Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Hey Gorgeous. This is episode number 040 and today we have some wonderful Mark Modesti back on the show.
Mark Modesti [0:10]
Hi this is Mark Modesti, you’re listening to Heart Sells Podcast with Christine Schlonski, enjoy.
Christine Schlonski [0:17]
I’m really excited to have Mark Modesti back on the show today. I really enjoyed our first interview and it was such a remarkable story that Mark has shared with us. So let me give you a little glimpse on his bio. He recently accepted early retirement from UPS as a Logistics and Supply Chain Consultant where he had served multiple project teams for developing cultural improvements and sales enhancements. He is the co-founder of PlatformCreator and recent winner of the altMBA Walker* Award. In 2015, he presented a TED Talk on “The Argument for Trouble.” which we are going to speak about even more. And he has also contributed several articles to the UPS Longitudes Blog. Mark and his wife, Nance, have 3 adult children and live in North Texas. He’s an avid reader and is also part of a team that travels to colleges in the US facilitating “What’s Next?” Roundtable discussions with students.
Christine Schlonski [1:34]
Hi, Mark. I am so super excited to have you back for Heart Sells! Podcast. Welcome.
Mark Modesti [1:40]
Christine Schlonski [1:43]
Yeah, I loved our first conversation. And you know, we kind of finished off this that as an entrepreneur you can actually choose your clients right it’s not you the victim who needs to rely on a yes or no. You should be making the decision in a conversation if you truly wanted to work with that person. And I’m quite sure for a lot of entrepreneurs, when they hear sales, there is fear involved and it evolves the more they think about it. So I I run a challenge in my facebook group and I started off with asking people how they feel when they hear the word making a sale. And you know, the answers were just astonishing. Like my stomach turns, I’m afraid I stammer on my words, I feel tension in my body, I feel like I want to run away, I’m afraid that I’m putting my products on to someone, that I forced them to buy. It was like you know when you just listen to it was amazing. During the course of the challenge, it was so wonderful to see when people actually take care of their fears. And they can shift their mindset. And I call it a Sales-Success-Mindset. So when they shift their mindset of the results they can create. And on day three, they had to call people to have a conversation, but not a sales conversation, but a conversation to learn about the person. And you know what happened, they made sales because the opportunity presented itself. So, and I know that you work that way, you have a conversation and then you make an invitation if it is a fit, correct? So overcoming fear and, we have another example we want to share later on, but overcoming fear like what did you do in your life when you were in those sales conversations? For the first time when you were new to sales, how did you manage this tension? And how did you manage to, to move on and to make such a big difference? Not only for your life and your career, but also for the people? Are you you got to serve on the way?
Mark Modesti [4:22]
Sure. Yeah. Well as you know, sales is an art. And it’s a practice. And I didn’t learn that at first, it takes time and it takes walking into sales situations, sales calls, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. And so I think that’s a big that’s a big part of it. And the other is you made me think of you said the word opportunity. One of my favorite quotes is life is not a problem to be solved. It’s an adventure to be experienced. And for those folks, they’re kind of caught up in the problem side of it. And it really does help. I think we reposition ourselves when we can think to ourselves, what’s the opportunity, even as a sales, you know, a seasoned sales professional, I would find myself in conversations with clients about the problem cutting costs, rather than the opportunity growing the business. What does this change in your supply chain mean for the future? The growth of your company, that’s what crowds out some of the problems conversations is the opportunity.
Christine Schlonski [5:40]
Well, the perceived value, right, why would you talk about the price if you receive so much value, that price becomes irrelevant, right? So I love talking about overcoming fear because we all have fear. I’ve never met any person who had never had a fear in their life. Right? So this is such an important skill set, especially when you are an entrepreneur and you have so many unknown situations. And as we said in your bio, when when I presented you a a guest, you’re also TEDx speaker. So tell me a little bit about the story because, you know, being featured on TEDx. That’s like, that’s an honor. Right? Nothing that you can just show up for.
Mark Modesti [6:37]
Christine Schlonski [6:38]
You have to apply and it’s like it’s a process. So give us a little bit of background because I know that speaking for so many people is a big fear and speaking and sales is kind of related, right? If you’re to one person to 10 people to 100 I like what do you do? So give us a little bit on this amazing story. I’m really excited to hear that?
Mark Modesti [7:01]
You know, it’s funny because people ask me, you always associate the fear of stepping out on stage, which of course is you know, there’s some fear. People ask me, were you afraid? No, I was afraid I was terrified. Could you tell like different? Yes. And then there was also the fear at the beginning, and I almost missed the opportunity. And it wasn’t an overwhelming fear. But it was, here’s a company with 400,000 employees that extends invitations to everyone. Hey, what’s your idea? We’re doing a TED talk event and you have a chance so send us an idea well, of the 400,000, one percent 400 take him up on the initial offer and I was going to be one of those, the rest. Because I really I actually ignored the first couple of them. And there was a because of a little jolt of fear that said, you don’t know how to do a TED talk. You’ve never done a TED talk or I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t know if I could get out of on stge like that. I love TED talks, you know,
Christine Schlonski [8:09]
They are amazing
Mark Modesti [8:10]
This was kind of a, hey, I’m, I don’t have time now, whatever. And, and eventually someone sent me an email from our corporate ops and said, Hey, you know, I think you had to give this a shot. And then my wife found out and she was like, Why in the world would you not give it a shot?
Christine Schlonski [8:25]
Why would you not take that opportunity?
Mark Modesti [8:27]
Yes. Yeah. And the 400 is, you know, trim down to 100, which ultimately is turned down to I think there were 12 speakers selected.
Christine Schlonski [8:38]
Wow. Out of 400,000.
Mark Modesti [8:41]
Yeah, and I almost missed the opportunity. And in the overriding I guess impulse when I finally decided to was Hmm I wonder what would happen if if I had this a shot that it can’t hurt to take a run at it.
Mark Modesti [8:58]
Yeah, I love this idea because it changes your whole state. I wonder if? It’s a different self talk that I have never done that, that sounds difficult, oh my goodness. What if I if I’m the loser on stage? What if they laugh at me? right? That can hurt our conversation as well. You know I had clients hanging up, I had clients laughing at me when I said the investment, you know I mean if you practice long enough you get all the situation you can’t even imagine. But I think that really makes you stronger and more flexible and gives you ideas about how people think.
Mark Modesti [9:43]
Yes, yeah which is fascinating to me.
Christine Schlonski [9:46]
Totally, totally so once you overcame that initial questioning yourself what happened after you ask a better question like: What if?
Mark Modesti [9:59]
Yeah, you know the fear was: I don’t know how to give a TED talk. Well, of course, you don’t, you haven’t done it. You don’t know what it’s like to give a TED talk. But after you’re selected, Ted has these brilliant coaches that help you with the process and you learn how to do a TED talk. But you know, it’s interesting that we accuse people of being having false confidence when they say I can do anything because they don’t really know that but we don’t often thinking of the other way the other side of that is those who say I can’t because they don’t really know either and I think that right, because we don’t know until we try. Yeah, and I I love Jim Collins question to young people. He asks what’s the opposite of failure? I’m sorry, what’s the opposite of success? And they always say failure. And he says, No, that’s not what it is. It’s it’s not trying. It’s not it’s giving up. That’s that’s the opposite of success. And so that impulse is where we think we can’t. I think it’s just as in a way, it’s almost just as prideful is saying, we can when we don’t really know, you know, take a run at it. Let’s find out.
Christine Schlonski [11:22]
Yeah, awesome. So how was it once the TED talk was over? How did you feel?
Mark Modesti [11:29]
Oh, it was fantastic. I mean, just a great experience and so much learned the whole creative process that’s another conversation but it opened something up in me, that really caused me to change my path. Probably had a lot to do with me deciding on accepting the early retirement and and the writing I’m doing and the creative work I’m trying to do more of it probably started there. I just gained so much respect for that process and for the coaches. It was just, they, they’re artists and and I just had such an appreciation for who they are and what they do. And it’s, it’s almost like sales to I mean, I got up to sell an idea in front of a group.
Christine Schlonski [12:18]
Yeah. So do you remember your very first sale that you ever did in your life?
Mark Modesti [12:23]
Gosh, with a company?
Christine Schlonski [12:28]
Well it doesn’t matter? I mean, we have like all these amazing stories …, you know?
Mark Modesti [12:32]
Well, it had to have been when I was a toddlers selling my mom on the idea of giving me a cookie.
Christine Schlonski [12:38]
There we go. So what do I let me let me ask it a different way. So what is the very first sale you remember where you exchanged money for something? So you’ve received money as an outcome?
Mark Modesti [12:54]
You know, most likely I wouldn’t remember would have been a car or something. But I remember at UPS it would have been a small business, a small printing company, I think it was was like my first sale and it I’ve failed my way to making that sale in a way because it was also new to me. And of course, I had some know initially, you’d have someone running along with you when you’re new. And I can still picture the the person running that company
Christine Schlonski [13:30]
Even after all those years?
Mark Modesti [13:32]
Yeh, I can. He was an older gentleman. Yeah, and he worked really hard and it was a family business and he took a lot of pride in his business and it took time to get his attention and even longer to get his trust. But yeah, I can still picture if I thought about it long enough. I think I could remember his name. I know the name company. But that’s the thing too. I wonder. You know, so many people work so hard, small businesses and and there’s a there’s an impulse to think that they don’t have time but and I remember that being a time when I felt that way it’s like this person’s too busy, they don’t they don’t have time for this, it took me some time to kind of change my thinking about that that they’re so busy. I need to help them. I can do something to help them be less busy. I can take one decision off their plate. I can do one thing to make the business better for them. I can help.
Christine Schlonski [14:40]
I love I love this approach. Thank you so much for bringing that up. Because you know our listeners when they have that their own companies or they are a solopreneur, they have these gifts. They have these beautiful services or unique products and the fear like I don’t want to disturb them, right? Or they might not have time for me. It’s not that they have time for you, they have time for your solution. So you are part of the equation and just seeing what can be done to make the clients life easier, it’s such a valuable insight to approach it this way because then you can call anybody at any time basically because it’s important it supports them. It is not taking away from them. You give.
Mark Modesti [15:33]
yes and it’s and I think it’s important to know that no is not the end of the world.
Christine Schlonski [15:39]
yeah definitely not!
Mark Modesti [15:41]
No is a great teacher and sometimes no just means no for now or no to this product. To be okay with hearing that word no it’s there’s a lot you can learn from the no. I had a sales manager who asked me more often: tell me about your failured sales efforts? Tell me your fail stories? Everybody, most sales managers want to hear the success stories. He wanted to hear the failed stores and then we had great conversations about what I’ve learned. No is is part of the process of getting to yes you know and especially when when you’re new to the process you’ve you’ve got noes as information sources valuable information sources about what doesn’t work but but when you were speaking to you also made me think of empathy and the importance of empathy and how understanding why they say no is an example of empathy. But to take it a step further. I was recently part of a learning experience and one of the tests was to write about why your client chose the competitor and why they were right. Because based on their experience what they know, they were right in their minds. They were making the right decision by saying no. And it was a really fascinating exercise. And you could do this about someone you agree – disagree with as well. I actually did it about a topic that a loved one and I disagree about. And I took my 22 year old daughter, the same daughter, and I just said, Tell me how you feel about this? And tell me how you think people like me feel about this issue? And it was it was so it opened my mind so much, not just to my daughter and how she thinks about it, but the topic and how I’m perceived by her and others, and it’s just a it’s such an eye opener so I think that’s a there’s gold in in the word No.
Christine Schlonski [17:50]
Yeah, I totally agree. Um, Episode 021 and 022 I had Andrea Waltz on the show with bestseller Go for No- Yes, is the destination. That was a really interesting conversation as well. What what I just like because you took your daughter as an example. And, you know, I would just extend that to every relationship and we often see business as a business and forget that it’s all about the relationship, right? It’s all about the relationship with your clients who are hopefully your fans and you have decided to work with us and they as well. So it’s it’s a relationship and and serving them in the best way possible is a task and for that often is you need to get out of your own way. Because we don’t know what you don’t know. And you don’t you don’t know how your daughter perceives you. You don’t know what she thinks about you. You can’t change her thoughts so you know just stopping to worry about it. That often we think like, oh, what’s what’s this person going to think? How they’re going to feel about me? And it’s then that attention gets to back to us on us. But it’s not what it is about in a relationship it’s about the other person. So I said, exercise. So can you can you explain it again for somebody who would love to sit down and do it by themselves?
Mark Modesti [19:21]
Yeah. So picture someone pick someone that you disagree with. And in that could be I mentioned sales being the polite disagreement, maybe they are but the disagreement was. No, the client said no, and put yourself in their place and and I think that it’s also worthwhile and I’ve done this too and it can be very insightful as go back to the client and say, Can I just get one more conversation? Why didn’t you pick us? And you’re going to hear parts of the story that you overlooked. You’re in, I think that I don’t want to get off on a tangent, but the story thing is such a huge part of sales as well. So the exercise is, you can either write about it and what, what it really helps us to write about it think about it, and then have the conversation and say, Tell me why you disagree? And ask questions: Tell me more? You ask them questions, say, Tell me more? And when you say that, what do you mean by that? And really get clear on exactly how they feel about it. Because, and I think it does help to think about them as being right in their mind and in her experience. They are right. So it’s just, it’s a real eye opener.
Christine Schlonski [20:39]
Yeah, amazing. I love that. So to wrap up this interview, usually I do ask about a favorite quote or mantra. You did already share one would you like to share another one? Or what, what advice would you want to leave us with?
Mark Modesti [20:58]
I think it’s too: To be willing to say, what if? What if I were to take a run at this, starting this business making this next call and and being okay with the fear I now that’s two pieces of advice.So let me start over, I guess my advice would be to relax a little bit about the sales barriers you may have and recognize it as an opportunity to help and not a problem that you have to solve and see where that takes you as a way to dance with the fear and the tension is is to just be willing to take a run at it.
Christine Schlonski [21:46]
Yeah, and as you as you mentioned this a TED talk you felt amazing afterwards. What if you would have missed on that opportunity?
Mark Modesti [21:55]
No kidding and I don’t want to miss those kinds of opportunities anymore.
Christine Schlonski [21:59]
Yeah. Beautiful. But thank you so, so much for sharing all your wisdom. It was a pleasure having the conversation with you. And yeah, I just loved it. Thank you.
Mark Modesti [22:11]
Thank you, Christine. Really enjoyed this time.
Christine Schlonski [22:15]
I just enjoyed learning from Mark over the last two episodes at Heart Sells Podcast. And I hope you did get a lot out of it too. Like going for TED talk out of so many people and then actually making it, being on stage, achieving that much as he has is such a big inspiration and shows us that we all have to start somewhere. But starting somewhere doesn’t mean that you have to stay there. So I really enjoyed this interview and I hope it brought you a lot of value as well. You find all the show notes, the transcripts, the resources we talked about at christineschlonski.com, so hop on over to christineschlonski.com and also sign up for the empowerment notes. This is my weekly newsletter where I share amazing content with you to empower you on your journey, to keep you up to date with the latest free content and yeah to give you some tips and advice from my life and the guests I’m interviewing here on Heart Sells! so that you can get to your next level with more ease or this more inspiration or with more motivation. Thank you so much for tuning in. Have an amazing day and bye for now.