and that's where referrals come into play of course and then as you said the like is so important and then the trust factor.
Chris: Yeah and I noticed that too sometimes clients when working with them they'll out of nowhere they just start asking they start interviewing me and asking what happened I have done how long I work for the company what do I like to do outside of work and I am like what wait what's going on, but I appreciate that they're wanting to get to know me on a personal level which will make them feel more comfortable. Now you mentioned in the book about five laws so can you share some insight into these five laws here.
Bob: Sure so the five laws themselves are the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity and receptivity the first one is:
The law of Value and this says that your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment now when you first hear this it sounds a bit counterintuitive give more value than I take in payment that kind of sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy. So it's simply understanding the difference between price and value price being a dollar figure a dollar amount it's finite it simply is what it is. Value on the other hand is the relative worth or desirability of a thing of something to the end user or beholder in other words what is it about this thing this product service concept idea what have you that brings so much worth or value to another person that they will willingly exchange their money for it and be glad they did while you make a very healthy profit and we can take the example of someone who hires that CPA to do their taxes okay and this practitioner charges will and we'll just name a round figure a thousand dollars to do that person's taxes that's fee or their price but what value are they giving their client in exchange for this well through getting to know that person their business, their situation, their desires what they're looking to accomplish through all this and their years of experience they're able to save that person.
Let's say five thousand dollars in taxes they also save them countless hours of time and they provide them with the security and the peace of mind of knowing it was done correctly so when you think about it they've given that person well over five thousand dollars in value in exchange for a thousand dollar fee or price they gave them more in value than what they took in payment. So this client feels great about it and the CPA makes a very healthy profit which they should and but here's the thing and I think this is so important, this happened not because our practitioner was focused on the money they were getting right they were focused on the immense value they were providing their client.
The money was simply the result of this this is why John David man and I say that money is simply an echo of value. Money is an echo of value, it's the thunder if you will to values lightning which means nothing more than the value to that other person must be the focus the value comes first the money you receive is simply a natural and direct result of the value you've provided that's really the law of value in a nutshell.
Chris: So I think that's very important Because if especially as firms are trying to kind of transform themselves into this new age and thinking about how to present rather than charging for an hourly base more value based pricing and I think it's important to understand that and sometimes they're a little bit nervous to move over into that type of price they think they'll lose clients but what you said is spot on that it doesn't matter about the price as long as the end user the client feels that they're getting what they're paying for they'll be willing to pay more and yeah focus on that so much.
Bob: Yeah and value is always in the eyes of the beholder so it's always a matter of looking at what they see as being of value it's not what we think is of value or what we think they should think is and that's why the discovery aspect is so very important when talking to a potential client. We've really got to be able to you know we've got to be able to understand that we all see the world through our own unique set of eyes our own unique model of the world if you will and we tend to think others see it basically the same way we do and it's just it's not true they don't. So it's really up to us to ask questions and really be able to listen.
Chris: Now also through out the book one of the principles you mentioned is influence. So how does someone create influence within themselves and also within their firm in this instance or their business and so can you talk a little bit on that?
The Law of influence and that's law three says that your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first. Again, counterintuitive sounding counterproductive at best and maybe even pollyanna-ish at worst right and yet you think about it the greatest leaders the top influencers the most successful rainmakers right the highest producing money earner this is how they run their lives and conduct their businesses they're always looking out for the other person's interest.
Now let me clarify that for a moment and qualify that when we say place the other person's interest first we certainly don't mean you should be anyone's doormat not at all and you should not be a martyr or self-sacrificial in any way absolutely not at all it simply is Joe the protege and the story learned from several of the mentors and as we talked about a bit earlier the golden rule of business is that all things being equal people will do business with and refer business to those people they know like and trust now here's the thing Chris there's no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you and others from others than by genuinely moving from that I focus or me focus to that other focus looking for ways as same one of the mentors in the story advised joe making your win all about the other person's win and interestingly we can start during our first conversation with someone.
So let's say you're a CPA who is attending a party a social function or it could be a business mixer or it could be a charitable event and you know you meet someone there these are great places to network but sometimes CPAs are just a wonderful job at what they're doing they're loathed to feel as though they're trying to drum up business or network well let's look at networking though a little differently okay. Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial give and take or give and receive win-win relationships the focus is on the give part so when you're looking to give value to another person it's something that other person's always going to feel very comfortable about and very much respect so when we're talking about giving value here we're not talking in terms of your profession we're talking in terms of just establishing a relationship with someone and doing so in a way that again we move from an eye focus to an other focus.
So you meet someone at this charitable event this person is a sales manager of a copying machine company and so they basically they sell copying machines really high-end really great copying machines so one way to add value is to focus on them and ask them questions about themselves that they will enjoy answering. I call these feel-good questions because they're not salesy they're not prospecting they're not intrusive they're not invasive they simply make this person feel genuinely good about themselves thus about you and about the conversation and there's no pressure on you right because your focus on them so what if you asked Gary what the first question is simply how did you get started selling copying machines or a little bit more graceful way might be how did you get started as an office products professional? Now this is a question that is so effective because it's not particularly slick or clever not at all in fact it's very mundane and yet people love answering that question why because unlike everyone else who immediately is coming in with their elevator speech and trying to sell them their prep.
Chris: Who's doing your accounting?
Bob: Right! Exactly you're instead focused on them and they appreciate that because they're not asked to share their story right who asked them how they got their own family has never asked them how they got started in the copying machine right and here's you who they just met rather than focusing on yourself you're asking them about themselves.
Now the second question might be something such as what do you enjoy most about your work? Wow Gary you must have had some fascinating experiences what do you enjoy most about what you do and again this fog flies into the face of so much traditional sales teaching where we're taught to immediately find their pain right. There's not even a relationship there and we're supposed to reach into their heart and tear it out and start writing and no instead find their joy find their joy what do you enjoy most it's a feel-good question that he lists a feel-good response and then you know you've asked a couple of these questions and there's a really nice rapport being established you feel very comfortable because you're not trying to feeling like you're trying to drum up business and trying to right but this person's feeling very good about you and then the one key question this is not one of the fielded questions it's one of the it's what I call the one key question that will really separate and distinguish you from the rest and that is to say something like so Gary how can I know if someone I am speaking with would be a good potential client for you see that's a powerful question because the way you're asked first of all again you're communicating value to them you're letting them know that your focus is on them and you're asking how you can help them in their business and their life and the way you ask it the way you framed it that person's going to give you an answer that's going to help them to help you.
So let's again Gary sells copying machines to businesses. Gary how can I or a good way to lead into this too is to say you know Gary I always love connecting good people with other good people how can I know if someone I am speaking with would be a great potential client for you? Or you could even say something like you know among a lot of my clients there's some fantastic people who might need your services how can I know? If that’s right so the way we frame this Gary knows we have their best interest at heart and so this is a conversation that again maybe takes seven minutes I mean it doesn't have to take a long time and if he asks you about what you do great you can share with them and if there's some interest you can always you know set up a time to me that's fine but it's probably not going to happen that first time and it doesn't have to and that's the key.
Make sure you get his business card which he's going to want to give you because again you've offered to refer business his way if he asks for yours great give it to him but realize he's not gonna do anything with your card that's it this is gonna be up to you and then you're in a position to be able to follow up and follow through and I will tell you the very first thing I would do is I would send a personalized hand written Thank You note okay and it's very simple and I you know I put mine in an eight and a half by three inch note card it's about 70 to 90 pound card stock so there's some substance to it and it's got you know your contact information on there. It might have a you know a benefit statement you know helping people to blah blah blah whatever very just pithy you know very valued but lots of white space to write okay
And the note is simply Hi Gary or dear Ms. Johnson or dear Susan or however the relationship's been established thank you it was a pleasure meeting you if I can ever refer business your way I certainly will or if you met at the kids ball game it might be you know again hi Janet or hi Steve thank you it was a pleasure meeting you at our kids ball game I thought you were sally and my tommy were the two best out there smiley face whatever it is and then put it in a number 10 envelope handwrite it put a regular stamp on it not a meter machine a regular stamp and send it.
It's going to get there the next day and this person is going to open it up and immediately the warm fuzzy feelings come back and you know this is so key because what you've said to this person what you've communicated is I am a pro they see you as you know you ask them those great engaging questions you didn't talk about yourself you were focused on them and how often you know so we're in a conversation with someone who lets us do all the talking right so wow what a great conversationalist that person what that's that right so there's no pressure on you you're focused on them you send that note and again it's not that they're going to write back and say hey I want to do it but you're creating that environment and then you take the rest of our follow-up follow-through system and methodology and you position yourself as that CPA who when they are ready to when they need your services you're the one they're going to call and or refer to others and once you build that know like and trust you can contact them and so and there's many ways to do it but that's just one way of immediately communicating value to others by placing their interests first.
Chris: I love it! I love the whole idea even with the handwritten note that really resonated with me. I am always a believer that the littlest thing that you do for anybody whether it's work, colleague, friends, relationship the littlest thing that you do goes so much further than buying a buying expensive gift or a fancy restaurant or things like that but it's just the littlest thing and in effect and this goes back years ago as I have been not as long as you but I have been in sales and marketing for about 16 years in different industries and I just always find that just the smallest thing the littlest thing that you do really means the world to somebody and this helps you especially when firms are managing different teams I mean there's all sorts of different people, all sorts of different personalities and everybody's managed a different way and so you can't just do a template approach to managing these folks and so I always found that you know having individual meetings with each of them you have your general meeting but then you have individual meetings you're able to find out a lot more and whether it's five minutes or ten minutes talking with them just that having a hour-long meeting with the group right and it's okay but having that 5-10 minute one-on-one conversation means the world to these folks is what I have seen and so yeah I completely agree with you.
Now you obviously know what you're talking about and you're sharing some great ideas so for you what one piece of advice that you received before even knowing what meaning to be a go giver was that was a difference maker with you.
Bob: Well, that's a great question and there was actually a time I would been in sales for a couple of years and again had been doing pretty well because I had been learning it and studying it and then I went to another company Chris and I was selling a high-end product and I was in a slump right from the beginning and as I was trying to get out of the slump I did sort of young salesperson mistake and that is I focused more on myself and the slump and how am I going to get out of the slump and me as opposed to the focus being on my customers and I remember coming back to the office one day after a sales presentation that again failed that didn't happen and one of the people there who's an older guy who he was not even in the sales department I think he was in the engineering department and he retired soon after I didn't know him well, but he was one of these guys who is a nice guy he didn't say much but whenever he did say something it was typically very profound and he must have seen me as Joe the pro like the protege in the story I would write about with John David Mann 25 years later or whatever because he said to me Burg he was a last name kind of guy he said Burg can I give you some advice and I said yeah please do I need it.
And he said if you want to make a lot of money in sales a lot of money in business he said don't have making money as your target your target is serving others. Now when you hit the target you'll get a reward and that reward will come in the form of money and you can do with that money whatever you choose but never forget the target you know the money is simply the reward for hitting the target right it's not the target itself. Your target is serving others and Chris I think what that really told me was that great salesmanship is never about the salesperson right you know, great salesmanship is never about the product or service itself as we were talking about earlier right great salesmanship is really about the other person it's about adding value to the life of that other individual and I guess really we could say it's about another person's life being better just because you are part of it and I think that when we approach business that way regardless of our profession I think then we're really nine steps ahead of the game in a 10-step game.
Chris: I love it! Yeah and so that moment right there really resonated with you and you're able to hopefully you started getting on that slump but the idea is that it's just it's sometimes I think we just all focus on the wrong things and don't realize or sometimes even complicating the heck out of things when we just go down to the root cause, the root value is so simple but sometimes we just complicate it and I like the fact that you're just taking a step back and looking at it in a different way it's very important to do that well I could talk to you for the next hour and a half if I ever had some time I really appreciate you sharing this this insight and before we wrap up though any final thoughts to share with our audience.
Bob: No, I mean I think it really comes down to just understanding that no one's going to do business with you or with me because you want the business or I want the business they're going to do business with us because they believe that they will be better off by doing so than by not doing so and I think that's great because it means that those professionals who can truly focus on the other person's interests that's the person who's going to have the most lucrative practice.
Chris: Yeah! spot on as folks are moving over from on the compliance side and doing the advisory side today you provided some awesome insight folks check it out go giver over a million copy sold great little story right here. Bob again thank you so much for taking time out like I said we could talk there all day. But for now again thanks for your time to our audience we'll be back soon with another episode thanks everyone for listening in take care.
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