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Sales Lesson 1 – Fill Your Pockets with Gold by Investing in Your Mind

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

Between my freshman and sophomore year is when I got this job; door to door salesmen and this is where everything started for me.

I had no idea what to do; I sucked at it. I came to quit. I told my boss I was like, I don’t think this knife job is for me. 

He said Ramez, I really appreciate you saying this to me because inside of you, you feel you can do that much more which means a lot. But right now you’re doing only this much, which is a little.

A little, yeah. And he goes, the gap between where you are and where you want to be is known as frustration. Are you going to let frustration make the best out of you or are you going to make the best out of frustration?

PodCast Host -Hussam ElHage:

That’s an interesting perspective from a boss at that time.

PodCast Host -Hussam ElHage:

Absolutely. Wow.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

And that is what pushed me to say, OK, you know what? I’m going to search for the answer. 

And I remember walking out, you know, there was a sign behind his desk that said quitters never win and winners never quit. And I bumped into Melissa, the number one sales rep, and I said, Melissa, could you tell me what it is that you’re doing?

Can you give me some secrets?

She said Ramez obviously. First of all, I was surprised she knew my name. I mean, she’s the number one sales rep in the office and here is this Lebanese dude.

She’s like Ramez, you’ve got to do three things.

I was like, what? I’ll take note.

Number one is you’ve got to read the books on sales.

OK, that was a voice inside of me saying, I don’t like reading; what’s number two?

She said Ramez you gotta listen to audio programs in your car.

I said, look, I’m 19 years of age. I listen to music in my car. not people talking.

She continued to say that you’ve got to invest in yourself and you got to go to the summer sales conference coming up. And that’s when I told Melissa, look, I didn’t ask you how I can spend more money, but how I can earn money.

And she gave me a one liner that changed my life and she said, Ramez yeah, yeah; there’s this very famous guy by the name of Benjamin Franklin…

And he said many years ago, take whatever coins you got in your pockets and invest them in your mind because your mind will fill your pockets with gold.

Sales Lesson 2 – Choose Your Thoughts; They Can Empower You, or Disempower You

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

So what NLP did for me is it actually made me aware of my negative thoughts.

It made me aware of fears that were, you know, the concept of fear as false expectations appearing real so that real or false expectations and a lot of time we make fear bigger than our goals. 

I teach at Hult International Business School; I teach students leadership. I teach students sales and entrepreneurship. And I can tell you in my leadership course I do a personal development journey with the students and I have them write their PDP and Personal Development Plan.

These are first year masters students that are coming and they want to conquer the world.

I cannot tell you the amount of self-doubt; sometimes people destroy themselves on the inside, just don’t speak up to those that are hesitant that they’re not as good as others. 

Those that feel I am from this race, or I have this level of education or I don’t have that level of education and all these things affect us on the inside.

So in a way, as I told you, you know, one of the biggest questions I had when I was leaving the corporate world to set up my own business is will I be able to live the life that I currently have?

I didn’t want to downsize my apartment so that I can keep my kids in the same school so that I would have to downsize my kids from that kind of school. So all these thoughts negative thoughts are happening.

And whatever you give-in to, whatever your focus on life, will only get to grow.

PodCast Host -Hussam ElHage:

Do you think that negativity is easier?

I’m trying to formulate this into a thought lately that negativity spreads much quicker than positive.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

And negativity is the default setting for a human being; why?

It’s not negativity in itself. It was more our instinctive brain from the prehistoric ages.

We are always looking for predators.

We are always afraid of being harmed.

So this is the way that we are; unfortunately, that’s that’s how we are wired.

So going back to the original question, what is NLP?

NLP made me aware of my thoughts, made me aware of how to take control of my thoughts to empower my thinking and actions.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

And today, being able to reflect upon what you do is actually one of the techniques and methodologies that you can do as an individual for your self-improvement.

I have my diary with me, and you know what I did?

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

So call it my gratitude journal.

I look at the five things I’m grateful for today and this is the last thing I do before, going to bed. 


Because it actually makes me focus on the positive and not the negative.

Do you know of the missing tile syndrome?

So if you are sitting in your office and there are tiles on the roof, if one of the tiles is missing and you’re looking at the roof, which area naturally grabs your attention?

Most likely, you’ll look at the missing tile; your focusing on negativity. We tend to focus on what we don’t have; we focus on what we lack.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

So I basically got the concept of writing the things that I’m thankful for, that’s the concept of gratitude.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

And I’ll tell you, if it wasn’t for my gratitude journal, I don’t know if I would be here today.

There are times when I couldn’t sleep at night and when I would wake up, I’d say, darn it, I forgot to write in my gratitude journal.

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

That way I’ll wake up and I write my gratitude journal and sure enough, my brain gets emptied.

I have this positive feeling, this thanking my creator for giving me this opportunity.

 Sales Lesson 3 – Invest in Results, Not the Scope

Sales Professor Ramez Helou: 

Before 2016, organizations were very training-cost conscious.

Whenever they engaged an external provider, they were thinking, well, what do they charge on a daily basis?

You know, can we get cheaper; they were very conscious those days.

So where I’ve reached today is that it doesn’t really matter because of ‘the outcomes’.

So here’s what I found; let’s say you go on a three day course. Typically, you forget 75 percent of what you hear and you retain only 10 percent of what learnt 30 days later.

Speaker 1: So is actually about how many days? Probably not. In fact, it has nothing to do with that.

In the US last year, they spent over one hundred and sixty billion dollars on training and development.

If you were to go with the same research where 90 percent of it was wasted, that’s a hundred and 40 billion dollars wasted.

So I don’t think the organization today should care about how many days they receive; I work with clients to get their team to change habits that lead to changed actions and outcomes.

When they [organisations] change results, it’s going to reflect on their top and bottom lines.

So companies today should not care about how many days, but they should care about how their team’s behavior has been upgraded.

Is the team showing up and acting the right way to get us the right results?

And how long do you think it takes to change their behavior?

For example, take a simple task such as having a sales rep go and do research on his lead.

A simple action might be to go on LinkedIn, identify the person’s background, find who and what that they know etc.

This would help the sales rep understand their lead’s likes, dislikes, company details, goals etc.

So although simple, it is not easy to build and maintain this behaviour.

Well, what I found through our work, and what is now included in our course, is an accountability app called the ‘Sales Coach App’.

So now with the Sales Coach App, a sales rep and their team is reminded of these simple, but not easy, sales tasks.

They are forced to adopt the behavior and improve their sales results on a day to day basis. It takes three months to six months to build the behaviour, but the end sales results show up in just days. 

And then when the sales reps see results, they get addicted to the results.

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