May 6

Fredrik Sandvall on How to Coach Your Clients to Build a Stronger Relationship


Fredrik Sandvall is a serial entrepreneur with a global reach. He likes to help others and this manifests in many different ways from the podcast, videos, consulting, investing and teaching. 

This never-ending learning from working with others has accelerated his experience while helping others solve problems and find opportunities. The scope of problems has ranged from peace keeping, preventing crime all the way to supporting start-ups and even FT500 companies in different capacities. He is very action-oriented and is often in motion. He likes to do and help others to do. 

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

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 0:35
Hello everybody. Today I have the privilege of having Fredrik Sandvall here with me today, he's a dealmaker, an investor, an entrepreneur, Fredrik, welcome to the program.

Fredrik Sandvall 0:45
Thank you so much Umar, I really look forward to share ideas with yourself and the world.

Umar Hameed 0:50
Brilliant. So I want to take you back to undisclosed number of years ago, there was a deal you were working on that you were working on, you're coaching somebody on how to close that deal, it was worth a billion dollars...

Fredrik Sandvall 1:02

Umar Hameed 1:02
Tell us how you got that client and then how you coach them through that process?

Fredrik Sandvall 1:07
Absolutely. So number one, I love selling and I'm not ashamed to call myself a salesman, even if my job title anymore. And the reason and how I got this stand in the first place was because of relationships, which is the the coldness of the glue in any kind of transaction in sales. So I had all an existing relationship with this very large IT company and on the back of that I thought, okay, now I'd like to send something completely different to that. So moving from like the personal development space into how can I be one of their top people in terms of training them on a global scales on sales and sales leadership, and it will just find out the key stakeholders engaging with them and using very much referral and internal connections to open up new door, so

Umar Hameed 1:59
Let's pause right there moment?

Fredrik Sandvall 2:00
Go for it.

Umar Hameed 2:01
Because what you said sounds fine. The actual doing of it is where the magic is, because it's the implementation. So walk me through some of those connections, you got to the right people...

Fredrik Sandvall 2:13

Umar Hameed 2:13
...how did you coach people to introduce you to the right person, or walk me through that?

Fredrik Sandvall 2:16
Perfect! So number one, you probably have go to see one in the company where where you would like to get your foot through the door, and they could be your internal champion who will basically help you to find out who should you talk to? Maybe even in which order, maybe even find out how to set up a meeting and basically you need to coach them how to help you.

Umar Hameed 2:41
So Fredrik, man, yeah, you know, I like you but that guy, I'm not sure if I want to like risk my career by introducing you, so did you get some of those when you had to like, make them feel comfortable and then move them forward because not everyone is comfortable doing that introduction, because their boss sometimes is intimidating to them.

Fredrik Sandvall 3:00
Yes, yes, you're so so right there. So I split this into like multiple levels so in the field where you with me, I've been operating like very much like the, how to train the human capital, the all the talent. So they're often the HR department can be a foundation to get through the door so it was very much an HR person that helped me to figure it out, who in the sales department and sales top management..

Umar Hameed 3:31
Get the right person?

Fredrik Sandvall 3:32
...get on board. Exactly.

Umar Hameed 3:34
I've heard this before so of HR departments, when you actually doing work within companies, and you say, "Who's the HR department?" They say they're the people that say, "No! No, you can't do that, no you can't do this, no inappropriate touching." So anyway, HR is brilliant. Getting HR to do the introduction to sales, we're in the sales department, did they introduce you?

Fredrik Sandvall 3:53
In this case, I was very much going towards HR, and they're like, how can I escalate this to a very high up in HR as soon as possible so therefore, I can get into the top, like almost like board level, board level HR, to sales and marketing. And that's very much what I did, but on, a meet me level so that's like European and Middle East area, so very high level in this organization, which is in its own right, a multi billion industry. So I should not have got the access, and I should not have got the access, he says, "I got it." But yeah, if you don't ask you might get a yes.

Umar Hameed 4:31
Yeah. You're always not going to know if you don't ask, which I guess is most important thing on to is like, the thought of it, it's like, I'm not sure what happens. You're in Switzerland right now?

Fredrik Sandvall 4:40

Umar Hameed 4:41
Sweden. You're in Sweden right now and that's pretty open in COVID right now, right?

Fredrik Sandvall 4:45
Yeah, it's quite open and then the numbers are like the US amongst the top 20 in the world, mainly because people from Sweden travel a lot.

Umar Hameed 4:54
So in Sweden right now, they probably don't have any egos over there, but in the US and other places you know, "I'm the Senior VP of grand sales knows, and I know everything." Sometimes there's like a push back on, you know, what can Fredrik, what can you possibly..

Fredrik Sandvall 5:10

Umar Hameed 5:10
...help me with this deal, you know I've been making deals all my life son, come on. So how did you cross that bridge?

Fredrik Sandvall 5:16
Building trust basically. So I was allowed to engage and develop a very senior top level training program and from there to my right at improving my value from there over a couple of years on the very high level, then I got to code...

Umar Hameed 5:36

Fredrik Sandvall 5:36
...the most senior strategic deal team in the world that they had.

Umar Hameed 5:42
Brilliant. So just like everything that I'm not sure what happens in Europe, but in the US, we have overnight sensations in the music business,

Fredrik Sandvall 5:49

Umar Hameed 5:51
We were doing dive bars for 10 years and then we got our overnight success so you put in the work two years of building trust and get your reputation till you got to the goal you're seeking. And so how did that coaching go? How did you coach them on making this billion dollar deal is what we're talking about?

Fredrik Sandvall 6:11
Ultimately, same thing they're like, they ask the same questions as you ask me like, "How can we get to the key stakeholders in this company, so therefore, we can get the buy." So people are there to different levels but ultimately, we need to have multiple touchpoints, so in a company, we might have like the the user, we've got the decision maker, we've got the financial decision maker, we might have even like a procurement team. So it means that we now have, we need to have a finger in many posts and often, it helps if you've got like a team on your side as well. So with this huge deal, we have like a shadow organization where we were matching people on multiple levels across organization to get the buy in to position this company ahead of the likes of including IBM, in this case, as one of the main competitors for this.

Umar Hameed 7:02
Nice. So you're getting all the stakeholders kind of all lined up. So I guess there's a lot like light from a flashlight, that's useful but if you get them all kind of in alignment, it's called the laser and which guys, you get to do amazing things.

Fredrik Sandvall 7:16
Yes, exactly. Yes, focus beam can really help a lot. And in this case, these kind of size of deals also doesn't happen overnight so often, it's like months, if not years to close a deal of this kind. And so we also case also this time, but it means that many thousands of people who will be involved in the delivering solution for many, many years, so that's why how the, the ticket price could be such high because it's many years many thousands of people, and for a complete solution in this case.

Umar Hameed 7:48
So during this journey, were there any times where it was like, "Oh shit, the deals dead?" Were there any of those?

Fredrik Sandvall 7:55

Umar Hameed 7:55
So tell me how it that happen?

Fredrik Sandvall 7:59
So something to think about it, in the best of worlds, you will also have like your own private place who can fly this best team all over the world and that was actually what happened. So the actual cost of sales was incredibly high considering that number two, and number three in any sales get nothing. So it would have been a massive sunk cost worth many, many millions of dollars lost if this would not have been one and that was the case, of course where the competition in this particular case.

Umar Hameed 8:31
Interesting. So how do you keep the team focused on the prize when things are going sideways and there's challenges, your job must have been to basically, everyone calm down, It's okay...

Fredrik Sandvall 8:42
Yeah. The price price is always like the key thing in any sales person's mind but actually, the price was not the ultimate reason why the organization won the ticket. And the reason for that is because the relationships and the solution was a great fit to the organization so therefore the price was not the ultimate decision making factor.

Umar Hameed 9:08
Sorry, it's a, it's an accent thing. I wasn't talking about the price, I was talking about the price like focus on the end result.

Fredrik Sandvall 9:14
The price is, yeah, exactly!

Umar Hameed 9:18
How did you get them to focus on the end results and not focus on, "Oh, this deals collapsing?" How did you keep the right mindset for the team?

Fredrik Sandvall 9:26
Then the good thing that the team was so strong is so experienced, so I did not teach you to help them on that they were very much self managing that...

Umar Hameed 9:34

Fredrik Sandvall 9:35
...they have been repeated winning deals many times over even before I was engaged with them. So my key contribution was really trying to help to find the right people to get in touch with and therefore like how, can you always like create the accident of bumping into this person in a, in a, in a creative way, building relationships so that you can later, yeah, for the right for the right word might be leveraged that in due time, of course, everything is about legal things but we're talking about creating accidental happenings, which are very much planned. And my background working with intelligence service might have helped a little bit.

Umar Hameed 10:21
Brilliant. So that brings up he worked for an intelligence service.

Fredrik Sandvall 10:25
Prior to this, yes.

Umar Hameed 10:26
So this is the question I was thinking about before you said that. So I'm gonna screw up the dates here, and I'm gonna screw up the countries but here goes,

Fredrik Sandvall 10:33
That's okay.

Umar Hameed 10:33
So there was a very famous battle where there was a massive siege so you've got the invading army surrounding this castle, and it's a year long siege. And so the people in the castle are running out of food, they've got very little left, they got one cow left, defeat thousands of people. And rather than consume it, they catapulted over the walls of the castle to after the enemy, the enemy goes, "Holy crap, they got so much food that catapulting cows over." And they basically gave up and they left, whether it's too scary or not, is instructive story. And the story basically says, there's a black box, which is your customer, and they sometimes poke their head out and give us things. So you've got this team trying to divine what the other people are thinking,

Fredrik Sandvall 11:20

Umar Hameed 11:21
So how do you interpret signs and tell me about some of the signs that they gave you that you went, "Oh, this is a signal they want to do this?" So can you think of one of those signs that you predict correctly?

Fredrik Sandvall 11:34
Yeah, I like to use same same story of the same company, but a different day. And they're talking about like the secret signs where the company bought ad space, pretty much just opposite of, of the office of the potential customer so that mean that they could not leave the office without seeing their brand name, so of course, it's like every single day,

Umar Hameed 11:56

Fredrik Sandvall 11:57
Yeah, billboard for so in this specific case, guerilla marketing to get exposure on the subconscious mind. And, yeah, it's all of us, like, psychological warfare, but without the war, but working...

Umar Hameed 12:11

Fredrik Sandvall 12:11
...with the mind.

Umar Hameed 12:12
So one of the themes that I've noticed in our conversation today has been about relationship...

Fredrik Sandvall 12:18

Umar Hameed 12:18
...like building that relationship is so critical, and I think one of the areas that companies fail and people fail is like, "Hey, Fredrik, how are you?" "Oh, London, I used to live in London," and we chatted on London, we build this rapport, and then we go on to business, but relationships aren't like that. it's like how do you maintain that relationship, especially when the deal progresses, and you get to these places where they could go with another competitor, is that relationship that keeps everything connected? So here's the question for you, I can say all the right things to you for my benefits, and you will pick that up, it's like, he's just being polite, he doesn't give a shit about me and they can also sense when I'm connecting with you, in a way, it's like, "Wow, Umar is a really nice guy." So talk to me how you coach your clients to build relationships and maintain relationships with the best of intent.

Fredrik Sandvall 13:08
So with the best attempt is really about honesty in the end of the day. And almost like, yes, you can find out things about the other party so therefore, you do have mutual touchpoints, you can almost like profile them in advance, you know, how can I communicate with them in a better way, so therefore, they will understand me even better, also, like part of your life preparation in negotiation, or even to a first meeting or second meeting. So that's like, it's not about how you want to be but how, not talk about you becoming a chameleon, but almost like you need to be able to adjust in a way so that they find you more comfortable to be around.

Umar Hameed 13:54
Compassion, like if you..

Fredrik Sandvall 13:56
Yeah, yeah.

Umar Hameed 13:56
...connect with people. One of the, I always look at extreme relationships to understand a particular subject and a good example of that would be the communication relationship between the victim and the torturer,

Fredrik Sandvall 14:09

Umar Hameed 14:09
So we train our businesses when you are the victim, when this person is doing inhumane things to you, you have to find the humanity within them, that's the only way to survive...

Fredrik Sandvall 14:19
Alright, okay.

Umar Hameed 14:20
..and what we train our torturers is like, you cannot see the humanity in the person you're torturing, they have to be a number or a thing because if you see the humanity and both people are trying to do that dance, and then bringing it back to real life is, if I am honest with you about my vulnerabilities, and in business, we're trained that, don't show weakness.

Fredrik Sandvall 14:43

Umar Hameed 14:43
But there's a power in when you reveal, this is a reality in our side of things that oftentimes can actually be the thing that creates bonding and creates,

Fredrik Sandvall 14:53

Umar Hameed 14:53
Thoughts on that.

Fredrik Sandvall 14:54
I like, I like what you say that, and the reason why it really makes sense is, that humility and the strength to show weakness is fantastic in terms of building a bond and a bridge, and people can really relate to you if you dare to do that because otherwise, you will have this very thick armor on immiscibility, which is not very attractive. It feels like when I was in Special Forces, I spoke about this on another poem called recently and on one side, you need to have a mindset that makes you feel very superior to that to do the crazy things you have to do. on the other side, you need to have the humility, not to show those sides to other people in that way. So you need to be modest enough not to show how, how, how what you know, and think about yourself possibly. So you need to mean to blow your own trumpet, this is never the right thing to do, it's better that other people tell...

Umar Hameed 15:55

Umar Hameed 15:56
...that you're a good guy and you're trustworthy.

Umar Hameed 15:58
Brilliant. So here is my question, Fredrik, oftentimes, people have a death grip, notice me holding this pen, even though you were in Special Forces, you're not freaking idiot, and we gonna fight for it roll around. So people aren't they hold on to their reality, like a death grip but when we're in negotiations, what we need to do is not get them to let go of the pen, but to loosen the grip to allow for the possibility of change. So tell me about maybe a particular time you were in a negotiation where somebody was holding on with the death grip on their reality and how you got them to loosen up? What techniques did you use to get them to see the possibility of change?

Fredrik Sandvall 16:40
It's the power of questions, really, and the power of questions is super key. And it's the bond, as we spoke about is the right questions and the listening, that is how we create rich relationships better anywhere else. So what might that look like, it is how can I look your grip angle pen? And it might be Umar, why, why firm grip on the pen, let's play with here, so what why, why the firm grip on the pen and a particular reason?

Umar Hameed 17:12
You need to understand that this is a very important issue for us and we're not going to bend on it because this is what a company is built on.

Fredrik Sandvall 17:18
So if that's what your company is built on, and to get the solution and the next change actually will speak about here together. If at least can borrow the cap the pen will make a difference to you can still hold the power of the whole pen without the cap is doable?

Umar Hameed 17:34
I'm going to pause right there for a second and what you talked about very much relationships,

Fredrik Sandvall 17:40

Umar Hameed 17:40
And if you built that relationship up and you ask that, I'm absolutely going to say no. And if you didn't build a relationship and build that trust,

Fredrik Sandvall 17:48

Umar Hameed 17:48
Then I'm gonna no frickin' way. So answering your question, yeah. Fredrik, you can have the cap and that stock that's loosening up the whole thing, so a brilliant, brilliant thing, and I think lose sight of how important questions are. So Fredrik, you mentioned you have some children?

Fredrik Sandvall 18:03
Yes, I do, I got two sons.

Umar Hameed 18:05
Youngest son, his name his?

Fredrik Sandvall 18:07
Youngest is Charlie and then the other one is Ivan.

Umar Hameed 18:10
Shawnee. Do you remember?

Fredrik Sandvall 18:12

Umar Hameed 18:13

Fredrik Sandvall 18:14

Umar Hameed 18:14
Do you remember the first time you held Charlie in your arms?

Fredrik Sandvall 18:18
Yeah, I do.

Umar Hameed 18:20
Remember what that felt like?

Fredrik Sandvall 18:21
Yeah, he was very light. Yes, I do.

Umar Hameed 18:25
Coloration in your face change, before you laughed, you were smiling questions have the power to change brain chemistry. That is totally brilliant. Fredrik, thank you so much for being on the program today, it was a brilliant conversation. And we didn't get to the real subjects we wanted to talk about but I think...

Fredrik Sandvall 18:42
It's okay.

Umar Hameed 18:42
...having the right mindset was a great conversation to have. Thanks so much for being on the program.

Fredrik Sandvall 18:48
Thank you so much.

Umar Hameed 18:54
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 nolimitsselling.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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