Following his own advice, Aaron strives to lead by example and often arrives at the office before anyone
else to take advantage of focused, productive time. A Lushin management consultant since 2007, Aaron
acts as the glue that binds and strengthens the team’s collective talents.
As not only a sales trainer but a great resource, he encourages his clients to stay true to themselves and their missions, and he adapts his training style to best serve each individual. Aaron emphasizes understanding the underlying cause of business performance problems: belief, behavior, or technique. He aims to teach sales training clients the simplicity of effective solutions.
Winner of the 2015 Ball State Achievement Award from the Miller College of Business, Aaron spends his precious free time outdoors, usually cheering on his three kids in their respective sports competitions. Prickel has also become a regular keynote speaker at conferences and workshops for organizations such as the American Marketing Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, USA Football and the Association of Builders and Contractors where
he’s talked about such topics as breaking rules in order to sell more, enhancing a sales infrastructure and how to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Umar Hameed 0:04
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I’m your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I’ve got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I’m gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there’s one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There’s a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let’s get started.
Umar Hameed 0:36
Hello everyone, so privileged today to be talking to Aaron Prickel, he’s a sales guru, helping people increase their sales because ultimately at the end of the day, the only thing that really counts is how we grow our businesses, how we grow our ideas, and to do any of those two things, we need to be able to sell our ideas. Aaron, welcome to the program.
Aaron Prickel 0:57
Thank you very much for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:59
So before we started recording, we were daydreaming about the year 5050 or 2050. And what’s interesting is this, that we still will be doing what we do, we will have better tools, I will be seeing you on a screen, you’ll be holographically projected here or beaming over here. But ultimately, at the end of the day, there’s going to be people selling and they’re going to go that, you know, “Hey, I feel kind of uncomfortable asking for the sale!” or if they say no, “Are they disliking me?” or, “Is it my offer?” all that human stuff that’s still going to be there in 2050, thoughts?
Aaron Prickel 1:32
Yeah, I don’t think that the human component of sales will never go away, and never as an absolute and a strong word, and I understand that. But they’ll always be the human component and there’s always going to be the fear of rejection, the wanting to be liked. There’s always gonna be that whether it’s 2020, 2021 or 2050.
Umar Hameed 1:53
You know, what’s interesting is like Shakespeare should be dead and buried but the only reason that’s still relevant is because the all that stuff, he talked about jealousy, fear, ambition, all that stuff remains true and it will remain true in 5020. And so let’s talk about, we have people go into the profession of sales into the profession of leadership, and what limits us is what’s happening in our mindset on how well we do?
Aaron Prickel 2:21
Well, in actually having this conversation this morning, and skill sets get you so far and Umar as a professional in this industry…
Umar Hameed 2:31
Aaron Prickel 2:31
…right skill sets only get you so far. So let’s take your mindset comment and let’s look at two different ways, one is you have the kind of that those willing to sell components of how strong of a desire do you even have to be successful from a sales perspective, which is strong for most sales.
Umar Hameed 2:50
Aaron Prickel 2:51
The challenge is when you get to the commitment side, are people willing to do those uncomfortable things that they need to do to get to where they want to go, and you can want something all day long. But if that commitment to do those uncomfortable things, isn’t there to your exact point Umar, rejection gets in the way and wanting to be liked gets in the way, and that six inches between our ears is ultimately what gets us in trouble. So skill sets can get us so far, but how committed are you to doing the uncomfortable things you need to do to get to where you want to go.
Umar Hameed 3:23
I love what you’re saying there. And if we take a pull back just a little bit, pull that lens back just a little bit, we go, “Okay, what makes those things uncomfortable is what’s happening in our mindset, right?” in the first place, because there’s other people is like, so I’ll give you an example, I was talking to this salesperson, and he is a fricking guru, he walks on water and he is the number one sales guy in this company last five years, one area has a problem is asking for referrals, because a different set of rules come up in his mind. Keep in mind, these are customers that love him, want to recommend him, but he just can’t ask. And it would it turned out was when he was seven years of age. He was in a room with his dad and one of his dad’s buddies from work and his dad made a comment to his buddy, “Real men don’t ask for help.” And little Paul in that room, grab that thought and it’s like asking for a million dollars for what he’s selling, piece of cake. Asking for a referral violates the belief of asking for help. So sales in the grand scheme of things is not that difficult, the difficult part is, is getting this stuff, right. So can you think of a particular client you’ve had, don’t name names, but somebody that you could clearly see that Judy or Sam could be a freaking rockstar and how you got them over that Rubicon to get them to kind of go, “Yeah, I can do this, like it’s not an overnight thing.” So tell us about one of your clients stories, how you got them to really believe that they could do anything they frickin’ wanted.
Aaron Prickel 4:48
Well…Umar, you gave a perfect example of even some of the self-limiting beliefs wrapped around asking for referrals and we are the professional years ago mention that 80% of our scripting is instilled in you by the time you’re five. It’s about time to five, by the time you’re five years old scripting, so I won’t even make it from an individual perspective, let’s just look at more of a macro of even head trash around talking about money. And to your point, think about when we’re kids, and it’s the, if Umar was a young boy and asked his parents, “Hey, I’m going to walk down the road and ask Mr. Mrs. Smith, how much they paid for their new car?,” our parents would have said, “That’s none of your business. That’s none of your business.”
Umar Hameed 5:38
We don’t talk about money. It’s rude! Yeah! Absolutely.
Aaron Prickel 5:41
Especially other people’s money Umar, you don’t talk about that. So part of it is, it’s to your point, it’s…
Umar Hameed 5:47
No worst to that our money!
Aaron Prickel 5:48
…or even our money, exactly rght? So how do you start to navigate people through that, right? It’s the reshaping our beliefs, right? So our beliefs drive our actions that create a feeling of normalcy, that ultimately provide a result. And if you want to change, you know, the the corny, one liner, for lack of better words is if you want to change what you’ve always achieved, you must first change what you’ve always believed. So there, there is a reshaping…
Umar Hameed 6:15
Absolutely! And that’s the hardest thing to do, right?
Aaron Prickel 6:17
Oh yes, absolutely yes! So first it’s a process….
Umar Hameed 6:22
So I’ll tell you one of my childhood memories.
Aaron Prickel 6:24
Umar Hameed 6:25
I’ll tell you one of my childhood memories of money makes you My first memory of money because when there’s like lots of emotions, our brain remembers those events more completely than any other. It was a fight between my mom and my dad, it was super late at night, and back in the day used to get paid in actual money, you got a pay packet, and my dad took his money wad of money for that week, and he ripped it in half, it says I don’t give a shit about this. And even as a kid, I had to be maybe five years old, I knew that he was gonna take that money back up. And what he was saying was bullshit, that money was really important. And he just ripped it to be theatrical in that moment, but that kind of created a negative association around money, money causes fights. And what’s amazing is, is this is that you could have a parent that says, they’ve got twins, identical in every way. And mom says, “You’ll get your pocket money, when you clean your room.” And twin one goes, “You can earn money, it’s amazing!” And the second one goes, “Oh, she’s keeping money away from me,” you know, money’s dangerous. So doesn’t matter what you do as a parent, kids are going to get what they want to get, because we make meaning of it. So how do you help your clients kind of get over those money issues?
Aaron Prickel 7:40
Well…if you go back to even the example part of it is first having the awareness of what’s going on, right? First, you have to have awareness of what’s going on. And the second thing is, where is it coming from? And then the third piece is how does that drive to the correlation in context of everyday sales or business? Because once people realize, “Oh, my gosh, having a difficult time talking about money,” that limits me and budget conversations or I take things at face value. And you know, there’s the power of journaling, there’s the power of reshaping beliefs, there’s a power of talking with people that actually have strong money tolerances. So at the end of the day, those small little subtle shifts over time start to rewrite our own tapes or records, where the conversation just becomes conversational versus a forced event for lack of better words.
Umar Hameed 8:33
So let’s go back to that journaling comment,A, do you keep a journal and B, how does journaling really help around issues around money?
Umar Hameed 8:42
Umar Hameed 8:42
Aaron Prickel 8:42
…there it is, since right here next to me, sure answer is yes. Since I guess we’re being humble, immense, immense, just you and I and a couple of friends who are listening. I grew up in a very small town, did not come from a lot of money. And one of the things I had a journal for years is I deserve more, I deserve more, I deserve more, I deserve more to free up that mindset back to your example of little Paul, when he was five and his dad said, you know, “Don’t ask for help.” Uhmm…part of that’s just breaking free of the abundance mentality versus a scarcity mentality and journaling can unlock the power have an abundance mentality.
Umar Hameed 8:58
I love it! One of the things I like is a gratitude journal which could be combined but one of the areas where I think people stopped short is they go, “I am grateful for my son.” And I kind of go, “So what!” but if you go I am grateful for my son because and what comes after the because is is where the juices where the passion is where the energy is. I’m grateful for my work because, because is where the energy is.
Umar Hameed 9:57
And Umar, since I can see you while we’re talking, there’s a first line, and everything is I journal every day because it’s important to me. There’s your because word.
Umar Hameed 10:09
Nice! Because is excellent. I can see tomorrow’s entry. Do your journal, I spoke with Mr. I need help. Now. I do this exercise sometimes where I ask people to take out money out of their wallet. And at the counter three rip whatever denomination that is a $20 bill a $50 Bill $100 bill, and some people rip it and they kind of go, oh my god, I didn’t think I could do that. Like it’s a cathartic moment. Keep in mind, everybody knows they’re going to tape it back together and then can lose the value. But the emotions come up and other people say How dare you, you can do that to money. And it really brings up what’s happening on the internal aspects. So as you’re talking to your clients, they were telling you, Aaron, these are my views about money. And these views about money out what they want the world to know. I’m cool with money, I want money, I’m amazing money, then they have this sense of who they are. And it could be scarcity or whatever, then there’s the internal what’s actually happening. So how do you navigate the bullshit, we all tell other people look at me, I’m pretty check Facebook, everybody has an amazing life there. But then you’ve got how they think things are going and then how things are actually going, how do you bridge that gap for people? Or do you bridge that gap?
Umar Hameed 11:24
Well, take the example you gave Umar, there’s a an exercise we help our clients with about write down one of your most embarrassing money or financial scenarios or situations in life. And you collect them all from everybody and then you don’t write names down, but you read them out loud. And what people realize is they’re not the only ones, right? Umar, we all think we live on this island, and we’re all this unique, special, I’m the only one but it’s it’s human nature. So again, part of it is just the understanding that it’s part of being human. But again, once you get that understanding that you’re not alone, now it’s working through it. Now it’s what where do those beliefs and convictions come from? How does that correlate to your everyday sales conversation where when you reshape beliefs, you actually help others? Would you want your doctor to be uncomfortable talking about money with you? No! Would you want your doctor to have a low money tolerance, and he or she change the medical health they would provide based upon their own concepts of money? No! So we don’t want our doctors to do that to us, so why do we do that same disservice when we’re in front of a great potential client, and it hurts both parties.
Umar Hameed 12:41
Absolutely! So what was the question you had them write down about money?
Umar Hameed 12:44
Yeah! Write down an embarrassing situation you had regarding your finances or money. No, people will say things, you know, “Gosh, I took out a bunch of credit cards in college and got behind on debt,” or, “I filed for bankruptcy,” or it could be a myriad of things, but it’s nothing more than helping people understand that they’re not alone. And we’ve all had scenarios or situations around money or certain beliefs around money and once people realize they’re not on an island, it gives them permission to take a breath and figure out, here’s what I can do about it.
Umar Hameed 13:19
So Aaron, you are not a liar. And if you said to a group of people that you know, “Hey, we all have money issues, we’ve all got these embarrassing things, you just need to kind of let that go and kind of move on.” And that would have on a scale of one to 10 the impact of a zero or a one or maybe a two if you’re really good at what you do. But the exercise you described with appears all right this down, and then they get to hear what everybody is saying that impact is much larger, what would you say was, not a one or two, that would be a what kind of impact out of 10?
Aaron Prickel 13:50
You know, let’s, let’s call it, uh, you know, everything depends on the person, but I will put a number to it, that’s a seven or an eight, I mean, it helps eyes, okay, realize what what really exists.
Umar Hameed 14:01
So why do you think that has a bigger impact, because that group of people could trust you and could know you would not lie, but if you set it, it’s only got a small impact and a one or two or three, whatever that number happens to be, but when they hear it from everybody, why do you think that has a bigger impact in changing who they are, what do you think the psychological aspect is?
Umar Hameed 14:22
And social proof, social proof…and also they believe, “Oh! my God…
Umar Hameed 14:26
Yeah! I think…
Umar Hameed 14:26
…there comes this guy or gal who is quote-unquote, being compensated to help us of course, he’s gonna say that versus, “No social proof, we’re pack animals, human beings are pack animals.
Umar Hameed 14:40
And that’s brilliant. I think social proof is brilliant and I think there’s something really special about our peers. A good example is when you have people join the military, they come from all walks of life through the US, city slickers, sophisticated, dumber than a bag of hammers all come together, different values, different norms, they go through basic training, they join a platoon. And I would suspect none of them would risk their lives for the commander-in-chief, or their general or whatever but for each other that will take a bullet and do heroic things. I think that social proof, but also being part of that peer group is so powerful and I think that’s why Sandler works really, really well. That is not just to come in for a training, meet a bunch of people make promises, “Man, we got to get together and never do it.” And just that continual gathering of your tribe, helping you get better, and perhaps once in a while calling you out on your bullshit.
Umar Hameed 15:36
Yeah, yep. It’s, it’s no different than exercise and look at how, if we were all going to get ready to run a marathon, we don’t go to the gym and run on the treadmill for eight hours and say, “Poof,” and changing, reframing the mind, reframing skillsets, rebuilding a culture is not a flip of a switch, it takes a community, it takes a group, and those who are committed find ways to have the short bursts over long periods of time. So they can ultimately get the results they’re looking for.
Umar Hameed 16:06
Absolutely! And to asks, how long have you been a Sandler guy?
Umar Hameed 16:12
Umar Hameed 16:14
Aaron Prickel 16:15
Umar Hameed 16:16
Not long enough then.
Aaron Prickel 16:17
Umar Hameed 16:18
So even this last month or so, as you’re teaching what you teach, I suspect you’re getting insights or more granularity on what you’re teaching, like, you get insights as you teach. So tell me about one of the recent ones, well, you’re teaching the same thing, plus a minus, but you’re getting by the questions by the interactions, you’re also getting better at what you do. Tell us about one of the latest insights that you’ve gotten?
Umar Hameed 16:43
Umar, there’s been a trend and I haven’t quite put my finger on what’s causing the trend recently, but since the turn of the new year, there’s a lot of sales professionals playing defense out there, uhm, and there’s…
Umar Hameed 16:57
What do you mean?
Aaron Prickel 16:58
Umar Hameed 16:59
What do you mean do you playing defense,
Umar Hameed 17:01
Uhm, doing a lot of justifying, a lot of defending, a lot of explaining, a lot of handling problems that really aren’t their problem, a lot of jumping through hoops that don’t need to be jumped through, not a lot of equal business stature created. It’s the perception, it’s the high and mighty prospect, and I’m just a salesperson. And that defense is causing a lot of sales professionals to, you know, have to worry about handling objections, a great salesperson doesn’t handle objections, a great one minimizes them from occurring in the first place. And that’s been a conversation no matter what industry we’re blessed to help, no matter what tenure of a team, has been a very consistent trend since the beginning of this year.
Umar Hameed 17:56
Thank you for sharing that and here’s my theory on it. And it’s just a theory, it’s probably bullshit but bear with me, I think we’re at a particular time where there’s a lot of fear in the world. And even if you’ve got a job, you’re not sure what’s going to happen soon. And I think once we get in that fear mode, we react differently even though our intellect tells us what to do, that deeper mindset piece comes up, and it gets us to play safer, and play more defensive. And we make excuses for not actually being bolder than we should. And some people let go of the shackles of the past and all of a sudden they awaken in these kind of moments. But I think for most of us, it’s safer to go defensive than it is to even stay at where we were before the pandemic.
Umar Hameed 18:40
Yeah and, and a lot of think, Emily in our office, she’s the word fatigue, excuse me, there’s some pandemic fatigue and so, you know, the strong sales reps, you know, they didn’t miss a beat, and they continually did what they needed to do and consistently were bold. But there’s a little bit of fatigue going on, where people channeled a higher level of commitment out of fear originally, and then that tank is just empty and it’s not a consistent tank that’s full, but they’ve had to leverage it for the first 6,9,12 months and to your point, you kind of wake up and snap out of it. And it’s the people who are not strong are exhausted and when they get exhausted, they play defense.
Umar Hameed 19:27
This guy wrote this book, Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome, a long time ago, and this was he had different chapters in the book one was about you know, your family, you know, shit goes wrong with the family all the time, and you’re worrying about your cousin and this is going on, and the punchline of the chapter is, “But Aaron, at least you’re not dead.” And he talks about friends disappointing you, punchline of the chapter, at least you’re not dead. So we go back full circle on our podcasts and it comes back to mindset and I’m going to invite you to do something, this will get you tossed out of the Sandler franchise system and you’ll never be invited back. But the next time you do one of the meetings, get people to get a newspaper if they still exist or a book and do Gestalt at the beginning of your zoom meeting, is to say, “Okay, right now you’re in this place, there’s lots of pent up anger and frustration, and I want you to get a book and I want you to go back to that loony network. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” and get them to beat the book on the desk, and just let all of that other system, it’ll be a group thing, it’ll be cathartic and they’ll kind of go, “Okay Aaron, what do we need to do now?”
Umar Hameed 20:30
Hey! You do a little cathartic outside. Have you seen Umar where that exercises help people?
Umar Hameed 20:37
I have actually, I went through it. When I was my first step into self development, I was in a course. And they said, you know, “What’s the one thing that’s been keeping you angry,” and it was this family I knew that, you know, pretty decent people but the dog barked and it made it made a lot of noise. And so the bastards had the vocal cords cut on the dog and I thought that was like the worst crime against humanity I’d seen. And I’ve been holding that and I got this newspaper, I started beating the desk saying words that we can’t say on this conversation. But it was just like releasing all of that in this one moment and everyone else was doing their stuff and it was just like a insanity but everybody at the end of it went, “Huh, got that out of my system, I can move on with my life.” Aaron, before we part company today…
Aaron Prickel 21:20
Hey Umar, somebody mentioned to me..
Umar Hameed 21:20
No, no, somebody mentioned, please go ahead.
Umar Hameed 21:22
Somebody mentioned to me. Yeah, that there is there are things called break rooms, where you can literally pay money to go to break things. So Umar, I like your advice to help get a little cathartic out to kind of cleanses a little bit.
Umar Hameed 21:37
So Aaron, before we part company, I’d like you to share a mind hack, a simple trick that you use, or you recommend and I’ll give you an example. Yesterday, I was interviewing this totally brilliant guy and he said his mind hack, he called it more of an engineering hack is that he’s got a pad of paper, he writes down all the things he needs to spend time on today. It’s not all the things he has to do but all the things he has to spend time on. And then he gets all those individual things, and he puts them together in a puzzle for the day. So you might get something that requires a lot of thought process on activity one, then activity two might be just something simple takes five minutes to do, but it still needs doing. But it’s almost like a relief from high intensity, then it goes back to another intense thing and that’s how he gets maximum output. And this guy had running two companies, are writing another book, multi-marathon kind of doing those three marathons at a time kind of guy. He says, “I turn my phone off at six o’clock every evening and there’s no more work after that.” And I get more done than anyone else, and his trick was using that simple mechanism. Do you have any kind of mind hack that you’d recommend?
Umar Hameed 22:44
Our biggest thing within our four walls Umar, we are big believers in our dream boards. And our…
Umar Hameed 22:51
Aaron Prickel 22:51
…dream boards are nothing more than the pictures of the experiences that we’re looking to encounter within the next year. And you mentioned the other gentleman, that when you can see those dream boards or goal boards on a daily basis, and it helps compel you bringing this conversation full circle to do those uncomfortable things. And when you do when you make it mission over commission, you’re never poor. And when you look at those dream boards, that is your mission of what you’re looking to experience or accomplish. And it helps reframe that mindset on those mornings, mid days, late days where you kind of have that feeling. And it’s nothing more than a way to condition your mind as you look at those pictures of what’s truly important to your life and why you do what you do on a daily basis.
Umar Hameed 23:41
Aaron, thank you so much for sharing that and thanks so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it.
Umar Hameed 23:46
Umar, it was a pleasure my man, thank you for having me, thank you everyone for listening. Thank you very much Umar.
Umar Hameed 23:57
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you’re looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitselling.com. I’ve got a free mind training course there, that’s going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.
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