Do you ever feel like your sales success is a matter of life or death?
What if it actually was?
Chris Cebollero started his career as an EMS (paramedic), moved his way up in emergency health care organizations, and has become an international leadership consultant and coach. You might not think that a prior paramedic has much to talk about sales, but you would be wrong. During our 4-part series, Chris and I talk about sales success, recruiting the right people, relational sales processes, and how much of it parallels emergency care.
In Part 1, Chris and I talk about:
- Selling something that could actually mean life or death
- Using a doctor’s process in sales
- Always remember what people are buying
- Winning the long game by focusing on abundance
Chris Cebollero is an EMS Leader and Internationally Recognized Leadership Specialist, Best Selling Author, Coach and Motivational Lecturer. His dynamic and energetic speaking style has entertained, motivated and educated individuals, groups and teams for over 25 years. Chris is currently the Senior Partner of his own consulting firm specializing in Leadership Development, Individual and Executive Coaching, and Organizational Process Improvement. Chris has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. He is a Certified Member of the John Maxwell Team, and is an Official Member of the Forbes Coaches Council. Chris has spent 30 years in the Emergency Medical Services career field and continues to be an advocate for delivering the best care possible.
E187 – Transcript
Jason: Welcome to the sales experience podcast. My name again is Jason Cutter. On today’s episode I have Chris Cebollero. Chris is an emergency medical services leader and internationally recognized leadership specialist, bestselling author, coach, motivational lecture. Chris is currently the senior partner at his own consulting firm, specializing in leadership development, individual and executive coaching and organizational process improvement. Chris, welcome to the sales experience podcast.
Chris: I got to tell you, Jason, I am so excited to be here and I want to thank you for the opportunity not only to talk with you, but to hopefully entertain your audience.
Jason: I think it will be really fun and one of the things that I’m excited about and as I’m going through this podcast journey, I’ve been networking and meeting with different people with lots of different backgrounds. You know, in the past I’ve dealt with mostly salespeople, sales leaders, you know, more on a business to business, but your fascinating to me because your experience comes from the world of EMS, right?
Jason: Which is ambulance and emergency response. And since it’s a sales related podcast, I’m excited to see where we’re going to go with that. What you’ve learned in the world of actual life and death and how that compares to sales and sales leadership, which always feels like life and death but really isn’t.
Chris: I think. One of the things that you gotta think about is that everything we do in life truly comes down to communication. And it makes no difference if you’re trying to close that big deal, or if you’re trying to talk to somebody about the reason they feel the way that they do. I mean, think about what you have to do and you have to develop a rapport. They’ve got to know, like, and trust you before you put their hand, before you put your hands on them to try to deliver care. You know, you’ve gotta be able to deal with, you know, making sure that people get the very best from you.
Chris: You know, you’ve gotta be able to ensure that if conflict happens, how you’re going to be able to manage that. So when we think about the skill, I mean, the skill set is still the same. You know, what we’re trying to give them is a little bit different. As a salesperson, you have a product or you have a service that you’re trying to give them from an EMS side, my services, I’m here to take care of you. I’m here to deliver the highest quality of patient care. And those sales folks are trying to deliver the best that they have. So really I have to sell myself because in a short amount of time I’ve got to develop rapport. They’ve got to know, like, and trust me and they’ve got to allow me to help them on what could be the worst day of their life.
Jason: Well, and then what’s interesting because I’ve done this for years, is correlate sales process, especially a consultative sale with how a doctor operates, right?
Jason: With lots of questions, tests, you know, taking blood samples and doing all of that to then come up with a diagnosis and then a prescription instead of just jumping into treating everyone the same and throwing the same thing at every single person. And if we look at that, if the EMS side, right, let’s say the ambulance shows up and it’s emergency response, that window is much shorter, but it’s the same process.
Chris: It is. And you know, you have to be able to be the ultimate detective of the body to find out. You know, I come into someone’s home, a 50-year-old female who’s a little bit overweight with diabetes that has abdominal pain. I’ve got to know that the number one sign for women over 50 who were overweight with diabetes is their heart having a heart attack. The number one sign is abdominal pain.
Chris: So the same thing when you go into somebody’s office and you start to talk to them about what they need. When you go into somebody’s home, and start to talk about what they need, you’ve still got to be able to talk to them. You still gotta be able to gauge, you know, how long have you been feeling this way? You know, what are the answers to this? You know, how are we going to be able to develop, you know, the best plan to take care of you. And you know, but you know, you think about it and everything that we’re talking about is those basic skills that you need to have. You know, communication. I mean active listening, you know, one of the things we talked about before we started to record is, you know, this year as a, as you look through the reflections, I had to figure out how do I develop some better active listening skills and you know, but that’s the, that’s the whole context.
Chris: You know, I’ve talked to a lot of sales people in my career and I say, I asked him the same question. What’s the number one thing? The number one thing that you have to do to be a successful salesperson. And it’s always listening. It’s always finding out what you can do for them. And sometimes it may not even be a resource that you have, but being able to connect your network to say, you know, I got a guy for that. Let me go ahead and get you in touch. Now all of a sudden you don’t become valuable, just valuable in your niche. You now become valuable as, as somebody that has a network that you know, can now associate with those people. So now we’re connecting relationships and that’s what makes you really valuable. Same thing with me, you know, from an EMS side, I’m going to go ahead and deliver the highest quality of patient care that I can. And then I’ve got to be able to bring my guys in those doctors and those nurses to say they’re going to take care even better than I am.
Jason: Well and it’s interesting too with the active listening and you know what I’ve seen is the big trend with a lot of people I’ve been talking to this year as well, which is the curiosity, right? It’s being curious at a deep level about the other person, about their situation, maybe about their pain and then you know, actively listening to their responses and then figuring out what to do. And, and I love what you mentioned, that it’s about what you can provide, but if you can’t, then who else do you know? Which other way can you send them? Because I think that’s very valuable. And that’s what separates the kind of pushy, manipulative sales people who just want to put all the square and round pegs into their square hole no matter what. Versus the people who know what they sell, they’re professional. And if they can’t help somebody, then they’ll send them in a different direction, in a better direction. So I think that’s interesting you talk about that, especially in, in your realm.
Chris: You know, they don’t buy products and they don’t buy services, you know, they buy solutions to what they need. They need, you know, I needed a new pair of jeans the other day. Well that was the problem. Where do I buy my jeans from? Yeah. I have to be able to find the right place to do it. So as we start to learn the people that we work within the sales capacity, in the medical capacity, they may need something that you don’t provide. And, but you just say, well that’s too bad. Figure it out. No. Would you say is, you know what, there’s somebody that I trust and let me go and give you their name. You tell him that Chris sent you over and for them to take care of you and, and you know, I’m going to call them and follow up with them as well.
Chris: I mean, now we’ve just taken care of that problem for them. It’s not in our area of expertise, but you know what, I’m going to give you somebody that you’re going to trust. You know the other day. I’ve got somebody coming over to my home to put up some drywall in my basement, you know, I want to do it, but I just don’t have the time to do it. But he doesn’t have somebody who can tape and finish the joints. Right? I said, well that’s going to be a problem. And I was talking to a friend of mine, I said, so what kind of guy puts up dry wall and it doesn’t have this tape.
Jason: Right. It doesn’t do the mudding and taping. Yeah.
Chris: And he goes, well, you know what, I got a guy for you. So I got the guy to put it in. I got another guy to come in and do it. But, uh, I was getting ready to find a new contractor, but I really liked the guy. I wanted to give him the work. And so he took care of my problem for me without even me thinking about it. I mean, so you think about it in your sense, I mean, I’m sure in your business as a consultant as well, I mean, how many times do you refer your clients to other people and you know, people that aren’t confident, they feel a little bit weird about that, wait a minute, I’ll send my customer to somebody else. But now you’ve just increased. I mean, how many times have you done it and maybe not even realize you’re doing it?
Jason: Yeah. It really comes from a place of abundance is understanding that there’s enough for everybody, right? 7 billion people on the planet. Like you don’t need to force everybody into it. And that just do the right thing for people. And that will always work out. And that’s relationship, like you said, like you went to your, your friend and they referred you to the Mudder and taper that you could use. Right? And like that builds that relationship even stronger. Even if he, even if your drywall guy referred you to somebody, you would then see your drywall guy in a better light because it’s like, okay, well he’s relational and providing solutions even if it’s not his.
Chris: You know, it’s funny because I was scheduled to do a motivational talk and somebody called me and needed the same day and I said, I’m sorry. I said, I’m unavailable. I said, but if you trust me, let me give you a guy that I think will do a great job for you. Well, they went ahead and went up booking, you know, my friend and he did a great job and the client called me to say, Hey, he was a great reference and thank you very much. Well, it was about, I don’t know, maybe three or four months later, I got a call from a lady who said, I got your number from the initial client, let’s call him Bill, who called my friend and said, he said that you’re a guy of integrity, that I should look you up to do my motivational talk. Now when I hung up the phone, I was like, well, how cool is that?
Chris: I mean, they could have very easily called Joe, my friend and ask them to come. But instead she gave him my name because I took care of him. And I think that that was a very, very valuable lesson that it’s not about what you can do for somebody today, but it’s that they’re coming back around to you and being continual customers are a, you’re a continual resource for them. And you know, John Maxwell is my friend and mentor and one of the things that he says all the time is that we need to add value to people every day. And you know, when you think about the term integrity, people will say, you know, it’s doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. When we value the people every day. And we have to be able to do that intentionally. You know, today’s the day I want to talk with Jason and I’m going to add value to them. You never know what’s going to come back to you. And when people feel better when they’re around you, they’re going to want to be around you more. They’re going to want to engage with you more. They’re going to want to make sure that you’re the person that they reach out to. And I think that that’s a very, very simple recipe to the success. Add value to somebody every day and watch what comes back to you.
Jason: And I think there’s people who are great at it, right? Like people like yourself. And that’s something I strive for as well. But it’s kind of an intangible that a lot of people might do but don’t realize and the others don’t do. But that could be that part, right? That’s what’s missing. Like you said, of the company who wanted to hire you and then you refer it. You never know when that’s going to be. That’s some intangible, like you might be able to trace it back to the value you gave to somebody, but you just never know. You never know where things are going to lead. But you know, like you said, being intentional about it. Like how do I provide value for anybody? And everybody. I mean, even for myself, I go to the store, I’m checking out at the grocery store. I try to, you know, maybe not add value and give that person some tips, but you know, just try to make them smile or make them happy in some way. And you know, leave it better than I found it.
Chris: I’m working with a client right now. They have an Amazon distributorship. So their job is to deliver packages for Amazon. Amazon contracts that out. You probably see those Gray Amazon vans that drive around your city. Those are independently owned and they’re branded with Amazon. Well, I’m working with a new company. They started operation in July of last year and they need help with organizational improvement. They need help with workflow development. They need hope with leadership. So long story short, I had one of the supervisors in my car and I said, let’s stop at McDonald’s and get some lunch, you know, around with a big Mac, you know, and I’ll stay right. And I was talking to the lady and I was like, you know, thank you very much. And you know, I appreciate the work that you’re doing. And you know, I said, uh, what was her name? You know, as we were waiting.
Chris: And I said, well, thank you very much Cindy. I appreciate it. And then when we left, the person who was sitting next to me was a younger supervisor as first time being a supervisor. He goes, man, you really kind of laid it on thick with her. I said, how many people don’t even look at her in her face? How many people don’t even care that she exists. What I wanted her to know was, one, I appreciated the service she was giving me, but two, to me the service was important. And whether I was the only one that did it for her today, you’d have to add that value. And it was kind of a lesson. I hope he took it and he was able to do something with it. But we just never know that. And it comes from this, Jason. So we go back to the medical, right? When you walk in a hospital, you see a lot of different faces on people. You see smiles, you see scowls, you’ll see frowns who just got that bad diagnosis, right? We just lost a friend whose baby is in the ICU and we go ahead and pass judgment on people to say, well, they look pretty mean, or Oh my God, they’re not friendly at all.
Chris: It’s the same thing with the people that we come in contact with. We all have something going on in days. You know, and just to add a little bit of cheer, a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of motivation. What does it really hurt?
Jason: Alright, thanks for listening to part one of my conversation with Chris. Please make sure to go to cutterconsultinggroup.com where you can find the podcast, that transcript from this part of the conversation as all of Chris’s links, and as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.