‘Sales Book’


Warren Greshes Talks Prospecting and Social Media on “The Massimo Minute”

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rod Santomassimo on his popular podcast “The Massimo Minute.” I discussed the value of prospecting, along with 3 great ideas to improve your prospecting.  Social Media, the benefits and dangers of Social Media; and, the real difference between marketing and selling.

As an added bonus I’ve included the transcript of the interview in this post.


Transcript of Warren Greshes Interview with Rod Santomassimo on the Massimo Minute


Good afternoon this is Rod Santomassimo of the Massimo Group and welcome to this version of the Massimo Minute. This month we have a very, very special guest, Mr. Warren Greshes, who I am fond to say is a friend of mine.  He is someone that a client had introduced me to and told me, “Rod if you are in the North Carolina area, you have to reach out to Mr. Warren Greshes because he is an international phenomenon”.  Of course I was curious to see who this gentleman is, so I reached out, gave him a call and several lunches later I am now proud to call him a friend.  Warren is a professional speaker.  If you haven’t read it, you should, he is the author of the best selling Best Damn Sales Book Ever, Sixteen Rock Solid Rules for Achieving Sales Success. Warren is a keynote speaker and speaks on issues such as customer service, sales and leadership. So Warren, welcome to the Massimo Minute and thank you very much for your time.


Oh, no problem.  Glad to be with you Rod.


It is certainly a privilege of us and our audience.  The few minutes we have, Warren, it really hit home in today’s market place specifically with commercial real estate brokers.  It is an extremely challenging market.  This is probably true for any sales in particular.  But tell me if you can, what are you seeing out there in the market place and certainly I am finding more and more people, I don’t want to say that it is a crutch while using and leveraging other tools such as social media, and certainly other platforms to try to get their message out.  I surely think the social media has a place. Let me ask you, where this fits into the total prospecting package from the sales perspective?


I agree with you.  Social media has a place and has a definite place in today’s sales effort and today’s prospecting efforts.  It is a great way to reach a lot of people in a very short period of time. It’s a great way to set yourself up as an expert.  It’s a great way to find prospects. It’s a great way to focus in on specific niches in the market place.

But what I just said is not selling.  What I just said is marketing.  There is a big difference between marketing and selling. I’m not an expert in social media, and I don’t use it as well as I could. I realize it is a real hot topic these days and I really see the benefit in using it;  but I’m really scared that a lot of sales people are using social media as a crutch to not sell, to not have to talk to anybody one-on-one, to not have to pick up the phone, to not to have to get in front of somebody.  There are a lot of pit falls in social media. Just as there are many pit falls in e-mail, which is another crutch. Sales people love e-mail, sales people love social media; because, they are led to believe that if you use this you never actually have to go through the hard part of selling which is the picking up of the phone, or getting in front of people.  In other words you never actually hear anybody say no via Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or on e-mail.


Very, very true. That is one of the reasons that most sales people utilize those platforms. But I agree too, it is certainly marketing vs. advertising something we use here in the Massimo Group.  We say it is presence vs. prospecting. You know selling vs. not selling, creating that market presence.  And certainly production goes nowhere just with the marketing side. You need to prospect, you absolutely need to prospect.


Rod, you and I had this discussion and we talked about this. We talked about presence and prospecting.  I really like that term you coined, presence and prospecting, I think that’s great. But remember I posed the question to you.  If you had to go without one, what would you be better off going without; presence or prospecting?


Well if you had to go without one, if I had to choose I would go without presence. Because you can’t go without prospecting.


Right. You cannot go without prospecting. I know people who have gotten clients on Linkedin and I know they have gotten clients through social media. But I have to tell you something, nothing takes the place of prospecting. . . You know my father-in-law is a salesman and he is 84 years old. He doesn’t work full-time anymore, but he is still out there one day a week.  And you know what; he is having a terrific year.  And I don’t know how the heck he is doing it because he doesn’t have a computer, he doesn’t have a PDA, he doesn’t have a Twitter account, he doesn’t even know how to use a computer, he’s not on Linkedin, and he is not on Facebook.  You know what he does? He gets in his car and he goes to see prospects, he goes to see clients, he’s on the phone with them all the time. And somehow this guy manages to do business without a Facebook account.  How the heck is he doing that?


How the heck is he doing it? At that age kudos to him.  Hey Warren a few minutes left and I don’t want you to give away all your 16 golden rules

I think people need to certainly take a look at what you have to say. But I want to ask you a question. If you can




Please give me three key ideas as far as if I want to prospect more effectively. What are some ideas you would have?


Okay.  Well first of all, know who you want to call before you call. Very simple. If you are going to be making prospecting calls via telephone or in person, your list should be set up the night before.  I find a lot of sales people make a call then they look up who they are going to call next, and they make a call, and then they look up who they are going to call next, and they make a call.  They do this over and over again. And basically all they do is waste time.

You should also focus on who you want to deal with. Have a customer profile put together and know exactly who you want to call, what kind of companies, what kind of people, who are you looking for.  In our business, we are looking for VPs of sales.  We are looking for sales executives. Why? Because most of my audiences I speak in front of are sales people. I speak at a lot of annual sales meetings, big incentive conferences, and who’s going to make the decision on that.  It’s usually a sales executive. Who’s going to make the decision on what it is you are selling on your commercial real estate business, who is going to make the decision to buy it from you.  And you want to first of all figure out where those decision makers are. That’s where things like Linkedin can come in.  They can help you find those decision makers.  Once you find those decision makers then you’ve got to call them and then you’ve got to set the appointments.

Do your calls every single day.  I would rather see you do a little bit a lot rather than a lot a little bit. In other words, if you are going to make 50 prospecting calls a week, I’d rather see you make 10 prospecting calls a day five days a week than 50 calls once a week. Because if you do 50 calls once a week, you are not developing a habit.  All that is going to happen is you are going to really dread that one day.

It’s like working out.  If you work out a little bit every single day you are going to get in shape. If you work out a lot once a week you are just going to say, oh god who the heck wants to do this.  The night before you are going to be dreading the next day and eventually you are going to say oh the hell with it. And the only time, as well we all know, the only time you fail is when you give up.  So do a little bit a lot, not a lot a little bit. You know when I first started in sales, we didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have laptops, we didn’t have all this technology.

I know I am sounding old here: but the fact of the matter is when I was on the road, when I was going on appointments I would stop at pay phones to make calls. I always had a list with me, a hand-written list of at least ten people I could call while I was in my car.  Now with cell phones and PDAs, I mean I got a blackberry here, boy I could do it while I am driving.  I know you are not suppose to. I am not encouraging that, but you can do it while you are driving.  There is no excuse not to make the calls. The biggest part of prospecting is you have to do it every day.  You know there is an old saying, “throw enough against the wall, something is going to stick.”  I’m a big believer in that. The single biggest reason that sales people do not do business is because they do not talk to enough people.  I’m not telling you don’t do e-mail, I’m not telling you don’t do Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook, but they are in addition to.  They are not in lieu of.


Very strong, very applicable and so, so accurate. Warren Greshes, thank you so much for your time.  But one last question before I let you go. I’m sure there are many people out there saying wow how this guy got me motivated.  How can we get more? So Warren, is there a website? Is there something we can look for in regards you, your books, and your keynote speeches?  Where can we direct them to?


Well, my website is www.greshes.com obviously.  And my e-mail address is warren@greshes.com.  And so you can either e-mail me, go to my website, contact me through my website.  You can find my book on there. There is a link to my Amazon page right from my website.  All the information you need about my services and me.


So there you go, a man who actually practices what he preaches.  He does utilize social media but he also prospects proactively and aggressively. So Warren Greshes thank you very, very much. And till next time this is Rod Santomassimo with the Massimo Minute. Talk with you soon.


Science Park & A Sales Mentality

We need to talk about the importance of creating a sales mentality throughout your entire organization.

But before I start, this Monday, I will be releasing my first Motivational Minute Podcast. This is exclusive to email subscribers. Each week, you’ll be getting one of these motivational minutes to supercharge you for the week. Also, I’ll be releasing details about my new keynote speech for 2009 “Beat The Recession With Warren Greshes,” a 90 minute hard-hitting, no-holds-barred presentation guaranteed to transform your organization. Now back to the topic at hand…

I don’t know about you, but many companies with services I need seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. Are they out of business, or just hiding because they’re afraid to sell, or, maybe don’t know how? It has forced me to give my business to people I wouldn’t normally deal with. Sure it might be tougher out there today, but everyone needs to know that when prospects say “NO” today it only means “NO” today. It’s not “NO” tomorrow, the next day, week or month.

I want to tell you a story about the first experience I had with an organization where there was no sales mentality, and why to this day I speak about ensuring that the sales process permeates your entire business culture.

Around 1987 or ‘88, not long after I had started my speaking business, I landed a new client in Connecticut named Science Park. Science Park was an incubator whose purpose was to bring together, under one roof, entrepreneurs and small business owners who were trying to get their fledgling companies off the ground.

Science Park not only provided them with office space, but also with administrative and consulting support. Most of these small new companies were high tech startups. Each and every one of them was started and owned by highly intelligent people who believed they had come up with the next great product or idea. And, in fact, many of them had come up with outstanding ideas.

Their one big problem was: while they all had a certain amount of technical knowledge and tremendous expertise, not a single one of them knew how to sell. On top of that, they thought selling was beneath them and they weren’t quite sure it was necessary.

These would-be entrepreneurs honestly believed, if you build a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door. Unfortunately, many of them ended up sitting in their tiny little offices waiting for that door to open and guess what: that’s right; it never did.

My job was to teach these business owners not only how to sell, but the importance of having a sales mentality, how critical it is for business owners to always be involved in the sales process, even if you have salespeople working for you.

As the economy continues to unravel, it becomes absolutely critical for business owners, and executives, who distance themselves from the sales process, to get involved; quickly.

Clients need to be hearing from the top dog on a regular basis. If you don’t know how to sell; learn! If you think selling is something dirty that’s beneath you, here’s your choice: sell or go out of business!

If you think you can’t sell or are afraid to sell, but still want to learn how, let me recommend two of my DVD’s that can get you started. One of them, Prospecting Skills That Work, will teach you how to bring in new business and the other, Make My Life Easier will teach you how to keep it and grow it. And remember, you still have one day to buy them at a 50% discount!


Your Clients Are Not Experts On What You Do

I guarantee there is not a single client, customer, or prospect who wants to be an expert on what it is that you do. That’s what we have you for: to be our expert, adviser, and resource.

Your clients do not have the time nor the inclination to be an expert on what it is that you do. Heck, most clients don’t have the time to keep up with all the information they need to be experts in their own field, let alone yours. That’s why your ability to supply your clients with knowledge, expertise, information, and education is critical to not only your success, but theirs, too.


Successful salespeople act as experts, advisers, and resources to their clients, always ready to provide them with knowledge, expertise, information, and education.

As an expert, adviser, and resource, your job goes way beyond supplying your clients with great products and great service.Your job is also to provide the client with the knowledge, expertise, information, and education they need to be more successful in their career or business.

If you can do that on a consistent basis, you will have differentiated yourself from the competition, created so much extra value that your price almost becomes immaterial, and reached the zenith of success in sales:You will have made yourself indispensable to the client.


Successful salespeople are indispensable to their clients.

For example, I’ve done a lot of work with salespeople in the cable TV advertising business. Many of their clients are local small businesses.

These are the kind of businesses that don’t have an ad agency representing them and are not big enough to have their own advertising or marketing department. The most successful cable TV advertising salespeople I’ve met don’t just sell ads to these businesses; they lend their knowledge and expertise to these clients while acting as the client’s advertising and marketing consultant.

These successful salespeople first find out everything they can about their client’s business. Then, rather than just selling them an ad or series of ads, they help the client formulate an advertising and marketing plan designed to help them get the biggest bang for their ad dollar and, consequently, increase the client’s business.

By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, when you increase a client’s business it not only makes you indispensable, but it gives the client the wherewithal to buy even more from you. Talk about a win-win.


Successful Salespeople Create And Deliver Value

This is a free excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Best Damn Sales Book Ever.

As a professional speaker, I have a huge edge on many of my clients: I don’t speak in only one industry. I speak in a wide variety of industries to a wide variety of companies. One of the many things I enjoy about what I do is that I get to learn about all these different industries and companies. I also get to see what goes on in these industries and their marketplaces. Let me tell you what I see going on in almost every single industry and marketplace that I have walked into in the last 5 to 10 years.

The middle is dead! The middle is gone!

If you want to be successful in today’s business world and economy, you have to be one of two things: the cheapest or the best.

The days are long gone when you could sell a pretty good product or pretty good service at a pretty good price, because I can get “pretty good” at a dirt cheap price. Or I can get “fantastic” at just a little more expensive price, because pretty good just isn’t good enough anymore.

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Look around you, go to any shopping mall. Look at the stores that do business and look at the stores that do not. On the one hand, you have your deep discounters, such as Wal-Mart,Target, and Kohl’s. But even down at this end, where price is supposedly the deciding factor, how do you explain what happened to Kmart? Similar merchandise, similar prices, but not nearly the same results as Wal-Mart, Target, or Kohl’s.

Walk into a Wal-Mart,Target, or Kohl’s and you’ll find them well lit (you could use a pair of sunglasses in Wal-Mart) and well stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’ve walked into quite a few Kmarts that were poorly lit, and let me tell you something about poor lighting. When a store is poorly lit it looks dingy.When it looks dingy, it can look dirty, even if it’s clean.

Another thing I noticed in Kmart are what’s known as “holes in the shelves.” This is a retailing term signifying they’re out of that item, causing a big empty space on the shelf (hence the term).Now I don’t know about you, but for me the biggest reason to go to a large discounter like Wal-Mart is that I don’t have to worry they won’t have what I’m looking for, since they seem to have everything. With time becoming such a precious commodity in people’s lives, do you really think people want to shop somewhere that won’t have what they’re looking for and they’ll have to go somewhere else? So even down at the price end there’s a value component.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin from the cheapest—let’s go to the best.These are retail stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, along with specialty operations like Banana Republic and Abercrombie and Fitch.

Then right in the middle you have those mid-range, midprice department stores. You remember those places.Your mother used to drag you there as a kid. Thirty years ago every major city in America had at least three or four of them, and now maybe one or two are left. They either went out of business, merged, or were taken over.

What made the department stores great in their heyday was personal service. Once the discounters started to flex their muscles by cutting price, the department stores started to do the same.The problem was, in order to cut their price, they had to cut somewhere else, and where do you think that was? That’s right, they got rid of the people who provided personal service.

The customers responded predictably. They figured as long as they were going to get abused, they might as well go to a discounter and pay less for the privilege.


You don’t compete on what your competition does best and you don’t. You compete on what you do best and they don’t.

So here it is: You have to be the cheapest or the best. The question is, where do you want to be? Well, if you want my advice, I’ll tell you where you never want to be. You never want to be the cheapest. You never want to be known as the “price company” or the “price salesperson.”


Successful salespeople consistently create and sell value, rather than get stuck selling price.


Entrepreneurship: It’s About Getting What YOU Want

I’m writing to share with you two great examples of entrepreneurship from a chapter of my book, The Best Damn Sales Book Ever. I also highly recommend a great new book, The One Minute Entrepreneur, by Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson. It is an exciting story about the trials and tribulations of business. You can take part in their special offer by clicking here.

…This is an excerpt from Chapter 15 of The Best Damn Sales Book Ever:

When I ask,“Why did you get into sales,” or “Why did you go into this kind of business,” I’ve had way too many people say, “…Because I heard you can make a lot of money in sales,” or, “I heard you can make a lot of money in this kind of business.” I know people who have made a lot of money doing things where others would turn up their noses.

You’ve probably never heard of a man named Randy Repass. He was like so many other people in that he had a job he was disappointed with at a Silicon Valley technology firm, so he turned to his love of boating for relief from the cold, impersonal nature of the high-tech industry. In 1968, working out of his garage in Sunnyvale, California, he began selling nylon rope by mail order under the name West Coast Ropes. Occasionally, adventuresome customers would even drop by to pick up their orders in person.

“I decided from the beginning that I wanted to take care of people,” says Repass.“The high-tech industry didn’t provide me with an effective way to do that. But the boating industry gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my work and interact with customers who shared my interests. I was having a blast and building a business at the same time.”

Repass also saw an opportunity to improve the way people shopped for boating supplies. According to Repass, he was frustrated by the experience of shopping in local chandleries for the parts he needed to outfit his modest day-sailer. “Boat supply stores in those days were usually dark, disorganized places staffed by a couple of salty but indifferent clerks who preferred swapping sea stories with one another to helping customers find what they came in to buy.”

Repass’s dissatisfaction led him to open the first West Coast Ropes store in Palo Alto, California, in 1975. From that one store, a love of boating and a commitment to helping rather than selling enabled Randy Repass to build West Coast Ropes into West Marine, the world’s largest boating supply retailer.

I’m sure that selling tires for a living doesn’t seem like the road to riches or the coolest way to make a living, but don’t tell that to Paul Zurcher.

Mr. Zurcher (I don’t think I’ve ever called him Paul, and even though he’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, I don’t really think I could) left the Armed Forces right after serving in World War II. Having grown up on a farm in rural Indiana, the only thing he knew was that he didn’t want to be a farmer. With the help of a $2,500 loan from a local businessman who took a liking to him and believed in him, Mr. Zurcher bought a one bay service station. As his business grew, he branched out into selling tires. Treating every customer as special (as every customer is), his tire business grew and today Zurcher Tires, more commonly known as “Best One,” is one of the largest retailers and wholesalers of tires in the United States, with stores all over Indiana and the Midwest.

Mr. Zurcher, now in his 80s, is as active in the business as ever. While he certainly doesn’t have to be—his sons, along with other family members and executives, do a great job of running the company— he loves being there as much today as he did 60 years ago.

You know what? You can make a lot of money doing anything, if you really love it and put everything you’ve got into it. Loving what you do is what is going to get you through the hard times when there is no money coming in. It is also the one quality that can help make you great at anything you do.