[0:00:39] Three Decades and Counting
Jeff Cowan has been in the business for 31 years. In Brad’s dictionary, a HO is someone who Helps Others. The key to success is helping other people solve their problems… and you can charge money for it. Jeff recounts a conversation he had with his wife during the last global recession–it was a defining moment in his life. If you’re a great salesperson, you will never be unemployed in the United States of America.
[0:07:59] The Number One Rule
People look for instant solutions to everything, including business success. The silver bullet that you’re looking for is you. 86% of all daily sales require face to face or voice to voice contact despite modern technology. Train yourself constantly because training will get you to where you want to go, training will keep you there, and training will keep you fresh. Training isn’t something you did–it’s something you do.
[0:11:38] Practice, Practice, Practice
Jeff practices and trains even for presentations he’s done over 100 times. Star athletes and famous actors have one thing in common–they train a lot. Technology has made us lazy to the point that communication is almost a lost art. Eye contact is one of the 32 things Jeff writes about in his upcoming book, The Forgotten Rules of Professional Salesmanship. When you’re not comfortable doing something, you lack confidence and it shows.
[0:14:19] Lessons from Indy 500
Jeff is from Indiana and in What I’ve Learned From Attending Over 35 Indy 500’s, he writes about what he’s learned from the track–lessons in sales, motivation, leadership and management. This best-seller has been turned into a video program available on the LightSpeed platform. He goes to the Indy 500 every year. Living in southern California wasn’t something he’d foreseen, but he loves the weather and the people.
Does Jeff resemble William Macy or David Letterman? He shares some views on religion, sports, politics and the NFL. Jeff and Brad talk about aging gracefully to become a gray-haired, rugged, and distinguished-looking gentleman.
[0:23:21] Be a HO
Jeff makes his events fun. A smart trainer sets up their business as a “trainer-tainment.” Get the facts out there, give valuable content, but make it fun. As Zig Ziglar said, the best way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. Jeff is happy to be a HO–someone who Helps Others. People still thank him for lessons he taught or stories he shared 20 years ago. Thanks to LightSpeed, Pro Talk was making money during the recession.
[0:26:19] Elements of Good Training
Exposing people to information is not necessarily the same as training them. Training requires good content, repetition, practice and accountability. Jeff uses the acronym PDR–Practice, Drill, Rehearse. A lot of internal training is poorly done because not everyone knows how to train effectively. With LightSpeed, businesses can keep track of training. Social media is awash with so-called training experts sharing misguided advice.
[0:35:33] Talk about Wine
When you go, there’s two things you can’t take with you–your money and your liver! Jeff and Brad discuss their favorite and not-so-favorite wines. What happened to the case of Caymus 40? Caymus Special Select is everyone’s favorite.
[0:42:58] You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel
He is the authority in training Automotive Service Advisers but 20% of Jeff’s business has always been outside the car industry. He’s working on a book titled Mastering the Six Areas of Closing Sales. There’s no need to learn a mistake the hard way when you can learn from someone else’s experience. Jeff shares a personal example of how he tried to reinvent the wheel and almost lost a relationship.
[0:50:53] Live Your Dream
Sales has always been about communication. If you get into sales and decide to train yourself continually, work hard, work smart, and learn to communicate, a day will come when you will find yourself in your dream house, living the life you’ve always wanted. That’s what the sales profession will deliver to you.