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Sales Puffery

The next transcript features Clay Clark & Mickey Michalec (US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year, and top pharmaceutical sales rep respectively) talking about sales puffery and why it kills deals on one of the most practical business schools in Florida, Thrive15.com!

Clay Clark:      Now, let me ask you this here. Making outrageous claims that aren't supported by facts, it's obviously going to lead to your demise. But, do you worry about it as a sales professional? Or do you just focus on making your statistics, or you just focus on making your facts that much stronger? Or do you worry about the outrageous claims of the competition?

Mickey Michalec:     I don't, I never worry about the competition. I think, looking back at my career in basketball, when I get to broadcast basketball and now that you don't have to beat the other team. You just don't have to beat yourself, all right? So value the basketball. Value each possession. How can I transfer that over into the business world. Value this time with the physician. Value the information that you're putting out there because so many people don't. So many people come in and say "Oh, I'll just check the box. If I put it in front of him, maybe he'll buy it, or if I just give him this, somebody else told me it was true so it must be true."

Clay Clark:      Right.

Mickey Michalec:     If you don't beat yourself, you have a great chance but don't worry about the competition. Perfect your business.

Clay Clark:      Now here is somethings you can't say. I'm just going to, if we can zoom in here Birdman. One is "You can't say we're number one" unless, it's proven by somebody. I mean there's got to be some sort of voting. You can't say "We're the most experienced." You can't say "We're the best." You can't say "We've save big money."  You can't say "A lot". You can't say "We're the fastest."  You can't, you just can't do that and I know as a young sales rep, we always. If we're not careful, we're going to do that so if you're watching this here, stay away from general words because they are perceived. General statements are perceived to be lies and they lead to lies.

Mickey Michalec:     Sure.

Clay Clark:      You're not, just be very very specific. Now, Fact Based Selling. Let's get into Fact Based Selling. Because this is what puffery is here okay? It's hot air. It's making claims that are not substantiated by facts. Now as we get into Fact Based Selling. Fact Based Selling is awesome. I am a huge fan of that so here is an example.

                        Today, we were connecting with the agent of Michael Posner and I can say that because it really happened. You know and so he's a top artist and we were connecting with him on a telephone. That really happened so I can say it, look into the camera, all the world can see. Pat, Nat, we talked, hopefully had a good conversation but it happened. Now, I can say "Who did I talk to?" Specifically we talked to Patrick Cline. That's a specific name and people are like "Oh, that's a name."  Then I can go a step further and I could show somebody a message of correspondence "Hey, this is what Pat said." So today, when I was talking to one of our investors, he says "How was your day?" I understand Fact Based Selling and I said "It was great. In fact, the Wall Street Journal called and they want to do an interview with Thrive or at least a discovery day. We're going up to Chicago and do a demonstration of how the website works. They said "Really? Who are you meeting with?" I wanted them to ask it, right?

Mickey Michalec:     Yeah.

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Clay Clark:      I had the lady's first and last name.  Her name was Carrie something. I said "Oh, we're going to meet with Carrie such and such. Let me send you a link to some of the stories she does." He was like "Awesome! Well, who do I need to send the check to?" That's exactly what was said but it's like it's fact based. It's not, the light, you know people like to hide from the light and so the fakers, the snake oil salesman love to say general stuff. That's a fact so you can step into it.  Now when we get into Fact Based Selling, here's what we're going to do. This is the rule. We never, I repeat, we never say anything we don't prove. So meaning if you say something, we want to prove it in the presentation so let me give you an example of how we do it for Epic Photography, one of the companies we are involved with. We say, in Epic Photography we offer unlimited time with all of our packages so from 2 hours before the ride gets there all the way up until the end of the night, it's unlimited so that's what it is. We'll be there as long as you want and she said "Oh, really?" and I said "Yeah.". As long as you guys want us to be there it's fine. In fact, let me give you some references of some girls we worked with. You can call them and they can tell you. Second, is we have award winning photography. We actually won theknot.com award in 2014 for being the best photographers. Here, let me show you the award. Hey, our company's receive top reviews on Wedding Wire. In fact, let me show you the reviews, and it's all facts. We have to show the fact as soon as we say it. I know in your business it's huge because it's regulated.

Mickey Michalec:     Yeah.

Clay Clark:      But even then, some of your competition doesn't do it.

Mickey Michalec:     No, they don't and I think something if you're looking at your own business and your own sales people, don't enable your sales people with just giving them the sales information that you have. Don't just give them the book and tell them "Hey, go sell this." Ask them questions. Do you understand? Put them on the spot. They need to know, what theKnot.com is. It's not good enough for them to say "Hey, we won an award on theknot.com" and assume that they know.  Ask them questions.


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