Selling Is Giving (and other lessons from a $1 billion brand)

David Muntner here.

I recently had the pleasure of going to Camp Maverick for the first time… and holy tamale, did I meet some impressive individuals….

From thought leaders galore, to sales gurus, authors, speakers, and accomplished business owners from every space… I can say with glee that I was the “dumbest guy in the room.”  😉

That’s how one learns and grows.

As some of you may know, I’ve been apprenticing under Yanik Silver for over a year now, concentrating mostly on copywriting and digital marketing.

My modus operandi has not only been to get good at copywriting but also to use that skillset to sell the right products to the right people—acting as a business “translator” if you will.

Yanik is definitely good people to learn this craft from.

His ethos has always been centered around providing value to everyone who goes through your sales process so that you are honoring your customers every step of the way.

Not surprisingly, one of the featured camp counselors shares Yanik’s vision.

His name?  

Brian Smith.

The founder of UGG boots.

This guy can be pretty quiet and humble, but I had the pleasure of getting to know him (and luckily, interviewing him for a bit too).

 

 

My interview with Brian Smith after Camp Maverick Color Wars… notice that embarrassing face paint! 🙂

Brian said something that really stuck out to me during his presentation…

“Selling is giving.”

Brian’s first introduction to sales was auditing Used Car Dealership clients as a young accountant in Perth, Australia.

He was completely turned off by the cheating and manipulation of these salesmen “taking” every advantage to extract as much as possible from every customer.
When he began his UGG business, he was extremely timid approaching a sale and he was very ineffective because he didn’t want to be seen as “taking.”
It was no coincidence that because of this feeling inside, Brian initially stunk at getting his product out there…and his company was hurting because of it.

But then one day it hit him…  

Good selling actually means “being generous.”  

It means giving something special to each potential customer, before, during, and after the sales process.

Brian realized that the vendors that he was “selling” his boots to could actually make a huge profit if they carried UGG boots in their stores.  If he “sold” successfully to them, then they would prosper. If he failed at sales, then he would actually be hurting these people.

That’s the healthy pressure that you want to put on yourself when driving your business. And it feels much better than simply telling yourself, “I need to make x dollars for MY business to succeed!”

Brian said that “sometimes your most disappointing disappointments become your greatest blessings.”

Those early days of challenging sales turned Brian into the person that he wished to be…and they were the catalysts for his, and UGG boots’, growth.

From that point on, Brian began to love the whole selling process. He was able to help and provide “value” for everyone who crossed his path, which is a big secret to how UGG became a  billion dollar brand.

As an Evolved Enterprise, this idea is crucial to your success.

You should no longer feel scummy or manipulative when selling but instead figure out exactly how you are helping the individuals you are marketing to, and use that as positive and encouraging energy.

For instance, I was recently in a sales meeting to promote a particular project.  Halfway through it, I realized that I was only there for my own personal gain… attempting to persuade this potential customer to buy what I was offering.  I wasn’t on his side…

…and I’ll tell you, I felt really icky and the meeting wasn’t going well…

But then I shifted my perspective.  I moved away from the frame of “I am selling” and into the space of “I am giving and providing help”.

Almost instantly, I saw that individual open up and become more receptive to working together.  The “deal” was closed soon after.

I’m going to be honest here, this mindset shift can work like magic if you let it!

But…

If you do your homework and you can’t think of any way that you are actually “giving”…then you should probably change your product or service.

Like, seriously.

We are in the next wave of entrepreneurship here, where people’s B.S. meters are higher than ever before.  

Everyone can smell when something is “fishy” in your messaging. 

Your intention should clearly be to help others.

That’s the right foundation to build a business off of.

 

Brian Smith during his presentation at camp.

As a bonus for you, I wanted to include a snippet from Brian Smith’s powerful presentation at Camp Maverick.  Though these tips don’t directly relate to “selling” per se, they can change your mindsetmaking you a happier, more potent evangelist for your brand, product, or service.

Below are the four biggest lessons that Brian took away from his own entrepreneurial journey to turn UGG Boots into a globally recognized brand. I’d encourage you to see where your life and business are out of alignment with these four lessons. Any tiny tweaks you make can go a long way!

1. Feast Upon Uncertainty

Entrepreneurship means going down the road less traveled and embracing the unpredictable and the unexpected. Brian decided to move forward with grace instead of fear when he left Australia and traveled to America to start a company.

2. Fatten Upon Disappointment

Brian, and nearly every entrepreneur that I’ve met, has faced many “disappointments.” The “non-wins” tend to offer new insights into yourself and your market. In Brian’s case, his “failure” at sales turned him into one of the most successful boot salesmen who’s ever lived.

3. Enthuse Over the Apparent Defeat

Just when you face your hardest moments—in Brian’s case, when he completely lost ownership over his company due to legalese that he misread—you are given even clearer realizations into your purpose. Brian could have given up at that moment, but instead, he transitioned into the #1 UGG boots salesman and grew the company to new heights. After that point, with a hint of good fortune and a lot of hard work, he eventually got his ownership back.

4. Invigorate in the Presence of Difficulties

Know that each new difficult moment is a chance for you to grow and expand. Get excited when challenges arise. It’s how you respond to each new situation that matters, not necessarily the situation itself.

Brian had some amazing quotes to share, and the last one, which is worth ending on, is this:

“The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live every day happily as a tadpole.”

Much like what Brian teaches in his book, “The Birth of a Brand”, your business won’t just grow into a billion dollar company overnight.

Brian Smith celebrated himself exactly as he was, every day of the year. He didn’t take things for granted, and he didn’t expect more than what was already there. Because of this, he had new and invigorating energy to use each and every day.  

And if you couldn’t tell by now, UGGs is no longer a tadpole—it’s a pretty big frog!

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