Well, can I help you listen up? I’m bringing you the best content to ever exist and the door to door industry from sales, leadership, recruiting and personal development. Why would I need that? Because never before have we been able to collaborate with the top experts in their industries, sharing their secrets and techniques and what makes them the best. Wait, who are you? I’m your host. Sam Taggart, creator of the DDD experts and DDD con. Is there a place we can sit down? We’ll come on in.
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All right, everybody, this is Sam Taggart and I have a very special guest and author, a long experience, tons of experience in management and selling and all through story Stelling. I guess you could call it selling, but he crossed out the t because it’s about how to story sell versus storytelling because I think a lot of people don’t know how to really leverage their stories. So we’re going to dive into how Harry has managed over 2000 sales people over, you know, producing massive amount of volume worldwide for 25 years. He was the president of a chemical company called Zep manufacturing and helped build, recruit, train and inspire these 2000 sales reps. So big, big organization. And he’s probably dealt with a few, the same headaches that we have. And these guys went out door to door and worked on businesses and sold their product and he’s, he’s sold anything under the sun.
He has been in our shoes, he’s walked the walk, talk the talk, carry the bags and actually closed a heck of a lot of business. So super excited to have, um, Harry on the show and just those that you guys don’t have not got your tickets just now. Door two. Our con tickets are available at DDD conduct com. It’s January 16th to the 18th. So make sure you go check that out. And we hope Perry to be there. So let me dive in and introduce Harry and get him on the show. So welcome. Welcome to the show, Harry. Yeah, I’m glad to have you on here. It is a pleasure to be here, Sam. I’m looking forward to spending jam with you and your audience. So we’re Jenn from Atlanta, right? You’re, you’re in Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta. If you hear the south, it’s legitimate morning. Hey, I had a rep I met beside changing already down it.
I had a rep, I brought him out to South Carolina to start selling out there and I go out to train him one day and this was probably a month after he’s in there and we go knock a door and he starts with a southern accent and I go, did you, did you really just fake a southern accent? Like I was like, what are you doing? They’re going to read right through that. And that’s probably why you stink so bad right now. He’s like, I was like, just speak normal. Dang it. And he was like, oh, okay. So I’m glad you’re not faking or something. I’m now taking, mine’s a, this is legit. I love it. I just, I was out there two weeks ago in Atlanta with company that,
um, I actually have like three or four clients actually in Atlanta. I visit regularly, so, um, quite often in there. So maybe I’ll stop by and say hi one of these times.
I would love that.
So let’s dive into this. So tell us kind of your sales in, in a one minute elevator version, your sales journey, I guess, you know, from when did you get into it to now you’re obviously selling, you know, a book and more just giving back. Um, so yeah, tell us kind of about your, your, your journey.
I’ll be happy to say I was born at a very early age. No, no, no, no, no. But I’ve been selling from that very early age. From a coco, let’s stand in the front yard. Atlanta, the home move. Coca-Cola took football, colors, it stadiums to insurance through a little bit of everything. Shoes on Saturday, anything to make a buck. And I ended up in the chemical business. Don’t ask me how, through a friend of my brother-in-law, I ended up going to work for the SEP manufacturing company. And, uh, I, uh, went through all the chairs of sales from knocking on doors where the territory to a sales management, to a VP of sales to the president of zip where I, uh, uh, served, uh, for 27 years. Uh, I will say 25 straight years of double digit increase. So we did well. Uh, we had, uh, uh, plants and distribution offices all over America, about 43 and then the big operation in western Europe through seven or eight or nine countries in western Europe, about 1500 reps in, uh, North America, Canada and the U s and the balance in Europe, few in South America.
It was a great experience, uh, men and women, uh, taking a commission oriented opportunity to spread the gap, the Zip Gospel. There was a lot of dirt in this world, so it gave us unlimited opportunity. Uh, many of your listeners probably would be for me with zip products, hand cleaners and degreasers or an automotive influence. Uh, most dealerships have a little Zeppelin in the back someplace. And, uh, again, uh, we made friends. We found that relationships were important. Uh, I’m a firm believer in the value of relationships and uh, and building those, uh, requires the elements of, uh, professionalism of knowing your business. Uh, take thinking in a fashion that respects your customer. This is not a hit and run industry. Uh, that’s not the way to fame and fortune review. You’re going to be successful in sales. You better make friends and you better build relationships. And that would be, uh, uh, if I had two words to say to your people initially, it would make friends.
I love that. I love that. Um, there’s a book I love called raving fans and I, and, and I always preach, I’m like, make friends, make fans, like build a relationship that you feel you can nurture. You know, it’s funny, I actually went through probably two, three years in my selling career where I would pray, customers would never call me. You know what I mean? Like, I was like, if I sold you and you had to call me, that means you’re probably something wrong or you know, and I was so afraid to talk to him or you didn’t see him in the street again. I’m like, and I don’t know why. Like, and if you’re listening to this and you’re probably like, why is that? I like, I legitimately had this weird fear of like I had a friend or I don’t know, maybe it was, I wasn’t confident in myself or the product or something. I don’t know why. But, um, I then overcame that and I could see myself, you know, double because I wasn’t afraid to call him and be like, hey man, hey, how are things like how’s it going? Like it cause I changed my confidence, I changed my tune. I, I, I had much more of an abundance mentality. But the second I could turn it into being like, I hope my customer texts me cause it means they’re thinking I’m me. Um,
that was became much easier. So [inaudible]
it w one of the stories in the book is, uh, uh, I was going to school, I started at the University of Florida and I was there in a moment of despair. I was lonely. I was away from home for the first time and I sent a telegram to my father. You remember telegrams or that was yesteryear, but they were still around 10 word limit, you know, and uh, uh, and I said, dear dad, and without money or friends love Harry, he immediately sent me back and telegram. He said, do your hair. Make friends love date. Now he didn’t know it, but that was great sales advice. He wasn’t no salesman, but he said, make friends and if there’s a better, better template for success, I don’t know what it is. You know, it’s proven that when all things are equal, people in the bathroom, they’re friends.
And when things aren’t equal, people show on about from their friends. So make sure that you do the right thing and what’s the right doing? It’s showing up on time in Tam, enough times. It’s thinking in terms of your customer. It’s being, it’s respecting their time, it’s helping them improve their business. It’s being a resource. It’s not, you know, you don’t eat, there’s no such thing as just a salesman. You viewing yourself wrong. If you say, I’m just a salesman. Take pride in being a salesman. Take Pride in what you do and the way you do it. You know, it’s sales, the lubricant of our economy and we’re the old story. Nothing happens until somebody sells something. Is the truest lane ever spoken? You don’t need manufacturing, you don’t need a challenge and you don’t need distribution unless someone is getting someone to say, yes, I’ll take some. When can you get it here? That’s the lubricant that starts the ball rolling. And it’s so critical to the economy that we all enjoy.
No, and I, and I love that. And, and, and just talking about your book a little bit, um, you know, you said that it’s not so much like how to sell, it’s more to why to sell. Right? And you kind of wrote it a little bit more around like why the why too. So I guess Kinda dive a little bit more into that. Like why selling, why is it so powerful? Like why are you so passionate about it? Like, you know, all these people in this that are listening are obviously probably sitting there going, I’m in sales, but like how do, how does one, maybe that’s having a, uh, an internal crisis saying like, man, is sales really for me or sales really? Am I really good at this? Or should I do something else where it’s more stable or whatever? Like what would you tell that guy?
I think the, those, those are legitimate questions. You know, the, the subtitle of stories selling and you exactly right, it is the t is crossed out because story telling is the oldest form of communication. But story selling is taking stories and using them to impart your wisdom and your, and your key points to, to a salesperson. But the subtitle is sage advice and common sense about sales and success. So the book is not just a how to book it is a why to book and why two is critical. You’re in sales because you’re comfortable with people, you’re in sales because you like the independence that it provides. Statistically, that’s almost two thirds of the reason that most people are in sales. And yes, income’s important. But if you’re going to maximize your income, you better be comfortable doing it. You better like communicating with people and, and you better feel as though, uh, you know, you have an opportunity that’s unlimited, that’s the way you maximize who you are in, in what you want to be.
And I just feel that my role was to convince people of their innate talent and ability and that success was dependent on them. That, you know, life’s not about a free lunch lie. A life is about paying the price, doing what’s necessary, having the self confidence to get out there every day and do what you do the very best way that, you know how I like the tin, two little word, two letter words, 10 that to me say so much about success and those words are tend to letter words. If it is to be, it is up to me. You’re not dependent on anyone else. Yes, you need a company, yes you need a product. Yes you need support. But if it is to be, it is up to me. And the sooner people realize that and know that you can’t duck it, they can’t dodge you. You’ve got to get out there and do what’s necessary to pay the prices. The coaches, the coaches are right. Pay The price.
I love that. It’s so crazy. They also simple words. If it is to be, it is up to me. And I think, I think a lot of people, it’s so weird, I had a guy, I’ve always had this principle, right? Uh, if you can’t, if, if, if it’s gonna cost you more in time than it is labor, hire it out. So I’m laying floor yesterday, right. And I had never, like in my, I had already paid somebody to do it. They just hadn’t come yet and I was inpatient so I was like, maybe I’ll try this whole like laminate floor. And I called Buddy of mine who does landscaping cause I was like, hey, you know, will you come help me lay this cause then I’ve done this. You seem like more handy than me. I’ll pay the 20 bucks. Just come and we get to talk to them.
20 bucks. What a sport you are. So I said 20 bucks now. Okay, you do it
for free. I was like, no, no, no, no. I’ll get like nobody wants to lay floor with a buddy. Like, and I didn’t really know him super well. Um, I just kind of met him through church or whatever. And so I was like, Hey, he lives in the apartments right next to my house. And you could tell he doesn’t do super well. Like, I mean, he’s in landscaping, he’s married with a kid and um, but he actually does the landscape and I’m like, Geez, that’s like I would not, anyway, so he comes over, we start laying, laying the laminate down and he gets to talk and he’s like, yeah, my wife says I maybe should look into entrepreneurship and maybe sales or something. He was sharp with cat. Like he could tell he carries himself well, is, is educated. Yeah. What do you like, what are you doing as a landscaper?
Like what, like what? And he’s like, well, you know, I just, I feel like every time I’ve tried to get into like, or anybody’s pitched me on anything, it’s been this scam or it’s, it’s not gonna work out. And I’m like, man, like what if somebody could inspire him? If not, if it wasn’t me, maybe somebody else to have that confidence and say, look, none of it’s a scam and there’s so many opportunities in business and entrepreneurship and sales that are out there. The question is, do you believe in yourself? You know what I mean? And, and, and it was kind of this little pep talk that I had with him and I kinda felt good, you know, I was like, and I was like, I hope he doesn’t go home and quit his job. And like, you know, I was like, maybe you did and maybe I, maybe I do hope he does, but I’m just like, but I’m like, if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.
Right? So, so it’s like, how do we help realize that they don’t have to be the landscape or whatever that could equate to, or that hourly guy or the guy making 60 grand or whatever average people make and help them see that. Just like any other successful person in this world, they went out and got it. They just, they literally said, it’s up to me to go get it. I love it. You know, and in real life, I had this yesterday happened to me and it was like exactly what you’re saying. Oh, I really love that principle. Um,
okay. It takes an issue, do man, it takes guts for that person to leave the quote, the comfort of the disturbing job. But you got to take risk. And I wrote a sales letter every week for 27 years and each one ended with a hairy skin and that Harry’s shrimp was a little axiom or a little principle a, you see things like Mung Church bulletin boards all over America. But it was a message and the reps used to joke with me, Harry, I don’t read all that junk on the first couple of pages and you just go right to the Harry’s again. I like the heads, you know, and one of them that comes to mind is the simple one. It says, change is not always better, but better is always change. If you think about that, change is not always better, but better is always change. You had to do something different to make it better and you had to have the initiative and you had to have the commitment and you had to have the discipline. Another little story from the book, it’s a little math question or problem. How are you at Arithmetic, Sam?
I’m joking. Three frogs sat on a log and one decided to jump off. How many are left? Well, the answer is three. Almost everybody says two. But because one of the frogs just sanded to jump off doesn’t mean that he actually jumped off. Okay. We decide to lose weight, to get up earlier, to exercise, to quit smoking. We decided to do wonderful things. How often they don’t happen for whatever reason, procrastination or thanking it’s comfort or afraid of the change. But you gotta be decisive. Nike famously said, just do it Harry suse, just do it now. You need to add urgency. You need to make it now and you need not to just decide to do something. That’s only the first step. The implementation doing it is what makes a difference.
You just dropped like 17 nuggets in a row.
I’m like trying to keep it
up with my notes.
Arie slow down here. Um, no, but at the end of the day, like that’s it. Like most people don’t ever grow in life because they’re not willing to change. Like the book who moved my cheese is all about sure. [inaudible]
oh hey. Like if you aren’t changing, you are not growing. Um, I have a coaching call after this at two where I have a bunch of CEOs and guys that I work with. And it was interesting cause I asked them, I said, what, what topics do you guys need help with? And I think one of them was this stagnant, like they that they’re like, what happens when you kind of hit this stagnant? I feel like I hit the lid and everything in opposition is pulling me back from, from growing past this lid. It’s like a, it’s like I just can’t have this breakthrough. And I was like, oh, that’s a, that’s a really cool topic. One of the things that I’m going to talk about was, was this, this man, it’s your not willing to change, therefore your lid is going to remain the same.
And so it’s identifying what things do you need to change. It’s kind of like you have a good wolf and a bad wolf. It’s, which will do you want to feed? It’s like whichever one you feed will survive. Right. And it’s like, I dunno. Anyway, so [inaudible] I love this. Um, so where do you feel like sales guys get stuck? Like you’re, you’re, you’ve led a lot of sales guy. You wrote him letter. I love that concept for manager. There’s a nugget in and of itself. Every week we wrote a letter and he had his little hand saying, I am contributing value and and training and, and and energy towards my salespeople. So I think that there’s a negative in and of itself that a lot of people probably look, but I guess if you were to say you see a sales guy that stuck maybe can’t have any, he just seems to be hitting his lid over and over and over again. How would you inspire him to change and get different results? Like what would you do to help him? What would you tell my group of CEOs? What would you like? What advice would you give this guy?
I would say to them, look, do you think you’re as good as you can be? Are you satisfied with where you are? Do you think you reach your ultimate goal? And very few people will say, yes, very few of us work at full capacity. You know, again, I would say you are responsible for what you’re going to be, who you’re going to be in, the success you’re going to achieve. How willing are you to pay the price? Most sales people are hurt more, not by what they can do, but by what they won’t do. So you’ve got to have the mindset that’s right. And you’ve got to have the urgency to things are critical to success in my mind, a plan and not quite enough time. So the plan is one thing, but you gotta have some motivation to go keen to go do it. And again, people that that just are complacent and people that rest on their laurels, that’s not, that’s not the answer. You know, easy street is a blind alley. That’s an Oval Harry’s head too. So, but the point is you’ve got to know that it’s up to you and don’t worry about failure. The thing to try when all else rails is again,
I love that Linda tried
when all little trails these lines again. Exactly
fry. Um, Geez, I’m just taking notes. People thing to try
and when all else fails is again,
and I think that so many people over and over and over again think that they have to like snort over or they’re in the wrong spot. Like think of selling. Okay, let’s take the sales guys get stuck. I remember there was one year where I made about 10 grand less than I did the year before. And granted this was a lot of money and I was like, what the heck? I should be making way more every year, like thinking I should have this like massive up tick getting performance in an income. Um, and I was all disappointed and I was like, man, maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe I should switch careers. Maybe I should switch jobs. Like I’m digressing. And it was almost [inaudible] like I went through this like crisis of like, oh, maybe I need to rethink everything, but no, it’s just try again and go, go perform better. Like I don’t think it was anything I did wrong. I just think it was like, I just didn’t, I had a slow week or so a month that maybe put me black [inaudible] you know what I mean? And it’s like, thanks so many people get so derailed and that, and then they go down to easy street, which is a blind alley.
I love that. [inaudible] easy streets of blind alley and then try again. [inaudible] and winning is hard. Like winning is, isn’t, isn’t the easy street. I love that. Yeah.
There’s no feeling like winning either. You know, what’s the old story? Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. And there’s a lot of truth to that. But again, the people you’re working with benefit from what you tell them. And if they will just have confidence in themselves and know that, that it’s not, uh, it’s not easy. You know, it shouldn’t be easy. You want to be able at the end of the day to say, did I do the best I could do? Did I take care of my customers or that think in his or her terms? That’s what’s important. And again, you’ve got to have the discipline to realize that it’s important if you’re going to build relationships and make friends to think in the terms of your customer. People talk about what’s your most important thing in a business. And people say, oh, return on sales or return on assets.
Uh, you know, all the metrics that the accountants use. The most important thing for a business or for a salesperson is to please his or her customer. If you please your customer, all the other things fall into place. You can get a return on asset, you can get a return on sales, you can get the sales growth you want and the returns you want. But you got to have happy customers. And again, happy customers come from you thinking in their terms, putting yourself in their shoes. The keyword is empathy, but it means something. It’s true. It’s not just you jargon. And when you think in terms of customers and you please customers and you tried to help them help their business, they know it, they recognize it and you are welcomed. When you make those recalls, they are happy to see you because you are a resource, you are an asset, you have their interests, you’re improving their business and that that creates great relationships and that’s what success is about, building relationships.
I love that. Do you have any good stories? I know a lot of your books, like you said, you wrote a letter and associated stories and examples. Do you have any good stories from the book, those that are interested in the book guys you can get on Amazon. It’s called story selling.
Yeah. By Harry measure,
Harry Major. Um, and I’d go get it. Um, everybody’s always down to get new sales and different sales offers and books and resources. So go check that out and just go find it on Amazon. Mazer is spelled n a, z. I a r. Um, and I guess, yeah, give us some love. Like what, what, uh, what’s like a fun story or example that you can kind of relate?
Well, we could spend the rest of the day me telling you stories. Okay. But that’s
10 30 tonight when I go to bed and yeah.
Oh, you used to be laying that floor. What? Jana j
I’m gonna say tonight. Well, I don’t remember the Chicago today, but literally got a third day down. I’m like, Dang it. You know. So I will be like for some point here,
talk about a story that comes to mind of a Pennsylvania judge minister who didn’t have the, a pulpit of his own. And he would go from city to city filling in for preachers who perhaps were ill or on vacation or what. And he and his son got on a bus one morning to go to a little community hour or so away from where he lived and he got off the bus and one of the church officials met him and, uh, they walked into the church and then the vegetable buil was, was a box that was marked for the poor. And while he himself was not blessed with worldly goods, he reached into his pocket and he took out a quarter and he dropped it into the poor box and he gave the sermon of the morning and uh, it was well received. And as they will leaving, leaving the official of the church, walked him out in his, they got back to that vestibule.
He and his young son were there and he said, it’s the customer of the church to give the contents of the poor box to our visiting preacher. And he smiled and he turned it upside down in church and what came out? Nothing. But the quarter that the preacher had cleared in himself and he and his son were walking back to the bus station, hand in hand, and his son looked up to his father and he said, Daddy, you would’ve gotten more out of that box that you put more in it. Wooden. Wow. How true that is for the life, for everything we do. The more we put into our marriages, the more we put into our business, the more we put in. So improvement, the more we get at it. So you do have to pay that price and do have to take yourself seriously and be the very best you can be.
Love that. The more [inaudible] and this is probably great advice for these guys that I’m training that in a minute, but it’s kind of like a lot of people, um, don’t they, their biggest regret is they didn’t put enough in. Right. Let’s say you have a window of opportunity. A lot of people coast through that opportunity maybe give it 80% and then two years down the road they look back and they go, man, I wish I would have given it 100%. You know what I mean? I wish I would’ve put morning and extended that limit. You know?
For sure. For sure. And again, it’s so many people take the easy way out and some of the people that you’re training so often, and even the zip reps, we used to have to convince them Gaz you have to stay in a sales mood. Let me tell you one more story of that may, okay. There was a sales manager who noticed that too many of the orders that he was reviewing and one item and he said, if you know the purchasing procedures, if no, they have the credit. If you have any relationship with the person, wow, would you just sell one item when you may have 10 2030 or 40 items that may be appropriate for that business. So he thought he would do a little experiment of his own and he took a hundred dollars bill. Any went to visit some department and he would go up to account counter that.
So 10 1520 $25 items and he wouldn’t buy one knowing full well that would ever, that salesperson would recommend that he would continue to buy it until he had spent his entire under dollars. He went to three department stores and not want to spend the entire a hundred dollars then he went to a half a dozen special in stores making good 20 or $25 or just paying for it with a hundred dollar bill willing to spend it all if they just recommended something else. Not once teaching sprint the entire a hundred dollars wow. What does that say? It says the too many salespeople quit shouting before their customer quits mine. How do you know if your customers could buy? Well ask me. The easiest way to know when the customers is grew is when the customer shares know if you sell a item I and Bob Away, we’ve got a special this week on blank, blank, blank. May I add this? And the customer says, yeah, I’ll take some of that. Well, thank you. And you know, I knew this when I came in that uh, for instance, you need to do a match. The first rule maintenance is to keep the dirt out. Can I add a couple of doormats uh, yeah, put me down a couple of door mat. No. Finally, and I was in your restroom and we’ve got a new deodorizing system. No, no, no, I don’t think so. Talk to me about that next jam. Well, now your customers said no, that’s fine. He’s quit buying. But I gave him an opportunity
sitting here, racking my head around how many times I walked with him, says, I mean, I sold the guy yesterday or not yesterday. There’s a couple of days ago. He goes, oh, my owner told me I have an open checkbook. Whatever. How much is it?
And I did the Dang $25 thing. You know what I mean? Like I could’ve just said like, okay, you have this and this, and then we could add this and we could add this. And then waited until he kind of got to this threshold of where he felt was the open check book. Because the second I said one thing, I was like, here it is. And then he’s like, okay, great. And I was like, oh shoot, I should have kept going and, and I look at how much money I’d probably left on the table. Um, just by not falling that principle.
Sure. And you have to be offensive. It doesn’t have to be pushy. It doesn’t have to be pressure. You’re asking in a simple way, may I add this or could you use this? And then when the person says yes, wonderful, you win. When the person says, no, I think that’s enough. Well at least you reached a point where you know, he’s quit buying. You can quit selling.
Love that. Love it. Well, we got to kind of wrap up, but Harry, this has been very insightful. I think that obviously those that are listening, we appreciate it. If you share it and go follow Harry and go get his book. And also, um, you know, tag tax him, he needs this like tag somebody in the, in the comments or in the, in, in this too where you can share this with them and help them get some value as well. Um, also a reminder to go follow DDT experts on Instagram and Facebook, um, for more obviously awesome podcasts and content. And, um, Harry, I always ask my, my interview ease. Um, one question at the very end and I’m actually excited ask you this because of your, you know, many years of history doing this and obviously there’s a lot of lessons you’ve probably learned over the years, but if you could, and I just say keep it super brief and just simple.
Um, if you could give our industry, obviously, you know, you did not go and sell solar alarms and things like that, but you banged on enough doors, but, and you’ve managed a lot of people, a lot of people that listen to this are owners and leadership. Um, so you could gear it towards one or the other. What piece of advice would you give them? If you could just pick, you could pick it as, as a whole. You could pick a rep, you could pick the leadership, the owners. Like what piece of advice would you give them?
Oh, I guess I’d probably revert to a couple of Harry’s hints. A, I’d probably start with people’s talk about passwords today, all the time. And we all have dozens of passwords. The password to success is now, the password to success is now. So I would tell people, don’t look for others, don’t look for excuses, don’t look for blame. There are not enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses. Okay. So I would say just take an attitude of, I must do something. We’ll always solve more problem than something must be done and must do something. Oh, please, just give yourself the chance you deserve. Work hard, be disciplined. Add a sense of urgency to what you do. Be respectful of others. Selling is a trick, but it isn’t trickery. Do the right thing and do it over and over again. And success will be yours.
I love it. Geez, you’re full of nuggets. Hairy. Hey, I appreciate you being on the show. This has been awesome interview. Um, and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule. I know you’ve got a lot going on, so look forward to a hearing and the feedback and the comments and up to a, up to do more in the future with you, man. So, yeah, it was my pleasure. Good luck to you and your audience. Uh, I really enjoyed it. You’re a good man, Sam Taggart. Hey, thank you.