#38 – Bob Burg: How to give and win endless referrals. Best-selling author and renowned speaker Bob Burg joins the podcast this week. We go into detail about topics like sales quotas, value proposition, and how to propel your business forward. This was such a treat you’re sure to enjoy! Some of Bob’s most notable works:

The Go-Giver https://amzn.to/37St9pR
The Go-Giver Leader https://amzn.to/2JK7KHy
Go-Givers Sell More https://amzn.to/3a0Yrxi
The Art of Persuasion https://amzn.to/3oGRyFH
Endless Referrals https://amzn.to/3n6wOa5


Aaron Spatz  00:05

I’m Aaron Spatz. And this is the Veterans Business Podcast. A podcast centered around the stories of US military veterans, and their adventures in the business world following their time and service. Its stories of challenges and obstacles. And then inside look at how veterans find their life’s work, their purpose, and their post military lives. Welcome to another edition of the Veterans Business Podcast. I’m so delighted that you’ve chosen to tune in today. Thank you so very much. I’m thrilled to introduce to you our very special guest today. For those of you that have somehow not managed to hear of his work, Bob has had an illustrious career, one of impact and significance, and I’m honored to welcome him to the show. He’s a renowned speaker. He’s helped companies, sales leaders and their teams to more effectively communicate their value, sell at higher prices with less resistance, and grow their businesses based on Endless Referrals. He is the author of the book Endless Referrals. He’s the co author of the Go Giver and a series of other titles of similar name, Bob. Thank you, and welcome to the Veterans Business Podcast.

Bob Burg  01:09

Thank you, Aaron. It’s it’s really a thrill to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Aaron Spatz  01:14

Yes, sir. No, and I’m excited to dive more into your background. For those that are that are tuning in, you’re at this point, you’re probably used to me asking the military service question. And Bob, it comes from a family of nothing but service. And I would argue that he’s led a life of service, through through the books and through the business that he’s led, but an immense amount of value that we just could not pass up on. And I’m just grateful. Great grateful to you, Bob, for for joining us. But we will we’ll dive right in.

Bob Burg  01:44

Well, thank you. And I do want to say that I told you when you when you were kind enough to invite me on because I myself have not served in military service. My family has, of course, but I have not that I felt as though I you know, I really said are you sure you want to have me come on, I don’t know if I’m, you know, obviously qualified to do that. And you are kind enough to, you know, to, to say otherwise. But I do want to take this time to say thank you to all the veterans who are listening in and thank you for all you’ve done for our country, I appreciate you more than you can imagine.

Aaron Spatz  02:15

Absolutely. Well, appreciate that, Bob. So so there’s been so many folks that have heard of you so many, there’s many more that have not heard of you somehow. And so would you mind just for those that are that are not as familiar with you, would you mind, just give us a quick, just a quick backstory of who you are your family, your upbringing and kind of how you got into into business?

Bob Burg  02:40

Well, very, I was very fortunate to be raised by two fantastic parents to get my data, a world war two veteran who left home to to join the service and defend his country. And but yeah, just great examples of human beings and people who always brought value and added value to others. So I got to grow up seeing that. And my, my first, you know, job in the real world post school, if you will, was as a broadcaster, like our mutual friend, April, who was actually in the service, and she was a she was a broadcaster, she was a journalist in the armed forces. I was on radio, doing sports. And then I worked as the local news guy for a very small ABC affiliate in the Midwestern United States. I really wasn’t very good at it. And it wasn’t long before I, I like to say graduated into sales. And then, you know, the challenge that I had, though, was that I had no formal sales training. And the company where I first started, their training was will say, negligible, really non existent. And so I kind of had to go out there and make calls do my thing. But again, I knew nothing about selling. So I just thought, you know, you knock on doors, you saw people you blah, blah, blah, blah, regarding your product or service. And that was it. Well, it doesn’t work out really well, because it’s not how to do as an old as the late Jim Rohn, used to say, and I always thought this was great. He said, You know, you can have the motivation. But you’ve also got to have the information, right? Motivation alone isn’t enough. Now it’s the same, you can have the information. But if you don’t have the motivation, that’s also not not going to happen. So it’s not an either or you really need both, though, given the choice, I’d still take someone with, with motivation, who didn’t have the information as far as opposed to the other way around. But what happened was after several months of floundering in sales, I was in a bookstore and came across two books on selling now that doesn’t sound like a big deal these days, but this was 40 years ago, and sales books and personal development books. They were out there, but you didn’t necessarily hear about them right, as you do today. And so I was just encouraged by the fact that they were books on how to sell and One was by Zig Ziglar. And the other was by Tom Hopkins to have the legendary even today still legendary but but just, you know, fantastic books and great people. And I started studying the books. And so I come home at night and all I would do from the time I got home to the wee hours of the morning is I would read, I would study I would underline and highlight and take notes and dog ear the pages on practice and drill and rehearse and just keep go. Within a few weeks, my sales began to go through the roof. Now, the only difference between where I was then and three weeks earlier was now I had a methodology, I had a system if you will. And you know, to this day, I personally define a system as the process of predictably achieving a goal based on a logical and specific setup, how to principles of the key being predictability, if it’s been proven that by doing a, you’ll get the desired results of B, then you know that all you need to do is a and continue to do a and continue to do a. And eventually you’ll get the desired results of B. And that was to me that was an epiphany right there. Okay, so I realized I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, the wheel been invented, I just need to be able to follow the teachings. And you know, from there, sales became just a passion of mine, I really enjoy the entire process. And of course, that led me to reading all these great not just sales books, but the personal development books, right? Because that’s really what when you think about sales, a lot of is building yourself on the inside, and then that that, you know, inside growth manifesting in outward success. So I started getting all the books that many of them, of course, I’m sure you have in your library that how to win friends and influence people and imagine the thinking big and thinking grow rich and psycho cybernetics, and just, you know, all the the great classics of personal development and, and so it really, you know, became a passion of mine and eventually worked my way up to sales manager of a company and another company, and then started teaching others what was working for me and and as I say on the old Seinfeld TV show, yada, yada, yada, yes, 30 years later, 40 years or whatever, right? You’re right, you’re here we are doing this.

Aaron Spatz  07:29

I love that show. It’s one of my all time favorites, actually. And that’s a show you either love or hate. So

Bob Burg  07:37

yeah, yes. And I loved it. You know, it’s like a

Aaron Spatz  07:41

show about nothing. Yeah, show about nothing.

Bob Burg  07:43

Right? They did it very well.

Aaron Spatz  07:45

Yeah, absolutely. Well, no, you you hit on a on a very, I think common, like common issue across America product cross a world as it relates to sales training is that it’s typically, you know, very marginal, very, very minimal in terms of the kind of effort that’s put into it, and how serious it’s taken, or it’s just kind of like, Hey, you got to go figure it out, you got to go pick up the call the phone and call, you know, 3000 people as fast as you possibly can. And without maybe taking the time to understand there’s there’s ways that we can do this a little bit more effectively. And well, we’ll get to that I got a I got to think two or three questions down the row. We’re gonna dive into that here in just a second. But I would love to then kind of just ask you the question. So what’s what’s like, it’s may be really obvious, but what’s one thing you see that holds businesses back from achieving or reaching their goals?

Bob Burg  08:41

Well, in terms of individual salespeople, or or entrepreneurs, I think it’s the, I think it’s forgetting



Bob Burg  08:51

nobody is going to buy from you. Because you have a quota to meet, right, they’re not going to buy from you because you need the money or because you’d like the sale to happen, or even because you’re a really nice person, they’re going to buy from you only and this is in a in a free market. Of course, when I say free market, I simply mean no one’s forced to buy from anyone else people do on their but do business with one another based on their own volition, which is how it should be. And so in that kind of economic environment, which we all live in, right, because we don’t have any special favors or or, you know, anything like that, that we it’s the only reason someone’s going to buy from you because they believe they’ll be better off by doing so than by not doing so. And that’s the only reason they should buy from you or from me or from anyone else. And so the biggest mistake I think people make is forgetting that that’s the case. And it’s not about you and it’s not even about your product or service as important as those are. It’s about how that person’s life is going to be better. Right, based on how they understand it to be better. No. And we need to be able to communicate that message. And we don’t do it through talking as much as we do by asking the right questions listening do not. So I think that’s a mistake that they that people make they forget, you know, it’s all about that other person.

Aaron Spatz  10:18

No, you’re you’re absolutely right. And we’ll, we’ll get into that too, because you cover that in the book, you cover that in, in your courses that you’ve launched recently. People. Yeah, people like the comment, right? The common conception, and I think you’ve hit on this probably many, many, many times. But just because you have the gift of gab doesn’t automatically make you you know, VP of sales, the opposite, right? Right. You can ask really good questions and listen and, and dive into those pain points. For sure.

Bob Burg  10:49

You know, it’s funny, Aaron, that you bring that up, because I and I love that you did, I remember being in a in a Dunkin donut store. And I was in line and there was a little boy who was just, you know, talking up a storm. And there was some in a person right near me in line was saying to somebody else, well, at least that kid will be a great salesperson one day. And the premise was, because that kid talked and talked and talked and talked, he would be a great salesperson, or, of course, that’s just the opposite. Right? Okay. You know, can he ever be a good salesperson? Sure. But he’ll have to learn how to mitigate that gift of gab and turn it into the gift of listening. Right. So, but that’s what people think, because there are all these misperceptions about what selling really is true. And one of them is that the person who can talk the most right automatically is a good salesperson. And that’s that’s simply not true.

Aaron Spatz  11:46

Yeah. No, you’re Yeah. I don’t have to add anything to that. You’re You’re the you’re the genius. On this. I know you don’t call you genius. But you’re the guy that’s got the, we’ll just say a few, a few more years of experience. You more gray hairs? Sure. Yeah. Unfortunately, I’m seeing more of these creep in and I tell my barber all the time, cut this cut this short, because I can trick people thinking it’s like, you know, bleached blonde or something. But they have to give that I’ll have to give that up. Is so you’ve written you’ve written a number of books. Right? So you, I don’t know if it was your first book. But it was I think it was one of the if it wasn’t the first it was the first book that I think really took off for you, which was this guy and less referrals. Yeah. And then a few years later than you partner to John David Mann on the go giver. So how did you and John come up with that go giver parable. So

Bob Burg  12:45

the Endless Referrals book is a how to book on really how entrepreneurs and salespeople people who, you know, they know they have a great product or service, they’re proud of it, they, they know how much of the value it brings to others, but they may not feel comfortable with the process of creating new business relationships. And being able to do that in a way that inspires confidence inspires trust, or the the premise of Endless Referrals was that all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust, which we also have in the Go Giver. But that was the basic premise of Endless Referrals. And but for years, I’d also read, you know, I’m an avid reader, and I love how to books, of course, but I also love reading parables. And for years, I’d read them and I was like, you know, the parables are so great because their stories and stories connect on a heart to heart level. And when you connect on that level, you’re you’re much more able to get your message across or to accept a message if you’re the reader, which I always felt, I tended to really enjoy the stories that I would read it and got great wisdom from them. And so I thought, Well, it’d be great if we could take the basic know, like and trust premise of endless referrals and turn that into a parable. So the first question, you know, in titling, it was so what is the the essence of that entrepreneur or sales professional, who can both quickly and sustainably develop those know, like, and trust relationships? And the answer is they’re givers. They’re always looking to give value to others. So coming up with the title, the Go Giver, is pretty easy. But the best thing I did for that book was to ask John David man to be the co author and the lead writer storyteller. Because again, I’m a how to author I’m step one, step two, step three. John is a brilliant brilliant storyteller also a great entrepreneur in his day but but but a storyteller a writer, he’s a fan tested storyteller. And at the time, he was the editor in chief of a magazine I used to write for I used to submit monthly articles and John would always write back instead of just, you know, cutting out the stuff that hinges in whatever is as a lot of editors will do. They’re busy they’re they have to just kind of do that. But But John was always so very kind about it. And he was always so humble and he’d send back a thing, you know, is this okay, I put this here I run the running joke was every month I’d write them back and say, John, not only is it okay, you write my stuff better than I write my stuff. So when it came time to put the Go Giver into story form, he was the only one I wanted to have do it. I didn’t ask anybody else I just and you know, he was busy at the time, even though at the time he wasn’t as known as he is now. Now he’s the, the ghost writer and co author of choice for many of the agents and, and, and business celebrities and other celebrities and publishers who have a you know, a book they want but the person isn’t able to really write themselves John’s the golden boy, now he’s the one they call the back then few people knew how brilliant he was. Fortunately, I was one of them knew so. So that worked out well. But he was still busy. And at one point, he and his now wife back then fiance, Ana, they were visiting her mom who had a place in Tampa across the state from me. So John and Ana, when I drove for hours, we had about a three hour dinner, and discussed, you know, our thoughts on the book, or what we would like it to be, who we’d like it to reach and so on. And it was still another three weeks before he called me and said, You know, I think we’ve got something here. And, you know, it’s funny, because when I hung up, because I said yeah, okay, great. Well, we’ll get working on it and blah, blah, blah. I hung up the phone, and I went, Yeah, John. Yeah, I knew, you know, that he could really take this and make it sing. Sure.

Aaron Spatz  16:55

Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, no, no, I’ll shamelessly plug your your books right now. So yeah, so I, I discovered, so I discovered the the Go Giver. This was probably the middle of last year, I had a friend of mine, refer this to me. And again, I guess I was living under a rock because I didn’t know about it. And I was looking I was I was I was blown away that I hadn’t yet heard of it. So. And then. And then I actually picked up this one. Probably a long goes this, but this one was more recent, I probably did this one about a month, six, six weeks ago or so. And no. And I mean, girl, I mean, phenomenal. And you’ve got many other titles too, which is great. These are just the only ones I’ve gotten. I’ve gotten around to doing so far. But phenomenal books. And you hit on the I mean, the biggest point has been, you know, all things being equal. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. I mean, that that was a theme that you just kept drilling, drilling, drilling, drilling. And it really, really impactful. And there’s a few opportunities, I think that I’d like to explore with you about the book that I think are probably some common common objections. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but just common issues that people might have, as they’re, as they’re reading the book. And I think it’d be, I think it’d be kind of a fun, fun discussion. And I’m, I’m actually going to order my questions, but doesn’t matter. That’s okay. So I think I think I really do think this is a big one. So in you did touch on this, it was either in your video course or in the books I saw, I don’t remember. But for those that are just so people, that there’s folks that work in sales, they actually have real quotas, or they have people that are or you’ve got self employed guys, or you’ve got people, and I know this the principle applies even more so for those folks. But how do you reconcile the principle of being of giving, giving, giving, versus the fact that, like somebody, I mean, I’m not in that position. Like precisely, but you’ve got other folks that like, I mean, their performance is measured by how many phone calls and how many the show? Oh, absolutely.

Bob Burg  19:03

Yeah, absolutely. Well, so in in business, I mean, you know, cash is the lifeblood, I mean, if you don’t have money coming, there’s nothing about the Go Giver, that that in any way is congruent with not being very, very successful in sales. Right. Okay. So. So the key is, is understanding that, let’s say in this case, quotas, okay. Now well, you know, it’s it’s arguable whether quotas work as eighth or what, but let’s just say it’s fine, that that’s part of how the company does it. It’s fine to have, that’s fine. It’s just understanding that no one’s gonna buy from you because you have a quota.


Okay, but that

Bob Burg  19:47

doesn’t mean you don’t approach your business as a business, right? If you know how many sales you need in order to let’s say, again, reach a quota or surpass a quota or what have you. In other words, whatever your goals is you still you work your goals as we’ve been taught to work goals? Start with the end in mind, work backwards, how many sales? Do you have to have for that to happen? How many appointments or presentations do you have to have for that? How many, you know, appointments in order to get the presentations? How many calls have to be accepted? Before how many calls at three made to be accepted to have an appointment? Right? Yeah. So know that absolutely. You still get it, you do the work? It’s the it’s the it’s the work that you do the actions you take that you can control? Yep. Okay, the outcomes you can’t control. I mean, that, you know, but you can certainly do the best you can in order to create the environment where it happens. Sure. And that’s going to happen when your focus is not on the quota. Right, the focus is on the other person. Yeah. You know, selling, by definition, is simply discovering what the other person wants, needs or desires, and helping them to get, yeah, okay. It’s all about them. That’s the only reason why that again, the only reason why they’re buying from me, so No, there’s nothing intrinsically or in any other way wrong with having goals. And the quote is, if you must, what have your horse in the you know, you need to know what actions you need to take in order to create the the context for that to happen. Sure, is just understanding that that’s not why they’re buying from

Aaron Spatz  21:28

right. Well, and I think that you’ve, so really what you’re uncovering is the mindset and the approach to how you do it. And I think you’d even hit on it exactly a couple of times. It’s like, well, you know, like you’re giving them an opportunity to purchase from you or you’re you’re working with with, you’re working with objections, inside of objections was another thing. Yeah, about, right. We’re

Bob Burg  21:51

not overcoming objections, because you can’t overcome right, an object has to come means you have to conquer and nobody wants to be conquered, their ego doesn’t want to be conquered. They don’t want to be conquered. And, you know, you can’t win an argument right now, what you do, and in most of the time, the objections they give you are simply the manifestation of what’s really going on. But then they kind of default to the standard objections, your goal as a sales professional is to work within that objection in order to discover the true context of this objection, the true heart of the objection. And and you do that with your prospective customer, right? So the two of you together, really go deep and discover what’s the actual root of this of this objection, and then working with them together, you’re able to, to answer it in a way that, you know, again, hopefully, is going to create the value they need to go ahead.

Aaron Spatz  22:49

No, I yeah, that that’s brilliant. Because I really think it’s the it’s the mindset shift. But I also think it’s the so like, like you said, so it doesn’t take doesn’t take the work away, it doesn’t mean that you just give and you hope something comes back to you.

Bob Burg  23:04

Oh, of course. Yeah. That would be magical. That’s what I call magical thinking. Yeah, right. You know, it’s not. So here’s the thing. And I, again, you you just bring up such a great point here. Because when we say we say the basic premise of Go Giver, okay? Is is simply that shifting your focus again, this is the key shifting your focus from getting to giving. Now when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others understanding that doing so is not only a much more pleasant way of conducting business, it’s the most financially profitable way as well, but not for some way out. Whoo, you know, magical mystical type of religions do good things and good, no, again, that’s magical, thinking, no, it’s actually very concrete. Uh, you know, it’s very logical, rational, when you’re that person, okay? When you’re that person, Aaron, who, that all too rare person who can move the focus off of yourself and place it onto that other person, helping them to solve their problems, their issues, discovering what they want, helping them to get what they want, you know, making their life better bringing them closer to happiness, as they understand happiness. They people feel good about you, right? People want to get to know you, they like you. They trust you. They want to be in relationship with you. They want to do business with you. They want to be your personal walking ambassador. Right? So So yeah, it’s it’s, uh, you know, it works for very logical reasons. But it’s understanding that as human beings, we are emotional. And a personal connection is a very big part of a successful sustainable business.

Aaron Spatz  24:52

And one thing I think, that we haven’t talked about is it also requires a mastery of the understanding of the value you add So whatever it is, whatever it is that you’re selling, you’ve got to be able to address those concerns that people may have. Because like you’d said, they’ve written they’ve, they’ve done the mathematical equation in their head about value exceeding what they’re what they’re paying for. But it’s on you then to really address those concerns, but also to really know inside and out, like, get this, I’m actually selling you something good. I’m not selling you something just to take your money and run like there’s actually there’s actually a real value behind it. And I think it forces you to really come to grips with what you are with what you are selling.

Bob Burg  25:36

Yeah, well, there’s, you know, there, there has to be a first you know, it’s it’s important to understand the difference between price and value in you alluded to that price is $1. Figure, right? It’s it’s $1 amount, it’s finite, it simply is what it is the price of something. Value, on the other hand, is the relative worth or desirability of a thing of something to the end user or beholder? In other words, what is it about this thing, this product service concept idea, what have you that bring so much worth or value to another human being that they will willingly again, free market, they will willingly exchange their money for it and be glad they did while you make a very healthy profit. A very, very simple example I often use just because I think it’s very tangible, is if you hire an accountant to do your taxes, and she charges you $1,000 That’s her fee, or literally her price $1,000. But what value does she give you an exchange? Well, you know, through her years of experience her hard work or getting to know you and your business. While she’s able to save you $5,000 in taxes, she saves you countless hours of time, she provides you and your family with the security and the peace of mind of knowing that was done correctly. So we see that what she’s done is she gave you well over $5,000 in value. In exchange for $1,000 fee or price, she gave you more in value than she took in payments, so you feel great about it. And she also made a very healthy profit, which she should, because to her it was well worth doing it for $1,000. That’s what otherwise she wouldn’t have done it. And so and here’s the interesting thing, again, in a free market based exchange, and I remember learning this from someone I consider a great mentor Harry Brown, he always said in a free market based exchange, there are always two profits, the buyer profits, and the seller profits because each of them comes away better off afterwards than they were beforehand. But what we have to keep in mind is that it began with that original focus, right? Your accountant was not focused on her feet, she was focused on the immense value she gave to you. The fee was the result. This is why John and I say that money is simply an echo of value. Yeah. Okay, money isn’t echo value, it’s the it’s the thunder to values lightning, if you will, it’s it simply means the value must come first. That must be the focus, the value, the money you receive is simply a very natural result of the value provided another human being

Aaron Spatz  28:21

that brilliant and I love I love the example of that. Because then if you are the, if you’re the accountant, in this case, then when you are like let’s say, I mean a lot of accountants I know don’t even have to sell but let’s just pretend the the accountant does have to try to sell their service to somebody. They’re going to be focused on adding value they’re going to be focused on like, hitting all all those little wickets that you just that you just outlined about peace of mind competency years of experience saving you a you know, a truckload of money more so than if you try to do it yourself. And so, and then, like explaining that in a very, like thoughtful and personally connected way to somebody then makes then makes it a no brainer, like oh, why wouldn’t I drop $1,000 on this I’m getting I’m getting $5,000 in value back like that’s, that’s a pretty that’s a great win. And then like you said, I love that that that quote or that that example about how both people profit because there is a profit it’s not a sure it’s not a take a give and take relationship. It’s a it’s a mutually beneficial relationships.

Bob Burg  29:30

Oh well, abs absolutely sure.

Aaron Spatz  29:33

Yeah. Love that. Absolutely love that. All right, let’s let’s shift gears real quick. So what’s and I’m sure I’m sure you’ve had several but but what’s an example of a of a difficult time in business or, or particularly painful struggle that you’ve had to endure? How did you focus yourself and get through those through those challenges and through those obstacles?

Bob Burg  30:00

Well, you know, it’s interesting, one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in business was, it seems to me as I recall, it was late in the 90s. And at that time, I’d been in business for almost 10 years, and I built a really successful speaking practice. And I was very happy with the way things were. But the technology was starting to really come into play this internet thing. And of course, in my my brilliance, I predicted that this internet thing would never actually catch on. So I’m not exactly a business forecaster. And here’s the thing I didn’t want it to catch on, because I’m not tech. I’m not technological by nature. Okay. And, and, you know, change is not something I really wanted to do. And, you know, there’s, there’s sort of a political correctness in the personal development business where everything’s supposed to be good. You know, we’re supposed to like everything and welcome everything, you know, embrace change changes. Great. And well, you know, I hate change. I like to figure something out. Get it right. And then have it going, right. And that’s good. Yeah. But that’s not how the world is. Okay. So it’s not a matter of whether we like it, it’s a matter of do we want the, the right results? And if so, we need to take certain actions. But my mistake was I didn’t, I kind of, at the time was a little bit high on myself and thinking, Ah, my clients will stay with me I you know, because we’re not going to do this internet, then. Well, they were switching to that, you know, and make a long story short, I lost a lot of business. Okay, I basically had to rebuild my business from start from scratch. And so that, I don’t know if it taught me a lesson as much as it re taught me a lesson because I’d certainly learned that before. I just didn’t follow what I knew. So my responsibility totally. But I haven’t made that mistake again. And so you know, now you know that if something’s changing, well, you can either, you know, you can ignore it if you want, but the results are not going to be very benevolent.

Aaron Spatz  32:08

Sure. Yeah. Well, especially in the day and age where there’s a new gizmo or gadget just about the day. Yeah, right. And so it’s like, it’s now it’s like, I’ve, I’ve seen that it’s worth at least investigating, keeping tabs on maybe even dipping your toe in it and testing it just to see because I mean, if you’re one of the first people to do something, and it and it booms, then that’s a great, I mean, that’s a great benefit to you, versus being being left behind. Yeah,

Bob Burg  32:35

definitely don’t be left behind. You know, even if you don’t want to be an early adopter, don’t be a late adopter. Now I’m very fortunate though now because I have a brilliant business partner by the name of Kathy tagine L who is a whiz when it comes to technology. So she actually sets me up for me to be able to do the easy stuff. Nice. Right? And, but But yeah, she’s the she’s the brain though. So she She’s amazing. But

Aaron Spatz  33:03

that’s what makes business partners awesome.

Bob Burg  33:05

Yes, absolutely.

Aaron Spatz  33:06

What to you what is easy? Is it to others, like you would never want to dream of doing that. So it’s it’s fun to work inside of our strengths and what we really love to do.

Bob Burg  33:18

She allows me to do those few things I do well, yeah, I don’t do a lot of things. Well, I really don’t. And people assume I do. But no, I really don’t. I do a few things well, but she because she does other the all those other things really well. She kind of creates that benevolent context for me to work within my strengths.

Aaron Spatz  33:38

Well, then let’s so let’s take it a step further. So like, and I’m asking because, again, the context and like the audience, here are those that are starting businesses, or they’re more they’re early in their careers, or they’re, they’re kicking around an entrepreneurial idea. So like for you, it may even be a better question to ask, given what we just talked about, that you had to rebuild. So share with us what like, what did that look like for you? And when do you feel like it actually started to take off? Or like, was there a turning point? Was there was there any specific thing that you can point to that you felt like, kind of change the tide?

Bob Burg  34:12

Well, I mean, I kind of, I understood the principles of building a business at that point. So I, you know, I was able to do that actually quicker than I would have had I, you know, just been starting my career. What I need to do is get with someone who understood technology, though, and that wasn’t Cathy at the time, that was well before I met her, but I was able to utilize that sort of assistance and help from people who understood that and I was able to then, you know, bring that into my business processes, but I kind of had the system for building it was still a pain in the neck and it was something I shouldn’t have had to do that would that was my you know, again, but you know that that took a couple years to kind of get the business really back together.



Aaron Spatz  34:54

Well, then what what what would your advice be then to those that are that you know, that are kicking around an idea for business or Are they there in the early days of their own startup? Or? Are they’re just they’re trying to kind of get things going, like, what would be your?


Yeah. So,

Bob Burg  35:09

you know, I think it comes down to this, it begins with your desire, I mean, all great accomplishment begins with desire. So you’ve got to sort of get together, what is it you really want to do. And to me, I look at it as taking that combination of your strengths, what you’re good at, and what you really enjoy. And fortunately, a lot of times those two things are the same. And then, you know, deciding is it marketable, because it’s not just a matter of are you good at it, do you love it, you can be good at something and love it, and you can have a great hobby, but not make money from it. And that doesn’t help, we should all have a hobby, but that’s we’re talking about a business. So you want to do something, again, that you love, and that you are really good at and can monetize is something again, there’s a market for either out there for you to then go in and, and be able to work within or create, if that’s the you know, if that’s the issue. So I think it begins with there begins with that desire, then it’s, it’s remember how when I first got into sales, and I had no idea how to do it, I found a system, you know, I found people already not so seek out and get the information, regardless of what you want to do. Someone has done it already. And they have, and they have documented how, and they’ll sell you that information. Now, first of all, there’s a lot of free information on the internet, you can also get to be able to or you can, for a lower price, you can get books and different things. So if you’re bootstrapping, that’s fine, there’s no reason to just go invest in a lot of money in something that you know, get as much information as you can first and begin applying it. And so so so that’s the first seek out and find the information or follow the system, again, a system process of predictably achieving a goal based on a logical and specific set of how to principles. So. So that’s the first one is seek out and find the system, then take action, apply the information because knowledge without action is the same as not having that knowledge. We’re just not going to be necessarily really good at all aspects of our business. Before we go out and start doing. Okay, just it’s just the way it is. But Zig Ziglar said, Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, until you learn how to do it. Well. Now, he did not mean to purposely do something shoddy or haphazardly that wouldn’t be Zig Ziglar. But the point he was making was don’t wait for perfection to begin. First, we’re never going to be perfect. But don’t even wait for excellence to begin, just start doing it and excellence will come in time. Yep. And then third is be persistent, outlast the nose. And here’s what I think happens a lot of times what drives potentially real superstar entrepreneurs and salespeople out of business early, when they could have been great and very successful. It’s not that they can’t deal with the nose, because we know there are going to be a lot of nose. How it is that’s business, hey, that’s life. It’s not that they can’t it’s not the nose themselves, it’s thinking that they’re the only ones getting all those nose. That’s the killer. Because if you know that the word know that, you know, you’re going to get 1000 nose or 100 nose or 50 nose or 250. Well until you get a yes or until you reach a certain level of success. But you’ll do it because you know, well. Okay, I know, it’s gonna happen. But if you don’t know that, and if you see other people who you see as successful, and the internet is filled with successful people, right, and, you know, again, air quotes around that, because who knows how successful they are? And who knows what they did to get there. And you know, but who knows how many knows, but they look good. And they you know, and they and and if we look at them, and we just kind of take that on face value, we think oh, those people just they didn’t have to work hard. Nobody told them no, they just had some natural gift and we know that’s not the case. By the way. I’m not dissing the people who are on the internet who I’m a lot of them are very successful. I’m just saying it’s tempting to look at them and think they were always very successful. Yep. You know what they were doing? And so I think that that outlasting the nose and being persistent can never be underrated can never be underrated. It’s just so important because you don’t get anywhere without it. And then I think the the bookend to this because to me the two bookends are desire on the front end. And then of course, you know, number one, seek out and find the system to apply the information immediately. Three be persistent, outlast the nose. I think the other bookend is belief and that’s belief in two things. It’s belief in your your mission itself. It’s belief in what you’re you’re doing and it’s belief in yourself All right, it’s belief that you do have what it takes to do this. Now within this couple, a couple of suggestions for resources for people. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re starting a business, I was just looking into Michael Gerber’s the, the E Myth, the entrepreneurial myth, the E Myth revisited. Okay, so you got this guy. Yeah. Okay. So because again, he talks about systems and being able to so I think that’s a very important one. Another one is a book by my friends, Andrea waltz and Richard Fenton. It’s also actually it’s a parable. About a copying machine salesperson, it’s called go for no. Okay. And what they do is they reframe the meaning of No, so they’re the the book is go for No, the subtitle, and the basic premise is, yes, is the destination. Excuse me, yes, as the destination know, is how you get there. And, you know, they they’ll say, don’t make the calls or the appointments or whatever, until you get a certain amount of yeses. They can tell you get a certain amount of nose, and how they explain that it’s just brilliant. And so I know they’ve done it now for a couple of different niches, but they have the generic, original one called go for know, and you can find that at gopher no.com. And so I think those are two important because, again, you’ve got to have the system part, the entrepreneurial myth, and the persistence part, the gopher know

Aaron Spatz  41:30

wow, now that was That was pure gold that you just that you just offloaded in the last few minutes. I love that like the I mean, I love the visual because I’m a visual person. So just see, I can just see the book ends there. And then you know how you’ve got those three, those three points in the middle. And, and I do think there’s a there’s an element of that. I mean, we could we could talk forever about any one of those individual points. One of one of the things that jumped out at me as you’re talking though, was the was it really is like the comparison game. We see. A lot of people love to show their just their successes, their highlights, they’re not going to, they’re not going to get on social media or whatever else until you like, Hey, I just lost a $3 million deal today. You know, it’s like something that people don’t generally talk about. And so it’s important to focus on what you’re doing. And to realize you’re not the only one it’s being told no, exactly. Not the only one who’s been through what you’ve been through. I mean, I’ve got some amazing mentors in my life because we’re, yeah, this this company that I’ve been privileged to lead is still in its in its early stages. And, and it’s it’s amazing the amount of resources, the amount of encouragement and also debunking some of these myths when you’ve got other people that have done this before you and you’re like, oh, wow, okay, I’m not going crazy, like this actually is everybody’s gone through these these struggles, or these challenges, and just the whole roller coaster ride that that can that can be and so no, Bob, I just I just want to sincerely thank you, this has been a true delight. True pleasure. And I really do appreciate you spending spending time with me. Your books, specifically. I mean, they’re all impactful, but I’ll tell you, like this guy right here, that has, that book has made an immediate impact on my ability to connect meaningful in a meaningful way with people and to think and to just reframe the way that I would approach business opportunities. And so I feel like that, that that is already, like that’s already, you know, put a W on on on that side of things.


That’s a great compliment. Thank

Aaron Spatz  43:42

you. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So, but no, people, people can find you what’s like, how do people get ahold of you?

Bob Burg  43:52

or.com burg.com That’s pretty much the easiest place to find me. Awesome. Big. Roll down, get information on the book, but get a chapter if they’d like to read it first to see if they like it and click through there’s information on the the mini course and the the other course. And then if they scroll all the way down it has where I am and on social media.

Aaron Spatz  44:12

Great. Great, well, good. Well, we’ll steer people that way. And once again, I just I just want to sincerely thank you. Thank you so much.

Bob Burg  44:19

Oh, Aaron, thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

Aaron Spatz  44:26

And what a true treat I absolutely love being able to have Bob on the show. Just an amazing amount of insight and amazing amount of just principles just get boiled down to the very, very simple but it’s a mindset and I feel like that’s what Bob addresses the best with it his books his hitting on the mindset and and a lot of the things that we kind of get in our own way, or we think maybe it’s slightly backwards and so I love I love his books. I’d asked him a question off air because I didn’t know if it was appropriate for the podcast, but also I’ll just share with you really quickly so in his book Endless Referrals he talks about you know, there’s there’s a lot of tactics, a lot of things in there. The book was written a number of years ago, so I didn’t know if it was dated and in therefore some of it, you shouldn’t pay as close attention to than others. And he confirmed Yeah, like the the premise of it still stands stands true. So items like a note cards, you know, handwritten thank you cards, scratch pads, and things of that nature that that’s still the still apply. So if you ever end up getting them book, real, realizing that it was written a number of years ago, the principles and things that are in it still still still stand and maybe even more so today, just because of a digital digital world that we live in. So anyway, I’m just delighted that you joined us. I’m thankful for Bob and for the work that he’s done and for the immense amount of value that he added to the podcast but really for you, this is this is all this is all for you. So anyway, hope that you are doing well. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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