Renee Hribar has been a sales professional since 1994 in New York. She has sold millions of dollars in products and services and trained thousands to sell for the first time. She is known in her industry as a fun, energetic executive sales coach who leads with heart. A TedX speaker who offers training sessions at global conferences, boardrooms and most recently through virtual programs, she skillfully breaks down her decades of sales expertise with a flair that makes listening to her a joy and if you take action, extremely profitable. With her one-of-a-kind “laugh & learn” teaching style, you will certainly walk away with a new view on the “softer side of sales”.
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Watch the Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes of what it’s like to run a global executive sales coaching business with a husband who works odd hours, a son who has more on his calendar than a Kardashian during Fashion Week and two veg vocal long-haired doxies.
Allie: You’re listening to the Prosperity Lab Podcast, Episode Number Four.
Renee: For people to buy from you, and this is again, from a sales perspective they have to identify with you as the trusted advisor in that space.
Allie: Welcome to the Posterity Lab podcast. We’ve been given an amazing opportunity in entrepreneurship that’s never been available in any other time period. We live in a reality where the number of lives we impact can be directly reflected by the dollars in our bank accounts.
Allie: Prosperity is about more than income. It means living the good life and existing in the state of freedom, security, and well-being. This podcast will explore the paths towards living our best lives, and the businesses providing for them. In this episode I interview Renee Hribar, creator of the Sell Like a Mother course, coach and author. She teaches women how to sell online. In this episode you’re going to learn all about how to get in front of your clients and build relationships with them in a way that feels totally authentic, and not at all sleazy. I know this is a skill that so many of us need support on, and I cannot wait to introduce you to Renee.
Allie: All right, welcome to another episode of the Prosperity Lab podcast, I am here with one of my really good friends, and my sales coach Renee Hribar, and I’m so excited for her to talk to you all about sales, all about how she started her business, what role her business plays in her life, and her entire story of how she got started.
Allie: Renee, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to talk to you, you are one of my favorite people in the entire world. I would love to hear your story, a little bit about you, your business, and who you serve.
Renee: Well, first of all, thank you and right back at you Allie. Thank you. For those of you guys who don’t know, we have been friends for a while. We’ve met in person, we’ve hung out, and so if you hear the rapport it’s because it’s truly there. Where did I start? It is 2018, I have ask myself what year it is sometimes. For those of you guys who are getting older, I’m gonna be 46 years old this year. So if you’re with me, and you lose decades sometimes, let me know. Happens to me.
Renee: In 1996 I incorporated my first company, I was 23 years old. It was a sales company and I had huge clients, AT&T, Intuit, QuickBooks, we even had Great Lakes Trash, because we were first based in Manhattan, and then I incorporated here in Detroit. I had in upwards of 300 sales reps in the field in different states, at different times, and I had to get the clients, hire the people, train the people, manage the territories, organize the territories, so sometimes people say, “Oh, you do sales. You teach me sales.” “Yes, that’s absolutely my specialty.” But they sometimes ask, ”
Renee: Well, I’m looking for a business coach, do you a business coach?” And Allie and I were talking about this the other day, it’s like asking a heart surgeon if they’re also a doctor. Plus I had to do that first, and then went into my specialty, and that’s where it think Allie, and so many of the amazing, upbeat people that I get to work with have is, is they worked in business for a while, so absolutely they could talk about business models, and they could talk about … I mean, Allie has her MBA. She could talk about business at any level you want, from academic, down to the most granular piece. But her specialty is something she’s focused on and spent some time. For those of you guys listening to this podcast, you’re in for a treat, ’cause she’s awesome.
Allie: Absolutely, let’s do it. So what did that transition look like for you? From going to the corporate world and changing from those really large clients, with all the different sets of infrastructure, and to working with who you work with now?
Renee: Yeah. What created the need for that … Well, I did some things in between. I had sold my territory from my sales company, I did that for almost 15 years, and then I took a year off and I became a yoga teacher. I wanted to deepen my understanding of the world, and I love it, and I still practice. I’m not a teacher any longer, I don’t think … If I did have a yoga class, it would be like farting yoga, or burping yoga because I feel always things come up when I’m doing it. Oh well, maybe that’s just …
Renee: I’m also from New York so these raunchy things are totally New York, so sorry if you’re offended. Yeah.
Allie: I’m like, we don’t talk about-
Renee: We don’t say such things.
Allie: Yes, no.
Renee: Then I had a cherry juice business, a regional beverage company which we brought from zero to being sold in over 180 grocery stores within less than two years, so I’m very familiar with the manufacturing industry, shipping and receiving, international, FBOs, you call it you name it. From sales days, training corporate, RFPs, I can speak in lots of acronyms. It just depends on what industry you want to talk about. And then a miraculous thing happened. My husband had been married for 12 years and we finally, finally, if you want to talk about an infertility story, I’ve got one, had our cherub, who is now seven-and-a-half-years-old. But that is the thing that knocked me into a new era.
Renee: ‘Cause I love what I do. I love being with people, I love teaching, I love selling and I got to do that in every company that I worked with. I took time off. We figured our things out, switched around our budget, and I took three years off to be a solo mama. And, when he was three, it was like, “Okay, preschool time,” for those of you guys that can relate. Baby hits three and mom’s like, “Okay, it might be time for preschool.” We went and discovered all these different educational models and we decided on Waldorf, which is very hippy, I love it by the way. It’s like the antithesis of who I am. It’s what I wish I was, but I’m so not, but I wish was more like, “Friends and children and harp playing.” I’ve never been accused of-
Allie: And hemp weaving and all those.
Renee: Yup, handwork amazing. Here’s what happened. I got him into this school, I loved it so much, and I spent so much time there I started talking to people, they offered me the Director of Development role a their school. It’s considered a non-profit educational facility. If you’re in Waldorf, it’s to like being a Catholic private school where you have the archdiocese who’s giving you money. There’s no mama or papa Waldorf. Each school has to be independently funded. And so the Director of Development required me to raise over $1 million dollars, which I exceed in nine months-
Renee: … dropped the mike and I was like, “Peace out. I hate working with a board of directors. Peace out.” I’ve definitely had that chain of success. At that point Ben is three-and-a-half, he’s hating preschool so I’m like, “Forget it,” we’re gonna take a break. What do they call it? A gap year.
Allie: Yeah, at three.
Renee: Well, he was four at that time, so we took a gap year, took a Disney cruise, he and I did a 30 day road trip from Detroit to New York, I have family all along the east coast, all down to Florida, and drove back. We have so many fond memories from that. In the meantime I was working about five hours a week on my new Internet side of my business, and I was just dipping my toe in the water at a few groups. I didn’t know if it was gonna be legit. Is it legit to do business online? I don’t know. It is a real thing? Do you need an office space, right? For you guys you have ever-
Renee: I realized not only legit, but it was fricking amazing, and you literally could do real business from anywhere.
Allie: With real, actual humans.
Renee: With real humans that really need your services, and the world is becoming more remote even as we speak. Even the big corporations are getting on board with the remote idea, it’s just you don’t have to commute, you don’t have to worry about gas, there’s just so many positives. Those are just the ones that I really like, first and foremost.
Renee: That being said, I came into develop slowly, and then I incorporated my online business in January of 2017, and who I serve now are the individuals who I feel are in my space. They feel like … They’re of a certain age, of a certain experience level, something in their life made them look at their life differently and say, “Well, I have these skills and I want to work, but I don’t want to live by their rules any more. So how can I put this forward?” As soon as you start a business there’s a lot of things you have to think about, one of them, is, “I need to bring in new clients.” And that’s oftentimes where I meet them, and I have programs, and one-on-one work, and group programs and a lot of different ways to get the information, so that they can say, “OK, well here’s what I want to work with, here’s what I need to say, and here’s how I can deliver the service.” It feels good. You know, selling without selling your soul.
Allie: Yeah, I love that. That’s so true what you said, too. People hit a spot in their live whether it’s burnout, or whether it’s just they need that freedom, they don’t want to work for anyone else any more, could be the birth of a child, or something tragic like death that just totally wracks their world, and they start seeing things a little bit differently. I’ve definitely seen that across the board in the industry too.
Allie: You touched a little bit on your customer journey, how you serve people on different levels, but I would love to hear more about how that developed, and you started. If you just started with high end clients in one-to-one work, or started with smaller group programs. I always things it’s so interesting to hear how people round out their businesses, and I know a lot of people that are listening might be either in one phase, or trying to branch out into the next phase. So hearing how that worked for you I think would really be cool.
Renee: No, that’s fantastic, thank you for asking. I had a lot of experience before I came to the online space with big one-on-one clients-
Allie: Corporate, huge-
Renee: Big ones, right. I was the small business owner, I mean I was small compared to them because I owned my business, I had one or two support staff, that was it. The rest were sales people, on commission-
Renee: … so mama had to like … We had free beer Friday, I had to figure out ways to keep them excited and coming in, in case they had a crap day in the field, right? And these were oftentimes very young people, in their 20s, so it was definitely was a party, which I think you can still see pieces of in my business today.
Allie: All right.
Renee: When I came online though, what sales taught me more than anything is to meet people where they are, so I felt very natural, looking around, “Okay, these people don’t need what I did for AT&T. They need an individual big sister, basically.” So I started with small, low-priced, one-on-one almost mentorship-type roles. It wasn’t like I was full on coaching, I was just guiding them. I think I charged $247 for three calls, over the course of three months-
Renee: … $247. I was only working five, six hours a week. I wasn’t marketing anything. I wasn’t doing any live streams, I was just dipping my toe in the water, and then I realized there was a bigger need. I said, “Okay, I can help five of these people at once in a secret Facebook group for a week, and charge them all $97 and make $500 bucks in a week. Cool. At that point working with five, then I started to grow to 10 hours a week. I was like, “If I can just make $2 grand a month? Fricking magical.” ‘Cause at that point we had set our lives up, my husband and I had been working for a long time. We had set our lives up so we didn’t need to … We didn’t have a lot of bills, so any money that I was making at that point was gravy.
Renee: I was like, “Well, that was easy making two grand a month,” and I’m really getting people, they’re really excited. I see the results, and then I got excited about the results they were getting. I’m like, “Holy smokes.” Then I saw, its like I was looking right in front of me, and then there’s a lot of people looking back, and I’m like, “Holy moly. There’s thousands more people I could help if I just could figure out how,” and that’s when I started looking into, “I need a coach to breathe into my business, to see the forest for the trees, to give me this online business savvy that I felt I didn’t have the finer minutia of.” That’s when I got excited, and I saw there were …
Renee: How to do the programs. I didn’t understand the tech. I didn’t understand like click funnels, or lead pages, or active campaign, or convert kit, or I didn’t understand Zoom, or Skype. I didn’t understand how you could get 10 people on a Zoom call. I didn’t understand any of those things, all I knew is that I was showing up in these virtual meeting places, like Facebook groups, and just hanging out and talking to people, and asking questions, and they were asking questions back. They we would start … It’s just easier, I don’t type. I’ve got little hands, let’s just talk. I talk way better than I type.
Renee: The natural evolution was to group programs, and then eventually to more one-on-one, only because the people that I was serving weren’t ready for that high level of one-on-one support. Not I work full-time in my business and I make a full-time income. I’m really excited about the continual, gradual elevation of the people around.
Allie: Yeah, I think when you come from a place of serving instead of trying to make as much money from people as you can, it’s a whole different ballgame. You just come in with a different mindset. It seems like it grew really organically or naturally for you too. This is who I’m gonna help first, then I’m gonna see this next group of people, now I’m gonna help then. And then just continue growing from there. Where that’s not always people’s mindset as they start their businesses. I think that’s really a key note for people to take away from this is think of other people first, and how you can serve them and help them, and then start thinking about the programs you can build, and make sure you’re actually solving a problem and filling a need in the market.
Renee: Boom. Huge.
Renee: I’ve seen so many people build courses in a closet, in essence, and then come up and be like, “Ta da.” And the course may be phenomenal, it may be value-packed, but they don’t know their people well enough. They don’t know who needs it well enough to be able to speak their language. I always say, “Just go be with the people and talk with them, and you’ll know right away what they need and how to speak to them so they know what you have, is what they …”
Allie: Well, that’s even advice that you’ve given me from a marketing perspective of, “Just go interview people, talk to them, get in front of them instead of being a marketer and going to all the marketing events.” I assume that I know what people’s problems are, but if you’re not actually talking to them and understanding how they’re phrasing it, what words they’re using when they’re talking about it, that’s a game changer, right?
Renee: Huge. Huge and I’ll give you a great example. We’ve talked about this, it’s like the MP3 player, that has been around forever and it’s a very popular case study, you can look it up on any Google search, is how the MP3 player, when finally Apple got their hands on it, and they were like, “Oh, the iPod, a thousand songs in your pocket.” So all these MP3 three player … Don’t even know what an MP3, what does that even mean? And all the techies who created it were like, “This this megabytes, and da, da, da …,” and all these different languages that we were like, “What is it? Okay, I’m over here now. Squirrel.” Whereas a thousand songs in your pocket, they’re like, “Boom, I need that. Speak to me in my language.” Yeah, totally.
Allie: Absolutely. Speaking of marketing, what are some of the strategies that you use to bring people into your sphere and get familiar with you? Your Facebook group is one of the most engaged Facebook groups I’ve ever been in, and I would love just to hear how you run that, how you get people in a group and what that journey looks like for them. I’m assuming that’s your entry point, or one of your entry points, to bring them through a customer journey?
Renee: Yeah. Again, Allie you’re so smart and educated, and I think so many people like you, or so I could [inaudible 00:15:34] customer journey. And so to the layman who doesn’t have … I chose English as major at boarding school, I chose my college because it was listed on the Playboy top 10 party schools, number one. Number two, I chose my major because I spoke English already, I thought that would be easy, so I don’t have my MBA. I graduated college in 1994, God bless, before MBAs were even a thing, nobody did that.
Renee: You’re so smart but instead of client journey I want to you think, “How could I help the people? What are people saying? What is the marketing journey?” What I learned more than anything ever, because I was in the field first, first, first no matter what I had, I could have had gold bricks. I literally could have had a brick of gold and been like, “Hey, I’ve got this free brick of gold and I could be giving it away for free.” If I came out of nowhere, the clear blue sky, they’re like, “Get out of here kid.” We even did a study, because I was based on Manhattan initially, selling Skytel Sky pagers. This is 1995, before cell phones. I know gosh. Did the earth exist then? Barely, is the answer.
Renee: We did a study. We didn’t have $100 because we were poor kid, but we had ten single dollar bills and we were in Times Square, the busiest place on earth, by many variables of data. We would try to give away a single dollar bill, “Here,” just to passers-by, “Here,” and they’re like … People would literally shun us, like run away from us, like, “I don’t want to touch that,” because the number one rule is people will not, 99% of the people will not buy from you unless they absolutely feel like they know you, they like you, and they absolutely have to trust you. Because people get really freaked out, and this is where sales comes in, it’s a freaky thing. It can get super-awkward super-quick, people have to know that they’re not losing money, that they’re not being playing, they’re not throwing their money away, they’re not being taken.
Renee: As the course creator you and I could agree, we would never do that. Ever. I mean, I’ve never worked with anybody, I’ve never met anyone in our environment, in our online space that would ever take anything. They would rather stab themselves in the eye rather than have anybody be, “Your thing was crap and I want my money back.” They would be absolutely like, “Here, here, here,” even if they don’t have an official refund policy, right? Absolutely, for sure. There would be no way they would like, “Screw you, you bought it.” You know what I mean? They would never say that.
Renee: To answer your question about the customer journey, and how do people come into my world, and the Facebook groups, specifically is I want people to come in and feel comfortable. I see a lot of Facebook groups out there that feel very programming based, and very curriculum-esque. A, that’s super-hard on the admin, because now you feel like you always have to be creating, and new, and training, and these are free groups, right?
Renee: Instead, try to just make it a place where you can show up and be you in all the phases of you. I also have never met anybody who only does one thing. Like you, I have yet to ask you to do something, or ask your opinion about something and you do not have an opinion. “Well, I could do that,” and, “Oh, I had some experience with that in this situation, in that scenario.” And everything from, literally Allie, everything from babysitting to podcasting to funnel building, you have an opinion and you have experience with it. In our groups those people are also there having the same opinions and experiences, so why not just talk about it? In that journey about talking about babysitting, or our favorite coffee cup, or our podcasting, or anything that was want. “Today I fought with Zoom. Has anybody ever fought with Zoom before? What did you guys do? What were the alternatives when you can’t go live, and you can’t share, and you can’t blah, blah, blah? And people have an opinion, they have experience with it.
Renee: Just by having that conversation they realize, “Oh, she’s a real person, she’s nice, I like the way she said that. What does she sell again? Doesn’t she do something special?”
Renee: I mean, listen …
Allie: It’s Mantra Monday, share your favorite mantra. Whatever it might be, the curated seeds that are silent in groups these days.
Renee: Right. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you also come in and show up as a human, and be like, “Hey guys, it’s freakin’ Thursday. Is it Thursday? I don’t know what day it is. I have my pajamas on still, but I’m just curious what you guys are up to.” You show up as yourself. Thank you for saying my group is engaged, and thank you for bringing it up. I think that the pressure we put on ourselves to try to make everything so organized, and programmed, and well thought it, it’s so kind to be well thought out, but also to not forget about just showing up, even if it’s just you.
Allie: It’s also people are getting burned out on that too. They want connection, they want that actual one-on-one, they want to share their opinions because they have opinions about everything. So in your opinion that’s still a very viable way to get in touch with people? Because there’s that phase, I don’t know if it was last year or when, but all the really big name entrepreneurs were shutting their groups down like crazy and wondering, well, “Do they know something we don’t? Should we not be putting effort into the groups?” But in your experience, because you have such an engaged group, that’s still a really viable tool?
Renee: Yeah, and I have a small group. As of today it’s 800 people, which these big guys have 20,000, 100,000 people. I don’t know if it will ever get that big. I don’t really care. I just know that when I show up I want the other people that are in there to like it as much as I do. I look at it like the water cooler, that’s kind of how I feel it. It’s like my virtual cooler. I can go and hang out and talk about whatever, like, “This guy just sent me all the …” I’m totally [inaudible 00:21:30] later. All of the political stuff that’s campaigning year and everybody’s sending you stuff, and what that means, and how I feel about it.
Allie: Right, so showing up authentically and actually building relationships and connecting with people in that safe place, where they feel welcomed and they feel safe sharing their opinions.
Renee: Right, because if you think about it, first they have to know they can trust you, but secondly for people to buy from you, and this is again, from a sales perspective, they have to identify with you as the trusted advisor in that space. I know there’s probably a thousand people right now, in your news feed, that also teach sales and business.
Allie: Yeah, ads and marketing too, right?
Renee: Right. So why choose me over somebody else? What makes me different? I don’t have to try to think about what makes me different all the time, I can simply share stories that my clients have shared, and just show up. My voice makes me different, my hair makes me different, the way I talk, the way I think makes me different. And some people are going to be totally turned off by that, they’re like, “She is just not my person.” And that’s okay. God bless. Bless and release.
Renee: Or some people are like, “Oh my God I freakin’ love her, she reminds me of my sister.” You know? And then they’ll listen, when they’re having fun people are listening, and when they are listening, they’re gonna be like, “Oh, it’s kind of good. I do need that, ” or, “I’ll check that out, or at least I’ll look into it.”
Renee: That’s all I need.
Allie: So back to marketing question. If someone, within your group, do you feel like you have a mix of people who would become your high end clients, your one-to-one clients, or if you’re doing a smaller group program or course, are all of those people in the same group? Seeing the same information and just getting to know you, no matter where they’re at on their customer journey, quote unquote.
Renee: Yeah, yes. Because the highest client, I mean the client that I work with that for $10 grand, those people are probably not on Facebook hanging out at all. They’re most likely running bigger companies and they don’t have time to socialize.
Renee: But the people from my entry level group program, or my entry level digital course, or even in my MasterMinds, I feel absolutely sure that those people have either been there or are there now.
Allie: Yeah. That’s one really cool thing about ow you do it, is no matter where they are, whether they’re ready for a high end program or an entry level program, you’re showing up as yourself and you’re just talking to them and sharing your expertise, which if I’m ready to hire a one-on-one sales coach, I’m gonna already see you as an expert, if I’m just coming in and I’ve been in business for two months, I’m sill gonna see you as an expert. It’s really great that you get so many different piece out. And I think you just did a livestream about that this morning, having your entry level products, and all the way up to your high end services I think that great.
Allie: Something I’m curious about in your business, is that how you always had it operating? Have you ever pivoted into being burnt out on the high end services, and then starting to offer more, we talked about it a little bit earlier, but what did that look like for you when you started building out the entry level pieces? Ho did you balance working with just end one-to-one clients, to all of a sudden to seeing the line of people that you’re looking at, and seeing that, “Oh, I need to create for them, and I need to do this too. Was it one at a time? Or did you do all things?
Renee: Well, I still do all the things, but I also am very cognizant of my time and the time that it’s going to take me to deliver the result that I’ve promised. And so, if I only want to work 20 hours a week, then I have to be very aware of how many one-on-one clients I can have. The answer is two. How many people in my MasterMind? The answer is 20. How many people in my digital program? The answer totally 100% scalable, as many as you want to be, because I will show up for them in a group environment and I will be me, and they can all gather round the campfire.
Allie: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s what the Prosperity Lab’s all about. It’s like figuring out what you want your life to look like, and then fitting your business into that model. ‘Cause you could have … I mean, you could work 80 hours a week and just do high end products, but your life not look like, your freedom might not be there which is probably a large reason why you started your business. So just knowing, “This is how I can show up for the life that I want offering high end services, this is how many I can handle.
Allie: And people can really design it however they want. There’s not expert answer, no one size fits all business model. I think that’s awesome how you set that up. Switching over to sales a little bit, since that’s your expertise, I know a lot of people I’ve seen probably are interesting in learning about how you operate sales. What are some of the common struggles that you’ve seen with your clients. Have you noticed themes across different levels? I’m curious what you see people struggling with when it comes to sales.
Renee: Yeah, that’s a great question. Have I seen themes and patterns? Yes, for 20 years.
Allie: Yeah [inaudible 00:26:31].
Renee: Always the first one is they overcomplicate the entire experience, because they try to play it out in their head before it even happens, and that’s just not possible.
Renee: If you were in line on the rollercoaster line and trying to imagine how it’s going to feel going through the rollercoaster, you’re probably just gonna get freaked out and leave the line. Or, you’re gonna get so excited that when it comes time to get in line, you have to pee, and then you have to leave the line.
Renee: Or something else that probably is negative. The point is, is that you have to just, and literally … And this is where yoga really helps me, honestly. Just staying present in the moment and listen to people. The second pattern that I hear as a salesperson when we create something, or when we’re talking about something that we’re excited about, we want to talk about it ad nauseum. And then we all have children, and that we can say that when a child is excited about something, they want to talk about it ad nauseum. Minecraft, Super Mario Brothers. We have seven and eight-year-olds, right? Pokemon, all those things. I’m like, “That’s great honey, I’m so happy for you.” And I’m his mom, so I’m supposed to care the most, right? Your client isn’t your mom, and she isn’t supposed to care the most, so people’s number one song is their own name, and their number one story is their own.
Renee: And so, as a sales person, and especially if you’re running a solo business and you’re the only salesperson in your business, therefore you must be the best one, just ask a question and listen. And especially women, don’t try to give advice after every single answer.
Renee: Think about how you would feel. We want to be seen, we need to be heard, we need to feel like the person understands us, and then we’re willing to listen to their probable advice, and that’s, in essence, the offer. The invitation to work together.
Allie: Yeah, well I know that’s something you worked on with me too, it’s just the power of silence during a sales call. ‘Cause I have so many ideas with marketing, I’m like, “Oh, you could do this. Or maybe you should try that.” And instead of giving them chance to talk about their experience, I’m jumping in with ideas. And same with over complicating when you know so much about the subject that you’re an expert in, no matter what you’re selling, mine is ads and funnels, and so I come to you and I’m like, “Oh, I should build a webinar and have this email sequence follow, and I should do this, and I should do that.” And I see my clients overcomplicate things in the same way, where like, “Oh, I need a five-part video series, and then I need this, and then they need to go this direction,” and it’s like, “No, you just need to get in front them, and talk to them and figure out. For me, it’s more about automation, but with selling it’s you get them on the phone and figure out what it’s gonna take.
Renee: Right. What do they need?
Allie: Yeah, absolutely. What have you seen with, when it comes to selling, what are your best strategies for selling something that’s high end, and how do you define that? Is it something that’s over $997 to a phone call, or where do you make that break in getting on a phone call, or automating a sale?
Renee: Okay, great question. It depends, is the answer. Because-
Allie: [inaudible 00:29:37]
Renee: Yeah, because I’m not gonna get on the phone for $37, but it depends. Some people just need to hear my voice and understand me a little bit better, and then we can do that.
Allie: What advice do you have for someone who’s just getting started with their business and they don’t know what’s new for sales, they don’t have anyone in their group, they don’t have any context, where do you start at the beginning?
Renee: I love people that come to me first, because you can’t have a business without some kind of income. What I find a lot of people at this beginning phase is they think way too hard about everything down the road, and in their good-natured efforts of creating a business plan, and putting all the steps in place, what they end up doing is putting boulders in their way that they don’t seem to be able to move, and then three months, six months down the road they’re like, “My business is a failure because it’s not making any money and it’s just this expensive hobby.” My advice is just start to talk to people. Get them on the phone, especially if you’re brand new. Who cares if it $37 freakin’ dollars. If you’re on the phone with somebody who is a potential client, whether you call them copy chats, or sales calls, or discovery calls, or exploratory calls, or just research for something that you’re doing, you are connecting with the people that potentially might need you.
Renee: This is my overarching theme. If I were to get a tattoo it would be this, and it would say, “Good sales people have good pitches, great sales people ask great questions.” As you’re developing your sales page, or your course, or your offers, and figuring out how you want to show up online. How many hours do you want to work? What does that mean when I say “work”? Does that mean live, like on calls? Or does that mean all the other things that I also have to do, which I didn’t take into account initially.
Renee: Right? Administration and networking and marketing and blah, blah, blah.
Renee: Yeah, those things add up quick. I would say just talk to people and get them on the phone, and start asking questions. “Where are you at right now? What are you looking for? What have you tried so far? What has worked? What hasn’t worked? Where are you looking for support right now?” And this is where I learned to be a connector, because if I couldn’t offer some advice, maybe I could advise them on a direction to go, somebody that I did know. “Oh, but I need Facebook ads.” Well, talk to Allie, she knows how to do that, she’s amazing.
Allie: Yup, that’s exactly how I started too. Because I have a wide variety of skills in my background I wasn’t sure which direction to go when I was starting, whether it was designing websites, or doing SCO, or social media and all I did when I was getting started is get on coffee chats with people. And the more I talked about what I was doing, and the more I heard myself say, “Well, I do a lot of things,” you start hearing yourself answer the questions about what you do, and you just get more and more clear, at the same time as building connections with all these different people through coffee chats.
Allie: I think that’s one of the reasons why my business grew as quickly as it did in the beginning, is because I did 20 coffee chats in one week, and all of a sudden referrals were just flying in. Like, “Oh, you need to talk to Allie, she does ads.” In Facebook land, getting tagged in all of those different recommendation posts, that’s a really big way to grow your business quickly-
Allie: … without spending a billion dollars on Facebook ads.
Renee: When you go on the phone with them, you didn’t feel like, “This is a sales call.” You got in on the phone to be just like, “I just want to ask questions and figure out what this place is all about.”
Allie: Exactly, yeah.
Renee: That helped you. That’s awesome, and that’s what we still need to be doing.
Allie: Yeah, for sure. As far as having your own business and managing your own business, how has that added to your life in general? ‘Cause we’re all about living the life of your dreams, do you feel like your business is at a good place right now? Do you have big dreams for where you want to bring it in the future? What does that look like?
Renee: Yeah, no that’s great. I’ve been a business owner and a solo-preneur very much. I only ever had two or three people around me that were on support since 1996.
Renee: So there’s a lot of ways to slice it and dice it. Back when I had my office space there was no such thing as wifi, or like external hard drives even didn’t exist, as far as I knew you could probably have a thumb drive but I didn’t even know how to do that. If I wasn’t at my office, I wasn’t able to work. Leaving and coming home was my way to demarcate when I’m working. To have that life that you want to live three is, in essence, time away from work and time when you’re working.
Renee: The challenge with the Internet age and how it’s all coming together is it’s almost like since we can always work, we are always working. It’s very hard to turn everything off. I actually physically turn my phone to blackout mode, except for just phone calls, and most people from the Internet aren’t phoning me on my telephone. Some people do, but if they then it’s an emergency. I’m not an emergency room doctor, and most of them aren’t doing heart surgery, so that doesn’t happen very often.
Renee: But the future of this business for me to want to continue it, I had to have a bigger vision, and that bigger vision I look at what Barbara Stanny has done. Are you familiar with her?
Allie: No, I’m not.
Renee: Barbara Stanny is the daughter of H&R Block, the R. And she has a great story. In the 70s, when women were just getting their jobs, it’s like feminism was new, Donna Karan was new, the wrap dress, and women in business, she was in church meeting rooms, little rented spaces … I get chills thinking about it. Talking to women who ever would listen about how to handle their money. Because you have that money conversation, that’s the first step to well, “What am I gonna do if I want more?” Or, “What am I gonna do if I don’t want to do what my husband wants to do with the money?” And so she talked about that, and she talked about, “Well what do other women do?” And then she started sharing those stories. Sharing the stories and helping women, not only become educated, but then feel the confidence to make their own best decisions, and how that translates to what I feel like doing down the road, is helping women to understand that they can have a business, they don’t have to wait until the babies are older, they don’t have to wait. At whatever stage in life they’re in, they never have to wait.
Renee: ‘Cause I hear so often, “Well, I’ll wait until the kids are out of school. I’ll wait until the kids are in school. I’ll wait until my son graduates. Well, I’ll wait … He’s graduated now so I can’t because now I want to go to his college on the weekend.” Whatever things we put in our way, the answer now is you don’t have to wait, because you literally can run your business, not just from your laptop, but from your phone. And I do, most of the time, run it from my phone. ‘Cause I’m I my car picking up Ben, or I’m at the soccer field, or I don’t know where I am. I’m all over the place.
Renee: I want to give them the understanding that that’s possible, and then I want to give them the confidence to do it. And the confidence comes from seeing small wins initially, and then building on that as much as they want. Some people really do only want to make a couple of thousand bucks. Like me. If I could have made two two thousand bucks a month working five hours a week, that would be all I need. I hit that point and I went, “This was awesome. Let’s do more.” But not everybody feels that way, and if that’s all that they need, how a frickin’ are ya? That’s freedom, is what that translates to for women. The freedom fighters, in a way. I don’t know, I know that’s a common term, but the real thing is we don’t always really have to fight for it, ’cause it’s not like people are against us. We’re our own worst enemy. If we’re not getting the things out of this life that we want, then it’s probably our own fault.
Allie: So continuing to serve on an even bigger level, helping more people?
Renee: Yeah. To understand and then to have the confidence that they can too.
Allie: Yeah. Has that been challenging for you to realize that you can be that solution, and you can help people with that on that large of a scale?
Renee: Challenging isn’t … I feel like it was scary initially, but I’ve had a lot of really big people that I trust and respect encourage me to try. I don’t know where the future will hold, right? I don’t want to plan out the rollercoaster ride, but I am excited to try.
Allie: ‘Cause it’s like that whole thing where you can impact as many people as you want, it doesn’t mean you’re just strapped to your office, or you’re not away from your family, you’re not chained to your desk somewhere. You can whatever level of impact you want, and still run the business that you want at the same time and not be working a billion hours a week, if that’s possible?
Renee: Right. And the think the biggest thing as you’re saying that, maybe people that are listening, or even you might be thinking, “Hey, who else has done that in the past and what did it look like?” Well, maybe it looked like Tony Robbins, and he fills auditoriums, and he does his clapping things and whatever he does. I mean hey, God love him, right?
Renee: But I don’t want to do that, so I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to have that big of … If what I want to do has to look like that, then I don’t want to do it. Well then, what are the other options? Okay, you got Joel Osteen, right? And then he fills churches, and then he’s got his suit on. Tony Robbins his all black and his headset, and Joel he’s got his podium and his business blue suit on, and I’m like, “I don’t want to do that either. If that type of impact requires me to do that, I don’t want to do it.”
Renee: The biggest encouragement that I’ve gotten is, “It’s absolutely up to us what it looks like. If it’s us, with our families and hanging out, and they’re doing their thing at a resort, and we take nap time, two hours at this beautiful resort in Cancun, and we commune in this little room and we talk business, and we mastermind and we strategize, wouldn’t that be cool? That seems fun. Then afterwards I can go and hang out with my hubby, or hang out with the kiddo and go surfing.
Renee: I don’t have to be all business all the time, and when I show up I don’t have to wear a business suit if I don’t want to. I can, I don’t have to wear heels. I can, but you’d probably never catch me in a ball gown and high heels. I don’t know when that would be necessary. I’m trying to think of what situation. Meeting the President? He’d have to kind of like me in jeans and a black T-shirt, that’s pretty much what I wear.
Allie: Yeah, I love that. I think that’s really key, is knowing that your business fits in around your life, not the other way around. Starting a business doesn’t mean it has to consume every part of you, and that’s really the biggest point of how I feel, and what I’m trying to help people understand too, is that you design what it looks like, and you decide how to fill in the gaps of, “Okay, this is the income I want, and this is how much I want to work,” and then backpedal from there and figure it out. Reverse engineer, if you will.
Renee: Exactly, reverse engineer. And that’s why I love what you’re doing now so much. I love the podcast so much, and your mission here, ’cause I think it really falls in line with what so many amazing, smart people are trying to do. And the more we all share our voices together, it’s like The Lorax, right? “We are here, we are here,” do you remember that movie? It’s The Lorax, the one where they’re on the flower and the elephant carries around-
Renee: … right? Like to [crosstalk 00:41:05]-
Allie: Yeah, yeah.
Renee: It’s this tiny world and they can’t believe that there’s this other bigger world out there. But the elephant can’t believe that there’s this tiny little world on top of this little flower that he found in the field. And so the little people, and maybe that’s how I feel like sometimes, is the little person being, “We are here, we are here.”
Allie: Right. And we can-
Renee: “Don’t kill us.”
Allie: Yeah, absolutely.
Renee: “Don’t drop the flower.” You’re really helping us all share our voices by having guests on, and sharing this to the world with iTunes, and podcasting, and I thank you for that.
Allie: Yeah, I’m super-excited about it and I know people are really going to relate to your story, and learn a lot how to sell their services too, and be able to make that bigger impact because of the skills that you’re teaching. I think that’s really important.
Renee: Thanks, I’m excited. We just got invited … I was we, me, myself and Irene, got invited … and I … to a Tedx Talk this fall-
Renee: … and it’s all about social entrepreneurialism. And this one school, it’s in Guatemala so it’s like that [inaudible 00:42:07], how do you sell your business if it’s buy one, give one, right? How do you sell in type of that business? And there’s a school, a K through eight school, so the eight graders are actually organizing a lot of the Ted Talks, specifically getting sponsors to support the event. I got to do a class with them on how to sell, it was so fun. I don’t think I’ve actually grown up since I was 14-
Renee: … these are all eighth graders, 14-year-olds, and they were like, “That was such a good idea, oh my God I didn’t think of that,” and so just opening up to all the possibilities is what I want to encourage all your listeners to do, is you never know what one thing will lead to, so take the leap.
Allie: Yeah, I love that. Well, thank you so much for being here with us today, I would love if you could share a little more information about where we can find you, where people can get in communication with you and join your group.
Renee: Thank you, yes. The first and best place is my website. That will always be my name, which is Renee, R-E-N-E-E H-R-I-B-A-R dot com. Reneehribar.com, go there and get all kinds of free sales training, links to the group, links to where I hang out on social media, and I do hang out.
Allie: Yes, you do.
Renee: I’m a social bird.
Allie: Yes, well thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day and we’ll talk to you later.
Renee: Thank you so much Allie.
Allie: So there you have it. Isn’t Renee amazing? I feel like she has so much share and I know that I could just talk with her for hours, and just listen to her, and all of her life experiences, and all of the skills that she has around sales. I know since finding her my sales approach has really changed, and I really hope that you seek out her information and all of her great content that she puts out, because she can really change the way you practice sales, and even the way you think about sales, and help you embrace it in a positive manner instead of a lot of the negative connotations we have about sales.I have brought her techniques into my business, and I sincerely hope that you will find a way to do the same.
Allie: Thanks for listening to the Prosperity Lab podcast. Check out the show notes for this episode, and all past episodes, at prosperitylab.com. If you enjoyed this show, please share it with your besties, leave us a review, and subscribe to make sure you stay in the loop for any updates.
Allie: Keep believing in yourself, chasing your dreams, and designing your version of prosperity. I’ll talk to you again soon.