TSP058 | Bob Burg – Transcription

TSP059 | David A. Rosen – Transcription
TSP057 | Michael Glauser – Transcription

John:

Welcome to The Successful Pitch podcast. Today’s guest is Bob Burg, the coauthor of The Go-Giver. In his book he talks about the five laws. The first one is value, giving more than you take. The second one is your compensation is based on how many people you serve and help, and finally your influence is of the ability to make others take action and feel good about it, being authentic, and then finally how receptive are you to receiving the good that’s out there.

He said investors invest in people they know, like, and trust. Your ability to have empathy is really a key part of getting people to know, like, and trust you. He said if you’re looking to make sales and get investors and get people to join your team, you should seek happiness because that is really what everyone’s looking for, so you need to look at what makes somebody else happy, what is happiness for them because it’s all relative, what happiness to you may not be happiness to others, and finally realizing people’s resources are limited like their time. So make sure that you’re giving is a good use of their resources and it’s going to make them happy. Enjoy the episode.

Are you a founder struggling with your investor pitch? Do you need warm introductions to the right investors to get your start-up funded? Do you need a funding road map to get you there fast? All of this and more can be found in “Crack the Funding Code.” Judy Robinett, best selling author of “How to be a Power Connector,” and on the board of Illuminate Ventures, and I, invite you to our free “Crack the Funding Code” webinar. Simply go to Judy Robinett, J-U-D-Y-R-O-B-I-N-E-T-T dot com and click on the webinar tab to see how to tap into our network of investors around the world. There’s a link in the show notes as well. You’re only one click away from getting funded fast.

Hi and welcome to The Successful Pitch podcast. Today’s guest is Bob Burg. Bob has some really interesting insights for us today. He ask the question, “Can a subtle shift in focus really make that big of a difference in your business?” He says yes. Bob is the author of a number of books on sales, marketing, and influence for the total book sales of well over a million copies. His book The Go-Giver coauthored with John David Mann has sold over a half-a-million copies and translated into 21 languages. It’s been reissued in a new expanded edition with a forward by none other than The Huffington Post founder, Arianna Huffington. Bob is an advocate supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise System, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve. Bob, welcome to the show we’re delighted to have you here.

Bob:

Well thank you John, I am just so delighted to be with you. Thanks for having me.

John:

Bob, your book The Go-Giver, first of all I just love the title that instead of the go-getter, it’s the go-giver. Can you tell us a little bit about how’d you come up with that great title?

Bob:

Well when John, a day with me and my awesome coauthor, and really the lead storyteller of the parable. He and I want to come up with a name that – you know, I had a little bit of a pattern interrupt to, but in a sense. So I think in any marketing message I think that – well the title of a book is sort of what the headline of a sales letter, and you want to draw people in. You want it to be a little bit different and a little bit distinct. So The Go-Giver was a title that people who are in sales or business, entrepreneurs, they look at that they say, “Wait a second, I have to be a go-giver.” Then the subtitle of the story about a powerful business idea. How does being a go-giver – what does that have to do with the business. So yeah, we did it for that reason, and of course, it did it that the message needs to be congruent with the title which we hope it is, and so the basic premise, John, is really nothing more than shifting one’s focus from getting to giving. In this case when we say giving, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing value to others, and that doing so is not only a nice way to live life, but it’s a very financially profitable way as well.

John:

Can you explain a little about what you mean? There’s actually five laws in the book and value is one of those laws about – when you give value to someone, you’ve had a great example about an accountant giving value to someone but people walking away happy that they got value and paid someone, and of course the person is also making a huge profits. It really is a win-win, isn’t it?

Bob:

It is, and that’s why when you first hearing these laws, these five laws, are somewhat counterintuitive in nature. So the law number one, the law of values says your true work is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment, and when you first hear that it might sound a little bit like hey, how do you stay in business doing that? It sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy, give more in value than I take in payment. But as you said obviously both parties win big. So we simply have to understand the difference between price and value. Price is a dollar figure, it’s a dollar amount, it’s finite, it is what it is.

Value on the other hand is the relative word or desirability of something to the end user or beholder. In other words, what is it about this product service concept idea that – or opportunity – that brings with it so much worth or value that someone will willingly exchange their money or their time or their energy or whatever it happens to be, for this value, and they feel great about it while you make a very healthy profit. In the example you talked about with the accountant, is simply very easy to get our arms around because we can imagine we hire an accountant for a thousand dollars to do our taxes. His price is a thousand dollars. What value does he give in return? Well, through his years of study in learning his craft, through his practice again and again through his desire to make our experience with him outstanding and he learns our business, he learns our needs, our wants, our goals, what we’re looking to accomplish through his services, and he’s able to actually save us. Let’s say $5,000 in taxes. He also saves us countless hours of time which enables great value because it frees us up to do what we would rather do and what we’re more productive doing. He also provides us with the security and peace of mind if knowing it was done correctly. We see here that while again price is finite, value is both concrete in terms of that $5,000 savings that’s pretty easy to get, but also to get our arms around, but also value is conceptual. When you think of that peace of mind, that holds probably more worth or value to someone that even the money they save. So what he did is he gave us more in value than what he took in payment, so we feel terrific about it and he made a very, very healthy profit which he should. The reason it happened is because his focus was on the right place. His focus was not on the money, his focus was on providing us with a super valuable experience. This is why we say that money is an echo of value. It’s the thunder to value’s lightning, meaning simply that the value must come first and the money you receive or the funding you receive or whatever is simply a direct result of – a natural result of the value you communicate or provide.

John:

I love that Bob. We’re going to tweet that out from the show – money is an echo of value. What you said is so valuable for our listeners from two samplings. Number one, to get customers because investors want to see traction and they want to see that you’re getting some customers and the best way to get customers is to provide value over and above the price be by solving the problems that they are needing to be solved which is both getting your taxes done let’s say, but also that peace of mind that you eluded too, because this desirability factor, I talk about all the time that you need to become irresistible to investors and give them a good return on their investment, and the best way to do that is to show value which is just what you walked us through in such an elegant way. Is there one piece of advice Bob that you received before you even knew anything about being a go-giver that was a difference maker for you?

Bob:

Well when I first started in sales about probably 35 years ago, I remember when I was first starting to get my legs and starting to produce, I was a little bit like Joe in the book, I had a lot of potential but my focus was on the wrong place, and I remember coming back from a selling appointment in which no sale took place, and I remember expressing anger at the prospect for not getting it, for not understanding why it’s a good thing for him and I, and it’s funny because this wise old kind of grizzled veteran — but I remember he said two things. One he said, well, Burg said, “When the shooter misses the target, it ain’t the target’s fault.” Meaning it wasn’t up to the prospect to get it, it was up to me to communicate value to him in a way that he felt it to be of value, because remember, value is always on the eyes of the beholder, it’s not what we believe as a value and it’s not what we believe they should believe is a value. It’s how they see it. We need to see it through their eyes.

The other thing he said is this, he said and this is one of the big game changers for me, He said, “Burg if you want to make a lot of money in selling, don’t have making money as your target. Your target is serving others.” He said “Now when you hit the target you’ll get a reward.” The reward will be money and you can do with that money whatever you want but never forget the money is not the target itself. It’s only the reward for hitting the target. Your target is service.

John:

That’s so great, especially for investors who are looking for the big billion dollar idea, something that’s going to hit it all the park. It’s all about how many people can you serve with this new product that you’ve come out with that you need funding for, and it’s the more people you serve, the bigger potential the market size is right?

Bob:

Exactly.

John:

Then you’ve also touched on something which is so important, which is empathy. Seeing something through somebody else’s eyes, right?

Bob:

It’s so, so  very important. Empathy is defined as the vicarious experiencing of another person’s feelings, and we can say well isn’t that just a fancy way of saying put yourself in the other person’s shoes? And it might be, except for the fact that most of us have different sized feet. In other words, we all come from our own different way of seeing the world, our own beliefs, our own experiences. So while sometimes we’ve had similar experiences and we can understand how they feel, and when that’s the case by all means communicated that to them. There’s other times we really don’t know how they feel, and to say otherwise would be disingenuous and it would be counterproductive. So when displaying empathy, it’s not necessarily that you know how they feel, but you’re communicating to them that you understand they’re feeling something, and that that something is distressful to them and you’re there to help work with them through it.

John:

Yes, just that ability to not make everything focused on yourself, and having empathy for the customer, and most importantly if you’re pitching an investor, if you have empathy for the investor who is sometimes hears four or five pitches a day, that alone will set you apart from all the other people that are pitch being pitched.

Bob:

Ah, isn’t that true?

John:

One of the lines in your book is where you and John write a – the big question is does it make money? And while that’s not the focus, you’re saying it’s just a bad first question. Can you expand on what the first question should be if making money is a bad first question?

Bob:

Yeah, well the protege in the story was having at first of course a little bit of difficulty understanding some of these counterintuitive laws. He said to Ernesto, the restaurant tour he said, “So you’re saying asking people if it will make money isn’t a good question?” and Ernesto said, “No, asking if something will make money’s a great question. It’s just a bad first question. The first question should be, does it serve?” and that’s the key because if it doesn’t serve and when we say does it serve we also mean, is there a market for it? Because you can have a fantastic product, okay? But if there’s no – first of all if it doesn’t serve in someway nobody’s going to want it, but if it’s not marketable, if you can’t find the way to connect the benefits of that product or service with the needs, wants, or desires of the marketplace, it’s not going anywhere. So first, focus on does this serve a need and is it a need that people want served? Then you’ve got to decide, can I create that desire and need? Certainly, there’s many times you can, but there’s other times that you can’t so it’s always a question you’ve got to look at. So while we ask that question, it’s a good first question — a good question is not a good first question for the task that it serves that’s meant in one way that that’s just a good attitude to have. In another way it’s also meant to say, “Hey, you’ve got to ask that question first.” You’ve got to find out if there’s a need. Don’t even worry about making the money from it until you know it’s a buyable product or service worth investing.

John:

The classic example for me is Uber, right? It clearly is serving a need that didn’t people have – didn’t exist because wouldn’t it be nice to not have to wait in line for cab, or know who your cab driver is, or not to have money on you, or all those things, right? When you have that – all those problems solved with oh, can we serve this market and then oh, we can make money then I see the flow completely. Let’s talk about mentorship because nobody get’s funded doing this alone. In fact, a lot of investors really encourage people to have co-founders and get the right advisers on their board, so you really, I’m sure, are the great person to ask about mentorship and how do you find advisers and who are really mentors.

Bob:

Oh well it’s a great question, and it is a question that many people want to know, because – for the reasons you mentioned and let’s face it, it’s just much easier to navigate the road map to success if you have someone who’s been there and done that, and is willing to work with you and take you under their wing or whatever. One thing I suggest to people is don’t try and find a mentor by simply going to people who you admire and say, “Will you mentor me?” because –

John:

Yeah, it’s too direct, right?

Bob:

Right and it’s not something that’s going to appeal to them. It’s almost like saying, “Hey! Will you take your 40 years of experience and just let me have it all for free.” I mean it sort of comes across that way. So, but I think it’s very appropriate to connect with someone – ask if you could ask them a specific question, let them know you’ve admired their work, you’ve studied their – that you’ve read their books or you’ve studied their work. You would like a few minutes if it wouldn’t be inappropriate to ask them a question, a very specific question or two and that you’ll be very prepared, and to let them know – in other words you’re letting them know you respect them and you respect their time, you’re not asking just for something without committing to something yourself. Then, of course, send a handwritten thank you note and maybe make a small donation to their charity that if you can find, yeah. So, and then whenever you can’t connect them however you can. You never know what product your service they need or who they need to – so obviously you can’t provide the kind of value to them that they can to you, but you can sure communicate that you want to be able to do that. I think what happens is when you respect them and their time, you can then ask something else if you need to and you can ask permission, you can encrypt the scope a little bit in a very legitimate way, and eventually you develop, just like any relationship, you develop a mentor/protege type of relationship.

John:

I like what you said so much, the whole concept when someone says to you, “Oh can I take you out for coffee and pick your brain?” That doesn’t even sound fun, does it?

As opposed to what you said is, I have a specific question I want to ask you, and then you show respect that you’ve done your homework on who they are, and what you’re suggesting is even one step further which really sets you apart which is even if you’re just a founder that doesn’t have a lot of experience or a lot of money at the beginning but you can certainly afford a small donation to that person’s charity who gave you some time and if that kind of human connection is going to really further the relationship in a way that is again, all about value.

Bob:

Exactly.

John:

Great, great stuff. You make a point that I think we should spend some time with which is this whole concept of The Go-Giver philosophy is completely congruent with human nature. So I’d love to have you tell us more about what that means.

Bob:

Sure, and that’s such a fantastic point to bring up. There’s nothing – and I think sometimes when people hear go-giver they kind of get this image on their mind there, “Oh! Just give and give and great magical things will happen.” That’s magic. It actually makes very – The Go-Giver philosophy makes sense in a very practical way. We understand that then I remember one of my great teachers, Harry Brown, who wrote a whole bunch of books on investing, economics, and politics. He also wrote a fantastic book on sales which was really much more about human nature. He was a great student of human nature and he understood and respected human nature, and he didn’t expect people to be anything they’re weren’t. As Harry says, there are three basic principles and one of them is, everyone seeks happiness, okay. Now they seek in their own way. He would define happiness as a mental feeling of well-being, and we can take it there or we can have different definitions but, basically, it’s what is going to make a person feel good about themselves when push comes to shove. It doesn’t necessarily mean you gorge on two boxes of Oreos because you’re hungry and that’s going to make you happy, no! That might decide you want more long-term happiness by not having two boxes of Oreos, you know what I’m saying? But we all choose what we believe has the best chance of making us happy.

The second principle is happiness is relative. People understand happiness differently. What would bring happiness to one person would be absolutely meaningless to someone else, or might even cause them unhappiness.

John:

Yes. I love getting example of that for me personally is a – I don’t know, I have lots of friends that they maybe are happy when they go camping, and to me I couldn’t think of anything more miserable.

Bob:

I’m the same. Exactly. I was just thinking as you were saying that. How many people love to travel. I travel because I speak but I don’t like it at all, and if I could be totally just home and never leave the house or certainly, my town or at the airport, I’d be happy as can be with that. Okay, but many people they love travels, and so the worst thing we can do is expect other people to see happiness the way we see happiness.

Then the third principle, because the first one everyone seeks happiness. Number two: Happiness is relative, right? We all see it our own way. Number three is resources are limited. Now that doesn’t mean that we don’t live in abundant world. Of course, we live in an abundant universe, but we all have limits in certain ways. We all have limited years to live, we all have the same limited hours in a day, minutes in an hour, seconds in a minute what have you. We all have a limited knowledge of limited energy. We all have a limited amount of talents. You know what I’m saying? So what happens is what Harry says, what I buy into totally is that people are going to make decisions based in their mind if it has a greater chance of they’re being happy based on how they value happiness and constrained by their perceived limited choices. So as a go-giver, remember your focus is on bringing value to them. You understand that value is always on the eyes of the beholder, right? You understand that your job is to find what makes them happy and give it to them. As Harry says so many times in sales, people say, “How do I motivate a buyer?”  And the answer is you don’t motivate a buyer, they’re already motivated. Your job is to find out what they’re motivated by and then assuming your product or service connects with that motivation, now you’re able to have a sale. So everything about the go-giver says it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. It means you’ve got to find – it means no one’s going to buy from you because you have a quota to meet. It means that they buy from you because they believe they’re more likely to be happier by doing so, than by not doing so.

John:

For our listeners, it’s such a great message because instead of trying to figure out how do I motivate an investor to give me a million dollars, you take a step back to your research and say, “What has motivated this investor in the past to invest in?” What kind of person do they invest in? What kind of industry are they interested in? What kind of person are they interested in? And that completely shifts your pitch as oppose to me, me, me.

Bob:

What a perfect way of saying it. You know, Dale Carnegie in his classic – How to Win Friends and Influence People. What I believe his underlying premise about the entire book is when he expressed in the sentence ultimately, people do things for their reasons not our reasons.

John:

So true. Well one of the other principles in your great book, The Go-Giver, is all about influence and, boy, founders need to be able to not only influence investors but they need to invest – be able to influence people to join their team because investors really are looking for a strong team and your leadership ability to attract the best people with technical skills for example versus your startup versus another one. So I’m sure you have some insights from your book. How do people create influence?

Bob:

Sure. Well, I personally define influence as simply the ability to move a person or persons to a desired action, usually within a context of the specific goal. Now what I call ultimate influence is the ability to do that in a way that makes the other person feel genuinely good about themselves, about the situation, and about you. Now the law of influence that says that your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first. Now this sounds counterproductive I guess it’s best and probably pollyannaish at worst. But when you think of it, the great leaders, the top influencers, the most successful salespeople, and when you’re looking for an investor, your salesperson, this is how they conduct their businesses and they run their lives. They’re always looking for ways to make the other person’s life better, to find value for them. Now, I want to just qualify this if I may that when we say, “Place other people’s interest first,” we certainly don’t mean you should be anyone’s doormat or a martyr, or self-sacrificial in any way, shape, or form. Absolutely not. It’s just that as as several of the mentors told Joe, the protege, the golden rule of business, of sales, of networking, and I guess – of pitching, would be the of being equal. People would do business with and refer business to. If I would say invest in those people they know, like, and trust. There’s simply no faster, more powerful, or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you from others, than by moving for – stepping the outside yourself, moving from an I focus or me focus to an other focus, or as Sam – one of the mentors in the story who told Joe, making your win about the other person.

John:

That’s great. When you get people to feel like they’re on your team, and it’s a team effort or as I call it a co-pilot kind of feeling, man, things take off because you’ve really shifted it from all about me to even all about you to let’s make these all about us. Now, you’ve got people’s attention and it taps into what you’re saying of your definition of influence which is now you feel good about yourself for making this decision, you feel good about me, and you feel good about what you’re doing.

Bob:

Exactly.

John:

That’s a win-win. This is so incredibly valuable. Is there any last secrets or tips that you want to give people to make themselves have value and influence and authenticity?

Bob:

Well, one thing with authenticity is simply really tapping into your core, and not trying to be someone you’re not. Learning from everyone, adapting people everyone’s wisdom. We can learn from everyone adapt their wisdom but don’t try to adapt their personality, because it’s not going to work. So learn from all but stay true to your authentic core. Don’t try to go in there as someone else. Go in there as yourself. Then law number five – the law of receptivity simply says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving which means that when we have done what we’re suppose to do and we have been able to present this in a way that does serve others and benefits others, and there’s a win for everyone involved, allow yourself to receive the abundance that you’ve earned.

John:

That really speaks to your belief system that you deserve it.

Bob:

Yes, oh that was a giver.

John:

Because we can all sabotage yourself and say well, I did a bad job on that pitch and they’re probably never going to fund me, and you start making up all these stories in your head that may not be true just because your sense of self is such that, “Ugh, I don’t really deserve this or I’ve gotten so many no’s in the past that that’ll continue to be my future,” and you can’t do that, right? You have to hit the reset button.

Bob:

Absolutely, and study abundance. Study people like Randy Gage and Bob Proctor, and so many of the people out there who speak and write on abundance itself, because we get plenty of negative messages from the world, all telling us that people are bad and mean and nasty, and that money is a bad thing – all these horrible messages that we get. We get it from everywhere because that’s what sells. So what we’ve got to do is check our premises and not accept those things, and ask questions when you hear something that’s contrary to abundance, and then go out of your way to listen and learn from the materials that are based on abundance.

John:

Well Bob your book, The Go-Giver is certainly based on abundance and something that I highly recommend everyone getting a copy of, and we’re going to put it, the link in the show notes and obviously it’s on Amazon, but how can people follow you on social media? How can people find you to hire you as a speaker?

Bob:

The best way is just to visit my website which is burg, B-U-R-G.com and everything’s there from my influence and my insights, getting a chapter of the book so you can see how you like it first, my blog, and all of the places where I am on social media. It’s all there at burg.com.

John:

Great. Yes and your Twitter is just your name right? @bobburg?

Bob:

That’s right.

John:

That makes it easy. Well Bob, you have been an extreme giver of your wisdom, your insights and most of all, your spirit. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Bob:

Thank you for all your doing and thanks for having me on. I appreciate you greatly.

John:

Great. Likewise. Thanks again.

Thanks for listening to The Successful Pitch podcast. If you like the show please go to iTunes and write a review, and encourage your friends to write reviews too. It really helps get the word out. People say that the longest distance is between someone’s mouth and their wallet. People can tell you they’re going to invest but when it comes time to write the check, they don’t do it. So how do you get people to say yes and then follow through? Visualize yourself on a left side of a river bank, and you have to cross the river, and on the other side of the river is where the funding happens. So first you make up your idea, then you make it real, then you make it reoccur. Once you start dipping your toe into the water to get to funding that’s where I can help. I get you cross that river faster, than you would on your own, with a lot less frustration than you will get when you hear a bunch of no’s and you don’t know why. So if you want some help getting funded faster with less frustration, go to my free funding webinar sellingsecretsforfunding.com/webinars, and sign up and get in depth information on how you can get funded fast. Thanks.

 

TSP059 | David A. Rosen – Transcription
TSP057 | Michael Glauser – Transcription
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