Cole started out by being one of the top closers in the high ticket industry- having sold over $10million in online coaching, consulting, and agency deals within a few years of his career. He then scaled his own consulting company to over 8 figures in less than 1.5 years. Now, he builds, trains, and consults the sales teams of hundreds of 7 and 8 figure companies online through his company Closers.io, having worked with teams like Tony Robbins, Frank Kern, Aleric heck, and others.
Website is closers.io
Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp now let's get started.
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we are here with Cole Gordon, which funny story, I've actually bought his stuff before in the past he end up getting referred over to me super awesome. Like, well, of course, I've got to interview him, I've used this stuff. So be interviewing him is just a referral in of itself so go buy his craft, right? That's what I'm gonna say right here. closers.io. make sure you guys check it out but Cole, first off, say what's up to everybody and we'll hop in man,
Cole: what's up, man, happy to be here and happy to reconnect with you.
Josh: Yeah, it's awesome to get this stuff going. So, guys, just to give you a little bit of I don't like reading people's bio but it's been fun to watch Cole's journey as he's been scaling this company, because he obviously knows how to do sales and knows how to do it well, you scaled over $10 million in the coaching consulting space, basically helping train people on how to do sales and then placing them with salespeople and Cole in our pre conversation. We're like, well, what can be the best use of our time here? You know, we've got 20 to 30 minutes, we got to keep it short, sweet and you mentioned doing discussing like how you actually interview sales guys and that is something that is very interesting to me because when we first started on our sales journey, we were using another company I interviewed like 20 some odd guys and I came out the other end going well, those all sucked it out didn't apply or single one so I'm kind of curious, your thought process and how you guys go about landing those.
Cole: right? So we're gonna skip where to find them. But then once you find them, how do you sort from the ones that are good versus the ones that can't close the barn door? Well, you're looking for three qualities, okay, in a sales rep. Right? So superstar sales reps. So number one, you're looking for specialized knowledge. So navall Robin Khan, who's a billionaire, he founded AngelList. So specialized knowledge is the knowledge that only can come from doing, you can't get it from a textbook, you can't read it from a book, it can actually only come from the experience of doing therefore that's why it's called specialized. So a fancy that's a fancy way of saying they have to have like experience or their track record. Okay, so that's quality. Number one, quality. Number two is industry acumen so every single industry speaks a different language, right? So the language you might speak in the car sales industry is different from the solar industry, which is different from insurance, which is different from real estate, which is different from high ticket coaching, right? You wouldn't try to sell a $5 million luxury high end real estate home with the same language, you would sell insurance, that doesn't mean like there's fundamentals and sales that go across all industries, you know what I mean but what it does mean is that there's nuances, there's an acumen and kind of a language so the second quality we look for is how well can the rep actually speak the language of that industry, okay, so for instance, you might take the top performer in a car sales, use car sales, like he's like, amazing, he's a stud can sell anything to anybody when it comes to use car sales but if you take him and now he's selling weight loss to women over 40, who have this very specific hormone issue with this nutritional therapy, coaching that helps them mitigate that he's probably not gonna do very good, right because he can't really speak the language of the industry of that market and the pains are experiencing, right so think about industry acumen is like, does the prospect perceive them to be inside of the tribe or outside of the tribe based on how they're speaking about the problem and the language they're using? Like, do they get it like, do they get the industry, the third thing is buy in so the third thing is buy in to the mission, vision and values, the product and the market. Okay, so in terms of buy into the product in the market, they have to have conviction and buy in into the product, because they're selling the product, they have to have conviction in buying into the market and resonate with the market, because they're selling the market, that's gonna be who they're talking to all day that's very kind of similar to industry acumen and then vision, mission and values. Think about it, like you're, you know, getting on one of those 1700 century boats, and you're sailing across like the Atlantic Ocean, the vision is the challenging destination, you're all headed towards on the boat, the mission is why you're headed to that destination and then the values is how you're going to interact with each other on the journey to that destination, okay, the vision is where mission is why and the values is how we're going to interact, it's to minimal tolerable acceptable behavior, okay so they have to be bought or like if they're gonna come on to our vote, and we're gonna go sailing across that, you know, to that challenging destination, they have to be bought in on the mission, vision and values, right, I used to think it was kind of like some BSC stuff, it's actually really, really important. You can get away with it when you're smaller, but as you get bigger, you get, you know, a couple, you know, 100 employees, a couple 100 employees definitely really, really matters because you need everybody to keep it the boat example, rowing in the same direction okay, so
Josh: I love it.
Cole: That being said, how do we actually elicit those things, like how do we find those things in the interview process? Well, here's what we do to interview sales reps, this is what I do internally for my company, but also what we do on behalf of our clients when we do recruit for him as number one, they fill out an application or they see an ad, right? After I see an ad, that could be a variety of different sources, they fill out an application, after they fill out an application will move them to a group interview, the group interview is very, very important, because we can interview multiple at one time but the reason why that is important, is because the human brain can only understand the differences, like we conceptualize a lot of things through comparison, right? You only know what Black is, if you know what white is, you only know what light is, if you know what Dark is, you only know what good is if you know what bad is right. So the human brain has to when we can compare, it's easier for us to understand when you can get somebody on a zoom call, and you have 10 sales reps on gallery view on Zoom, and you could see him on how they're interacting, then it's very, very easy to narrow in boom, those are the three I want. Does that make sense? So that is very, very key, one of our favorite questions to ask on that group interview at the very, very end, is you can't say yourself, but if you were to pick somebody else to hire for this role on this interview, who would you pick? Right and they always pick the best one, it's a really, really good one you can use for group interviews. So we'll do a group interview, then we move to a screening interviews, 30 minutes, that's where we really get the meat, you know, the group interviews is kind of a, that's really the screening interview, right, the screening interview is what we call it, but essentially, that is kind of more of the deep dive formal interview, then what we'll do after that is if it's internally for our company, we'll move it to like a mock call to where we can see how they do their and then we'll also do a final interview they do with another person in the company, like another executive just to kind of check out how to do and then we do a scorecard interview, which is like we kind of go through their scorecard and create clear agreements of what their KPIs are going to be. So what does that screening interview process look like? Okay, I want to break it down, there's an introduction, then we go over work history and then after that, we do what's called CBI questions, we'll talk about what that is in a second, then we go through inputs, then we go through attitude and then we go through career fit. Okay, so introduction, very, very simple, like what brought you onto the call, what interested you about this position, we're just kind of seeing, like, you know, why are we here, in a sense, and just kind of getting our footing, work history, what you want to do is you want to outline the last three positions they've done, and you want to understand what they did in that position. What did they accomplish, what were their KPIs? How did their performance measure up to their KPIs and you want to understand those metrics and sales do to one understand, okay, like, how many, you know, what was your quota, how many leads were you getting? How many sales were you doing, you know, all that stuff, right very, very simple most people don't struggle with that. One of the key things here, and this is also pretty basic and interviewing is, we want to look at why they left a position to go to the next position so we want to go, we want to look for this upward spiral of momentum, you know, at least a lateral move, we don't want to look for any downward moves but upward spiral, like upward mobility and their trajectory is kind of what we want to look for, now a great question you can ask, as if you were in real estate and now you left that and you're getting into high ticket, you might say, hey, you know, so and how long are we doing real estate for it? Oh, I was doing it for three years. Okay, cool. So you're doing it for for three years and I mean, you were fairly successful. I guess, like, you know, what's the reason you wanted to transition all the sudden the high ticket, though? Like, why, you know, what's the biggest reason you wanted to transition out of that and get into something like this, they say whatever the reason is, and then after that, you say, you know, I guess that makes sense, is there any other reason you wanted to transition out of that now, though, that's called the any other reason question and when you do that people have two reasons, they have the reason that sounds good and the real reason, right? So a lot of people it's like, they'll say something that sounds good but when you kind of like ask that any other reason question, they'll tell you the real wait reason, they'll be like, I just hated my boss, you know. So that's the work history section, the next section is CBI questions. So CBI is questions that are based on, essentially their competency based behavioral interview questions. They're questions that you ask to elicit a competency that the candidate has based on something they've already done, okay. So the contrary to these is what's called situational based questions, that is like, hey, so you know, if we hired you as our marketing director, how would you attack this position in the next 90 days, the issue with that question is, well, it's not necessarily a bad question. Like, I don't think there's a you shouldn't use those in the interview process but the issue with that is that you're assuming what they're saying they're going to do, they can actually do and that's actually what they will do, let alone what they've done in the past. Right. CBI really assesses what they've done in the past. You know, Charlie Munger says if he's assessing a CEO or a manager for his companies, what he wants to look at is not what they're projecting but what they've actually already done, right? You know, previous performance or track records is the biggest indicator of future performance so competency based interview questions, they all start with, tell me a specific time when, right so you think about the competency you're asking for and then you ask questions, I'll give you an example so tell me about two specific instances in which you, you won a deal in sales due to an extreme proactive sales effort, walk me through that deal and what happened? Okay, see all when I ask that you can't fake the answer to that question, you have to tell me an experience that demonstrates the competence, does that make sense? So I'll ask a series of those. If you think about it, you think of all the competencies you want the candidates to have, and then you bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, you ask a question on all those. The next section is inputs, okay? Your inputs dictate your outputs, if you want a great body, you put in great food, and you die and exercise and you would get a better body, right, if you want to think well and create well, and and you know, really have a very high quality of thinking or high quality of output in terms of content or, you know, performance or whatever it is, you need to put in the right information, okay. So your input stick to your outputs, I want to see what are what are their favorite sales books, what sales mentors or coaches have, they have, what sales programs have, they had, have they invested in themselves, who's influenced their sales, philosophy the most, all of those things, right and that is, I cannot stress how big that is, that's probably the easiest and like, simplest indicator, and here's the thing is that everybody was great stood on the shoulders of giants, you know, a lot of people think Einstein was a genius, but he was heavily influenced by Newton and Newton was heavily influenced by Galileo. If you look at, you know, I do, Brazilian jujitsu and all the best black belts in the world were taught by a black belt that came before them, and then when they came before them, and then when they came before them, you know, and if you kind of like, look at it, like a family tree, it all leads up to like, very, very few people at the top, who have a lot of descendants so inputs are great and then the last two is attitude, and career fit, those ones are pretty basic attitude is just assessing internal versus external locus of control so what we want to do there is you want to ask a few questions to see if they believe in self agency, or if they're a victim, and then career fit is the same way, when you're selling somebody over the phones, you want to position your offer, as the bridge between their current desired situation well, with career fit, we want to make sure that position is essentially the bridge between the candidates current and desired situation so we ask them questions to elicit that I don't know if we have time, we would go into those people don't want but that is kind of
Josh: I love to dive into
Cole: Yes, interview process and you can use that to hire an executive for your company, a sales rep, etc. or closer, you can use that to hire an operations person, a media buyer, I mean, anything and everything that you could that I hire for that I interview for, I always use that process.
Josh: Yeah. Well, first off, thank you for sharing that because I think that gives people some solid actionable advice they can take out, which is obviously our main goal here is giving them real steps to go implement so I appreciate sharing that Cole, if we had all day, I would say let's dive into those questions and get get deep into them but I am kind of curious for you just kind of changing the conversational direction a little bit but what's got you excited right now? Like, what's next for you guys and what you're doing with closers.io?
Cole: Well, I mean, we've been kind of stuck in about two and a half million with cash for, you know, over a half year now and so yeah, I mean, the big thing that's exciting for us is finding new ways to break through that plateau and a lot of that is on the back of trying to innovate and create new things with marketing so, you know, we're excited to pursue that and, you know, I don't know if it's going to be launching new products or creating new front end offers or what it's going to be, but, you know, that's what I spend most of my time thinking about.
Josh: That's awesome. I'm curious with you, like, what's kind of your motivation when it comes to that because I know for myself, we hit a certain income level, or I was like, I don't need to make any more money, you know, you pass multiple, seven figures, it just kind of starts to be like, more money, you know and my question is, is like what's motivating you to get out there, I mean, you guys have a pretty stellar community and I'm, I'm sure that's probably a motivational factor for you guys but
Cole: well, there's a couple things you know, one, I will say I am still pretty money motivated and not in a, you know, a super negative way or anything, but I won't say like, I still do have like a degree of like, even though realistically, like I probably financially free, I don't feel that way right. So maybe that's something I need to work on but I do feel like I have a number in mind that when I get there, I will feel pretty damn financially free so there's that but beyond that, and especially with the company Uh, you know, I mean, for me personally, I, I just want to, you know, try to reach my potential and do new things and challenging myself and I enjoy working. Right so all those things and then, and then beyond that, you know, I also really do feel like the services that we provide and the training we offer, both on the business side and on the sales side, is really the best out there. Like, I really do feel like it is on both sides, the best training that's available and I feel like I need to be putting it out there in some ways, because essentially, it's just, it's, you know, I feel like it needs to set the bar in terms of what the standard in the industry so I would say those are the main reasons.
Josh: Well, and honestly, like, I know you're not digging for this, but but I can honestly say that you guys have done that a lot because we've hired a lot of sales programs, we've heard a lot of sales guys, I've never had better prepared people come from anywhere about your program but then secondly, they're the ones who have lasted the longest because they're they're so bought into our mission, which has been really cool, I'll happily record you guys a testimonial if you want but but what I can tell you guys anybody listening to this show is that it up kind of touched on it. You know, we were talking about how to interview sales people, but their company is rock solid if you guys are looking for sales people. I mean, you guys helped us land, the guy who's now become our sales leader, sales trainer, guys, rock solid but when it comes to mission, that next step, I think you guys have A set the bar, and I'm glad that you're continuing to pursue that. Because I think a lot of people think you can set the bar and walk away but you know, look at Elon Musk, right? Like he's kind of the ideal for everybody pointing as far as like the guy who sets the bar high and that guy constantly raises it, I mean, you can catch him if you wanted to. Right. I think you guys are doing that right now.
Cole: Dude, I appreciate that. So appreciate it a lot, man.
Josh: No problem. So I do want to ask you one final question before we wrap up the interview man so I kind of want to know that that pivotal point for you, where you're like, you realize that sales wasn't just a thing for you, like a career for you is like a calling for you because you've obviously done well yourself with it but when did you figure that out for yourself?
Cole: Yeah, just for sales. So, you know, I got into sales, because my first business didn't work out and I always thought it was going to be something I did to make money and build a skill until I wanted to start my next business and so you know, because of that I was working on sales, and I kind of just was dabbling and, you know, I was doing a little ecommerce thing on the side and selling to make money and, you know, whatever and then I kind of got to the point where it was interesting, you know, we had the sales manager, and this person got let go, we kind of had this period of time where we had no managers and during that time, I, I got access to this program from Kevin nations and it was about high ticket selling, you know, it was a, I mean, now, this would be referred to as a really old school programs called rapid selling and, you know, I went through it, and applied some stuff, you know, I, I definitely didn't use all of it. But I remember as I was going through it, and I was applying things, it was working and then I was going through another course I kind of just had this evolution of like, man, like, I'm getting really good at this and I started to think like, what would happen if I just went all in on just this, you know, because I knew I could max this out further, I was making like, 10 came at the time. I knew I could make 30 before Yeah, you know, I didn't know. Now I've seen frickin closers, make 100 but I knew I could make at least 30 to 40 I don't even know 100 was possible at that time. And so I kind of just was like, Man, I'm gonna go tunnel vision and just really committed this and then when I when I left that company, and then I went to some other companies eventually went to tropical puddles, like then it was just such a high intensity environment and opportunity to where I mean, I had to be full time, like, there was no like, Oh, you're gonna do this little ecommerce thing on the side so that was really what also helped me burn the bridges focus on getting the best as I could get and, you know, I did I really stuck with the sales thing until I just felt like I wasn't growing. Like that was the biggest thing.
Josh: Yeah. See, that's awesome. You know, it's funny, because I asked that question a lot. I like to know it. It's the origin story, right and it's so interesting, because that's the same thing that happened to me where I was, I never thought podcasting would be my thing. You know, I'd listen to podcast live fireside to start one and then ours did well, and people were like, How the heck are you doing that and like, I didn't realize I was doing that well, to be honest with you and yeah, we just backtracked it and, and, and copy. It's the same thing as music. You're like, Well, why don't I just tunnel vision and become the best because obviously, it's a skill I've developed, you know, and I think that's so cool that your story mirrors that of every other successful person we interview so thank you for sharing that but let me ask you one final questions to wrap up the interview. So if you could give our people one actionable step to go apply today, so they can become more successful in sales, would that be?
Cole: Yeah. So I mean, you can go back and listen to the part, maybe rewind, listen to the part where I talked about the interview process but very, very two key things. Number one, group interviews work really well so do that and they're not complicated, just get them on there, interview him and just like, you'll see what I mean, it's like, you just need to ask them a few basic questions, and you'll start to see who the real the real talent is. Number two, and you could do this on the group interviews, or you could do a one on one interviews, ask about their inputs. That's a big big indicator input to the output so use those two things and of course, you know, if you want to learn more about what we do closers.io is our website.
Outro: I hope that you enjoyed this episode of The lucky Titan podcast. If you've learned anything from this or any other episode, make sure you rate it and share it with another entrepreneur could help. Thanks again and I'll catch you on the flip side