Catalytic Leadership

Crafting Trust and Influence: Craig Andrews on the Art of Leadership and Customer Connection

January 01, 2024 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 24
Catalytic Leadership
Crafting Trust and Influence: Craig Andrews on the Art of Leadership and Customer Connection
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When I invited Craig Andrews to be a guest on the show, I knew we were in for a revelatory conversation about leadership and the subtle art of customer relationships. The Marketing Agency maestro behind Allies For Me joins us to share his journey from a disciplined Marine to an innovative business leader, teaching us that the potential in underperforming individuals is often untapped gold. Through his narrative, Craig demonstrates how the power of steadfast belief in someone can lead to transformative personal and professional growth, a message that resonates deeply with those of us committed to nurturing talent.

Picture this: the delicate, deliberate dance of courtship—but in the world of high-ticket sales. Craig and I dissect how building trust isn't about the hard sell; it's about creating a series of trust-building encounters that lead to strong, committed business partnerships. This episode will change how you view sales interactions, urging patience in an economy where the quick close is heralded but often invites poor fits and rash decisions. It's an insightful exploration for anyone aiming to create lasting impacts and leave behind the impersonal cold call.

But what about when you've got them interested? How do you craft that irresistible first-time offer? Craig pulls back the curtain on strategies for success and pitfalls to avoid, all while ensuring your target customer feels seen and autonomous. Drawing lessons from Las Vegas marketing tactics and human psychology, we talk about finding that sweet spot between giving the client control and filtering for the ideal fit. If you're ready to elevate your leadership skills and sales acumen, this episode is your catalyst for change.

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Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders and I hear from many of you that you do too. Let's jump in to today's interview. I'm so excited today to have Craig Andrews on the podcast. Craig is the principal ally and founder of Marketing Agency Allies For Me. Using a proven method that mimics the stages of courtship, allies For Me helps companies fund strangers and convert them into high paying customers. An eight stage customer value journey is the framework that leads someone from first contact to post purchase. Craig talks about adding value in each and every stage of the journey. First time offers like a coffee date. It's low commitment and low risk way to test the relationship. When you do that well, your prospect starts asking you to close the deal. That relational framework builds trust faster, it drives revenue faster and it strengthens customer loyalty after the purchase. Craig, I'm so glad you're here. I cannot wait to dive into this with you. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

Well, I'm thanks so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this. Love talking to you in the pre-interview, love the connection both here in Texas and there up in Northern Virginia.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, Craig. I'd love for you to share some of your story with our listeners. As powerful story, it is particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?

Speaker 3:

Started as a loser. Me too, you know. I was no teacher ever accused me of being a model student and at one point, when I realized my 2.54 GPA and my pot smoking habits weren't going to take me to any kind of university that anybody had ever heard of, I decided it was time for a change and so I joined the Marine Corps. That'll do it. And you know, there's something really interesting. I didn't realize it. I mean, I intuitively knew it, but I didn't think about the distinction between regular industry and the Marines. If you have an underperforming Marine, you can't fire them. If they commit a crime, you can prosecute them using the uniform code military justice, kick them out of the Marine Corps and do a series of non-judicial punishments, but they actually have to commit a crime, they actually have to do something unlawful for you to be able to get rid of them. And I had a underperforming Marine that was impacting the mission and I couldn't fire them. So I had to reform them. And it was really interesting and one of the things that I realized. So I worked on electronic warfare systems in the Marine Corps. We basically in Libya in 86, we flew the mission there where we jammed Qaddafi's radar 120 sorties, only one bird left. That was before I joined the squadron, but that was my squadron. We didn't get much press in the Gulf War because when we flew over, nothing happened. By design, that was the definition of success is when we flew over, nothing happened. And yeah, but I had this Marine that just couldn't fix the gear. And it wasn't a lack of attitude, he just was no good and I had to figure out how to turn him around. And at one point I realized I said you know, I said I'm not fixing any more gear. The only way gear is going to get fixed is if you fix it Now. That's probably going to mean that we're going to end up working nights and weekends and that's what we have to do. That's what we have to do. But you have to learn how to fix gear and I'm going to be here to answer any questions you have. And and doggone if you didn't turn around. I mean there were obviously bumps in the road. But you know we have a luxury here in civilian life where if somebody's underperforming, we can cut them loose, and sometimes we cut folks loose too soon. But it's interesting in the Marine Corps and underperforming Marine, you have to reform them or wait till they break a law and then get rid of them. This guy wasn't breaking laws. He was a good guy, he just was underperforming. Wow.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think that's such a pure form of leadership, correct? You know, when you don't have the leverage of cutting them loose and you've got to work with them and help them get from where they are to where they need to be. And I love how you saw that and leverage that opportunity to help this guy in a way that will that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. Yeah, because somebody saw something in him that could be, that wasn't yet, and helped to bring that forward.

Speaker 3:

Well, and when he turned around and he started becoming productive, you should have seen the look on his face. Yeah, he was proud.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how many leaders that are listening can relate to that story? Somebody who's underperforming, and the temptation it's so real to just cut them loose and say, ah, next, next, next, we'll find somebody else. But every person matters, and what you communicated to this guy was hey, you know what? You don't have to stay where you are. You're under no obligation to be the person you are right now. In five minutes you can change, you can get better. I love that. You know you're an agency owner. You've led in so many different contexts. How would you define leadership based on all of your experiences and your journey so far?

Speaker 3:

For me, leadership is inspiring people to perform at their best behind a common mission.

Speaker 2:

I like that Clear and simple.

Speaker 3:

Yeah Well, and that goes back to the Marine Corps. One of the things I missed when I got out of the Marines went to university. Actually got good grades when I went to university, but I see I went into regular industry. The thing that was so disappointing was just the backbiting, the conniving, the celebration of the individual over the mission. In the Marine Corps it's always mission over the individual. The mission always takes priority and Marines understand that, and so they line up behind the mission. And if you don't, life is not good for you.

Speaker 2:

That sounds like an understatement.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yeah, but the fact of the matter is it's not hard Because by the time you get out into the fleet, that's what they call the fleet Marine Force. That's where most Marines are. By the time you get out in the fleet. You've had so much training in this concept of mission over individual. It's just second nature and if you're trying to change that, chances are you've been washed out before you make it out to the fleet. There you go.

Speaker 2:

Your work in agency life is fascinating to me. You know, what I read earlier that you used the stages of courtship in your relationships with customers Fascinates me. I'd love for you to share a little bit about that.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and let me give some context. You know we work exclusively with people that have high ticket offers. Ok, so there's kind of a magic trio high ticket, long sale cycle requiring a high level of trust, sure, and so people that fit those three criteria. We've got an amazing formula that works. But because it's high ticket, high trust, it's different than simply going to a website and saying, oh, you have what I want. You know, let me pull out my credit card and buy it, and, and that's where it starts looking more and more like courtship. So we deal with a lot of people that have five, six and seven figure offers and, as you can imagine, even in good economies, people are slow before they make a six figure commitment. And I'll give an example. I know of a, you know, managed service provider. Those are the people that do outsourced IT services. They tried cold calling their way into a three year average quarter million dollar contract. Wow, yeah, yeah, and I would liken that to. There was some Mayan new years ago who would walk into a bar and he would walk up to every girl in the bar and ask something, let's say aggressive, and, and almost everybody said no, but he said, oh, there's always one that says yes, and you know, the thing that you have to kind of pause and wonder is what's the character of the person that's saying yes to that question? Right, let's take it over to business. What's the character of the person that takes a cold call and agrees to a three year quarter million dollar contract? How good at making decisions are they? Is this somebody that you want to partner with?

Speaker 2:

What a great perspective.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So in normal life we we do things like, instead of jumping there, we don't even usually start with dinner, usually starts with coffee. You have a conversation, you, if we think about it in five stages you have an introduction and then you have conversation at stage two. If conversation goes well, then often you go to coffee. You go to coffee because you hope for bigger and better things. But there's enough uncertainty where you you kind of protect yourself by saying you know what we are going to, you know we're going to drive there separately, we're going to minimize the financial risk, we're going to minimize the physical risk, we're going to minimize the commitment risk. But you're going to coffee because you hope it works out. You don't go to coffee because you hope it doesn't work out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And if it does, then you start going out to dinner, and if that works out then you move to commitment. And so that's where we look at as different stages of courtship. And the thing that I think is horribly broken with high ticket sales is people go in and they try to cold call their way into a quarter million dollar three year contracts or even something much less, and I just think that's broken and we wouldn't do that. Most people, except for this one fellow that I knew most of us would not be so bold in our ask if we were in a regular courtship relationship. So why should we not have the same attitude when it comes to business?

Speaker 2:

I love that analogy and I think that that holds up because relationships are very similar. You know, you think about this in the context of a business relationship. We don't often think about courtship in the same universe as that. But really, relational trust, relational equity have to be built slowly, and anybody who's going to immediately say yes, like you say, to a six figure multi year commitment, yikes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Is this somebody that's demonstrating that they're making good decisions? Right, exactly, exactly. And if part of what you're selling is your time, now if you have a factory where you turn out widgets, they just roll off the line. You know, obviously you have a much bigger range of customers that you can and do want to serve, but if you're committing your time or the time of your people to more you know kind of hands, hands on work, do you want to get into that type of relationship with somebody who has a demonstrated history of making poorly thought out decisions? Not?

Speaker 2:

if you're smart Right. So I mean thinking about our current economic reality these days, like how does the current economy relate to what you're describing here, to the, the hot ticket sales process? Does that have any impact? Like what's going on economically in our culture?

Speaker 3:

You know, I believe it does. I hear a variety of things. I talked to some people like businesses as good as ever, or even better than ever. But I also talk to a lot of people who say you know what? It's really slowed down. I was having lunch with a buddy the other day Friday, I think yeah, it's Friday. I was having lunch with a buddy and and he asked me he's like what are you seeing, Are you seeing some slowness? I was like yeah, he said I am too, and he mentioned another buddy of ours. He's like, yeah, he's seen some slow, slowing in the economy, you know, slowing in customer behavior, and my analysis analysis of that is that people are scared and when they're scared they move to conservatism. You know. So I keep a a chart behind my desk. You can't see it. It's hidden behind the curtains, actually laying up against the wall on the floor, but it's. It's a chart of one hundred and eighty eight cognitive biases and I use it when I'm working on problems. I'll just look at that and I'll start looking through the different biases and try to see what biases are working against me or against my clients' needs and what biases can I harness for either my benefit or the client's benefit. Well, one of the biases if if you're in high ticket sales right now, one of the biases that is working against you. It reads basically to we to avoid irreversible decisions. We work to maintain autonomy and I'm misquoting it but basically we avoid making irreversible decisions so we can preserve the status quo. And so if, let's say, you have some money that your, your service is twenty thousand dollars, Well, that's certainly a lot less than a quarter million. But in this economy people are going to be a little bit more thoughtful about how they spend twenty thousand dollars. And you know, I've I've, over the years I've known some people with extreme wealth and you know these are people that could write twenty thousand dollar checks with no problem whatsoever, and and even they are cautious in a normal economy they're not. You know they won't, they don't just write those checks out like like nothing matters. And so when the economy's not looking great and people's fear triggered this, the amount of consideration they give before they make that purchase goes up. You know they're going to Double check, you know they're going to dot their eyes, cross their T's more fervently and they're going to work to make sure they preserve that cognitive bias, where they're not making an irreversible decision. You know, let's go back to my example quarter million, three dollar, three year contract. Well, you get six months into that and if the economy you're looking at that, you're staring down down the barrel of this economy and you're like I don't know if you were probably going to resell it, I don't know if you were probably going in recession in six months. Will I be able to fulfill the terms of that contract? And so you're going to be a lot more hesitant and you're going to fight to preserve the status quo. And so one of the things that we do with what we call the first time offers, these coffee dates, that that that you mentioned was you change the status quo at a much lower dollar figure Because people are willing to make smaller decisions. And if you want to speed up the process, instead of instead of asking for the big decision, just ask for a much smaller decision, solve a small problem for people, and that will that will give them a lot of comfort. There's a number of things that happen in the process when you do that. That releases oxytocin in the body, which is the bonding hormone, helps bond them to you, it builds trust at rapid rates and, all of a sudden, the bigger decision becomes easier.

Speaker 2:

How hard is it to craft your first time offer that you're talking about that coffee day. How difficult is that?

Speaker 3:

You know they look simple but they're hard. My first, first time offer failed.

Speaker 2:

I'm thinking that Like hearing you talk about it. I'm thinking this sounds easy, but I'm not so sure it is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, guess what? My second first time offer failed. My third first time offer failed a little bit less Nice and it took me about 18 months to sort of get something working. And when I look back at what I had working after 18 months into that journey, it's so crude and broken relative to what we do now, but at least it started working. But yeah, it took 18 months of experimentation and, honestly, I was talking to my buddy over lunch who's a very smart fellow I have enormous respect for him, One of the smartest people I know in marketing and I was talking about this and he's like, oh, maybe I should do this. I was trying to drop some hints that hey, these are easy to screw up. And he's like, oh, and I sit there and I watch it systematically, I'm going to try this. And I'm like, OK, I can tell you three reasons. That's not going to work out the way you want. Obviously I don't want to be a jerk, I don't want to be unkind, I don't want to jeopardize in that case, definitely don't want to jeopardize the friendship. And so sometimes and this kind of goes back to how I had to reform that young marine sometimes you have to let people go down the path of failure before they can discover the path of success.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's so true.

Speaker 2:

Are there tips or suggestions that you would give if people are listening to this and thinking I like the idea of starting with something smaller, I like the idea of the coffee day, but are there other elements or other components that you say, hey, these are critical, you've got to have these.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So let me kind of go through the basic structure. It's a impulse purchase. That means the coins in the cushion, your couch, the money in your wallet or the B to B equivalent of that. Let me throw a number on that. If you're talking B to C, it's almost certainly less than $100. If you're talking B to B, almost always we target less than $500. And the reason for that is anybody in any organization with any decision-making authority can spend $500 without asking permission. Things spend $500 and nobody's going to come and ask them how that money was spent. Nobody's going to hold them accountable for it. That's something they can just do. If it's a business owner, there should be so much value packed in that that the owner never has to go through a mental calculation to figure out if they're getting value. That leads into the second thing it has to deliver disproportionate value to price. And so when it's an impulse purchase that delivers disproportionate value, business owners or senior executives aren't having to do a mental calculation to figure out if it is a value. It's obvious it's a value. If it's somebody lower in the organization, they're not worried that they'll ever be held accountable for that money. They can just whip out the corporate card. They can spend the money nobody's going to ask them about it and move forward. So those are the first two things Impulse purchase, disproportionate value to price by the way, about $10. So for $500, we're trying to deliver $5,000 of value, real value. This isn't. Your mom came and say hey, you know what. You're really smart. People should pay you all this money for this what's the value. This is street value that somebody else would pay for, not your mom. And so the third thing and this is really critical this is one of those places where I see people making bad decisions, even when I warn them against this. The third thing is it has to solve a problem. That is really, really critical, and this is one of the places where oxytocin is released. When you come shoulder to shoulder with somebody in life and you solve a problem in their life, it causes the release of oxytocin. That's the bonding hormone that bonds baby to mother and all of a sudden, you are a trusted advisor. In that moment You're a trusted advisor. Everybody on the outside looks scary and risky. You're trusted. Now here's where people make the mistake. They come to me and they say well, we do an audit. I say, well, all an audit does is reveal the problems that are there. It doesn't solve a problem. And other people say, well, we do an assessment. And I say an assessment is just a nice word for an audit. And I kid you not, within 30 minutes of me telling somebody this I've had it happen again and again they'll come back and they're like well, you know what? I think we're going to do an assessment. That's going to be our first time offer. They missed another ingredient of it, and that has to have four or five deliverables. So a simple assessment is one deliverable. You really need four or five, and that's part of what gives a high perception of value to it. That's good. Now, when you're solving this problem, you don't want to solve all their problems. The customer would be delighted if you solve multi-thousand-dollar problems for them for $500. That would be good for them, bad for you. You will go hungry, and so you want to leave some problems unsolved and you want it to naturally lead to the next step of engagement. And there's a couple other things that go into it as well. But for simplicity's sake, that's kind of what it looks like. Now I can give you two examples that I think anybody can relate to, whether or not they have or would consume either of these services. So years ago, I'm sure you remember, columbia House Records had this deal 13 albums for a penny. Oh, a lot of yes. So here's the concept If you're the type of person that wants to build a record collection, they will get you 13 steps closer for one penny. It's hard to say no, and it worked very well and obviously they were enrolling you in their record club where they made their real money. I learned the hard way. This was kind of the nature of my first first time offer. Looked a lot like the Columbia House Records and nobody bought it. For a few reasons. But one of the reasons is we would say that that's a simple offer. You can't sell complex services from a simple first time offer. You need a complex first time offer. So here's the example of one that's complex, not one that I designed by like it because everybody understands it and it makes a really good point. There's a guy named Bob Stupak that bought some dumpy old hotel at the end of the Vegas Strip and he decided he was going to turn that hotel into a player. Today you would know it as the Strat or the stratosphere, but when he bought it it was something else and he renamed it Bob Stupak's Vegas World and he ran especially said give me $396 and I will give you three days and two nights in one of my deluxe suites. When you arrive, there will be a bottle of champagne waiting for you in your room. All of your drinks on property are free, whether you're gambling or not, even if you're sitting in one of our entertainment lounges. You pay nothing more for your drinks. Not only that, but for your $396, I will give you $600 of chips to use in my casino. Wow. So do you see how? You don't have to do a mental calculation to figure out if that's a value Absolutely Right. It's also a complex offer. It has four deliverables. Remember I said four or five, that one has four Right, and three of the four deliverables are a bargain by themselves. The room rate was a 10% discount off the published rate. If you go to Vegas with your spouse and you like to drink a lot, it's going to be easy to burn in three days to burn through that much booze. And then, of course, $600 of chips for $400. Three of the four deliverables are worth more than what he was charging.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Now Bob Stupak understood something. He understood that, as most profitable customers were people that like to drink and gamble, and so if you're somebody that likes to drink and gamble, it's a hard offer to say no to Free booze, free money. But once he got you in the casino, that's where he made his money. His offer and this is the interesting point that that offer makes it does something else. It has an element of what we call a scarecrow. If you're not somebody that likes to drink and gamble, it's not such an appealing offer, yeah. And if you're not somebody that likes being around a lot of really drunk people you're like all these people there drinking tons of free booze it's going to be obnoxious. I don't want to be there. There's 150,000 rooms in Vegas. I'll go find another room and stay there. That will be a little less obnoxious. And that was what Bob Stupak wanted, because he wasn't going to make money off those people, but he'd make some money. He'd make money off the room, but where he made his real money was when he got them in the casino and drinking, wow. And so a really good first time offer does that? It calls your ideal clients out. It's actually a qualifying element. It helps you qualify your ideal clients. And I mentioned the scarecrow. We started this this year more intentionally. We accidentally slipped them in before. But this year, as I was sitting down, I was writing a book called Make Sales Magical, which talks about this, and, as you know, when you sit down and you write, it forces you to formalize your thoughts, and one of the things that came out was we're going to call this a scarecrow, and a scarecrow is something that you put in the offer. It's invisible to your ideal client. They don't even see it. But your non-ideal client sees the scarecrow and they're like I don't know, I don't know if I want that, and so they self-select out. And that's one of the things that I loved about this process was when I first started implementing it half decade ago, successfully half decade ago, started seeing her. I noticed that people that I'm sitting on a call and I realize I don't know if I want to work with them, they would self-select out of the process. I was like this is wonderful, I don't have to tell them no and I just would rather not. I mean, in my ideal world, people that are my non-ideal clients self-select out and I don't have to have the difficult conversation of sorry, I'm not going to represent you, they just kind of go in their merry way. And it does something else that's really important, that's also baked into this whole process it preserves their autonomy, yeah, and I think that's something people undervalue. Now, when you see your kids and you're raising kids, you understand that struggle for autonomy and you understand that the more you give kids all autonomy as or at least the perception of it usually the better behave they are. I mean, obviously, when you take let me frame it a different way when you take away their autonomy, that's usually when they start acting out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 3:

Guess what? We're still the same way as adults. We're still the same way as adults. Now I saw this during COVID. About a year and a half into COVID I started noticing some behavior that I found really, really irritating. I would go to the grocery store and there would be somebody parked right in front of the front door, right in the main roadway, and they'd be waiting for somebody in the store, not down the way from, I mean right in front of the front door, and then the person they're waiting for comes out and they just laid their groceries right in front of the store, blocking traffic. I just remember thinking that's really annoying, that's not very thoughtful. And then right next to the grocery store is a Starbucks and I saw people doing the same thing there, just blocking the path into the store and just being very, very thoughtless. And once I got ever being annoyed by it, I kind of took a step back and said why are these people doing this? This is not normal. I live in Texas, where people are heavily armed and that fosters a certain level of good behavior, that's true. And it's like why are people doing this? And it hit me. I was like they've just spent a year and a half, having their autonomy taken away, and so they're acting out. So many sales strategies are about boxing some of my into a corner, taking away their autonomy. Taking away their autonomy. Well, with these first time offers, the way we design them, not only do they preserve the autonomy, but it amplifies the autonomy. So when we offer a first time offer and we coach all of our clients to do the same thing, we tell them hey, here are the four or five deliverables in this offer. And when you get these four or five deliverables, and if you buy one of mine, you're going to get them in a binder, presuming you're in North America If it's Europe, I haven't figured that problem out, but if you're in North America, you're going to get them delivered in a binder. And once you have those results, you have three choices. You can take the binder and implement it yourself. Your second choice is you can take it and have someone else implement it on your behalf. The third choice is, if we mutually agree, we'll help you implement it. You see how that's amplifying autonomy. You are in control, you choose right, you get to choose. And the paradox is the more autonomy you give people, the higher your closing rate goes.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

It is so countercultural to the normal way of thinking that you box them in right to up your closing rate. The more you can overcome every objection and box them in, your closing rate goes up. But what I'm hearing is the more autonomy you give them, the higher your closing rate goes.

Speaker 3:

That's been my experience. Now, of course, I'm looking for partners. I'm working with a client. I want it to be somewhere where they're a valuable part of my life and I'm a valuable part of their life, right? A strategy partner? Yeah, absolutely, thank you. And you wouldn't do that in marriage, I mean, I guess there's some examples, and we do have shotgun weddings. But in general, when you're thinking about the relationship, it's you want to get to a point where both of you realize you know what we're better together than we are apart, and so it's a magnetism that pulls each of them together. Well, you don't get there when you start saying, well, you must choose me, you have no other choice. That's not very attractive, right?

Speaker 2:

That's right. What you're describing is far more magnetic. I mean it's mutual benefit, mutual gain. Yeah, that's a win-win all the way around.

Speaker 3:

And when you do that, think about the stories your clients tell about you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

That's a good word. And when I said the third option I mentioned, I said if we mutually agree, we'll help you implement it. You know there are some coffee dates that don't proceed to dinner.

Speaker 2:

That's true, you have to mutually agree.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is the coffee date. And if I go back to that MSP, that three-year quarter million dollar contract, my question to them was do you really want to lock in for three years with somebody with their psycho? Yeah, and they're like, yes, we do. I'm like, you just want the money, right, right, I get that. I mean, we're in business to make money. I get that. But don't you want to learn a little bit more about who you're devoting your resources to for the next three years? Because, again, if you're in a business where you have high touch with your clients, your customers, a bad client will destroy your team's morale, it will destroy your team's productivity. They'll get in your head and show up Speak for myself. They get in my head and show up hours of time. That's not benefiting me and it's not benefiting them and it can tear up your reputation?

Speaker 2:

Yes, because unhappy clients will often tell other people about it. Right, craig? You mentioned that what you've been talking about is in a book that you have coming out and you actually have two books coming out. Two books, yeah, that's unusual, I got to say.

Speaker 3:

Smart people write one at a time.

Speaker 2:

And even smarter people release two at a time. I'm just saying that's impressive, man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I don't think I'll do two at a time again, but the first book actually wrote Christmas of 2022. And it's called Hope that Won't Die and it's co-written with my wife and, for those that don't know, I spent three months in the hospital a year before I wrote that book. I spent three months in the hospital from August of 2021 to November of 2021. And for over a month of that, they were telling my wife he's going to die and they weren't telling me that because I was checked out. I was in a coma Actually another story. I heard some of the things they probably didn't want me to hear, but we talk about that and it's kind of our journey through that kind of learning. We wrote that for people that are grieving and hurting, lost and don't have to be lost from COVID. It could be anything, but especially for those that are grieving from loss with COVID. The other thing that we found is there's a lot of people walking around with guilt about decisions they made on their loved one's behalf and, honestly, that's something my wife has wrestled with. Even though I lived. I've watched her beat herself up about decisions she made on my behalf when I was in the coma and, of course I've said look, stop that. You made the best decision you could in a crisis situation, often in the middle of the night that's usually when they call and without all the information, to make a good choice. And then there's some psychological factors tied to compliance, some experiments from the 60s that show that it's hard to say no to somebody who is wearing a white lab coat, and so we wrote this book, also for those that are struggling with guilt. The other book that you're asking about is called Make Sales Magical Close More Deals Faster and at Higher Prices, and that outlines this process that we've been talking about, and it's been transformative. And I don't use the word magical lightly, because when you follow this process and you lay things out in these ways, it almost appears like magic when it starts working. And you asked about people that are struggling in this economy and, as people are slowing down, making the high ticket purchases, this is the kind of magic that people need.

Speaker 2:

That's good. I look forward to reading both of these. One of the things that you mentioned when we talked previously was that, while you were in that coma, that your team ran your business. Yeah, I got to tell you, as a leader, that's beyond impressive to see a team of people step into that kind of a role in that kind of a crisis and perform at the level that they did. What can you say about that? What can you share about that? There's a lot of people listening. I think he would be like, yeah, my team would bail my team. No way would they perform at that level.

Speaker 3:

Well, they thought I was a dead man, because that's what the doctors were saying. That's what the doctors were telling my wife, yeah. And at a time when it would have been easy to say he's going to die, it doesn't matter what we do, right? Instead of slacking off, they stepped up and delivered their best performance. Wow.

Speaker 2:

That really reflects on the leadership that you had provided up to that point.

Speaker 3:

Oh, thank you. It bolded me over when I found out what they did.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Is there any factor or element that you could say, well, this was a contributing element to that level of success in seeing them step into that. Is there something that you could share that, say, I think this was a piece of that.

Speaker 3:

Well, I'll take it back all the way to the Marines. When I had to reform that Marine. We didn't get there by me yelling at him. Yeah, we got there by me allowing him to make mistakes and being willing to walk side by side with him while we worked through those mistakes. Yeah, and I mean, there was one night where he was working and he called me back and followed my role. I said I'll answer questions. He asked me some questions and I answered his questions and he kept working. This went on for hours and he came into the office and he was furious. He's like did you know that circuit breaker was flipped? He said yes, did you flip it? He said no, why didn't you tell me? So how many times have I told you you're not going to have your gazaltas if you don't have your gazintas, nice, that's. If you're not getting the output that you want, you need to check your inputs. Yeah, yeah, he's like. But you could have told me. Why didn't you tell me? I said next time, are you going to check that circuit breaker? He said yeah, well then, this was worth it. And so, in leading my team that ran the business for me when I was in COVID, I had to give them the room to make mistakes, and when they made mistakes, instead of beating them over the head with over the mistake, I just sit down like okay, well, what do we do with this now? And help them work through it. But it's giving them that autonomy and letting them know that, hey, you know what Mistakes happen, that's a part of life, and I would rather pay the price of having them make a small mistake and then us work through it because of what it will do for them. I'd rather pay the price of that small mistake because, as it played out when I checked out unexpectedly, they were able to run the business without me.

Speaker 2:

You had taught them that they had not just responsibility for the tasks, but the authority to make decisions. Yeah, and teaching them how to do that equipped them so that when they had to take on that larger piece, they were ready. I love that, love that. Craig, your business is going to need you to be a better leader a year from now than you are today. It's going to need you to be a better leader five years from now than you are today. Absolutely, I'm curious how do you stay on top of your game? How do you level up your leadership skills so that you will become the leader that is needed a year, five years from now?

Speaker 3:

I wish I had a better answer for you. I feel like the things that move me are when things break at my level. Maybe, as I think about it maybe that's the formula that's how I've coached team members is giving them the chance to make mistakes. And from me, I look at some of the mistakes I've been making and I want to dope, slap myself across the head and say why did you let this happen? Why didn't you do something about it? And so, as a year from now, I hope not only to have made corrections for some of the mistakes for which I'm paying the consequences for now, but build that into the culture of the company of okay, here's what we're going to do and here's why we're going to do it. So we're a stronger, more resilient company a year from now and five years from now. And if the company can keep running with me checking out in a coma, just imagine what we can do five years from now.

Speaker 1:

Love that.

Speaker 2:

You're a continual learner. You are constantly learning and growing. Is there a book that has made a big difference in your journey that you would recommend that everybody pick up and read if they haven't read it?

Speaker 3:

There's one book that I would say provides lessons for leadership and a lot of things. I think it's the most printed book in history and I would recommend the Bible.

Speaker 2:

You are not the first.

Speaker 3:

And right now I'm going through the book of John and the Bible and I can't count the number of times I've read that book and I'm seeing new insights week after week after week, and so that's. I mean, I think that's the most important book I can read, and you probably have some listeners like blah blah, blah shut up. I don't want to hear that. Okay, if you don't want to read the Bible, what would be the next book that I would recommend? You know, dr Robert Chaldini put out a couple books. One was called Influence, the other was called Pre-Fluence, and you learn a lot about human behavior in that, and so I would recommend both of those books. And Influence was kind of the Bible, of the persuasion world for decades until it came out with this book Pre-Fluence a pursuit of new royalties. No, I'm not knocking him. He's a very smart guy, but that's what I. Yeah, that would be the other one that I would recommend.

Speaker 2:

Those are excellent, all three of those, and I'm with you. I would recommend those as well. Greg, this has been so fascinating. It's touching on so many things in this conversation. We could go for another hour, but as we wind this up and I want to keep this at a decent length here, as we wind this up, if people walk away from this episode with one big idea, how would you like that one idea to be?

Speaker 3:

It's a piece of advice. I got that kind of influenced this whole idea of first time offers. The best way to speed up a sale is to slow it down.

Speaker 2:

Okay, you have to unpack that just a little bit.

Speaker 3:

Well, I had a sales coach tell me that my name is Catherine very smart lady, very valuable to me. But she was also trying to get me to do some of the traditional sales pitchy type stuff, which doesn't work for me. And, by the way, if you hate sales, we make sales magical for folks like you. If you're somebody just selling ice to Eskimos, probably not the book for you. But there's an element in that Our body language changes when we have a high internal desire to sell. And the more you can do to control that desire, I would say even more just dismiss it to not have that being a driving factor in your thoughts. When you can remove that driving factor from your thoughts, it removes it from your body language. It's about the unspoken language of sales. And we spend another hour talking about the way the brain works. But there's the back part of your brain called the system one. It looks for patterns and the amygdala is there. There's a little bit more than just the amygdala going on there, but the amygdala is the fight or flight and it's the part of the brain that keeps us safe. And when somebody has the posture of sales, the brain says whoa, whoa, whoa, throws up the guard and so unpacking that statement the best way to speed up a sale is to slow it down. That's unwinding that guard system in the brain where, instead of giving off the vibe of hey, I'm trying to close this, I'm trying to close you, I'm trying to close you quickly, we send off another vibe that is far more seductive, of I have something valuable here. If you don't want it, that's fine. Now, I don't say it from a place of arrogance. When we're selling first time offers, we celebrate the people who say no as much as we celebrate the people who say yes, because we know the offers are structured so well that when you put them in front of a qualified buyer, the only answer they'll give is yes. And so if the answer they give is no, there's something going on that you may understand. You may not understand, but there's something going on that makes them not a good buyer, and you need to just trust that. Wow.

Speaker 2:

So good, greg again. This has been so fascinating and I'm so grateful to you for sharing so generously today. I know people are going to want to stay connected with you and continue to learn from you. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

So they can come to our website, which is alliesformecom. That's spelled A-L-L-I-E-S, the number four, m-ecom, and there's ways to contact us. But I actually have a gift. I have two gifts for your audience, and the first gift is a guide on how to make first time offers and avoid some of the mistakes I made, which I made many. And the second gift is 23 days access to our course on building first time offers. The reason we limited it to 23 days is we understand human behavior. We know if we give you unlimited access to our free course, you'll sign up and never take it. Our goal is to see your life change and so we know that if we put the 23 day limit on there, you'll go in there, you'll consume the content. It will make an impact on your life, which is our goal, and so they can get that by going. Alliesformecom slash, catalytic leadership. That's all lowercase, all one word, and there would be a place to sign up and we'll get both of those gifts. That's so generous.

Speaker 2:

Again, thank you for that, and we will have that link in the show notes. Great Well, thank you. Thank you, man. This has been fantastic today. Thank you, I've enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, Catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out. My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20-plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. And if you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader. I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticleadershipnet.

Leadership and Customer Relationship Development
Building Trust in Sales
Crafting First Time Offers for Success
First Time Offers and Autonomy
Leadership and Learning From Mistakes