Thinking about a liquidity event? Click here to book your FREE strategy call.

June 1, 2022

Glenn Poulis On Winning Sales Factors To Grow A Business (#130)

Glenn Poulis On Winning Sales Factors To Grow A Business (#130)

“The biggest way to prepare for how to say no is to learn how to stop saying yes.” - Glenn Poulis

Glenn Poulis is the co-founder vice president and general manager of Gap Wireless Inc. A leading distributor for the mobile broadband infrastructure market. With over three decades of experience in sales, he has developed a successful belief and strategy system by spending thousands of hours in the field or on the phone with customers and working with salespeople in several successful companies. 

After entering the sales field in 1985 as a technical sales rep, Glenn founded his first company, mmWave Technologies in 1991. And using his extensive knowledge and experience of the industry he lectures groups on sales strategy. Consumerism. And what motivates people at a raw emotional level. When Glen is not working, he enjoys hiking, skiing and playing pickleball.

Please enjoy!

Click here to subscribe to The Sell My Business Podcast to save time and effort.

SELECTED LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE

Glenn Poulos

glenn.poulos@gapwireless.com

The Deep Wealth Sell My Business Podcast

Cockroach Startups: What You Need To Know To Succeed And Prosper

FREE Deep Wealth eBook on Why You Suck At Selling Your Business And What You Can Do About It (Today)

Book Your FREE Deep Wealth Strategy Call


Deep Wealth LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE

The Deep Wealth Experience

FREE Deep Wealth eBook on Why You Suck At Selling Your Business And What You Can Do About It (Today)

Book Your FREE Deep Wealth Strategy Call

 

Did you enjoy this episode of The Sell My Business Podcast? 

Please leave a review. Reviews help me reach new listeners, grow the show, and continue to create content that you'll enjoy.

Please click here to leave a review on The Sell My Business Podcast.

 

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. 

Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

Are you leaving millions on the table? 

Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.  

Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.

Enjoy the interview!

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg. 

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience. 

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer. 

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event? 

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event. 

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience. 

 Glenn Poulis is the co-founder vice president and general manager of a Gap Wireless Inc. A leading distributor for the mobile broadband infrastructure market. With over three decades of experience in sales, he has developed a successful belief and strategy system by spending thousands of hours in the field or on the phone with customers and working with salespeople in several successful companies. 

After entering the sales field in 1985 as a technical sales rep, Glenn founded his first company, mmWave Technologies in 1991. And using his extensive knowledge and experience of the industry he lectures groups on sales strategy. Consumerism. And what motivates people at a raw emotional level. When Glennis not working, he enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing pickleball. 

Welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. And as usual, I have an epic episode lined up for you and a terrific guest. Our guest today is a fellow business owner, author, thought leader has had a couple of liquidity events, all rolled into one. So we'll talk a lot about that and much more, but Glenn, welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. We are absolutely delighted to have you with us and Glenn, there's always a story behind the story. What's your story? How did you get to where you are today? 

[00:03:07] Glenn Poulos: Thank you for having me and I'm really happy to be here. I work for a company called Gap Wireless, which I formed in February 28th, 2007 with my business partner, Marc Bouvrette. And about four weeks ago, we had our liquidity event but we're staying on to work for the business for another three to five years. We're a distributor is how we classify our business and our customers the segment that we target is wireless mobility. Our customers are typically wireless carriers. People that you'd buy your cell phone from. We don't sell cell phones or service or anything like that.

We help the cellular operators build their network by selling them antennas and cable and products and amplifiers. If you're in a stadium and your cell phone works today it's because they probably bought a system from us or perhaps one of our competitors or in the mall or any place where you used to walk in.

And the moment you walked in the door, your cell phone dropped off. We sell systems and solutions that allow cell phones to work indoors. And of course, you know, years ago, people would say all cell phones, those will never catch on, they're too expensive. But as we know today it's probably the most ubiquitous piece of technology that exists.

We pick the right niche and in addition to selling the infrastructure to help build the cellular network, we also sell what we call test and measurement equipment. So these are instruments that carriers and contractors and even manufacturers and other educational institutions use to measure electrical signals.

And we represent top brands from around the world and our business strategy has always been to sell the number one or the number two brand in a particular technology niche. And for instance, the Kleenex of facial tissues, if you will. And our claim to fame is that we are a technical distributor in the sense that we'll take technologies from all over the world and we'll bring them to our local territory where we sell and we'll present them to customers. Build demand. And then of course sell them the products over time. And that's sort of what the business looks like.

[00:04:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, Glenn, that's quite the story. And I know a lot of what you're sharing there is in the book. And we'll talk about the book as well for just a moment. It's interesting if we can talk about your liquidity event and this is now your second one. And you're doing, what's called a recap. And for our listeners out there, if you're not familiar with the recap, Glenn, what he's doing is he took some of the chips off the table, so to speak, and still owns a percentage of the company.

And is now with a private equity group that they're doing a roll-up and their investing in other companies that's exciting, we hear so many terrific stories that come out of that.

So Glenn, on this last go-round, you had a successful liquidity event, things went well. And at the same time, as we look back at things, we can always do some things better. So for our listeners out there, I'm sure they would love to hear what works really well for you in terms of some strategies for the liquidity event that you would do again for the next one?

[00:05:50] Glenn Poulos: The biggest difference between this liquidity event and the last liquidity event, which was 17 years ago actually was the level of complexity and due diligence that had gone on it was a much bigger company that was acquiring us. We're actually the second company into a fund under a private equity group.

And so it was an operating company that acquired our business and I really learned what the term due diligence means. And oftentimes you talk to people about your business and you tell them what they do, but in due diligence, you really need to explain to them in black and white, how you do it and back it up with all the paperwork.

So one of the biggest takeaways that I had was the fortunately we're really good record-keepers so contracts, customer contracts, vendor contracts, pricing analysis, you know, all, how do we come up with our pricing? How do we market strategies, a lot of that we documented it and we kept records of it?

And it was a good thing because there was about 125 separate folders of information that the company was looking for, how all your people, what are their strengths, you know, your customers, what are their strengths and weaknesses, who are your competitors? And so it was good that we had a strong handle on that.

But still, it was also quite an arduous journey to get through due diligence. And because we're a small distributor, we don't have a huge legal team that we can just pass this off to and say, here, go do the due diligence. And we'll wait until the deal's done. So myself, my partner, our finance director, we really had to burn the midnight oil to get that part of the deal done.

 We understood due diligence, but we didn't understand what really deep due diligence can look like. 

[00:07:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, Glenn, you're not alone. As we like to say at Deep Wealth, that's our wheelhouse with our 9-step roadmap of preparation. Step number four is doing an internal due diligence audit actually before the liquidity event. But as we like to say, if you want to see a grown person cry just say two words due diligence. And if you've been through it, as you have you know what that's like? So it sounds like you have some lessons learned and some winning strategies that they came out of that. But I also know, and you and I had a chance to talk offline that this successful liquidity event was very different than the first liquidity event that you had and there's more lessons learned in that one than successes.

And maybe you're open enough to share for our listeners what not to do in a liquidity event in not this one that you had, but the one that was a number of years earlier. So what happened there in that first liquidity event that you had? I think it was what, 15 years ago you were saying? 

[00:08:15] Glenn Poulos: Yeah, it was 15 years ago, minus 18 months. Because we only really operated for about 18 months after the liquidity event so that business it was called mmWave and it was in 1991. I was the original founding member of the company.

And when I had come up with the name, the funny thing about it was that many people, what is that about? And I was telling them about these newfangled cell phones and it's going to change the world. And only nowadays is the word mmWave really becoming into prominent and ubiquitous use.

But regardless of that we started as a small company, we grew for about 13 and a half years and a public company approached us about buying the company, enrolling us into their group of companies. There were cell phone stores in there.

Again, we don't sell cell phones, but I mean we could definitely relate to them. It was a household name, the company, the brand of cell phone stores. And it all seems great and at the time I was 29 plus 13 and a half years and in my forties and they were offering a lot of money and I went from overnight from being well off working in the business and making good money to a multi multimillionaire, but the problem was is that what I didn't realize my lack of business smarts in the public world was that the public entity was trading shares for our business.

So we got very little cash in the deal and they gave us shares in the business. The day we did the deal, the shares were worth probably a dollar, 18 months later, the shares were worth a sub, a penny. And I'm not a public market expert. I can't talk to the vagaries of this and that and how it's done, but it was basically, we picked a bad partner.

That was really the lesson that I learned was the partner that we picked. How exactly they mismanage it to bring the share price down so low. So my millions of dollars became a paltry sum and so one black Monday that they came to us and they said it was literally, we knew that there were trouble. We were fighting for business and orders to keep the cash flow, but the CFO came to us and said, we cannot make payroll, we are illiquid. And we went into receivership and a hundred of us, you know, essentially I lost all my money and everyone else lost their jobs.

[00:10:14] Jeffrey Feldberg: So tragic. And you know, for our listeners, what you're hearing here, obviously the first liquidity event was not a success story. The second liquidity event is a success story, but we're keeping it real here and Glenn is sharing heavy lifting from the trenches, and Glenn, as I heard you spoke, I mean, look, hindsight is always 2020, and there's no judgment here.

And as we look back, we would probably both agree. For our listeners, any company that comes along and wants to pay a whack of money as you said but not have a lot of cash upfront and it's mainly shares without going into more due diligence on that company, perhaps it's a red flag. And so it's really forget buyer beware.

It's seller beware in that instance. And the good news story here is that you're able to leverage that. And when that company went under what happened next that you were able to get into Gap Wireless? 

[00:11:06] Glenn Poulos: I was faced with the, you know, one day having a job, cause I was not only an owner with but I also was getting a paycheck every two weeks and that was how I paid my bills now I was unemployed.

And so either had to create a resume, start hitting the streets, and go applying for jobs, or I had to restart in the business. I already had collected a list of all the things, primarily related to serving the customer, market strategies, pricing strategies that I didn't feel they had been doing right. 

 My voice was not always heard. And I said, I want to do it again only this time, I want to do it my way. And as I had said to you earlier, I started with G is my first name Glenn, last name Poulos GP. I bought a vowel, A Gap and that's how I came up with the name Gap added wireless, which is our game.

And Gap Wireless was formed. A few days later I met with my partner and we decided to do it differently. And so we approached some of the old vendors that we had been working with, we actually agreed to pay them all back and the three or four important ones came with us one or two of them said, okay, pay us back.

The other two said it's not your debt. Yeah. You were a shareholder in that business. So a couple of them did make us pay them back. The other ones did not. And we went around and then of course we had also upset many of the customers because the old company didn't ship products and the supply line was interrupted because they hadn't been paying the bills. So then the manufacturer stopped shipping. And so we had to then beg the customers to re-add us as the vendor. And luckily, a couple of our big customers, our relationships were strong enough. They started with piecemeal very piecemeal looking back And they agreed to do business with us, set us up as a vendor.

And we slowly started to going to town. At the time, it was myself, my business partner, another salesman we'd hired, and then a lady that helped me with some of the back end, the order processing, and some of the bookkeeping and such, there was four of us.

So basically I was warehouse guy, sales guy in my area you know, packing boxes basically doing everything. And then, we grew the business for a number of years, we expanded into some other divisions. We added the test equipment division. Then we added a couple of other divisions, which we later regretted. 

And we had to right-size the business and we sold off our service division. We realized we weren't specialists at that. So that'd be people climbing towers, mounting antennas. Our specialty was selling antennas to the carriers, getting them to buy them not climbing the towers and mounting them.

And we just were never really good at it so we sold that. We got out pretty cleanly on that. We also had gotten into drones and unmanned aircraft and, during the sort of the heyday a few years back when everybody had a drone and so it became very competitive. We also got out of that and we had restructured some of the people out.

 These were the two hardest and best moves we had ever made. When we closed the drone division, we kept our drone defense division because a lot of our customers are government and public safety police-type institutions and the drone defense was a product that is well inside of our wheelhouse. 

They protect jails, hospitals, stadiums, and government buildings from drones, nefariously dropping products into over the gates and things like that or worse. 

The biggest decision was to make a decision. And we had been struggling that year. We knew we were going to show a loss that year because of some service upsets in the service department. And I went to my partner, I said, look, Marc, we're cutting this whole group here, 40 people. We're closing the drone division. We're pulling back from some of these other remote territories where we don't belong. And we basically went from 80 people to 29 people in one day. 

[00:14:27] Jeffrey Feldberg: So Glenn you signed up for a doctorate degree from the School of Hard Knocks. You got your Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks. And both with the first liquidity event and then with Gap Wireless of having just to readjust and realign.

But it's interesting. I suspect the people who told you that the cell phones were just frivolous and they weren't going anywhere. Probably the same people that said the Internet was going to be a fad. So we'll put them all into one group. 

[00:14:52] Glenn Poulos: Thats very right.

[00:14:53] Jeffrey Feldberg: But I imagine being out there and being in the trenches really helped shape what you did with your book. So you've just come up with a book. Congratulations, Never Sit in the Lobby: 57 Winning Sales Factors to Grow a Business and Build a Career Selling. So Glenn congratulations. So what's that all about? Tell us about the book and what's going into that. 

[00:15:13] Glenn Poulos: Years ago I was actually before I started my first business, it was in the mid-eighties. I had started making up these rules of selling and I would start reciting them to people, and one of them, of course, has never sit in the lobby. And the story I recited in the book is that people would I tell these stories over and over again.

And I would put a few of them back to back and to new salespeople or even seasoned salespeople. And eventually, you know, 30 years ago they were saying, you should write a book and I thought about it, but I didn't really think about it, but I thought, hey, I may not write a book, but I'm definitely gonna write them down in a book.

So I bought a leather notebook and I started writing down the names of these and I called them factors at the time. And I would write the sort of a colorful name for it, a cute name or something that would remind me of it. And a few sentences to remind me of the rule.

So later I would know what it was all about. And I started collecting over and over. And then a few times I'd been invited to speak at some sales seminars and I gave more of them and they're saying, hey, you should write a book. And I combined in the book and in the whenever I'm speaking, I try to combine a lot of humor and a little bit of outrageousness in some of the ways to, in order to impart the knowledge on people.

And like for instance, in my presentation I have a recipe card for doing a presentation at a customer and I call it the punch perfect pitch and close. And on the first part of it is you got to punch them and get their attention you know many different ways.

You can tell a story, you can make a loud noise, you can show a video. So over the years, I started accumulating. I did some public speaking and I'd refine some of the stories. And then I, it was probably 10 years ago, I took a stab, a loose stab at it and I probably got 5,000 or maybe 10,000 words down. And then in March 2020 hit and COVID hit and our mobility, all our trips were canceled. All our customer visits were canceled. 

So I thought, hey, what better time? And so I committed to writing 2000 words on the weekend and I started it and 75,000 words later, you know, I turned the stories into a book. 

[00:17:06] Jeffrey Feldberg: Unbelievable and I just love your grit and your determination. I'm just going to do a little bit at a time and it's amazing. I think human nature, we tend to underestimate how small, consistent actions done every day really add up. But we tend to overestimate what we can do, not in a day or a month, but in a year, or I have a year of no problem.

I'll do this or that. And oftentimes fall short of that, but not in your case you really hit that out of the park. And so Glenn in the book you talk about a concept and you use the term WSP as a way to just really maximize the attractiveness for your service or your product in the eyes of your customer.

Talk to us about what is WSP and why should I care about that as not only a business owner, but really anybody in business who wants to have some growth and get some new revenue and profits in?

[00:17:56] Glenn Poulos: The WSP, the Winning Sales Presence is the most controversial chapter in the book. But at the end of the day, the core essence of WSP showing them the WSP you know, you're using any language that you choose any vernacular is the essence of attraction is not a choice.

And what I find a lot of our sales guys do is they'll walk in, it could be an instrument, or it could be an antenna doesn't matter but you know, euphemistically that some product, they drop it on the counter and then they start spewing out facts and figures. It's so great. Eighty megabytes per second, it's got this much memory, it's this fast, it's this deep its biggest, fastest widest, deepest, cheapest, et cetera.

And it just comes up as a lot of bragging braggadocios as I call them the book where you know the story I use in the book and it happened actually today as well, was I pulled into a parking lot. I got out of my car and I walked two cars down. I looked to my left and there was a Mercedes-Benz GT but there's instant and actually unshakable attraction, it just is attractive. 

It doesn't have to brag about being attractive. It doesn't have to do anything to be attractive. It just is. And so the idea behind WSP is to figure out a way of showing your products in their best light and not braggable in their best light and not try to brag about the products is what I'm trying to say. And let customers naturally form that attraction. Don't decrease the attraction. So attraction can be increased or decreased and most of the time, a lot of salespeople through their excitement and their anxiety and they want to get the deal overtalk, oversell and they reduce attraction. And there's some examples in the book of where the products were sold and then they say a few more things and they unsell themselves. The customer decides you want something, you get the order of stop talking, and that's a golden rule of selling, but it's often forgotten.

And it takes some time to figure out, how do you show a product in its best light? Like we sell antennas to cellular carriers what am I going to do to make that look pretty? I can't paint it a bright color or anything like that, but I can show it perhaps feeding 50,000 people at a stadium, flawless coverage signals with like five bars of perfection on their cell phone.

You can create video with the carrier delivering exceptional coverage or throughputs or something like that. And those few images and things that they see, they're thinking, I need that for that stadium job we're doing in Dallas next week. And they then start figuring out all the other reasons why they want it.

[00:20:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: I just love how you're positioning that and how you're actually thinking about that. And then in the book, I mean, and we've all been there, anyone who's been in sales and if you're a business owner, undoubtedly, you've been in sales when you first started, maybe you have a salesforce now, but when you first started it was just you against the world and you talk about different types of customers. And specifically, you're talking about 10 different types of challenging customers. What should be our takeaway of that? And obviously, everyone who's listening gets the book, we'll have this in the show notes and how you can buy it where you can get it, and definitely read the book and go through it.

But in terms of a quick overview Glenn, what should we know? There's 10 types of challenging customers. How do we overcome that? 

[00:21:01] Glenn Poulos: What I do is I describe them by virtue of their call it character defect, or maybe it's a quality. But the people that beat you up on price, or that sort of a thing. And people that are unethical, one of the favorite stories I like telling is the one be aware of the customer who wanted to ride in the Ferrari.

And which is a takeoff on a lot of books out there but what ended up happening in that sort of situation was it wasn't so much the customer. It was the combination of the customer and the supplier, which was a global telecom supplier, a very large household name.

And we had struck a deal to work with them. And bring our customers to them. And they had sent their big, hairy, audacious business development guy. And his requests, whereas big and audacious as his size, the guy was like six foot seven, he was just giant compared to me.

So he towering over me and we were like, oh my God, this is a global telecom. It's going to change the face of our business. Whatever, they'll do, whatever they want, let's make it happen. And we got intoxicated with the opportunity, we already knew our customers and we'd already brought them years of products and services and what have you, but now we could bring them this giant partner. 

And the guy starts off by saying, okay I'm coming to town, but only stay in five-star hotels. So I can't come out to the suburbs. I need to stay downtown. I want to stay in the Four Seasons. And I'm bringing somebody along. Don't worry about why they're here. I need you guys to get me tickets to the hockey game. And I also need you to rent me a Ferrari for three days. 

[00:22:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, not too much of a list there, just a few things, just a few things. 

[00:22:31] Glenn Poulos: And so the crazy lesson was that we actually convinced ourselves to do these things. And in the end, what we realized was that he was really just a bully and he's just sent into front run and drive down the pricing, drive down our margins.

And it really didn't bring anything of value. So rewarding him with hockey tickets or ride in a Ferrari was the last thing we should have done. And we never in normal cases we wouldn't have been in awe of their name and their brand or what have you, we would have had more principles.

And we learned a tough lesson from it and ultimately we ended up going away from them and not working with them because they were just too difficult and we couldn't get our margin, we couldn't get paid. It just wasn't worth it. And so some would say maybe not a Ferrari, but people buy tickets to hockey games for customers all the time.

But the difference is that when a bank or a technology company or a company like ours get seats they're giving them to customers, where there's an ongoing relationship and it's part of a genuine business relationship and win-win strategy where both parties are winning.

Which is one of the other strategies about win-win, there's four parts of winning, and which I talk about in the book. And so we'll gladly buy tickets for a customer where we have a bonafide business relationship, but the moral of the story about the Ferrari is, you don't buy them the tickets before you've gotten the business from them.

[00:23:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so Glenn, it sounds like a really, a whole mindset is what I'm hearing you talk about here. And what I'm hearing you say is, hey, if you have a customer and they've been a proven customer and they came to you for who you are and what you did, which didn't include some terrific sports tickets or a fancy car, and they're coming back time after time.

That's a real customer, and maybe you want to every now and again, do a little bit of a splurge. If you think that's going to make a difference. But I'm also hearing you say, don't have the mindset that you have to become somebody that you're not, and someone who isn't a customer yet you're essentially trying to buy their business with all kinds of incidentals, which in this case are fancy sports tickets and cars. Don't do that.

Don't have that mindset better not to have them as a customer than having them as just a prospect who's not going to do business with you. 

[00:24:34] Glenn Poulos: Right. There's the four parts of winning. A lot of people talk about win-win in the book I talk about win-win-win-win where, you know, it's not win-win when just, for instance, my company Gap Wireless and a customer, a carrier or government institution, or what have you, if we win an order.

And some might call that, hey, we got, give them a great product at a great price. We made money, they got a perfect product, that sounds like a win-win. But also in that equation is a salesperson that may have had a dog in the fight, maybe not, maybe it's not the best saying, and the manufacturer that produced the product.

So whenever we look at business, we look at it as a four-by-four win, where the customer has to win. The vendor Gap Wireless has to win the distributor. The salesman has to win, and the manufacturer has to win. And I show detailed examples where, you know, oftentimes big brands, they don't refuse to budge on the price.

And they say, no if you want to give the margin up, give it up on your end we're not budging, you know, the customer saying if you don't lower your price by X amount of percent, but I show how, when you, if you could take a step back. And really get all the parties participating equally. You can lessen the blow significantly for everybody and still meet the objectives. And I really liked that story. 

[00:25:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: I think there's a lot to that. And really what I like about your approach. If I can use the word holistic, it's a holistic approach because you're really looking at all the stakeholders that are involved in the process. And how often as business owners are we just thinking of ourselves? In a liquidity event, oftentimes business owners are selfish.

We're just thinking about ourselves. We're not thinking about the future buyer and here, what you're saying is, hey, also don't be selfish with, who's getting you to where you are. So in addition to the customer who are your suppliers? Who are your stakeholders? How do you create a win-win you know, a four X win all the way around so that everyone wants to do business with you, not just the customer, but when you phone your supplier and they are busy, but they see that as you calling in?

They're going to pick up the call because hey, they take care of us. They've created a win-win with us. So I really liked that approach. How'd you stumble upon that in the first instance, Glenn what got you to that four X win thinking? 

[00:26:46] Glenn Poulos: I've always been in front of customers. I learned all these lessons, in the streets, selling to customers, selling against our competitors.

And then I took over the role of sales manager and interfacing with my guys, trying to get them the deal that they needed, and then having to go to the back to the manufacturers to try to put the deal together. And so at that unique sort of position of seeing everyone's you know, position in the matter.

And I talk at length in the book about empathy and I talk about at length about empathy almost every day I bring it up. Now I have the books so I can refer, hey, in chapter seven, I talk about, you know, I can say I can refer people to the book. I talk about truly, understanding what the word empathy means.

Not confusing it with sympathy or compassion. But empathy means, truly putting yourselves in the shoes of another person. And feeling their feelings, literally feeling them. And I understand how manufacturer's margins are driven. I understand the customer's needs.

I've been a salesman and now I run a company. I know what it means. If I reduce from 20% margin, to 18, the salesmen are like you're only losing 2%. I'm like, no, I'm not, I'm losing two divided by 20% margin. And I'm losing more 10 or 11% of my margin. 

And so by understanding all aspects of the business now, I can put myself in everybody's shoes and then try to put a deal together that's a win-win for everybody. And my favorite there's so many favorites, but one of my ultimate favorites, which my salespeople on my employees quote all the time is my saying, freedom begins with no.

And a lot of people are like, what does that mean? What does that mean? And it's very simple. The work always starts when you say yes, like something simple, like your friend says, can you help me move on the weekend? And we've probably all been there, maybe not at my age or what have you, but we've all been 26 and the buddy says, hey, I got to move apartments.

Can you help me move? And you're like, oh, sure, no problem. And then of course you show up and you realize what it's like, slugging couches up three stairs and not to say that he doesn't need your help. Later in life I learned, hey budget movers will do that for 300 bucks.

I'll pay half, you pay the other half, that kind of a thing. And so I'm sorry no, I can't help you with that. But it's when you say yes, that your work starts. So the customer says, hey, can you improve delivery on this and get me a better price. And if you say yes, now you all of a sudden you're falling all over the world, trying to get the, you know, worrying about global shipping problems and timelines and trying to get them better pricing.

But if you say, I'm sorry, we went in with our best price and due to logistical situations, presently, we're not really going to be able to improve the lead time. And it's a matter of fact if we don't get your order to buy this week, we're actually going to miss the next freighter, the next airfreight or it could be something related to the global supply.

And you're actually gonna miss your date by a significant amount. And so I'm sorry, I'm not going to be able to meet any of those requests, which is a fancy way of saying no. And I can then go home at night and put my head on the pillow and I don't have any worries at all. But imagine if I say yes to all those, and I have a boss, I got to go tell the boss, hey, I said we'll improve the delivery, which we can't lower the price, which we shouldn't and so you know when you're win, win, win, win, win sometimes saying no is how you get to the win, and putting an end to the negotiation and the discussion.

[00:29:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: I know we're starting to bump up against some time here, but this is really an important topic. How do you prepare yourself mentally to say no? So many times things are going along great. And then a customer just throws you a question. Let's say they're one of your VIP customers.

And you don't want to let them down and of course, you want to please them. So if you get taken off guard and they throw a question your way, Glenn, do you have a go-to strategy of either word that you're saying, or a tactic that you'll use that helps you not overcommit to something that you probably shouldn't be committing to in the first place? 

[00:30:21] Glenn Poulos: So yeah, that's a really good question, actually. And so a lot of times when someone asks you for something and you're not sure how to say no, it's because you weren't prepared, you didn't think through the variables and where you are in the sales cycle.

For instance, maybe you're presenting the pricing and you know that it's your bottom line, but you hadn't really thought through, what am I going to say? If he says no. For myself, I actually role-play that stuff in my head on the way to the customer. I sit in the parking lot. And as I'm standing in the lobby, as I say, never sit in the lobby, I'm thinking of all those things, but the biggest way to prepare for how to say no is to learn how to stop saying yes.

And that's actually the bigger leap of faith 'cause the people, a lot of times the sales guys, salespeople they're afraid like they're just scared of rejection. They're scared of losing the deal, putting off the customer. The guy's got, you know, he's a foot taller and a foot wider than you and you're just frightening.

And you're just afraid of the outcome. And you're afraid to say no if that same guy goes home and his kid says, dad gave me five bucks so I can waste it on a bunch of candy, rot my teeth, he says no. Because he's learned how to say no to his kid. And he's not afraid to say no.

And his kid, you know, there's no repercussion. And so you have to practice and you have to practice saying no. And then having the fortitude of conviction that you've brought them the right product at the right price. And you asked to come in with their best price.

You've done that. It's not reasonable for you to ask me to give more and unless you're willing to give something like give up warranty, pay earlier, then we're not going to be able to meet those requests. So I hope that answers the question, but it's more about learning not to always say yes. And rip the band-aid off of that.

[00:31:53] Jeffrey Feldberg: Again, it sounds Glenn so much, like it's really a mindset combined with preparation really starting today and for all our listeners out there, a great excuse to get the book where you can walk us through how to do this, but really walking into a customer meeting and in the back of your mind. Okay. They may ask me for something. I don't know what that is, but they may ask me for something that is going to put me on the spot. Saying yes is not going to be a smart answer. Let me prepare for that. Let me try and think of what that possibly could be. And some of the examples that you gave Glenn of what you could say a polite way of saying, you're not saying no directly, but you're saying no.

And you're giving the explanation why it sounds like an absolutely terrific strategy. So, Glenn, I think the takeaway from there for our listeners is get the book, we'll put it in the show notes, and there'll be a link. And you can read that. 

But we're at the point in our episode, Glenn, where we need to start wrapping up. And my favorite question to ask at this juncture and every guest gets asked, this question is as follows. When you think of the movie Back to the Future. You have the magical DeLorean car, which can take you to any point in time. Glenn imagine is tomorrow morning, you look outside your window, and lo and behold, it's the DeLorean car.

The door is open. It's waiting for you to hop on in, and you're now going to go back to any point in your life. Glenn as a child or maybe a teenager, young adult, whatever period of time that would be. What would you tell your younger self in terms of life lessons or wisdom or Glenn do this, but don't do that. What would that look like for you? 

[00:33:23] Glenn Poulos: So, you know, There's different ways I could go with the answer to that question, but in keeping with trying to be as honest as possible usually I have all sorts of business advice for people and career advice. I love the chapter. My mentor made me do it. I recommend everybody read it on how you can accomplish anything that you want.

But if I could go back to my own self, what I would tell myself is to take care of my health earlier, focus on my health. Not letting things like diet, fitness, and exercise, take a back seat to making money and building businesses and things like that.

I actually gave up drinking in 2004. I would tell my old self quit in 94 or 84. I never really got any value out of that and all about, building as someone that you can be proud of your behaviors and what you've accomplished.

It doesn't matter how much money you make. The morals and ethics that you've followed along the way, and that each one of those decisions that you make will create a lifetime and measure every decision that you're going to make based on, you know, can you defend it at the pearly gates?

Can you defend it to your partner? Can you defend it to your friends or your boss or your customers? And so I go back and that's what I would probably tell myself.

[00:34:29] Jeffrey Feldberg: I absolutely love that. A couple of gems of wisdom that you put in there. It sounds like your health is your wealth. I don't think we can say that enough. Your health is your wealth, but Glenn, I also like your wisdom for our listeners of really just keep your integrity, keep your word to do the right thing.

So when you look back, you're not cringing. You're smiling and your just proud of everything that happened. Glenn, as we wrap up this episode, a heartfelt thank you for you. The one last question for you. And again, I will put this in the show notes. It'll be easy for everyone it will be point and click. If a listener would like to find you online, what would be the best place for that? 

[00:35:05] Glenn Poulos: My website, which is Glennpoulos.com. And that has links to all the other social media and other things. And there's some freebies on the website that free downloads and things like that, and links to the book of course.

[00:35:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wonderful. And for listeners again, we'll make that easy for you. It'll be a point and click. You just have to come to the website in the show notes and off you go with that. Glenn, a heartfelt thank you for spending part of your day with us here on The Sell My Business Podcast. And as we wrap up this episode as always, please stay healthy and safe.

[00:35:33] Glenn Poulos: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

[00:35:35] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me. 

[00:35:38] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions. 

[00:35:48] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity 

[00:35:53] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:35:59] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, maybe less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix. 

[00:36:15] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately. 

[00:36:37] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended. 

[00:36:48] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.

[00:37:01] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even. 

[00:37:19] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:37:46] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever. 

[00:38:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table? 

Please visit www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.

If you're not on my email list, you'll want to be. Sign up at www.deepwealth.com/podcast. And if you enjoyed this episode of the Sell My Business podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews help me reach new listeners, grow the show and continue to create content that you'll enjoy. 

As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. 

Click here to subscribe to The Sell My Business Podcast to save time and effort. You’ll automatically receive the latest episodes in your favorite podcast app.

Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

Are you leaving millions on the table? 

Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.  

Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.

Enjoy the interview!