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Jeffrey Gitomer: Truthful Living With The Wisdom Of Napoleon Hill
We’ve got Jeffrey Gitomer with us. He’s the author of fifteen bestselling books and soon to be seventeen. He’s got two in the works and we’re going to talk about those and he is super creative on the edge. He’s a writer, speaker and his expertise is around sales, customer loyalty and personal development. He is world-renowned. He’s known for presentation seminars and keynote addresses that are funny, insightful, in your face, real world, off the wall and on the money. Jeffrey gives his audience information that they can take out to the street one minute after the seminar is over and put it into money. His podcast, Sell or Die, with co-host Jennifer Gluckow gets over 100,000 downloads a month. Jeffrey was inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. He is the king of sales. Welcome, Jeffrey.
Thank you, Penny, for setting such low expectations.
I have so many things that I want to ask you because some of the stuff that you talked about was amazing. I want people to understand. Your bio states that you’ve written fifteen bestselling books. How many copies or how many months, years have you been on the bestselling list? Just to give people an idea of how amazing you are.
I have been blessed. The Little Red Book of Selling, which is my bestselling book, was on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List for 103 straight weeks. I’ve been on the bestseller list about 500 times and I’ve sold a lot of books both domestically and internationally. Jennifer and I are in Frankfurt, Germany at the International Book Fair to try to get some foreign publishers to publish our books in other languages.
Let’s talk a little bit about your new book. Give us a preview of the new book that you’re writing.
It’s called Truthful Living. It’s a Napoleon Hill book. It’s his first writings twenty years before Think and Grow Rich. It’s his original thoughts on personal development and it was pretty raw in terms of both its brevity and content. I was given the honor of editing it and annotating it for the 21st century and the book will be launched on October 30th.
It must be like a dream come true to be able to be a part of that original work.
My name is on the cover with Napoleon Hill. It can’t get any better than that. This is his work twenty years before Think and Grow Rich was published. It’s his original thinking. You think about anyone who was a great writer, wouldn’t you like to know what their original thinking was? Most of the time you can’t know that.
Do you feel pressure around it? “I want to live up to his expectations and he’s not here to be able to say whether you did a good job or not.”
My only pressure was the Eagles winning a Super Bowl. That was the most pressure I felt in decades.
The show that we’re on here is Take Back Time. I pulled out my book, Outwitting the Devil, that Sharon Lechter was a part of and I saw that he talked about budgeting time. Does he have any specific thoughts around that?
It’s unbelievable. I’m going to give you the chapter right now. It will corroborate with you 100%. He says that time is your most valuable possession. He totally gets the fact that you can’t buy it back. You can’t reproduce it. It’s there for the moment and once it’s gone, it’s gone. He says time is the most precious thing in the world. What he says is that you cannot misuse it in any way. You cannot waste it. Even if you’re on vacation, his statement is that the brain is never idle. You’re always thinking, you’re always planning. You’re always looking out for something and the more sober you are, the more likely it is to come up with some good ideas, the more you’ll take advantage of this. He doesn’t even refer to it as a commodity. He refers to it as a thing that you cannot do without, you cannot live without and you cannot waste.
We do waste it in so many different ways.
Especially when you have a diversion as easy as the internet or the television that can literally rob you of your time.
What I take from that and I’d love to ask your thoughts on how you implement this in your life. It’s about being intentional with our time. When we’re not intentional and we’re distracted, then we’re disconnected and then we’re not using it wisely. When we’re intentional and purposeful, I believe that even if it is a vacation, then you’re purposeful that this is a time to reset and relax and that’s what you’re going to do. Spend time with family, whatever it is. I think when we’re in touch and purposeful, then we’re making good use of it.
What Napoleon Hill says is to focus on it. Then he takes it further and deeper by saying concentrate on it. By concentrating, you eliminate your diversions and your focus is on. Keep in mind when this was written in 1917, there wasn’t that much to divert yourself from. There was no television, no computers, no phones. He was able to focus in pretty well. In 2018, it’s a lot more difficult because you have to return a text in two seconds or a phone call in nine seconds or an email, you hit notifications that your old boyfriend got a little fat on Facebook and whatever the crap is. The diversion is there for the asking. You have to, by choice, either turn off notifications or put your stuff in a position of concentration where you’re actually by yourself.
Time is the most precious thing in the world. You cannot misuse it in any way. Click To Tweet Tell us how you concentrate.
I work while all the people sleep.
That’s the key is to be awake in that quiet, silent time.
Many of my clients know I’m awake so they’ll text me earlier or text me late. Sometimes I don’t get the luxury but I always get to talk to our customers.
Just to go off that point, you had mentioned when we met that if somebody can contact you at 12:00 AM for a book and a gig and you’re there, you’ll book it at any time. Do you have some boundaries that you do set so that you can remain sane?
So far it’s working. I can’t tell you whether it’s sane or not. If I’m tired, I go to sleep. I have responsibilities during the course of a day where I can’t afford to sleep in, but I don’t mind that. I don’t consider it work. If you love it, it’s not working. I’m very stable with respect to how I divvy up my time. I’m there with Jen or I’m there with my daughter, Gabrielle, or all of us and we’re okay with it.
If you’re there with your family, are you one that will respond if something comes in or do you turn your phone off or what do you do in those circumstances?
No, I don’t do that. We are aware all the time of all options. Sometimes I’ll pass on an option and sometimes I’ll take an option. It depends but everyone understands what circumstances are.
The key is to be awake in that quiet, silent time. Click To Tweet That’s an important point. We’re always making a choice. It’s a choice and you’re making that more conscious.
It’s not just a choice of, “Do I answer this phone or not?” It’s a choice of, “My mortgage is due and payroll is next month.” There are choices that you make based on realities.
That is very true and every entrepreneur out there can appreciate that. Not everybody has the luxury to not pick up the phone because we’d also know. You are the king of sales, what happens when we’re not following up in a timely manner?
People are calling me because they want help.
What happens if you don’t pick it up? They might call someone else.
I might have abandoned them in their time of need if they need help.
That’s an interesting perspective too. I would debate that and say that if people know that you have something that they can do to help you, that they would also wait and leave a message and be okay if you’ve got back to them in an hour or two.
They might be, but they’re more surprised that I’m not. They’re more surprised that I’m present.
That’s the most important thing is when you do pick it up, then you are present. Anything else from the new book that you wanted to highlight and talk about?
This book is not a life changing book per se. I don’t want to get that blatant about it, but it’s a life-altering book. It will cause you to do things better, not only differently. It will teach you how to concentrate deeper, how to have a better belief system and how to be more self-confident. It will take all the things that you need for success and enhance them to a point where you can say, “I get it. I agree with it. I’m willing to do this. I’m going to try it.”
How many times did you read Think and Grow Rich?
Ten when I first started and it was a labor of love. It wasn’t like, “I’ve got to read this again.” It was methodical. I added a bunch of sales guys. We all met every morning and we did a book report on one chapter every day. We did that for a little over a year and there are only fifteen chapters in the book and so you’re doing the book every three weeks.
That’s a good approach to doing it and then discussing it with one another. What kinds of things did you find yourself implementing like in the break between the next chapter?
You look at faith as belief. You look at desire as what do you want to do. You look at helping other people. There are fifteen chapters in the book and you have to look at each one of them as, “What am I going to do? What can I do differently? What can I do better? What can I do more of? How do I divert my energies to doing this?” All of a sudden, it becomes amazingly clear that this is what you need to do. Once you’ve gone through the book a few times, you get clarity on the process.
It’s like taking karate. With each time that you practice it more and more, you’re going to get that extra precision in it.
Eventually, you can break the board whenever you want.
It’s not considered work if you love it. Click To Tweet What does productivity mean to you?
Productivity in terms of getting something done. First of all, it deals with, “Am I wanting to do this?” Your boss may say, “Make 100 cold calls,” and you may say, “I’m not doing that, I’m going to do twenty.” You might say, “I was productive. I’ve got twenty cold calls,” but the guy next to you got 120. Who was productive? The second thing is procrastination because many of us will say, “I can do this tomorrow.” “Do I love what I’m doing? Am I willing to do it now rather than tomorrow?” Then finally, “What’s my focus factor? What is my ability to concentrate on what it is that I needed to be done so that not only is it done but it’s done to the best of my ability?” I’m proud of the fact that I did this and to me, productivity is all about checking something off of your list but being proud that you did it.
What I’m hearing you say also is proud of the way you did it.
Yes, because a lot of people will do what their boss tells them to do and go, “I’ve got that crappy thing done.”
Part of getting it done efficiently and effectively is that attitude thing.
If you don’t want to do something, then the best thing to do is quit and go do something that you want to do. Whatever you do, you want to be best at it.
I’ve got so many interesting questions for you here. Who influenced you most to be a great sales leader? Was it Napoleon Hill or was there someone else?
My influence is probably my family growing up. My dad was a great salesperson so I caught that from him. I grew up with it and it becomes part of your fabric. I had that to start out with and then I hung out with other people that could do what I did and looked at them and go, “I’m as good or better than that guy.” Sell in New York City, that will teach you if you can sell or not. That’s the whole deal. I exposed myself to all the people of that day, the Bill Gove and the Herbert Bruce and the Zig Ziglar of that time. They were the people and J. Douglas Edwards, the thirteen best closes and all the things that went along with that. While it’s not applicable now, it was applicable then. My job was to try to master the best I possibly could. Finally, I got to a point where I saw the flaws in them and I began to create my own. By creating my own and by doing, I became a different kind of master.
It requires the doing, doesn’t it?
You can’t teach it if you can’t do it.
It’s not the same. You can’t refine it like you’re talking about.
That will be like asking you a question and you won’t have the basis for an answer.
You said that your dad was a huge influence. Can you remember a time, a story or something where it was a pivotal moment for you?
I watched my father in his situations and then we began to do some things together later in life. We went to Florida to do a mobile home park together and we were selling second mortgages. It was not a bank situation, but a financing situation. My dad took me down and we went to three or four of these financing places and they all turned down the property that we were looking at. We go into this final place and I go, “Can I do the pitch?” I did it and we’ve got the deal. I can’t tell you that I was better than he was, but I can tell you that I got the deal and he didn’t get the deal. I was pretty humbled by it. He was pretty grateful by it and it was a turning point. There was equality at that point.
I’m sure he was super proud of you.
You don’t want to go overboard with your kids.
Whatever you do, you want to be best at it. Click To Tweet You talked about creating a lot of your own methods and approaches. I know you’ve got some events coming up. Tell us when they’re coming up.
I’m going to be in Philly on the 18th and 19th. I’ll be out at Chubb Hotel out of town. We’ve sold a bunch of tickets already.
You’re going to be in Dallas on the 24th and 25th of October.
The first week or so in November, I’ll be in Atlanta. I’ll have one day on sales mastery and one day is on sales leadership.
It’s a must-go. If you’re involved in sales in any way, you’re an entrepreneur, whatever you’re doing and you’re selling, you need these skills. What’s the one-time saving tip that would be beneficial to our audience? I was thinking of it in terms of what do you think is the number one thing that you would work on if you were helping someone to shorten their sales cycle?
Meet with the person that runs the show.
Get to the decision-maker?
No, get to the boss. Get to the CEO. The CEO is the number one main guy in any company. He or she will decide in about a minute and a half. Salespeople will say they have a long sale cycle or dealing with people that have to go talk to other people to get a decision. The boss calls down and says, “We’re going to hire Gitomer.” The guy goes, “Gitomer, great boss. Great idea. Glad you thought of it.”
What’s a tip for some people who have no idea how to get to some of these CEOs? How do you get through the gatekeepers?
I try not to go to gatekeepers. I try to post things that are valuable that the CEO would want to read. I’m going to post about productivity. I’m going to talk about profitability. I’m going to talk about absenteeism. I’m going to talk about morale. I’m going to talk about profit. Those are the things that a CEO is going to want to read and if he reads that and he likes me, then I’ll get a phone call from him or her. I want them to make the phone call. I don’t want to make the phone call.
Creating value directed at those people will have those people connect with you if it’s something that resonates with them.
Kyle wanted me to be at your meeting. I didn’t call him, he called me. There are no coincidences in the world. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason. Several people have already contacted me about coming to Charlotte for a weekend and I think it’ll be a fun time if we can do it and I’d like to try to make something happen. If your people in your podcast land are looking to be able to connect with me and get a weekend worth of learning, it’s a little expensive, but they’ll love it.
It’s value. It’s an investment.
Kyle is going to be there too. Kyle Wilson, the guy that founded Jim Rohn International. The two of us are going to work. We have a pretty big agenda planned and I have a digital studio. Everyone will either be on the podcast or be able to deliver a five-minute video piece and they can get their five minutes.
For our audience who wants to get involved in Kyle’s inner circle or be considered for this weekend, what’s the best way for them to do? Contact Kyle directly?
Contact Kyle or my email address, Jeffrey@Gitomer.com. I answer my own emails and we’ll take it from there. The Kyle Wilson event was an eye-opener for me. He has a great group of people and they all have a sense of giving about them and that’s very pleasing and rare in a mastermind group.
You can't teach it if you can't do it. Click To Tweet I love the people that I met there. They were good people in so many different contexts. It’s great and it’s important to invest in yourself. I’m sure that this is also Napoleon Hill, I don’t remember exactly the quote, but it’s the people that you hang around. It’s the people that spark different ideas. I had so many amazing ideas that sparked out of conversations that wouldn’t have happened anywhere else.
When you have brilliant people or bright people all hanging out together, good ideas flow.
Thank you, Jeffrey, so much for being here.
Truthful Living, Napoleon Hill and Jeffrey Gitomer. You can pre-buy it on Amazon. They’ll ship it out on the 30th. Just go on and click buy.
Pre-order it and also get it so that you can get to the event in Philly in October 18th or 19th or in Dallas on October 24th and 25th.
Thank you so much, Jeffrey, for being here.
Thank you so much, Penny.
For our audience, as always thank you for being here. We’ll see you in the next episode.
- Jeffrey Gitomer
- Sell or Die
- Little Red Book of Selling
- Truthful Living
- Think and Grow Rich
- Outwitting the Devil
- Kyle Wilson
About Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey gives his audience information they can take out in the street one minute after the seminar is over and turn it into money. His podcast Sell or Die, with co-host Jennifer Gluckow, gets over 100,000 downloads a month. Jeffrey was inducted into the National Speaker Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. He is the King of Sales.