Ep. 189 INTERVIEW – Delmar Johnson

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Podcasts

Why a GOOD “NO” is better than a BAD “YES”. Delmar Johnson reaches the top of tha chart in sales year after year. He shares his expertise and will show you simple ways you can increase your sales.

Podcast Transcripot

Voiceover:

Get ready for an unfair advantage over your competition. This is The Sales Edge podcast. Where globally recognized sales expert and trainer Joe Pici helps you sharpen your skills for booking more appointments and closing more deals. And now here’s your host Joe Pici.

Joe Pici (JP):

First we want to thank you. Want to hank you for being such a loyal team not an audience but a team. We are growing. Our latest downloads are getting very exciting throughout the world. And we specialize now and bring you the best of the best for guests. The sales edged podcast is sponsored by Pici and Pici, which is a speaking, coaching, training, consulting firm specializing in helping our clients achieve more, recapture lost revenue, get in front of target market. Also SellMoreVirtually.com. That’s a completely virtual training, coaching, a membership site that has unbelievable downloads, e-courses. Make sure you go visit Sell More Virtually. So thank you for your sponsorship. And as we move forward we want to make sure you know, you can call me suggestions, disagreements. We can handle that. Call Joe at 407 947 2590 or send me an email to [email protected],com. Delmar Johnson is more than a client. He’s become an absolute great friend. And so I you know, I know it’s embarrassing to some people to hear a bio read but you know, I think it’s important, you know what he’s all about. And then we’ll bring hom on. Delmar’s a former student body president and trustee at the Florida State University. Worked at for two Florida Governor’s. Transition to Insurance to build a business of his own that continues to pay him year after year. Sold ten years ago when he started in his career, so that’s amazing. 17 founder’s awards for management Excellence, which is called Fame in that industry. Four National Convention qualifications. Two best of the best district manager nominations. Over 5.5 million written in annualized premium and 325 new business to business groups opened over the last seven years. His agents have earned more in new associate success bonuses in the state over the last two years. Hey, welcome Delmar.

Delmar Johnson (DJ):

Hey, thanks coach. It’s great to be here.

(JP):

You know Delmar, it’s on a personal level you epitomize authentic selling and I know what you do for your clients. So in a way of educating our clients, I’d like you to share with them what you’re doing, who you do it for, and what makes you and your company unique.

(DJ):

It’s great to be here, great to be on the podcast.

I listen to it every Tuesday and Thursday on my walk. It’s an honor to be here and you know, I work in the benefits industry, have transitioned into a full-service benefits to help employers. Really with you reimagine benefits for their employees. So that they can save money, that they can offer benefits that their employees can afford. And really tailor it to them because a lot of ways our insurance and our Health Care system is a whole is broken. And so I represent several carriers, but the largest that you probably heard of is Aflac and that part of my career ten years ago. That what makes us unique is using technology to disrupt the insurance industry. To really again help those employers save money and be able to put together a benefits package their employees want, need, and that they can afford.

(JP):

We do not always get a professional salesperson.

This is called The Sales Edge and we want to make sure we’re taking care of entrepreneurs and everything else. But you are an entrepreneur you own your own business, but when it comes to sales and all the different aspects of sale, what do you believe is your fastball? What are you do best?

(DJ):

You know, I love to sale. I look at it as a positive, really all of life is a sale. You know, I’m having to sell my wife on things in the the morning and I’m having to sell my daughter to get ready for school. You know nothing happens in this world until somebody sells something. Forget about politics. Nothing happens until somebody sells, you know, a product or service and I love being able to match that up with my clients and what their needs truly are. You know, for me I’ve always been a people person, you know, obviously that came across in my bio. So I mean really connecting with people and building rapport has you always been my strongest attribute. And then really connecting them if I can help them connecting them with somebody that can and another industry or to help their business, But because of a lot of because you and Dawn and you know, just the thousands of hours and thousands of dollars that I’ve invested in myself. That’s the best investment I’ve ever made you have to really master the sales process. And if it’s a work-in-progress you I’m not there yet, but I’ve gotten very good at all aspects because you need to, At all aspects of the sales process to close in the deal because in my previous profession, we just talked all the time. You didn’t sign anything. Nothing happens in Insurance until you sign on the dotted line.

(JP):

Yeah, well, okay, so we’re going to shift gears I’ma throw you a curve. You’re a veteran, you’ve been doing this for a while. Young people considering sales as a profession. They’re calling you up and they’re saying, I’m considering getting into sales. What would you tell me about? What do I need to do and be to be successful?

(DJ):

You know, being in sales you like myself, 10 years ago would cost a couple hundred bucks to get my insurance license and that has yielded an income to be able to take care of myself, my family, and really live out everything that I’ve wanted to do. And so I would encourage folks. I see this every day because I also do some recruiting and recruit new agents and whatnot. And you know and folks are scared to jump into a, you know, a commission only sales environment. I think I used to think that in a lot of ways sales was based on charisma, you know, and people have said I’m blessed with that. And whether that’s true or not really I wasn’t any good at until I got with you and learn some skills. And really it’s skilled base being able to pick up the phone, being able to date a value proposition or a question, and then ask for the sale. You know, I would tell somebody you can’t lose as long as you plan enough seed. You can’t help but be successful and sale, you just got to be willing to do that and willing to invest in your mindset. Because the hardest part is sales is the six inches between your ears.

(JP):

There’s a part of your business that’s recruiting. Looking for people that would like to be agents. Now I know you can’t manufacture them, but what as a leader, as somebody who wants to hire, what do you look for in a way of a potential good sales rep?

(DJ):

Unfortunately, it’s not like Star Wars where we just print drones and you know, we go Stormtroopers and they’re all exactly the same. You know, all of my agents and some of my most successful agents have come from all walks of life. So what I look for somebody that’s coachable, you know somebody willing to that’s willing to go to work everyday and willing to pick up the phone. Because if you’re afraid either pick up the phone or walk in the door or ask for the sale, you know sales may not be for you. But again that goes back to mind set, you got to you got to know that you can’t be afraid of that because you can’t fail. No’s are a part of the business. If you have the right value proposition and you know, it’s very difficult for folks to say no. They still do. But you know, it’s one of those things where I look for people that are really that are coachable, want to go to work every day. Because I always said the best part about my industry Joe, is the freedom and flexibility. When you’re a new agent the worst thing about my business is the freedom and flexibility.

(JP):

Hey Delmar, recently we had a conversation and we were talking about how people are always worried about no’s and you hit a zinger buddy right out of the park, share it with our team. Tell them about no.

(DJ):

Obviously there’s a great book, Go for No. I was here about you know, you gotta go through a certain number and no’s to get to those yeses. But simply, it’s a good no, is better than a bad yes. If you can wrap your brain around that and make that will be part of your sales philosophy. I like a yes or no. Maybe is the worst. A maybe is really a no disguised as a yes. And so what I will say if I hope we can do business. That I want to earn your business. Buf if, You know, if it’s not a good fit right now, you know, please tell me no. Is that okay? Is that fair? It kind of frees them up to be able to tell you no. Now, you know more often than not it’s not, it’s a yes, but we’ve all in our sales careers hunted down and chased a bad yes. And we’ve gotten the yes, you may have call them 50 time just beat him down and just through sheer will they gave up and said yes, I’ll do business with you. But what happened it always falls apart on the back end. You know, they’re not long-term clients, or they’re problematic, clients or the troublesome. You can pick and choose your clients. You don’t have to do business with everybody. A good no is better than a bad yes.

(JP):

All right, so you pick one characteristic that somebody brings to the table. One, if they could only have one that you could build them into a top-notch salesperson. If you what would that one thing be that you would want them to have?

(DJ):

I mean, really it’s a positive attitude. And I think everything comes from mindset that you’re positive. You’re more likely to be coachable. You’re more likely to know to be disciplined. And then from there, it’s just teaching skills. And you know, this is not rocket science. Anybody can do it, not everybody does, you know because again the rejection and different things. But we have the the the mindset and the discipline every day to really just follow a process, you know that we’ve done thousands of times. Which is also kind of boring, it’s repetitive, but it works. And the benefits of that process and that system you are going to yield a six-figure income.

(JP):

Yeah, and not everybody has what it takes, not skill wise, but has that mental toughness, has that drive. You know, I always say, if you’re going to hire a sales person, hire self discipline and ambition. And you can teach him everything else, but you really can’t teach people how to get out of bed in the morning. And I remember, when I first started working with you and you had a couple agents. And and we were having coffee doing a little coaching together. And you said they only want to get out of bed in the morning. You know it with sales people in general, there’s only two things you can do with a person that is not selling. You can fix them or fire them. And they have to want to be fixed.

(DJ):

That’s true.

(JP):

And so where do you find your best leads and how do you go about lead generation from a sales perspective?

(DJ):

I’m adding lead generation is everything you know, I mean it all starts with lead generation. You taught me that because, if your sales funnel and your sales pipeline isn’t full you got nobody to talk to. And so, you know generating that lead again, it goes back to that process. That’s really the first step in the process of generating that lead. And so for myself, I’m looking for leads everywhere, clients and referrals and whatnot, but I know I love using LinkedIn and of learned from Dawn how to do so. And then you know, we do some door-to-door stuff. We pick up the phone and call folks and generate leads. You know, that way. Obviously pre covid we did more networking and you know Chamber of Commerce events. And those those of obviously change now and virtual world, but you know, if I see a business or it could be on Facebook it could be on LinkedIn. I could be out driving around. I could be at the WaWa and if I see a plumbing truck next to me and they got a phone number on the side. I’m picking up the phone and going to give them a value proposition. The worst that they could tell me is no. So lead generation is the really, is the lifeblood of our business. I’m always working to add more ways to generate leads because the more ways you generate leads the more lead you’re going to have. But I’m always listening too. And one of the things I asked people, I ask you this all the time Joe, What are you reading? You know, I asked I asked people and Aflac what are they reading? You know, I asked two questions. I ask, what are you reading? And who do you know that I should know? Those breing the most value to me because I want to know what you’re reading. I wanna know, I wanna know who do you know that I should know? You know, one person. Who do you know that I should know? Because I want to know everybody.

(JP):

And you do know a lot of people and you go out of your way to meet people. And that’s why, it’s another tipping point for you and success. And I’d like to ask you a question about some of the things you do indirectly. I mean you do such a great job of retention of clients. In the world of sales and client acquisition. Sometimes you’re going out the back as fast as they’re going in. But you have a way of working with your clients, that you keep them. What are some of the secrets or tips that you can give some sales professionals out there on things you do to do that?

(DJ):

Well, and really it’s watching what everyone else does and do the opposite. Think outside the box, you know return every phone call, every text message, you know same day but within 24 hours. Sometimes they may not like the answer you have for them. But you know by returning those calls and helping folks. Just doing little things, you know handwritten notes are gold. You know, because nobody writes notes anymore. And email’s great and Twitter and Instagram, mean we’ve got so many things out there that just you know that are great but they’re nothing like the value of a handwritten note that I’ve written to a client that they hold onto for years. You know, if you find an article or something online rather than just email it to him, you know, put it out put a little note. Hey Joe, thought of you, you know and send it out. Birthdays are a huge people, you know people’s favorite subjects is themselves and their favorite day in the year is their birthday. My wife celebrates hers for a month.

(JP):

My wife is around six weeks.

(DJ):

Yeah, and I get killed in August cause with my wife, my mother-in-law, and my daughter. But you know when it comes to clients, reach out to them on their birthday, not just post on Facebook. But pick up the phone or send and or send them a text message and just say. Yo, hey, yo Joe, happy birthday. What are you doing with your big day? Like, oh, thanks for thinking of me. You know, it has nothing to do with sales, directly, but they’re going to remember that down the road when you do call them and say Hey Joe. Is there somebody I could talk to you. Know, it just I’m a big believer and I’ve always tried to make people feel as important as they are to me and to and to my family. Everybody wants to be made to feel important. You know, I think I live party of the first part of my life thinking that life was all about Delmar. Well, I’ve learned been humbled me through my faith and through my wife and through my becoming a dad that life is not about Delmar, Life is about everybody else, you know, and really making them feel important. So they feel good when they talk to you, you know, they’re going to answer your call. They’re going to respond to your email, or to your message. But just little things like that Joe, if I send you something, you know, I’ll text you and I’ll call you to make sure you got it. I don’t expect you to respond right then and there. And I learned that from you to be, you know, to be perfectly honest. Just to have those additional touches that people appreciate. Just with our clients stopping by at least on a quarterly basis, if not a monthly basis. Now, It’s virtual, your of obviously by phone, but just doing those little things that are going to set you apart from every other sales person out there. Because you know people always ask who your competition is? And my competitions in the mirror. That’s the only competition that I have.

(JP):

How did people who may want to go into the insurance industry and they want to work with a leader like you, or people who just were a Joe and Dawn Pici that wanted to offset the deductible. That wanted to make sure something happened to me, Dawn would be getting cash. How do they get to you?

(DJ):

Please you call me. Text me, 407 738 5138. Call me, text me. I promise you I’m going to pick up the phone and return the call and or the text message. You know right away, just to have a discussion to see is your family protected. Where are the blind spots, or the gaps, or the holes in your coverage that you may not even be aware of? You’re looking to make transition or you know somebody that is, I’d love to have a conversation with you. There are unlimited possibilities.

(JP):

Well, I can tell you from our standpoint. I have fired every insurance agent I’ve ever had.

(DJ):

Except for me.

(JP):

Never thought about firing Delmar. He’s the only insurance agent we have ever dealt with, that if I call him he’s calling me back. Okay, and he his response time is second to none and that’s what we’re looking for.
Take out your phone. And I’d like you to type in your text box, The word sales edge, one word. Send that to 55678. And when you get there, there’s going to be a five ecourse video, recapture lost revenue for virtual selling. Also there is a link to every bit of information you will find on the sell more virtually website platform. You’re going to want to get there. Free downloads also links to our podcast. So this has been session one with Delmar Johnson and we’re getting ready to move over. We’ll see you at our next show.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening. New episodes will air each Tuesday and Thursday. So make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and give us a five star review. The Sales Edge is sponsored by Pici and Pici Incorporated. A firm which provides training, consulting, and keynote presentations. Empowering corporations and individuals to attract and retain quality clients for higher revenues and growth. Make more money in sales. Speak with Joe in person by calling 407 947 2590. or visit www.piciandpici.com

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