Celebrate the Wins: Episode 1: Mike Garrison

Yip Yip TeamCelebrate the Wins, Sales Enablement, Social Selling

We know the past 20 years have dramatically changed how you sell. Some say it’s easier now. Others say it’s harder now. We just like to celebrate your successes. Come learn from others while helping us celebrate with those who have found great successes in sales.

Join Yip Yip CEO Brandon Lee, the guy who loves to celebrate sales wins, as he talks with Mike Garrison, a key industry sales leader.

Brandon Lee: All right everybody, welcome back to Celebrate the Wins. I’m so excited to have you here. Thank you so much, and I have my friend Mike Garrison here with us. Mike, welcome to Celebrate the Wins!

Mike Garrison: I can’t wait. I love winning.

Brandon Lee: You do love winning, haha! We have a format, right. As you know, we do five questions in 18 minutes or less. So we are on a boogie, and you and I have a problem of turning a 15-minute conversation into an hour and a half. So we got to work really hard to get to the point, be concise and move this thing forward. Sound good?

Mike Garrison: I’ll be good. I’ll be good.

Brandon Lee: We’ll pound that one together?

Mike Garrison: Oh yeah!

Brandon Lee: Question number one. Do you think sales are harder or easier today than they were 10 years ago?

Mike Garrison: Only an idiot would think it’s harder.

Brandon Lee: You really have a strong opinion about that.

Mike Garrison: No, seriously. Sales is much easier than it used to be, and I can tell you when I broke into sales, I was cold calling for copiers in Washington D.C., and there was no way to find out information about your prospects, except to go to the library and try and get the latest trade journal, which was three months old. Because print … there was no digital. You had one week.

I talked about this with Tim Hughes when I was interviewed last week. You had one week to capitalize on that information before everyone else you compete with did. Sales is so much easier now. The problem is, is people have forgotten that it’s sales. You can’t get away from research, preparation and effort. Now, if you apply analog sales techniques with a digital mindset, bam. You are unstoppable.

Brandon Lee: Okay. So it’s Celebrate the Wins. You’re here, we want to celebrate with you. What is the win that you want to celebrate today?

Mike Garrison: I would say the win I most want to celebrate is the fact that my particular referral system that I’ve spent a year transforming digitally is now starting to just rock the house. I’ve gotten three referrals … actually four referrals in the last five days.

Brandon Lee: Four referrals in five days? Whoop whoop!!

Mike Garrison: Appointments. Referral appointments. Two of them signed up before I even met with them.

Brandon Lee: Take one of those in particular and tell us a little bit about it, and in kind of leading you, you had a really big … what you thought was a very big success. I’d love for you to talk about and tell us why do you consider that such a big success?

Mike Garrison: Well the biggest success I had was this interview with Tim Hughes, the author of Social Selling. The reason it was so impactful for me is because a year and a half ago I thought I was out of business.

Brandon Lee: Right, and I want to just clarify, because you were interviewed by him for his podcast. You weren’t asking him for a job or anything. You got asked by Tim Hughes, the author of Social Selling, to be on his podcast?

Mike Garrison: Yeah.

Brandon Lee: That was huge.

Mike Garrison: Tim’s the number one authority in my opinion, which is quite frankly all anyone needs to know. But he’s the number one authority on social selling worldwide, and the reason is, is he doesn’t pull any punches, he comes from enterprise sales, he’s old enough to understand what analog sales was. So what Tim really does is help people digitally transform … companies and people to transform from analog to digital. Because all those things that you did before Facebook work even better on Facebook. Right?

Because social selling is not just being social. You have to apply modalities, structure, systems and accountability. It is a lot of fun, but that’s why it was so big a success for me, because a year and a half ago, I asked a friend of mine, I said, “Are referrals done? My way of doing referrals face, is it done?” He said, “No, it’s even better. Start reading.” So I went and read that book. He hadn’t even read the book, the guy that referred it to me.

Read the book, and in it Tim says something profound. He says, “Social selling is applying traditional word of mouth networking techniques to digital,” and I went, “Win.” Out of that, I developed my system, which is not really my system, it’s 3,000 years old. You might have heard of it. Cultivate, plant, reap.

Brandon Lee: So next question. In your process of doing and celebrating this win, in the process of getting there and turning this into a win, what did you do well?

Mike Garrison: What I did well … and this is going to sound kind of strange for people that have known me for a long time. I had empathy. Two of the people that are working with me are over 50, and they have been intimidated and felt kind of archaic. In the process of cultivating and planting, in a very short period of time I was able to show them that everything they’d done in their life had perfectly prepared them to excel in a digital world. I think that’s what people don’t understand is there are no get rich quick schemes in sales. I mean, it’s shocking. Shocking.

Brandon Lee: What? No rich quick schemes? [jokingly]

Mike Garrison: My system is cultivate, plant, reap. It’s a way of interacting with people at the top of the pipeline. Most people don’t walk around saying, “Hey, I need a sales coach.” So you have to be able to break status quo. I realized that going in, Brandon, and I knew that I needed to be patient, that I needed to be consistent with my [inaudible 00:05:46], and I needed to talk about things from their perspective. Then I had to be predictable. That it couldn’t be random acts of charity.

You know, rain drops and gummy drops falling out of the sky. So what I did with these people is I connected with them. In most cases … in half the cases I already knew them. I’d already picked them out and selected them from my network, and I just talked about and said, “What’s your vision for what you’re trying to accomplish?” Because coaches can’t take anybody. You can’t eat potential.

Brandon Lee: Got it. That’s great.

Mike Garrison: They have to engage you because of a perception of something more they can do.

Brandon Lee: Right. They need to see the outcomes.

Mike Garrison: Yeah, because you can’t coach somebody past their own limitations.

Brandon Lee: Right. There you go.

Mike Garrison: It’s impossible. You can’t make Usain Bolt faster genetically. All you can help him do is achieve more and more of his God-given potential.

Brandon Lee: Got it. Yep. So as a John Maxwell guy, as a member of John Maxwell team, I’d say it’s the law of the lid. In the 15 laws of growth, right, your lid … you’re constantly going to hit that as a ceiling, so what you need to do is expand your lid.

Mike Garrison: Yeah.

Brandon Lee: I move your lid for you to move. Is that similar to what you’re saying?

Mike Garrison: It’s similar. I like John. He’s cool, written a couple of books. I would say that there’s only one lid, and that’s what you were created. You can’t get past what you were designed for, but unfortunately we create artificial lids that aren’t real.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, okay. Okay.

Mike Garrison: So I think most people live in a small fish tank of their own design.

Brandon Lee: Yep. I can [crosstalk 00:07:28].

Mike Garrison: Inside a much larger tank, designed by somebody far better.

Brandon Lee: Got it. So let’s move into the next one, then. We got the W of what you do well, and the second one is improve. So knowing what you’ve done, the success that you had, the win that we’re celebrating today. Where would you want to improve?

Mike Garrison: I need to be more consistent. One of the challenges … I’ve reflected on this over many times we’re talked. Even though I talk about with my clients, you got to always continually prospect. You got to be really consistent. I still find myself doing that little sine wave where I get some business, get a lot of stimulation, and slip efforts down. The reason I’m doing so well now is because I realized I was dipping my prospecting levels. I was sliding more toward the surprise Chicken Little Marketing concept, as opposed to proactive cultivate, plant, reap. So I would say what I need to do is be exactly what I say to my clients. Be consistent. Predictable referrals come from predictable behavior.

Brandon Lee: So the improve part is not getting distracted when success and wins start coming your way?

Mike Garrison: That sounds better. Let’s do that.

Brandon Lee: To stop doing what got you there … the activities that got you there in the first place. Right?

Mike Garrison: Yep. There’s no way around it. I hate all these people that tell you referrals are easy. They’re lying, they’re [inaudible 00:08:58] and they’re charlatans at best. All prospecting is difficult. You have to work. If you want to be a higher performer, you don’t get there by sitting on the couch eating bonbons and watching Jerry Springer.

Brandon Lee: Starred it. My day is shot now.

Mike Garrison: I think you’ll be okay.

Brandon Lee: Yeah. Planning on doing that and watching all the sales and signed contracts coming in.

Mike Garrison: Yeah, exactly. That’s what people forget. Referrals aren’t easy. They’re a lot more fun. They can be more personally rewarding if you’re into human-to-human contact. But they’re not for everybody in every organization. Because they have their own risks, their own problems.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so one of your things you would improve upon is being more consistent.

Mike Garrison: I follow my system better.

Brandon Lee: What’s that?

Mike Garrison: I’d follow my own system better.

Brandon Lee: Follow your own system better. Yep. Be more consistent with your own tactics, of course. Hey, you know what? Gosh, I would imagine that there’s a lot of people listening to this just shaking their head right now going, “I get it,” and, you know, it’s that sense of feeling like a hypocrite sometimes.

That we’re either going to let it make us feel like a failure and a hypocrite and bring us down, or look at it and just go, “Man, I’m human like everyone else, and let’s move forward. I know what to do. I got off course. Let me get back on the horse and go.” Right?

Mike Garrison: Absolutely, and that’s part of having a system. If you don’t have a system, it’s really hard to get back on track.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, because you don’t know where track is.

Mike Garrison: Yeah. You’re measuring everything with emotion.

Brandon Lee: Anything else in the improve? Anything else you’d want to improve upon?

Mike Garrison: Some plastic surgery. Look better. You know this whole video thing’s challenging for me. This face made for radio, right?

Brandon Lee: Love that expression.

Mike Garrison: It’s so true.

Brandon Lee: I love that.

Mike Garrison: Seriously, it’s just … I’d say the other thing to improve on is to stop worrying about how I look to other people. One of the problems with any kind of referral-based, human-based system, is it’s easy to get distracted or wounded by do people like me. The Sally Field concept. That’s dating.

Brandon Lee: Absolutely. You want to flesh that out a little bit for the people who are going, “What do you mean, Sally Field?”

Mike Garrison: No. Google it. Google it.

Brandon Lee: You like me, you really, really like me.

Mike Garrison: Really, really like me.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, I’m there too. I remember that.

Mike Garrison: That’s one of the most painful moments in television history.

Brandon Lee: Yep. Here’s the thing, and I think you and I have talked about this before, is that one of the, I think, elements of social selling that gets overlooked and we don’t talk about is are you prepared to be a celebrity, if you will? Are you prepared to be a public figure?

Because I don’t care if you’re just putting it Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram, or whatever. You start putting it out there. It takes guts, because people are going to comment. Normally, my experience is the first time you put something out there, the people who show up first are the critics.

Mike Garrison: They’re the predators.

Brandon Lee: The what?

Mike Garrison: The predators.

Brandon Lee: The predators, yeah, and they knock you down, and you’ve got to be prepared to say, “Am I ready to be public,” and have thick skin and be okay, and be consistent, even though some of the comments are going to kick me in the knees.

Mike Garrison: You know, one of the greatest ways I explain that to clients was when I was doing some customer service work before I got fired by one of my best friends.

Brandon Lee: You know, you throw a lot of little like zinger nuggets that I-

Mike Garrison: They’re all true, though.

Brandon Lee: We’re going to have to come back to that. We’re going to pull that one in some day and flesh it out.

Mike Garrison: I had made the mistake of hitting reply all on an issue.

Brandon Lee: Ouch.

Mike Garrison: Yeah, and I got a great piece of advice. It’s from doctor Ivan Misner, who’s the founder CEO of B&I. He said, “Mike, you got to treat everybody like they’re a reporter.” I think that that advice really captures what you were saying. That when you put it out on social, when you’re doing social selling, you have to be aware that you’re talking to reporters. Because everyone is a publisher now. That doesn’t mean that you should be fake. That’s even worse. You need to be authentic, but you need to be … not cautious, but you need to speak in your own voice. Don’t say things that you won’t stand behind.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, in the name of time. We’ve gotten into well, you followed your system. Improve, you want to be more consistent. What specifically, one or two things, that you will do next time, as specific as you can get, to turn this win into the next win?

Mike Garrison: Well, I’m going to double down on my system, and I wrote an article called The Best Way to Ask Your Customers for Referrals, and I will humbly ask all of my customers, past and present, over the last 20 years, for referrals.

Brandon Lee: Very cool. That is very specific. So will you promise me this? When you implement that, in however long, three months, four moths, six months down the road. Will you come back and share with us that win so that we can celebrate that win with you? Share how you went from this win … went through what I called my win method. What did you do well, what do you want to improve? Specifically what are you going to do next time, and then catapult one win to the next, bigger win? We’d love to hear all about it.

Mike Garrison: Love to.

Brandon Lee: Awesome, awesome. Okay, Mike, before we go. Last question. Are you ready?

Mike Garrison: I’m ready.

Brandon Lee: Your best sale ever.

Mike Garrison: Her name was Jocelyn Ruth-Simmons and she’s my wife of 23 years. I will say that it has a lot more to do with Jesus than it does with me. But when we first met she was not even 21 and she’s like “I don’t want to get married until I’m 30, 32.”

Brandon Lee: And the salesman came out?

Mike Garrison: That’s right.

Mike Garrison: Age 25, baby. Woo.

Brandon Lee: There goes another one of those conversations that we’re going to have to flesh out another time.

Mike Garrison: No, I mean, I’d say the best sale I ever made was with a really good friend last week. He manages about 30 different sales consultants, and he’s having a hard time helping them grow effectively because he didn’t have a digital system. So I was able to, thanks to stuff I’ve learned in the sales enabling society. Thanks to Tim Hughes, thanks to guys like you, I was able to gently shepherd him into a different way of viewing things.

He’s so talented, all he really needed was a different lens. It’s kind of like when you put glasses on one of those kids for the first time and they can see. Or the cochlear implants. That’s all we really need to do in sales, is help your client be a better version of themselves.

Brandon Lee: That’s awesome. Awesome. Mike, thank you so much for sharing your experience and especially sharing your win with us so that we could celebrate your win with you. So we celebrate you. Thank you so much to coming, and I’m looking forward, three to six months. I want to hear about the next win.

Mike Garrison: Absolutely, with Chris in Atlanta.

Brandon Lee: With Chris in Atlanta, here we go. All right, thanks Mike.

Brandon Lee: Hey everybody, thanks for joining us again. We really shoot to do five important questions to celebrate people’s wins within 18 minutes or less, and if we went over 18, you won’t know the difference because our editors are going to make us look like we were much more concise than we are.

So thanks for coming and, hey, if you know somebody or you are somebody that’d like to join us on the show and celebrate your win, or let us celebrate you and your win, comment down below, get in touch with us at goyipyip.com. We would love to have you on and celebrate your win with you. Thanks again for coming, Mike, have a great night.

Mike Garrison: Peace.


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