Ep. 256 INTERVIEW – Pete Primeau
“Close More Deals by Knowing How Your Client Makes Decisions” INTERVIEW with Pete Primeau host of the Pete Primeau Show and author of the new book, “Sell A Million”
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.
Welcome to the sales and podcast in. This is a special feature sales shop, talk to Veterans, has kind of Salty, Dog’s kind of having a cup of joe drink a cup of coffee and talking shop. But before we get to Pete Primeau Let me first. Thank you for being a just a valued client. That continues to listen to our podcast over a hundred countries. This is podcast number 256. So we’re fired up about that. Our sponsors who are taking this Pici and Pici Inc. That’s is a speaking coaching training consulting. Company where we specialize right now recapture lost Revenue, get in front of your target market, close more deals and an unfair advantage over your competition and sell more virtually.com. That’s our membership platform. Every Thursday night. I’m out there live during a group coaching training e-courses, downloads links to our podcast for right now. We’d like you to take a look at some more virtually.com, consider being a member. We got a massive ecourse coming out in about a week, but let’s get to Pete Primeau. I’m going to tell you what. I’m so fired up because he and I met only about 10 days ago for the first time and we just found a Synergy. I mean, two guys that know what it takes to sell. So I’m going to Pete. Can you, please tell her eyes who you are and give a little background.
Pete Primeau (PP):
I’m an old football player, Joe that That still plays football but with a pen in his hand, you know, I’ve been in the furniture Home Furnishings industry, primarily mattresses for the last 39 years. I’ve been blessed with a lot of success and been able to help a lot of dealers, make a lot of money and be very successful with the products and services that I offer.
You know, it’s I always like to ask people that have been in the game a long time. If you were in front of a conference or in a training room or doing a one-on-one coaching and a person was entering the sales game. What advice would you give this person? You know, from the sage guy, right? That been there. Done. That got the T-shirt, the whole thing. What could you in part on that? That would help them to be successful in this career?
If they’re brand new, the very first thing Joe that I would say is don’t put on airs. You can milk being brand new for about four to five years and then you can anymore. So, you have an advantage right now. You can throw yourself on the mercy of the court and say, I’m still new at this. Please be patient with me. I will get you, the answer. Mr. And mrs. Jones, and you can use it to your advantage. You know me with these gray hairs hairs, I have left. I can get away with that anymore. So you have an exam in Edge when you’re young, and when your new simply people love to buy, right, but they hate to be sold. And that’s Jeffrey gitomer, right? Yeah, that’s a gift from Jeffrey gitomer and it always runs through my head constantly and, you know, help them.
From you. And one of the ways to help them buy from you is to not pretend like you’re an expert. When you’re not, you’re not an expert, your first few years. You’re not so, so don’t pretend like you are. Let them know that you’re new, let them try to help you. People will actually try to help you. And and the most important thing, and it doesn’t matter if you’re new, or if you’re old and sales. The most important thing is to connect as one, human being, take down the client and sales barrier and let’s just be two human beings here. Trying to help each other. All right, if we all do that, whether we’re young or were old and experienced or experience, we’re going to have a lot more success.
Well, in our conversation we brought up a lot of things that we want to talk about today, but I’m looking down at something that I would like. Cute address right away, because I think this, One of the things that separate you from the pack and has for 39 years and it’s a number of things. It’s about managing your large accounts. It’s about multiple touchpoints, keeping the stakeholders happy and understanding their Vision. Can you take a dive on that for me?
Wow, that’s a lot to unpack there. Joe, but you will. You do my back. You, you kind of scare me when you think I’m going off-track house. No, okay. The first thing that if you’re in corporate sales, any type of B2B corporate sales, where there’s more than one stakeholder, you need to fundamentally before you approach begin to understand how they make decisions, who they make decisions with usually you uncover this through lower level people, okay? The biggest mistake I ever made in my cell and career and I was at a certain mattress and I remember like it was yesterday. It was Mattress World. At that point. They had like 20 stores and Chicago and I was calling on them calling on them calling on them. I knew it was between us and one other company and ultimately the other company. One for one reason and one reason only and let Let me tell you something, whether you’re a new sales person or an old salesperson. I want you to do what my boss Barbara McKay. Did when we lost the sale. She asked them, why Tom was his name? Tom. Can you can you just help us for the future? What could we have done better? Write, what? You know, what? Basically essentially what he Baskin is, why did we lose the sale? Right? Exactly? Okay, and he said, you know, Pete did a wonderful job. I saw him every week leading up to this, but he never visited the other stores. So I was very young, very wet behind the ears, very green. And I did not know and and let me tell you something. Thank you too. Barb Barb that lesson never left me. She went into the car with me and she unpacked it. And she’s put a put her, put her hand on my forearm and she gently said Peter, this will only happen to you one time in your career. This will never happen to you again, because I know who you are. I never did because I understood crystal clear. The high just lost a huge opportunity for my company here and I Egg on my face with my direct supervisor who I adored, and I did not want to ever displease in any way. He was awesome and is awesome. She’s she’s with another company and I’m with different companies, but she knows how I feel about her. Anyway, you as a salesperson, have a responsibility to understand how decisions are made, and they’re not made the same way in every company. If you think that I want. You to think again, right there made differently in every company your the salesperson you’re pursuing this business. It’s up to you to understand how they make decisions.
Well give me a couple coaching tips on you’re talking. Now. Let’s say you’re talking to sales people of all different levels. And this is a sticking point for them. You learned an early lesson. You had a great mentor, but what are some of the things you’ve done to find out Is involved in the decision and how they make decisions.
If I’ve gone to the buyer already, the ultimate decision-maker, I just asked them and and depending on a hundred variables their temperament the the the relationship that I have some of these buyers do I’ve known for 20, 30 years, right? I know their kids, right? They know my kids. I mean we know everything about each other. Okay, and so it’s very easy.
The conversation. When this could be a one-time sale and you don’t know this buyer, you have to tread more carefully, but you have to get the information. So I’m going to throw a few things at yeah. One of the things is I do a lot of Colombo and if that’s a generational thing which I believe it is Colombo, was a bumbling detective. Who was brilliant, who used silence to get information and ohms and eyes and encouraged the prospect the buyer, to continue to talk. And so, one of the things I would do, going back to throwing yourself to on the mercy of the court. Right? Is I would say, you know, I
Apologize. I really should know more about your company because you guys are really important company in the industry and I just don’t know how you really make decisions. Could you shed some light on that for me? And shut up exactly? That last word. Shut up is the biggest problem for sales professionals.
Duke had some light on that for me. And shut up exactly. That last word. Shut up is the biggest problem for sales professionals. Yes. Well, see, I have an advantage. It’s easy for me to shut up because I am an introvert. I would rather I’m the guy that that reads the book on the beach. That’s me. I’m the guy that reads a book on the beach. I am. I am a hundred percent introvert. I am the most introverted person you’ll ever meet in your life. And people have a hard time believing it who has only known me as a salesperson, right. Of people in my personal life, people that I went to high school with people that I went to college with Joe. They cannot believe that Pete primeau grew up into a salesperson and then exceptional one at That. that they laugh. I mean, they literally look at me man, laughing. Like, I can’t believe this dude has a Salesman.
Yeah. in our conversation and I think one of the common bonds you and I share was there’s a point in our life where we made a pivot from W2 1099. Yeah, and what you said when you were explaining your transition and I believe most sales professionals, never get. This is, I went into my own business. Can you expound on the mindset? And, you know, first of all, what caused you to make that move? And then the type of mindset is Professional. That said what a 1099 is and what it takes to win at 1099. I always have to throw three questions at one time.
Yeah, I know. Let me set that up a little bit and then I’ll certainly answer that question and absolutely great question Joe. So what you need to understand about me is I’m one of four children. I’m from Schenectady. New York lower-middle-class felt like I was really poor because my parents constantly said we don’t have the money to do this in the money to do that. Okay? Yeah. Nobody in my family was in business. Just a few years ago, really, that my great-grandfather owned his own business. My grandfather owned his own business, but I never heard about anybody owning their own business. Nobody in my family owned their own business. If anybody knows Schenectady New York for years and years it was Agee Town. Yeah, everybody basically worked in the factory and that’s where my family worked and it was expected that you get a job and it That you be there for 30 or 40 years. You get a gold watch and you retire and God willing, you have a few good years left. Enjoy your life. I mean that that’s what is life. Yeah, that that’s that’s what I kind of expected. Except. I was going to be a pro football player, which is that’s a whole nother discussion, but getting back to the 1099. I just want to give that as a little background. So, I am being a good soldier. I spent not my first nine years and Retail After College learning how to sell at retail. And how to be a commission salesperson, how to make sales, how to make a mortgage payment with three children and start their college funds on a hundred percent commission. All right. So, so that was my background. And then I went, and I became a wrap for sirte, and I was a wrap and soon a sales manager. And then I had a key account job. And that company, when I was a kid account guy, with an expense account, with the 401K, with all the, with all the goodies, a small bonus program, which made me think I was actually, you know, getting rewarded for what I was doing. It all went away one day because the company was about to fold. They fired me. I was the highest paid employee in the company is making more than the VP of sales and I was fired and I’m on my way home. Joe. I had a four-hour drive within 45 minutes. This is the industry that I live in. I started getting phone calls and one of the best phone calls was from my main competitor and Taylor. It was a rap at Simmons.
And he said, Pete. I’m so glad you got fired. He goes, you’re a pain in my hats. I can’t stand you. He goes. Why do you work on, Saturdays? He goes, you made me start to work on Sundays. I’m so glad you’re gone. I will never work another Sunday as long as I lived because I won’t have Pete primeau nipping at my heels. And I said, well, I don’t think you’re gonna have to worry about that for a long but I II appreciate the humor and I loved competing against you. His name’s Dave Smith. I think, Dave’s, right. Tired by now, but a great rap, I loved competing with him. And you know, one of the things in sales if you like to compete, you’re going to like sales. If you don’t like to compete, you’re going to have problems. And you’re going to have to find a different way. I’ve been a competitive athlete, my whole life from as little league Pop Warner football player at 12 years old. So I And a competitive athlete, my whole life and still consider myself. One of the only physical activity. I get is CrossFit. So, getting back to the $2.99 thing. So I literally had no fewer than eight nine, ten calls on my flower drive home and my my goal was, I’ve always been very frugal with money. My goal is take a year or two off and just not work. I’m so anyway
I get a call from a company and they’re like we found out that you’re available and we want to talk to you and I’m like, okay. Well, what is it? And they’re like, well you’d be working for yourself. I go. No, I don’t want to do that. I mean, immediately. I know I don’t want to do it. You gotta understand my condition in my entire life, right? I wanted I wanted to be taken care of. I wanted security, right? Right, I mean and so anyway, I end up doing three interviews with Simmons mattress company. They can’t make a decision. And I said to myself, you know, they say they think I’m great and it’s down to me and one other guy and I’ll let me know. Well, let’s just say I get the job with these guys. What’s it going to be like for me when I need to get an answer for my dealer. Right, and I have to go through all. This red tape and all this political BS, right? Because that assist not really. I mean, come on, Joe. You grew up pretty much the same way I did and no BS blond. No, tell me the truth. Tell right. Ruthless go, get it. I know it sucks. You know, we both play, I played division 3, you probably play division, two or three three. And you know, that’s you work. Just as hard as the division one guy’s been do. You don’t get the perks? Yeah. Yeah. There’s there’s there’s, there’s no doubt about that. So, anyway, If I end up in an interview with United Sleep Products, and they were an up-and-coming company. The interesting thing is I ran into them a few times. And I asked some wraps that I knew like, what’s their Achilles heel and like Pete, they don’t have what said, everybody has an Achilles. They do not. They don’t have one. And I’m like that. It’s got to be delivery. It’s got to be this, got to be that. No, they don’t have.
So I end up in an interview. Now, you got to understand, I’m primarily interviewing with see Lee Simmons, corporate buttoned up guys. My interview with United sleep was in a bar called The Black Horse Saloon and Denver, Pennsylvania. The guy that ran a company was an X pro football player. All right, the guy that was the VP of sales. Used to work at sirte and basically was just my kind of a guy, very blunt, very just forthright and then the operations guy, the VP of operations at Wolf who’s now, the president of another manufacturing company. Whose a just, you know, he looked at Wolf looked at me and he said something that no other company. I interviewed said, Pete, I will deliver it on this day, you order by this day. It’ll be delivered on this day. No matter what, Pete come hell, or high water and looked right into my eyes. And I said, I like this guy. Yeah, and I ended up going to work for those guys and it, you know, I was a 1099 rep .Yeah, you’re a hundred percent commission. I had a small guarantee just to help me but it wasn’t enough to keep me on the road. So Joe, the interesting thing that Happened is I would go through that the money and I would be out on the road and then I’d run out of money and sometimes I’d run out of money with one week left in the month and sometimes I run out of money, halfway through the month, depending on how far I went, how many hotels, I was sleeping in and Nat. And so, basically I got very good on the phone. Yeah, because I had to go, I had Get good on the phone. If I hadn’t gotten good on the phone, my family would have starved to death me too. So that you understand me a joke.
Yeah, your phone was necessary. But here’s what we have to do because we’re going to cut this here. Move you over to another. But before we do you wrote an Incredible Book. Can you tell them about your book and how to get it?
Yes, guys. It’s a really a marketing book. It’s called sell a million, a hundred, and one tips refer. Furniture and Mattress Store owners to sell another million dollars or more this year and the very best compliment. I got on this book was by a guy named Doug Stewart. Take the word Mattress and Furniture out of this book and then insert any other industry and this book is still gold gold right there.
Hear what he just said. Anybody listening to this podcast should buy this book. You don’t have to sell mattresses to get value out of this book. So tell me You can get it.
So just go on Amazon, Seller million, Pete Primeau, and my cell number My cell number. Not many people would do this, but I never stopped working 419-560-3169. If you want more information, go to Pete primeau.com. You can also reach me if you It more Pete, primeau. Go to the Pete primeau show. It’s a live show that we do every week. It’s on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook. It’s easy to find. It’s on every every podcast platform that you can imagine, and I look forward to hearing from you guys there. Thank you.
Okay. Wow, how’s that? That’s great. Now, what we’re going to do here, Pete. We’re going to move you over to the cell more virtually platform. Okay. For interview.
Two and three, but hey team. You’re going to want to go over there and listen to Pete. He’s salty dog with so much experience and Nuggets fall out of his mouth, but take out your phone. And what I’d like you to do now is in the in the text box, put the word sales, edge one word. Text it to 5 5 6, 7, 8, PC and PC links going to hit hit that go to. The splash page e-courses ebook downloads links to this podcast, but also go check out sell more Virtually.com be aware that this Mega ecourse will be coming out, but folks, this has been podcast 256, we’re fired up. Thank you Pete. We’re moving you over. If this is a value to you. Can you like it? Share it, make a great comment, and let’s continue to grow.
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