Give Them Everything!!!

“Give Them Everything!!!!”

You probably think I’m crazy at this point. “Give them everything?” Here he goes again with another crazy sales concept. Hear me out though ladies and gentlemen. I’m about to give you a sales tip that if followed correctly in any service industry will absolutely drive your closing %’s ALL THE WAY UP. Love this song!!!

This is not theory. This is FACT. Let’s Go!!! 

There is this misconception out there that if you give your client the recipe for the “secret sauce” they won’t need you and therefore won’t hire you.  They will not engage or buy your services because they now know how you are miraculously repairing their credit, mowing their lawn, building their house, optimizing their site, advertising their product, etc etc etc. It’s simply not true.. Tell your customers exactly what you’re doing for them and break down exactly how it will happen. Go into as much detail as possible. Hold nothing back. Give them everything!!!

I have this saying at Key Credit, “go fast until you have to go slow”. What this means is do everything fast all day long. Be as efficient as possible. Make as many calls as you can in a given hour, write as many emails as possible to prospective clients and even eat your lunch quickly(time is money for Gods sake. Put that sub down. Order a small next time. Large’s take too long to eat.) but when you have a live human being on the phone that is interested in what you have to offer….SLOW THE TRUCK DOWN!!!!!! If you’re going about your day at 100mph you should slow down your consultation or pitch to  around 20mph. I know I know. This is not easy. Trust me. I have a green lamborghini and silver porsche 911 GTS toy set on my desk.

The actual toy porsche on my desk

I love going fast. I’m obsessed with speed. #Speedwins is another saying I use all the time. BUT, NOT IN YOUR PITCH DAMNIT. Take your time and give your prospective client as much detail as possible about how you do, what you do, when you do it. Don’t be afraid to go into detail. Your prospect is not going to steal your trade secret and then do it themselves. Slow down. Your consultation should be absolutely life changing for your customer. It should be a work of art. Your client has money they want to give you for a service. They worked VERY hard for that money. You need to work harder in order for the good karma of the capitalist system to forward their hard earned money from their wallet to yours. Your client deserves the best, from the best. I’m being very, very serious. Okay, you get the picture. Let’s move on….

Remember, we live in an age where anyone at anytime can google anything. Information is free and readily accessible. You can learn anything at anytime and pay nothing for it. But, that doesn’t mean someone wants to do it themselves. “I have no time”. Heard that lately? Yeah, I’m sure you say it to yourself throughout the day. Your client is saying it too. Teach them what you do so they respect you as a professional and then offer to do it for them.

I love using this sales system in the service arena. I would literately break down to my clients every single tactic I would take to better their credit. I break it down for them in excruciating detail. Sometimes I joke with them at the start of the consultation and warn them they will have a migraine by the time we’re done. I’ve done this thousands of times as my competitors took an opposite approach and didn’t tell their clients how they were helping them. I can close almost 100% of the consultations I start because of this tactic.

Why does it work you ask?

Simple. When someone sees what truly goes into your craft they will appreciate it. They will respect your expertise. They will understand that you are a professional and will trust you to execute the plan for them. Don’t summarize your hard work in your pitch to a prospect. Don’t shorten your presentation. It’s just not fair. If you do this they will be less likely to engage and more likely to cancel if for some dumb reason they did engage with you after a quick presentation. If your pitch is taking 10 minutes in order to close 50% of the prospects you speak too, try and push out your consultation or pitch to 20 minutes. I guarantee your closing percentage will sky rocket to somewhere close to 100%.

How to implement?

Here is how I did it. Super easy. Instead of telling my client how I am going to repair their credit I put on my professor hat and spend 30+ minutes teaching my prospect how they can repair their own credit. I take them through an action plan that they can execute themselves that will get them the desired results. I give them everything. 8/10 times the client will ask if I can execute the plan for them before I even finish teaching them.  2/10 times I’m asking a simple question at the end of the “credit repair 101” course that sounds like this…. “Thanks for letting me take you through the action plan that will get you from a 550 credit score to the point where you can qualify to purchase your home. Do you understand how this action plan will work and how you can have great credit again?”. The client will always say yes. The reasoning being quite obvious. I’ve given them a full proof road map for success. Once they’ve said yes I ask them another simple question, “would you like to hire my company to execute the plan FOR you?”. What do you think the response will be? Ummmm…Yes obviously.

BONUS ROUND.

“I’m not good at breaking down the details of how great my service is. I’m not a good communicator. I’m not good at sales, blah blah blah. ” Stop trying to be good at sales. Teach. Teach your client how they can “repair their OWN credit, how they can manage their own SEO or run their own advertising.” Don’t worry about YOU. Teach them well enough that they can even turn around and teach someone else what your’e doing. Give them the recipe to the “secret sauce”.  When you do this they will trust you as a true professional. They will pay you large sums of money and we will all live happily ever after 🙂

P.S. Can you see how implementing the “give them everything” system can drive up closing percentages for your sales team?

Would you like to implement this in your sales script at some point soon, but feel as if you don’t have time to do it yourself?

Email me at nikitas@nikitas.com . I can help.

BTW…See how my “give them everything” system just worked on even YOU via this free blog article where I gave you everything about giving others everything?? Talk to you soon:)

Nikitas Tsoukales

www.nikitas.com 

nikitas@nikitas.com 

 

 

The Trick to Scaling your business 80% a year (whether you want to or not).

EOFIRE

I recently completed an interview on EOFfire with John Lee Dumas on the topic of “rapid fire” growth. Click below and check it out and of course read on for more:)

EOFire with John Lee Dumas and Nikitas Tsoukales

I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. My last article rambled a bit (story of my life).

If you want to grow your business quickly,  you will need to hire people better than you. Yes, better than you. Believe it or not there are millions of people smarter, sharper and ever better looking than you(this is even hard for me to believe. LOL).

“But Nikitas. I’m the smartest, sharpest and even best looking person in my organization. ”

Well then, you are going to hit a ceiling very, very soon my friend.

Here’s the deal ladies and gents. You may have just started your business and you’re wearing every hat in the organization. I’ve been there. I was once VP of Sales, Ops, Marketing, Janitorial Duties, etc. I was also the CFO, COO and every other fancy acronym’d job. You are working your butt off and that is the only way to really get a new organization to thrive when you don’t have the CASH to hire someone. This is the recipe for success early on and I love it. This is the “grit” you hear about that all of the “greats” like Bezos, Gates and Tsoukales?!? had. If this is your first business and your first experience performing this “juggling act”, I promise it will leave you with some of the best memories of your life and will almost guarantee the initial success of your organization. YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL if you are grinding like this. But……..

It’s unsustainable. Trust me. It just cannot be done forever by any mere mortal.  I worked between 70 and infiniti hours per week in the first 5 years of Key Credit Repair. I loved every second of it. But, it was unsustainable. I lost my voice three times and sales came to a grinding halt for days when that happened. I was missing time with my family and the first 5 years of my first born son Nicholas’ childhood. I was also neglecting my devoted wife very early on in our marriage. The organization couldn’t survive like this and my home life was going to soon head to “hell in a hand-basket” if I didn’t make a change.  In fact, it killed my health as well. I drank so much coffee and lost so much sleep plugging away at my desk that I killed my thyroid. Yeah, I have the thyroid gland of an 80 year old. It’s pathetic. Now I have to pop the same 125 mcg levothyroxine pill my 82 year old grandmother takes. Sooooo pathetic.

So, we know that’s it’s unsustainable but “how do we take our foot off the gas while maintaining the fast growth of our baby(aka thriving business)? 

People power baby!!!

Not everyone want’s to start a business. Not everyone want’s to go through this crazy grind. In fact, most people don’t. But they are still just as ambitious, intelligent and willing to work their butts off for their goals. What they want is a platform that they can plug into in order to get to all of their goals and guess what??? You’ve got one!!!

Here’s the hack and it’s pretty simple:

Hire for the position above the position you have an opening for. Interview your prospect for that opportunity. You don’t need to let them know you’re doing this either. So, imagine if you are starting to grow a sales team. You’re now the only salesperson and you want to start adding people. During the interview ask yourself this one question….

“Can I see this person that I’m interviewing developing(they don’t have to qualify for that job now) with my help, into the manager that will eventually oversee the next 5 salespeople?” 

YES…Hired. 

NO…Not Hired.

Seems simple? Well it is. Stop over complicating business. Scout, interview and hire for the job above the job you’re offering!!!

Imagine if you spend the next 2 years building out a sales team of 5 people that can all, one day, be your next sales team managers. When your marketing “blows up” and the phones are ringing off the hook you can quickly promote your next leaders and your team of 5 salespeople can quickly turn into a sales team of 30(5 team managers x 5 new sales people + 5 sales managers(your existing people)). You just hypothetically grew your sales team to 5 people in the first 5 years and then within a few months grew it another 6 x to 30!!! Seems impossible? It’s not. But it is very difficult. Your first few hires need to be brought into your organization very carefully. Don’t make the mistake of trying to quickly fill a spot. Delay the instant gratification of meeting a staffing goal and filling in a spot. Firing is much harder than hiring and most of you don’t have the guts to do it quickly if you make a mistake. For the record I don’t either. It’s very, very hard to fire people. Also, if you fill in the position with someone that cannot be a future leader you are stunting your future growth. Who will manage those new hires when you NEED to staff quickly because your marketing just 10x’d somehow in google?

Also, there are psychological reasons you need to hire people BETTER than you. Grind for 5 years. Make some money with your healthy margins and you may hit a psychological plateau. Yes, you may get complacent. You’ve got your business in a “sweet spot” so you feel the need to take your foot off the gas but we all know that anything that is not constantly growing will eventually die off. In the service arena if your business is not growing, your employees will not have the prospect of future growth within the organization and you will soon start to lose your best talent. When this happens you are on the fast track to bankruptcy!! If you hired “BETTER than you” and “for the job above the job they interviewed for” you will have people that will put their foot on the throttle themselves and take the initiative when you aren’t (as long as you’ve given them permission too). Their ambition, intelligence and “grit” will start to drive your organization to new heights that you could NEVER have achieved if you were “wearing all of those hats” and doing it all yourself. Trust me ladies and gents. This is the exact reason Key Credit Repair has made the list of Inc Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in the United States twice. It’s not because I’m a great leader or because I’m some great business guru. It’s because I realized at some point by mistake(when I lost my voice 3 times and my sales assistant Melina Vallas took the initiative and started crushing the phones.) that their are people in your organization and out in the marketplace that are better than me.

The “I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. My last article rambled a bit (story of my life).” was such crap. Sorry about that 🙂

P.S. Everything I’m talking about in this article requires a full submission of the ego. “I’m the best salesman here. I’m the smartest person in my company, blah blah blah”. This is your big, fat, ugly and useless EGO talking. Tell it to quiet down. In fact, tell it to shut the TRUCK up. There is no room for EGO in sales, business or any aspect of a successful life. “Ego is not your amigo” said a wise, life coach named Adam Reed.

Recap: 

  • Hire smarter people than you. 

  • Hire for the position above the position you have available

  • Wearing all the hats in a biz is unsustainable

  • “EGO is not your amigo” in sales, biz and life. 

Nikitas Tsoukales

Nikitas@Nikitas.com

#Nikitas (yes I invented my own hashtag. I’m sooooo cool.)

 

How I Got Started in Real Estate, Sales and Business

Always Be Closing

One of my passions is real estate.  I know, I know. It’s corny. But there is something about it. Standing in front of a property I’ve just bought and envisioning what it’s going to look like when renovated just gives me the greatest feeling. Walking through a property that I’ve just renovated and brought to life is an even better feeling. Especially after the home was abandoned for a few years and was being used as a crack house in a not so pleasant section of the City of Detroit.

I’ve never “flipped” homes. I’m not a speculator or someone that cares to make “quick cash”. I buy, renovate and rent out homes to good people that need a great place to live and my goal with real estate is pretty simple. I want to have enough paid off residential real estate by the time I’m my father’s age(60) that I can “chillax” on a beach in Greece while drinking a cold, iced Nescafe Frappe and my bills are paid for via rental income. Is that too much to ask?

P.S. Think I’m kidding about my goal? Check out this pic. It’s my screen saver.

Nescafe Frappe
The View

I’ve been blessed enough to be involved in real estate in some way shape or form since the age of 18 but not as an investor. I got my first taste of the business as a licensed real estate salesperson.

In 2001, my best friend and one of my first mentors, Nik Ligris (now the top Real Estate Attorney in New England and probably the planet. Check out www.ligris.com ) told me if I was going to do anything with my pathetic excuse for an existence I would need to get into real estate and more importantly real estate sales. He advised me to head over to the famous Lee Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts to get trained and eventually licensed to complete a real estate transaction. I took some courses, studied day and night(Yes. I studied. If you know me you may be laughing right now) and then took and passed the test to get licensed. WOW!!!! What a feeling. I had a “license to kill”. The concept of real estate sales was so absolutely invigorating. All through high school I was told unless I was a doctor or lawyer I could never make money. My ability to hustle teachers to pass me after getting an “f” in a class was going to be flushed down the drain because there wasn’t a  market in the professional world for people like me. What or who are “people like me”?? Let me describe what I was like in high school……

-Talked to much

-Couldn’t focus unless I was directly benefiting from what I was working on.

-Loved to joke and laugh

-Wanted to be friends with everyone

-Was overly social

-Constantly missing class or homework because I was working different jobs to make some $$$.

Yup, can you believe that those traits that almost caused me to get kicked out of high school on multiple occasions are the exact same traits that fit the profile of a successful salesman and real estate agent? Ha! Who would have thought?? The highest paid profession in the world is sales. They don’t tell you that in High School or in College(blog for another time).  So, next time you scold that kid that you think needs medication because he talks too much, realize you may have a future salesman on your hands. He/She annoys teachers and most authority figures but guess what. Eventually, they will call him or her to list their house!!!

Shortly after getting my real estate license I started working on getting an agency to give me a job. Not an easy task for an 18 year old with no car, experience or formal education. I was “a nobody”. I couldn’t even get a broker/owner to call me back. I would leave voicemail after voicemail and NOTHING. Not even an email reply. I don’t blame them either. I wouldn’t have called me back either. But that’s okay. My mentor saved the day once again. A few months into my search my mentor mentioned to me that he saw a job posting on his Boston University job board for real estate salespeople for a small agency at the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth Avenue in Alston called Park Realty Associates. In 2001 that corner was the mecca for real estate agencies catering to rental properties for students of Boston University and Boston College. There must have been more than a dozen offices at the time within a two block radius of that corner that all did the exact same thing. They would all get the exact same listings from all of the exact same landlords(slum lords) in that area and then solicit the exact same college students in that area to rent from them. Then, the real estate agency would charge a fee equaling one month of rent to the client if they rented through them. As the real estate salesperson you were typically given 50% of that fee as a commission. Check out the math here my friends……

Typical Rent for a 2 bed in Alston in 2001=$1700

Fee=$1700

My cut (50%)= $850

If I CLOSED 3 rentals a week I was making ($850 x 3) $2550. Holy smokes this was an absolute absurd amount of money and I didn’t need a degree? I needed to hustle, work hard sound smart and be presentable and people would do business with me? Me?? LOL. This was a dream come true and the greatest opportunity that I could’ve ever wished for. Nobody was judging me by my grades or academic ability. “I ate what I killed”. That’s sales baby and I loved it!!!!!

Always Be Closing
Always Be Closing

I called Park Realty and scored an interview right away. I went in to the interview ready to sell myself in a big way but found something very different happening. The sales manager was too busy talking and telling me how great the company was and how much money I could make. I didn’t have to sell myself at all. It was quite strange. Instead, he was selling me on the company. Here is a little secret about “outside sales”. There is a shortage of people on this planet willing/able to go out there and bring in business to a company. Rain Makers are not a commodity. They are a rare breed that is almost extinct and if you can show a company you have the ability to “make it rain”…aka bring in your own clients they will roll out the red carpet for you and that is exactly what happened in that interview. I was a young, BU college student(white lie. I told him I went to Boston University although I was in Community College. I repented but didn’t regret that white lie ever!!!) and I could connect with people in a demographic he and the owners of the agency couldn’t. Long story short…I was hired on the spot. I was a real estate agent. I was a professional. I had a job that had no ceiling. I could make as much money as I wanted too and my background or shortcomings as a student had no bearing on that. It’s like I hit the lottery. That is the feeling I had and still have. My mentor and friend had opened that door for me and I will never forget it. It’s as if someone took the shackles off and set me free into the marketplace. All I needed to do was work my a&% off.

I started my career around sales as a rental agent in a market that mirrored where I was in life and I had a blast in that business. I made absolutely amazing money, learned a lot and my sales career continued from that point on. I’ll write about this more in a future article but that is how I got started in real estate and more importantly in sales and business(all business is sales).

Moral of the story…..

-Value your mentors and those that believe in you. Be thankful. Having just one person in your corner is enough and WILL change your life.

-You are valuable somewhere. Even if you are an absolute catastrophe where you are now in life. Someone, somewhere needs what you have and what you are capable of, and will be wiling to pay you handsomely for it.

-Be patient. “I rather go far than fast” said a wise man. Your time will come.

Sincerely,

Nikitas Tsoukales

www.nikitas.com 

p.s. email me at Nik@keycreditrepair.com . Say hello. Ask me questions and give me ideas for new articles. This blog is all about YOU:)

p.p.s. I’m not much of a writer so excuse misspellings, typos, use of emojis and ebonics in my blog articles. 🙂