Podcast

187 The NEW Game Of Selling with Mitch Axelrod

A 40-year entrepreneur, #1 best-selling author, speaker and mentor.

Delivered 3,500 seminars and workshops, trained a million people and generated $3 billion of revenue.

Featured on WABC, C-Suite TV and other major media. Taught at NYU, Notre Dame and Harvard.

Golden Mike Award winner for speaking excellence and industry contribution.

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3 Key Points:

  • Look at where you are right now. And if there’s any kind of frustration, soul frustration, role frustration, goal frustration, step back, put your goals aside for a moment, do a little soul searching and do your soul center. Then say, “What roles am I really suited to play?”, and then recast your goals in light of your role and your soul. And you’re going to feel much relieved, you know, because we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve goals, sometimes at the expense of our role, and sometimes even people who might sell their soul.
  • The single most important question that could transform your game from beginning to end, inside out, “Why did you buy from me?” You are going to then be able to say humbly, and find out things you never would have known or never would have believed because people buy for their emotional reasons, not yours, their emotions and justify with reasons. You need to know what that is.
  • You have to help people to see the cost of not doing something versus the value of doing something and then I would always and this becomes like my sort of signature approach to how to get people to help make them make a decision. I’m not going to push you in any way ever, because if I push you in the least, you’re going to either push back or you’re going to feel pushed. Then you’re not making the decision.

Show Notes:

[03:07] Financial planning is really intangible. Money is sort of intangible, yes, you can see results, but usually, they’re deferred. So you don’t get the instant gratification.

[03:22] What I realized was people got more out of the teaching because it helped them to come prepared, better prepared to be a better buyer. And I realized again, back to the advocate I mentioned in the first segment when you’re an advocate, you’re pretty much in a class by yourself. If you’re a trainer, a consultant, a coach, there’s a million of those. I’ve really implored people to get rid of labels, you know, labels unfairly limit you.

[04:39] You have to help people to see the cost of not doing something versus the value of doing something and then I would always and this becomes like my sort of signature approach to how to get people to help make them make a decision. I’m not going to push you in any way ever, because if I push you in the least, you’re going to either push back or you’re going to feel pushed. Then you’re not making the decision.

[06:47] Everything I did was to make it as simple as possible because real human interaction and conversation is relatively simple. If you get out of your head and if you stop trying to prove yourself and you really get into and gauging conversations with people.

[09:14] Do you realize that nobody remembers what you do? And even when they do, they still can’t make the leap to, “How do I help you?” But when you are clear about who you’re looking for, now, all of a sudden, “Oh, yeah, I know somebody like that.”

[12:18] The single most important question that could transform your game from beginning to end, inside out, “Why did you buy from me?” You are going to then be able to say humbly, and find out things you never would have known or never would have believed because people buy for their emotional reasons, not yours, their emotions and justify with reasons. You need to know what that is.

[16:35] The biggest shift I made in my business that I’ve helped other companies make is stop trolling for anybody and find the hungry fish. You need to find the people who are searching for what you offer and ready to buy it now. And if you want to really talk about simplicity, you could say, I’ll bet this question will save you at least 100 hours this year, “Are you ready? Or are you just getting ready?”

[18:06] One of the things that and I’m still learning for years and believe me, I’m no expert at this. I take things personally. If you love what you do, you believe in what you do, you know what you do has value, hell, it is personal. When I wrote the new game of business chapter one, it’s not just business, it’s personal. It’s very personal to me. And maybe that’s why I’ve lasted 40 plus years because I care because it is personal. Yet, you can’t take it personally. That is such a hard thing to rectify.

[19:28] That’s really how I spent my entire life-switching seats with people saying, “Would you allow me to see sit in your seat and advocate for you? Would you be willing to sit in my seat and see the world through my eyes, then we can shoot for what’s highest and best.” That’s better than compromise. Don’t compromise, maximize. You shoot for highest and best. If you can’t get there, you get as close as you can. The only way you could do that is if you sit in the other person’s seat and advocate for them. That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I always will do.

[21:51] What I recognize is that people are frustrated, they have goal frustration, and they think that the answer to that is more goal, bigger goal, hairier goal, more audacious goal. No, it’s not. It’s stepping back and looking at your role and saying, “Is my role and my goal, are they aligned?”

[23:47] Look at where you are right now. And if there’s any kind of frustration, soul frustration, role frustration, goal frustration, step back, put your goals aside for a moment, do a little soul searching and do your soul center. Then say, “What roles am I really suited to play?”, and then recast your goals in light of your role and your soul. And you’re going to feel much relieved, you know, because we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve goals, sometimes at the expense of our role, and sometimes even people who might sell their soul.

Transcript:

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Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Hi Gorgeous. This is episode number 187. Today, we have the sales rock star Mitch Axelrod on the show.

Mitch Axelrod [0:10]
Hi, this is Mitch Axelrod. You’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with Christine Schlonski. Enjoy.

Christine Schlonski [0:18]
I just loved the story of Mitch and how he overcame his sales challenges to actually go into sales mastery and write a whole book about it The NEW Game of Selling and I would love for you to check that out as well. Today we are concentrating on the new game of selling and what this is all about. We just going to go deeper. As you probably know, Mitch is number one best selling author, speaker mentor, Golden Mike award winner, and he delivered 3500 seminars and workshops, trained a million people and generated 3 billion of revenue So with no further ado, let’s talk to Mitch. While I’m so excited. You are back on the show, Mitch, welcome.

Mitch Axelrod [1:07]
Well, good to be back with you.

Christine Schlonski [1:09]
Yeah, you shared so many golden nuggets. In our last episode, I’m still in awe. And I think it’s so supportive, especially the conversation about what we think we are worth, and what other people might think we are worth and how we can stop undercharging. So I really want to encourage people to have listened to the previous episode and to really dive in deep to all the wisdom you have already shared. So let me ask you, because you mentioned it in the other episode, as well. The first thing you ever sold was your dad, who you got to get up in the middle of the night to support you getting newspapers out. So is that was that like your first kind of thing you ever sold in your life like the new story Paper kind of thing like what’s the very first thing you ever exchanged money for?

Mitch Axelrod [2:06]
So you mean like a product, service or whatever?

Christine Schlonski [2:13]
Earliest memories.

Mitch Axelrod [2:14]
Yeah, the first things I started selling were pots and pans. As soon as I turned 17, I think it was 18, maybe 18. I’ve become an, I was an entrepreneur. I’ve never had a job from the day I walked out of college. I was always entrepreneurial. I was always looking for something to sell and I was selling pots and pans and literally pots and pans and so I did that for a while. And that was scripted selling, which I didn’t like. I never liked scripted selling because you sort of had to stay on track, but it was in and out and use, and that was better because if I had my druthers I’d be there for hours talking to them. That was really awkward. But you know, I got a taste of what it was like to sell a product. Yet, what I was really, really good at was selling the intangible. When I got into financial planning, financial planning is really intangible. Money is sort of intangible, yes, you can see results, but usually, they’re deferred. So you don’t get the instant gratification. And I started teaching about money. What I realized was people got more out of the teaching, because it helped them to come prepared, better prepared to be a better buyer. And I realized again, back to the advocate I mentioned in the first segment when you’re an advocate, you’re pretty much in a class by yourself. If you’re a trainer, a consultant, a coach, there’s a million of those. I’ve really implored people to get rid of labels, you know, labels unfairly limit you unless you’re a brain surgeon. Which in case, okay, brain surgeon that pretty well. When you say I’m a trainer coach or consultant, you always have to follow it up with what you actually do. So, for me, it was always advocated, advocate. I didn’t put it on my card. But that was the way I approach things. I started selling intangibles, and I found that I could help people paint the picture and see the tangible value of an intangible decision. Right. And that was the hardest sell of all because you couldn’t put it, you couldn’t plug it in, you couldn’t put it on your finger, you couldn’t wear it, you couldn’t try it on. You had to imagine and picture and then you had to create, not create the demand, but you have to help people to see the cost of not doing something versus the value of doing something and then I would always and this becomes like my sort of signature approach to how to get people to help make them make a decision. I’m not going to push you in any way ever, because if I push you in the least, you’re going to either push back or you’re going to feel pushed. Then you’re not making the decision, then you’re just, it’s not. So for me, it was always let’s, let’s examine the cost of the problem, measure it against the value of the solution and see what’s in your best interest. Is it better to stay the status quo? Because let’s face it, some problems are not worth solving. We don’t solve all our problems. And some opportunities are not worth pursuing. Let me help you make a good buying decision. And if there is change, if it’s better, if it’s in your best interest to make a change, then I’ll present to you what solutions I have, which was completely backward of everything I had been taught about, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA), get to talk to them and ask them a few questions and launch into your presentation and not even know if you have a qualified buyer. I became really good at qualifying people to make sure they were four words, the four most profound words of qualifying a buyer. 1.) Ready; 2.) Committed; 3.) Willing and; 4.) Able. If anyone of those is missing, you do not have a buyer. Now you could be ready, committed, willing and not be able right now, money-wise or economics. But it’s more than that. It used to just be about money. Now it’s time, it’s bandwidth. I had a person who so wanted to work with me. And she said, “I have no bandwidth. I have no life.” She said, “I can’t fit another thing.” I said, “Well, maybe the game is not to fit another thing. Maybe the game is to start taking things away.” Addition by subtraction, multiplication by division, that’s my game. Simplify, simplify, simplify. So everything I did was to make it as simple as possible because real human interaction and conversation is relatively simple. If you get out of your head and if you stop trying to prove yourself and you really get into and gauging conversations with people. So I think that answers your question.

Christine Schlonski [7:04]
Yeah, totally. So it’s such an interesting thing because when I’m out about networking, people so often say, “Well, I’m a coach. I’m a consultant.” You never really know what does that means. What kind of coaching do they do? Is it a relationship? Is it life coaching? Is it business? What kind of advice could you give people where to look so they can find their uniqueness and kind of package it in a way that people are attracted to them and want to know more? Because when I hear like, “I’m a coach”, I think like, “Yeah, okay, nice. What’s next?”

Mitch Axelrod [7:47]
Oh, boy, I have two answers for it, and you’re gonna love them both.

Christine Schlonski [7:51]
Good.

Mitch Axelrod [7:53]
So the first answer is this. 35 years ago or so I was running into, I just didn’t like rejection. Obviously, I have to pick. So I developed what I call to take a millionaire lunch. I was in financial planning for five years. I was hit the wall, it is like getting in there get out. I was in my late 20s and all my friends had no money. So I had to find people with money. I developed something which later became a training called Rejection Proof Networking. I’m going to give you three statements. I actually sell this as a product, but I’m going to give it to you because your people deserve to know and deserved to never be rejected again for the rest of their life. I’m going to give you this, the three phrases that’s going to do it for you. How’s that?

Christine Schlonski [8:40]
Awesome. That’s okay.

Mitch Axelrod [8:42]
Yeah, so here’s rejection Rejection Proof Networking. Number one, “Here’s what I do.” Here’s what I do is not here’s what I sell. I’m going to tell you how to find out what you do because that’s the other half of this part. Number one is here’s what I do. Number two is, “Here’s why I do it.” Number three, which is what separates Rejection Proof Networking from every other elevator talk, which I can’t stand, “Here’s who I’m looking for.” Do you realize that nobody remembers what you do? And even when they do, they still can’t make the leap to, “How do I help you?” But when you are clear about who you’re looking for, now, all of a sudden, “Oh, yeah, I know somebody like that.” I put those three together, and it turned out to be I’ve trained 100,000 people on this anywhere from a two-hour presentation to an all day. Here’s what I do. Here’s how I do it. Here’s what I’m looking for. Here’s how it started real quick. And then I’m going to tell you how you get your uniqueness because there’s no way to get your uniqueness except this way. Because you cannot see your uniqueness. Nobody can see their uniqueness. It’s invisible to us. We take it for granted. What we know we think everybody knows. All right? I am with a corporate client. We’re three years into a relationship. And I said, “You know, you have consultants coming in here all day long, and I had already done like 100 training sessions for them. Why did you buy from me?” That question has generated probably 250 million dollars of revenue from my clients, not one in 100 companies, businesses, organizations, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs ever asked every single one of their customers, why did you buy from me? You think you know because you know, you don’t know, you have no clue. So this became part of what I call the five questions of service. This is part of the new game of service, you know, so I’m the new game of selling I wrote the new game of business 15 years ago, I brought out the new game of IP (Intellectual Property). Now there’s a new game of service, the first question and the new game of services is. Why do business with us? I asked this guy, he says, “Mitch, we’ve paid millions of dollars to consultants, and not one of them came in here and did what you did.” He says, “You’re the first one to approach marketing, sales, and services as one holistic process. You helped us knock down the walls and the silos. And now, we are better at attracting, converting and keeping customers.” I said, “Can I kiss you, hug you and buy you dinner?” He said, “Why?”, I said, “Because you just gave me the words I need to use.” He says, “Yeah, you’re the best at it.” So when somebody said to me from that moment on, “Mitch, what do you do?” Which by the way, I hit that question, as many people do because they don’t know how to answer it. I answered, started with four words, “My clients tell me.” Think of the positioning of those four words. “My clients tell me”, humbling, and it’s true. I’m the best at helping them attract, convert and keep more customers. Which of those Would you like to do better right now? I would have never come up with that in my seller language because I don’t think like a buyer. So the single most important question that could transform your game from beginning to end, inside out, why did you buy from me? I have four others that follow that, but that’s the most important one and you are going to then be able to say humbly, and find out things you never would have known or never would have believed because people buy for their emotional reasons, not yours, their emotions and justify with reasons. You need to know what that is. Everywhere I go, “Why did you do business with me? Why did you do business with me? Why did you do business with me?”, and that’s what we call your Unique Service Advantage(USA) versus Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Which comes from whom? You. You shoot it out there and you hope it connects and you think it’s great. But unless you ask your customers, enough of them to get a wide enough sample and to get a large enough repository of language so that when somebody says, “Christine, what do you do? You don’t answer. I’m a coach, I’m a da, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba ba with it.” Because then you have to say something else. You say, “I help my customers attract, convert and keep more customers.” Which of those Would you like to do better? It should always be followed by a question. If you can’t follow the question, which has or something like that, then you have to reposition what you do. So how it all started. I wanted to get out of financial planning and working with people who have no money. I said, “Here’s what I do. I help people get the same kind of returns that banks and insurance companies get when you give them your money and get 3% or whatever. Why I do it? Is because only 5% of the people in America are financially independent, and I want to be financially independent help as many people as I can. And who I’m looking for? I’m looking for people who have $25,000 of investable assets who would like to get the same kind of returns that banks and insurance companies get.” Then I follow it up with, “Who do you know? Where should I go?”

Christine Schlonski [14:18]
Awesome.

Mitch Axelrod [14:19]
In one year, I went from 15,000 to 33,000. The next year I went to 100,000. And I never looked back with one simple strategy. Then I started teaching it, call it Rejection Proof Networking. It works 100% of the time. Here’s what I do. Here’s why I do it. Here’s what I’m looking for. Who do you know? Where should I go?

Christine Schlonski [14:39]
Such great advice. So when do you ask your clients? Why that they buy from you? Like do you do it right after the sale is kind of made? Or do you wait like a year in?

Mitch Axelrod [14:53]
No, no, no, no, I ask it right after but I actually asked it before. See, I have another phrase. Another question. Know this is hone from experience. These are not theories. Here’s an unbelievable question. It’s a three-part question, are a compound question and one. Why me now? Why me now? Anytime I talk to somebody for the first time, or second time or third time. Why, why are you calling? There’s something that caused you, right? Why? Gets get behind. Why me? You could call 100 people Why are you calling me? And why now? Why not a week from now? Why not a month from now? Why not a year from now? Why me? Now? That question, it’s really three questions, but it’s content. Will elicit to you. Why are they calling? What’s their motive? What’s their outcome? Why they’re calling you versus someone else? I’m just shopping. Okay, good to know that or you’re the only guy for me, whatever. And why now? What’s the urgency? What’s the importance? What’s this? Now you have got you’ve essentially qualified your buyer with one question. Why me now?

Christine Schlonski [16:06]
Yeah, I love it. Yeah. I always ask why. Why are you investing your time to speak today? So you know, but now I can definitely add that one that’s really brilliant.

Mitch Axelrod [16:18]
Well think about it, you cannot help anybody in the future. The future is a myth. I hear people use the words eventually. I know they’re never going to get where they want to go. Because they’re framing life in the future. Everything happens in the now. Fact, the biggest shift I made in my business that I’ve helped other companies make is stop trolling for anybody and find the hungry fish. You need to find the people who are searching for what you offer and ready to buy it now. And if you want to really talk about simplicity, you could say, I’ll bet this question will save you at least 100 hours this year, “Are you ready?”

Christine Schlonski [17:01]
Yes.

Mitch Axelrod [17:01]
Or are you just getting ready? Are you ready? Or are you just getting ready? What’s the difference between somebody who’s ready and somebody who’s getting ready?

Christine Schlonski [17:13]
Well, the one that was ready is going to buy it if it’s a fit.

Mitch Axelrod [17:16]
Yeah. And then the question is, how long will the person who’s getting ready, get ready? What will take you from getting ready to be ready? I don’t want to pitch. I don’t want to present. I don’t even want to spend time with people who aren’t ready to get what they want. This is such a dynamic contextual shift. And believe me, I’ve gone through all of this, the proving stage, wanting to share what I have with other people. I was into health and nutrition for a while trying to get my family who was very unhealthy on vitamins and they laughed at me and they would say, “Here comes the vitamin man.” Meanwhile, I’m the healthiest one of all and they’re sick and I’m like, “What would I do to get through these people?” and I took it personally. One of the things that and I’m still learning for years and believe me, I’m no an expert at this. I take things personally. If you love what you do, you believe in what you do, you know what you do has value, hell, it is personal. When I wrote the new game of business chapter one, it’s not just business, it’s personal. It’s very personal to me. And maybe that’s why I’ve lasted 40 plus years because I care because it is personal. Yet, you can’t take it personally. That is such a hard thing to rectify. I know it’s personal, but you can’t take it personally because everybody’s in their own worlds. When I first read Stephen Covey’s stuff, he was the first person to actually talk about roles and goals. But he also, recognize that people were in their own world and he made the word paradigm famous right? I used to go out and every seminar I’d ask, “How many of, what percentage of your time are you in your own paradigm, in your own head thinking your own beliefs? 90%? 95%? How about the person across the table from you?” So you can see why there’s so little space for commonality because I learned if I could just be with you sit in your seat, look through your eyes, walk in your shoes. I could learn everything I need to know about how to help you, not sell you but help you. And that’s really how I spent my entire life-switching seats with people saying, “Would you allow me to see sit in your seat and advocate for you? Would you be willing to sit in my seat and see the world through my eyes, then we can shoot for what’s highest and best.” That’s better than compromise. Don’t compromise, maximize. You shoot for highest and best. If you can’t get there, you get as close as you can. The only way you could do that is if you sit in the other person’s seat and advocate for them. That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I always will do and the people that appreciate that and I have a solution for, will do business and those that don’t or we don’t, they’ll appreciate that at least I advocated for them. And then I’ll either send them on their way or recommend somebody else for them to talk to.

Christine Schlonski [20:10]
Yeah, totally. So what is a book that made a big difference in your life? You just mentioned Stephen Covey, but I’m quite sure you read more books. Is there one book that really kind of sticks out that you would love to share with the listeners today?

Mitch Axelrod [20:26]
It’s probably a book very few people ever read. It’s called, One, by the guy who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach. I read it in the probably mid-70s. Before I really got into working full time and it was the most, it just blew my mind. I mean, it really took me to his quotes, his paradigms, his little ideas, it really blew my head out. You know, I’ve read a lot of really good business books and spiritual books. And of course, you know, the Four Agreements stand out and there are all kinds of things I read, Cialdini work, I actually did an interview with Cialdini, which was great. But that book, One, it really sorted of took me on a journey. I don’t know that anybody younger probably then 40 is read it. But I would tell you if you go back and read that book, some of the quotes in that book will just bring the hairs upon your wrist. “Your true family is not one of blood, but of those people who are appreciative and interested in who you are”, that kind of stuff. That book got me into sort of a spiritual that there’s more than just how three dimensional and then when I got into axiology, and now working with the soul, the role and the goal. What I recognize is that people are frustrated, they have goal frustration, and they think that the answer to that is more goal, bigger goal, hairier goal, more audacious goal. No, it’s not. It’s stepping back and looking at your role and saying, “Is my role and my goal, are they aligned?” Somebody once said to me, “You know what the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people, very famous friend of mine, is that unsuccessful people will do what, successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t do.” I don’t agree with that. It depends on your definition of success. To me a role Covey, he says, “Do your roles first and then your goals.” We take it one step further. I say do your soul setting and your role setting, then your goal setting. I had to learn that when in 1996, I was getting divorced. I was on the road 100 days a year as a speaker trainer. My goal was to stay on the road, stay in the business and continue. My soul was calling me home to raise my son. And in the middle was my role. We’ve all had this experience and some time of our life. So do I obey my goal, in which case I wouldn’t be able to be home raising my son, or do I serve my soul? I said, “You know what, I’m going to serve my soul.” And I did my soul setting and it was, I gotta go home. Now my role was full time, stay at home dad, first business owner, one in one A. Now I had to revise my goals, which was okay, because, you know, it’s okay if I don’t get to be the famous speaker. And one speaker said to me, “Mitch, you’re crazy. Nobody will remember you in 10 years.” I said, “You know, that may be true. But if my son doesn’t remember me in 10 years that I’m not, I can’t do it”, so I did my soul setting and role setting and goal setting. And I share that now with 50,000 people when everyone said, ‘You got to bring this to the world.” That’s sort of the next iteration. And so, I’d sort of conclude with by saying, if there’s one thing I would leave people with in terms of just, generally speaking, look at where you are right now. And if there’s any kind of frustration, soul frustration, role frustration, goal frustration, step back, put your goals aside for a moment, do a little soul searching and do your soul center. Then say, “What roles am I really suited to play?”, and then recast your goals in light of your role and your soul. And you’re going to feel much relieved, you know, because we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve goals, sometimes at the expense of our role, and sometimes even people who might sell their soul. That would be sort of my parting words.

Christine Schlonski [24:20]
Wonderful. You took my question already away. Thank you so much for again, a wonderful episode. And I could talk to you for hours. But we kind of has to finish here. And I want to encourage people to connect with you. All the links will be in the show notes, the link to your book, The New Game of Selling, as well, so that people can connect with you, can reach out to you. Where can they go if you wanted to send them somewhere right now?

Mitch Axelrod [24:56]
That’s a good question. I actually didn’t think about that. I would say go to The New Game of Selling right now. This is what this is about. This is about heart selling and you can’t just do heart selling you gotta do, it’s worth three-part people. So I’d say go to The New Game of Selling. And you certainly could look me up on YouTube, there’s a lot of good stuff there. But The New Game of Selling is our baby. And that’s our flagship, and it’s six-game plans. And you could just dive into one of the modules and be using it the same day. So you know that’s going to give you the best payoff I believe in the shortest amount of time.

Christine Schlonski [25:31]
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and for bringing so much knowledge to the podcast. I can’t wait for the next conversation.

Mitch Axelrod [25:44]
I look forward to it. Thank you, Christine.

Christine Schlonski [25:47]
Well, I so enjoyed our time together. Mitch delivers so much value and I love how he sees sales. How he helps us to see it as a new game and we are not stuck in the manipulate, sleazy, salesy world that we all fear we can really come from the heart and I just love how Mitch managed to transform his sales career and to help so many people to transform theirs. Hop on over to https://christineschlonski.com/. Find the podcast tab so you can get to the resources, the transcript, as well as the show notes. And once you’re over there, sign up for the empowerment notes. If you have not already in joining the Heart Sellers! community, I will give you the empowerment notes, regular updates on Heart Sells! Podcast, as well as I, ‘m sharing amazing helpful content for you to sell from your heart. Be authentic, deliver great value and make a lot of money so you can make your dreams come true. Hop on over to https://christineschlonski.com/. Find the podcast tab and that’s all you need to do. Have a wonderful day wherever you are in this beautiful world. And I’m saying bye for now.

 

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