the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 331: How to be Comfortable Selling High Dollar Offers with Ian Koniak | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

Ian Koniak is a powerful example of how our philosophy works in practice!

As someone who came in as a high-flyer from the world of sales, and made the leap into coaching and entrepreneurship using his unique set of skills and expertise, we are so proud to call Ian part of our tribe!

We believe so strongly in what we teach, and this is something that Ian’s story underlines boldly.

In this recap of our recent chat with Ian, listeners will get to hear the top three takeaways from the conversation on how to sell more high-dollar offers, and feel great while doing it! We all hate the idea of feeling sleazy and slimy, and this can be so easily avoided by putting the needs and goals of your clients first.

If you know what you are offering and the value of your services, you are able to find people who truly fit with you and can benefit from what you are selling.

Listen in to hear about why ‘no’ is better than ‘maybe’, boosting referrals through over-delivering, and why helping others succeed is what we are all about at Brand Builders Group!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Prioritizing your clients’ goals and helping them achieve them!
  • Getting clear on the results that you help provide for people.
  • Releasing pressure from sales environments.
  • Avoiding the disservice of maybes and powerfully moving forward.
  • Converting customers into a force for sales; referrals are the best form of lead generation.
  • How helping others succeed is the foundation of what we do.

Tweetable Moments

“Sales isn’t really talking people into anything.” — Rory Vaden [0:07:16]

“Make it your number one intention to help your client achieve a goal, rather than to pitch your product.” — Rory Vaden [0:13:10]

“I’m not afraid of a ‘no’, I’m not resistant to a ‘no’. A ‘yes’ is good, a ‘yes’ is what I want, a ‘no’ is fine. What I don’t want is ‘maybe’.” — Rory Vaden [0:17:32]

About Ian Koniak

Ian Koniak is President and Founder of Ian Koniak Sales Coaching, which helps AE’s go from good to great by mastering the mindset, habits, and skills needed to perform at the highest level. As a speaker, trainer and expert on Enterprise Sales, Ian has led national training workshops for Fortune 500 companies and his message has been shared in a variety of media including several leading top 100 podcasts. Ian was recently ranked as the #1 LinkedIn Sales Star by Sales Success Media in Q3 2021 and a Top Sales Influencer by in 2022.

Ian is the Dean of Pavilion’s Enterprise School. With over 100M sold in revenue at Fortune 500 companies, Ian Koniak was the former #1 Enterprise Account Executive at Salesforce. Prior to Salesforce, Ian led a team of 10 Sales Managers and 70 AE’s at Ricoh USA, where he grew his division to 60M ARR and was recognized as the #1 Director of Sales.

Links Mentioned

Ian Koniak

Untap Your Sales Potential

Ian Koniak on LinkedIn

The Energy Bus

Jon Gordon

Good Morning America

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV (00:02): Love, love, love hearing the true success stories of our clients who, you know, get to the point to where they’ve reached such a level of expertise that we can have on our podcast to share with you. And that’s what this Ian Cognac interview was all about. I mean, I, if you haven’t heard it, I mean, it’s so inspiring. He, he joined Brand Builders Group three years ago, y’all, three years ago, and three years later he’s doing almost, he’s gonna do about one and a half million dollars in revenue his first full year in business. So the first two years he was with us, he had a, he had a job, he had a day job, He was doing the stuff. We were teaching him on the side, he was building up. And then, man, and, and then, you know, he, he, it was time to leave. RV (00:49): He left, he executed, he’s followed the playbook and almost one and a half million dollars in revenue. He’s at 1.2 million right now, 10 months into his first year full year. And he’s gonna do about a million and a half dollars, is what he told me. That is inspiring. And that could be you that could be you. Like, and can we guarantee it? No, we can’t guarantee it. Like, we can’t guarantee those results for everybody. But I guarantee you that everything that we teach and talk about works, it always works. Eventually it works. The question is just when and how fast and on what magnitude and what scale. I was telling our internal team this morning you know, we just, we just had our client, another client of ours, Eric Thomas, et the hip hop preacher, just, we, we ran his whole book launch with him and his team and start to finish, manage the entire thing. RV (01:41): We hit the New York Times Best Sellers list. And I was telling our team that the playbook we run for Eric Thomas is the same playbook that we run for someone who is a first time self published author with zero followers. It’s the same playbook. It always works. The only difference is the magnitude of the results. And so this stuff works. And anyways, just so invigorating to see one of our clients like Ian succeeding. But I mean, we have a, we need to start like a little seven figure club at Brand Builders Group because you know, Lisa Woodruff and Candy Valenti and Anton Gun, like, we have a, we have a large group of clients that have gone to seven figures, like within a couple years of working with us, which is really, really awesome. So anyways, the conversation was around sales and specifically I titled that episode, How to Be Comfortable Selling High Dollar Offers because that’s what Ian has done. RV (02:37): If, again, if you haven’t listened to the interview we’ve known him for years. He sold for RICO business products, and then he was the number one salesperson worldwide at Salesforce selling million dollar deals. And he made over seven figures a year in income there. So and then he became a brand builders group client, and is now, you know, doing his personal brand doing sales coaching, specifically B2B sales coaching. So if you’re someone who sells business to business, like you sell to other companies, Ian is one of the people that we, we recommend. So if you go to brand builders cognac, that’s K O N I K you can, excuse me, you can check that out and learn about what he’s up to. It’s just, he’s literally like the, one of the best in the world, and that’s what he’s, that’s what he’s teaching people to do. RV (03:28): So I love that. Now I’m gonna share with you three of my takeaways things that I was reminded of. Obviously, sales is something we spend a lot of our time doing. We don’t focus, Brand builders group doesn’t focus so much on teaching B2B sales. We don’t focus so much on selling to companies. We do teach people how to book keynotes. Sell keynotes is something we do really, really well. But outside of selling keynotes, most of our curriculum is around selling business to consumer and directly to an end person to get them to buy. But in our former life, you know, with the way that AJ and I met was, we started a company that was sales coaching and sales col co consulting. And we exclusively sold sales training to companies. And that was an eight figure business that we sold in 2018. RV (04:12): And so we, we know a lot about sales, but these days most of what we teach is selling B to C business to consumer. And so I’m gonna, I’m gonna share with you three of my highlights, three of my re reminders that I got from Ian, and, you know, just kind of like triggered things that I wanna share with you specifically for selling high dollar offers, B to c business to consumer. Because, you know, we, we talked about a lot of things in that interview, b2b, b2c, enterprise sales, It all applies. But here in this recap, I’m gonna talk about three things that really are going to help you sell high dollar offers and feel comfortable selling high dollar offers, offers. And by being comfortable, I mean, not feeling slimy, not feeling sleazy and, and just being confident. And yeah. So these are really, really important. RV (05:06): All right, so number one, and this was a, this was a, a, I’m gonna use the words that Ian said here, I thought were eloquent, is he said, Make your number one intention helping your client achieve a goal rather than pitching your product. Like you wanna make your number one intention helping a client achieve a goal rather than pitching your product. And this, I I, I couldn’t agree more. Like, it’s almost like if you’re in a conversation with somebody and you’re focused on the sale, you’re gonna miss, you’re gonna, you’re gonna lose the relationship. You have to look past the sale. And almost like even when I’m talking to a prospect, like if I’m in an active sales conversation with somebody sales to me is not about talking somebody into something they don’t want. And it’s not about talking someone into, to something they Speaker 2 (05:56): Don’t need. Sales isn’t really talking people into anything. Sales is about understanding what is their current situation and does the thing I have help them accomplish the end result. So when I’m in an active conversation with a sales prospect, I’m like looking past the sale, meaning it’s almost like I’m, I’m, I’m listening to what they want to achieve in their life. And I’m saying, Okay, let’s pretend they actually bought. Let’s assume that they bought, if they were a customer of ours, right? Now, are we set up to help them achieve the thing they’re saying they want? That’s it. If we are, then the answer is, you gotta buy. Like, you need to sign up, like we’re, we’re gonna help you. If the answer is no, then it’s definitely not. And if the answer is unsure, I have to ask more questions. I have to listen until I get clear. Speaker 2 (06:56): I can’t really help them get clear on whether or not we can help them until I’m a hundred percent clear. But it’s like, that’s why the more that we’ve gone on, the more specific our audience becomes, and the more we narrow in on what we are doing and we’re growing, we’re reaching more people by narrowing our focus. Like at brand builders, at our core, we help experts, right? We also help entrepreneurs and we can help executives. But our core business is, is like if you are an expert of any type, you’re a coach, consultant, speaker, author, a doctor, a lawyer, a chiropractor, you, you know, a financial advisor. Like if you are an expert person who wants to become more well known, meaning your business will grow, you will make more money, you will make more impact. You’ll, you’ll achieve your life mission by having more people know about you. Speaker 2 (07:47): If you’re an expert who wants to become more well known, and I say this as humbly as I can, you should give us your credit card and just sign up. Like, we are the best in the world at this. We are like, I, I just, we, we’ve we’re, we’ve done this so long in so well, in such a deep way that like, if you are an expert who’s trying to become more well known, you’re trying to reach more people, you’re trying to make more impact, like, we got you. Now, if you’re not that, then that’s where it’s like, yeah, we’re not set up, we’re not, you know, we’re not set up for you, right? Like, you, maybe we’re not the right fit. You know, it is a great example of this interview with Ian. If you are, if you’re an enterprise salesperson, if you’re a W two employee and you sell to other companies, brand builder’s group, we’re not your people. Speaker 2 (08:36): Doesn’t mean you can’t learn stuff from us, You can, but I’d go, you should talk to Ian, like homeboy is the best in the world at this thing. Like all he did was sell companies like business to business products. So for you in your business, it’s about being super clear on what results can you help people experience? What goals can you help them accomplish? Somebody comes to us, they say, I wanna be a bestselling author. We go, Yep, give us your credit card. I wanna become, I wanna speak on more stages and bigger stages. Yep. Give us your credit card. I wanna get paid more money for speaking, coaching, consulting. Yep. Give us your money. I wanna generate more online leads for my, for my service based business. Yep. Give us your money. Like, I, I want to be, you know, I wanna grow my social media following, I wanna have a bigger podcast. Speaker 2 (09:25): I I want to I wanna scale my expert business. I want, you know, more automation. Give us your money. Like this is what we do and we’re gonna dominate for you. We, you gotta be clear on the results that you can deliver for people. If you wanna get clear on what your uniqueness is and what separates you from everyone else, give us your money. Like, that’s our flagship thing. Like, we do that so well. So what is the result that you provide for your clients? Like, it’s, it’s almost not even thinking about what do you do? Like we all think about what do I like, what do we do? And people say, What do you do for a living? I want you to think about for a second, just go, What are the results that I am capable of providing to somebody? And the more that you live in that world, you think in that world you talk in that world, you create videos about that world, you write copy in that world. Speaker 2 (10:21): And then specific here, the more you have conversations in that world, like from that perspective of going, Okay, the person is talking to me, here are the results that I’m capable of helping them to deliver, are these the results that are on their checklist? Are these the results they’re pursuing? If they are, then it’s like, give me your money. Sign up. You’re crazy. Like you’re looking for a path that I have walked down. Come with me, let me show you the way. But if they’re not, then go, I’m not, I haven’t been down that path. I don’t know how to do that. You know, and try to try to point ’em to somebody else who can, right? I, I don’t think I would, I would not be the best person in the world to coach someone to be the number one enterprise B2B salesperson. I would definitely refer that person to Ian. Speaker 2 (11:08): I’d be like, You should talk to my friend Ian. Like he’s got this dialed in now. You wanna launch a book, You wanna become a bestselling author? There’s nobody in the world that I could say legitimately no one in the world that could do that better than us. There’s a, there’s only a couple other people who I would say they know what they’re talking about. But like, less than five. So, and, and I would say that in many ways we’re, we’re, we’re one at least one of the best in the world. Same thing, You wanna Ted talk, you wanna grow your speaking career, you wanna grow your coaching, your information products, like, gosh, we’re your people. So get clear on that. But if you’re, if you’re focused on making the sale, you’re overlooking, you’re not looking at results, you’re just trying to make money. Speaker 2 (11:55): And so it’s like you have to overlook the sale. But what I mean is look past the sale, assume that they were a client, Could you help them actually achieve what they’re asking? If yes, they should buy, if no, they should not. So I love when he said the, the, the intention of make it your number one intention to help your client achieve a goal rather than to pitch your product is so good, so good. The second thing I wanna talk to you about is called the Pressure Free promise. And this is a bit right out of our formal curriculum. So if you’re not yet a brand builders group client we have 14 topics in our, in our training program. Each of them is a different two day experience, but one of them is called Pressure Free Persuasion, which is our version of how we teach sales, the methodology that we call service centered selling. Speaker 2 (12:47): And, and we have coined this whole new way of selling you know, all these proprietary frameworks. And one of the, one of the techniques in that program is called the pressure free promise. And the pressure free promise is all about releasing pressure in any sales environment. Like whether it’s one to one, one to many high dollar offer, low dollar offer, it’s one of the most powerful things you can do. It’s like, it’s such a tactical thing. And what is it? The pressure free promise is just promising people that no matter what happens, you are not gonna pressure them. That’s what the pressure free promise is, is saying that, Look, if I’m gonna show you, I’m gonna learn about what you need, and I’m gonna tell you about what we do, and if there’s a match, I’m gonna facilitate the process of you buying because it’s gonna be the right thing for you. Speaker 2 (13:43): If what we have does not fit what you need, I’m gonna facilitate the process of you saying no, and that’s okay. I’m gonna, my job is to help you decide what is best for you. My job is not to sell you. My job is, is I’m a matchmaker. So it, the pressure free promise is a mentality. It’s also an actual, like, literal phrase. But the the mentality is my job is a matchmaker. If this is a yes, I’m gonna help you move forward. If this is a no, I’m gonna help you say no, but I’m gonna help you get clear that it’s gonna be one of those. But I promise you, either way, I’m not gonna pressure you. That’s the mindset. It, and, and, and we’re articulating, we’re saying out loud, we’re telling people. And so it sounds like, it sounds, you know, some variation of this. Speaker 2 (14:35): It doesn’t have to be verbatim, but it’s saying, you know what, You know, Lisa, what I wanna do today is I really wanna understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and then I’m gonna tell you a little bit about what we have. And if this is a good fit for you, then I’m gonna encourage you and I’m gonna show you how to sign up. If it is not though, I’m gonna encourage you not to sign up. Whether you buy or not is not my main concern. My main concern is figuring out if what we have is a good fit for you. And so, I promise either way, I’m very easy to say no to. I promise it’s okay if you don’t buy, I wanna let you know it’s okay to say no. That’s the pressure free promise. You’re, you’re, you’re promising them. We’re not gonna have pressure. Speaker 2 (15:18): We’re promising them. I’m not talking ’em into something. We’re, but, and we’re promising them clarity. Like what, what I’m really committed to in a sales conversation is clarity. It’s clarity about the match. I’m a matchmaker. If it’s a good match, I’m gonna tell you to buy it and I’m gonna help you do it. If it’s not, I’m gonna tell you no, I’m not afraid of a no. And this is the difference between a pressure, a service centered salesperson and a normal commissioned breast salesperson. I’m not afraid of a no, I don’t mind a no no is fine. I’m not trying for a, no, I don’t, It’s not that I want to, No, I want to, yes, but I’m not afraid of a no. I’m not resistant to a no. A yes is good. A yes is what I want. A no is fine. What I don’t want is maybe, maybe is unacceptable, maybe is not okay. Speaker 2 (16:11): Allowing people to say maybe is a disservice, not just to you, It’s a disservice to them because if they say yes, they can powerfully move forward. If they say no, they can powerfully move forward. If they say, maybe we are both stuck, neither of us can move forward. We have allowed ourselves to be stuck in this indecisive limo. And that is where mediocrity breeds and thrives in the world of indecision, right? I’d rather make the wrong decision than live an indecision. I’d rather take the wrong action than live an inaction. I would rather make it a no than allow it to be a, maybe, maybe is disgusting, like maybe is despicable. I like, don’t hate the no, hate them. Maybe like I’m okay with them saying no. I’ll encourage ’em to say no. In fact, if they tell me, maybe I’m gonna make it a no cuz I don’t want maybe is not powerful, maybe is mediocre, maybe as marginal, maybe is stuck in a world of not making a difference. Speaker 2 (17:18): It’s maybe as stuck in a world of inaction, maybe as I’m not doing anything great with my life, but I haven’t yet freed myself from being stuck in the middle to actually go out and do something. So I’m fine with no, I’m not okay with maybe, So you don’t say all that to them. all you say to them is my job is not to talk you into anything. My job is to understand what you’re looking for to help you understand what we do. And if it’s a good fit, great. If not, that’s perfectly okay. No matter what happens, I promise there’s not gonna be any pressure. I won’t talk you into anything you don’t like. I’m really just here for you to help you figure out what’s the best thing. That’s what the pressure free promise sounds like. And, and the magic here is the moment you give them permission to say no is also the same moment. Speaker 2 (18:08): You give them permission to say yes. The moment you give them permission to say no is also the same moment that you give them permission to say yes. Because by allowing them the permission to tell you no, all their walls come down, all their, their relu, their sales resistance comes down, their, their buying reluctance comes down and all of their preconceived notions dissolve, and they can just have an open, honest conversation with you, which is what we both want, right? And so it’s, it’s about being service centered, not self centered. That’s what this is about. So that’s the pressure free promise. The third thing is turn your customer force into your sales force. This is the ultimate form of lead generation. The ultimate form of lead generation is turning your customer force into your sales force. How do you do that? It’s so simple. Speaker 2 (19:06): Is it asking for referrals? Yes, we should ask for referrals, but it is by over delivering for your current customers. Like the best form of prospecting is helping your current customers succeed. The best form of prospecting new customers is loving on your current customers. When your new, your current customers succeed and thrive, then it makes referrals easy, which means the next sale is easy. But if your, your current customers aren’t succeeding or they’re not loving the program, or they’re not getting results, they’re not gonna tell anybody for you. But when they are, right? When you satisfy a customer, not just satisfy, but when you over satisfy, when you create a raving fan of your current customer, every customer becomes a salesperson. That typically happens much faster than recruiting and hiring and training a new salesperson. So turn your customer force into your sales force by overdelivering, loving on them, giving them more than they expect, giving them and, and, and just being consumed with the question, How can I help my clients succeed faster? Speaker 2 (20:16): That’s what we want you to be focused on. That’s what we want you thinking about. How can I help you succeed faster? Not how can I make more money off of you, not how can I get, you know, more referrals from you? Like, those are fine things, but make your number one focus. How can I help you succeed faster? How can I will help you win better? And the way that we came up with our whole affiliate program was, I didn’t wanna sell to my friends. Like, I have all these friends who are speakers and authors who are very successful and they need a lot of ’em, frankly, need what we do or can benefit from. They may don’t need it. They can benefit a lot from what we can do. We can help them a lot, but I didn’t wanna have to sell to them. Speaker 2 (20:57): So it was like, great, well, what if we came up with an affiliate program where we paid them money for everyone they introduced to us, and then they could use that money to buy from us? Like John Gordon the author of the Energy Bus just became a brand builders group client, full fee, full paying client of ours. And we’re working with him on some sales stuff, right? Him and his team on, on scaling their, their sales team and, and scaling some of their, their high dollar offers. Well, John’s been a friend. John’s a mentor of mine. I don’t like, you know, I was like, Ah, I don’t really love trying to sell to, you know, my friends and mentors, but he referred so much business to us that he had all this money. And I said, Hey, John, like, we’re, you know, we can pay you this money, or, you know, you can, you can, you can pay it back to us and we can offer you some services. Speaker 2 (21:43): And it was like done. And so everybody wins, right? So we came up with that by, by by, by being focused on how can we help others succeed? And that mindset, just by itself is what this is all about. That is what this personal brand journey is all about. How can I help others succeed? Not how can I get more followers, not how can I be more famous, not how can I make more money? How can I help others succeed? How can I help others get a result? How can I make a bigger impact in their life? That is what Brand Builders Group is all about. That’s part of our uniqueness. Like, like it or not, that’s who we are. And that’s what we are about. And, and if that is you, then you are what we call a mission driven messenger. And you should become one of our clients. Speaker 2 (22:31): We will rock your world . Like we will light you up. You come and you do our stuff. Look it, I mean, Ian is a, is another example. Our clients are hitting bestseller list. They’re going viral, they’re growing hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. They’re generating multi seven figure businesses. They’re getting on Good Morning America. They’re, they’re, they are you know, doubling their coaching businesses. They’re, they’re driving leads for their professional service business. They’re, I mean, like, but you gotta be someone who believes what we believe, which is that our number one focus is not how do we do all that stuff? It’s how do I help other people succeed faster? How can I help other people succeed faster? And if that’s you and that’s what you’re thinking about, man, I hope you request a call with our team and at least talk to us. We have all sorts of different programs, all different price points, like for, for all different, all different experience levels, but we can help and, and we can make a big difference. And what an honor to see that with Ian. This guy generating over a million dollars his first year, first full year in business of himself, three years as a brand builders group member. And yeah, I’ve got that dream for you. That’s what fires us up. We don’t care how many followers we have, like we don’t Speaker 3 (23:44): Need, need more money, right? Like we, we need our clients to succeed. We need our clients to win. That is like the ultimate fulfillment and we get out of all business is seeing our clients win. So thanks for being here. Thanks for letting us be a part of hopefully helping you win in one way or another. Keep coming back, share this episode with somebody who wants to feel more comfortable selling High dollar offers. And we’ll see you next time on the Influential Personal Brand podcast.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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