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S: Welcome to Marketing Speak. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. I’m so excited to have Ephraim Olschewski join us today. He’s had a profound impact on my life as you’ll soon discover. Ephraim is a high performance coach for business owners and executives. His coaching starts a $100,000 a year for individuals and a million dollars a year for organizations. Ephraim is an expert at sales, business process, mindset shifts, intentionality, and in general, just showing up powerfully in your business and in the world. I’m gonna go out on a limb here to say that I think some of the distinctions you’ll gain from today’s episode will change your business, your relationships, and even your life. Welcome Ephraim, it’s so great to have you on the show.
E: Thanks for having me, it’s great to be here.
S: We did an amazing podcast over on The Optimized Geek, which I wanna do a shout out on. It was episode number 27. On that episode, we went into great depth on intentionality, being intentional in everything you do. It was a very powerful conversation. All you listeners need to go check out that episode. Ephraim, I wanna start with a fact that you do six- and seven-figure deals on a regular basis. In fact, those are the only deals you do pretty much because you’re coaching costs six or seven figures, depending on whether people are working with you individually or their company is working with you. How do you close six- and seven-figure deals? I’d love to have a conversation about that because it’s a different ballgame. It’s such a considered purchase; it’s not an impulse buy.
E: Yeah, definitely. It’s great, and it’s so great to be back here. I know we’re not on The Optimized Geek, and that was a great podcast. I enjoyed doing it with you and excited to be here talking about sales and marketing. The thing about, for me, coaching – I’d say, distinct from consulting. It isn’t consulting. Maybe at times, there’s some aspects of that, but really it isn’t consulting. It’s coaching. I don’t know if we could talk specifically in that realm. I’m sure you have a lot of listeners, who are not coaches and maybe they sell something else. But I would say that, for me, coaching, I’ve not wanted to try to sell it or close, and I’m a sales guy at heart. Really, I love selling. I think it’s really about having relationships, no matter what you’re selling. Selling is really a function of relationships.
S: Right, but the thing is a lot of people think of relationships in very generic terms, like we’re all in relationship with each other. What makes a relationship a powerful relationship for you, that it may turn into a very large deal, or they might refer a very large deal to you, even if they’re not gonna do business with you themselves? Just as a clue, I think it might have to do with relatedness and what you described as the wall of contexts in a conversation with me once.
E: Relatedness. When I think about relatedness, I think about summarizing it that I’m in another person’s world. I don’t know that it’s really possible, but I attempt to get out of my own world and into the other person’s world. If you and I are having a conversation, I wanna know what is it like being Stephan and do the most work that I can do. That means I gotta leave all my stuff, about what it’s like being Ephraim. I’ve gotta leave all that over here. In a way, what I’m saying is impossible, but I wanna be in your world and be sensitive to your concerns and what’s important to you. Really, my purpose in the relatedness is I wanna serve the person that I’m with or the company that I’m with, whether it’s a client or it isn’t a client or it’s a prospective client or it isn’t a prospective client. I wanna serve them. I know that I can’t serve them, if I’m not in their world. If I’m not related with them, I can’t serve them.
S: It’s like we’re all living in our own movie theater. You’ve described this analogy before. Let’s talk about that. What is this movie theater analogy, and how does this help us get into other people’s world?
E: If I can go step back – and there’s a great quote from Werner Erhard. He said – I’m paraphrasing, but he said, “I want you to go from you’re living your life to you are an actor playing a role called your ‘life.’” If we look back, like if you went into the movie theater and you sat down and you watched your life unfold on a movie theater. But if you went into someone else’s – if you and I are sitting there, and we’re both watching the movie about my life, it means something totally different to me than it means to you. If I can come into your world and be related with you, I would actually get some of the meaning that what is unfolding in your world or what has unfolded – I would get some of the meaning and the purpose that that has for you. I’d really be sensitive to what’s going on in your world and what’s made you who you are today. I think it’s like taking a real genuine interest in somebody.
S: We have this movie theater we’re sitting in, where it’s like a projection of the person that we’re seeing. We’re not really seeing them; we’re seeing a projection of them. It’s very two-dimensional. There’s a lot of aspects to them that we’ll never experience or get to see. Similarly, they’re doing the same thing. They’re in their movie theater watching a movie, and we’re one of the characters. They’re seeing a two-dimensional version of us. How do we create that relatedness, where we see a fuller picture of that person, or do we just accept the fact that they’re in their movie theater and we’re in ours and we try to just imagine what it’s like being in that movie theater and their mind?
E: I think we could probably do a bit better than trying to just imagine it. Because you know what it’s like when you’re with somebody and you feel like they really get you. I think that’s what’s happening. I think that’s what we’re trying to describe anyway. We’re saying, “How do you recreate – when a person has an experience of being gotten? When they are with you and they go, ‘I really like that guy. He gets me.’” What most of us bring into our relationships is all this context of who we are and the way that we see the world, and it makes it really difficult. The best that most of us do ever is we see the world – we try to see the world the way they see it, but we’re trying to see it the way we see it, the way they see it. I’ve gotta do the best that I can to leave the way I see it out of it and just see it the way you see it. I’m saying, I don’t know if it’s even possible, really. The attempt of it is really valuable because if I do a good job in it, you’ll feel gotten. It’ll create a closeness between us because I’ll feel like I know something about you and have some sense of what it’s like to be you, and you’ll feel that same way likely.
S: It’s really important that the person feels gotten. But what if I get the person, and they don’t feel it?
E: That can happen. Certainly, that could happen. You could feel like you have really gotten something. I think about my relationship with my wife. You’re married, and I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, but for me, my wife has looked at me at times in our relationship, and she goes, “You don’t get it.” I’m going, “I think I get it,” and she’s saying, “No, you don’t get it.” I think that’s what we’re talking about right now. It doesn’t really matter, unless the person gets that I got it. I can be here going, “No, I really got it. I really got what it’s like.” If she’s saying, “No, you didn’t get it,” then I didn’t get it. What matters is that she actually goes, “No, you get it.”
S: Basically, it doesn’t count unless that other person feels gotten.
E: Yeah, I would agree.
S: That’s a client, it’s a prospect, it’s a supplier, a distributor, business partner. It doesn’t matter who are you talking to. That pretty much rings true across the board.
E: Yes. For me, that’s the stand I take around it. For me, that’s just something that I really intend to practice as I go through my life. I wanna relate with people. I want them to have an experience of me that I’m in their world, that I’m sensitive to their concerns and what’s important to them. It creates a relationship. It creates a closeness between us.
S: When you’re closing deals, it’s like you’re just there to serve, and it just so happens that serving them means signing a contract with them and having an agreement, and that agreement is for 12 months of working with you paid upfront.
E: Yeah. The only thing is that we don’t use contracts. I just work with people whose word is more powerful than any piece of paper. We have an agreement. You’re certainly right about that. There’s just no contract. It’s unnecessary. When we are both operating is that our word is – years ago, Stephan, when a handshake – and that was how everything worked because the handshake meant something. We’ve gotten to a place especially, sadly to say, in a lot of the business world, that our word doesn’t mean much. There’s a saying that “Talk is cheap,” but talk isn’t really cheap. It’s just that we cheapen our talk. It’s really this simple. If I need a contract to work with somebody, it’s not gonna work. There’s certainly a place for contracts. Don’t get me wrong. As far as an agreement goes, yes, we have a really clear agreement, but I don’t look at it as that. In the world of, for me is coaching – I don’t look at it like I’m closing the deal. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s not how I see it. But I certainly, in different parts of sales – I have a client in the IT business. They close deals. They close big deals. I can certainly relate to it in that sense. I’m coming from a place of: I wanna look at two things. I wanna look at what’s my intention. In that, I wanna see “is my intention to get something or is my intention to give something?” While I’m not gonna pretend like I do this perfectly all the time, it’s a practice for me, and I’m really working on it – is how do I – if it’s to get something, I’m pretty certain I’m coming from a place of lack. There’s some kind of a lack, and I’m gonna get something. Where I wanna come from is a place of contributing. I wanna give. I think that’s attractive to people. I think people wanna work with that, no matter what you sell – if you sell real estate, if you sell IT, if you sell used cars, if you are a consultant or a coach or one of the other millions of things that you could possibly sell.
S: It’s powerful. Let’s differentiate for our listeners the difference between an agreement and a contract because they’re fundamentally different.
E: Certainly. In my mind, I don’t actually know if there’s some – but in my mind, a contract is like we would have some piece of paper and it would have some terms and we would both sign it. Something like that. An agreement is really when a person’s operating by agreement. We’re really clear about what we’re agreeing to. When I’m working with somebody, we’re really clear about what the agreement looks like. We might even have a document, where our agreement is kept. But there’s nothing like the act of a signing for either of us. It’s actually never even been a topic of conversation. A person would never work with me, if they felt like they needed me to sign a piece of paper to deliver on what we’re gonna create together. Certainly, if you’re buying a car, you’re gonna sign a contract to buy the car. There’s a place for contracts.
S: An agreement is around honoring your word or keeping your word. Maybe we should differentiate those two things. A contract is around terms and signing a document and potentially going to litigation, if the terms of the contract have been violated.
E: Yeah, absolutely.
S: Let’s talk about keeping your word versus honoring your word and how important our word is.
E: To me, language is the foundation of creation. Everything is created. I think of why I love selling is because selling is really just pure creation. You can have a conversation with somebody that you’ve never met. Regardless of what you sell, you can meet a person, and you can have a conversation with them, and you can create a relationship that’s mutually beneficial, that actually really serves the other person, and you get served at the same time. It really works. That’s creation. You can’t do that without language. If you and your wife don’t communicate, you aren’t gonna have a very good relationship. It’s hard to create anything without language. Everything is happening in language, not just what we’re speaking, but there’s body language. All of our thoughts are recurring for us in language. Language is the foundation of creation. Our word – it’s really having a relationship with your word is that who I am is my word. We could talk about this for hours, and there’s some really great pieces. I don’t know if you have some resources, but there’s a great piece from Michael Jensen and Werner Erhard on the New Model of Integrity. That’s something that you could share with your listeners, and that’s something we can dive in.
S: We’ll put that in the show notes for sure.
E: That’s a great piece. I think it was just published in some prestigious financial magazine. It’s a thing they’ve been working on for years and years. But the difference is, when I honor my word, there’s gonna be times when I just am not gonna do the thing that I said I was gonna do. Keeping my word is really simple. It’s that I’ve done the thing I have said I would do or not do, and I’ve done it on time. Or in the case of not doing it, I haven’t done it at all. In honoring my word is that there’s times when I’m just not going to do the thing that I’ve said I would do, for whatever reason. Now, I’ve got to deal with the impact of it because it does create a mess when we don’t do what we say we’ll do, when we don’t actually keep our word, so there’s an impact for that. We wanna do our best to deal with that – to clean up the mess that it makes when we don’t keep our word or when we take our word back, and we aren’t gonna be keeping it, but we wanna honor it. Honoring it is letting the person or persons know that you won’t be keeping your word and then dealing with what is the mess it causes by not keeping my word.
S: One book that I think is quite impactful is the Four Agreements. One of those agreements is to be impeccable with your word. I will be impeccable with my word because really at the end of the day, that’s all I have – is my word.
E: Yes. I think the key distinction here between keeping your word and honoring your word – see, if you don’t have access to honoring your word, if you look and you are really honest with yourself about what happens when you don’t have access to honoring your word – what I mean is that when the only option that exists for a person is for them to keep their word, and every one of us are kidding ourselves if we think we always keep our word, because we don’t. So when we do that and we don’t have access to honoring our word, what we do is we cover up that we haven’t kept our word, and then it creates a mess.
S: It creates a terrible reputation for yourself, and you don’t end up retaining clients. You don’t end up getting new deals, referrals. All these business opportunity dries up because you’re not a person who is impeccable with their word, who isn’t relied upon to keep their word or to honor their word.
E: I think that what it really causes. Doesn’t it cost peace? You don’t have peace of mind. When I look back in my life and I see the times when I’ve been most out of integrity – if I’ve had my word and it’s a mess in a bunch of places, I don’t have peace. It’s like I gotta take stuff just to sleep at night, but when my word is impeccable or I’m at least attempting to have my word be impeccable – there’s just gonna be times when our word isn’t always impeccable. We’re human beings. But when I’m actually even just attempting to have my word be impeccable or attempting to deal with the mess that I’ve made, it really creates a peace and a freedom.
S: When you are the kind of person who does what they say they’re gonna do, then people rely on you and you operate a whole other level. All sorts of abundance comes into your life and your business. You do much larger deals. You close a much larger percentage of those deals. You’re in a flow state. Life happens for you, not to you. It’s an amazing thing, and yet so many people are just in the realm of making excuses and having reasons.
E: My experience is consistent with yours – what you just shared.
S: There’s all these tactics that people use, close techniques, negotiation techniques. I took a Karrass negotiating seminar many years ago. It was great. There were so many cool tactics, like leaning back in your chair and making this fish-looking face like you’re just exasperated and you’re about to walk out the door on the negotiation, and then they suddenly cave on a bunch of terms that they were unwilling to negotiate on. That’s cool, but tactics – back in the olden days when Sun Tzu was around, and he wrote the Art of War. He wrote that tactics without strategies – the noise before defeat. What we’re talking about now about being impeccable with your word, honoring your word, keeping your word, and being intentional is this strategy. These close techniques – you’re presuming that the deal’s already done and sliding the paper over and all these sort of stuff. They’re just sleight of hand tricks in comparison to the strategy of being authentic, real, reliable, relatable. It’s a different ballgame.
E: Yes. What’s interesting is what you’ve shared – I just realized I’ve actually not had any real, formal sales training, at least nothing I can think of. I’ve never actually been to a course on selling or some kind of a seminar on selling. I can’t recall anything like that.
S: But yet you’ve done so many seminars taught by people like Werner Erhard, world-class people, who operated a whole other level. Maybe the sales is just embedded in there because you’re one of the most successful sales people I know. The amount of money that you make on a personal level is practically unheard of. It’s really impressive. You’ve got it down. You’ve figured it out, but it’s not based on tricks. It’s based on authenticity, and that’s really cool.
E: Thank you for the comment on authenticity. I like money as much as the next person, I think. But for me, I guess, I’m not that smart, I don’t think. So I’m not really that good at trying to remember all those sales tactics and techniques and things. I bought Cialdini, the new one – Pre-Suasion. When I was reading that, I was like, “How could I ever remember any of this stuff? How do I remember to do any of this?” Or some of the other ones like Pitch Anything. I read that book years ago, and I was like, “I don’t think I can remember any of these.” When I’m in the process of actually working to create an agreement that I’m gonna work with somebody or something, I’m just not that smart, so I’m not very good at remembering all those tactics and what to do. I’m just not that good at it.
S: You’ve got something much more powerful, which is just the relatedness and the distinctions of operating in this more intentional level. I don’t think you need all the different tactics, the NLP, all that sort of stuff, the leaning back in your chair. You don’t need it. I remember you gave me a book by Grant Cardone. There’s some great close tactics and techniques in there. I forget the name of the book off the top of my head. It’s got a white cover. Good book.
E: Maybe The Closer’s Survival Guide or something.
S: The Closer’s Survival Guide.
E: What I like about Grant – Grant Cardone is one of those guys that I think people either really like him or really don’t like him. What I like about Grant is that a lot of his tactics and strategies and stuff, I think, are really cheesy, and I would never recommend it. But what I like about it is he has a really powerful context around selling. The guy is not afraid to sell. So many people are afraid to sell. If you look back, you went to school longer than I did, but you spent thousands and thousands of hours in school. How many classes did you take that taught you how to sell?
S: That would be zero.
E: Yeah, it’s amazing that people can go through – they can like these incredible, expensive degrees, and they never were in a class that actually taught them how to sell. But really, some of the most effective people in the world – I’m guessing in your life, some of the most successful people, whether they’re sales people or not, they’re sales people. They know how to sell, and they’re good at it. But we don’t teach it. Sales is kinda taboo. It’s like if you can’t get a respectable job, you’re gonna do something where you sell something. I love selling. I think it’s an incredible profession.
S: Yeah because you’re creating.
E: Yeah, and as long as it’s done ethically. There’s certainly an unethical way that a person can go about it. But to me, I love the – you connect with somebody. You don’t even know him. You might just have met him on the phone just now, and you connect with them. You create this relationship together, where something happens. I love the whole process. To me, it’s not about the end result. It’s not about getting the deal or not getting the deal or whatever. I just love the whole process. Some amazing people in my life who I’ve never worked with and likely will never work with, but we have really amazing relationships. That’s the fulfilling thing for me – is the relationship part of it.
S: If we go back to this idea of being reliable and honoring your word, keeping your word, and just the little things that you do like showing up on time for a sales call or a client call. On time means at the exact time, not a minute later, not two minutes later, not even three seconds later. You hover over the buttons on the phone so that ten seconds before, you can start the dialing process to be right at the exact zero-zero mark of the time that you said you’d call, which shows a great deal of intentionality and impeccability with your word. If you do that across the board in everything that you do because how you do one thing is how you do everything, then people will rely on you and people wanna do business with you. You don’t have to use any of these tactics.
E: I think, you know me well enough to know that I’m just not a fan of the tactics and the strategies and all that kind of thing. I have a client, who’s in the real estate world, and we’ll talk about working with their team. You know, Stephan, I’ve never been a realtor. I’ve never sold houses as a profession, but we sit down and we’re in the conference room. The team is together, and I said, “I don’t know. Let’s just roleplay it. Let’s just go with it.” I don’t know what their scripts say. I say, “You call me up.” This guy was really tough. He calls me up. He just wants to know the price of the house on the sign. That’s all he wants to know. “What’s the price of the house? Why isn’t it on the flyer and what’s the price of the house?” He ended having this great conversation with him. We’re role playing, and he’s trying to be really difficult. At the end of it, he’s like, “Okay, I’ll see you tonight at your office.” I don’t know what their scripts say. I don’t know what their piece of paper would tell me to say, but to me it’s like, “Look, it’s a human being on the other end of the phone. Why don’t I talk with them like they’re a human being and just actually be with them?” Then whether we do something together or not, whatever. Whether they buy the house or not, well, whatever. “Why don’t we just be together? Let’s just be human beings together, and then whatever will happen with that.”
S: As a realtor, if you’re doing stuff like when somebody buys from you, and they’re moving into the neighborhood, you bring them a housewarming gift or you set up a welcome party with the neighbors in the neighborhood to come over and do a meet-and-greet. You’ve already done the deal; you could just move on, but you’re building so much relatedness. In fact, they wanna refer other folks to you and work with you again, if they move and wanna buy another house, and that’s in the area that you serve.
E: It’s funny, as I’m picturing a realtor like a real estate agent listening to this conversation right now, and they’re saying, “Oh no, I do that. I send them a bottle of wine or I send them steaks or whatever. Oh no, I do that.” I think some of the stuff is like – actually just be a decent human being. You don’t need some kind of a really crazy strategy or tactic or something. Just be a decent human being. I was talking with Bob Goff earlier today, and he told me that he has a person in his life who is getting divorced, and he’s been pretty distraught about it. He mailed him a hard hat and a hammer. He sends him this hard hat and a hammer, and the guy calls him and he’s like, “Why did you send me a hard hat and a hammer?” He goes, “Because your marriage is gone. We’re not gonna do anything about that, but we can go to work in rebuilding the rest of your life.” I think it’s just simple things sometimes. It doesn’t have to be a strategy or tactic. You could actually just be a decent human being. I think that’s what people wanna work with. I think it’s nice enough if you’re a realtor to send somebody a gift or whatever, and I know that’s all crazy regulated in what you can and can’t do. I actually think that if I was a realtor and somebody was moving into their house, and I came over and helped them move, that would be way more meaningful to them than if I send them a bottle of wine because I actually care that they’re moving into their house. I stopped by one night, because I was thinking about them – I was actually thinking about them. I really liked working with them, and I’m wondering how their house is for them. Maybe I bring a pizza or donuts or something. I don’t know. It’s just like I’m just being a decent human being. It doesn’t have to be a strategy.
S: It’s not about the gift. It’s not about the way that you send it or whatever. It’s just doing it in a way that shows you care. For example, you could send a bottle of wine, but if you brought it over in person, that says something more that you really care. If you actually brought them something that you know they like, instead of just this standard bottle of wine they might not even drink. They might even like wine. Did you take the time to find out what they like? For example, I did a TV appearance in Tucson, Arizona, and I found out that the TV producer loves hotdogs. My gift for the TV producer as a thank you after I’d finished the TV segment, while I was still there in the studio, was to give him a package of gourmet hotdogs. I’m vegetarian, and I had never been or at least not in decades been in a hotdog aisle trying to find that and buy hotdogs, but I figured it out. It was all wrapped in fancy paper and everything, and he loved it. He even took a photo of it and posted it to his Facebook. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to show relatedness and that you care. It’s really, really cool.
E: Can you imagine that as a strategy? Some people – hotdogs. That wouldn’t be a good strategy. But in this case, it’s actually important to the guy. I love that. You have nothing to get from him.
S: Although I did get another TV appearance on another topic. I think that that made a difference, but the intention wasn’t I’m just playing a game, trying to get something from him and seeing how I can manipulate. I was genuine. I gave him something that I thought he’d enjoy, and he did. That was pretty cool. One thing I wanna mention before we move on to other topics is you’ve mentioned Bob Goff. For those listeners who don’t know who he is, he’s kind of a big deal. He wrote the book Love Does, which is a huge best-selling book, New York Times bestseller, I believe. Lots and lots and lots of copies sold. I’ll add a link in the show notes to that great book.
E: Stephan, so that everyone knows, all the money from the book – it all goes to non-profit. None of it goes to him. It all goes to the non-profit work that they’re doing around the world.
S: Let’s circle back on a similar topic around sales that you need to believe in what you’re selling in order to sell it. Let’s talk about that.
E: I can’t imagine selling something that I don’t believe in. I’d either have to be just an incredibly good liar and just way good at faking it, or I actually have to believe in the thing that I’m selling. I think that the former gets sniffed out. If you don’t actually have this confidence in the thing that you’re offering, it’ll get sniffed out.
S: Or if you don’t have confidence in yourself, as the person who’s delivering the thing.
E: Yeah, absolutely.
S: If it’s consulting or coaching, man, I offer SEO consulting. I offer SEO coaching. If I didn’t believe in what I was selling, if I didn’t believe in my capabilities to deliver actual results that far exceed the investment that they paid in terms of the ROI, then that would show up in my speech, in my mannerisms, in my body language. It would be a repellant to selling.
E: Especially in the case like where you’re talking about – if you are the one responsible for delivering the thing, your own confidence in yourself is certainly gonna play a big role in it. Even if you’re not the one delivering the thing or responsible for delivering it, even if you sold SEO consulting and coaching and somebody else did it – nobody is likely gonna buy from you if you don’t actually have confidence in the thing that you’re selling. Confidence in yourself – to be confident is – we could go off on a whole tangent on it. In a lot of ways, it’s overrated, but there is something to say about this certainty. We could call it confidence. But I think that confidence is probably not what everyone thinks it is. It’s probably not as great as everyone thinks it is. We could use the word confidence – having confidence in yourself.
S: What is certainty then? Why do I need to have certainty in order to be effective at selling?
E: I’m slightly hesitant to reference the study because I don’t remember exactly what it was. I don’t remember what university it was, but they did a study. It was males between the ages of 18 and 35, I think. There were all these different segments of who was the most confident and who was the least confident and who was the highest income earners and who were the lowest income earners. Ironically, the most confident group was also the lowest income earning group. Maybe that’s not what we’re talking about when we’re saying confidence. Because you can sort of manufacture confidence in a way. It’s not pretend confidence. It’s not like you’re pretending to be confident. You don’t even have a thought about being confident because the whole thing doesn’t even exist for you as a concern. Certainty is – for you, if you’re selling SEO consulting and you don’t have certainty in your ability to deliver on the thing and really a certainty in yourself – I was just on a call with a client today, and it was a big company. Every person in the world would know who this company is. Just about every person would know who they are. This would get sniffed out real quick, if there wasn’t a real certainty around what is being offered in the conversation. It wouldn’t work out. Immediately, the person on the other end of the phone would absolutely know. “This isn’t gonna work. We’re not gonna be able to work with this person.” There’s a lot we could say about it. To me, it’s an important part of it – a person’s own state when they’re in the process of selling.
S: How do you get into that state of certainty and confidence, not bravado, but confidence that it’s going to work out, that you’re steering them in the right direction? Is there a book, an audio program, or a seminar, something that you would recommend?
E: That’s great. Books are great. There’s informative learning, and there’s transformative learning. A book is gonna provide informative learning. You’ll learn something from it, and that’s great. But transformative learning is when you have an experience of something and it transforms the way that you experience your life from that time on. I don’t know of a book. If you happen to find one, let me know. I think that’d be really great. What’s that one? Stealing Fire, have you read that one?
S: I haven’t.
E: I think that’s what it’s called, isn’t it? Was it the Rise of Superman? Is that a book?
S: That’s about flow states. The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler, I think.
E: Yeah, he just wrote a new book that I have not read yet. I’ve read bits and pieces of it. I think it’s called Stealing Fire. It’s more of the same idea – I think, more research into it. That might provide some good insight. I read some of the studies that they referenced in there. That might provide some insight for it. I think the answer that I would go with from going back to what we said earlier, there’s something so powerful about knowing you can count on yourself. It’s just so powerful. You said like showing up on time. My gosh, if I cannot get to a lunch appointment when I say I’m gonna be there, when I say I’ll be there, how do I do anything else? If I can’t pick up the phone and call you at the time I said I will call you? How easy is that?
S: If I can’t be relied upon in the sales process, let’s say, as a sales person to do what I say I’m gonna do, like, “I’ll send you that proposal by such and such date” or “I will follow up with you and find out the answer to your question and get back to you via email,” and I don’t do it. If I can’t do it, when I’m in the dating process, when I’m on my best behavior, think of what it’s gonna be like after the deal is done, and now it’s an actual client relationship, customer relationship.
E: Great example. I’m on a call with a client earlier today, and we’re coming to the call. We’re saying, “Yes, let us support tens of millions of dollars of infrastructure and what runs your whole company. You can count on us for that,” and we can’t get to the call. You can give us millions of dollars, but we can’t get to the call at the time we said we would get there – it doesn’t make any sense. It’s funny because you and I talked about this in our podcast before. If a person can’t call you at 3:00, they call you at 3:01 or 3:02 or something. It doesn’t mean beat him up about it. But really, if I wanna have a life that works, and I can’t call a person when I said I’d call him? This is like kindergarden. My daughter is not five even, and I am certain that she could call somebody at the time she said she was gonna call him. This is very, very basic stuff.
S: Yeah, it is. Yet so many people don’t get it right, and they’re not trained to do the thing that say that they’re gonna do. You’re not taught sales, when you go to university. You’re also not taught about following through with your word or with doing what you say you’re gonna do. That’s just bizarre to me because other people hearing this podcast would probably think, “My five-year-old actually would have a problem with doing that.” It’s because, Ephraim – it’s how you raise your daughter at five years old. She will have no problem with being there on time, making a phone call at the time she said she’d make a phone call. I remember hearing how you taught your kids. When they’re fighting in the back of the car and you turn around and you say, “Are you creating or are you complaining?” That floors me. What a powerful question. Are you complaining or are you creating? Then you helped them figure out a way to create instead of complain.
E: It’s an amazing thing in our family. It’s been really powerful. My daughter – she’s still four. She’ll be five in September. She never had terrible twos or threes. When she was three, we called her a threenager but she’s four and she has enough sass and attitude for ten girls. She’s so fun. She will get upset about something. I go, “Wait a minute. Are you creating or complaining?” It just immediately shifts whatever is going on for her. My wife and I will say that to each other, but if you’re in a sales conversation, it’d be a really great thing to know “what’s the person’s intention?” I keep referencing back to this, but it’s really fresh in my mind.I get on this call today. My client says to the potential client on the other end of the phone – he says, “What’s your intention on being here today? You’ve taken 30 minutes out of your schedule. What’s your intention on being here? What do you wanna have happen? What does success look like for you?” He’s not going into a pitch or something. He’s saying, “What does success look like for you? What do you wanna have happen? What’s your intention here?” then he can speak into that so that the call is a success for the person on the other end of the phone.
S: Wow. I don’t ever hear sales people ask that question. What does success look like for you? What’s your intention for being here? Amazing.
E: It does a lot of things. If I ask that question, it gives me the advantage in a way of knowing what is the person here for. I can speak right into what’s important to them because they’re gonna tell me. It has them get present to it. I know you’re a busy guy, and you go from meeting to meeting. You show up at a meeting, and you’ve just done a bunch of other things. You show up and someone says, “Hey, what’s your intention here?” It really has you slow down and go, “Okay wait, why am I here?” not because “It’s just this thing that’s on my calendar or whatever, but I’m actually getting present to what’s my intention for being here.” It just works.
S: Workability is critical in order to have a relationship that produces fruits. If we don’t have workability, we just don’t have a working relationship. When you said earlier, a life that works or let’s say it’s a business that works, both people have to take responsibility and be a stand for the other.
E: At least somebody does, I think.
S: What does that look like? For some of our listeners, they won’t know what this terminology refers to, responsibility, being a stand. These are terms from Werner Erhard’s Landmark Education that I find very powerful, very transformative. The language really did transformed me. When I think about being responsible for everything like being a cause in the matter, these are terms that most people have never heard and have no concept of. It would change their whole business, their whole life, and everybody around them, if they started applying these concepts in their lives.
E: Just for a person to get that who you are makes a difference – if you can just really get that who you are makes a difference. You really matter. Who you are makes a difference. When you go through life like you have the ability to go through life and to make a difference for people, it’s incredible. I can go to the grocery store, and I can make a difference for the person that I’m with. The cashier in the grocery store can make a difference for him. Maybe that’s not as common for most of us, but prior to being here with you, before we’re recording this, I had dinner with my family. We walk in. It’s a place that’s nearby our house that we like to eat, and we walk in. The guy – he manages and runs the restaurant, and he says, “Hey guys! Welcome back. Thanks for coming in.” It’s like, this guy just works at the restaurant that I go to. I can tell you this, of the hundreds and hundreds of people that go to the restaurant everyday, he doesn’t know all of them. I have an intention with the guy. It’s not by accident. It’s not by accident that he knows who I am when I walk in the restaurant. It isn’t an ego trip. It’s not like, “Oh, he knows who I am.” No, I actually treat the guy like he’s a human being, and I talk with him. I know a little bit about his life. But when you could really get being at cause, and people know about responsibility. But really, being at cause that I am the cause – I have say in what happens in my life. It’s powerful.
S: But it’s not just that I’m causing the matter when I have something I can do about it, but even when it’s something that seems – like it’s the other person’s fault. It’s like, “Wow, this person was really out of line.” How am I at cause in the matter when that situation…? Let’s say that it’s a prospect, and they’re actually raising their voice at me or being accusatory. It’s like, “Wow, that person really woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” I’m trying to build relatedness or whatever. I’m trying to understand this person, and yet they’re being completely unreasonable or hotheaded even. How do you be cause in the matter in that situation?
E: Sometimes you might catch somebody on a day like that. Maybe that happens. I think it’s two-fold. I could be cause in what’s happened. It’s really easy if I’m on the phone with them, my cause in it is that I am on the phone with them. It’s really simple. I could just choose not to be on the phone with them during that time. But I think the other part of that is that I actually have say in what happens from here. Here I am, and I have somebody on the phone or in a meeting with me and they’re upset and maybe they’re even raising their voice. I have say in what happens from here. I was in a meeting with a client, and there were some other consultants in the room. The meeting wasn’t going well. This is an important meeting, and the meeting is not going well. I’m sitting in the room, and I haven’t said much. I know that I have a say in what happens. The person running the meeting on the other side, who’s not my client, is about to get up and leave. Literally, they’re ready to get up and walk out of the room; they’re upset. I know that I have a say in what happens. I wish I had another illustration to use that wasn’t me, but this is the one that I have to use for this. I open my mouth, and I say something. It absolutely altered the course of the meeting. Don’t hear that like it’s about me, like it has something to do with me. The point of it being is that I am clear that I have a say in what happens and what happens next. If I have somebody who’s upset, I don’t have to hypothesize about it. If I have someone who’s sitting in a meeting and they’re upset and they’re gonna leave and it isn’t gonna be good if they get up and leave – it’s not gonna be good for the business. I have a say in what happens next. I think coming from that place of, “Okay. I’m at cause here of what happens next. I can really do something about it.”
S: Would you ask a question like, “How do we get to workability here? I see that you’re really upset and that’s not going to be good for you or for the business or for me or anybody in this room. How do we get to workability?” Is that the way to it?
E: I love that. I would just do what works. I know that it seems like – isn’t that just such a vague answer, but the reality is just I don’t know what’s gonna work. It’s like if I am playing tennis. I’ve never hit that ball coming at me that way. At this moment, I’ve never hit that ball. What I’m gonna attempt to do is hit it in a way that works, and by works, I wanna get it over the net. I’d like to actually get a good shot somewhere in the other part of the court. But I actually just wanna do what works, so I have to create myself in a way that I can do whatever works in that moment. That’s what I said earlier about knowing you can count on yourself. The more experiences that you have like that, you go, “Wait, I can actually count on me.” The meeting is going real bad, and I can count on me that when I open my mouth, I might not even know what I’m gonna say, but I’m gonna say something that’s gonna impact the meeting.
S: That’s like you have either mastery, because you’ve worked so hard at this and been so intentional in the past, or that you believe that you’re guided and that you’re a channel for something greater than you through some divine grace. Maybe you’re gonna say something impactful and powerful and change the course of the meeting, or I don’t know. Something else.
E: Yeah, great. I would ask myself a question, “What’s my intention here? What do I wanna have happen?” What I wanna have happen is I wanna have workability between the people in the room, and so I’m gonna say something. I don’t know what I might say. I know what I said in that moment, but that doesn’t mean that’s what I would say if I had it to do over again or if I was in another scenario like that. I don’t have a script for it. But I know that if I know, “Well, what’s my intention? What’s the thing I wanna have happen here? I can do something with that.” Then I open my mouth, and I might ask something like that. I might say, “Hey Mr. Prospect, you seem like you’re really upset. Say something about it. What’s happening for you right now?”
S: What if they are out of line and being abusive to your colleagues, to your coworkers? I’m assuming you’d intervene and protect your coworkers.
E: You know our mutual friend Robert Pope, years ago, said to me that everything is either love or a cry for love. When I come from a place of “I really just wanna serve the person. It doesn’t mean I’m gonna tolerate.” To me, there’s no conflict or something that I can’t deal with. I can handle whatever it is that’s gonna come up. If they’re having whatever conversions, it’s like, “Listen, whatever is happening for you, what would really work is if you just said what was so for you, what was present for you, because right now it sounds like you’re attacking them. There’s a way that you can say everything you wanna say and not have them be any less than.” I don’t wanna have anyone feel less than.
S: I remember the phrase is something like this, “Everything is either a loving response or a cry for help.” I love that. It’s so powerful.
E: If someone is totally acting out, I might just look at it. I’m not gonna make too much about what’s happening, I just wanna deal with it in a way that – how do we get to a place where we can get some workability around what’s happening right now?
S: It’s not about blame. It’s not about obligation or duty. It’s about it’s just not workable. You’ve taught me this before, that there’s nothing wrong here, and it’s not workable.
E: Yeah, that’s a powerful place to come from. There’s nothing wrong here. A lot of us act out that there’s something wrong a lot. Even in this scenario that you’re describing, it could sound to a person like, “That’s wrong,” if they’re talking down or degrading people or whatever, but if I can come from a place of like, “There’s nothing wrong. Making somebody wrong doesn’t work.” Just try it. If you’re in a scenario like what you’re talking about, just make the person wrong, they’ll get up and leave probably, or they’ll do more of what they’re doing. They’ll get louder. If I can come from a place like, “Look, there’s nothing wrong here.” I get some real workability in it.
S: For our listeners who are interested in this conversation around workability, intentionality and so forth, again, I just have to plug The Optimized Geek episode number 27, where we go deep-dive into this topic, Ephraim and I. It’s just a very powerful conversation. I know we’re about out of time here, so a couple of quick things I wanna ask you. One is – any suggestions for turning workability and relatedness into referrals?
E: That’s great. I have had a lot of referrals. Really, I have an entire world that’s been created out of introductions and referrals. That’s how you and I met, I think – how we really know each other really. Everybody in my life – pretty much I met through somebody else, most of those people. What’s interesting is that I don’t really ever ask for referrals. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I’ve actually asked. That doesn’t mean that that’s the way you should it or shouldn’t do it. If you go back and you listen to this again, and you hear the things you wanna do, it’s like you and I have talked about Bob Goff. That’s just because Bob’s is just an amazing guy. He’s just a cool guy, and he’s just being Bob out in the world. We wanna talk about him. He’s a cool guy. You can always ask, but I think it’s like just be really great with people. If it calls to you or aligns for you like ask, then ask. Just be you, and I think that creates opportunities where people will refer you or they’ll ask you how they can help you. That’s my thought about it.
S: Last question, how do you get to high performance? You get to workability through some of the things we just described. How do you get to high performance?
E: Workability is where there’s an opportunity for performance. We could probably have a whole podcast on this. If I was summarizing it, I think what you have to get to is what is in the way of performance. What are the things that get in the way of performance and then actually deal with those things? I don’t have a prescription for it. I don’t know, like if you wake up in the morning and pound your chest three times and then read a chapter in this book and drink this much water and eat this food that you’ll be a high performance machine. I think it’s really that you have to deal with what gets in the way of performance. It’s funny. I’m probably an extraordinary high performer. Really, if I just look at my life, I go, “Okay, I’m a high performer.” I think you’d probably agree. I think people who know me would probably agree. But what’s funny is like I’m not trying to be a high performance machine. That’s not at all what I’m trying to do. I actually just wanna keep looking at, well, what actually gets in the way of performance. I’m kind of obsessed with performance in a way, but I’m not waking up in the morning – I wake up in the morning then I think, “How do I deal with what gets in the way of performance?” That’s one of the things I think about. I’m looking here at me, and then I’m looking in my world and I wanna deal with what’s in the way of performance. I think that when you deal with what’s in the way, what shows up is performance.
S: That’s really cool. It’s different for everybody. Many of us would say distractions get in the way of performance because there’s so many distractions, Facebook and all social media, pretty much. It’s an energy suck. It is something that gives us dopamine hits, and they’re very short term. It’s an addiction. I had to delete Facebook from my phone because it’s just not good for me.
E: I just realized this. You shared that on your Facebook, ironically. I think you shared that Bill Maher post. Do you remember the one I’m talking about?
S: I think I do, yeah.
E: About where he’s talking about social media and how checking your likes is the new smoking. I watched that. It was like I was on the edge, but I watched it and I deleted Facebook and Instagram off of my phone. In the last five or six weeks, I think I’ve been on Facebook once, and I checked out at what a couple of my clients were doing. Then that was it. I was on for like five minutes or ten minutes or something, and then I was done. In the last five or six weeks, my life has gotten better. I can tell you that for sure. It’s amazing to me what it had become, having it right there on my phone and how frequently I would check it. When I saw that Bill Maher said the average person interacts with their phone 2500 times a day. I thought, yeah, whatever I can do to sort of limit that, when it isn’t productive or effective. Thank you for sharing that on Facebook, ironically. It actually really has made a difference – a real difference for me. It’s really been incredible, so thank you for that.
S: Thank you. That’s awesome. I’m so glad. I got to the point where I would have to install the app to do a Facebook Live, and then I have to delete the app after I’m done. Now I’m to the point where I’m okay with it staying on my phone again. I just recently added it to do a Facebook Live, and then I decided, “I’m gonna not delete it this time, but I’m also not gonna use it.” I haven’t. It’s as if it’s not even there, except for Facebook Live.
E: It can be such a great productive tool, but it can also just be a tremendous waste of time. Now what I do, if I have a few minutes, I call somebody or I send them a text or I send them an email or whatever like, “Hey, I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing great or whatever,” rather than mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. It’s like I have more meaningful relationships. I think there’s a really great place for it. There’s people who, where I can go to connect with them through social media.
S: Notice also, I didn’t say I deleted the Facebook Messenger app. I didn’t because that is just for communication. Here’s another tip that I think would be very valuable. Do not go to facebook.com on your computer in order to message somebody in Facebook. Go to messenger.com. Therefore, you will not see any of the distracting eye candy. You just go straight to the Messenger portion of Facebook. We’re out of time. How would somebody who wants to work with you, which would be life changing, business changing, hugely transformational – I can attest to how transformational it is to work with you because I’ve had the blessing of working with you on multiple workshops that you’ve done, and they’ve both been incredibly transformational. One I credit in large part to the reason why, after two-and-a-half years, I’m still off of sugar, which was crazy. No one would have ever guessed for a sugar addict such as myself to say that I don’t eat sugar. I don’t eat desserts except on my birthday or major holidays. I’m not completely anal about it. I still have ketchup on French fries or whatever, even though there’s sugar added into the ketchup. But I just don’t eat desserts. I don’t eat a lot of fruits – very little fruit. One of the workshops that you put together was a big reason why I was able to do that and stay intentional and have the kind of intentionality, where I’ll go to a family reunion and I will have come with a powerful intention. I’m not just there to have fun or reconnect. I thought through what’s my intention for being here. I have you to thank for that. If somebody wants to work with you and take their life to a whole other level, how would they do that?
E: That’s great. Thank you for what you said, and I would say, you’ve obviously done all the work. I don’t feel like I had a lot to do with – I’ve loved the time that we’ve gotten to spend together, and I love the environment, like when we’ve done a workshop or something. Thank you for that. You’re really generous in what you shared. Funnily enough, I do not think I am not a real marketer, so I don’t have a website. I haven’t had business cards for so many years. I can’t keep track. Why don’t we just share my contact information, when we share the podcast? How is that? Does that work?
S: Yup, that’s fine.
E: I’ll just say, if someone wanted to reach out to me, have a conversation, I live in San Diego. If you wanted to meet up here in San Diego, you’re in town or whatever – look, my life is about relationships, really, and so I’d love to connect. We’ll give my contact information. If somebody hated what I said here, they can send me a message and let me know. Whatever it is.
S: What would be that contact information? Would you like people contacting you via email or phone or Twitter or what?
E: We’ll put my email in there. Obviously I’m not big on social media right now either. We’ll just put my email in there, and that would be great.
S: Why don’t we tell people an email address now?
E: It’s email@example.com. I think my name will be in the description.
S: Yeah, it’ll be in the title of the episode. It’s a little bit tricky to spell. That’s for working with you on a coaching basis, and also you are doing an event coming up in September.
E: Yeah, we’re doing an intensive September 18th through the 21st. It’s gonna be right here in paradise in San Diego. There’s gonna be 40 high performance people in the room. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.
S: What’s the price point for that?
E: It’s 2,799.
S: Perfect. Thank you, Ephraim. I know that people will have gotten some value out of this episode. In order for you, the listener, to get maximum value from this conversation, I would really strongly encourage you to go to marketingspeak.com and download the checklist from this episode. For example, ask yourself, “What gets in the way of performance?” That’s a powerful question. That is part of the checklist. We’re gonna have all these powerful questions for you to look at and areas to focus on in your business, based on this conversation, this episode. You can go marketingspeak.com and go through that checklist and get some action out of this powerful conversation because that’s where the rubber meets the road – is when you put all this into action. Again, marketingspeak.com. This is Stephan Spencer, your host. It was a pleasure. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak.