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The Right Way to Sell with John Barrows

 

We have a true powerhouse on the show today who is all about doing sales the right way, which we’re all about here on the podcast as well. He’s built a mega-brand in the sales space with close to 500,000 followers looking to him for sales training and advice. He’s John Barrows and we can learn so much from his outlook on the sales industry in this interview.

 

John Barrows is the CEO of JB Sales, an organization focused on elevating the profession of sales through training, content, and events. They train some of the world’s fastest growing sales teams like Salesforce.com, Zoom, and LinkedIn while supporting a thriving community of over 50,000 individual sellers. John’s goal is to change the negative perception of sales and help sales professionals achieve success by doing it the right way because he believes that when sales is done right, it’s one of the greatest professions in the world. But when it is done wrong, it’s one of the worst. To further support this goal and introduce sales as a career to the younger generations, he is also the proud author of an Amazon bestselling children’s book called I Want to Be in Sales When I Grow Up that he wrote with his daughter.

 

Show Notes:

[2:44] – John explains the Anti-Launch Company and what they do differently. 

[4:17] – As a children’s author, John inspires young readers and shares how fulfilling this experience was to write a book with his daughter.

[5:47] – John’s daughter was selling Girl Scout Cookies and he helped her realize what sales is.

[7:41] – The proceeds from book sales go to charity.

[8:45] – John shares what he has learned from women in sales, specifically empathy and how many more women should be in sales.

[10:58] – The bro culture is not inclusive or at all valuable to the sales industry.

[12:19] – Most women in sales feel that if they bring up every situation of sexism in their career, they would be labeled a complainer.

[13:05] – The sales teams that are the most diverse are the most successful.

[15:31] – John explains his beginning in sales and his misconceptions at the start.

[16:50] – The delineation for John applies only to those who care or don’t care.

[17:57] – The goal of success is happiness.

[19:20] – What industry is as flexible and recession-proof as sales?

[21:09] – What can you do right now that a computer can’t do?

[22:31] – You can’t beat the technology, you can leverage it.

[24:33] – Marketing is content but sales is context.

[26:50] – Take a step back and look at your values. Are you in a company that matches your value?

[28:17] – In a recession, it may be hard to reassess your values because you don’t want to put your job on the line. John shares his tips on this situation.

[30:38] – What if your side hustle is better than your primary source of income?

[32:04] – Managers don’t like to be told about their opinion, but if you bring data in, leaders would be stupid not to listen.

[33:19] – It’s important to lean in to authenticity and not focus so heavily on the numbers.

[34:50] – If you live your values out loud, you will attract buyers with the same values.

[36:49] – John shares the story of someone who was afraid to tell his authentic story, but it turned into an opportunity to reach the right people.

[38:05] – If you start a business with the end in mind, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

[39:42] – It will take longer to find the followers you want on social media, but by being true to yourself, you will find the right people.

[42:30] – Be very clear on your values.

 

Connect with John Barrows:

JB Sales Website

LinkedIn  |  Twitter

I Want to Be in Sales When I Grow Up by John Barrows

Links and Resources:

Instagram  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube

She Sells with Elyse Archer Home Page

 

Speaker 1: (00:02)
Welcome to she sales radio. My friend, we have a true powerhouse on the show today. Who’s all about doing sales the right way, which I love and which if you’ve been in the she sales community for any amount of time, you know, that’s what we’re about here as well. And he’s built a real mega brand in the sales space with close to half a million followers, looking to him for sales, training and advice every day. I’ll tell you a little bit about him and then we’re gonna get into some of his best sales tips. And I also want to find out more about how he’s built his platform, because I know that you want influence like my guest today has. So John Barrows is the CEO of JB sales, an organization focused on elevating the profession of sales through training content and events. They train some of the world’s fastest growing sales teams like salesforce.com, zoom and LinkedIn, while supporting a thriving community of over 50,000 individual sellers.

Speaker 1: (00:55)
That’s a lot of people. And John’s goal is to change the negative perception of sales and help sales professionals achieve success by doing it the right way, because he believes when sales is done, right. It’s one of the greatest professions in the world, but when done wrong, it’s one of the worst. And to further support this goal and introduce sales is a career to the younger generations. He’s also the proud author of an Amazon bestselling children’s book called. I want to be in sales when I grow up that he wrote with his daughter, which I absolutely love John Barrows. Welcome to the podcast. It’s so good to have you here today.

Speaker 2: (01:26)
Thanks so much for having at least I appreciate it. And that’s, uh, hopefully I can live up to some of those expectations that you sat there.

Speaker 1: (01:32)
Well, I, our conversation and this is, I mean, you know, we’ll see where we go today. I always like being free flowing, but I loved our conversation at the beginning about the, that anti launched, right. Because you’re, you’re launching a new website right now. Yeah. Like, we’ll talk about it at the end, but to tell us, tell us a little bit about the Antich philosophy. Cause I actually think this speaks well to like your personality and what you’re all about and probably cues into some of the success that we can also, uh, we can learn from you.

Speaker 2: (01:59)
Yeah. It’s, we’ve learned it over the years that, you know, nobody cares that much. Right. So about, about you, right. We all care a lot about what we’re doing out there and we think it’s really important. Um, but you know, we’ve, I’ve done too many of the, okay, let’s create this awesome thing. Let’s not tell anybody about it. And then let’s launch it to the world and yeah. And, and all that excitement, you know, sometimes it goes great, but then other times it just falls flat and it almost feels like everything that you put into it was almost meaningless or worthless when it obviously wasn’t. So we’re the anti launch launch company. Anytime we launch something, we basically just, we just like, you’ll rarely hear me say, Hey, I got a great new website coming out. I got this huge new thing and let’s go for it. We’ll just put it out there. And then we kind of evolve it and as people explore and find more and we get feedback, and it’s also something about agile, um, and kind of six Sigma stuff where we launch get feedback, adjust, and keep iterating as opposed to one huge launch of something that isn’t gonna move for another two years. So yeah, it aligns both of those philosophies there for us and just a little bit of humility as well.

Speaker 1: (03:01)
I love it. Well, and it, it helps to take some of the pressure off, which no doubt we we’ll kind of talk today about sales and pressure and totally how, how all that works. But here’s what I wanna know first is, you know, when I was prepping for this and just reading about you writing the book with your daughter, I wanna be in sales when I grew up, I thought, oh my gosh, how cool on multiple fronts, you know, to be inspiring young ones to, we’ve got a two year old and it’s like, whatever he wants to do is great. But if he wants to go into sales, like mom and do that, it’s, I’m gonna be so supportive. So inspiring young ones to do that. Um, but then also to do that with your daughter. So tell, tell me a little bit about what inspired that and then how was the process of, of writing it along with your daughter?

Speaker 2: (03:40)
Yeah, it was, uh, it was probably one of the more fulfilling things I’ve done in my career. Um, you know, it was, uh, so for the past 15 years I’ve been building this company and, and for the majority of it before, COVID, it was me on an airplane, uh, you know, flying all I’m, I’m about 2 million miles in and about 10 years. And so I was in my daughter’s 11, so I was a weekend dad for the, for the most part. I, I always committed to not traveling on the weekends, but I would leave on a Monday, I’d come back on a Friday and I’d try to be as present as possible, uh, over the weekends. But also what I realized. So one was I wanted to get her a little bit more involved to understand what I did and why I was doing it too.

Speaker 2: (04:16)
Was, you know, when you’re a, a, a parent and you try to, you know, kids understand what doctors are, what lawyers are, what, you know, because they, they see ’em on TV and they’re very tangible. It’s like, okay, that’s what that person does. But when you tell your kid you’re in sales, they kind of look at you sideways, like, well, what do you, what do you mean by that? Do you just talk to people all day long? And it’s, it’s kind of hard to, so the, the, the basis of it was really trying to make a deeper connection with my daughter and have her understand, but, but then she started selling girl scout cookies. So she was about six years old and she came to me and says, she said, daddy, um, I can sell girl scout cookies with this link that I have. And I know you have a really strong social media follow. So could you put this out on your link? And so people can buy girl scout cookies from me. And I was like, no. And she’s like, why not? I’m like, well, first of all, that’s my audience. And I work my off to build it. Yeah. I go. And second of all, why should they buy from you over every other kid? That’s selling girls come

Speaker 1: (05:09)
Cookies. Oh, this is hardcore sales training right up the top.

Speaker 2: (05:12)
I mean, straight up. And so she goes, well, what do I need to do? I was like, well, you need to put together a little pitch, like a little why buy from you? And so we practiced this little and if you go to, I want to be in sales. When I grow up.com, you’ll see, there’s a video of her with this little big Afro on because she was nervous. And so she went and got a costume and she gives her pitch of why she likes LA lemonade, like her favorite cookies and why. And so I did a blog post on that, put the link there, got her to be the top selling, you know, a girl scout in the, in the, uh, town. And then the following year we went door to door, cuz I was teaching her door to door sales, right. Rejection and objection handling.

Speaker 2: (05:46)
So we did a little video on how to handle objections. Yeah. Um, wrote a blog post on that. And then after that I was like, you know what? This is a cool journey. And we ended up writing a book together. Um, and, and it was her journey on selling girl scout cookies. But with the realization of, of really ultimately what sales is, and, and it’s not about convincing somebody of something it’s, it’s helping people solve problems or solve challenges or to solve challenges or, or achieve goals. Right. And you have to know your audience and you have to, you know, all these different things about it. And you know, the three main goals of the book is one is to elevate the profession, right? Cause no kid ever says that no kid had ever said, it’s always the default profession. Sales is the default default profession.

Speaker 2: (06:27)
So if you introduce the kids early that it could be a, something you could be proud of, they might think about as a profession, two is I wanted to get more women into sales. Cause I think women are some of the best sales professionals I’ve ever come across in my entire life. And, and I wanted to encourage more young girls to, to think of sales as a career. And then the third one is, uh, to give back because, uh, , my daughter does not wanna be in sales when she grows up. She actually only wants to be a veterinarian. Oh. And so, uh, a hundred percent of the profits go to, uh, her favorite charity, which is the world wildlife fund. So I don’t, we don’t make a dime on it. And last year we were able to give a check for $25,000 to the world wildlife fund, which was pretty cool. So that’s awesome. It’s been a fun, it’s been a fun experience all the way around.

Speaker 1: (07:05)
Oh my gosh. I love that. I love that. Well, and I, I appreciate what you said too about, you know, women being great salespeople and we’ve got a mixed audience here. I always say, cause I wanna all, you know, honor acknowledge everyone. Yeah. Who’s listening. And when I have, um, you know, when I have men on the show, I always like to ask, like, what have you learned from your wife, your daughter, et cetera, about selling. I’d love to know, cuz I also know like on your team, some of the heads of sales are women, all women. Um, and I, yeah, it’s all women. Right? So, so I’d love to hear from you like from your daughter and from the women in your life, what have you learned about sales that maybe helped you shift your approach and has made you a better person?

Speaker 2: (07:42)
I mean, I, I think the, the obvious one is empathy and listening. Right. I think, um, I think there’s, there’s just inherently, women are more empathetic and, and they listen more than men do. Uh, you know, we’re just based on how we’re taught as kids to be out there and, you know, and, but what I’ve actually learned more, uh, was in, in diving into women in sales is, is how much, how many more women should be in sales, but are, are not prevented from being in sales, but also, but are discouraged from being in sales because of the male dominant drive, you know, the perception of what sales is of like, go, go, go hit the gong, let’s go to the strip clubs, let’s celebrate, let’s do all this stuff. And it celebrated as males. Right. Um, what I realized was I’ve always thought I was a pretty empathetic man growing up.

Speaker 2: (08:36)
I think my mom did a pretty good job raising me. But then when I had my daughter, I was like, holy, uh, wait a minute. You know how we’re marketed to how we’re presented, you know? And, and the opportunities given to us. And then there was one that really struck me and, and your listeners can check this one out. Um, I don’t know. And I, I usually don’t like people out, but I will on this one, uh, I went to a conference and, um, it was drift, uh, did their conference and, uh, grant Cardone got up and did his speech. Yeah. And he came out and he started talking about his wife in ways that I couldn’t, I mean, I think he’s a terrible sales leader in the first place. He’s like all about hit the list and Glen Gary, Glen Ross type approach to selling.

Speaker 2: (09:15)
But he said, you know, he, he, after he did his dumb speech, he he’s like, Hey honey, stand up. You know, look at, and in front of 5,000 people, he’s like, look at her. And he started talking to her as that and this, and, and like, I own that and, and started talking, I mean, literally what he was gonna do to her on his flight on the way out of the conference. And I almost like I was so dumbfounded and, and my good friend, Trish TUI was sitting next to me and she smacks me and she’s like, are you listening to this? And I’m like, what the, and I had, I couldn’t put it into words. Yeah. And so I, I got on after trying to collect myself and almost jumping up on stage and trying to kick the out of him. Yeah. Um, which is another negative male approach to things.

Speaker 2: (09:54)
But, uh, but I remember just grabbing my phone and, and, and doing a video and just lighting off and saying, guys, we need to cut this here. This whole bro culture in sales needs to stop. And it, the post went viral. It, it cut the CEO, drift reached out and apologized to everybody that was on the post. And it led to this beautiful conversation with myself, Trish, TUI, Laurie, um, Richardson and Casey Jones. Um, three women who I highly respect in, in sales and business and it was called, we need to talk. And it was this whole concept of, of really the, the danger and the, and the harm that the bro culture brings to sales and how it’s not inclusive in any way, shape or form. And what I learned from them to get back to your, to your point was, I didn’t just learn from them.

Speaker 2: (10:37)
But I learned from the audience, we did the survey on, you know, Hey, we’re, we’re not gonna preach at you here, like gen, uh, generic survey here. Uh, what is one thing that you’re afraid to ask? Like, so just fill in this sheet, like, what’s one thing you’re afraid to ask, cuz you don’t wanna ask it at work. What’s one scenario you face that is sexist. That’s not an obvious thing. And then what’s one solution that you’ve seen work. Right. And what struck me was all the little things. It wasn’t, it wasn’t the over overt sexism, right. It was the little small things that happen every single day. And the, the women were like, look, if I complained about every sexist, stupid thing that happened to me here, I would be labeled as a complainer. But the problem is, is all these little things build up.

Speaker 2: (11:19)
And then I light off on like, I, I lose it about something that tipped the scale. And even though that thing might have been rather minor by itself, and now all of a sudden I’m the, you know, I’m an issue and all this other stuff she’s like, so the women were like, there’s really it’s I I’m in a knowing situation and, and reflecting on watching my wife and run her business and the opportunity she’s been given and how she’s been spoken to by men. And, and then seeing my daughter and some of the things she’s going through in school and how the boys, right? Like all of that has, has opened my eyes wider than they’ve ever been about the challenges. Um, but also the opportunities, because the best, I mean, I’ve, I’ve created, you know, I’ve run about three, three sales teams here and the more diverse sales teams are always the best ones. The, the ones that come from different perspectives are always the best ones. And we can learn from each other. I don’t care what level you’re at or how quote unquote, you know, bro, or hardcore you are. If you don’t have that softer side, if you don’t have that empathy, you know, you might win in the short term, but long term, it ain’t, it ain’t gonna work. So

Speaker 1: (12:24)
Gosh, wow. Oh my gosh. It’s so crazy. When you talk about that, John it’s like that stuff is that it is happening every day. Like still, I mean, it’s just it’s. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. And I’m curious for, from your own journey, cause I know you’ve done everything from doing what 400 cold calls a day when you were inside

Speaker 2: (12:44)
Sales a week. No, a week. I wasn’t that bad. Cause I was also selling, I was, I also had to be out there selling so four a week. Oh my gosh.

Speaker 1: (12:51)
That sounds absolutely just miserable. yeah, but still 400 a week is a lot. And then you’ve also been VP of, of sales for startups. And obviously you, you know, you’ve, you’ve launched your own company. How much of, kind of that gosh, like wanting to shift the culture and um, how much of that has inspired your own company and your training style and what you do now. And I’d love if you could go into a little more of what you say, which is like when sales is done, right. It’s the best profession when it’s done worse. It’s the worst profession. I I’d love to hear. Yeah. Hear more about that.

Speaker 2: (13:24)
Yeah. You know, I realized a long time ago, the perception that sales has and why it has the perception that it does. And, and, and this isn’t a male female thing. This is just a reality thing is that most of us get out of school. Right. Well, we get, you know, I think it’s ridiculous to ask an 18 year old kid what they wanna be for the rest of their life. First of all right. Uh, I think so college is a great social education. It’s a terrible actual education. Um, but so we get out into the real world and, and you know, like me, we realize either a, I don’t like whatever this is or B I can’t make enough money doing it. So Hey, no barrier to entry. Let me get into sales. And, and so we’re given you take a rather normal kid.

Speaker 2: (14:04)
Okay. Who’s, who’s ethical and all that stuff. Okay. And you put them in a scenario where you give a territory and a quota and you tell them, Hey, good luck. Oh. And by the way, if you don’t hit your quota, you’re probably gonna get fired and you won’t be able to put food on your table in the next three months. So go good luck. Right. Well that normal kid is gonna do some very abnormal things, right. Mm-hmm, , they’re gonna lie cheat and steal to get their numbers. And even though they would never otherwise. And so I think, you know, my, my empathy, if you will, for that scenario for kids being put in that scenario and, and being thrown to the wolves in a lot of ways, like I was, um, has given me the perspective to say, Hey, how can I help a few skip a few steps?

Speaker 2: (14:42)
Right. So that was just in general. And that’s why I kind of, part of the reason I do what I do. Um, but then, you know, as I grew and followed the typical sales build, grow competition, hiring athletes, I mean, that was just what I knew. Right. And I was an athlete. I mean, I wasn’t a good athlete, but I was an athlete. So I, you know, I thought, I thought teamwork. I didn’t think of it as a male female thing. I thought, oh, teamwork, that’s a, that’s a good thing. Right. Mm-hmm um, but then I started being exposed to people like Lori Richardson and Trish TUI, and having these conversations and realizing how skewed everything was. And, and even how we write our job descriptions and the words that we use. And the, so that all, I think micro wise built up for me and said, okay, you know, there there’s, there’s an issue here that needs to be addressed.

Speaker 2: (15:37)
Um, just from a more inclusive standpoint. And I don’t mean just women too. I mean, LGBTQ, you know, I mean, bring it on. As far as the, anybody other than a pale white male like me, you know what I mean? And, and so with the training, we try to be as inclusive as possible for people that care. And this is, this is where the delineation is. I, I do discriminate , but not about something you can’t control. I, I discriminate based on people who actually give a, because if you actually care, I’m here for you. I don’t care what color, I don’t care where you fall on what spectrum I’m here for you. But if you don’t care, I could care less about what, you know what I mean? Yeah. I’m not gonna give you information if you don’t care to take it and run with it.

Speaker 2: (16:18)
And so it’s shaped a lot of our, our approach, um, to be way more inclusive, to hire from different angles, to, to bring different perspectives in, um, and also to, to de try to do what we can to, to fight against the Glen Gar Glen Rosses of the world, fight against the Wolf of wall streets of the world, fight against the grant card Owens of the world, who unfortunately are 10, 20, 30 X, more popular in a lot of ways, just because it fits the, you know, the Lambos and the everything else that you can get for doing all this stuff. But that, to me, isn’t fulfilling, right. I, I know plenty of millionaires who are just miserable bastards. Um, to me, the, the guide of success or the goal of success is happiness period. Oh. And you know, my daughter, when, when people ask her, I told her this earlier, I’m like anybody ever asks you, what do you wanna be when you grow up?

Speaker 2: (17:12)
The answer to that question is very simple and the answer is happy period. Oh, wow. And so sales, I believe is a career that can really help people achieve that whatever level of happiness is for them. I mean, for instance, you speak about the three women that I, you know, I have three women trainers, they’re all, they’re all women. And I used to have this different profile of like a brand and somebody who’s like, you know, was gonna on their way up. And I was gonna all this other stuff. And I, what I realized is the women that I work with are the, what they’re looking for is a solid work, work life balance. Because especially now that they’re home and their kids are school, you know, they’re juggling a million different things. So a nine to five is just not feasible in so many ways.

Speaker 2: (17:49)
So putting them in a position to do what they love, but in, with a flexible structure to get it done without having to worry about checking off Bo, I mean, I’m about the, the, the least micromanager you’ll ever come across. Cause I’m just like, as long as you get your done, I don’t care when you work. And so I think what I realized about sales is it provides such an opportunity for underprivileged or underserviced groups to Excel. Cause what other career, the harder you work, the more you get paid, what other career has the flexibility, whatever other career is, I don’t wanna say recession proof, but kind of is in the sense that say that your recession hits your industry harder than most. Well, then you can just go sell for another industry. That’s hotter right now. So it’s the most portable profession. It’s the most flexible profession. It’s the most economically advanced profession. And women could be the number one benefactors of that. If we give, just give ’em a chance.

Speaker 1: (18:41)
Oh my gosh, amen. Everything you just said, there’s so much. And there’s, I think two things that I wanna, um, just reflect on. I mean, one is just, you know, shifting the language in sales and I’ve even found myself like feeling like I have to use words like hustle or crush, your goal crush. Yeah. And I, I was gonna, I, this is, so this makes me laugh. One of my mentors has been saying this lately and it just cracks me up. She’s like the only thing we’re gonna go crush is a tomato. like, let’s just get it clear. The only thing we’re gonna crush is a tomato. I’m like, thank you for helping us all shift the usage of that word, because it’s so overused. But it’s like, it’s what people know. And so starting to shift the conversation and then two, I think shifting the expectation about happiness is success.

Speaker 1: (19:28)
I love that. I love that so much. I really have I’ve, I’ve had some things happen in my own life over the past few years where it’s like, I started to really get clear on what success really is for me. And at the end of the day, it’s happiness. And, um, so I love that. I love that you said something recently. Um, and I think it was on your LinkedIn, but it, or actually, no, I’m sorry. It was on your YouTube, um, on your channel trailer, which by the way, go check out John’s YouTube. We’ll put all the links in the show notes cuz it’s um, really good content. But just asking that question that I think is helpful for, for all of us to be asking right now. And it’s not from a place of pressure, but it’s from a place of how can I keep upping my game, which is like, what can I do right now that a computer can’t right. so evaluating, what can I do that a computer can’t I would love if you could speak to that. And how do you use that to, to teach sales and how do you use that in your own company to help, to keep upleveling what you’re doing?

Speaker 2: (20:25)
Yeah. This is, you know, this is a tough one in a lot of ways because that question’s getting really hard to answer these. I

Speaker 1: (20:30)
Know, right.

Speaker 2: (20:31)
uh, I mean I’m seeing emails written by artificial intelligence that are better than I, more personalized than I would ever write. Yeah. You know, I came across this website recently where you can choose a person like, you know, be your image, right. Or my image. And you can then in the background type and it gets you to say exactly what I’m typing and it looks a hundred percent real, but it’s not. So it’s, it’s, you know, deep, fake, all that stuff. That’s scary. And so, and this is something I actually asked Gary vainer, Chuck back in 2017, 2018, when I went to his, uh, 4d session, cuz that I saw that email the first time and I was like, oh my God, Gary, where does that leave us? Right. Wow. Yeah. If computers can write emails better than this and he, and he said, don’t worry about that.

Speaker 2: (21:12)
He’s like, don’t fight the technology. Right. Leverage it. And so it’s, it’s almost like, I feel like we’re in the, you know, back in the fifties or forties or whatever, whatever manufacturing was huge. Right. And there was those people on the, on the manufacturing line that were stamping out widgets and they were like, oh, on the best widget stamper on the planet, like there’s no way technology can do what I do. Right. Mm. And then, you know, now all of a sudden you’re irrelevant. Well, all these kids who are out there right now, push and play on cadences, you know, at our sequences or making generic cold calls and just going and literally just going through the motions, like I can do that far better with technology than any rep ever could mm-hmm because if a rep is gonna like, I, I scare teams a lot because I’ll walk in and I’ll say, Hey, if I was a, a new VP of sales in this organization, you know what, the first thing that I would do is I would ask to see every single email that I went out right now by an SDR or BDR.

Speaker 2: (22:01)
And if they were all templated emails, I would be like, you know what? I’m gonna save this company a whole lot of money. I’m gonna fire every single one of you right now. I’m gonna hire a marketing ops person and just go to the boards with Marketo Pardot, qua pick one of those because I can do it a thousand times better. If it’s all it is, is a spam engine. Basically I can do it a thousand times better with a marketing tool because I’m gonna look at the analytics and I’m gonna make adjustments along the way, which reps never will demos. You know, you have reps literally droning through demos because they got badged in boot camp for it. And that’s how they should do it. So they, they lit, they, they ask their crappy questions, their qualifying BANT questions or medic questions or whatever the hell they want to ask.

Speaker 2: (22:37)
And then they do some hard shift into some El, you know, some pitch that just drones through the entire presentation, doesn’t take into any context, what the client told them all that is getting erased. Now, if, if it’s not already erased, I mean, I, I fear that we’re in this five year transition right now where we are doing what the machines or we’re teaching the machines, how to do our job. Mm. And there’s gonna be a vast majority of sales professionals that I don’t wanna say it’s gonna go away, but are, are gonna get rolled up under like marketing and operations and be more salaried positions than commission based stuff to go out there. And so I personally think we’re moving back to full cycle sales, um, because I don’t think that sales reps like the, um, the SAS model of predictable revenue where you segment roles and, you know, you have to talk to five people before you actually talk to somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

Speaker 2: (23:25)
Um, and I, you know, and I just think it’s incumbent upon us to really think that through is like, are these activities something that a computer could do? Um, and, and the last point I’ll make on that is the, the way I’ve been able to kind of help people align sales and marketing is, is, uh, again, I kind of stole this from Gary. He said, everybody talks about content is king. He says, fine. He said, content is king or queen. He goes fine. If content is king or queen, then then context is God. Mm. And that to me is marketing in sales. Marketing is content. Sales is context. If we, as sales professionals are not putting any context around our content, then we’re no different than marketing and why are we getting paid to do what we do? Mm. You know, so context is taking that marketing material that marketing came up with. And before it hits your inbox, me putting a little flavor on top about why I think it’s important to you, right? Taking that 30 slides in a slide deck and, and having a conversation with a client and then cutting it down to the five or 10 that are most relevant to them. Like that context, that until computers buy from computers, look when computers buy from computers were screwed, period.

Speaker 1: (24:31)
I started thinking about that. I was like, I’ve never thought about that.

Speaker 2: (24:33)
Yeah. And that’s the scarier part to me is when not, not when computers sell it’s when computers start to buy, right. That’s where it’s like, holy, we’re in trouble here. Mm. But until that happens until there’s a human on the other end of that, there’s always gonna be that need for that human touch. There’s always gonna be that need for that, that, that rounding of the edges, if you will, that technology just won’t be able to connect with. And also the, the face to face and the phone and the voice and those type of things. That’s why they’re becoming more important than ever than email and anything else.

Speaker 1: (25:03)
Mm. What are a few ways? So thinking about the context piece, and I’m also thinking about, you know, for some, some of our listeners are entrepreneurs, we’ve got quite a few sales reps too, who are maybe being told, like, this is the message you have to send. This is, you know, it’s like cookie cutter. Right. And, and so part of it, I think comes down to leadership, oh, a hundred percent. It all comes down to leadership. But if someone’s listening to this and they’re like, yeah, I am sending messages that a computer could send way better. Like, what are a few simple ways we can seek to create greater connection and intentionality, um, and, and create better context with the messaging.

Speaker 2: (25:40)
Well, I’m gonna do a macro and then a micro.

Speaker 1: (25:42)
I love it. Let’s do it.

Speaker 2: (25:42)
Yeah. Uh, the macro is really take a step back in your own career, uh, and go through something that I just reset on myself, which is your why and your values. Mm. Take a step back. Because the company that you’re working at right now might not be the company that you should be working at right now. Yeah. If you are in a high volume, don’t give a about the client, get the numbers out there. 50 do look. And by the way, that might align with your values. I’m not saying it doesn’t right. I mean, you might money. Your values might be money. Like, right. I, I need money so I can do this thing. So I’m gonna get this job that allows me to do these things to whatever else. And so that’s fine. I’m not, I’m not judging against that. But if you’re sitting there struggling, because your company is forcing you to send out a lot of these emails and management, isn’t listening to you as far as the, you know, the results aren’t and you’re getting pushed to do stuff that you just don’t feel right about.

Speaker 2: (26:28)
And they’re not open to dialogue around how to change that you might wanna just reassess. What’s important to you. Um, going back to success, you, you know, we need to reset our definition of what success is. I think we need to reset on our, why, why do we do what we do and what are our core values? Because once you have those lined up, you have a decision stack that you can put up against almost anything. When you’re looking to make a decision, whether, you know, career a way to, you know, talk to your managers about something, whatever it is. And you can have comfort in doing it once you are really solid on those. So, first and foremost, I would say reassess, but if you’re in the situation where you’re like, look, the market’s bad right now, we’re going into a down economy. I don’t wanna risk my life.

Speaker 2: (27:06)
I still don’t my career, but I just don’t. Then let’s do your side hustle. Mm. Right. What I, what I, what I really encourage against is just about the fact that you’re making 50 dials and this doesn’t work. Okay. Because look as a manager, my, my, you know, you bring up $400 a week. I knew my equation cold when I was, I was 23 years old. And I, you know, I, I knew one thing I knew I wasn’t the smartest kid in the room, but I knew I could outwork yet. Mm. And so to me, sales was a pure numbers game back then. Okay. It was $400. Like it was $1,600 a month. Got me. Eight meetings a month, got me four, got me. Four proposals got me two pieces of closed business. And average deal size was $3,500. So that was my equation.

Speaker 2: (27:46)
So I just ran it, got it. Right. And I would make $400 and it worked for me $400 a week. And then when I hired people, it was make $400 a week. And what, cuz the key here is when you start, I don’t, as a manager, I don’t know what to work on you with. Right? Sure. So, and there’s two big levers. I can pull one’s quality and one’s quantity, qual, quantity. One is do, can you do the work? Like, can you do what I tell you to do? Right. And that’s the easier one for me to figure out. And that’s why managers are lazy in a lot of ways because that’s how they manage. Yeah. We all know that quality is the answer, but quality’s really hard to coach too. Especially if you’ve got 5, 6, 7, 8 reps, right. How do you coach quality in that while still, maybe being a player coach and all that quantity is actually easy.

Speaker 2: (28:27)
It’s like, did you make your 50 dials today? Yes. No. Whatever. So, but for me that’s necessary in the first month or two, I just, I just wanna see, can you do the effort, right? I’m gonna give you a set of leads and I’m gonna make your phone calls, whatever. But as soon as you check off that box that says, you can do that. Yes. You put the effort in and your results aren’t there. Well, now I can work on the quality side of the house and peel back. Um, but some managers don’t get outta that. I mean, one of the biggest things, one of the, uh, worst things I saw was when COVID hit pipelines, dried up, everything went dark. I mean, PE executives were, were doubling down on activities. Mm. I mean, executives didn’t want to talk to an SDR or BDR, you know, in a good economy.

Speaker 2: (29:04)
They, you think they wanted to talk to him now in a economy by doubling down. No, we should have flipped out totally on its head. And so for in, without the organization, realizing that and continuing on this old playbook of hit the list and do your thing or whatever, do your side hustle, don’t about it, do your job because I’m not gonna listen to you unless you do your job first. I don’t care how bad you think my advice on do you doing your job is, but so do that. Okay. But then do a side hustle. And if you think quality is better, well then take 10 clients that you’re trying to get in touch with. Okay. Like 10 tier one clients and off hours. And I hate to say it, but you might have to work a little bit past five o’clock these days, Kim .

Speaker 2: (29:46)
Um, and, and, you know, you actually go off and you say, Hey, let me just spend some time thinking about these prospects, like doing some research on them, making genuine connections, connecting with them on LinkedIn, having real purpose behind why I’m calling you. And then at the end of the month or whatever, however many you choose, maybe it’s just one a day, by the way, maybe it’s one account a day, which is what I do 30 minutes. Once a day, I pick one account and I go all in and I come up with a 5, 6, 7 touch routine to them. And I do that once a day. So that’s once a day, five days a week, that’s 20 accounts. By the end of that month, you should be able to look at those 20 accounts and see how many meetings did you get? How many conversations did you have?

Speaker 2: (30:22)
What’s that conversion ratio, then go to your manager and say, Hey boss, I just want, I just ran a little experiment. This was off hours. It didn’t take up any time that I was working on. Um, and I did your, I did your approach. I made $50 a day and this is what my results were and boom, boom. But off hours I picked one account a day and I went through after 20 accounts and I took a really thoughtful, very targeted approach and look at the results here. And if the results are better and your manager doesn’t say, holy smokes, like yet, great job. Like let’s do it that way. Instead if they don’t, that’s when you know you should find another job. Ah, right. So I think you, you know, pull the side hustle, but come to me with facts, come to me with data because I don’t care per and, and I know this is gonna sound harsh, but managers do not care about our opinions. Mm. I do not care what you think about what I want you to do. You are an employee here at my company, do what I’m telling you to do. Yeah. But if you can come back to me with data that says, what I’m telling you to do is worse than what you’re suggesting we do. If I’m not listening, I’m a terrible manager, I’m a terrible leader and you probably shouldn’t work for

Speaker 1: (31:23)
Me. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Wow. Wow. It brings me back some of my, uh, my, my corporate sales days and, and taking a similar approach. And it’s like, but I, I like how you can see both sides of the perspective there and it, it works for the manager. It works for the rep. So two, two questions. This is amazing. We could, we could go all day. This is awesome. Love it. Um, I love it. So two questions for you. Um, just to honor the time we have one, and I know you’re not gonna be able to get really deep into it, but I would love if you can give us like one to two of your top tips for platform building, you’ve built a big online platform. You’re not a hype guy, right. From, from what I, which I so appreciate. So it’s like, it’s not, it’s not that right. You’re real, you’re honest. You’re authentic. So what are like one or two of the things that you would say have been the most impactful for you in terms of building your platform?

Speaker 2: (32:16)
You know, I think authenticity and not caring about the numbers. Um, and, and also knowing your audience. Right? Like I, I, when I went off on my own with J Barrows or O JB sales, um, I, I went kicking screaming. I did not wanna build me cuz I, cuz I had gone from Basho, which was the training company. And then we split off with another one of the senior trainers after they fired everybody and started Ken say partners, another Japanese iterative. And then when I decided I wanted to go off on my own, I thought, oh I gotta stay on the Japanese theme so I can take advantage of all. But I got so much advice from people saying, no, if you’re gonna go into this space, John, you gotta, you gotta brand yourself. Right? Because, because especially in the sales world, um, but more often in most world right now, you know, it’s about 50% the content and what you do and 50% who delivers it and who you are and people are looking for purpose.

Speaker 2: (33:02)
People are looking to connect with people who they resonate with, right? I mean, there’s so many false, you know, Instagram, fake whatever’s out there that people are craving authenticity. People are craving somebody to believe in and follow in a lot of ways that that align with their values. Um, so I think one of the things I would do is really just understand what I would, if I would back into it, you know, go back to your why and your values like start there and then scream about ’em scream about ’em. And I mean this for companies, individuals, because that’s what people are looking for right now. They’re looking for attachment to something that they can believe in people they can believe in. Right? And, and look, you’re not for everybody. And, but if you nail down your values and your why and you speak about them to anybody and everybody, you put ’em on your website, you live those values.

Speaker 2: (33:51)
Then guess what? You’re gonna attract people that share those values. And without that you can buy followers anytime you want. Right. So cuz when I went off on my own people like, oh John, gimme your Twitter handle. We’ll get you 10,000 Twitter followers in less than a month. And I’m like, why the hell? I want 10,000 random people follow me on Twitter. I’m like, I don’t want that. I, I want authentic. And I go by the Gary V one of, of like, I’d rather have 10 people following me on Twitter. And when I tweet something, 10 people do something versus 10,000 people and nobody does anything. So I think quality over quantity, going back to the, that part of the conversation, don’t get enamored with the likes and the, you know, and, and what you’re posting. And you know, this post versus the algorithms are gonna change all over the place.

Speaker 2: (34:31)
So don’t even try, just be, you it’ll take a lot longer to get there, but the people that are attracted to you for you and, and your authentic self, you’re gonna be going back to the definition of success. It’s not that you got a million followers. It’s not that you got a half a million LinkedIn people looking at you. Right. It’s that you get the people who want you, you should be following you and you make a difference for them. Mm-hmm and I’ll leave with this, you know, people, um, my, my, um, brother-in-law my, my wife’s youngest brother, um, you know, this was back when Snapchat first hit. Right. And, and I was just getting into Snapchat and I’m like, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing on Snapchat, but I don’t know. I’ll figure it out. Right. Yeah. Um, and I, and I talked to him and he was, you know, at the time he was like 24, 25.

Speaker 2: (35:14)
And he was really trying to find his way. And um, he went to school for being a psychologist, but never was practicing. He was now a death metal. He actually found death metal and it was great. But the problem was, is like he was a, he was a skinny, he was a tiny kid. He had some birth defects. And so he got picked on quite a bit when he was in school. So that’s why he wanted to go into psychiatry because he wanted to help other people out. But now he found death metal and whatever you think of it, he found it and he loved it. And all of a sudden you see this kid blossom. But what he was trying to do is make a career out of this. Okay. Of, of being a death metal. But he had to pay the bills, death metal, doesn’t obviously pay the bills.

Speaker 2: (35:48)
Right. And so I’m like, you know, Michael, you need to start sharing your story on, on Snapchat or anyone. And he’s like, John, why? Like nobody will follow me. And I said, look, let me ask you this. You went to school for psychology. Right? And he goes, yeah, I go, are you using that degree in any way, shape or form right now? He goes, no, I go, okay. So now say you start a Snapchat channel or whatever. And one kid, a Michael Mehan from, from 10 years ago who was struggling in high school, getting picked on by somehow stumbles across your, in your, your feed in Snapchat and, and sees. And you were, you’re telling the story of how you were him and da da, and this is where you are and how happy you are right now and how you’re figuring it out. And it makes a ki difference in that one kid’s life.

Speaker 2: (36:29)
You have one follower, it’s that one kid who you make a difference to because he sees himself and instead of committing suicide, or instead of, you know, thinking how horrible he is, he says, maybe just, maybe I could be somebody like that kid. I go, if that would’ve happened and you only had one follower, would it make your four year degree in psychology worth it? And he goes, yes. I said, then tell your story, man. And that’s the same thing with a platform. Don’t do it to build a platform. If you’re anybody who starts a business to become a, you know, to, I always love people who say, oh, I’m gonna start this business. And then, you know, in three years I’m gonna sell it. If you start a business with the end in mind, I think you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Speaker 2: (37:06)
Right? Um, you start a business cuz you love what you do. I mean, I, I say this all the time that sales is the transfer of enthusiasm. That’s what it is. Right. People buy on, on, on, on emotion, they back it up with fact it’s still true to this day. And, and so that, that emotion, that, that, that right, that passion, if you can hone that into what you love to do and then get that across to other people, then you will attract the right people and those right people will attract more, right. People. And then you will have a community that is engaged as opposed to a number. And that’s what I think is the most important thing is that you’re making a difference, um, because you’re being you and you’re not, you know, this person on Instagram and this person on Facebook or this person on LinkedIn and this person someplace else, because you gotta be.

Speaker 2: (37:54)
I mean, one of the things that really kills me is, you know, let’s go back to the women thing and, and is, you know, the algorithm messes up everything, right? Cause you gotta, you got a woman who is really strong at, you know, whatever it is. Okay. Like they’re, they’re really thought leader in this area. And then one day and they’re posting stuff on LinkedIn and whatever it is and Instagram and they get a few likes here or there. And then one day they, they, they do a tip and it happens to be in their bathing suit while they’re on vacation. And that tip, that post goes viral. Yeah. And it wasn’t because of the content, it was cuz of what they were wearing and yeah. You know, all that. And so now all of a sudden we’re tricking ourselves in this mindset. Oh, well shoot, I have to do less of that and more of this because that’s, what’s gonna get me the followers and that’s what kills creativity.

Speaker 2: (38:34)
Ooh, do this for you and do this to, to, to share your journey and your knowledge with other people who care and, and the followers will come, it’ll take longer. It’ll take longer to get there. I am not grant Cardone. I don’t have multimillions of followers. I do not have. And by the, and I don’t have a Lee jet and I don’t have five Lambos in my garage, but guess what? I live in a nice 3000 square foot house at the end of a dead end street, 10 miles north of Boston with a wife and a daughter. And I am very happy with my situation. And you know, and I only have X amount of users. I only have, you know, which is a lot compared to some others. Sure. But not compared to the masses. And so I think that’s it just be true to yourself. Go find the, find your voice by understanding your why and your values and the people that you’ll be attract that you wanna attract will come.

Speaker 1: (39:20)
Oh my gosh. Pure gold, pure gold. Thank you. I, I, I actually have two final questions. One’s gonna be super quick. And then we have one final one. We’re gonna, we’re gonna get this done. No problem. This’s so powerful. So John, tell, tell everyone where they can connect with you. Tell them, I know we talked about anti launch at the beginning, so we’re gonna go, we’re gonna go anti to anti launch and promote your new website a little bit. I appreciate that. Tell ’em where they can connect with you. Cuz I can tell you right now they’re they’re gonna want to, I can’t wait to dive into more of your content. This is

Speaker 2: (39:48)
So powerful. I appreciate that. So LinkedIn’s the easy one. John Barrows. I think it’s LinkedIn slash John Barrows. I was one of the first 10,000 members on LinkedIn. So I’m, that’s why I, that’s why I got so many followers. Not because I’m that popular, but um,

Speaker 1: (40:01)
But the content is great either way. The content is great. Go connect

Speaker 2: (40:03)
With yeah. And then we’re launching my website recent coming up here. So it’s John M as in Michael Barrows, B a R R O ws.com. And that’s actually my handle on Instagram and Twitter and all the other places too. So you can go check out and we got a ton of free content out there and I’m happy to chat with anybody. I do a ton of free consulting on Instagram too. Mm. So if anybody ever has a question or what you know about sales business entrepreneurship, you can hit me up on Instagram. I get back to you almost immediately.

Speaker 1: (40:27)
Awesome. Awesome. Final question for you. And it’s, it’s so interesting. You know, I usually ask, ask, um, guests about like, what’s the advice you would’ve given to your younger self, but I just, as you’ve been talking, I felt so called to talk about what’s next for you in the future for you. And I know you said you’ve been leaning into your why and your core values. And so I would love if you just share what’s one core value that you really unearthed recently that you’re super excited to lean into in the future.

Speaker 2: (40:55)
Yeah. Um, so from it’s funny, uh, you know, I’ve always, I, I, I read think and grow rich a long time ago, so I had 12 personal guidelines to success and then I kind of morphed that into my guidelines and, and stuff. But I really reset recently and I was going through this exercise with my business coach and there was all these, you know, descriptions of values and you kind of choose the ones you like and you Whitle it down and everything else. But one that, that I asked him, it was family was on there. And um, and I was like, well, isn’t that kind of like a default that family’s always number one. Isn’t like, so do I need to put it on there? And he goes, oh, absolutely you do. Because, because if you don’t, you can fool yourself quite a bit. And I’ll give you an example. I told you I 2 million miles, 10 years, right. Uh, for my daughter and, and I was convincing myself that I was doing that for my family because financially I wanted us to be financially secure. I wanted her to be able to go to college. And, but if I really look at it, yeah, I was probably doing it for myself cause I was really good at it. And you know what I mean? And it, I appreciate

Speaker 1: (41:53)
Be honesty. Yeah,

Speaker 2: (41:54)
Totally get my ego to fly all around the world to be going to Japan and to, you know, all these cool places and also being the number one revenue generator for the company. So, um, as much as I pretended, like it was about family and securing my, my, my family, it wasn’t resetting. Um, I did this for both for myself and my company and we reset our company. Why and our company values and family is number one. And what, uh, it couldn’t be more obvious to me. And, and more appreciative that it is number one at this point because of what I went through a year and a half ago when my dad passed away. Yeah. Um, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without family. And, and I mean, I don’t mean blood, right? I mean, family people, you consider family loyalty, you know, whatever you define that as, uh, I mean, my company saved me because I was able to take a month off and, and be with my mom and be with my sister and, and, you know, and, and be there for my dad on his, in his last few days recently, my, um, my chief growth officer, his, um, his son four year old son got diagnosed with, um, diabetes type one diabetes that threw him for a loop.

Speaker 2: (42:56)
And we were able to as a business because profits, aren’t our number one priority and, you know, growth, isn’t the number one thing. And I don’t have VC funding and, you know, pushing down my back, he was able to take time and deal with this. You know, now one of my trainers, she’s going through some challenges as well. And so to me, I think just the resetting of that and the clarifying of that, I’m, I’m eager to lean into, um, that, because I believe that it’s gonna be the catalyst to our growth, uh, moving forward here, not just, not just as a nice little thing that we put up on the walls, but you know, the appreciation I’ve had, you know, uh, my employees, some of my favorite feedback I’ve gotten from people recently is, you know, I, I’m a better person because I work here.

Speaker 2: (43:39)
I’m a better husband or wife because, you know, I’m a better parent, you know, we have a better relationship with my significant other because of the, the, the, what we’ve put together here and how we’ve allowed people to be their authentic selves, um, and just get work done whenever they want to get it whenever they can get it done, as long as they’re getting it done. And so, you know, to me, people talk about this great resignation. Um, you don’t have to worry about that great resignation. If people buy into what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing and feel like they’re part of a family, they won’t leave. Wow. Um, so I, that’s the one I’m, I’m more, uh, excited to lean into more and more and more with this group here, moving forward and hire more people along, along that, along those lines.

Speaker 1: (44:19)
Yeah. Gosh. Oh my gosh. So inspiring my friend. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for how you’re really changing the game in sales, cuz it, you know, this, it’s not just about sales. It’s about people’s full lives and changing the trajectory of their lives. So this has been amazing. Thank you so much for coming on.

Speaker 3: (44:37)
Thanks so much for having me, Lisa. I really appreciate

Speaker 1: (44:39)
It. Absolutely. My pleasure. And for you, my friend, my listener connect with John, check out his new website, check him out on LinkedIn on Twitter, on Instagram. He is just, I think a true, authentic leader in our space and someone who I’m excited to keep learning from and, um, just have been blessed by today. So thank you as always for being a listener and she sells radio super grateful for you and I’ll see you next week on our next episode. Bye for now.

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