This is the third segment of the conversation I had with Chris.
In Part 3, Chris and I talk about:
- The single, most important trait I have uncovered for sales success
- Almost equally important: empathy and emotional intelligence
- What Chris tells people when they ask him what the worst thing he ever saw as a paramedic
- The key take-aways from Chris’s book – Ultimate Leadership
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.
E190 – Transcript
Jason: Welcome back to the sales experience podcast. My name again is JasonV= Cutter. Thank you for joining this here. This is part three of my conversation with Chris Cebollero where we talk about sales, emotional intelligence. We’ve covered a lot of topics so far. If you haven’t heard them already, make sure to listen to download parts one and part two from the last couple of days. This is part three where we just continue the conversation and so here we go. Part three. Enjoy.
Jason: Like if we’re talking about sports, like you said, it’s not what’s in the ring or on the field, it’s all the prep that goes into that moment. Same thing with sales. It’s not, you know, having that conversation and doing well, it’s all the prep that goes into it so that you can listen and then respond appropriately and move that conversation forward without even thinking about it. Right? With just being on autopilot.
Chris: Jason, let me ask you a question. I mean, so one of the things that I like to do is when I talk with, and I think that you’re one of the preeminent, uh, sales experts, you know, in the United States, when we start to think about all the people that you get to talk to and the shows that you, you know, and I, I, I could say that a longtime listener, first time caller, kind of my friend Danny Creed, I mean he’s, he’s somebody that I’ve had on my show before, but I’d be interested to know from your expertise, you talked to all these folks, what is the one common thread that you find in this sales genre that is truly the secret sauce. I mean, there’s gotta be that one thing that just makes people successful, that makes them stand out for the crowd and talking to them. I mean, you’ve got over a hundred shows. What is it that you’ve found that truly is the difference maker?
Jason: I mentioned it earlier. The one common theme of everybody I’ve talked to is curiosity. It’s that deep level curiosity, both of themselves and the world and how it operates. And then their prospects, that curiosity drives the questions, the curiosity drives the empathy and the desire to help somebody and to get to the root of that. So the curiosity is so important. It’s interesting because when you meet somebody who is not curious, it’s painful, especially in a sales role because they’re not asking questions. They don’t get it, they don’t care. But as salespeople and leaders, it’s about curiosity. And then I think, you know, the other part in that is just empathy and then emotional intelligence, which I know you, you are big speaker about emotional intelligence such that you can pick up the cues, you can listen, you care with the empathy and then you want to solve. And then you have the persistence and the grit to literally just go all out to help that other person in whatever way you can.
Chris: I want to follow up on that. But you know, when you think about emotional intelligence, I think it’s something that you have to understand your own emotions. I think self-awareness is one of the components of emotional intelligence. And I think it’s the most important characteristic or attribute that, uh, that a leader can have. You may be great at communication, you may be great at resource management, but if you allow your emotions to dictate your actions, you’re not going to be very credible as a leader. I think empathy as well as understanding, you know, what that other person is going through. But when you talk about curiosity might follow up, question to you would be, if you don’t have that as a skill, what’s the best way to develop that? I mean, because you know, you’ve made that a common thread. You’ve said it like three times on this podcast, but how do you now develop the curiosity if it’s not something that you’ve done before?
Jason: So here’s what I know, at least in my life and what I’ve seen in lots of others is everybody is curious about something. So there is a curiosity in everybody about something in the world or in life. And I think the key is, is that if you’re in a sales role and you’re not curious and you don’t care, there’s a good chance you’re just in the wrong sales role selling the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. So let me give you a story, an example. So past life, I worked at Microsoft doing tech support over the phone. This is when they was still in the United States. We, in fact, two years after I started, we lost our jobs to China and India because the outsourcing started like with us leaving, which was fine cause I didn’t want to be there. But it was interesting because about six months into it I was doing it and I was good at it cause I could solve problems and it was great.
Jason: But I didn’t care and I wasn’t excited about it. And I started to notice that on Monday mornings I would come in and all of my coworkers would be talking about computers and programs and programming and they, you know, just change their jumpers on their motherboard over the weekend. And they were reading, you know, programming magazines over the weekend. And I was playing basketball and hanging out and doing other things. I couldn’t care less. And I realized like that was not, they were in the zone. I was not. And so after a couple of years I left and then years and years later I ended up helping people in foreclosure and you know, with their mortgages. And then I found that literally in my free time I was reading like banking magazines and finance magazines and finance websites and ear marking pages in, you know, banker trade journals and circling articles.
Jason: Like I found what I was curious about and what excited me. And then it was easy, like it was a square peg in a square hole. And so what I’ve found is everyone’s curious, if you’re in a role and you’re not curious and you don’t care, most likely you need to go find a different role. Not change from sales. You could still be in sales, but what is it that you love? What is it you do in your free time? Like, what are you like these days rights end of, you know, right now we’re, we’re going from one decade to another. And it’s like, okay, what are you watching on YouTube? What are you reading? What are you doing in your free time? Cause that’s what you’re curious about.
Chris: Very interesting. You know, it’s, it’s something that I think that, uh, you know, we all have the ability to do, but we’ve gotta be able now to think about, you know, the, there’s no blueprint on how to be a great sales person. People will say to me, Oh, you’d be a great salesman. And I was like, you know what? I don’t know. And, but you know, you sell every day, don’t you? When you influence people in your own organization or when you influence people that you talk to in the store, you’re selling them something, you’re selling them. Yeah. You’re selling them a gift of motivation, a gift of inspiration and a, you know, but I think that there was no blueprint that says, how do they know, like, and trust you. How do you develop the curiosity, you know, how do you develop the patience in a sales cycle that may be 18 months long?
Chris: And that to me, that’s be frustrating as heck. I don’t, you know, I’ve got to be able to keep enough people in the funnel that I’ve got an 18 month sales cycle that I need to keep that going. I mean, I would think that that would be so frustrating, but you know, but it’s a, it’s the, it’s the gift. You know, people will say to me, I can never be a paramedic and you know, what’s, what’s the worst thing that you’ve ever seen? That’s the question I get all the time. What’s the worst thing you ever seen? I’m going to tell you the worst thing I ever seen here in a minute, by the way. But you know, I say that, you know what? It takes a special person to be able to be a paramedic. It takes a special person to be in, in medical sales. I take a special person to be in electronic sales. That’s where you’ve become your expert. But here’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen as a paramedic. Jason, you’re ready?
Chris: Pineapple on pizza. Worst thing I’ve ever seen.
Jason: We’ll have to disagree on that. Agree to disagree.
Chris: But it’s the worst thing. People don’t need to hear the blood and guts thing. So that’s why usually my typical answer is pineapple on pizza.
Jason: So let me ask you, because we talked about, I I, you know, briefly mentioned emotional intelligence. So one of the things is about creating that. So back to like turning the question on you, which asking me if you don’t have curiosity, how do you improve that? If somebody doesn’t have emotional intelligence or enough EQ. What do you see as a way to either create more of that or enhance what they have?
Chris: Yeah, so in my book, ultimate leadership, 10 rules for success, those are the rules that I had to come up with to be a successful leader. Rule number one, never allow your emotions to dictate your action and that’s positive or negative. Sometimes when we are in a happy mood, we make decisions that we shouldn’t make you feel. Look, not just negative emotions dictate your actions, but it could be positive emotions. But the reason that I learned that is because I allowed my emotions to dictate my actions in front of my workforce. And I pointed my finger and I yelled and I swore. And that followed me around like a black cloud for almost a decade, huh? At the be able to figure out the why. The two components of emotional intelligence that are the most important.
Chris: One is self-awareness and two is self self-regulation. Self control. We have to be able to understand the why. Why do we react the way that we do? Why does that person who’s coming down the hall that is heading toward door, that we hope we could close the door without them noticing we’re closing the door. Why did they bug us and why did they push our buttons? And why do people have to be on time and what do I care if that we have to understand that. Why? Because until we understand the why that we react the way that we do, positive or negative, we’ll never get the handle on emotional intelligence. You know, I remember one time my son, uh, I must’ve been like 17 or 18 years old. He had a job. He bought his own Honda civic, brand new car, Honda Civic. I was proud of the boy. And uh, he, um, decided the paint has rims, neon pink in my brand new $10,000 blacktop driveway. And I came home and saw pink all over my new driveway. And I went in and I’m like, wow, the heck are you doing? Can you help me? How dumb do you have to be that you’ve got to spray a brand new car, Neon Pink and he looked at me and he said, Dad, what’s up with all that emotional intelligence stuff you talk about?
Jason: Damn it.
Chris: But I had to find out really. I mean, so why is it that you reacted? I wrote an article and I never really published yet, but it’s the anatomy of a thought. Okay. So there was somebody who I just really irritated in my field. I think just, I mean, they really irritated me in my field. I mean, and I sat there one day and I said, well, why do they irritate me? And I went through this process, the anatomy of a thought until I finally got to the end that they were disrespectful and rude to me at one point in my life. And I kept the grudge. That’s why I couldn’t stand them. Until you understand the why, you’re never going to fix it. You’re never going to be able to control it. So the first thing that I say to you is no one can make you feel something that you don’t want to feel. You know, we think about that from a cognitive behavioral therapy standpoint. I can’t make you feeling, my daughter will call me all the time. Mom’s making me mad.
Chris: No, she’s not making you mad. You’re allowing what she’s doing to make you mad. Why is she making you mad? I can’t live here anymore. Who you telling? That’s why we’re not married anymore. But uh, it’s still the point of why. That’s your secret.
Jason: Yeah. And I, and I think that’s important. And again, this goes into, you know, people, the self awareness, but spending time and understanding, especially sales people, managers, leaders, business owners, like what self-aware about your strengths, who you are, what you’re really good at, and then how you react to things and why and where that’s coming from. And then when you talk about salespeople in their sales roles, is that the emotional swings, the ups and the downs, right? So they get good news and they’re so up and then they hear something else. And the emotional level is just a superficial kind of thing. It’s not a deep level. Like, I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m focused on instead of it’s a, you know, just a leaf in the wind almost.
Chris: I think you’re absolutely right. I think you hit the nail on the head.
Jason: So let’s talk about intentional transformation because we’ve been talking about being intentional and one of the topics that you have is intentional transformation. And so I’m guessing that’s in line of what we were just talking about. But what does that, what does that really mean and where do you see that in an organization, let’s say mostly sales related? Like how do you see that playing out?
Chris: Yeah, but I think that, you know, being intentional about, you know, helping people, being intentional about growing people, being intentional about developing yourself is something that we leave to chant, right? If we know that somebody is weaker than us in our organization, a lot of times we’re happy just to let them be weak because we can be strong and we’ve got to be able to help develop those people that need our help. Right? So being intentional and being able to have good intentional transformation really comes down to being the best resource we can be to the people who were around us. You know, I said it earlier in this show that, you know, when people are around us, they feel better about who they are or they feel better about, they’re happy about, you know, and somebody said that to me the other day, you know, in that organization I’m helping that it’s working with Amazon.
Chris: You always make me feel better about myself. Well, you know what, you’re an awesome person? Why don’t you feel better about yourself? And I think that it’s, it’s just that little bit of caring, you know, maybe it’s even a little bit of empathy that you’re saying, you know what, you’re, you’re not as bad as you think you are. I was talking to my cousin a few months back, you know, she lost 500 pounds, 500 pounds in five years or six years, whatever it was. And uh, you know, I asked her a secret. I said, how’d you lose 500 pounds? She goes, I didn’t, I lost 40, I lost 30. I lost six in that. I lost. So it wasn’t 500 how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time kind of thing. But she was intentional about it. You know, it wasn’t, I’m going to lose 500.
Chris: She looked at the numbers, she weighed, you know, whatever it was, and she, um, said, alright, I’m going to do, just get down to this round number. Okay, now I weigh four 89, I’m going to lose nine pounds then, you know. So I think that when we think about intentionality, it’s something that we don’t think about that we just allow the process to happen. You know, one of the big things, you know, we just want in a 2020, as you mentioned, and people will always say to me, Oh my gosh, it’s December. Where did 2019 go? Well, 2019 went in 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks. But what happened was, is you didn’t have an intentional process to develop yourself or to have goals in 2019 and you let 2019 live you when you didn’t live 2019. So now that we get into 2020, and now we’re talking about the first couple months here, what plans do you have for yourself? What goals do you have for yourself that 2020 doesn’t live you, but that’s being intentional and to being the very best that you can be. Jason, I don’t think we do that enough.
Jason: Alright. That’s it for part three. Make sure to subscribe so you can get tomorrow’s episode and all of them as soon as they’re published. You can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google play. Also go to the cutterconsultinggroup.com website where you can find the podcast links for Chris, the transcript, any show notes. You can also contact me through there. And then if you want to, you can follow me on LinkedIn where I post a lot of this content and as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.