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Don Williams is the CEO of Don Williams Global, in addition to being the author of the Do It Yourself Contact Center Manual (2015), Romance your Customer – Before Someone Else Does (2017), and the creator of the ‘WOW, WOW, WOW Experience.’

Don is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business in 1986 with capital totaling $6,000.00. He is currently the founder and principal of more than a dozen companies including global and Fortune 500 clients.

Don’s passion is in helping businesses develop and provide such exceptional customer experiences that their market must reward them with dominance. Aside from being an author, Don is also providing Tactical Sales Consultation, Keynote Speaking, and facilitating.

In Tactical Sales Consulting, he assesses current systems and procedures and then recommends & helps implement improvements. He looks at every facet of the Prospect – Customers Journey and applies 30 years of sales knowledge and artistry to the business.

Don also knows how to WOW the crowd as a Keynote Speaker. He lets the audience have fun, learn, and leave with actionable takeaways that will improve their businesses and lives.

And lastly, Don also does facilitation with Boards, Leadership Teams, etc. He helps push through obstacles and find new progress in their endeavors.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://donwilliamsglobal.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/don-williams-a63375a/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donwilliamsglobal/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/don_williams_global/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DWilliamsGlobal

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World-Class Master Sales Coach Don and His Entrepreneurial Journey

Pamela Bardhi
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of underdog today we have dawn Williams here with us how are you doing my friend?

Don Williams
I am wonderful. How are you, Pamela

Pamela Bardhi
Doing lovely, aside from this lighting that I was talking to you, like this lighting is just not getting it today but that’s okay. Your light is gleaming.

Don Williams
So it is a beautiful sunny day outside Fort Worth Texas today.

Pamela Bardhi
Beautiful, beautiful. How’s the weather been there the past few days.

Don Williams
So this time of year, it’s absolutely beautiful in Dallas Fort Worth, you know, lows of maybe 45 highs of 75. And so, for people who live here summer is we basically have two seasons, we have summer, and we have everything else. Summer is really long and towards the end, most people are a little weary of the heat. Ah, but this time it’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my god, those drastic temperatures remind me so much of here in Boston. You know, it’s like 40-degree differences. It’s like a warning, you got to be out and like it takes up at night. You need a jacket, and you’re always playing with your car heat and AC.

Don Williams
Right? Well, the big joke in Texas is always this. If you don’t like the weather, just wait, it is changing. That’s true.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s so funny because we say that you’re in Boston this year. I mean, it’s just like, it could be 71 days and then the next day it could snow. It’s like it literally happened to us on Halloween. On Halloween here the day before Halloween, it snowed. And then literally three days later is like 70 degrees out.

Don Williams
You just don’t know. That’s why it’s called weather.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s right. Well, I want to thank you so much for being here today. It’s honestly such a pleasure.

Don Williams
My pleasure.

Pamela Bardhi
You are fantastic. And I know there’s so much to your story. And I can’t wait to hear all about it. Like I said, total rock star. So as I mentioned, we’re kind of shifting from where you’ve been, where you are and sort of where you’re going. So whichever way you’d like to start to share your story is totally up to you.

Don Williams
Okay, well, I’m I just started the beginning. So I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Dorothy, and Toto, Wizard of Oz and me now, you know, at least three people from Kansas. My folks were the first generation off the farm and my grandparents were wheat farmers in Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota. And my first job was literally driving a tractor, in the field behind the combine says they were cutting the wheat, and I was turning the soil over. That was my first paying job and so different time now I’m sure you could get away with that. But you know, and I drove the pickup nine miles to the farm, to go to work.

So I learned two things that day. One, I learned what hard work really is and if you eat today, be grateful to a farmer somewhere. Because without them you’re not eating. The second thing I learned was, it was not going to be my destiny, to be a farmer, and so loving outside, but I knew that was not going to be for me. And so I took my first sales job. Most people know me for sales, though. I recently did a survey for I looked at a look for a bunch of people’s feedback. Sales were actually the number four of what they see me for. But for most of my career, I have worked with people on sales and at 19. I took my first sales job. And within less than a year was the top salesman in the country out of 450 salespeople.

That company promoted me to sales manager as much as a lot of companies do take the best sales rep, and make them a sales manager. That’s really not a great strategy. But it is very common. It worked out well for that company that took me less than a year to be the top sales manager out of 40 offices. And it was the kind of sales manager who not only had the best numbers in the best dollars but was able to promote other managers. And you know, one thing we stress in our leadership training is that you’re not really leading if you’re not helping other people lead if you’re not developing leaders. Are you really a leader?

Most people, when they look in the mirror, they’ll be like, Hmm, I don’t think I am leading if I’m not, you know, developing other leaders to carry on. So I started my first company at 26, I had been wildly successful as a sales rep and as a sales manager. And in my first big dose of humility, this was when I opened my first company, and I went from being very, maybe too confident, to I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do. My income is, you know, 20% of what it used to be. And I own the company. Seems like I’m working for all these people who work for me instead of the other way around.

I think sometimes people look at entrepreneurs say, well, that’s easy. And of course, the entrepreneur knows, oh, no, it’s probably much harder to be the entrepreneur than the employee. But some of us have no choice, we’re wired to do that, and we’re going to be unhappy otherwise. So it took me about two years to kind of connect the dots and figure everything out. And I’m just fortunate that I had some people to help me along the way that I could stay in business for two years.

In two years, I kind of figured it all out and went on to open 22 locations, no outside capital, no partners, you know, we sold our way to growth, which is not everybody’s path but was my path. And, then since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work with 300 of the Fortune 500, on marketing, sales, service, strategy, and execution. And so I didn’t know a whole lot when I started. But I learned a lot along the way.

Don Williams
Today, I’m fortunate to share some of those experiences and learnings with others and help them accelerate how long it takes them to get from A to B. So, we’re all going somewhere, or we should be we should have a destination, we should have an end in mind. I’m a big believer in coaches, mentors, people who’ve been there done. I don’t have to learn everything on my own. I, you know, there are things I can learn from you and from everybody and I should, unless I’m just a glutton for punishment, and I demand to learn it the hard way. And sometimes I’ve been that glutton for punishment. But today, I’d much rather RD – rip off and duplicate. And it’s just so much faster and easier and more fun to read the recipe. Just follow the recipe. Right?

Pamela Bardhi
That’s it?

Don Williams
So that’s kind of at a high level, the 35-year career I’ve had there have been multiple times in 35 years, where, I was I don’t know if I was the underdog, but I was under the house. I was under the bus, things were not going well, business to me is a cycle. And almost every and probably every but let’s just say almost every business is going to at times enjoy the upcycle and at times suffer with the down cycle. The biggest businesses in America we saw in 2008, GM and Chrysler, and without the help of the biggest business in the world, the US government backed by the US taxpayer, they die and but got a little help from their uncle and from everybody in America who supports that uncle.

And turned it around and you know, even now during pandemic times, which are pretty wild and crazy for everybody, I think, you know, automobile manufacturers are doing pretty good. I think I hired my first coach at about 45 and since that time, I’ve always had a Or maybe a couple of coaches, coaches on different subjects. And that led me to coaching helping other people do what they do and it’s the time factor. You know, I think it was Buddha who said, and we think we have time. When you’re 19 years old and a new sales guy, you know, you’re going to let its eternal time. At 60, it’s much more finite. So the two big issues in business are always time and money. How can you make the most of each? That’s where the real profit lies.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. Amen to that. I mean, you have such an interesting story, because you had mentioned that your family was the first out of the farm generation, correct? Yes. So how did you transition from going from the john deere tractor-trailer to your first sales job, and like, you know, what was sort of the thought process and steps that you took towards that?

Don Williams
So, I lived in a very loving home, my parents loved me dearly. And I wouldn’t say, I mean, we weren’t poor, but we didn’t really have a lot of money. But it was a different time. Frankly, I didn’t even know. I didn’t know we did that nobody had many back then. But I knew that at a very early age, my parents had taught me to be responsible and that if something was going to happen, you know if I wanted a helping hand, it was at the end of my sleeve. And so, and I think that’s a great lesson for people to learn is that you can be the master of your fate and the captain of your destiny, but you probably have to do it, nobody’s going to do it for you.

And don’t be discouraged. If you can’t, throw the 100-yard pass. Now, if you can only throw a five-yard pass, just do that. Just start, you know, and you’ll learn and you’ll get better. So actually, out of high school, I enrolled at Wichita State University, and I took a job. So if, you know, the rocky movie with sly Stallone, where he’s, pound on the sides have beef in the cooler. So I worked, in a beef packing plant where the head sides of beef and they turned it in hamburger and whatever. And so it was a very manual labor job.

A friend of mine called me one Friday and said, Hey, I just made this much money last week at the sales job. And it was about four times what I made in a week. So, I went and gave my notice, and went and applied at that company. They didn’t want to hire me, because of my age. I was like, 18, but not high school, four months, enrolled in college, like a minute. The first day, I can remember watching a salesperson do three or four presentations. He was unsuccessful on all of them. On his last opportunity of the day, I asked him, would you let me do this? And if I sell it, you know, how do I know? I mean, I’ve been on the job, like six hours.

But if I sell it, it’ll be your sale, you’ll get the commission. He was like, Sure. Well, I did make the sale. But the prospect did buy from me, I’ve never really looked, you know, there’s a lot of sales stuff out there. That is kind of like the battlefield of sales. And, you know, and like, I wonder if your prospect knows that you view it as war? Because that doesn’t, I mean, I wrote a book about romancing your customer. I’m all about doing things from the other person’s point of view. Yeah, I want them to feel good about it. And so I guess my version of sales is empathetic sales, empathy-based sales.

Because if I see and do everything from your point of view, if I look through those great red glasses, and see it from your point of view, it’s gonna be pretty hard for me to do anything too wrong. Doesn’t mean I’ll walk on water, but you’re gonna probably like and enjoy what I’m doing, you know, if I’m doing it from your point of view, and so many times, salespeople, and just people in general are, it’s all about me, I’ve talked about me, you talk about me and, you know that type of thing.

But in appropriate selling, it’s all about you. So I should represent a product service or experience that is much valued more valuable to you, Pamela, than your dollars are. And if I do that, and I explain the features and the benefits in a clear, understandable way, I think you’ll throw your dollars at me, because I don’t like my dollars as well as I like what you have. And so it just gets really, really simple.

I don’t knock any of the kind of traditional sales coaches and trainers who have a 17 page, this and a 22 step that and, you know, all that’s good, it’s they’re dealing really with the mechanical side. And you got to have some mechanics, you got to count some numbers, how many people will be talking to, how many people are buying, what’s our average dollars per unit, you know, I mean, you got to do all that. Okay, but truthfully, we can get somebody in about third grade, figure that part out. I mean, it’s just counting some numbers. But the magic happens when you play from your heart, and I had to learn that on my own. I’m very analytical. And for a lot of my career really relied on this horsepower. But the magic in my businesses really started when I focused on this horsepower.

So I have a friend, Lady in Whistler, Canada, and I saw her speak, I didn’t know her at the time, but she’s a friend now. I saw her speak in Bangkok, Thailand. And she was talking about how the brain controls the body with electrical impulses, which we know to be true. And that about 75% of the traffic starts in the brain and goes to the various parts of the body and 25% starts in the various parts of the body and is transmitted back to the brain. So touch and taste and all that with the exception of the heart, and the relationship between the heart and the brain is reversed 75% of the traffic starts in the heart and 25% in the brain.

And that scientifically, it’s been proven that we as humans perform better by a rhythmically when we perform at our optimum at our very best when we express our experience gratitude and at our very worst when we express or experience shame and my hope is no one in the audience is having to deal with shame but if you are, I want to encourage you to find somebody to help you get that monkey off your back it’s everybody’s made a mistake and my case more than one and you got to let it go but that gratitude I had really never lost anything I’d always kind of been the wonder kid and everything I touched worked. But I wasn’t grateful for it. I expected it. And I probably got it because I did expect it.

You know the stones have that song you don’t always get what you want. But sometimes you get what you need. And I think you almost always get what you expect. You know, whatever. Whatever you see in your mind’s eye, your brain is working to make that happen. But I had never really been that grateful and so literally reached back here. I got home, I went to Home Depot about this five years ago, this particular bucket, and I put a card in it.

That said gratitude and I started carrying this bucket around with me and so it would go I live in Texas it would go when I was in the pickup it would go when I was in the car. It sits on my credenza behind my desk. It would go to the office with me. It would sit in the den and I carried it for about Six months everywhere I went. And it was a physical reminder to be grateful. And the funny thing about gratitude is this, the more you practice gratitude, the more grateful you become.

Pamela Bardhi
Right.

Don Williams
But that’s just how it goes. So I’ll tell this big story, I got a Kleenex here in case I need it. So about, I don’t know, a year into that, I decided I was going to share my daily practice of intentional gratitude with my leadership team. Every Monday morning, everybody would get a minute or two to stand up and share one thing they were grateful for in their life. And even though I’ve hinted that it would be really good if somebody said, I’m so grateful that Don Williams runs our company, that I work for Don, but never, nobody’s ever said that. And so, I’ve done more than a hint, but anyhow, it’s typically something like this.

It’s like my nine-year-old daughter playing soccer. On her first three games, she wouldn’t even look at me in the stands. And on the fourth game, she introduced me to her friends, to her teammates, and something that is huge to the person. But maybe, you know, it’s not like to everybody else, it’s not like they won the lottery, it’s not Broadway lights and all that. So, I had been traveling I’m fortunate to get to speak on a lot of stages.

So in normal times, I’m always on an airplane going or coming from somewhere. I knew this lady who worked with me had been out, we also knew that her daughter was pregnant. What we didn’t know is that the physicians had told the daughter and her husband, that congenital defect, the baby probably would not survive the term. If the baby did survive, the term would probably be stillborn. If so what would perish almost immediately, and nothing can be done, you know, a congenital birth defect. We didn’t know that. So that Monday, Deborah stood up and said, I’m grateful. My grandson was born last week. And he lived an hour and I and my husband, and the other grandparents, and mom and dad, got to hold him and hug him. And tell him how much we loved him.

So I thought I was going to help teach people about gratitude. I learned far more than I’ll ever be able, to teach on that. I’ve done really well. I’ve told that story 500 times, and maybe five times where there was water, and sand in my eyes. So that and fortunate, too. I wrote a book about three years ago. And then we’re a second book and then a third book. And I’m in the middle of my fourth book right now, which is a book on gratitude. It’s a compilation of 99, I have about half of that. I’m searching for 99 collaborators, who would share a personal story from their life where they expressed, experienced, or witnessed the power of gratitude. My vision for that is that we influence a million people to start the daily practice of intentional gratitude.

I’m a business guy, the sales guy. We count numbers and we look at balance sheets and profit-loss statements. We do all that business stuff because that’s what I do. But this particular project is not is a passion project. Any and all funds are going to go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and so I won’t get a nickel, and I hope it makes a billion dollars. And we do some good at St. Jude’s. So I’m a big believer that gratitude is a healthy foundation for your life, for your business, for your family, for your personal self. And that and certainly for empathetic, selling empathetic influence.

When I see things from your point of view I get as close to perfection as I can get, and when I do things that benefit you first, and also benefit me, almost cannot stop the winds. I mean, it just really gets pretty simple. And if you do enough stuff, you’ll have some naysayers, you’ll have some, you will have some haters.

But it’s true, you know, whether someone wants to agree or not, it’s just true. And so it’s really propelled my businesses and my leadership influence to practice gratitude. today. Both of my parents are COVID positive. My mother is recovering. She’s like about day 14. And when I spoke with her this morning, I was like, hey, you’re better. Now, she is a natural soprano. She’s talking like a baritone. But she’s a lot better than she talked a couple of days ago, Though, my father still heavy cough. But they’re hardy stock, I expect them to do well.

I was with a client yesterday. We started the meeting with one good thing where everybody shares something they’re grateful for. And, I shared with a team of like, 16 people, one of them after, came up to me and said, You know, I love what you model. I’m like, Well, hopefully, you love what I say, too. And they’re like, yeah, yeah, but really, I love what you model. Because in the time you’ve been working with us, you’ve shared one, that the number three person in your company took another opportunity, and you were grateful about it.

I was like, Why I am grateful, I think it was the next step in their journey, and I don’t want to stand, you know, there’s going to be void, there’s going to be some things that are uncomfortable and new, because they were the number three person in the company, but the other side of it is, is so we’ll learn and grow. And he’ll learn and grow. And so, that’s a great thing.

Then on the COVID thing, she’s like, I just don’t understand. I’m like, look, it’s not, it’s a horrible disease. It’s highly, highly infectious. It’s so random. I don’t think anybody knows anything. Really. If they tell you, they really know. I’m like, I doubt if you know, it’s just, this person gets it and has five people in the house and nobody else gets it. And these people, it’s a super spreader, you know, who knows? But it’s gonna be okay. And so when you start with gratitude is your foundation. It’s almost your superpower. It’s almost like, you know, when Clark Kent rips off his shirt, yes, that big ass. It’s almost a big G. Big believer in gratitude, big believer in coaching learning from other people.

So you and I met not that long ago, six or eight weeks ago, probably. I’ve had a couple of conversations. So I’ll just attempt to list your accomplishments, but hey, go to Pamela’s website. Pamela is I think I’d say that on the podcast, she’s a highly accomplished entrepreneur. Okay, she’s really bad. So, you know, I was blown away. We both share a love for helping other people. And we also both have real estate businesses. Little you know, there are about as many ways to make money in real estate as you can imagine. And so, her way is a little different than my way but the thing they have in common is they’re both they both work and so I learned some things from Pamela in our very first conversation, and I have done any development.

Pamela is an accomplished developer. And so not really because of that conversation, but I am closing on some raw dirt here this month. Just in that one call, the wheels started turning, I’m like, Okay, what are we gonna do with that dirt? So, I think we’re gonna replant it with the dirt that we already own next to it. Then we have a project coming. And so big believer in, I learned that from a fellow in Malaysia, George Gann, great, man, great entrepreneur. It’s the concept of Shoshan, which is approaching everything with a beginner’s mind.

You know, to where you’re looking for the possibilities of what could happen, what we could learn what we could accomplish, as opposed to already know everything, this isn’t gonna work. Okay? Because we don’t know. So I have a client a couple of years ago, and he’s in the IT space, and he is brilliant. Like off the chart. He called me one day and he said, have, I think I have the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had this one opportunity would be multiple times our annual sales. Okay. And so like, huge, and a lot of business coaches will tell you never let anybody have more than 30% of your business or 40% of your business. Yeah. And I buy that, except when you get the call, and the pert and the opportunity is going to be 75% of your business.

Say yes. Okay, we’ll work it out later. Don’t say no, don’t say it’s too big. Say yes. Do the deal. So the client called about this huge opportunity, multiple of our total business revenue. But the problem is, they’re in China. And so I, you know, we can’t do it. And I listened for about five minutes of, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Too bad. Bla Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla bla, was like, Okay, okay, I’ve listened long enough time out time, etc. Could we spend 60 seconds just in what if?

Pamela Bardhi
Yep.Right,

Don Williams
You know, what if we could do it? How would we do it? Like, how would we, if we thought we could, and I know we can’t, but if we thought we could, I couldn’t be the first thing we do? Well, we’d need to do this. I was like if we got that done, like, what would be the next thing we do? I think we do this. And so we went through about 10 different stops. By the end of the call, he’s like, I’m calling them back. We’re in. Okay, that doesn’t mean we’ll get it. But I know we don’t get it if we don’t try.

Failure is guaranteed on every opportunity you say no to. And so said yes, meaningful conversations, long sales cycle, high value, you know, those deals don’t typically happen like that quick. I like real estate. Everything I do in real estate seems like it takes forever.

Pamela Bardhi
How you positioned it in such a way that you shifted the mentality of it right away. Like that’s your skill and talent. In business. You’re not like, Oh, don’t won’t show it’s so important to say, What if? Well, let’s do put it in like present testament and it makes it real and that I think, is one of the secret sauces of your success because you’re able to position your mind in such a way where you execute and you don’t really think about the negatives because if you get yourself wrapped in the negatives, those negative words, get into your thoughts, those negative thoughts get into your energy and if your energy’s off, nothing happens and people think, Oh, these you know, the words don’t really mean anything, but they do you know, just even the mind, the shift in your words, is huge.

Don Williams
Words are so powerful because they breed thoughts and the thoughts breed feelings. And I cannot stress this enough the magic and I’ve been an entrepreneur a long time founded a dozen companies that I went to every day. No. Was every tax return stellar? No. But if you look at the 35 years, I got no complaints. Life is pretty good. I’m pretty blessed. But the real magic started happening for me when I started playing from my heart. And so with that client, we just played a little what if we got back in the game. We got off the bench, we got on the field.

And then March came along, and the world shut down, closed up locked up, and the offer in China. Things in March were not great in China and but now, we’re eight months from March. The multibillion-dollar client big company they’ve had the pivot, they were going to operate in China. Now they’re not due to current geopolitical stuff. But the opportunity is back. And so would we be in the game, and at this point, I think it’s our deal to lose and that’s a good spot to be in, be the front runner. Okay, don’t be the second, if you’re the second runner run a little faster, get in first, be the front runner.

I’ll share a secret here in a second tell you how to do it every time. It’s not that hard. But I think it’s his veal my clients deal to lose at this point. All because in March, we had a little what-if. Then we took some action, that’s really important part got to take the action, okay? to affect the outcome. And so have stayed in touch for eight months, the base for the business is not going to be China. But they’re still going to need service. And we are the front runner. Okay, so here’s the secret to how to be a front-runner.

If someone reaches out to you, I don’t care what you sell, if you sell pizza, or plumbing, or Network Solutions, it makes no difference in product service or experience. If someone reaches out to you, why are they reaching out to you? They want to buy they’ve already made the decision, otherwise, they wouldn’t reach out, okay, now the people you reach out to is a little different. But if they’re reaching out to you, okay, and they’ve seen some of your material, whether it was digital or, analog, you know, the old stuff, mail and phones and all that stuff still work too. But if they’re reaching out to you understand this, they want love, and that even psychologically kind of need to buy, you know, when you get a like, on your Facebook or Twitter or whatever.

The people who design social media know that you get a little dopamine hit your brain manufacturers a little dopamine. And your brain says, huh, that’s good. Okay, and it likes that. There’s an addiction manipulation that happens there. It’s the same thing when people buy. So if I give you my credit card, or write a check or slide that $100 bill across the counter, how do I do that? I get a little dopamine because, in that instant, I control you. I’m giving you my dollars and you’re giving me whatever I want. People like to be in that spot. So if they’re reaching out to you, they want to love and even kind of need to buy. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself, have you ever met a shopaholic? And almost everybody knows one or four.

I have a friend. This is one of those shirts. They’re Robert Jackson. I think they are so they’re not a custom shirt. They’re not but they’re about a $300 you know, casual shirt, and they have some wild patterns. So I’m in Las Vegas with him and we’re at Caesar’s Palace. He walks into the gift shop and buys four shirts. I’m like, Okay, I need four shirts. And he’s like, well, he said When I get to 75 when you get 75 shirts, this company will make a shirt and name it after you.

And I’m like, okay, kinda not my kind of cool to some people. I don’t care if it’s named after me. I’m fortunate enough that I’ve traveled the world. So, you know, I’m blessed, and that, I’m able to order my clothes. You know, and they’re for me, right? Yeah. So I was like, well, so how many shirts do you have? He said I have 87. I’m like, so they’re working on your shirt. And he’s like, yeah, now these are $300 shirts. That’s $25,000 and casual shirts. I mean, I love him like a brother. But he’s not a shirt owner Holic. He’s a shopaholic. People get addicted to buying. They don’t get addicted to owning.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh,

Don Williams
Yeah. That’s just what goes on. So, I mean, everybody probably knows a woman who has 200 handbags. Yeah, I mean, it’s just what goes or 200 pairs of shoes. They’re not really addicted to owning, they’re addicted to buying. Okay, and so that speaks to that a, psychologically they need to, here’s how to be the front runner. Okay, it’s this, since they’re going to buy, because they are gonna buy, who’s gonna buy from you or they’re gonna buy from your competitor?

Pamela Bardhi
Yep.

Don Williams
I mean, that’s the deal. That came to buy, I’m gonna buy from you, or I’m gonna buy from competitor one or competitor two. All you have to do is be better than your competitor. And it’s not that hard. Because most people aren’t that good at it. So say, Please, and thank you, when somebody calls, you take the call, if you can’t take the call, write back. You can’t take a live, call them back immediately. Okay, if you get a form submission on your website, I mean, here’s what most people do. They spend tonnes of money on Google ads, or Facebook ads, they get phone calls or form submissions. And they turn them over to their biz dev team, and they get around to working them. You want to really make it, you want to really make your business rock and roll, call immediately.

When they reached out to you, whatever they wanted from you, right then. They’re not really interested in getting it next week, or two days from now, or this afternoon. I assure you, your competition is treating them like that. Okay, they’re calling them haphazardly, if at all. And so, I mean, we know this, that for people who source products and services, experiences online, that reach out to three vendors. And so if you’re going to cable your office, maybe you’d call three and get three bids, okay, or that would be your goal.

But the truth is 70% of the transactions happen with the first vendor you speak with, not the first vendor you contact, the first vendor you speak with, okay, so all your sales managers and all you salesmen and all your business owners. Notice I didn’t say the first vendor you email with or you text with the first vendor, you speak with. 70% of the business. So you want to be the front runner 70% of the time, talk to your lead like that. And it doesn’t guarantee that you are in the business, but the number says 70% of the time you do.

Pamela Bardhi
Yep.

Don Williams
And so it’s just not that most things in business are just not that hard. It’s, you know, take care of the basics. Yeah. And things will work out.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, absolutely. Oh, man. So that’s how to get from underdog to top dog really quick.

Don Williams
That is and that’s the power of empathy. So I spoke in Tulsa, Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. In-person events are kind of coming back around. So I’ve been on the road the last couple of weeks. Praise the Lord hallelujah. I love that. And so I spoke in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I was talking about empathetic selling. And that afternoon, I get a LinkedIn message from one of the attendees who said, Hey, when I left the meeting, I was on my way to another meeting, but I have a proposal that has died in front of a prospective bank client. They, you know, have great conversations very interested. You know, we’re building a relationship. They asked for a proposal, I sent a proposal.

Nothing, can’t get them back on the phone can’t talk to them. They just go study and that happens. So he said, you notice on this slide, where you talked about these three things, I took item two and item three. And both texted him my communication and left a voicemail. By the time I got back to my office at five o’clock that evening, I had my side master services agreement and contract. Now, I can’t, I can’t tell you that it wasn’t coming. Anyway, there’s no way for me or him to know that. But here’s the message he’s sending me. I reply, hey, number one, can I share that? He said, yes and number two, what’s the value of that piece of business? And he said we bill 40 to 60,000 a month. So just call it half a million a year.

And so I always challenge people to view what I share with open-minded skepticism, open-minded enough to listen, and skeptical enough, try it out two or three times. Okay? You know, because it takes that action, so good enough to learn. You also have to act if you want to affect the outcome. And so, last week, I was in, I don’t know where I was, I might be in Oklahoma City and I have a prospect and I do annual coaching, satisfaction guaranteed, you know I don’t want anybody’s money. If it doesn’t work for my given you’re not taking your money. I don’t want your money if it doesn’t work.

And so prospect, same kind of thing, great conversations. The team sends her a proposal. Okay, five or six unanswered emails. So in those emails, I’d said, Hey, I’m coming to the general area where you are, I’m happy to have lunch with you, or coffee or a glass of wine or, or nothing comes to your office and just meet you and nothing. Well, about eight o’clock the night before the event, I get an email and her question is, are you still coming in? Are you still available for lunch? I’m sure I am. And now I have to juggle some stuff. That’s what I already have planned, you know, but sure I am. So the lesson in that is this. If people don’t answer you the first time, keep reaching out.

Pamela Bardhi
Right.

Don Williams
Okay. You don’t know what they might be dealing with at that time. Sometimes, salespeople and managers and business owners, just take it so personally, you know, you’re like, Come on, let it go. Okay, don’t be mad, forgive them. Because you don’t know, they may pop back up at any minute. And then you don’t really know what they were dealing with at the time. And so don’t take it personally.

Pamela Bardhi
Right?

Don Williams
You know.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. These are the ways to get out of the entrepreneurial humps too. Because I see that in startup entrepreneurs when they’re like, you know, I haven’t gotten any sales I haven’t. And I’m like, you can’t take it personally. Like nobody knows your business the way you do. You got to pretend like you are one of your customers and you don’t know anything about yourself. You can expect the world to know and that was I mean, that I face that we know when I started when I was in my restaurant businesses and stuff.

The startup worlds are brutal in that respect. So like you said, just keep following up because you just don’t know what’s happening and has nothing to do with you. You just want what’s happening in somebody else’s life. So I absolutely love that. I absolutely love that. And I mean your book, romancing your customer. I think a lot of what you’re saying and I think that you’re you know, it seems to me that you’re easily able to shift into the sales world and grow exponentially because of this throughout your journey. You know, it’s been empathy and just your energy and all of that and people can trust you.

Don Williams
They will. I was on another show the other day, we were talking about being trustworthy. We’re talking about trust. And the host said, so how do you build trust? Because trust is the number one objection, the number one reason people don’t buy from you, is a lack of trust. Even though they don’t say, Don, I don’t trust you. Okay, but they never say that. They just say I don’t feel good about it. But it is a trust issue. And so when he asked me, so how do you build trust, I was like, it’s pretty simple. Be trustworthy.

And if you want to prove your trustworthiness, it’s really simple, make promises and keep them. And people will be shocked, because your competition if they’re making promises, they’re dropping the ball. I mean, when’s the last time a plumber told you, he was going to show up at 10 o’clock, and he was there at 10 o’clock. I’m not picking up, I’m not picking on plumbers. But I’m just saying, you know, contractors, in this area of the country, most likely they don’t show up at all the day, they’re supposed to much less light, they just don’t come at all.

So the damage in that is they don’t build trust, and every customer has more value than the next transaction. You know, so maybe it’s a $500, hot water tank for that plumber, I’m picking on plumbers today. Okay, but that’s not the real value. You know, with somebody like me, I have a lot of doors. And they all have plumbing behind them. Occasionally there’s an issue and so you don’t know what the true lifetime value of a customer is. And it’s not just them. It’s everybody they know.

Pamela Bardhi
Yep.

Don Williams
Everybody they know. Because if you’re referred, if you’ve done such a great job, that people say, Hey, I did this with Pamela. And I’m just telling you just call Pamela. That’s, as good as it gets. Hey, that’s, you know, that’s high enough trust that will send you my friends and family. And when you’re doing it like that, you’re doing pretty good. Now the other side is don’t rely on word of mouth and referral to grow your business. Because you can’t control it. You know, you can’t control the timing of it.

People will say good things about you if you deliver good experiences, but you can’t meet a post piece of business this week and get a referred or word of the mouthpiece of business this week. So you know, you have to have something where you are talking about yourself. And today, it’s easy. You can be your own media channel. You can have your own podcast like Pamela, yeah, have 30,000 connections and millions of followers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok. I just heard about that the other day, I was like, Okay, well, you know, there’s gonna, they’re gonna continue to be new platforms. It’s not just going to be Facebook and LinkedIn, just not going to be so. So I’ve really enjoyed being here. And I think I’ve, I feel like I’ve sucked all the oxygen out of the connection between Boston and Fort Worth.

Where To Find Underdog Don Williams

Pamela Bardhi
You’re phenomenal and you gave so much amazing advice. Then your personal story and how you’ve sort of experienced it throughout the years, going from your family going from the farm and like you broke that cycle to By the way, like you broke the cycle and you for your family and just elevated everything to a whole new level by just trying out that sales stuff and then, like, look at you now. I mean, I just think it’s remarkable and sort of what you’re teaching along the way you practice what you preach, which I think is so important in business, to be authentic. And that’s exactly what you are, and I can’t wait to read your book in full detail. To be completely honest. I think it sounds absolutely amazing. And now the world needs to know where to find you, my friend.

Don Williams
Oh, you can find me everywhere. Online. No, not everywhere. I’m probably the simplest is donwilliamsglobal.com is my website and then all my contact information is there and I think I’m on what I’m not on parlor yet but I trying to be everywhere on social media and I’d be happy to chat with anybody and offer some encouragement and some knowledge that you could act on that would ring that cash register.

It’s always a happier life when that cash registers ringing can be sad when that cash register’s silent. money’s not everything, but it helps. Yeah, it helps and a business is you know that to me, there are only two purposes under business. Everything has to fall under, bring money in or keep money from leaving. And that’s a business right there oversimplification. But if you’re doing something that doesn’t fall under one of those, you maybe have a hobby, and hobbies are good, but probably not good for your business to be a hobby.

Pamela Bardhi
You’re so wonderful. Thank you again so so much.

Don Williams
Pamela, my pleasure. Thank you for having me today. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. And if you don’t know Pamela reached out to her she’s worth knowing.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you, Don. You as well. You’re a rock star.

Don Williams
Thank you.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Don Williams.