Using Suggestion to Sell Decisions and Good Feelings

Last Updated October 20th, 2020

 

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You may think you’re selling products or services, but you aren’t. You’re actually selling decisions — and good feelings about decisions. Those feelings lie below the conscious surface of our minds, but they strongly inform our customer experience.

Our most recent podcast guest on The Customer Experience Podcast, Paul Ross, is a hypnotist, speaker, author, and sales trainer.

He teaches us how to quickly create a state of focus with the person we are speaking with. Paul uses subtle words and counterexamples to interrupt patterns and expectations. He even demonstrates how to move someone from reluctance to decision.

Paul is the Master Hypnotist and Master Practitioner of neuro linguistic programming (NLP), as well as CEO and Head Trainer at Subtle Words That Sell.

When he was a dating coach 25 years ago, Paul learned that his methods translated brilliantly into sales and has been turning stars into superstars ever since.

We talk about…

Why we sell decisions and good feelings
How service and suggestion work in tandem with one another
Why suggestion is not manipulation
What pattern interrupts look like
What the three magic words are to overcoming limitations and “closing big money clients”

 

 

Using Suggestion to Sell Decisions and Good Feelings

Hear the entire conversation with Paul Ross of Subtle Words That Sell right here:

 

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Full Transcript: Using Suggestion to Sell Decisions and Good Feelings

Ethan Beute:
Today on the podcast, we’re talking about talking, but talking more effectively, subconscious sales, overcoming objections, the power of language. In addition to being an author, speaker, and trainer, our guest is a Master Hypnotist and a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He’s CEO and Head Trainer at Subtle Words That Sell, helping sales teams abandon the same worn-out sales scripts, assumed closes, and other stale techniques that are often in sell people’s intelligence. So Paul Ross, welcome to The Customer Experience Podcast.

Paul Ross:
Thank you. And as your audience is listening to me speak today, I just want to say, I don’t know what points they might stop and find themselves growing more and more fascinated about what we’re sharing together, but as it’s taking place, I just feel so honored to be here and to be of service to everyone who’s listening to me right now.

Ethan Beute:
That is a very thoughtful introduction. And I guess I wonder before we get into it, is any part of your teaching and training, does any of it advocate for something like that?

Paul Ross:
For what I just said?

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, yeah, like a sincere, warm welcome in an expression of gratitude.

Paul Ross:
Yes, it does. And I’d layer everything I do. Almost everything I do is layered with hypnotic suggestion. There are a lot of suggestions layered into that. If you were one of my train students or a hypnotist, you would have picked up on what I said. And I used some clever words. I said, “We sharing together.” I said, I don’t know, as we’re sharing this together. Now we share it together or what I call implied relationship words, they imply on the unconscious or subconscious level, you can use those terms interchangeably. They imply a relationship of trust and even leadership. Where there’s a leader, there must be by implication a what? Starts with the letter F.

Ethan Beute:
A follower?

Paul Ross:
Now I didn’t say that. I didn’t say I’m going to be leading you today, you’re going to listen to what I say, you’re going to follow me and be very suggestible. But those three words, “We sharing Together,” “we” implies we’re on the same side of the table. “Share,” do we share things with people who we don’t really trust, the deep things?

Ethan Beute:
No, not things that matter.

Paul Ross:
And “together” indeed implies that we’re on the journey together. So I think these are really important tools to apply anywhere in the sales process, anywhere and everywhere. I even applied them, I want to create that sense of trust and rapport, right in the beginning through the use of my language.

Ethan Beute:
Well done.

Paul Ross:
Thank you.

Ethan Beute:
I at least kind of… Even though I didn’t follow it at that level, I just got a sense of gratitude and service was a word that really stuck out to me and as well as a call to the listener, but I obviously didn’t pick up on that level of detail.

Paul Ross:
You’re not supposed to.

Ethan Beute:
I’m glad I asked. Exactly.

Paul Ross:
It’s supposed to go in unconsciously. Because you had that response, it tells me that it worked. On the conscious level, you can’t catch it unless you’re very well-trained.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. So we will be getting into some of that, but before we do, we’re going to start where I start with everybody from a wide variety of disciplines. And I believe you’re the first hypnotist on the show. So there are a number of things unique about you as there are of every guest. But one thing in common is that everyone shares thoughts or characteristics or definition of customer experience. When I say that to you, Paul, what does it mean?

Paul Ross:
Well, as far as serving my customers, I don’t think of them as customers first and foremost. I think of them as my students, whether they’re aware of that or not because there’s a different relationship. When someone is my student, I have a higher level of responsibility. I have a fiduciary duty to them as my student to be the best possible teacher that I can be. Now, when you’re… I used to do insurance claims out of college. It was one of the most difficult, challenging jobs you can imagine because I used to tell people their car wasn’t covered or their house wasn’t covered. And my job was to first and foremost, sell myself on the idea that not to take it personally, that’s not about me. And the second one was to convey that I’m there not to make them wrong or make me right, but to be of service to them.

Paul Ross:
I didn’t have the tools I have at the time. So for me, it’s about leadership that’s created through service and suggestion. Customer experience, good customer experience is about leadership and service that’s created through the power of suggestion and sincerely wanting to help. If your staff or you does not sincerely want to help and/or they take things personally, I don’t care how technically good your script is or how good your training is. You’re leaving out the most essential elements. May I add one more thing?

Ethan Beute:
Please.

Paul Ross:
No matter what your company or corporation or you individually. So entrepreneur thinks you’re selling, you’re not. You’re never selling a product or service. You’re always selling decisions and good feelings about decisions. And that takes place largely on the unconscious level. So remember, in addition to being in service to you, you’re also in service of a good decision. That’s really, really important to get, and you can’t do that unless you first are in control of your state and know not to take it personally.

Ethan Beute:
So much good stuff there. I want to unpack a little bit of it. First, I really appreciate your call for sincerity. I completely agree. What we do at BombBomb is make it easy to record and send video messages. And one of my cautions and people generally take it as a joke, even though it is offered as such, but it’s also real. It’s like what are the best things you can do? If you’re sincere about your message and your relationship with the other person or the product, the service, the decision is new language for me. Video’s one of the best things you can do because it’s so much more rich and you can convey it in a way that people will feel that sincerity in a way that they won’t through your plain typed out text.

Ethan Beute:
And the caution, of course, is if you’re insincere and transactionally minded, you don’t actually care that they’re doing video because people can sense that discrepancy between the two. Another really good thing that you did there is again, layer in this decision thing. I actually think there’s so much about custody. I think some of the language that we’re using today around customer experience really is about peeling off that product or service, which most people say, there’s too much competition in product parody, et cetera, not to recognize that most businesses are in a trajectory toward commodification.

Paul Ross:
Exactly.

Ethan Beute:
Experience is the differentiator. And I think to peel off the product or service and get to this decision and having people feel good about their decisions, their decision to engage with you, their decision to commit to you, their decision to take the meeting, to take the employment, to reply to the email, to type in the credit card number or whatever the case may be, it’s really good.

Paul Ross:
Now, I’m going to say something very controversial and very… How can I put this? Counterintuitive? I tend to be a disruptor. So I’m going to be a little disruptor here. Being in services is great. And what I want to add into that, not but, and suggestion, along with service. If you’re simply absurd service, that’s great, but don’t assume that your client or customer knows how to make a good decision because we’re living, yes, we’re living in a time when products and services are commoditized. You’re absolutely right, but it’s equally true that there’s market saturation, and it’s equally true that people don’t have the focus that they used to have and they don’t trust their own decisions anymore, for good reasons. So I would say that yes, being sincere is great, but you can be crafty in the service of being sincere. So being crafty, being able to structure your message to reach into the unconscious level, and being sincere, they may appear to be an opposition, but they actually work together.

Paul Ross:
I invite anyone watching this to put their thumb and forefinger together. They work in opposition to yet in cooperation with each other. That’s what’s enabled us to rise above every other species and be the dominant species on the planet. So what I teach seems to be paradoxical, but what I’ll offer to people is, in paradox there’s power. When you see a paradox, it means the old paradigm is shattering or falling away and there’s time for a new paradigm. And that’s when I’m as crazy as bat bleep, I won’t curse on your show, crazy as that appears to be, I’m saying that’s possible. You can be both crafty and sincere at the same time even though they appear to be contradictory, they’re not.

Ethan Beute:
So let’s get into that a little bit because one of the areas I wanted to go into and it’s not that I hold this position, but I’m asking out of genuine curiosity and on behalf of people that might be wondering such a thing when they hear hypnotism when they hear subconscious sales, I really love that you’ve already addressed this and I liked the use of the opposable thumb. By the way, if you are listening to this and not watching, you can always go to bombbomb.com/podcast. We do short write-ups on all of these episodes. We pull some video clips from because we recorded with Zoom. So I dropped some video clips in there, some highlights of the show, and of course, links to some of the stuff that we talk about. So you can always find that stuff at bombbomb.com/podcast. So I’ll be sure to include that clip, Paul, so that people can follow along with the point you were making about the “we working together”. And again, it was somewhere I wanted to go, this line between persuasion and coercion, right?

Paul Ross:
Yes.

Ethan Beute:
So I think, I think what some people, depending on maybe the time of day they’re listening or something that happened to them personally in their lives, or maybe a long-held belief about how things could, should, would be done, talk about that tension between the idea of suggestion and hypnotism and subconscious sales, strategies, and approaches from a persuasion and coercion standpoint?

Paul Ross:
I will. And as I’m addressing that, what I’d like to speak into is that whether you want it to or not, most decisions are going to be made subconsciously or unconsciously. This is a pretty trite metaphor, but if you imagine an iceberg as a metaphor for human consciousness, we know only 15% or so of the iceberg is showing above the surface. The rest of it is taking place on the unconscious level. So whether you know it or not, you’re going to be addressing the unconscious anyway. You may as well structure it in a way that helps the other person. I have a radically different definition of selling. To me, selling is not about necessarily getting your ideas into the other person’s mind. It’s about expanding their mind to include choices they didn’t know were there and getting them off of their autopilot first response. Their autopilot first response being angry or feeling self-righteous.

Paul Ross:
Now, to more directly address your question, here’s my distinction between… Well, let me back up or go to the side a little bit, hypnosis, if your view of hypnosis is about controlling other people, making them bark like a dog or do things against their will, that’s not what I’m talking about. That stage tricks, I’ve never done that. I’ve used it for influence and for healing. What’s not in my biography that I think you got is, I’ve done a lot of healing work. For men who are very scared of relationships, I’ve done a lot of healing work.

Paul Ross:
So to me, coercion and manipulation, which is not what I do, involves a few of the following things. Number one, lying about facts, saying the car does 60 miles per gallon when it only does 30. Concealing material facts, saying that your company is really doing well, but in fact, your stock is dropping like a Led Falcon trying to fly. Pushing down on people’s pain buttons, their shamed, their guilt, their fear. And finally, coercion, do it or I’m going to harm you in some way. That to me is not any of what influence persuasion about. Influence persuasion is simply about that process of selling someone on a decision that serves them. And what I want to point out, again, and this is said with respect, most of your prospects just don’t know how to make a good decision, or they’re extremely conflicted around it.

Paul Ross:
People do not come to you with a blank slate. People did not come to you certainly in the super-positive state, sure of themselves, knowing that they deserve what you have to offer. And also this is the biggest challenge. People are just not focused anymore. We live in the age of instant messaging. This thing… I’m holding up my iPhone for those of you who are listening. There’s Instagram, LinkedIn, Tinder, not that I know anything about Tinder. You understand? So people are distracted and they just don’t have the focus. So you need to learn to create those states of focus very quickly.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I also like you’re just hearkening back a few minutes there to the idea of opening up someone’s perspective and allowing them to know that there are choices and decisions that maybe even weren’t on the table before. I really liked the way you broke that down. And I think your definition of manipulation is one that anyone should be able to relate to and respect. I think that’s fantastic. Give me a quick go on this one. We are talking in a sales context, we’re talking about Subtle Words That Sell. Of course, if you were to be a subscriber to Dan Pink’s idea of sales is that everyone is in sales, that we all had to influence and persuade a couple of words that you just used. We all need to influence and persuade, open up people’s minds to choices and decisions, whether they’re transactional buying decisions or whether there are other decisions to be made. I just wanted to broaden this conversation a minute and share with me your thoughts on, talking about prospects customers sales versus sales as persuasion and influence.

Paul Ross:
I don’t think they’re contradictory either.

Ethan Beute:
No, they’re not at all.

Paul Ross:
I don’t see them as… Because you use the word with respect, you used the word versus. I don’t think they’re in any way adverse to one another. They’re the same thing. The question is, are you going to do it in a clumsy way? Are you going to do it in a high-pressure way? Are going to do it in a stale way? Or here’s the thing, in a way where your prospects have heard it before? Here’s the thing, a tactic identified as a tactic diffuse, a tactic that won’t work. One of the reasons why I say in my book, Subtle Words That Sell, the old worn-out scripts, they assume closest tag questions, it insults your prospect’s intelligence because they’ve heard it before. It’s not that I’m saying to you, look what I have will replace everything you have in your sales process. If you have a sales process that’s working for you, great. And if you add in what I have to teach, it’ll turbo-charge it and it’ll allow you to gradually drop the old stuff. People have heard it before over and over and over. May I give you a metaphor?

Ethan Beute:
Yes, please.

Paul Ross:
Oh, quite some time ago I was pulled over by a motorcycle police officer. And the first thing I said is, “I did it. I’m guilty. I went against the light. I’ll pay that fine. Please just give me the ticket.” And he gave me a look, he said, “License.” He took my insurance and my information and he came back and he said, “You know what? You didn’t BS me with a story. I’m going to give you a break.” Do you get it? So when we don’t BS our prospects, when we don’t BS our customers, when we present something, because we’re presenting something they’ve never heard before. The motorcycle cop, here’s the same excuses. After two months on the job, everyone gives them the same excuses.

Paul Ross:
Your customers and prospects have a unique paradox in them. I kept talking about paradox, I keep introducing this idea. Number one, they’re more sophisticated than ever because they’re bombarded with more sales messages. Yeah, right. The other hand, they’re dumbed down and numbed out by TV and overwhelm and the rest of it. So you have to be able to juggle those two things. Is that making sense as I described it?

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, absolutely.

Paul Ross:
Was that responsive to your question?

Ethan Beute:
Totally. Yeah. So let’s get into Subtle Words That Sell.

Paul Ross:
That’s right.

Ethan Beute:
You’ve already given us a really nice pass on, “We share together.” What are some others from a practical standpoint? I’m sure people that are with us at this point in the conversation had some appreciation for we share and together, and they may want to hear a little bit more. What are a few more key ideas here?

Paul Ross:
Well, the key idea is, first and foremost, whatever you can get your prospect to imagine for themselves to be perceived as being their own thought and therefore they will not resist it. So if you learn to be… How can I put this? If you can learn to be sufficiently vague in a language and this is an advanced training, I normally don’t give this to my beginning students. But if I said to you, for example, if I were selling real estate and remember I’m not selling real estate, no one is we’re always selling decisions and good feelings about decisions.

Paul Ross:
If I said before I go through our marketing plan together, I know that you’re really going to like the homes we’ve got because they’re over 3000 square feet, their value appreciates by 15% a year and I’m sure that you’re going to be very satisfied with what it is I’m going to present. So let’s get going. Oh, by the way, ask questions if you have them… I want to say something like, as we’re exploring this together today, I’m not sure at which point you might find yourself growing more and more interested, and what it is you’re learning, we’re learning together. But as that’s taking place, feel free to ask the questions that naturally arise when a great decision is being made. Now that’s very vague. I didn’t say what they’re going to get excited about. Did I?

Ethan Beute:
Nope.

Paul Ross:
I didn’t-

Ethan Beute:
I just know we’re exploring something together.

Paul Ross:
Right. I didn’t say at what points they’re going to get excited. I didn’t say what getting excited looks like then. It looks like for them is that they imagine themselves in the home? I didn’t say it. I said something more clever. I use what I called “unconscious communication words” or… I said, find yourself. What does it mean to find yourself doing something? Did you ever just find yourself reaching for the refrigerator and you don’t even remember walking up to it and you don’t even remember what it was you wanted. You’re just looking your head in? Do you ever just find yourself falling in love?

Ethan Beute:
Yes.

Paul Ross:
Yeah. Did you ever find yourself falling out of love and thinking what the heck was I thinking?

Ethan Beute:
Sure.

Paul Ross:
I’m sure we all have. So those kinds of automatic subconscious behaviors, when you put in those words, discover yourself, find yourself, I call them transphrases or unconscious communication words. And they imply something it’s going to take place automatically. You don’t have to make any efforts and you don’t need to resist because it’s going to happen in a way where it’s of service to you. These little things, just simple phrases like this can take what you’re already doing. You don’t need to drop your existing sales process and turbocharge it.

Ethan Beute:
What are counterexamples?

Paul Ross:
I love counterexamples. So counterexamples are an example of a broader category of communication called “pattern interrupts”. You see, people behave, think, feel in predictable patterns. When you interrupt that pattern, they become temporarily suggestible and you can lead them. This is something from classical hypnotherapy. The Father of Modern Hypnotherapy, Dr. Milton Erickson, would often do pattern interrupts on clients. And during that period, that window of justiciability, he could suggest new behaviors. So counterexamples were my favorites. Let’s say someone says, “I need to think it over.” Role-play with me. So…

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I’m not so sure, Paul. I need to think it over.

Paul Ross:
Great. I understand. Is it okay if I ask you a question?

Ethan Beute:
Sure.

Paul Ross:
Have you ever taken a long time to think something over and it still turned out to be the wrong decision?

Ethan Beute:
I have.

Paul Ross:
Maybe it’s not about time, but about the clarity you need to recognize, you really do want to move forward. So thinking about it like that, why don’t we explore together what it is you really need to recognize? Yes, this is a good choice. So let’s go through it. Share your questions with me or your concerns so we can clear them up and you can take that step today. You hear the suggestions, take that step today, move forward, make a great decision?

Ethan Beute:
Absolutely. And to me, the most powerful thing was just taking time off the table. Time is a pat excuse.

Paul Ross:
Exactly. Exactly. That’s exactly the advanced training I would give to someone who now decides to become my students. We’re reframing it from being about time, which you can’t get out of that, and to making it about clarity. And we’re also using the power of suggestion to logically link, once they get the clarity, then they will move forward through the power of suggestion. And oftentimes, by the way, I need more time. It’s smokescreen because your prospect doesn’t want to say, “I’m too confused to understand it.” That would make them look dumb. This way-

Ethan Beute:
And smooth to themselves, not just to you, but to themselves and they don’t want to tell that story to them.

Paul Ross:
Right. Right. So this gives them a way to save face, It reframes what it’s about, and through the clever use of suggestion, it links getting the clarity to making the decision. I’m telling you, I cannot convey the power of this simply. Do you feel my excitement and my passion coming through at doing this?

Ethan Beute:
Yes. And I see it as well.

Paul Ross:
Yeah, I know. I love doing this. I absolutely… Transparently to your audience, I had a very difficult morning because of things going on with my family. And I said to Ethan, “Don’t worry about it. This gives me relief from all of that. And I’ll give you a great show.” How am I doing so far?

Ethan Beute:
Very good.

Paul Ross:
Thank you.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I like that call back to the beginning. I can see… Yes, it’s great. So Neuro-Linguistic Programming. When I see NLP, I think of a natural language processing. And I think about computers trying to understand human language and the subtleties and variants, but of course, that’s not what this is. This is neuro-linguistic programming. But I don’t know anything about it. Tell me a little bit about it?

Paul Ross:
Cool. Well, there’s an old joke about two rabbis. If you put… I’m Jewish, I can say this, but if you put two rabbis in the room and ask them a question, you’ll get 50 opinions. So put two NL peers in the room and ask what is NLP? You’ll get 50 opinions. This is only my model, my map, having used it for over 32 years and seeing great results and great results for my clients and students. NLP is foremost about two things. First and foremost, it’s a map, a technology for modeling excellence, for looking at someone who does something well, extracting out the different elements of that excellence, and then teaching other people to take it on. The second thing I believe it is a study of how language structures consciousness, shapes decisions, and drives behavior. That’s the second thing it’s about. And the third thing is, it’s a set of presuppositions about human beings work. It’s a map. It’s not necessarily true. For example, one of the presuppositions of NLP is people do the best behavior that they have at the time. People always try to do their best. It’s not that there’s something wrong with people. It just may be their map of possibilities is off or as I say, they’re on autopilot.

Paul Ross:
I have this teaching that I think is unique to me that the brain, the mind works on repetition, familiarity, excuse me, and momentum. So when you go to change in an area of life that it’s difficult, your old patterns you’re thinking are going to come up, not because you hate yourself or you’re this thing called a self-sabotage or, but simply because they come up because they have momentum. And so NLP is a recognition of looking at all these processes and the technology for doing so. And then finally, there’s a persuasion model with NLP, how to use these things for influence and persuasion.

Ethan Beute:
And how did you… Is this a formal field of study? How did you come to it? And how does this plug into the work that you do from a practical standpoint?

Paul Ross:
Well, let me… That’s three questions.

Ethan Beute:
Yes.

Paul Ross:
There’s NLP trainings you can take. I think most of the trainings are pretty much bollocks as my British friends would say, not that they don’t offer useful stuff, but there’s what I call the seminar phenomenon. When someone comes into a seminar, they’re raising their hand and self-selecting and saying, “Yes, yes, I want it to work on me. Please let it work on me. I’ve paid my money. I’ve taken the time out for travel. I’m giving all the time this event. Yes, yes, it’s going to work on me.” But what works in the seminar where people are volunteering and want it to work, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate out into the real world. Any more than karate that you practice in a dojo is going to win a street fight.

Paul Ross:
So I looked at all of this and I thought, “Okay, how can I extract that what actually works?” So I tested it and tested it in different sales situations. And I also used to be a dating coach. So I helped guys get over their fears use yet and to communicate in a way that was very attractive. That’s not in my bio, but it’s a very unique way. And so that’s how I begin to apply it. And then I began to teach it and found that people from virtually any field at any point in their sales process, whether they were veterans or newbies or somewhere in between, could really up what they were doing and also make sales more enjoyable. Look, I think sales can and ought to be joyful. It can be.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, I think when done well, it should be that way. And was anything that we have some level of comfort or excitement about and certainly mastery, in general, would give us a little bit of that. And the parallels to dating in sales are many. I’m sure.

Paul Ross:
Well, a date fundamentally is a sale. You’ve got to get yourself all, ready with confidence. You’ve got to look for leads. You’ve got to set an appointment with the prospect. You’ve got to get rapport, do your process, forgive me, I don’t need to be rude, closed the deal, and then handle objections and handle a lot of nos.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, and discovery and other decision-makers that you may or may not know or even in the sales…

Paul Ross:
Well, yeah, you just taught me something. Come to think of it, yes, that’s true.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Well, her friend is not onboard with this idea. You know that kind of thing.

Paul Ross:
Oh boy.

Ethan Beute:
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, when you’re working with folks, you’re primarily helping people identify their own patterns or to recognize them in other people, like some of both? Yeah.

Paul Ross:
Both, both, both. Absolutely both. I’ll do some pre-coaching here just for the heck of it, just to demonstrate my prowess and to brag. One of the things that pretty much creates instant change and this is the power of blank, which when people come to me and say, “I just can’t close the big-money clients.” I give them three magic words to destroy those limiting beliefs. Here they are. You’re ready?

Ethan Beute:
Yes.

Paul Ross:
You’re ready out there in podcast land up until now. When up until now it was the case, I didn’t have the skills to close the big-money clients. It takes the limitation. It acknowledges that it was real. So we get rapport with the unconscious mind, but it binds it in time. It says, “It was true up until this binds it in time.” And it also separates it from who you are as a person. You see, when it comes to changing beliefs, it’s relatively easy to change beliefs about capability, possibility, but changing beliefs about identity is really difficult. So it’s better to just disconnect the whole thing from your sense of identity in the first place.

Ethan Beute:
I love it. It reminds me of a… In fact, I just had a nice exchange about this on LinkedIn. I’ve been incorporating into some of the presentations I give a little passage on the Power of Yet because a lot of people when they come to us, again, at BombBomb make it easier to record and send video messages, there’s something more challenging for a lot of people to have a recording of the video to send to someone else or to share to someone else than say doing a live back and forth video like this because they can play it back and judge it and all these other things. And so I wind up having to do some of this kind of motivational work that I’m sure you would probably be able to really peel into, but I talk about the power of yet and what I’m doing is, kin to up until now, but I’m putting it at the end. It’s like, I’m not the kind of person that records videos and sends them to all of my past clients yet. Right?

Paul Ross:
Let me suggest that if you introduce it and you do your process, but just playful experiment-

Ethan Beute:
I like to move it to the beginning.

Paul Ross:
Move it to the beginning because of them, it reframes the entire conversation rather than waiting to the end.

Ethan Beute:
Correct. Yeah, I like that.

Paul Ross:
It’s those little tweaks in an already good sales process. I mean this. I have in my class board back there, a list of my ideal clients. And one of the things about my ideal clients is, they already have a successful sales process because I am the most expensive coach you’ll ever be glad you worked with. And so I only deal with people who are already successful and that means they already have a successful sales process. But just adding in little tweets like that, you can see, you can see how it makes a profound difference.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, just give me a little bit of Paul Ross at a high level or a historic level. I can see or I get the sense that you’re layering interests and skills on top of one another for yourself. And then obviously you’ve developed skills to teach them to other people in a way that makes sense, from coaching people who have issues that limit them from building relationships with other people, to obviously a sales process, which I would assume, probably pays a little bit more maybe because the ROI is so much more obvious. But where were you 25 years ago? How did you stack these kinds of interests? How much of it was personal interest and curiosity? How much of it… Yeah.

Paul Ross:
It was both. And here’s the funny thing how I first got interested in applying this to sales. I first started doing this as a dating coach. And I started to get emails where that people would send me beautiful emails, attached picturing of their wife or picturing of their first kids, and saying, “Thank you so much. You helped me meet the woman of my dreams. I never would have had the confidence or the communication skills.” But then around 2005, I started to get an email saying, “Hey, I’m with my wife. Thank you. She’s everything I ever dreamed of. And I’ve been using your stuff for selling and it’s really working.” So I would get these people on the phone, interrogate them, and began to see what they had in common. So I began to take my first pops at translating this into sales. And I’d get groups of beta testers together and say, “Go out and use this, go out and use this, go out and use this,” until I began to see really good results for everybody.

Ethan Beute:
So smart.

Paul Ross:
Does that make sense?

Ethan Beute:
Absolutely it does. There are two things I especially love about it. The first is, that you did customer interviews to understand more about this trend that you were identifying, which of course, is the critical to success in general, and specifically to improving the experience you create and deliver for customers. But then also it hearkens back to that question that I asked awkwardly and apparently used the word “versus” while I was doing a long setup to the question of, it just validates this idea of, to sell as human, that we’re all selling and influencing and persuading all of the time. And so I love that you started there and came into this…

Paul Ross:
Well, believe me, believe me, teaching sales is a lot easier than… I taught guys who are 40 years old and never had a date. So if you think about that, you’re really dealing with some very, very psychological challenges of not to say brokenness. So if I can teach people like that how to reach their dream, then I can take people who are already successful and already have a good degree of confidence and really take them to the stratosphere, which is what I love. It’s not that I don’t want to help everyone. I just don’t have the time. It’s not financially feasible to help everyone. Anyone can grab the book, Subtle Words That Sell. It’s 14 bucks, 15 bucks on Amazon.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, And that speaks a bit to your ideal clients as well. You want to take healthy situations and make them even better.

Paul Ross:
Make them better. I want to take people who are stars and make them superstars.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I really appreciate the work that you’re doing. This is really interesting.

Paul Ross:
Thank you. I love that.

Ethan Beute:
And I want to get at least five more of those 50 definitions of neuro-linguistic programming. For folks that have enjoyed this conversation and some of the themes and topics we’ve been into. I’ve got a couple more episodes of this podcast I know you’ll enjoy. Back on episode 47 with Brian Robinson who wrote a book called The Selling Formula, we titled that episode Asking Better Sales Questions for Greater Sales Success.

Paul Ross:
I like that.

Ethan Beute:
And it wasn’t as specifically psychologically-oriented, although certainly, his approach to conversation would be kin here. And I think your definitions of selling, I think if the two of you are connected would be similar as well. And episode fifty-

Paul Ross:
Yeah, what is his name?

Ethan Beute:
His name’s Brian Robinson.

Paul Ross:
I love it.

Ethan Beute:
And he does some teaching, wrote the book, Selling Formula. He also has a VP of partnerships job at a company called Works24, I think. And then on episode 51, Joe Caprio, who at the time was VP of Sales at Chorus. He’s now the Co-Founder of a new software company called Reprise. We called that How to Enable Your Sales Team Practical Tips for Sales Leaders. That was more a traditional sales enablement conversation. But obviously what we’re talking about here is an investing in developing, equipping salespeople to be more effective at what they’re trying to do every day. And Paul, I think you did a very nice job of that.

Paul Ross:
I love this. I love this. I love this. I wish I could do this for another couple of hours.

Ethan Beute:
Cool. Well, okay, we’ll extend it a couple more minutes. What is something that you wish people that are listening at this point, they’re obviously into the conversation, they’re into you and the things that you think and teach because they’ve been with us to this point, what is something I haven’t asked you that you generally find that A, you enjoy talking about or B, people find very helpful or C, people find very provocative? Any of the A, B, or C?

Paul Ross:
Wow.

Ethan Beute:
Something you haven’t shared yet that you would like to, I guess is the short take.

Paul Ross:
That’s a really good question. As far as provocative, I am a disruptor. I think a lot of what I say is provocative. I will example say that if I’m in a group of people who are presenting about sales, and this is back when we can speak live before the virus hit us all, I would say that it’s okay to be very suggestible and to lead your clients to the decisions that work for them, but I would really lean on those suggestible part. And I would say to people, if you’re not using suggestion, then you’re suggesting that you’re not a good leader. So that confuses people. If you’re not using suggestion, then you’re suggesting that you’re not a good leader. So I like to confuse people. And I don’t like to confuse people. I like to challenge their way of thinking by creating paradox.

Paul Ross:
Again, in paradox, there is power. When you hear something that’s seemingly contradictory, it’s a sign that the old paradigm is falling apart. And also you quite diplomatically left out one word that happened to cover my book. And so I like to use Yiddish idiom. I was raised Jewish and my parents spoke Yiddish at the table. So I often will throw in colorful metaphors from Yiddish that some people don’t want at their group trainings or any of the rest of it. I’m not for everybody. I can tell you that. I control my mouth as you can see, but I would say I’m not for everybody.

Ethan Beute:
Okay. So relationships, Paul, are our number one core value here. And so before I let you go and before you tell people where they can connect with you, learn more about the book, learn more about Subtle Words That Sell, et cetera, I would love to give you the chance to give a thank or mention to someone who’s had a positive impact on your life or your career? And want you to give a mention or a shout out or a nod to a brand or a company that you really respect or appreciate for the way they deliver for you as a customer.

Paul Ross:
Well, actually the person who has had the biggest influence on me. I’ve been very lucky to have great teachers. Great mentors was my mother. May she rest in peace. My mother taught me to be an independent thinker, not to be afraid of offending or disrupting people’s other ideas. My mom once said to me, when I was sassy and her like eight years old, she shook her finger at me and said, “Listen, kid, if you don’t knock it off, you’re going to become an iconoclast.” I said, “What’s that mommy?” she said, “That someone who goes around knocking over other people’s sacred idols and ideas” I thought, “Yes, I want to be an iconoclast.” So my mom had the most… I’ve had great teachers, I don’t put them down, but my mom really influenced my way of thinking to think outside the box. What was your second one?

Ethan Beute:
A company or a brand that you really appreciate that you are a customer of and they do a great job serving you?

Paul Ross:
I’ve been using FedEx either as an employee or as an entrepreneur and business owner since 1984, 85. FedEx and thousands of experiences have maybe let me down. And that’s when I use one of their contractors, FedEx Ground. FedEx has been absolutely amazing. They still deliver on their core promise upon which they built their business when it absolutely positively has to get there overnight. And they’ve been great. I love FedEx.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. I have not heard that one before. And that reliability, how many times would you say you’ve tested the system, hundreds, thousands?

Paul Ross:
Thousands. Thousands.

Ethan Beute:
And you can maybe think of one or two failures until there.

Paul Ross:
Maybe three tops. That’s that’s customer service.

Ethan Beute:
Yeah, and I’m sure they were covered well?

Paul Ross:
I don’t recall, to tell you the truth.

Ethan Beute:
Sure. Yeah, that’s a very, very high success rate. Paul, this has been awesome. I really enjoyed the conversation very much. And folks who are listening at this moment, I know they have as well. So if they want to take this further, if they want to connect with you online or learn more about your work, where would you send people to follow up?

Paul Ross:
Well, here’s what you can do, you can jump… If you already have a… And again, I’m just selective, I mean no disrespect to anybody. If you already have the successful like six or even seven-figure business, you’ve got a sales process that it’s working, you’re already a star, and wanting to be a superstar, you can arrange for a discovery call. Here’s the thing, about 30% to 40% of the time on these calls, I just give you one tweak and you can go off on your Merry way. And so I think it has value-based on that. You can hear I’m a good coach just here. So it’s easy to do. They run anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, just go to speakerpaulross.com. That’s speakerpaulross.com/discovery. speakerpaulross.com/discovery. And we’ll jump on and we’ll have a look at what you’re doing. And again, oftentimes it’s just a couple of tweaks and you can be off on your merry way.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. I will link up your website. I’ll link up the Discovery page for folks who are listening. Again, we do roundups of these at bombbomb.com/podcast. And of course, you can subscribe on your favorite player. Appreciate you so much for listening and Paul, I appreciate you coming and spending time with us.

Paul Ross:
I love it. Thank you. Thank you. It’s been my great pleasure to be someone who can share together all these things where you can find yourself making use of them as you move forward today and into your wonderful future.

Ethan Beute:
Awesome. Have a great rest of your day.

Paul Ross:
I shall.

 
 

Video Highlights: Using Suggestion to Sell Decisions and Good Feelings

Check out the top five video highlights from the discussion with Paul Ross of Subtle Words That Sell below…

 

1. We Sell Decisions and Good Feelings

 

 

2. Service AND Suggestion

 

 

3. Suggestion is NOT Manipulation

 

 

4. Counterexamples and Pattern Interrupts

 

 

5. “Up Until Now”

 

 

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Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.