Scale Your Sales #069: Larry Long Jr - Seize The Business Opportunities Now or Someone Else Will!
Hello and Welcome to Scale Your Sales podcast, now my next guest is the director of Collegiate Sales at Teamworks, he is also founder and CEO of Larry Long Jr LLC which focuses on sales motivation, inspiration, training and coaching. So Welcome to Scale Your Sales Podcast Larry Long Jr. Thank you so much for having me it is a privilege and a pleasure and an honour to be here with you Janice. All right don't over, I get it Larry.
We're all trying to Scale our Sales we are we're going to do that we're going to do that and I know this is going to be lots of fun for you audience members. So Larry let's start off with the pandemic the UK today has just gone into its second lockdown this is having an impact on all businesses, all associations and everything. So what does it look like from your end in the US? It's been quite the adjustment you think about it we're on lockdown we're used to being out there face to face I think they say B2B that stands for body to body and now we've had to go virtual so essentially we're getting used to the boxes it's like the brady bunch he got boxes everywhere some people don't want to turn on their camera it's like wow I still need to establish these relationships I still need to build trust in order to business but we've had to make the adjustment to the digital world so it's all about being flexible going with the flow putting on our thinking caps and just being creative and innovative so that we can still make things happen. what is the one thing that you've found has made a difference to enable you still to make those connections and relationships with people through this medium? I’m going to give you two. I know you asked for one I’m listening and that's the number one it's listening for us we've been getting close to our clients just asking questions and sitting back and listening to understand number two we've had to get creative we've had to put on our thinking caps and after listening figuring out how can we serve how can we help how can we assist and be a resource to our clients and our prospects during these turbulent times we're going through some turbulence we're going through some chaos then the rocky waters what we found is it presents an opportunity for us to help even more and in different ways than what we did before but if we kept doing what we were doing before it wouldn't work I can guarantee you that there's not many guarantees in life but essentially what got you here won't get you there so we've just been flexible and adapting to the current environment. I think it's really interesting because we wouldn't wish this on anybody however there are some real advantages because in the sales environment people sales people like to talk don't they and they're not so good at the active listening and so by having this restriction has actually brought the importance of listening and really focusing in so much more it's gone to another level. I wonder when we come out of lockdown do you think those
skills will be maintained or we'll just go back to where we were before? Because these are real opportunities but there are opportunities that you really want to continue to take forward. So true and that's a great question I wish I had the crystal ball my thought is that those who are going to continue to win will continue to adapt what happened is things were going up before we were in a great market everything was hunky dory it's all rainbows and sunshine well that changed and we had to change what I think is that when we come out of this and things ramp up those folks that go back to doing things the way that they did before just throwing up on people I caught logaria diarrhoea in the mouth and not really listening not really caring about what the clients and what the prospects what they're going through they're going to lose and like you said this is terrible but e through the bad times it presents opportunity and I’m fortunate to be able to see it just first-hand the opportunity of folks up levelling their sales skill to listen and to actually drive a match when we're selling I’m thinking that we're playing matchmaker between whatever we have and our prospects their needs, their wants, their desires, their challenges, hopes dreams and aspirations. So talking about the hopes dreams and aspirations what's your view in the B2B environment whether it's shifted enough to deliver those hopes dreams and aspirations to be buyer and customer centric? We still have a ways to go we're showing improvement but that just tells you how far off we were before because before folks that didn't belong in sales folks that didn't even have the basic fundamentals of selling skills they were able to get by because essentially everyone's flushed with money. Now that things are tighter and things are tougher if you're not able to pinpoint those values that value proposition that you're able to add, people just want to know "what's in it for me? how can you help me? can you help me make more money? can you help me save time? be more efficient, take care of my employees, take care of my clients" if you're not able to clearly deliver that right now people are saying like sweet Georgia brown ain't nobody got time for that so essentially we've got to continue to up level because if we go back there there's going to be some winners and there's going to be some losers you make the choice I know where I want to be I want to be on the winning side hashtag winning. So I want to find out a bit more about you how did you get into to sales and your special energy around what you do? Saw her off sales lawns by Larry I was 12 years old knocking door to door my mom made a little flyer for me and I was scared. She said, what's the worst that someone can say? I said no. She said, is it that bad? I said yes. I don't like to hear no she said boy you better
get your behind on out there I went knocking on doors and I loved it I picked up clients to mow their lawn and then two no a year later my sister's 10 years younger she was three my mom dressed her up in her Sunday’s best she said take your sister with you on the one thing I learned is having a cute little baby girl certainly increases the sales, who can say no? I mean I got the face for radio so it was like I get out of here but when they looked at her and they said oh where do I sign up. I grew up in VA hospitals my parents serve veterans and I’ve always just loved serving others and the great thing about sales is we get to do that for a profession. We get to help other people accomplish their goals overcome any obstacles that are in their way and it's a win-win-win situation so just I mean I’ve been selling my whole life like I said my sister's 10 years younger when she came being an only child it's like oh what about me oh look at cute little tiffany I’m like what about crazy Larry? So I had to learn how to tap dance and how do I really get some attention over to me and the best way to get attention is to drive value for other people.
that's a great way drive value for other people. I want to talk about we're both black people here and there's a lack of diversity in the sales industry and there's a lot of more focus on gender diversity but I want to talk about Black Lives Matter and the impact that's having in America and specifically in the sales industry. What is your sense? we have a long ways to go. We're making some progress and it's good to see I’m not going to sugar-coat it's good to see that we're having the conversations. In the past it was swept underneath the rug like ah that's taboo we don't go there well yes we need to go there and really it's a microcosm of our society realizing that folks that are black and brown have been treated differently which is not right and essentially there's right and there is wrong and organizations individuals try to get away with the grey area well and you can justify anything I mean we're in sales I can justify anything but when you look at it from just a clear mindset there's right and there's wrong so it's great that we're having the conversation but there's a saying that your actions speak so loud.
I can't hear what you're saying so I’ve got my popcorn and I’m watching and I’m taking notes and I think mark Cuban who's one of the sharks on the shark tank he said it at the beginning of the pandemic he said "during this time just watch individuals and organizations are going to let their true colours shine through" lo and behold that's a very bright dude because their true colours are shining through and it's all you got to do is look at the actions what are they doing not what are they saying not what are they putting out on social media that that's all fluff that's on the surface. How are you treating your employees? What does your leadership team look like? the folks that make the decisions if we don't have a seat at the table we don't have any impact I mean let's keep it real so we've got a long ways to go we're showing some improvement but and not enough not enough. Not enough and it's the same in in the UK do what one tactic I have whenever I get a senior leader I always ask them the question because they'll give out the statement they know that by halves but actually then I’ll say well what's the makeup of your board? What is the makeup of you the senior management team? And it's not stuttering often you just got to be honest because obviously I can look it up anyone can look it up and I think by asking the question it's like putting a little pebble and it's one of those things that keeps reverberating because they don't want to be asked that question and be uncomfortable about the answer so I think just by constantly as you say you've got it's great we're having the conversation but just by asking those questions because there isn't it's there's right and wrong as you say there isn't any reason why you shouldn't and it is systemic and there's lots of adjustments that are going to be have to be made over the years starting right now starting yesterday in order to make real action to really change things. So I asked the question it's not my discomfort it's other people's really and they need to that's only really when things change I don't know what you think when people are a little bit uncomfortable then they really want to change it. You can see the gears turning in their head and they're like oh you got me and it's like hey what you going to do about it knowing ain't doing I mean I know I’m not supposed to eat a lot of fried foods but I love some chicken and biscuits Bojangles I ended up buying stock and Bojangles because I ate there so much but I’ve calmed down now but what are you going to do to make a change and make a difference. So in talking about what are you going to do tell me a bit more about your company because it's quite unusual when I read up about Teamworks it's quite unusual what they do and how it comes about and although I saw the apps and it's really the connectivity and social media things why is it necessary? I’m going to have to pull out the gold mic on this one oh I love that we know that Teamworks makes the dream work we essentially help to empower and engage elite athletes so whether that's English premier league teams that we work with for me I’m on the colleges and university side the student athlete in our in our instance is generally at the centre and there's so many different folks that are trying to communicate with them using different methods whether it's text, email, group me, WhatsApp, carrier pigeon you name it.
we provide one centralized location for anyone that wants to communicate within an organization, sports organization in one place, files, digital files, completing forms, all from the app because we all keep these things wherever we go why not use it and leverage it to strengthen communication to build culture and to keep everyone on the same page because traditionally they put things on the bulletin board that gets missed they tell things verbally and we're talking about athletes here who aren't always the brightest hey what time does the bus leave again how many times do I have to tell you now it's go check your team works and then we acquired a company called influencer that's a social media platform that allows elite athletes to tell their story twitter I think the millennials call it Instagram, TikTok and next year they're going to be able to monetize college athletes will be able to get paid for their name, their image, and their likeness well you better build your brand so that other brands will say we'll pay you Bojangles will say we'll pay you to represent our brand now for me I know I’m getting a little long-winded I’m going to wrap it up I played baseball at university of Maryland my father ran track there my sister ran track there I think over across the pond you call it rounders everyone laughs and they say ah you play that little game rounders I’m like ah it's baseball but essentially I’m at the intersection of sports which I love technology I’m a tech geek and then I have the opportunity to lead a team so it's really the trifecta. Larry I love your editions. This is in full colour isn't it. What's next? I know everyone's wondering. I’m just waiting for the next thing. Oh my god, right, okay so What one tried and tested strategy would you offer listeners to scale their sales? Tried and true it's making sure that you have tough questions. Tony Robbins the great Tony Robbins said
"the most successful people ask the best questions therefore they get the best answers" what I’ve found and what I’ve observed with the teams that I work with is that when you ask the good and the tough questions and you shut up and listen you'll get the good and tough answers your prospects your clients will give you the path to the order but so many times we're talking we're spewing how much we know and the and the folks on the other side say so what who cares it's like a doctor if I go into the doctor and I tell the doctor it's my shoulder and he's talking on talking this and that about oh I’m the best ankle surgeon I’m like doc you're missing the spot ain't nobody got time for that I’m going to go find someone who's going to listen and take care of my pain I don't care how great you are ankle surgery. That's what happens so many times in sales. We're talking about how great of an ankle surgeon we are and the folks our prospects are having pain in their shoulder so the tried and true test is to ask the right questions listen and then determine how you can help solve their pains how you can help them accomplish their goals you can address their needs that's winning right there. Wow certainly, so tell me a bit more about the LLC, Larry Long Jr. I’m shining I’ve been doing this for years Janice I’ve been talking
you can tell I like I got the gift of gab I’ve been talking I’ve been sharing I’ve been coaching but I never formalized it I mean 2018 I had nine corporate engagements I didn't make a dime and I didn't do it to make a dime and I still don't but now that I’ve formalized it I have the opportunity to help even more organizations and individuals that want to take their game to that next level on a scale of one to ten let's look at it how are you in your discovery calls let's be honest maybe you're a seven I’m going to come in and help you take it to an 8.5 maybe you say hey Larry I’ve been doing this for years I’m an expert okay you're a nine what's holding you back from being a 10 and I already know the answer I’m going to listen to what you had to say but I know it's that person in the mirror. If you've got the blinders on and you're not opening the new techniques that might work to getting creative then you're missing out on the opportunity and if you're not going to seize the opportunity I guarantee you there's someone who will so I help individuals and organizations step their game up from a motivation inspiration sales, keynote speaking, coaching and training perspective. I love it because I get to see the development of people
take their game to the next level and in return I get to win as well. Fantastic, I love it when and especially it's normally a man that says to me when I go in and work with companies. Even in their body language if they don't say in worlds like what can you teach me I’ve been doing this for years and I love when I’m walking out after the engagement how they're my best friend. It's funny how that works. That's the challenge and that's what I absolutely love how can I
turn it around to actually really enable them not embarrass them but enable them to modernize their thinking and modernize their understanding of the world that they think that they are in because the world has changed around them it's just that they haven't changed their system I do a lot of social selling looking at key account management and focusing on a customer success, customer experience because I think that's how you grow your revenue routes by retaining your customers and really looking after them and really getting on upselling cross-selling all of those things but it's like I’ve known these this company for years how many connections do you have in that company one or two it's like well you need to have 10 or 20. You're at risk that one person leaves then all of that so and then once they've got it they can really see it and they run with it isn't that fantastic Larry? Once they've got it they're running with it they're a different person they're so much more energized that's what I’m sure you love too. It's so great to see and what you talked about getting close to your current clients that's also a great referral source people, love to help people if you have a track record of helping them show me that me and I’ll do anything for you it's just amazing that the tighter those relationships are it's just magical some folks say what's the silver bullet what's the magic dust and there isn't any essentially it's about true relationships building trust and actually adding value to other people with no expectation in return people can smell commission breath they can when you got to pop a couple tick tacks a couple mints but that that commission breath ah it still comes through strong but if you truly care with your heart, with your mind and you say it you say it through what you say as well as your actions the sky's the limit. Sky's the limit! Okay so Larry who is your Hero or Shero? I can't just come with one I’ve got
a hero in shero my mother and then my father god rest god bless his soul they're both my heroes just having the opportunity to grow up around them to have them lead and coach me and parent me has really made me the person that I am and it's just amazing how blessed how fortunate I mean my father grew up in Baltimore city in the projects single-family home an abusive father wasn't there alcoholic and he made it through he made it through because of his internal drive but also mentors many mentors and that support group and essentially he passed that on to me both in his words as well as his actions my mom just an amazing woman we talk every single night we do a little trivia game every night at 9 00 pm and my mom is just amazing and I would say that they're both my heroes my heroes and I owe the world to them god really blessed me and I can't say enough I can go on and on about my mom and my dad. Oh that's fantastic, that's wonderful! Larry how can listeners get hold of you? oh goodness by hooker by crook nah on LinkedIn you can see me I got to smile for a mile Larry Long Jr and I would love to connect a would love to interact and anything that I can do to help assist and serve as a resource for you just let me know so Larry Long Jr on LinkedIn would love to connect with you. Brilliant you've been a fantastic guest I’m going to have to bring some pops to compete with you next time round so listeners if you're listening to this on audio you need to go onto the video as well because Larry brought his game. He said you bring your seatbelt you got to be ready when you come through.
You're in for the ride so thank you for being a guest on Scale Your Sales Podcast Larry it’s been an absolute delight. The pleasure's all mine thank you Janice all the best.