Welcome to episode 4 of Dreamchasers! Today we’re covering how to improve the sales process, and how to think about your pipeline. The key is to see it as ‘alive’, not a factory funnel.
Since you’re running a small, business on a zero budget and a commitment to human marketing, then this is an important interview for you.
I totally, totally get how the pressure is on to pay the bills. But, if you’re applying that pressure to your leads, and pitching-and-running when you don’t get a yes, you could be missing out on valuable relationships.
6 months later, a year later, they could be ready to buy from you.
Join my guest Dale Dupree and me as we dig into how we can do it better, and end with a tip you can use right now.
Dreamchasers is the interview series for people who want human marketing on a zero budget. I’m your host, Dominic de Souza. Listen in for tips and insights, for 15 minutes a week. It’s the dreamers who make the future. Chase yours.
About Dale Dupree
Under the radically human and empathic inspiration from his dad, Dale re-invented how he sold copying machines. He became known as the Copier Warrior. Armed with all the insights and strategies from millions of dollars in sales, he’s turned around and ignited a rebellion, a sales rebellion.
His community and his course are all about learning how to use human marketing at its best, for the best – and longest running – results.
Hey everyone, thanks for joining me and Dale Dupree, Founder of the Sales Rebellion. This guy is so awesome, I don’t know what part to not geek out over and everything that he’s doing. He’s leading what’s called the Sales Rebellion, reinventing how sales is done.
I’m just gonna read this one little line from his bio, which is just phenomenal. He says,
I believe in radically educating your prospects on a first touch. I believe in responses, good or bad, but never indifferent. I believe your territory is your community. We enable sales wanderers. I believe your pipeline is alive. I believe people are more than just a signature for your deal. I believe in a fellowship over negotiations.
So he has this fantastic follow up where he says “people are not looking for the product expert as much as they’re looking for someone who is honest, intelligent, adaptable, empathetic, and real.“
Dale, thank you so much, and welcome to Dreamchasers.
Dude, thanks for having me on, man.
So you started in selling copiers. You said toner is in your blood. I used to have a photo copier in my garage, and I slept in the next room, and inhaled that burnt plastic all day.
You have now shifted into a coaching consulting program for helping anybody anywhere who’s in sales, to sort of explode open the process and get back to something that’s more human and more real.
Start there for just a couple of minutes. Why is sales broken today?
I mean truly it’s really just because of the tradition of what sales was in the 80s and 90s. People were making money.
Capitalism was taking over the United States even more so than it had before at that point in our history, here, and and across the world – it was becoming a very popular trend.
If you look at it from that perspective, the realistic side of it, it’s very easy to see why it got to where it was, and why it is the way it is now. Because again, when we set a tradition, we set a standard.
Or we say, “hey, this is the new way to do it.” And we see all these people making millions of dollars. Meanwhile we forget to ask the people that were paying them whether or not they even liked the person in the first place.
Once you start to learn those things and (as a copier person), when you walk in the front doors, you hear negativity being thrown at you, you think to yourself, “What do you mean? Why so negative? You don’t even know me!”
And then they started to unload on you, “oh well five years ago, here’s what happened, and three years ago here’s what happened, and the last time we upgraded a piece of equipment, here’s what happened, and again…”
Then we can take the puzzle pieces of this bigger picture and put it all together and say it’s not one person’s fault. It’s just the traditions in which my father, an his grandfather, had to persevere through.
It’s just basic human history unfolding.
Part of the opening video on your website has this little sheet of check marks of things that people assume they have to get through for sales, to push people through this process, you know.
Can you unpack that for a second? Because that sounded very (I’ve not seen the movie) Wolf of Wall Street. I assume that’s where you’re coming from.
If you’ve been in any type of very strict corporate culture when it comes to sales, then you understand it when that shows up in the video.
We’re super sarcastic, I think. Somewhere in the checklist, it says, “make ten thousand mindless calls.” But again, you have to be sarcastic with these subjects in most cases, to get your point across.
Because people say you can’t do ten ten calls a day and be successful, with which I definitely disagree with. But at the same time, I understand where they’re coming from. What we’re trying to help people to see is this bigger picture. It’s not about the ten calls, or with 150 calls.
It’s about the thought process and the mindset behind it. Why are you making these calls? Why are you doing these activities? Are you just trying to make a commission, and hit KPIs? It’s this concept of ‘how do I not lose my job, day in and day out, as a salesperson?’
We have to stop thinking like that, because that’s a survivalist mindset, and that’s a scarcity mindset. We need abundance.
Let’s take a step back now.
I’ll reference your bio because it’s a brilliant one, on LinkedIn. You talk about your father’s impact on you, and how that inspired you to go a certain way, and reinvent things within your own copier process, and then you went on to create this whole new program.
Can you talk us through some of your story, and what it is that inspired you?
To be quite frank, it was my existence, my upbringing, the culture that my dad built. I saw my dad do things so much differently than others. I’m not talking just in sales, I’m thinking about how you’re driving down the road, and you see somebody on the side of it with their thumb out.
They have no shoes, they’ve got a backpack on, their hair’s long. They look grimy. You’ve got two kids in the car. You don’t stop. The majority of America doesn’t stop. The majority of the world doesn’t stop.
My dad would stop.
It never mattered the situation of the circumstance, if somebody needed, help my father was the first one to lay down and say, “How can I be the one to do that for you?” Not for recognition or money or fame.
That used to make me mad because I always thought people need to see what he’s done. You deserve to be recognized for his works in the community. But my dad never wanted those things.
Not to deviate too much, but if you want to understand me better, let me tell you. When I played music and we would get on stage to play in front of a crowd, I was never comfortable. I was never comfortable up on in this platform with these five men that I shared the stage with, looking down and out at people.
I preferred when we would play a Legion Hall or a Moose Lodge, you know, or Order of the Elks, somewhere in the United States, where there was no stage and we would play on the floor. People were right in front of you. You could touch and feel and be on the same level as them.
I know that’s a crazy thought, to sit back and take that in deeply, but I’m asking people that are listening to do that, because that’s how you will understand me and my upbringing.
That’s why I decided one day that I’m just going to do it different now, for the sake of it, but for the good of my community.
So you’ve created an entire new sales rebellion, and if you haven’t please check out the video on the salesrebellion.com Check out the video. It will have you grinning from ear to ear and running for that email sign up. I know I did within 10 seconds.
Talk to me about your your REASON process and then how you radically educate somebody.
So REASON is to radically educate and share one’s narrative.
It’s the concept of pitching using storytelling methodology. So it’s not really pitching anymore, it’s just a conversation and using the oldest form of communication that man has ever known. Stories. It’s just the next level, essentially.
Really, it’s what a lot of people have been doing successfully in sales that don’t get the credit they deserve. If I can think of any sales person that’s ever just done a bang-up job in the process with me when I’m buying something, or even my mentors, like my father as well, I think about the storytelling methodology.
Maybe sometimes people do it and they they’re not even mindful of it, but it just naturally happens. Which again, I just think that’s our basic human nature coming forth.
So REASON takes things back to the root of what communication looks like. So the first two R and E stands for radically educate. A is attention. S is story. O is outline and N is nuance.
So that’s the breakdown of the curriculum that we’ve created. Again, it’s about helping people to see the pitch from a different perspective. If you’re an SDR and you’re making 150 calls a day, or even 50 calls a day, this is the way to infiltrate the boring, stale, monotonous pitch that you’re giving, and still make your boss happy and excited.
Because what they hear is synergy. If people are telling you ‘no’, they’re not hanging up on you, at least.
There is no silver bullet, I don’t care what people say. There is definitely a better way to do it. There’s a better way to get a ‘no’ faster and more efficiently. Because when someone hangs up on you, your boss says to call him back in a week.
But when someone says ‘that was, a great pitch but we use our brother-in-law, and we’re never gonna do business with you, but thank you for taking the time to call me.’
Who wouldn’t want a response like that? So for me back in 2010 that’s what I decided to start to build for myself. By 2012 I had put this whole process together and it was just like clockwork for me.
Whether it was through the door or on the phone, but it all starts with this radical education piece. Again it’s a work flow, and the radical education piece is a ‘drop piece’. That’s how we define it.
So if you want to DIY it, I have one in particular. I talk about my crumpled letter a lot. It was actually a real estate method that I had I had learned from a friend in real estate.
Try google ‘crumpled letter real estate.’ I took it and I adapted and molded it into my own concept. There’s other sales organizations that use it as well too. It’s a little known secret right but let’s let the secrets out of the bag, that’s what I say.
I have four versions of the DIY letters. There’s the ‘crumpled’, there’s the ‘pre-burnt’, the ‘letter traveled around the world’ and there’s the ‘coffee stain.’ My favorite is the coffee stain. I used to square up a letter to the size of a coaster, and literally take a coffee mug and put a stain on the on the top of this thing. I would write ‘please unfold and read’.
People would open this with a massive amount of curiosity. Instead of a cold call, they wonder “Who dropped this off? What is this?”
These are the things going through people’s heads, as opposed to picking up the phone and going “Hello…” knowing that you’re a solicitor, knowing they’re gonna hang up on you in the first place.
You create synergy and impact in those moments and impact in those moments. So we craft a very thought-out message that we send to somebody, that’s inside of that coffee-stained letter.
And that’s where the secret sauce is. If people follow me, they get into my curriculum. They learn these things. They’ll understand the mindset behind it, because it’s really a mindset.
You can do that for free, in your home and at your office. Just grab a printer, make 50 copies of this thing that you wrote up.
Take some time, drink a little coffee, and go and impact your community.
You talk about how your sales territory is your community. You’re not just running around dumping stuff off, a ‘hit and run’ mentality. It’s a different shift.
You’re trying to cultivate a community and I imagine that then feeds into your pipeline. It’s alive. Can you spend a minute just talking about what does that mean.
How is your pipeline ‘living?’
The idea is that the traditional funnel (or pipeline) is rusted. It’s leaking. It’s outdated, as are most of the people in them. They’re awful lists.
You call and ask for ‘Margaret,’ and they say “she hasn’t worked here in 15 years…”
The traditional pipeline looks like that. you get a list you start to call people you put it in the funnel you, find your 30 60 90 120, you shove them through to the bottom… and I just don’t believe in that process.
But I believe in that naturally being a process. I also believe it is that there’s people that are gonna buy from you in two years. There’s people that are gonna buy from you in five years. There’s people that are gonna buy from you in 10 years.
If you don’t have this long game approach to the beginning of your sales career, in two or three years you’ll be burnt out, thinking to yourself “I have to keep doing this over and over. I have to keep doing these cycles, and these systems…”
So for me it was always inside of the living pipeline that I’ve created. At the time, I thought I was the Copier Warrior. What my focus was that I was looking for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ A relationship good or bad, never indifferent. I was not looking to be indifferent to people.
So if I could even if I could get somebody to say ‘not interested,’ I have a branch inside of my living pipeline for those people. I get then again nuance a process, and healthily indoctrinate them in a very positive way to want to be a part of my culture, or just enjoy what I’m doing.
As opposed to being pissed off that I’m calling or emailing them in the first place.
So again, just a different perspective, and recognizing that that these are not ‘deals.’ These are people that make decisions. The best part is that if you cultivate a relationship with somebody, especially the receptionist, or somebody who makes decisions in the C-suite, there’s an average tenure at each position. The receptionist is somewhere around two years.
So let’s say that the receptionist likes you, and she moves on to another location – someplace you can’t get into. You can go and call over there as well.
So it’s this snowball effect, right? This build up. These relationships that can carry over and they can cause more success.
But you have to put time and energy into it. That’s why most people don’t like this stuff. They don’t want anything to do with it.
It’s especially sales leaders, management VP’s, that C-suite of leadership, the old-school methodology and mentality, from the 80s and 90s. They’re still thinking “I called every day, and made this success.” That’s dead, guys. It’s dead, from the perspective of the success that you could be having in millions of dollars.
Why not work hard, while still creating quality at the same time. Being focused on quality over quantity. Again, having this ethic, this hard work ethic inside of that and stepping outside of the box, being yourself, being authentic, moving and impacting the people around you.
That’s the idea for sure.
It takes a level of emotional investment that a lot of people aren’t prepared to do. I mean that’s what it takes to be a friend, right? As opposed to cold calling, and then you move on.
Building that friendship for the long-term, yes, it’s a longer haul, but hey, it pays off in loyalty. Can you give us one actionable tip, like a radically educating idea that people can start implementing. Reference maybe the coffee cup thing.
If you’re somebody who’s working remotely, and you aren’t able to walk into your ‘targets’ office, and you’re on LinkedIn, or able to do it online, what’s something that you would recommend?
I’m gonna read you this text right here. This is from one of my students the other day. He’s an SDR. He’s an AE and an ST, kind of a hybrid role. He’s in Florida, and got offered a job in Alabama today because of the crumpled letter.
“Evidently half the company was talking about me and the letter. So the company has over 200 employees, and they were all looking at my profile as well too.”
So he got massive hits on his profile.
He ended it with this; “I mailed the letter.”
So the other thing you have to realize is that a lot of people think that if I put the letter in the mail somebody will read it, as opposed to dropping it off. That’s not the case. Anything that comes in from an email to a letter through snailmail is junk if they don’t know who it’s from, and if they don’t recognize it.
If it shows up in a FedEx box, it’s junk. But what if it shows up in an Amazon box? Every man listening with a wife, your wife loves Amazon right? That’s just the way it is. I can’t even tell you how many Amazon boxes that show up to my house. If that came to my office, I would I would absolutely open it. I wouldn’t even check to see where it was from.
But also the concept of this particular individual who I’m talking about; he sends the letters. They come in these envelopes that get your attention.
Now that’s about the most I’ll say because the thing is here is that I don’t like to give my students specific directions, but to have a conversation that opens their minds, and allows them to create that success for themselves.
Not to try and mimic exactly what I’ve done to be successful. Because it’s important that their authenticity – and everybody listening, your authenticity shows up in that envelope and in that letter, and not just something you learned from Dale at the SalesRebellion.
It’s not about learning a list of tactics, but getting the the strategy, and the ideas, so that you can go and wow your own clients in your own way.
Dale, this was fantastic.
We have Dale Dupree, from SalesRebellion.com Please give him a follow on LinkedIn.
One of his most recent articles (as of this podcast) is called ‘Leading a Sales Rebellion,’ and that breaks down more of his REASON process.
Check out the course.
Thanks again Dale!