Episode 23: Transfer Growth
Hey guys, Ken Courtright here, from Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. Pretty excited about this podcast. This is Episode 23. I am calling this podcast “Transfer Growth.”
I caught myself reminding some of our management team some of the points of this podcast last week. I couldn’t believe that I have not done a podcast on this topic, so this one is huge. You guys have heard me before talk about the definition of selling, according to Brian Tracy, is a transference of feelings. Building a business is simply the stacking of sale after sale after sale. I do not mean selling your product or your services. That is not what I am saying.
Every single business has an initial sale. You have to sell yourselves on the idea. The second sale we make is we tell our idea to other people to get some buy-in.
Take IBM. Thomas Watson, when he originally founded that company, had an idea. He sold himself first. Then he had to test his theory, so he starts selling it to other people before it’s anything. Other people loved it. Some people get the exact opposite: Don’t do it. They also need the negative reinforcement.
Sell Yourself Then Sell Other People
The point is that sale number one is selling yourself. Sale number two is selling other people. Then it gets interesting. Even if you’re not a salesperson, to get anything moving, you sold some kind of supplier or vendor or platform or someone taking the chance on you. Number four, either verbally or through trade shows, websites, flyers, you had to at some point sell customers on buying your goods or services.
Once things start going, then here comes the big sale. You have to sell employees to work with you. You have to sell joint venture partners to work with you. You have to sell affiliates that you are a quality individual, and they should work with you. I don’t care how big or how small your business is. You never stop selling. That’s it.
If this is the case, which it is, I want to cover some of the stumbling blocks to businesses growing to what I am going to call full maturity. I think everything is entropic. At some point, every business is going to have an issue because of the law of entropy. I think every business should reach full maturity for its individual market.
One of the big challenges that every business has from day one is the how or the actual method that one chooses to communicate with. What I am going to do today is provide some of my real-life case studies over 24 years that have helped our company grow. As some of you know from previous podcasts, in 24 years, we have had two different segments where we have had five years in a row of doubling the previous year’s sales. We are in the middle of that right now. We have definitely experienced hyper-growth, but we have also had two episodes of going 1-3 years of completely flat, one year even dropping. You can definitely take it back to some form of lack of communication.
Compliments Are Impactful Especially For First Impressions
Let’s jump right in. I want to start with a story. I want everybody to picture you’re walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It’s called the Magnificent Mile. It’s the biggest, busiest street in Chicago. I want you to pretend that you are downwind of a homeless person, and they are very proud. They wouldn’t want to get a job or a home. They love living where they live and are a proud individual. Whether it’s by choice or not, they have not bathed in about ten days. You are downwind and are with a couple of people. The sun is starting to set, and it’s been a beautiful day. You are walking toward this individual, and the smell gets so strong that you catch yourself starting to inch your way toward the curb. You don’t want to offend this person, but it’s quite a scent.
What’s interesting is that even though you are in a phase of judging this person, if this person sat up just a little bit and said, “Hey, sir, wow, that’s a really nice jacket. About five to ten years ago, my brother had the exact same leather bomber jacket. I really liked that coat when my brother had it.” If this person sounded intellectual, and you know in your heart that you felt a genuine compliment, the experts say that you will physically go back into the center of the sidewalk, no matter the smell, and for 20-30 days, there is nothing this person can say or do to you outside of knifing you at gun point that would make you change your perception that he is a genuinely good person. This is pure psychology.
What happened here is this complete stranger paid you a very real, legitimate compliment. Because you didn’t know him, it was that much more impactful.
The question is, if this is real, which it is, how can we as business owners take this concept into business? It’s very simple. This starts the concept of the law of praising, the law of lifting up, and the law of complimenting. You also know there is a fake compliment like a salesperson who walks into an office, sees the big fish mounted on the wall, and makes all these fake compliments about fishing. I’m not talking about that.
I am talking about living your life in a way where your ears are open and your radar goes up to your boss, your employees, your co-workers, your clients, and your vendors where you are almost keeping yourself in a frame of looking for legitimate, true, positive attributes of that person. You find a way very legitimately and subtly where you can drop a genuine compliment or endorsement of their work.
Even The Coldest Rock Loves a Genuine Compliment
I think you will be so incredibly surprised that even to the coldest person, even to someone you’re not really a big fan of, how much they will genuinely be affected. At the moment you say it, their posture changes, they give you the “Who farted?” look where they turn their head to the side, one eyebrow goes up, and their head goes perfectly still for a second. This is an assessment of confirming what they heard. When they do sense that you’re genuine, the law of reciprocity kicks in, and for 20-30 days, they cannot look at you in a negative vein. You would have to really do something to change their view of you. The view of you coupled with a new view of themselves takes place literally instantly. You can physically see it. It is one of the most powerful management techniques that can be used in business today.
It’s a technique. You do have to practice it. The first couple compliments you give will be a little bit fake, but you mean well. This is new to you. I genuinely recommend that you go out into the world and force yourself to look at those around you a little bit differently. No longer look at them as an object to produce a result. Your boss is technically an object to produce a result for that company. Your employees are definitely objects to produce something for your company. Your vendors are definitely objects to produce something.
Unfortunately, in the business world, the whole quid pro quo, do something for me and I will do something for you, is somewhat subconsciously entrenched into our lives. This looking at people a bit differently forces us to get out of the way.
The second nugget I want to talk about is hurting people hurt people. People that are hurting hurt people. They don’t mean to, but if someone at work is dealing with a fairly traumatic issue at home, it’s very tough for them not to bring that into work. What it does is it shortens their fuse, and there isn’t too much they can do about that. It’s human nature. Hurting people hurt people. They don’t mean to. A great manager, a great leader, a great servant of other people has their ears open and their antennae up, and they can kind of discern the level of intent in a sharp comeback or a jabbed comment. The technique of how we can ascertain what to do with this is space.
If you sense that someone might be having a bad day or are dealing with an issue at home, and you remember where I mentioned in a previous episode that people live life in three compartments. They are either in a storm having some serious challenges, or they just came out of a storm in life, or they are about to enter into a storm. This is called the law of entropy.
If we know there is about 1/3 of a chance that everybody you bump into that day is at home having some form of an issue, personal or otherwise, the best thing you can do is get out of their way. Let them breathe a bit. Give them some space. Give them some air.
Let People Finish a Sentence Before You Respond : Respond Don’t React
I want to move onto nugget number three. This one by far is the most difficult to do. It is much more difficult for men to do than women. It is what it is. This is from Stephen Covey: He says that great communication comes when you understand that you first have to seek to understand before you’re understood. This is so painful, especially for men and a certain percentage of women. They are so used to hearing a half a sentence out of someone, thinking they know what that person is about to finish with, and they can save time, cut them off, and give them the proper reply to save time.
I’m here to tell you that I cannot count how many times I have personally cut somebody off because I was guessing what they were finishing, and I literally watched them deflate in front of me. I didn’t realize at that time, but I now recollect many occasions where this has happened. I bumped into Dr. Covey stating that if you want to get things done, you have to seek to understand, and then and only then can you be understood.
I read in a different book that the difference between reacting and responding is 6/10 of a second. The difference between reacting to someone, or even cutting them off mid-sentence—that reaction time is zero—and jumping to a conclusion or responding is 6/10 of a second.
People that respond are much greater leaders. To a degree, some would say that they are even more of a visionary because they are in full absorption mode before they speak. Reactionary people often miss the message. This is much more difficult for men than women.
Here is the exercise. I want you to listen very carefully during your daily routine for the next 7-30 days. Try to count how many times on the phone or in person you physically cut someone off in mid-sentence, even if you are just purely excited that you can’t wait to speak. Count how many times you do that. I want you to understand that your goal with your excitement is to say what you want to say in the hopes that they will listen to you, yet you just slapped them across the face and didn’t listen to them. You listened to the first half of what they were saying, but you generally didn’t listen.
If you learn to become a responder, and not a reactionary person, you are going to show people you are listening, but much more importantly, at the deepest core level, you are showing people that you care. When people know you care, they will go to battle for you. They will work for you. They will engage for you. If they don’t think you care, they will not do jacksquat for you.
In life and in business, we can only do so much ourselves. We need other people to do things for us. If you want people to rally and pull the same rope in the same direction, they have to know you care.
Fourth nugget. I am bringing this back to the definition of selling. Selling is a transference of feelings. What you are transferring and how you are transferring is so critical. Years ago, a gal named Florence Littauer wrote an unbelievable book called Your Personality Tree. Unbelievable. She takes a few hundred pages to clearly prove and table out that there are and always have been and always will be four personality types. These personality types have a push-out and pull-in method of communicating. It is what it is, and it cannot nor will it ever be changed. This was a groundbreaking book for me. It changed my company in one week.
Let me explain. The four personality types are choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic. Choleric people are driven, dominant, and will things to happen. Their weaknesses are that they are not so great in relationships, and they are not necessarily that incredible of a leader because they are driven, dominant, and will things to happen, and they love to cut people off mid-sentence.
Sanguine are the people that are the life of the party. They walk into an elevator with eight total strangers and are completely comfortable. These are the people that always raise their hand and drive you nuts in class. Sanguine people love attention. In relationships, it takes some time with these folks because they turn people off due to their bubbly nature. In the workforce, same thing. In the beginning, as much as they are the life of the party, just as much as they are a magnet to certain people, they repel certain people.
Then there is the melancholic. These are the deep, analytical thinkers. For some reason, these people end up becoming engineers and architects. They are very left-brained, very math-driven. In relationships, they take a long time to make a decision. They take a very long time to assess a situation. Once they make a decision, it’s solid, and they won’t move.
Then there is the phlegmatic. The phlegmatic is my father. He is defined by peace at all costs. Never raise your arm in a room full of people to suggest a topic. Very uncomfortable in an elevator of strangers. They just want to be left alone. They are completely at peace at all times. You hardly ever hear them raise their voice.
Here is the question. Choleric is driven, dominant. Sanguine is the life of the party, people-pleaser. Phlegmatic is peace at all cost. Melancholic is deep thinking and analytical. I think everybody listening to this podcast knows they are either a strong one of those or a hybrid of two of them. If you look at your parents, your children, or your co-workers, you can box them into those just with that four short descriptions I just gave you.
Here is the question. If you are a choleric, and you are a dominant, driven person, and you’re communicating with a phlegmatic or a melancholic, do you think it might be a good idea to not walk into that meeting, if you know you’re about to speak to one of those, and you know you are a choleric, wouldn’t it make sense to speak to them in their language? Wouldn’t it make sense to slow down your voice in a way they can process it? Or do you think you should just be yourself and gun, gun, gun, knowing they can’t possibly process that? That’s not who they are.
On the flip side, if you are a melancholic or a phlegmatic, and you know you are about to interview with a choleric, wouldn’t it make sense to go in there with a bottom line type of resume and mentality? They don’t want to hear about the labor pains. They just want to be shown the baby. Cholerics don’t want to hear the story; they want to hear the result. They are bottom line-driven. They don’t care about the process.
When it comes to communicating, would it make sense to study the four types of personalities so that in the coming days, you could communicate on a wavelength you have never communicated on before? Those are the four personality types.
I want to end with what I definitely think is flat-out awesome. The only way to teach this is to tell the story. I got married in 1994 to my beautiful bride, Kerri. We are both very driven cholerics. We are choleric sanguines. We love the attention. We love people. We are 25% sanguine, but we are 75% choleric. My wife became a Chicago Bulls cheerleader; she is now an elected official. In high school, she was flown all over the country to teach college kids how to dance. My wife is one driven individual.
When I was in high school, I broke all the records in football. I left the school with the five most wins in school’s history in wrestling. I went to college and broke records. I got into business, broke records.
Communication Challenges Need To Be Mastered
If you could just imagine the communication challenges we had trying to both be the leader, both driving our point home, both of us were constantly cutting each other off in conversation, and thank God, Kerri’s dad Alan saw this. Before we got married, he paid for some very expensive tickets and told us to drive our butts five hours north to Appleton, Wisconsin and go to a marital conference for married people before we were married. We went. I got a flat tire on the way there, and I was cussing the whole time. I’m angry. I’m choleric. I don’t want to be there. But I went.
As the story goes, there was about 400 people there. 200 husbands and 200 wives and Ken and Kerri. We walk in. After the 90-minute intro, they put the husbands in one room and the wives in another room. And it begins. I could have left after 30 minutes because what I heard shook me to my core. It was one simple story, a parable of how men and women have completely different communication banks. Some people call these love tanks. This works in business. This works in the home front. It works everywhere.
This is the exact story he used. I happen to impersonate a golfer. I haven’t golfed in a few years, but I used to golf a lot. He goes, “Guys, here is the deal. If your wife came home and you were a golfer, and she brought you home a brand new set of Ping I2s,” which were the most expensive golf clubs anybody could have at that time, “and she dropped them into the kitchen in a brand new Ping golf bag. You have no idea how she found the money to buy these clubs.” And he is saying this to 200 husbands. “Would you all agree with me that if your wife actually did that, and you were a true golfing fan,” and if you’re not a golfer, put your own sport in there. The pastor said, “If she did that, would you want to reciprocate at the highest level? You would want to take her on vacation. You would want to get her a dozen roses. Would you not want to fawn all over your wife and just love on her and serve her?” Everybody unanimously raised their hands.
He said, “Here’s the deal, guys. Here’s how this works. Psychologically, if your wife actually did that, if she found out what you loved and then she got into your life and bought you something that you love, which means she was paying attention to you, she understood you, she showed how much she loved you, would you trust me that your communication bank and/or love tank is completely full for the next month? There is almost nothing she can do to upset you.” Everybody is like, Yes, that would be amazing. It was awesome.
But he goes, “Guys, watch this. Let’s say you then reciprocate. The very next day, you write three handwritten love letters. You get twenty sticky notes and write “I Love You” and hide them all over the house. You hid them in her underwear drawer, under the toaster, everywhere so that she has to stumble across these over the next couple weeks. Each day she finds more nuggets that you hid. Then you take her out to dinner. Then you go dancing. Then you surprise her and tell her you booked two nights at the Hilton downtown. You do all this.
“Guys, isn’t it fair that if you did all that, you got the roses, you wrote all the love notes, you took her to dinner, you took her dancing, and then you went out for two nights at this great hotel, you wined her and dined her, isn’t it fair to say that there is no question that your next month with your wife is going to be absolutely amazing?” Everybody raised their hands.
He said, “Here’s the deal. If all of this happens Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you spent the two nights at the hotel on Friday and Saturday, and you guys get home, that next Monday morning, there is a great chance that if something happens and you do something that upsets her, she could be screaming and yelling at you. She could be in a somewhat defensive and attacking stance.”
Everybody’s like, “That doesn’t make any sense.”
He says, “Yes, it does, guys. A male’s communication bank fills up, depending on the input, anywhere from 1-30 days. The bigger the deposit, the longer the love tank stays full. But a woman, no matter the size of the deposit, their love tank starts at zero every morning. There is nothing you can do to change that.”
I’m telling you, every guy in that room sat back in their chairs like, Whoa. I thought that because I told her I loved her, until I tell her otherwise, she would know I loved her. Nope. Doesn’t work like that.
When it comes to the home front, especially if you are married or dating, if you want to grow a bad-to-the-bone business, if you really want to launch, you have to understand how to handle the relationships at home and in your office. You have to help people understand these fundamentals.
Let’s say you’re a man and have daughters. Their love tank is empty every morning. I hope hearing this podcast, you understand that you have to coach your wife. Your wife has to make deposits into your daughter’s love tank as well. That’s how it works.
If you’re hearing this as a female, and you have gone 30 days without making a deposit into your man or the male employees at your office—I’m not trying to do a marital relationship podcast, but I’m trying to give the rules of the road of communication that can remove obstacles to allow a business to grow. I cannot share how many times in 25 years that management have come into our office and were so unproductive for a full week. I know Don well. The home front is not too good then.
In the early days, I didn’t have the guts to take them to coffee and say, “How are things at home?” Today, as soon as I smell something, as soon as I can smell there is a storm brewing outside of the office, I’m either on Skype, taking somebody to dinner, buying tickets for a guy to take his wife to a restaurant, telling them to communicate. I know the problem. The problem is communication, or lack thereof.
Rambling a little bit, I wanted to do a podcast on transfer growth. What does that mean? If you want to transfer to another person your vision, you have to understand the possible road blocks that could be in the way. You also have to understand that you carry a physical snow plow. Your snow plow to plow the obstacles is the understanding of the four personality types, that hurting people hurt people, and that sincere compliments and genuine praise literally parts the sea. It opens doors, parts the sea, and gets a team of people pulling in the same direction.
That’s it for now. I think this was Episode 23. Ken Courtright from Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today.