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This business coaching episode is about ways to learn proven, specific, and successful sales skills.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Lesson Nugget: People are afraid of sales because they don't know what to do.
  • Three Ways to Get Rich: 1. Do work in a place that nobody else wants to be.
  • Lesson Nugget: You have to learn how to take the passion and drive from your previous focus in life and apply it to your new situation.
  • Lesson Nugget: When starting to learn sales, keep in mind it should take six weeks to get over the learning curve.
  • Three Ways to Get Rich: 3. Do the work no one else can do.
  • Three Ways to Get Rich: 2. Do work that no one else want to do.

[MUSIC PLAYING] sales training like teamtreehouse.com


-My name is Clay Clark. And I'm the CEO and custodial engineer at Thrive15.com. And today I am joined with seven-foot-of-fun, the man with a plan, the guy who's one of America's top pharmaceutical salespeople. His name is Mickey Michalec. And he's going to be teaching us specifically about sales-- that thing that no one wants to do, but we all have to do.

Now, if you own a business, the chances are you have to sell something to stay in business. So today's sales training could be worth millions or thousands. I mean, there's no limit on what today's episode could be worth for you and your business.

Remember, at Thrive15.com, we all believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. You as a Thriver wouldn't be watching this sales training if you didn't want to learn specific things that you need to know to grow your business. So take the time out to maybe grab a piece of paper or type it in the notes on the screen here. Type the action steps that you're going to actually apply in your own life and business. Because if you don't do it, today's episode may just be more meaningless than googling "Google."

All right, we're here with Mickey Michalec. I'm pumped up. You are one of top pharmaceutical sales reps in the region, in the country. And you're here with us today. Thank you so much for being here, my friend.

-Hey, I appreciate it, look forward to it.

-OK, so I'm going to go ahead and go to my incredible chalkboard here.


-Now, sales, the thing that no one wants to do, but it's the thing everyone has to do. It seems like you and I all the time will meet a doctor or a business owner-- somebody here who is the doctor or a business owner-- and they have a desire of making a ton of money or helping a lot of people. Usually, it's helping a lot of people or making a lot of money. It's one of those two.

MICKEY MICHALEC: That's great.

CLAY CLARK: But yet, they get here and they kind of get stuck because they can't do any sales. They can't sell anything. The sales just don't happen. They can't sell.

And because of that, it seems like, then, their dreams just go down. And they begin to almost kind of just lay here on the ground, defeated. And they're just kind of-- this is them there-- they just kind of die right there. So what is the deal? Why are people so afraid of sale?

-I think, first of all, they're afraid because they don't know what to do. They're afraid to even start. It's so intimidating, the word "sales."

I don't want to be invited to a multi-level marketing deal. I don't want to be asking for money. I don't want to be making people uncomfortable. So they say, you know what, let's just-- we don't want-- it'll take care of itself. And it starts here in the classroom. That's where it starts.

-Now, there's three things here. There's three ways that we can get rich, basically, if we're an entrepreneur, you know. You have one is that you can do work in a place that nobody else wants to be.

So geographically, maybe we can go up to like Alaska and we can go fish. And this is my Alaskan boat here. We're fishing in Alaska.

We could do that. And we make a lot of money because we're in Alaska, we're fishing. Maybe we could be a contractor in Iraq or some war zone, or something else we can do. The second is we can do work that nobody else wants to do, like sales.


-Or the third is we can do work that no one else can do. Now, you've kind of had a little bit of both, though, because as being a guy 6 foot 11, a lot of people can't be 6 foot 11. And they can't shoot a basketball. Or don't have the artistic skill to be a musician or an artist, or something. You've experienced both a little bit there. How was it hard for you to transition into going from doing stuff that no one else could do-- being tall--


---to doing stuff that no one else wanted to do-- doing sales. How did you kind of transition from star athlete to really bottom-of-the-barrel new guy in sales?

-That's right.

-How did you do that?

-Well, I think it starts out, first, and I kind of want to talk to the athletes who are out there right now, because a lot of you guys are aspiring how do I become successful outside of my sport? I put all the effort, I ran the sprints, I lifted the weights, I learned the plays, and I executed on here.

Well, I think the problem is most player for their entire life, if you were like me, if you were a large kid, then they end up being a tall middle school kid and then a kind of freakishly tall high school kid that got picked up to play college sports. Everyone told you from a young age, oh, there's Mickey, he's tall. There's Mickey, he plays basketball. There's Mickey, we're glad he's on our team. There's Mickey, look at how tall he is, he's bigger. Right?


-So your whole life, you're tall, you're big, you're a basketball player. You're tall, you're big, you're a basketball player. Even in a college, there's Mickey, he plays college basketball.

CLAY CLARK: Big Mickey!

-There he is, right? At some point, that sport is going to stop. And when it does, who are you? Are you still tall Mickey that plays basketball? No, you're not. You're left searching.

So a lot of these guys and girls are out there playing their sport. I was a-- I'm not anymore. I used to be-- well, I'm not anymore.

And I think they have to stop and take that same fire and that passion that said, I want to go to the top of my sport, and find something that can challenge them in the same way where you get to see your competition every day and say, you know, what? Either he's going to win when he goes in that office, or I'm going to win.

-I see a lot of times people have the same thing you talked about-- being a star athlete to having to start a different career. I see a lot of times, too, people who are in mid-level management or they've worked in corporate America. And maybe you're watching this and maybe you just got laid off.

And you found yourself going from the top to all of a sudden, oh-oh, I don't have a job. And it's kind of like when you can no longer do physical labor or you just lost a job, that's usually when you have to do sales. Or if you want to start a business, or something, you have to do sales.

With so many people wanting to avoid sales, I think, there's a lot of people who do believe it's just a natural talent. And then people like you and me believe it's a learned skill. So how long does it take somebody to learn the skill of sales and persuasion, if they decide they want to dive in starting today?

-If you want to dive in today, I would give yourself a learning curve of about six weeks. And that's going every day.

-Six weeks?



-That's it. It doesn't take. It's not a lifetime, it's not years. It's not something that I was born with.

For those that think I was born with it, I want you to come ride with me when I get my teeth kicked in every now and then and go, oh, I thought he sold to everyone. Well, every now and then, I get my teeth still kicked in, all right? It's not fun.

So I think that if you start learning and putting the effort in, and you're willing to ask the questions. Even if the answer's no, are you willing to go back and say why was it no?

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: Learn to process the answer "no" as a request for more information about why they should buy from you.
  • Three Reasons Salespeople Struggle: 1. They Don't Know the Mechanics of Selling
  • Lesson Nugget: To succeed in sales, it starts with a positive attitude. Sales has highs and lows, it is necessary to handle both and keep on showing up.
  • Lesson Nugget: Open-ended questions are intended to reveal other questions that you can ask to take your customer down a path that you want them to go.
  • Notable Quotable: "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."- Thomas Edison


-You said six weeks.

-Six weeks.

-That's right, now Thomas Edison, one of the famous inventors and famous entrepreneurs-- he started GE and invented the light bulb-- he says this, "if we all did the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." I think that's the way with sales. Like if we would just do the things that we're capable of, we would be amazed.

Have you ever seen a guy who's come in and transitioned and had no experience with sales? Have you ever mentored a guy, who's gone from sports or something, with no experience in sales, and has learned it in six weeks?

-Yeah, and I think it started with an attitude, that was the first thing. You look at them and you say, who is going to be able to willingly balance the highs and lows of the roller coaster of sales, and still come back day after day? Because I tell you what, the money's nice when you're at the top, but the depression is horrible when you're at the bottom.

-I like to tell people that to be good in sales, you either have to be really dumb or numb. And I like to think that I'm numb, but I think sometimes I'm dumb.


-But it's kind of like where you just are not aware of how much you get rejected, or you're just numb to it, where you no longer care. Do you kind of have a similar view?

-Well, I think that rejection is-- for most people it's a stop sign, that's it, it's over with. It stops, or go back and run the other direction.

CLAY CLARK: Someone says no.

-That's right, when they say no, I'm not buying today. They just say oh, OK. See you later, it was a no and we're not going back, right. And I get a no, and I say why? Why? I don't accept no for an answer.

-You process it as a need for more information.

-That's exactly right. What did I not do correct to give him the opportunity to have what I have?

-Do you view that as a psychological disorder or is that a learned--

-Well, my wife would probably say yes, because she told me no for about four years and then eventually said yes.

-Really, that's how you got married?

-Persistence pays off.

-My wife denied me three separate times, so I can relate. Now I'm going to get into this here, because this is some really big stuff here. The -- salespeople struggle for three reasons, just mechanically, in terms of the things they're doing wrong, there's three main reasons they struggle.

One, is that they just don't know the sales mechanics. They just don't know what they need to do specifically. They don't know what to say, what questions to ask.

Now, the second is they don't look the part. They just don't look the part, they don't look like-- that's amazing, it's like almost kind of like a weird Spanglish there-- they don't look the part. And the third, is they don't have confidence. There's just that not that confidence.

So I want kind of drill down here for a second. As far as the mechanics go, is there a certain book you recommend, or certain books set, or a CD, or anything you recommend to get the mechanics of what to say, anything you want to--

-Yeah, the first book that I would give you when we talk about sales mechanics, is learning to ask open ended questions. And here's a great example, Clay, do you like the color black?


-Great. Closed question, that was not an open-ended question. Same question, but I'm going to leave it open-ended for more answers. Clay, what do you like about the color black?

-I think it goes with a lot of other things, and the Raiders wore black.

-Oh, so you like football.

CLAY CLARK: Yeah, yeah.

-OK terrific. What do you like about football? Did you play when you were a kid? Where'd you play at?

-I did, I played football. I was probably the worst high school senior football player in America, and I played at Dessel-Cokato, where they took two small schools and merged it into one there.

-That's awesome, I bet you were a star just because you went out there.

-Yeah, people knew me, but it was not a good deal.

-So what we do, is with open ended questions is we try for them to reveal another question that we can ask, and lead them down a path to where we want them to go.

-That felt kind of good, by the way, if we could just keep the ice-- so you got me kind of talking.

-Yeah, yeah, so I'm going to ask questions, they're going to get you to reveal more about yourself. I don't want to ask yes/no questions, those are closed questions. We want those to be open ended, and a great book for that is "The Secrets of Question Based Selling."

-"The Secrets of Question Based Selling."


-Now, how long ago did you read this book?

-Oh man, seven years ago now?


-And I keep it open. I mean, it's always right there, because you can always keep going back to it.

There is a book called "Soft Selling in a Hard World." It's probably had the same impact on me as that book had on you, and I know I use it as a textbook. I use it as kind of a reference book, where I go back to it all the time. Is yours all dog-eared and highlighted?

-Yeah, yeah, because there'll be a time when that day ends, and I'll go man, I was talking to this surgeon, or I was talking to this doctor, and all of a sudden it just didn't go where I wanted it to go. And what I'll do is I'll go back and I'll write down the notes of that call, how did it go, what were the key words that he gave me. And I'll go back and I'll thumb through that book, and I'll go, ah! Here was my spot, I could've drove it home right there. And then I go back.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Three Reasons Salespeople Struggle: 2. They don't look the part
  • Ask Yourself: "Would I buy my image today?"
  • Lesson Nugget: You have to look like you take your job seriously. Based on looks alone, would people come to you for advice?
  • Ask Yourself: What job am I dressing for?
  • Lesson Nugget: It's simple: Dress better than your competition.
  • Lesson Nugget: People associate with people they want to be like. If you dress well people will want to be around you.

-Right now if I'm watching this and I'm stuck in a rut. If I am just for whatever reason unable to conjure up a positive attitude and I'm ready to just take that step. I'm ready to say tell me what to do, sir. What would you recommend I do, Mickey?

-For the positive attitude, I think that you need to surround yourself or eliminate the friends that you have that are not willing to create a positive environment. Change your environment. Become a thermostat, instead of a thermometer.

MICKEY MICHALEC: Be the guy that changes the temperature. Instead of the guy that is effected by the temperature of the room.

CLAY CLARK: So you're going to surround yourself with who?

MICKEY MICHALEC: With other positive influences.

-OK with other positive influences.

MICKEY MICHALEC: And eliminate it. So draw an arrow out of the circle going out. Eliminate the negative ones.

-So if you're a negative, you're getting out of here. Negative is gone-zo.


MICKEY MICHALEC: That's correct.

CLAY CLARK: OK, now one thing I've noticed. It's hard. Once you begin to surround yourself with positive people, they think at a higher level. And it's hard to be weak in that circle. Or you get punted into that negative zone. I mean really.


-I remember I went to church, and this is about a couple years back. And Clifton Taulbert's there. And Clifton is a Thrive mentor. He would mind me sharing this story. I used to pull all-nighters all the time with the DJ business. And we had 3,000, 4,000 events we're doing a year. I would load in all the DJs. I'd come home and sleep for four or five hours and go to church.

Well I did not look good. But it was because I just woke up about 30 minutes before church. And I just took a brief shower and headed in. But I didn't like dress up nice. I just looked bad. And if I would just got up earlier, shaven, put on a decent outfit, I would've been fine. But I didn't do that. I had like a beat-up sweatshirt. And he pulls me aside and he's like, "hey, people are going to remember how you look right now."

And I remember I felt like such a small boy. I felt like such a weak person. Because I was ready to be punted out of that circle. But it's an iron sharpens iron sort of mentality. I love that. So anyway, if you're in a tough spot right now, to get out of that negative attitude. You're saying just surround yourself with those other positive--

-Yeah it starts with some house cleaning first. Look at the people that are directly in your environment everyday. From the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed.

-Now let me ask you this here. If you surround yourself with these positive people. And you now are to a point where you're making sure that you have this great attitude. And you're selling yourself first because you've been able to project this great attitude. You look sharp. You're feeling good. You still have to have this thing called the 60-second commercial. OK, and there's a lot of books written about this. But basically this is your 60-second commercial. Let's say you're in an elevator with somebody. You need to be able to tell somebody who you are. And what you're about. And where you're going, right? What makes you different. Because if you can't, then they can't help you.

MICKEY MICHALEC: That's right.

-So I was at Target. I remember this guy is like, "well what do you do?" I'm a DJ. I didn't say I'm a Target employee. I'm a DJ. I'm working here to help pay the bills. I'm starting my business. And I'm looking to go from here to there. And he was like, "well let me help you." But if you're hitchhiking through life and you have your thumb up, and somebody pulls over. And says hey. If a cabbie pulls over, "where you headed?" And you're like I don't know. Well I want to be successful. Where's that? Couldn't tell you. I mean it's hard to get there.

So I want to get into the 60-second commercial here. If you had a 60-second Super Bowl commercial. If you could just imagine if you had 60 seconds of airtime. What would you say?

-This is about me?


-OK great so I'd love to do this let's roll with it right now.

CLAY CLARK: Yeah, let's do it.

-All right, 60 seconds. Hey, I'm Mickey Michalec. I just want to let you know that I'm a local guy first. I was born and raised right down the road here. This is a place that I care about. This is where I send my kids to school, right here.

I want to let you know that I started out first as a college basketball player. But that wasn't good enough. I wanted to be more than just an athlete. So many athletes struggle to say well he was just an athlete. He was just a jock. I was more than a jock. I got my education. I got my degree. OK, I want to be someone known other than just an athlete.

So I got into the business world. I got in pharmaceutical sales. Now what's most important about that? I try to balance family and life. Because it's so important to me that I be a husband and be a father as well. As being successful in business.

So I'm not willing to sacrifice not being for my family. Just to get a sale. I'm going to let you know that right now. So if you try to come at me and say, "hey I need this guy to be the end all be all, there, there, there." There's more to life than just that. I care about my family. But the second thing is, if you have me, I'm going to run through brick walls better than anyone else out there.

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