Episode 136 | Posted on

Get The Skills to Close Big Deals with Kelly Fidel

Lots of us get psychologically stuck at making deals of a certain level. Decades ago, a six-figure deal was incredibly impressive and many people’s end goal. These days, many people tend to fixate on six-figure deals instead of going higher. Imagine if you weren’t limited to six figures, though. Wouldn’t you like to make seven-figure deals, or even eight-figure deals? While it may be hard to imagine, it’s even possible to do a billion-dollar deal.

Kelly Fidel is one of the amazing people who has successfully completed a billion-dollar deal. She’s a business turnaround expert, sales strategist, author, and professional speaker whose clients include the NFL, Mercedes Benz, and Warner Brothers among many others. In this episode, she shares her wisdom and experience to help you understand how you, too, can complete incredible deals. We’ll talk about why it’s so important to be a strong leader, the role of webinars in the sales process, the different kinds of “yes” you might hear, and much more.

Would you like to learn how to do big deals? Like really big deals? 7-figure deals? 8-figure deals? How about $1 billion deal? Well, today’s guest has done $1 billion deal. You’re gonna learn all about it and how you can also close big deals. This is episode number 136. Today’s guest is Kelly Fidel. She’s a business turnaround expert, sales strategist, author, and professional speaker. She’s been named Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. She’s been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, The Wall Street Journal, FOX, and CNN. Her clients include the NFL, Mercedes Benz, Warner Brothers, Staples Center, and TransAmerica. Kelly, it’s so great to have you on the show.

Thank you so much. It’s so great to be here. I’m really excited.

I’m very excited. I’m just so impressed by you. I’ve attended your No Glass Ceiling event. You just did such a great job. You’re in such service to your community, to your tribe, and I really respect what you’re doing. Let’s start with this concept of high ticket selling being like much higher ticket than people’s mental thermostat is often times set to. You might think that it’s really hard to close a $4000 deal, like, “Oh, you can’t do anything more than $997 from a webinar,” there’s all this conventional wisdom out there about how to close big deals and so forth. You’ve closed really big ones. Let’s start by dispensing with the mythology and the conventional wisdom that’s not true.

Awesome. I love that. The reference of high ticket thermostat, I think, is fantastic because everybody has their own barometer, like you said, for what a high-end or a high ticket sale is. You’re right. For some people it might be $2000 or $3000. For some people it might be $4000-$6000. Some might be $10,000-$50,000. Some people might be $1 million. It just really kind of depends quite a bit on mindset, which is equally important in sales. But going back to breaking the myth, if someone’s experience is only to have, let’s say, $3000 or a $5000 sale and they feel that they have to have a phone conversation because that’s what the industry has taught them, then that’s all they know. We only know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know. The breaking these old habits of feeling like a phone consult has to happen with something at $3000-$5000 or $10,000 is just simply a perception. There’s really only two ways to close a high-end sale: A, on the phone or in person; B, at a live event. Everything funnels in to the simplicity of both of those. Then the question becomes, “What is your high ticket baseline? What is it for you?” I know, for me it’s different than a lot of other folks. I’m probably controversial on this. A model to lock up your schedule on phone calls with $3000-$5000 deals [ranks/rings [0:03:07] about stabbing yourself in the eye with a dull pencil for me. We sell up to $5000 on a webinar. We do not get on the phone and if we do get on the phone with someone, it’s over $5000 and it’s 18 minutes or less. We experienced 60% plus calls ratio. I hope that kind of answered it or gave some perspective. It’s not that anything is right or wrong. It’s just that where someone is today in the fitness industry a $1000 or a $1500 maybe high-end. Someone in a different industry, $5000 or $10,000 might be high-end. To me, a higher ticket deal starts at usually $250,000, it’ll get my attention for a phone conversation. It has my attention on a $1 million deal. Again, it’s kind of like how did you grow up in the sales and mindset space and what’s your experience and your threshold for having those conversations.

You didn’t start here. You grew to that kind of capability so you didn’t have a 60% close rate at the beginning. You had something less and you closed smaller deals or you didn’t have the confidence to close really big deals yet. How did that evolution for you go?

Well, that is a great question. My sales career actually started when I was nine years old. I was raised by a single mom. We were super duper broke. I wanted a pair of tennis shoes which would be like kind of Converse or Jack’s today and we didn’t have any money. My mom said, “Hey, go pick avocados at your aunt’s house and go door-to-door and sell them.” I was like, “Man, that is a brilliant idea.” I did that. I literally picked avocados, stuck them on a red wagon, went door-to-door, I loved it. I was like, “Do they have a cat?” “What’s their house looked like?” “What’s their furniture like?” “Does it smell good?” Like, super curious. After about four of those houses, I’m thinking, “this sucks,” although not really in those words. I just want my shoes. Where are all of my “ideal clients?” Found the cul-de-sac, sold all the avocados, got my pair of shoes. I guess you could say I had a 100% close ratio at the age of nine. But you’re right. As I moved in the corporate—the close ratio always ranged between 20% and 50% because I didn’t know any better. I grew up in high-end selling so the deals were always $1 million deals. It’s just like you get up in the morning, you make your bed, and you brush your teeth. You go to work then you close $1 million deals. It’s just how I grew up which is ironic considering we were so poor. Later after corporate, I would say there were moments I struggled. There’s no question about it. Don’t think for a second that on the outside it looked like I have great success in all these stuff. But at that time, and this and this goes back several years ago, I would have an event and make no sales. Or I would meet with somebody and have a zero sale. Or be terrified to have a conversation on a $20,000 deal because if you get your head knocked upside the wall a few times you start to question, “Am I doing this right? What am I missing? I can’t see the forest through the trees. I’m so close to it.” I always say to my clients and the people that I know—record yourself. I still do today. Listen to yourself. Would you buy from you? Are there things you can do better? If you’re cringing then you probably have an awesome opportunity to learn and tighten up your sales game. There’s still moments where even today I may walk-in and lose a deal. I may walk-in and slam dunk a deal on a one call close or a two call close. But I think it comes from learning sales, learning mindset, discovering what applies to you. If you’re listening to this, please don’t try to be anybody else out there. Let your personality shine. I’m a football mom, you know this. I’m super direct. I love sales, selling, and deal making. I don’t like words like hyphy, sleazy, and sales-zy because I believe if you sell in integrity there is none of that. But I know I’m hardwired a little differently. I did try to soften it up to be a woman and all of that. Quite honestly, it just didn’t work, I wasn’t happy.

It wasn’t authentic for you.

No, it wasn’t. I don’t think you have to be a bull in a china shop. I don’t think you have to be whoa-whoa. I don’t think you have to be put in a box. I don’t think you have to get labeled. I think you just need to be you. That’s who people do business with—is people.

That’s so true. What is your biggest deal that you’ve ever done?

A single deal? $1 billion.

$1 billion?! Wow.

$1 billion with Goldman Sachs. It took one year and it was a sale of a company into the them in the hype of the financial institution crash in 2008—one year. It was funny because Dr. Betty Uribe is the Executive Vice President of California Bank & Trust. She spoke at my event. I think you know who she is.

Yeah. I know her.

We were joking about that on a fireside chat. She goes, “What’s the biggest deal you’ve closed?” She knew and I said, “$1 billion.” And I said, “What about you? What’s the biggest deal that you’ve closed?” And she goes, “$2 billion” I go, “What? Now I’ve to go out and close a $2 billion deal so I can catch up.” And we laughed about. It took her a year also. It’s funny because there were people in the audience, they were like, “I tried to close a six-figure deal and it takes a year.” Both of us were shaking our heads like, “No, no, no. It does not take a year to close a six-figure deal.” It can maybe take about a day, a week, a month, or a couple of months depending on what is it. But if you’ve got the decision maker and you understand their business and the solution that you bring to the table then it should not take that long. Either they are sourcing you for a bid to bid you against other people. This is even for entrepreneurs not just corporate. People shop like, “How much is your program? What’s included?” If you go down that path then all you’re doing is fighting a pricing war and that’s not worth your time. There’s too many people that will value you and love you for what you do, the magic that you have, and the results that you can help them get to have to play those kind of games. Life’s too short you know.

Yeah, for sure, $1 billion, that’s impressive.

Thank you.

You’ve done smaller deals that are also really impressive though that were direct to your company so that you work more like a broker. You aren’t selling your company for $1 billion to Goldman Sachs. But what about selling deals that are directly benefiting your company? Like, you’re selling people into a mastermind or to a live event or to coaching. What would be a big deal for that, for you?

I’m going to share with you a kind of two different pieces of deals that I’ve closed for my own company over the last 15 years. More relevant, in the last 12 months, I think that’s what really people want to hear. They don’t want to hear way back in a day. We have programs—online programs that are just sold via webinar or a simple video. I want to say that no matter what we offer, people know the price before they get on the phone with us, period. We’re a little bit like the dog that meows. We do not get on the phone with somebody and then “demonstrate” of value and then try to sell. I always say, “Speak your truth and ask for forgiveness later if you offend somebody.” My philosophy is if someone attends a one hour webinar and then you have to get on the phone for an hour, something’s wrong with the webinar because if you have to convince somebody and demonstrate your value the first question is what could you have done better in a webinar that would position them and transition them into wanting to invest with you knowing that the investment may be larger. Give them an opportunity to know the price point. It’s binary, either they book a call or they do not. We do this with on our programs up to $120,000 for our mentoring. Programs run anywhere from $25,000 for our single tier lower-end mastermind up to $120,000. The $120,000 is paid in full. Everyone pays in full. Everyone that has come into that program, they know the price point. They may have heard a different investment that was a little less. That is the investment today and who knows that that will be like that tomorrow. It might go up to $250 like what you charge. People know and it’s good that they know. I want to be able to ascend and help people. It’s $120,000—a lot of money, not at all.

It depends on the value that you’re delivering.

Total value. We take people to seven-figure. They’re at seven-figure, we take them to eight. If you can invest a $100,000 and make eight additional $1 million, holy mackerel, that’s 8% of your budget. That’s nothing. Who wouldn’t do that? I think it’s all relative and it goes back to mindset. I don’t know that that really answered your question. People are able to connect to the mastermind mentoring when we have a group program. By the way, I don’t have coaches. This is just the Kellyism. I really feel that when I hire someone, I’m hiring that person for their expertise not someone else. I’ve been able to build a model that really works for us because my time is super valuable, where I’ve been able to deliver personally in a variety of different platforms group, hybrid programs, and one-on-ones that is not a timesuck that gets tremendous results that people love. Sometimes, we hop on the phone. People will fill out an application. Here’s the other thing, we do not book time in our calendar. They fill up their app, they give me two days and two times that they are available, and we call them on one of those. Why do we do that? Because I’m interviewing them from the get-go. They’re adults, right? If they can’t book in their calendar and hold a 30 minutes spot—it’s really 20 minutes—then my first question is, “I operate at a really pretty high level. I want to hold people accountable, this is their life.” If somebody can’t show up for their own 18 minutes, in their own calendar, how in the world am I going to help them grow a business wildly? We do things a little different plus I don’t want to lock up my schedule or my team. It’s kind of a test if you can show up for your own call where you picked a time is cool. If not, we’re probably not a right pitch because you’ll make me crazy, I’ll make you crazy and it won’t be fun.

The bigger sized deals would be $125 price point paid upfront for the year. You’ve also done $1 million deals—multi-million dollar deals—do you want to show an example on one of those? Maybe an eight-figure deal?

Yeah, absolutely. By the way, I don’t want people to get the impression, I mean, some of our programs are too $2000 grand. Our group programs are $5000. We do have things that are not out of reach because that would not be in alignment with No Glass Ceiling. I don’t want to create a glass ceiling for people. That would be horrific. Back to your question on multi-million dollar deals, yes. I love the art and science of selling. I love the adrenaline of the game. Doing $1 million or a multi-million dollar deal, which is usually someone licensing our content, creating our loyalty strategic alliance, going in, and doing some type of large consulting gig with not a lot of service delivery. I totally dig those. Last year, I was actually at a mastermind retreat with my mentor and another person. We had gone out and seen a couple of companies, one of them was so republic. They do like the earbuds and they have really cool stuff. His dad is Kevin Lee who’s the CEO of Monster Beats by Dre. They since [around that whole deal 0:17:56.8] and all the good stuff. We’ve had conversations with them, we’ve had conversations with other companies like that. I was actually in the room with a couple of people, one of them you may know, Alex Becker. Great guy, spoke in his event, 10 Pillars of Wealth in Vegas, 800 people or something like that, made an offer, by the way. In 45 minutes, I pulled $250,000. I don’t know if that counts but I’ll take it.

That’s good.

Yeah, not bad for a day trip to Vegas and hanging out with everybody and having an awesome time. I spoke right after Grant Cardone. First, I was like, “Are you kidding me, Becker? You putting me after Cardone? Come on, man.” He got to pitch also. We were the only two. I was the only female speaker talking about high-ticket. Grant closed zero—goose eggs, nothing, zero, zilch, zip.

No way.

Swear. I was like, “What?” Grant, I love you man. I know you, I love you. But the offer was like, “Here’s my offer.” Throws it up on one slide, $1,000, then moved on. I was like, “Wait. Where’s the cadence? Where’s the tension? Where’s the buildup? Where’s the offer?” Come on, man. You could have just smoked it. I was happy because I went in after him and killed it.

Yeah, you cleaned up.

I did. Back to the meeting, Becker and a couple of other people are in the room and the meeting went about a 2.5 hours and there was a $14 million deal and I closed that deal specifically. Single-handedly even though there were people in the room. The question is always, “How did you do it?” When Becker introduced me and calls me the “Oprah of Selling” which I think is hilarious because I operate in my genius-zone. When you operate in your magic, you don’t realize the good stuff that you do because it’s like curtain calls, it’s like your first language—you just do it. I didn’t think it was any big deal. I mean it is. But he’s like, “I literally saw her close a $14 million deal right before my very eyes in 2.5 hours.” When he said that, I guess I was pretty bummed. How did that deal happened? Got a call, went in, had the meeting. There’s a bell curve to every sales. It starts, it builds, you get to the peak, and then if you talk too long you could lose the deal. I’ve done so much of these and I do teach it but I could feel it. I do make my best decisions intuitively with that gut feel. I could see CEO, attorney, I want to say a yes-man, I still don’t know what his role was, and another person in the room, and the three of us. So seven—board room environment. I finally asked him a question, just like many of you do on strategy calls. “What’s the biggest challenge? Got it? Okay, cool.” “How long have you been looking for a solution? Yeah, I see.” “What are some of the things that worked for you? Cool.” “What are some of the things that are not working for you? Got it.” “Where’s your goal? I see.” “How far are you below goal?” If you don’t do this, what’s the domino effect into the company? They’re typical questions. Then, the big question—are you ready to move forward with a yes or would you prefer to keep your business operating the way it is? Move forward. Great. The next steps are, “We’ll draft an agreement which you’ll need to sign within 48 hours, are you able to sign within 48 hours?” “ Yes.” “ Great, we can get the agreement to you by tomorrow. That puts us at Tuesday. Does that work for you?” “Yes.” You want to put them in this “yes state.” Just because you get a yes, what I see a gap in the industry is people fail to drive it all the way home. Great. What they do is, “I’ve got a yes, no. Let’s talk about all the cool stuff that you’re going to get.” No. I got a yes so let’s talk about the terms, the money. Let’s talk about the gate. I call them these gates that you have to hit. Almost like the welcome gate. “Cool, so you’re going to sign the agreement. What date can you do that? Great!” Even our clients, unless you buy a digital product they all sign an agreement—an 11-page agreement— for those that just heard that [inaudible [00:22:50] on the floor. It’s commitment. We’re not going to disclose their IP, they don’t have to disclose ours, cool stuff like that.

Speaking of the commitment, it’s important for our listeners to understand that this is a “Yes” for commitment not a “Yes” for confirmation. People are so focused on getting a yes, yes, yes, out of their audiences or out of their prospect or the person on the other side of the table whether it’s a potential affiliate or a business partner or whatever. They’re not distinguishing the types of yeses. I learned this from Chris Voss in the book Never Split the Difference, fantastic books. He talks about three kinds of yeses: there’s the confirmation yes, there’s the commitment yes—which is the one we really want in this kind of situation, and there’s the counterfeit yes where they’ll just say, “Yes,” to get rid of us but they don’t really mean it.

I love that. I think that’s so true. We’re talking about these big deals because people feel like they’re sexy. It’s kind of like looking through the window at something, at a Ferrari and Lamborghini on your garage—bad joke. For me, often times, the ones that I like the most are people that want to get to six-figure or more importantly go from six-figure to seven. Seven-figure is like what’s six-figure was on the 80s. Everybody in the 80s wanted to get to six-figure. Today, people get stuck at six-figure. I love taking care of people for six to seven. First of all, it’s personally rewarding for me because I know it’s a hurdle. People don’t have the business experience or the mindset experience or sales but they really need to get there. With the right platform, depending on the person, they can get there in one to three years, it just depends. But getting to seven-figure is cool. Change agents are created, in my opinion, at the seven-figure level. I agree with you. Getting confirmation is one thing because you want it and commitment is another. It’s like me saying, “I will confirm; I want to lose 30 pounds.” Being committed is getting my butt to the gym and eating clean, right? I agree with you. There’s definitely a huge difference. A yes is a yes. A no is a no. A maybe is a no and that helps. When you serve your clients—when you serve your prospects at the highest level possible and don’t get attached client and record yourself. I think magic can really happen.

You want to make sure that you don’t let them off the hook where you’re describing, you’ve got a commitment, yes. I’m like, “Here’s all the cool stuff you’re going to get. I’m really excited for you.” That’s fine too at some point to get the prospect, the new client, that’s just given you a verbal to celebrate. However, you really need to hammer in the details and get them to agree to all the different terms. If you don’t then there’s all the uncertainty and you don’t look like you’re a powerful player. You don’t look confident and you have the stronger frame.

Correct. People are looking for leaders. They’re looking for thought leadership, whether it is a $10,000 client, like $10,000 deal or $110,000 or a million. The number doesn’t really matter. I’m just going to put that aside in a second. One of the things that we do, that I train to, that I always pre-close is, first of all, at the very beginning, I always ask, “Are you serious about making a change in your business and investing in it? Are you just curious and you’re looking for free information?” It doesn’t matter what they put on the application. A lot of times, people are nervous and they’re not going to be totally candid. “No, I’m interested and I’m very serious. I’m really looking for the right person and make a decision to move forward.” “I’m not really sure, I’m just kind of looking around. I don’t know if it’s free or paid.” That means free to me because a yes is a yes, a no is a no, and maybe is a no. You have to just look at it as data points for a moment. At the end, we have a conversation and my question is all ways. “Earlier you’ve mentioned that you’re serious about moving forward in your business and making the right investment. My question for you is, are you ready to move forward and invest in yourself and in your business? Or are you still gathering for information?” It’s a pause. It’s a proceed or pivot. It’s one of the greatest closes that I’ve used ever at any level. Again, everything we do probably runs against conventional wisdom. After closing a $1 billion in sales with a separate $1 billion deal, I guess I just look at the process through a different colored lens. If you say things nicely and genuinely, they don’t have a problem with candor. Some people say, “I’m prepared to move forward.” “Fantastic, let’s talk about the terms,” and that’s what I say. This is for everybody. The word “terms” means the commitment. You have to talk about the money deal. I see this with women especially with love, afraid to talk about the money deal. There’s the sale and then you can close the deal. If you do not lock in terms and this is the place everybody misses, then you don’t have a deal. You do not have a closed deal to until cash hits your account. You continue to support them at the highest level possible. You continue to help them get results. You have to lock in the terms. “Great. I’m looking forward to moving forward with you. What will happen next is I will send you an agreement. The investment is x,y,z. It will be in the agreement. The agreement is good for 72 hours. I’ll send it via DocuSign so you’ll be able to sign that. I would like to schedule our first call in four days from now. This will be a kickoff call. Let’s schedule the call if the agreement is not signed and the fund is not wired, we will have to reschedule the call. Does this makes sense?” “Yes, it makes sense.” Give people their marching orders and they’re going to be so grateful because they want a model a business that is efficient. Does that make sense? I’m probably going off on a tangent.

Oh no, you’re not. You’re providing a fantastic framework for people so that they know when they are pitching whether it’s to an audience on a stage or in it’s a boardroom or it’s mano y mano to a one person. It needs to incorporate the terms. You need to come from a stronger frame because they’re hiring you or they’re buying from you to get a problem solved. Nobody wants to go get a problem solved from somebody who’s wishy-washy and who doesn’t believe 100% of themselves. This makes total sense.

Yeah. Amen. I still work a lot with the NFL and especially Super Bowl clients. They’re all referral. I love working with men, I always work with men. Just really in the last three years I’ve worked a lot more with women but I still work with my NFL guys. They love the directness which is a perfect fit. You don’t have to be rude to be direct. I’m super sentimental. Yes, I will cry at a really perfect commercial during Super Bowl. You don’t have to be a jerk to close a deal. You can be super nice, just super clear.

Yeah, straightforward.

A hundred percent, amen.

Awesome. I’m really curious, what was that $14 million thing that you sold? Was it a company or was it some sort of royalty deal or what was it?

Yes, royalty but some consulting. They had an issue with traffic, opt-in, and stuff like that that was really nonexistent. They weren’t tracking any of their traffic. I don’t even think they knew what Google tag manager was. They weren’t really analytics. They were just hemorrhaging traffic. They had no way to siphon anything from their site into any kind of funnel; that was one piece. The other piece was consulting on growing the business and taking it. They were a billion dollar company and they had lost a half a billion dollars. That’s my wheelhouse. The cool thing is they weren’t heavy on staff. They have 25 people but really my client was the CEO and one of the sales people. It’s like working with entrepreneurs, being no different to me than a mastermind client or someone. It’s no different than you and me. It doesn’t matter what the size is of a company. It could be one person in their home office or one person that’s the key driver in a brick and mortar or somewhere in between.

Yeah, that’s a billion dollar company and still we’re all people at the end of the day.

We’re driving No Glass Ceiling to a $100 million right now. We’re not there.

Why don’t you describe briefly what No Glass Ceiling is for our listeners because they probably aren’t familiar with it and I’ve mentioned that I went to one of your events and think that I connected the dots that it was called No Glass Ceiling but maybe I didn’t. But there’s more to No Glass Ceiling than just your multi-day seminar. Why don’t you give a little explanation

No Glass Ceiling actually started in my 20s where I was in corporate and I saw a lot of women and a few men really struggle with sales and struggle with climbing the corporate ladder. Please know, I’ve been around for 30 years, I sound so old right now when I say that. In my 20s, people didn’t talk about the Tony Robbins kind of stuff, mindset, and inspiration. They just didn’t do that. I told my mom, I’m going to start a company No Glass Ceiling. I’m going to help women and cool men break through barriers and build fearless seven-figure empires where no one was doing seven-figure. She was the only one that believed in me. Fast forward, a couple of years later, she got cancer and she died in my arms. I was eight months pregnant with my first son so I put it on hold. I did everything, except my passion. What I wanted to do—I built businesses to multi, seven figures, sold them, kept them and finally, I drew a line in the sand literally, 20 years later. I did everything except what I wanted to do. In 2014, which is where you were, I said, “That’s it. I’m going to hold an event for No Glass Ceiling.” In that event, we had about a 120 people, over $3 billion of net worth in the room. It was an extraordinary event and truly my passion. What is it that we do? We’re a global movement and in nine months we were in 70 countries, no marketing. We’re barely just starting to do some marketing with the company. We’re really a global movement that is a sales training and an entrepreneurial platform to help people grow their businesses. Really, I’m here to help women and cool men take control of their personal and business lives and create seven-figure businesses. Really, to be able to provide the framework of business building, business strategy, sales, and marketing. Mindset marketing sales on money is really what No Glass Ceiling is all about.

It includes a peer group right? There’s a mastermind, regular meetings with other high performers who have big visions and are under your guidance.

100%. We’ve really been blessed. We have a free group No Glass Ceiling. You can certainly go to Facebook and join our free group where I do post content and different videos and things. Our peer group is highly curated so that we have the right people in the room. We do groups of people. It doesn’t makes sense to put someone that’s trying to drive to seven-figure to someone that’s already at seven-figure on the way to eight. We really make sure that we curate these groups properly so that there is a momentum, a driving force, and a balance because the conversations that I have with someone that’s a seven-figure is going to be different than someone who’s at six. I love everybody and I don’t want to scare anybody. Are you going to hold them highly accountable when they’re trying to get from A to B and someone else’s trying to go from B to Z? We really have launched our learning and development platform. The whole goal and the legacy is to create a generational wealth and an alternative for people to learn and grow a business without a traditional college education in going down the corporate path.

I want to just jump in here and make a distinction that when you say somebody who’s going from six-figure to seven-figure, somebody’s going from seven-figure to eight-figure, there’s two ways looking at this. One is total revenue. It was a big deal when I’ve hit seven-figures with revenue, that was exciting but I took a lot less than I had in profit and draw. I didn’t feel like I was wealthy because I was only taking about $300,000 and personal income. Going from six-figure to seven-figure in personal income feels very different right?

Yes. I really loved that you bring up this point because there are people that go, “I’m a millionaire.” or “I’m a seven-figure earner.” and they have 50% expense ratio or 70% expense ratio. They’re really doing about $250,000 a year which means they are six-figure earners making about what is their […]. I personally struggled with that because I am all about new money collected on the net. There’s two ways. When I’m working with someone, you can have a seven-figure business but your net is six-figure. My first question is how is the business entity structured? This is probably a little too deep but how is it structured? Is it in LLC? Where is it located? Is it a Corp.? What’s the expense ratio? Where are you spending the money at? Where can we cut expense? Where can we lift profitability? Where are the redundancies? I could dig in to a business as if it’s my own. Most entrepreneurs aren’t familiar with that. It’s not a big deal process. It’s something we do on a couple of hours. But we have to come and breakdown the business before we can start to build that back up.

Yeah. There’s so much sophistication with this. It is really quite amazing when you get deep into it. I for many years had a LLC and I had never thought to also have a second company that was a different entity type like a C Corp. With the C Corp., you can have what it’s called a MERP—Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan. You can just have your family and spouse as part of that second company. Then you can have this very generous Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan and spend all these money on people’s stem-cell therapy and all sorts of other stuff. But it’s only for your key people, mainly, your family. The operating company maybe it’s a Nevada LLC so there’s no estate tax. The LLC and C Corp were doing business with each other. Maybe there’s licensing fees for an actual property. That’s how you transfer money between the two companies and this sort of stuff is mindblowing and can make a huge difference to the bottom line to how much many you personally get to see in your bank accounts. It’s really incredible.

I so love that you’re talking about this because high ticket is not just selling—it’s a high ticket mindset. I literally just had the same conversation with my CFO and my CPA three days ago. We have a LLC and it’s in Nevada. It licenses the mark and the IPs to the No Glass Ceiling Incorporatio, we definitely do that. This is a little side note. I’ll take 10 seconds because people are like, “Wait a minute, I want to talk about sales. Why are you guys talking about investments and wealth?” Well because that’s where big money comes from but you can do an IRA for $55,000-$65,000 or SAP up to $5200, this California, but you could do a 401(k) up to $2400 and borrow against it. If you create a defined benefit program, you can actually drop $25,000 in there and borrow against it without penalty. You can have sister LLCs. We do that, we have sister LLCs that just allows us to keep the entity separate and do all sorts of cool stuff. I’m so glad. We can do a totally separate podcast on that.

We could. That reminds me also a couple of episodes that I should plug of my other show for listeners if they’re interested in things like business entities, setting up these kinds of structures, maybe doing a self-directed 401(k) so that you can put your 401(k) money into things like real estate, or Off Wall Street Assets, and so forth. The two episodes I’ll recommend of my other show, The Optimized Geek on this topic. One, is with Loral Langemeier, that’s episode 102. The second one is with Ray Poteet. He is an expert in infinite banking. I have setup infinite banking on the recommendation of a friend of mine who is an eight-figure earner. A couple that makes eight-figures, very successful, and this allows you to create your own bank that you then borrow against. You can have your business borrow against it and just do interest only loans and claim that interest as tax deduction. The interest that you’re paying goes into a life insurance policy structure. That further builds the kitty, the compounding interest goes even faster because of the interest that you’re paying in. Money needs to be in motion for infinite banking to really payoff. Why give all this money to Bank of America or whatever bank that you’re going to take out a loan from for your line of credit for your business, or for a car, or for a house—it’s just ridiculous. Use yourself as your own infinite bank as the source of the funds. That is another incredible episode Ray Poteet, I’ll put both of those links to those episodes in the show notes for this episode.

That’s really cool. I wanted to share with folks, I just want to go back to sales, keep it simple. You can certainly do what seems to be the hot model out there which is add to webinar the strategy session but there are definitely other ways to close business other than being locked up on the phone. Having a sales team, there’s nothing wrong with that, been there, done that, done it well. You’re drifting profit away. The big thing is, just to get clear on one or two things. Don’t get sidetracked. Don’t get confused. People ask me all the time, “How did you guys grow from seven-figure to eight-figure now into on your path to $100 million. How did you guys grow that and do that?” I will say this, “I have some amazing people in my camp that hold me accountable. My private banking team at Wells Fargo, we can process $3 million a month on our merchant account.” They meet with me in person once a month and they’re like a mastermind I don’t have to pay for. They’re like, “Sales are here. How are you going? Did you meet the goal?” We’re not there but we have that approval. They want us to use that money and I’m like, “I’m trying.” Don’t be relentless in your focus. Pick one or two days where the phone is off. Remove social media from your phone for what purpose is it there. I spend five or 10 minutes in the morning, five or 10 minutes at night, that is it. Certainly time block, it’s so critically important. It’s one of the greatest wealth builders in the world, it’s the time block. Get clear on your business model. You don’t have to do a lot of stuff and you don’t have to follow a model if it doesn’t feel 110% in integrity or authentic to you. What’s your model? What is your marketing and sales strategy? Effectively work on your business and then you’re going to be able to achieve a lifestyle. We work 9 AM to [3:30] PM. At [3:30] PM, we shut the business down. I go to the gym. We do not work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—my clients know that. We take a lunch and we are extremely efficient. Are there days that I pull 17 hours? Yeah, of course. Absolutely, by choice. I love work so much. It’s addicting to me. I have to pull myself away from it. You’re able to work less and make more money and truly have a profitable lifestyle when you are clear. Clear, clear, clear. The only way to get clear is to not plate spin. Do one thing, get to six-figure. Add something, get to seven. What got you to six or seven is certainly not going to get you the eight. You have to have people to clear the deck so you can run.

I love all that advice that you gave about time blocking, about removing social media from your phone, and just making it not part of your life even if you are a social media consultant. I have a book about social media—marketing in social media. I don’t even know what I’m saying on my Twitter account. I’m tweeting multiple times a day. I have 50,000 followers and I have no idea what I’m doing there because it’s not me. It’s my trusted teammates and they are crushing it for me. I actually don’t know what I said today on my Twitter, actually have a good look and see. Now, I can say the same thing about my blog. Go to stephanspencer.com and there are blogpost every week. I have no idea what I’m saying on those blogpost but when I read them on occasion, when I’m showing somebody like, “This is how you can have business on autopilot and you have people you trust. You have systems that will not let you down. Look at this, look at this last blogpost. I haven’t even seen it yet. Wow, this is amazing. This is just so on message, it’s synced up with my values and my mindset. It’s fantastic.” That is critically important. I will install Facebook on to my phone to do a Facebook live and then I will delete it again because I don’t need that sucking my attention away from thing sthat really matter and see the bigger picture.

Exactly. Now, it’s so true. I think if there were five quick takeaways, one is carve the life that you want. Be super selfish. I’m not talking like, I think I should post pictures at the top of the Eiffel Tower or in a Ferrari. I’m talking about what you want to do every single day. My family is here. I’ve traveled all over the world. That’s not just a place I am anymore. My life, if I speak, I’m in California and Nevada. It has to be Forbes Women Summit in New York, I’ll go speak there. Otherwise, I don’t really speak at other places. I don’t do podcast. I love you dearly. I was like, “Yeah, oh my god. We have to do this.” Decide who you are and what you want in your life. What you’re willing to tolerate and get rid of what you’re no longer willing to tolerate in your life. Time block, make your time answer to you. Become a student and a master at sales and selling. Don’t attach words and things to it. Just become masterful at it because without a sale your business will die. There has to be cash infusion. Understand marketing, either learn it or hire someone that can. But if you have to do it on your own, pick one solid profit channel and just drive hard and focus at it. I didn’t say big, I said drive hard and focused. Get super focused. Lastly, contribute back. We have a foundation in No Glass Ceiling Foundation. We take sex-trafficked girls off the streets ages 11-17. When they’re 17, I help them build a business because at 18 they’re no longer eligible for benefits in the United States. If they don’t have a skill set, they’ll go back to their default, their negative original environment, it’s all they know. I’ve talked to you earlier about taking a step further and drive it home. Well, it’s easy to give money but it’s not easy to take that extra step and help these young girls who’ve never built a business build businesses. They always come to No Glass Ceiling event and share where they’re at which makes me proud. Lastly, decide what’s your contribution model, if the word legacy is just too much, there will be a day that you’ll be gone. What do you want to be known for? Who do you want to be known for? The greatest travesty and my greatest fear personally is to die with my legacy not completed. Ultimately, No Glass Ceiling will be a true educational and leadership platform with sponsors so long after I’m dead, people—academic faculty will be there to help entrepreneurs launch their companies causing a ripple effect around the world. Just to get clarity, I know it’s kind of heavy, but time block what kind of like do you want. Master sales and marketing, and create a contribution model. Even just tithe do something. Help someone.

Tithing, it creates a return in so many ways. It’s one of the few things in the Bible where there is almost a guarantee of you put X in and you’re going to get Y out in return. Let’s say 10% of your income goes to charity, to things that will continue to help others, not to an individual that’s just going to use that for themselves but to an organization that spreads the wealth, the love, and makes that lasting impact. You will get a return out of it. That’s not why you should do it but you will notice when you start doing this that you’ll make more money. You will make more than what you spent in that 10%.

Exactly.

I want to do a little lighting around of some quick questions with you if you still have about five minutes.

Yeah, let me focus. I’m ready.

Let’s start with the webinar concept of—pretty unusual to be able to sell $3000-$5000 via webinar. Most people only go up to $997. What do you do differently so that the webinar is not free training for somebody who’s a tire kicker or somebody who just wants free information, free online course or a master class for an hour?

Our master class is free so they’re certainly welcome to take it and watch it over and over again. There’s plenty in there where they can move the dial. I’ve had people watch our master class, make $5000 sales a day. It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t know if there’s tire kickers or freebie seekers. I only know that there are buyers and non-buyers. There it becomes clients or non-clients, members or non-members. We just make that invitation and it’s really simple. The lowest price what we so in the webinar is 1997. We invest $2000 in advertising and we get a return of $24, 000, not bad. That is the ultimate sales edge program. We’ve done it that way forever. We give everybody a welcome call that we possibly can. We just leave a message and whatnot. Sometimes we’ll up sale into a $500 program people who ask or whatever. That welcome call is 10 seconds. It’s not a big deal, $2000 on the webi, $3000 on the webi—to me $3000 and $2000 is no different. We just do it. It’s the same framework, the same value stock, everything. $5000, yes. Sell it on the sales page, sell it via—I do more like a video series, two videos, and there applied 12 minutes long. They go to a sales page and they can look. Have a sales page for a $25,000 program. They can look, they can see, they can watch a video there, and it’s like DSL. They can either submit an application or not. That’s really how we do it. Anything higher than $25,000 we don’t disclose. Someone got to contact us. We want to make sure that people are the right fit. Often times in our private mentoring, $10,000 a month, two months minimum. Very limited, it has to be the right fit—application only. At that level, I don’t think you’re going to find people that are like, “What are all the widgets that I get?” It’s a different prospect at that point. But on the webinar, $2000, $3000, $5000, that’s just what we do.

Yeah, awesome. When they go into the webinar, do they know that that’s the pricing or do you find out in the webinar?

Oh yes. 1000%! I’m getting ready to do webinar next week for one of our programs that I’ve completely rebranded, out of the bunch of really cool stuff, small mastery, that is $2000 product but it’s going to be under $1000 for people that are on my list. It’s going to be like a really short window like seven-day promotion just for kicks-and-giggles, we’re going to do that. I’ve never done anything that low. I’ve never done anything at that price point. I’m excited about that just because I would give it away for free. My CFO, they are like, “No, you’re not.” I finally talked him into $797, but that will go back up to two. You just make the same invitation. If the value is in your program and your magic, then powerfully step into owning it and make a powerful invitation. If you would make that invitation at a live event, then why not make it out of a virtual event? People might say, no. Good, so what? Who cares? It doesn’t really matter, at least they know. You don’t need to date down. Let them rise up to you. I say that with this much love but I can’t because I’m super passionate. I go all in. I don’t care if somebody invests nothing. We have No Glass Ceiling free membership. I don’t care if they’re on the free or the super expensive. Just take action, I want results for you. That’s all that matters for me is that you take action.

Yeah. You really do have a servant leadership mindset. You really want people to succeed that’s why you’re out there doing what you do. We really appreciate it. A few more quick questions, we’ll fit them in here in this little lighting around. Let’s say you got a RFP—Request For Proposal—you’re getting shopped. Somebody is thinking that they need to get another quote in to round out the quotes they’ve already gotten. There’s no relationship there. You don’t even know who these people are or how they got to you. Do you always say no to those or do you have a introductory call with them to explore how many other bidders you’re up against? Or how you were chosen as one of the potential candidates to get the RFP? What do you recommend as the next step if you get an RFP?

I’ll answer this one really fast. If someone emails me out of the blue and I don’t know who they are and they’ve heard of me, I will reply back and say, “Are you opening the block for bid? If so, how many bidders? Please reply by 10 AM tomorrow morning.” Then, they’ll reply back and say something just because I’m interested in their feedback. Typically, if someone was just opening a blog for bid and they’re getting bidders, my response is going to be, “Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity of you connecting with us. However, I’m going to respectfully decline because we’re interested in long-term relationships not in a bid. I’m certain that I could not serve you at the way that would best meet our company’s philosophy.” I don’t care if it’s a $50,000,000 deal. I’ve done bids, we do win, that’s in the old days, but I’m not interested.

You really do get in life the standards that you’re willing to tolerate. I walked away from a really sizeable six-figure deal with a huge brand, J. Crew. I think highly of that brand yet they insisted work for higher clause in the contract and I’m like, “Nah, I don’t do that.” That killed the deal and I’m okay with that.

The big question for those of you listening is you just say to them, “Are you opening the block for bid?” That’s the phrase. They say yes, you can say, “Peace out. Have a great day.” Or whatever you want.

One more, masterminds. You have your own mastermind and you are in other masterminds. How many masterminds are you in? How many masterminds would you recommend a listener be in? In a range, one to three? Three to five? I’ve been in five masterminds at a time. It’s a lot. What’s your opinion on that?

Yeah. For me, it ebbs and flows. Sometimes it could be one, sometimes it could be three. I think the biggest point is that different masterminds do different things. I’m a full advocate for masterminds. Some are entrepreneurs. Corporations have masterminds with corporate people right? What’s the purpose of the mastermind? In other words, is it social networking to meet other influencers? What’s your goal in the mastermind? You want to grow your business and learn from that particular mentor. Is there a mastermind that’s strictly about marketing? Then there’s a different mastermind that’s all about mindset money and maybe a different mastermind that’s all about sales and driving revenue. As long as someone’s not in three of the same kind of masterminds, in my opinion, that’s just not a good use of time and revenue. But if it feels specific gap in the business or a specific purpose to propel your business closer to the goal that you have, then I think multiple masterminds are great. My son just got accepted into UCLA Honors Economics also UCI. It goes into how many of those honors classes can you take before you’re suffocating because then it doesn’t serve you. You can’t think and implement. To answer the question, I think the bottom line is it’s different for everybody. I know there are times I’ve been in one and it’s been absolutely perfect. There’s times I’ve been in two or three. For me, three would be my absolute max. But you’re a rock star. Five was like, holy mackerel! That’s like honor student economics in UCLA, I could not.

It was intense. When I was doing a couple of masterminds and of them was the Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership, that’s like a full-time job. Following Tony around and going in all of these events and the private plat trips which were incredible. The most amazing people and you saw the peer group is incredible. The knowledge, the distinctions, the networking, the sales opportunities, I’ve closed way more money in direct client deals from plat than I spent in being in that program, $135,000 a year to be in that program. I was in it for three years. That included the travel, S75,000 plus each trip is $15,000. It all adds up to probably, roughly to $135,000-$145,000. Serious commitment and yet the ROI was there. Hands down. Just the direct client revenue, was there one particular mastermind that you say, “Hands down this was the most incredible ROI generating mastermind that I’ve ever been in my whole life.” What would that be for you?

That’s such a hard question because it’s kind of like asking me which one of my kids I liked better. We depend on the day right? I think, if I roll back the clock to four or seven years ago, in that moment, that was the best mastermind and would it serve me today? No, because my growth trajectory has quantum leaped in a very different place. Where I even was two years ago and not in mastermind, as amazing as it was, has it been the best in the moment? I think the big question is, have I ever had a bad mastermind? The answer is yes. There was one where the person did not deliver. It wasn’t what it was supposed to be. Did I get mad? No. Did I get even? No. Did I bad-mouth it? No. I’m grateful for the experience because there were two things that happened. One, I was like, “Holy Mackerel! If that’s what this is, I can do this.” Number two, I’ve met some really cool people and this goes back to 2013 that I’m still friends and close today. I believe that every time someone invests there is a tremendous learning that comes out of it. No question.

When you pay, you pay attention.

Yeah. I’ve been pumped in the six-figure masterminds and I’m grateful for that. I cringe when I say this, I don’t know that I played full out. I just don’t. I can’t help it. It’s human nature.

Yeah, it is. We’ll close up the episode with that pearl of wisdom. Thank you so much, Kelly. If somebody wanted to work with you or to join mastermind or sign up for one of your live events, what website would you like them to go do?

I would say, for our free membership, go to noglassceiling.com and our programs range anywhere from $2000-$100,000. My favorite mastermind is actually $5000 that I love. It’s like a group program. Go to noglassceiling.com as well or kellyfidel.com and you’ll be able to see everything there. There’s a lot of ways that we can help you for your pay, it doesn’t really matter. Just take action.

That’s great. That’s important, that’s where the rubber meets the road. Thank you, Kelly. Thank you, listeners. We’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak. I hope this was a fabulous episode for you. Now, it’s time to take action and one of the easiest ways you can do that is go to marketingspeak.com. Download the checklist of action items to take from this episode, the free PDF, and also go to the show notes where all the resources that we’ve talked about are linked. The transcript will give you a quick recap of everything we’ve discussed between those three things you’re going to have a mini education here of what you’ve just learned in this one hour episode. I hope to see you on the next episode. In the meantime, have a fantastic week. This is Stephan Spencer, your host signing off.

 

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Begin with the right mindset and be authentic no matter what. That should be my focal point.

☑ Make sure that the value I offer doesn’t need a lot of explanation. My prospects should be able to understand what they’re getting in return right away.

☑ Focus on the level of commitment rather than committing to everyone. It’s okay to be selective with clients as long as it leads to  better fruition.

☑ Don’t be afraid to talk about money. Be clear with the terms and make my clients feel that they are getting the best value on their investment.

☑ Adapt my pitch to my audience. I should know how to deal with a huge crowd on stage, a team of board members in a conference room or a face to face meeting with an individual client.

☑ Join trainings and masterminds to meet the right peer group who can help me improve my skills and network.

☑ Educate myself on the business process. Know the ins and outs of business legalities and the best way to meet my needs.

☑ Keep sales simple. Focus on one or two things and don’t get sidetracked. The less complicated my strategy is, the more success I will have.

☑ Practice time blocking to optimize my productivity. Be strict on avoiding distractions such as going on social media, watching Netflix, and checking my phone.

☑ Create a stellar team of salespeople where each has their own area of expertise to help me achieve my goals.  

Important Links:

About Kelly Fidel

Award Winning entrepreneur, Kelly Fidel is a Business Turnaround Expert and Sales Strategist. She provides High Performance Coaching for Highly Driven People.

Named “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”, she is a professional speaker, author, and die-hard football mom. As Founder and CEO of No Glass Ceiling®, she began her sales mastery at the age of 9. Raised by a single mother and very little money, she sold avocados door-to-door to buy a pair of “Red Ball Jets” tennis shoes. (a woman has got to have her shoes)!

Harnessing more than 28 years of expertise as a powerhouse corporate executive running billion dollar sales divisions, Kelly successfully navigated the world of corporate deal-makers and boardrooms; negotiating against some of the most powerful men in the world for the win!

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