Episode 56: Aaron Schmookler – Bringing More “I” to the Table: How to Fully Own Who You Are, Your Uniqueness to Make a Full Contribution to Your Team
In this episode, Brynne and Bill are joined by Aaron Schmookler, co-founder and CEO of The Yes Works. Listen as Aaron talks about “teamification” and shares how this can help you build a stronger relationship with your clients.
Aaron Schmookler 00:00
What has made me more powerful in selling, often the surprising ways in which people that I get connected to are connected to people who need me. And so, when I think about making sales social, it really, I find that the more indiscriminate I am about who I connect to, who I add value to, who I asked help from, it’s astonishing how powerful that behavior is.
Bob Woods 00:28
Welcome to the Making Sales Social Podcast! Featuring the top voices in sales and marketing. Join hosts, Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick, as they discuss the best tips and strategies they are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Here are your hosts Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick.
Bill McCormick 01:06
Hey, welcome to Making Sales Social! I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 01:09
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Bill McCormick 01:10
So Brynne, who’s joining us today?
Brynne Tillman 01:12
So I am really excited. If you’ve been watching, kind of making sales social. I keep throwing in this clubhouse thing because I am obsessed with Clubhouse for lots of reasons. But one of them is how we got our guests today, Aaron, and I’ll introduce them in one second. But, you know, I think you know, we live in this little bubble right in our world, and we see the things we see and we learn the things we learn. And then when we step outside our bubble, all of a sudden, there are these “Aha” moments that you learn and you go, “Wow, there are a lot of other bubbles out there that I want to explore.” And Aaron gave me a couple of like “Mic-drop,” “Aha” moments on engaging with your prospects, new clever ways he’ll share, and how to build a culture around that and so I’m really excited. Aaron, please welcome to the show and please introduce yourself and tell everyone about you.
Aaron Schmookler 02:09
All right. Well, thanks for having me and I also love Clubhouse. It’s like networking on steroids, and network development on steroids. Because I’m developing relationships there so quickly, so profoundly, it’s really been astonishing. I’m Aaron Schmookler. I’m a co-founder of a company called, “The Yes Works.” What we do is we have a process that we bring to leaders in their teams, we call “teamification” because we’ve all been in groups of people that were not necessarily all that much more than the sum of their parts. What we do is we help ensure that the environment and the environment includes things like policies, procedures, signs on the wall, management structure, the environment supports effective teaming and that so do the behaviors, the tools, the habits, the mindsets of the people on the team. That’s what we do.
Bill McCormick 03:02
I can’t wait to hear more about that. But Brynne, what were you gonna say?
Brynne Tillman 03:05
Yeah! You know, it’s interesting. And I can’t wait for him to share some of the ways that he’s bringing people together from outside organizations to brainstorm on this stuff. Like, I’m just excited for this conversation. I really am. Ask the first question though.
Bill McCormick 03:21
The first question we asked all of our guests Aaron is, what does making sales social mean to you?
Aaron Schmookler 03:27
Well, I had what I thought I was gonna say, I’m not gonna say that instead, you know, as I think about, for example, my time on clubhouse, and the number of rooms that I’m spending, time in, and rooms are topical, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, you know, you go into a room about leadership, or you might go into a room about excellent parenting, or you might go into a room about, “Why is Clubhouse, doing what it’s doing.” There are lots of rooms, anything you can imagine, there are rooms about it. And I’m spending a lot of time in rooms that I don’t necessarily have expertise in, rooms that I’m learning from. I’m also spending time in rooms with people who have powerful networks. And so when it comes to making sales social, I think back on the seven-year history of my company, what has made me more powerful in selling are sometimes and I’ll change that actually too often. The surprising ways in which people that I get connected to are connected to people who need me. And so when I think about making sales social, I find that the more indiscriminate I am about who I connect to, who I add value to, who I asked for help from. It’s astonishing how powerful that behavior is. There’s if you’ll pardon me for one more, one more sentence or two. There’s a guy named Jordan Harbinger who has an absolutely fantastic podcast called The Jordan Harbinger show and he used to be an attorney. And one of the most important people in his firm, essentially, was a lawyer who did not practice law. He went out and he played golf, and he hung out in bars and he just brought contacts into the firm. And this guy was the Rainmaker, not because he was going out and looking for business because he was going out and making connections. So there’s a long-winded answer to a short question.
Brynne Tillman 05:30
It totally aligns with everything that we believe, right? I mean, this is not us. We’ve heard this many, “Your network is your net worth,” Right? As you grow, you know, the connections that… And in Bob Berg’s world, you know, the note, “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” Social, we say, “To get to know on social, you have to attract, teach and engage.” So there’s a precursor that social has that gets you to that now. And I love that, and LinkedIn and Clubhouse are doing that.
Bill McCormick 06:02
So I really want to hear more about teamification. You know, I remember coming out of the public service world where we worked in teams. I was a 911 dispatcher, and you know, the joke was, you know, “There’s no I in team, but there’s two on idiot.” But that’s from that world. So tell me a little bit about teamification in our listeners, about teamification, What that means, what you’re doing with folks with that?
Aaron Schmookler 06:30
Well, I’ll answer maybe a little piece of that, and, or even answer something adjacent to it. And say that there’s a lot of conventional wisdom out there that really interferes with effective teaming. Some of that conventional wisdom, you just said, There’s no I in team.it’s And, you know, the research out of Google, the research out of so many places, says that, when we bring “I” into the team, that we really make our greatest contribution. So there is no selfishness in team. And if you’re not fully owning who you are, if you’re not fully owning your uniqueness, then you’re not making the full contribution that you could. One of the principles, and there are eight principles of Teamification. One of the principles that we train our clients in is what we call “Be Obvious.” And one of the things that’s implicit in “Be Obvious” is nothing goes without saying. Another piece of that is what’s obvious to you is not necessarily what’s obvious to me, and vice versa. So, you know, there’s this story that at first I thought was apocryphal. It turns out to be true of a semi-truck going under a bridge and getting wedged under the bridge. And, you know, the truck is done, right, that trailer is demolished, and what the tow truck driver and the driver and the cops and the structural engineers are all trying to figure out is how do we get this truck out? Without further damaging the bridge? And it’s a 10-year-old kid who says, Why don’t you let the air out of the tires. So what’s obvious to you is not necessarily what’s obvious to me. And so if we don’t bring “I” to the team, then we’re really shortchanging the team. And we’re also shortchanging ourselves because we don’t, we never really fully relax, we never really feel like we belong Brene Brown says that the opposite of belonging is fitting in.
Brynne Tillman 08:29
Oh, I hadn’t heard her say that. (Aaron: Isn’t that wonderful?)
Bill McCormick 08:32
That is, and, you know, we’re talking to mainly salespeople who are listening to this from large sales teams to small sales teams to entrepreneurs. And, you know, correct me if I’m wrong, but in the sales world, we’re kind of taught to fit in. There’s a sales process that we’re taught, and we’re taught to follow that sales process, don’t deviate from that sales process, because it’s been tested and it’s true. And so we’re supposed to fit in. So what are some of the things that you teach sales teams and teamification to bring their “I” to the table.
Aaron Schmookler 09:08
Have a sales process, require that people adhere to it, make it loose, right? It’s not sales on rails, it’s sales with a map. I think about an email that I received just a few minutes before we got on together from a client. You know, this is the CEO of a company that I’ve been working with. I’ve been working most directly with the CEO. So I haven’t had any conversations with the COO, except in the training room. And there are a couple of people that he’s connected to on LinkedIn that I would love to meet. I think of him as a busy guy. I don’t have his personal phone number. So what did I do? I followed my process. I put together a little list of people that I’d like to meet, I sent him an email that I hoped was warm, and he responded back with, “I’m so glad to make these introductions for you.” And also gave me a note that my email to him was kind of formulaic and seemed a little sterile and he would have preferred to have that be a phone call or a Zoom meeting. And so, you know, I can keep following my formula, if I want to, or I can bring “I” more into the process, because I would always rather have a conversation, even as an introvert. I would rather have a conversation than send an email that may be received as cold. And so that was a lesson for me to go ahead and take up the, you know, as they say, take up the space to ask him for a few minutes of his time, in real-time, even perhaps telegraph. Hey, the reason that I want this time is that there are a few people that you’re connected to that I’d like to know. And then, yeah, ask for the time. And so…
Brynne Tillman 10:46
And don’t send the list of names yet. (Aaron: Exactly) Right. Review them when you’re together and get real-time responses. (Aaron: I love it!) This guy would be great. I don’t remember her, maybe him, and talk through it.
Aaron Schmookler 11:00
Which I’ve done so many times and, you know, and then I don’t want to be a bother. So you know, when you ask, if I can come back to your question and kind of almost put a bow on it. It’s “Stay tuned into what works for you, what works for your prospects, what works for this prospect” because your sales process may or may not jive with their buying process. And if you’re not ready to be flexible, then guess what, you’re not going to make the sale, and they aren’t going to benefit from what you have to offer.
Brynne Tillman 11:39
That’s the authentic insight. Right.
Bill McCormick 11:42
That’s what it’s about. And often, and I’ve been saying it for the last few weeks now, on Making Sales Social, you know. We have a sales process, but our buyers have a buying process. And that’s what we really need to mold ourselves to. And so I love the idea of bringing myself to the situation, but then realize that, that’s not a number that’s on the other side of the screen, or on the other side of the table, or on the other side of the phone. It’s an actual real person and they have needs and wants. I think back to a client that we had who was an older gentleman who was a chef that was in a marketing role so just not a great fit, but hated email, hated the website, hated text message. This is what he wanted, “Bill, would you just pick up the phone and call me? I’ll tell you anything I want to know.” And that’s not something I did regularly in the role I was in. And so once we were able to make that need, and him and I met in that place, you know, think about teamification, you’re really having teamwork with your clients. (Aaron:Exactly right) How does that come into play with what you teach?
Aaron Schmookler 12:51
A hundred percent because they’re relationship. I mean, if you’re selling widgets, you know, if you’re selling a commodity, well then good luck to you find a way to make it not a commodity. And that’s a whole other conversation. Because you can still form great relationships. But essentially, I don’t remember who it was who said something to the effect of, “Stop closing business and start opening relationships,” you know,
Brynne Tillman 13:15
That’s Jeffrey Gitomer… One of the Jeffrey Gitomer, I know, “People don’t like to be sold, but they like to buy”
Aaron Schmookler 13:21
Right! You know, the things that work in the relationships to make a team, more than the sum of its parts, are also the things that make a sales relationship a sales relationship. I put quotes around it because I don’t have sales relationships with anybody that is ever going to get my business a second time. Right, unless they look out a second time. The guy who sold me my last car, he may get to have another sale from me because he was extraordinary. And he really provided value that was unlike anything I’ve ever had from a salesperson, by the way, Steve, at, Lexus of Tacoma in Washington, and I don’t mind saying his name because he was, you know, I know that if you go to Steve at Lexus in Tacoma, you’re gonna get an awesome experience. And I want that for you. And I want it for me again. So if you’re not collaborating in the sale, then you might luck out and get today’s business. And that’s it.
Brynne Tillman 14:24
That’s interesting. And we want to build raving fans, you know, to the same point, I bought a car in October. I don’t remember his name, nor would I ever ask for him again. And that, you know, he didn’t do a terrible job, but he didn’t. Wow, me. I never heard from him again. So I think that’s a really interesting perspective. You know.
Aaron Schmookler 14:48
Six years ago. This was 6 years ago. (Brynne: Wow. Wow!) Steve at Lexus of Tacoma…
Bill McCormick 14:53
And I’ll tell you, we leased a car five years ago. Our first lease, the sales rep was great. It was a Toyota dealer who doesn’t pay commission to the reps. So we liked that because it wasn’t high pressure. Went back, did a lease again, got a different rep and I just went back recently because we moved so we’re out of the area. And so I sat down with her just to talk about how this was going to work. And this is how she talked to me. She would look at her foot, she was not giving me any attention and I just said, “Hey, okay, great thanks,” and walked out and I said to my wife, we’re gonna go somewhere else.
Aaron Schmookler 15:30
And she might have lucked out if she had exactly what you needed. Right, and you think of her as a barrier to get through to what you need (Brynne: Transaction)
Bill McCormick 15:41
At that point, all I was looking for was some information and that seemed to be a bother to her. And so if you’re not willing to give me some information, then you don’t deserve it. And I’ll say that to all the salespeople that are listening, you know, just because it may not end in a sale or lead to a sale right now doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be beneficial down the road. And to the point of what we’re talking about we have to look at our clients not as adversaries or not as another team to beat but we have to look that they’re on the same team as we are. We’re trying to reach the same goal, which is to bring our product, our service to them, so that they’re better. So that they’re better at whatever they’re doing to help their clients at and I think that’s really the moral of the story here.
Aaron Schmookler 16:27
If you don’t mind if I’d respectfully disagree with you, because you’ve got an agenda now. If the common goal, if I come into a sales conversation with my expectation that the common goal is to put you in a new car today, right, then that objective will bleed through in the tiny little micro-expressions, the tiny little changes of words that you may use. If your objective is I want what’s best for you, and I want to learn about you and I want to compare your needs to what I have to offer. And then I want to add value. And maybe that’s by telling you that you really should join us. And maybe it’s by saying this isn’t for you actually maybe you should talk to Jerry.
Brynne Tillman 17:16
And one of the things we talk about, and I actually think that really aligns with us at the core is to detach from what the client is worth to us and attach to what we are worth to the client. And so that’s like a core value statement of our whole company. And you know, to treat the $29 a month membership client the same way we would the $25,000 a month corporate training client, that there is no differentiating that the money value does not create the value of the human being.
Bill McCormick 17:53
Wow. So this is great. I think we’re gonna have to have you back Aaron to talk about the other seven principles really.
Brynne Tillman 18:02
Hey, we’ll do a master class.
Aaron Schmookler 18:04
I can go through all of them really fast.
Bill McCormick 18:04
They are really, really good. But actually, we need to wrap up. So if you could tell everyone, how can they stay in touch with you and connect with you if you have an offer for them? I think that there’s a referral getting guide that you have available?
Aaron Schmookler 18:19
Yeah, I do have a referral getting guide, I’d be happy to send you the PDF. I am the only Aaron Schmookler on LinkedIn and there it is on my screen right there. So if you look for Aaron Schmookler on LinkedIn. Even if you look for Schmookler, you will find me and feel free to reach out, let me know that this is where you found me so that you don’t just seem like some kind of random person asking to connect with me. You can also find me at the yesworks.com where, which is kind of my home on the web.
Bill McCormick 18:52
Fantastic, great. We’ll put all of those resources and the links to those resources in the show notes so that you can get them. So Aaron, thank you so much for being with us and all of you that are watching and listening. Thanks so much for watching us. And as you’re going about your week this week, don’t forget to make yourself social!
All: Bye guys. Bye everyone. Thank you so much.!
Bob Woods 19:11
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing sales, training, and social selling strategy that will set you apart. Hit the subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social Podcast! Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.