The Vouris Podcast

The Startup Growth Podcast E16:

Episode 16: Intentional Culture Building with Larry Long Jr, Author of JOLT
podcast badge- Vouris Images
play button- Vouris Images
The Startup Growth Podcast E16

Episode 16: Intentional Culture Building with Larry Long Jr, Author of JOLT

October 4, 2022

Dan McDermott

Kyle Vamvouris

Larry Long

Podcast Transcript

In this episode, Larry Long Jr, Founder and CEO of Larry Long LLC; an organization focusing on training, coaching, and sales motivation and inspiration.

We cover topics like:

➡️ Being intentional
➡️ Self motivation, and
➡️ Where to find inspiration and drive

Subscribe to the podcast:

Spotify -
Apple -


[00:00:00] Kyle Vamvouris: Larry, how you doing? 

[00:00:09] Larry Long: I'm doing great. So great to see ya. Happy to be here. Startup Growth Podcast. I appreciate it. Thank you Dan. Thank you Kyle. 

[00:00:17] Kyle Vamvouris: Hey we're very excited to have you on. You're one of my favorite people to follow on LinkedIn and I'm excited to chat with you a little bit about mindset and we have a handful of other questions to talk to you about. So thanks for joining us. 

[00:00:28] Larry Long: Oh, I appreciate it. Can you hear me? I just wanna make sure my microphone is working. I might have to call in backups just in case, but just wanna make sure that you can hear me now.

[00:00:39] Kyle Vamvouris: Larry. I want, Okay, I want to speak honestly with you here. How many microphones do you actually have?

[00:00:44] Larry Long: Oh man. Too many to count. Come on, Cletus. You know how we do there. I speak for a living. 

[00:00:50] Kyle Vamvouris: You do. 

[00:00:50] Larry Long: So I can't have two, I can't have enough mics around . 

[00:00:53] Kyle Vamvouris: That's right. That's right. Larry, I think you're known for your positive energy, which is what? First that, got you on my [00:01:00] radar. Cause I love being around people who just bring positivity to everything that they do. But why don't you share with folks who might not be familiar with your background. Tell us a little bit about your background, what you do for a living, and then we'll dive into some questions in one way. 

[00:01:12] Larry Long: Oh man. I appreciate it. You're making a brother blush. Don't do that. But Larry Long JR. I'm the CEO and that's not the traditional CEO I'm the Chief Energy Officer of L J R Enterprises. We are getting after it, really serving the sales, the software sales community, providing them with motivation, with mindset, helping them take their game to that next level. So essentially I have the opportunity to work with software sales teams, helping them elevate to be the superstars that they've got inside of them. I do that via speaking. I do coaching, I do training, I do consulting, workshops, and I just recently published a book called JOLT. Getting people Zed into [00:02:00] intentionality so that they can rediscover and believe in their inner greatness.

[00:02:05] Kyle Vamvouris: I love that. 

[00:02:06] Dan McDermott: Can you dive into a little bit of the, about the the word intentionality? 

[00:02:10] Larry Long: Yeah It's one of those things. When you woke up this morning, I hope that you were intentional with what you were hoping to accomplish for today. I know that you had me on the docket, but essentially what else did you plan to do? What else did you intend to get done? And from my work with sales reps, sales leaders, sometimes we lose that focus. Sometimes we lose that vision of what our mission is. Yeah. Ring ding, dinning ding. Yeah. What's your mission? What's your goal? What's your plan? Why are you waking up? What are you motivated to get done today? Without that intentionality, you're just blowing in the wind. You're going wherever you're saying yes to, to things that you shouldn't be saying yes to. And [00:03:00] if you think about it, time is money. That's something that we can't get back. So I encourage folks to be very intentional, to plan out, to map out what are you hoping to accomplish today that really sets you up for your future. What you're gonna do in 2022 dictates who you gonna be in 2023. I don't know if y'all know this, but I can rhyme a little bit.

[00:03:26] Kyle Vamvouris: I love that. I wanna talk a bit about that planning, that having a plan. Cause I'm a big believer in that too. You should start every day knowing what you want to accomplish. And is this gonna be a step closer to what the future version of myself? So do you have a recommended, Hey, you should plan out what you want your future to look like, at least directionally, and then you break it down into daily actions you have to take, or how do you think about that on an individual level?

[00:03:52] Larry Long: Yeah, so you've gotta find what works best for you. For me, every day I have my top three. So I've got a [00:04:00] laundry list of things that I can do, but I break it down to the top three. Essentially, this will be a good day if I can knock out number one, number two, and number three. Everything else is just gravy. Everything else is just icing on the cake, but that doesn't work for everybody. I've got my three year vision. I've got my one year. I've got my, through the end of this year vision of where I'm hoping to go, and essentially every day I'm trying to follow that compass. It's if I wanted to sail from New York, To Africa and I didn't have a compass. Oh. Houston, we have a problem. I'm gonna end up in the North Pole chilling with Santa Claus, right? So I encourage people to find what works best for them. Some people like smart goals. I'm gonna give you a hot take, Kyle and Dan. I think smart goals are dumb and here goes why? I like specific. I like the measurable. Yeah, It's gotta be measurable. I like the time bound. But the attainable, the realistic, Oh no. [00:05:00] Yeah, I don't like attainable. Who am I to say what's attainable? I don't like realistic. 

[00:05:04] Dan McDermott: That's a great point. 

[00:05:04] Larry Long: Essentially, if that was the case, this book would've never come out. It wasn't attainable. It wasn't realistic for Larry Long Jr. to publish a book. I can barely read, I'm just kidding there. But essentially no. None of my English teachers would've would've said, Larry Long JR's gonna be a published author. They would say, Where's Ashton Kucher? Am I getting punked? So I encourage people to shoot for the moon. If you miss, you're still amongst the stars. Come on now! 

[00:05:32] Kyle Vamvouris: Love it. 

[00:05:33] Dan McDermott: I've never heard somebody call that out, actually. That's a really, that's a really interesting, really positive call out. I've And that i's something I actually nodding my head along with immediately. I think you're totally right there. Maybe could you give us a good place to, if somebody wanted to get started with with essentially goal setting, I think where would they start? Where were, what would you suggest them do maybe today to get started? 

[00:05:51] Larry Long: Yeah. Right now, close your eyes and tell me this. December 31st, 2022, [00:06:00] if you were to make wave the magic wand, what does your life look like? No, there's no there's no constraints. What does your life look like? What are you doing? Who are you doing it with? What is that vision? And let's go ahead and document that vision. If you document like me I'm a voracious note taker. Go ahead and write it down. If you need a vision board, go ahead and put it on your vision board. If you're a whiteboarder like me, go ahead and put that thing on the whiteboard, but document it somehow some way if you need to put it on your iPad, go ahead and put it on your iPad. Now, after you've documented what that vision is, let's go ahead and think, let's do a work back plan, which we're all in sales. We should know what a work back plan. What are the things that I need to do leading up to it? What do I need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next quarter, in order to get closer to what that vision is? [00:07:00] And maybe that vision seems like it's impossible. That's a good thing. I applaud you. Let's make it even more impossible because the word itself impossible. I'm a wordsmith. Impossible is spelled with. I AM. Help me out now. I am what? 

[00:07:18] Kyle Vamvouris: POSSIBLE 

[00:07:21] Larry Long: That's what I'm talking about. 

[00:07:22] Kyle Vamvouris: Get the music pumping

[00:07:28] Kyle Vamvouris: That's amazing, Yeah. That's amazing. So I'm a big fan of setting audacious goals. I read when I was young, I read the 10 X rule and I know grant card and people have, mixed opinions about, But that's a great book. . That's a great book. And I think there's a lot you can learn about setting objectives. Cause at the end of the day, like we don't know our full capacity. And one of the fears I have is not living up to my potential, but I also live knowing that I'm never gonna hit my potential. Cuz as I get there, it's gonna expand. It's going to expand, and I personally like that cuz life is always a journey and we have to work to getting as close as we [00:08:00] can to the best version of ourselves. I really think that's the purpose of it. How can we help other people? How can we build community and how can we become the best version of ourselves and surround ourselves with people who are like that, likeminded. 

[00:08:11] Larry Long: That's, No, I'd love to hear it. Love to hear it. It's a constantly evolving adventure. And if you're with me, it's gonna be a misadventure, but we're gonna have fun and we're gonna learn, and we're gonna share those learnings every step of the way. 

[00:08:26] Kyle Vamvouris: Love it. 

[00:08:27] Dan McDermott: I thought it'd be cool if you shared the story with Larry about how to not change the goals at the bottom of the mountain.

[00:08:32] Kyle Vamvouris: Oh, that's cool. Yeah. Larry, I'd like, let's get your take on this. So I have a pretty cool story that I tell pretty often. So when we started Vouris a little over two years ago now, after about six months, it was the beginning of a new year. This was 2020 I believe. And it was Jan or right before 2020, so it was in December, we decided to go on a trip to Pinnacle's National Park in California. And it's a beautiful national park. Anytime you get to go to a national park, it's always a good experience. But this [00:09:00] is where I do goal setting. I always go somewhere outside of my environment cuz you get comfortable where you're at. So I, and also, I have another rule where I like the journey to wherever I'm going to goal set to be a little bit difficult. So a hike, climbing, climbing a mountain or something. Like I, I want it to be a little bit challenging. So then you get there, you've overcome a little bit of a challenge. Nothing too crazy. Whoa, geez. Just like that, yeah. 

[00:09:28] Larry Long: Hey, you're safe. I gotta take this for the bear cuz they like dark meats, right?

[00:09:32] Kyle Vamvouris: I heard they like white meat too, by the way. I've heard. I bet you can outrun me though, so you'll be okay. So we go to Pinnacles National Park and we go to the the top of pinnacles and it's beautiful. There's this incredible view. There's, birds and wildlife. It's very quiet up there. And we're sitting down and we're writing our goals and we're talking about what revenue we want to accomplish in by the end of 2020. And the revenue goal that we had set on top of the mountain, this was our first full year in [00:10:00] business. We had started the company in July, so we hadn't been around very long. We had done a total of 30 K in revenue in our first five months or four months or whatever. So we're still a small organization and we set this objective of 600 K in revenue, which felt bananas at the time. We're like, how are we, how is it possible? We're gonna hit that. But we're all excited cause we're on top of the mountain. And you know the, you're up in altitude, a little less oxygen in there. You start thinking a little bit crazy, right? You have these wild goals as we start climbing down the mountain. We start changing the goal a bit. Hey, that was a little crazy. 600 K, like why not 500 K? And we drop it down. And Larry, at the bottom of the mountain, our goal for the entire year revenue was like 150 K. We dropped it all the way down and you wanna know something incredible. In the year 2020, we did 750 K roughly in revenue. So we exceeded the top of the mountain goal, and one of [00:11:00] our values here is you never change the goal at the bottom of the mountain.

[00:11:04] Larry Long: Congratulations. That's what I'm talking about, Willis. There the human nature, the human spirit is absolutely amazing. Yeah. And that is a perfect example of when you put your mind to something and you say, I am committed to how anything is possible. I think Kevin Garett with the the Celtics when they won the NBA championship. He said it best. Anything is possible! But it's so true. Yeah, it's so true. So I work with a coach. I gotta give a shout out to coach Kristin Frayed and similar, I don't climb mountains, but I like to get comfortable outside of my comfort zone being uncomfortable. I like that analogy. I like you putting yourself in that place. And along those lines, we set some pretty crazy, unbelievable, impossible goals. And what Kristin shared with me is, Larry, you're gonna find a way, you're going to [00:12:00] FIT-FO, figure it the f out. You can sub in whatever that F is, figure it to freak out. But it's amazing how when you set a goal you're focused on. You're intentional, you're disciplined. You will find a way to, you might miss it, but that's okay. You're gonna do a lot more than what you had initially expected. So I love to hear that. That's inspiring me. Woo. 

[00:12:25] Kyle Vamvouris: It's a good story and it's one of the things that I encounter pretty often. You, you probably do even more than me cuz you speak on this topic fairly regularly is, that's not a shared belief among people that they can just accomplish whatever they put their mind to. Like they had heard that before in the past, or they're like, Oh yeah, set your mind to, are you gonna accomplish anything? But they don't truly believe it and they they constantly, or at least I get a lot of feedback from folks of, Hey, it needs to be realistic. We have to be careful about the goals that we set. How do you get somebody to reverse that, in my opinion, limiting belief and give themselves back the power to [00:13:00] be able to these audacious goals and actually be able to achieve. 

[00:13:04] Larry Long: Yeah, I wish I could say it was easy, but it's not. Yeah, there's a saying and I'm gonna need your help. If it ain't broke, how does the saying go? Don't fix it. It must, Steve Harvey, Family Feud voice survey says, Nah we're gonna flip it. We're gonna flip that fan if it ain't broke, break it. Shake it. Flip it upside down, that traditional thinking of, Oh, I wanna play it safe. Oh, I can't do 600 k. Shoot. You're right, you can blow out 600 K, you can do a mill. We're gonna go after a Millie. So essentially it's that intentionality, right? It's the having, it's having the open mindset to say, I'm gonna give it a go and I'm going. It starts right here. It starts within your heart. The heart is connected to your mind, right? Your mind is connected to the words that you say, and the words you say dictate the actions that you take. From my experience, [00:14:00] sometimes folks get themselves stuck and I'm here. There's a reason why I wrote JOLT was to unstuck people. I wanna get you unstuck so that you can then, Hop on that path to your fullest potential. You don't even know what your fullest potential is until you give it a try. And I gotta give it to my homegirl Melissa Murray Bailey. She's the CRO over at Hootsuite. Ooh, yeah. They're the owls. She said, Gio, give it a try. So anyone listening, I'm encouraging you. Yes you to give it a try. Set some. Set some goals. Just some big, very audacious goals that are outta this world. And then commit. Commit, focus, Be intentional, and go get it. You can't do it by yourself. I think they say, If you want to go fast, go alone. Go solo. Make sure that you have that bat with you in case you run across any bears. But if you wanna go far, You better go together. So you better find a team. You better connect with Kyle, you better [00:15:00] connect with Dan. You better connect with me so that we can help you along the way. Hercules! 

[00:15:07] Dan McDermott: So I, I think that one of the, this is a great point actually, just specifically around sales. I think this thing about people playing it safe around their goals and putting things down and wanting to build these little wins and streaks, I understand that, but I think it comes from a place of fear. Where people just are not naturally resilient these days, I don't think. And in our careers, this is something that as entrepreneurs, as salespeople, anybody in that sort of space, you better be really comfortable being resilient, handling rejection, missing stuff. Yeah. What happens if you set a goal when you miss it? Can you, Is that gonna end your your world? So I think we're in the perfect career where you have to build that skill up and one of the best places to start is with your goals. 

[00:15:44] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah. And that's for the most part too. Like I get, there's some people who just want to reach a certain point in their life, be comfortable, not push themselves out of their comfort zone, not for me. But I don't look down on people who just want homeostasis in their life, right? And are not really worried about [00:16:00] improving and getting better. And I really try not to, and I used to when I was younger, but everybody has a different journey that they're on. But if you're not happy with where you are, if you're happy, hey, maybe that's what we're all striving for. Maybe you figured it out. But if you're not happy with where you are. And you're giving pushback about setting maybe more aggressive goals or pushing yourself to be better tomorrow than you are today, and you're gonna be pushed back to that. That might be the mentality that's contributing to your lack of happiness in your current situation 

[00:16:26] Larry Long: That's right. And there's this thing called fud. It's not Elmer fud, but it's fear, uncertainty, and doubt that comes with trying something new. It comes with pushing yourself past where you ever would've believed that you could have been. It's so amazing, and like you said, no judgment zone, do you boo. But if you know inside, deep inside your heart, if you know deep inside your head that there's so much more within you that your potential hasn't even been tapped, [00:17:00] I encourage you. Work with someone. Find a mentor. Find a mini mentor. Find a coach that can help lead you, can help guide you, can help encourage you, challenge you, hold you accountable to get to levels that you never would've imagined. It's amazing, and I could only speak. From my perspective, I never in my wildest dreams would've imagined that I'd be rocking the mic full time as my job. I get to help people by talking, by coaching, by training, by writing. Come on, Cletus, that's the American dream for me. I never would've, Who would've thk it? I never would've thk it. True. How? How am I even an author using words like thk? That's not even a word. 

[00:17:48] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah. Yeah. Larry, I gotta ask, have you always been so energetic?

[00:17:55] Larry Long: I was born this way. You can ask my, You can ask my mom. I love that she tells stories. So I used [00:18:00] to live in Grand Island, Nebraska. Wow. I don't know if much about Grand Island. There ain't my pop much popping out there except for some tornadoes. So we lived in an apartment complex. There were like seven tornadoes that came through. We had to go down in the basement. I think I was six or seven. My mom said everyone's scared for their life. I'm running around, jumping on people happy as can. Just oblivious to the terror that was outside. But yeah, I was born this way. Just a happy child. Happy go lucky. Life is good. My father grew up in the projects of Baltimore City and he's he was more of a glass. 100% full type of guy. It's not whether it's half empty or half full. That thing is a hundred percent full with his mindset, his perspective. My mom is the gregarious. She's the outgoing one. I think I got the best of both worlds. It's both a blessing and a curse. But yes, that's something that we can all control, right? Does that mean that bad things don't happen to me? Head to the no [00:19:00] na, there's always stuff that's gonna happen. I'm intentional with deciding where I focus my time, my energy, and my attention, and I choose to highlight the spotlight. The amazing things that are going on around all of us right now. If you go outside, I guarantee it could even be a rainy day. It's gonna be beautiful. The rain is gonna bring some beauty and help the flowers grow. If you walk around your neighborhood, hopefully you're in a safe environment. Life is so good. Just the fresh air. You look to your left and to your right, you're gonna see people that hopefully are encouraging, hopefully are inspiring, but if we choose to focus on the negative, right? All you gotta do is turn on the news. They should call the news bad news cuz that's all they talk about.

[00:19:50] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah. Yeah, it's true. And I wanna jump into something here. Cause I feel like at least nowadays, and this is more recent, maybe over the past five years, [00:20:00] I feel like there's a lot of talk about your emotions being uncontrollable. Oh you're like, that you feel that way because that's how you are. As opposed to empowering individuals to take control of their emotion. Cuz we can truly control what's between the years. Our brain and we can take a lot of control over how we feel and how we respond to things. I'm just curious on your take. That's my opinion, but I'm curious on your take about this new wave of Hey, you don't have control. You feel that way because you're, you. It feels dangerous to me.

[00:20:34] Larry Long: Yeah. And to each their own, feel free to believe what you believe. Yeah, I believe, and I've seen it from my father, my mother, seen countless examples in sports. I've seen it in my own life that you can control. I call it tea. You can control how you treat other people. That's T, the E is you can control your emotions and the A, you can control your [00:21:00] actions and your attitude. Is it easy? No. Most things in life, most great things in life aren't easy. Does it take work? Yes. Does it take hard work? Yeah. You gotta put in the hard rowing. Is it gonna be painful? Probably. But I believe that we all control our destiny. I do a midweek, midday, motivational minute. Today was episode number 120. I've been doing it since the very close to the beginning of the pandemic, and today I talked about motivation. Where does yours come from? And my mantra talks about you are the gatekeeper, you control, you create, you nurture your motivation. It's your choice. It's not in anyone else's hands. No one else should be able to control your motivation. That's you. But if you don't take control, guess what? Then it's easy to play the victim. Ah, I couldn't help it. Oh yeah. What you talking about [00:22:00] Willis? It wasn't me. Yes it is. It's that person in the mirror. 

[00:22:03] Dan McDermott: I think there's a, there's something I wanna go back to cuz you've talked about a bunch of things that are very applicable, I think on a personal level. Like how do we internally drive intention and motivation and I guess positivity in general. But a lot of us kind of work in teams and in this day and age we're often remote or hybrid or, I can understand in person how to elevate people and how to make sure that, you're doing your bit to add a little bit of oomph to, to the office, so to speak. But how. How do you possibly do that these days? Do you have any suggestions on that level?

[00:22:31] Larry Long: Yeah, we gotta get creative. Like I said, we're gonna shake it, we're gonna break it, we're gonna flip it upside down. Right now we're on different sides of the nation. We're still getting connected virtually. So would it be great if we were in person, We were in the studio together? Of course, but that's not possible right now. So the next best thing is for us to connect right here. Turn on the camera. There you go. Get connected. Be intentional. Let's look at the [00:23:00] calendar. Let's schedule some time where it's some get to know you time. Yes, we gotta focus on the numbers, but today I'm gonna focus on you as a person, as your leader. At least in name as your leader. If I don't show you that I care about you, am I really leading anything? I think that leadership really starts with care about others. It starts with care about yourself to make sure you're taking care of yourself so you can be your best when it comes to other people. So to answer your question, we've gotta get creative. We've gotta turn on that light bulb that we all have, and instead of doing everything that we've been doing before, I think they call that insanity. Doing the same that on thing, expecting different results, right? Sometimes we have to take drastic actions and flip it up, tear it all the way up, and figure out is there a better way. I guarantee you there's no guarantees in life, but I guarantee you there's a better way. 

[00:23:58] Kyle Vamvouris: And if in, in the [00:24:00] context of remote, if you hire people who are invested in their own personal development and improving and growing. They'll meet you where you're at, and I'm sure the leader attracts a lot of that too. Like Larry, before you were doing what you're doing now, you were running sales teams and I imagine your team knew who they were gonna be working for before they started, before they walk into the building. So that's got to, that's got to have an impact on the interactions you have with the team, even if it is remote.

[00:24:30] Larry Long: Yeah, it's setting expectations and making sure folks are crystal clear. It's hiring folks that, and the words are the great philosopher, Master P. They gotta be bowed about it. If you ain't bowed about it, you can't be on my team. My, my goals were very simple. Number one, hit our numbers. That's why we're in sales. We got a number. Let's make sure we hit numbers. Number two, let's learn and grow our careers. I'm trying to learn and. And become better. I'm gonna help you learn [00:25:00] and grow. Number three, and this one comes easy. If we're doing number one at a high level and number two at a high level, it's called have fun. I think the millennials call it YOLO. I said, What did you call me? They said, No, Larry, I wasn't calling you a name. It stands for you only live once. That's what I'm talking about. Let's have some fun baby. While we're doing this, while we're hitting goals, let's have fun while we're learning, growing, experiencing new things, and sharing and caring. Let's have a good time. If you can do one, two, and three. Woo. That's a life fulfilled, right there. 

[00:25:34] Kyle Vamvouris: There you go. There you go. Yeah. I remember a story. I believe this is a Tony Robbins story, but he talks about going through a toll at like over a bridge and he stops at a toll booth. This is probably in the two thousands. Before it was all just automated, but he stops at a toll booth and he had gone through this toll so many times. It's always the same kind of person. If you remember back when you used to drive through toll booths, they're not fired up to be in a . Yeah, [00:26:00] exactly. Not super excited. And he pulls up to this toll booth and the guy is incredibly enthusiastic. Hey, good morning. How are you? Yeah, that'll be six bucks. Whatever that kicks. The money's all happy. And Tony asks him, he says, How are you so happy no disrespect, but. Every time I come through here, people don't seem to be thrilled to be doing this kind of work. And the guy told him, he is like I have a lot to be happy about. I have a beautiful family. I have three kids. We have a home that we can afford and you just job the most fulfilling job ever know. But it pays my bills and I'm happy to be here. I get to interact with people all day and I can provide a little bit of light in their life and by, being enthusiastic in this kind of environment. And that has always stuck with me and I try to live my life like that too, where, hey, can we be a little bit of a positive spark in the people we interact with? Leave them a little bit better than you found them, even if it's just a smile on their face. I think that's valuable. 

[00:26:54] Larry Long: I love it. There's a quote and every day I really, this is the question I ask myself to start every [00:27:00] day. Martin Luther King, Jr. He says, Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing to help others out? At the end of every day, if I can answer that question. Hey, Larry, what did you do today to help someone else out? I had a. I had a coffee. I don't even drink coffee, but I had a meeting with a gentleman who works for Oracle NetSuite. He was asking me questions. He's picking my brain and I asked him, I said, Hey, I'm gonna pass. He's a former track guy. I said, I'm gonna pass you the baton. I expect you to pass along that knowledge. To the next person that asks, Hey, can you help me out? Hey, can you share some of the keys to your success? Now, that's one. I'm not one and done. I got some other meetings where I can invest and share knowledge, share insights, share a little bit of. Of, of inspiration. Hey, you got this, let's keep going to others so that at the end of the day I can say yes. What did I do? Not what did I think? Not what did I [00:28:00] imagine, but what did I actually do today to positively impact someone else's life? I love that toll booth example. 

[00:28:07] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah, it's a good one. 

[00:28:08] Dan McDermott: Think there's a, Just jump in for a sec. The The idea of having structure around this type of thing where you're actually actively encouraging people to buy in, like you I think is super important and something that's very underrated because a lot of organizations just don't do that. They expect oh, this person is enthusiastic in an interview. That's enough to just suddenly just hire an enthusiastic person and that they're positive, they'll bring something to the table. In my experience, I had a couple of jobs early on where it has really has bugged me for my entire career, thick and back. Young people will show up often with exactly the right kind of energy that you want. They are enthusiastic. They're ambitious. They want to work, they want to do a good job, they want to participate, they wanna be, they wanna have fun at work, like you said, Larry. And if you don't give them the structure in which to to understand how to do that right, or the leadership to show them how to do that specifically consistently, regularly. What do you expect them to do? And it [00:29:00] is, that has drives me crazy I'm curious do you have any sort of kind of structure or ways to engage that would create that for people

[00:29:08] Larry Long: Yeah I mean for me, my onboarding, this is the first thing that I do and it's I don't know if you remember Diddy making the band where he sent the band, the prospective band members to go get some Cheesecake , and they have to walk across the bridge to get cheesecake. I call it the get to know your colleagues challenge, and I don't give them a quota. I just say, go out and meet as many colleagues as you can in week one. That tells me how hungry they are. That tells me whether they're willing to give it their all in, even this somewhat menial task. But it has huge dividends. I'll give you an example, Jack Rony, when I was at a company called Pendo. Pendo is a rocket ship. They're a double unicorn. I think he met a gentleman named Brett. Brett Carson was one of our sales engineers. Jack went for my SDR BDR team [00:30:00] to become an account executive. He needed Brett's help in order to get his first deal. In February, he would've gotten the deal, but it would've pushed the march if Brett didn't say, Hey, Jack, I know you. You know me. I'm gonna take care of you. I'll do this on my own time to get you the answers you need to get that. if he didn't know his colleagues, if Jack hadn't have been proactive with getting to know and establish a relationship with his colleagues. He would've never had the record for fastest Deal closed by a new account executive in Pendo history. 

[00:30:36] Kyle Vamvouris: That's a great story. 

[00:30:37] Larry Long: It's that intentionality. It's not rocket science. If it was rocket science, I wouldn't be having this conversation. how well do you master the basics? My daughter just started third grade. My son just started seventh grade. The basics are the things that we learned in elementary and middle school. How to treat people right. Please. Thank you. Hold in the door. Looking at [00:31:00] someone in the eyes when you're speaking with them. Taking notes. We all learned about taking notes, but somewhere along the line and we said, Ah, I don't need to take notes. I can just, I can remember everything up here. Survey says, NAH! Yeah, so providing that structure. It's a leader's job to really provide the activities. To provide the instruction and the guidance to make sure that people get it. Because the worst thing you can do is just assume that they're, that they know what to do. That's the worst and false assumption. But if you can set the expectation, provide guidance, provide coaching, and then leave it up to them to figure that thing out, I think you'll be all good in the neighborhood. 

[00:31:44] Dan McDermott: That's a fantastic answer. 

[00:31:45] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah, this is a really important piece too, is the relationship component. Like to go back to what you were describing, I feel like a lot of folks are so caught up in like giving, like how they have a negative perspective of giving free advice. They're [00:32:00] like, Say no to every, I've been a yes man, my entire career. I've said yes to everything because the way I see it is there's a story and I'll do anything for a story. Oh, you need help moving this weekend? Okay, where are we going, ? I'll do anything because I know one, you're helping somebody out, which I think is good, but also this is where experiences happen. And I can tell you I moved pretty quick through my career because I said yes to everything. Because now people who needed something, they knew that they had somebody who was competent, who was also reliable and would come through for you. So even to this day, if I talk to somebody who's a founder, I'll give them the advice I would give 'em if they were paying me. And I don't try to withhold anything because I just don't feel like that's the right thing to do. You don't need to, you need to, don't need to make a dollar for every hour you work. It just feels it just feels weird to me. Like I want to be able to still give, it's in my head. 

[00:32:50] Dan McDermott: No, plus, like I think that 

[00:32:51] Larry Long: I love it. 

[00:32:52] Dan McDermott: That's the kind of thing that creates reciprocal action. 

[00:32:54] Kyle Vamvouris: Totally. 

[00:32:55] Dan McDermott: So if I'm nice to you, you're nice to me. Suddenly, guess what? We've built some positive [00:33:00] culture. Just that, Yeah. That little bit of ice breaking up front is is everything really right 

[00:33:04] Kyle Vamvouris: And it all comes around, I'll have people reach out to me who I don't even remember the Interaction. They do cause it had a big impact on them. And then they'll come around, they'll offer me some kind of opportunity. Like I've, we've gotten deals here just from somebody that I was, I gave good advice to years ago. And they're like, Hey, I know somebody. I, you popped in my mind immediately and did, I didn't give them the advice with that expectation. It just happened. And I think that's how the world works, it's like we build relationships. That's clearly a big part of human behavior is relationships with other people. Good vibes come around. They come around eventually. It might not be from that person, but it'll be from someone. 

[00:33:42] Kyle Vamvouris: I love it. 

[00:33:42] Larry Long: The little things

[00:33:44] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah. 

[00:33:44] Larry Long: Are really the big things. And it sounds like you're making relationship deposits. So many times we try to make relationship withdrawals, but we're overdrawn and I've been there before I've been to Bank of America when I own my baseball academy and I [00:34:00] said, Let me go ahead and withdraw $500. They said, Mr. Long, unless your middle name is Black Magic, and yes, I do have some cards back there. I know some magic tricks. They said, Unless your middle name is Black Magic, you don't have enough money. You didn't make any deposits. It's the same thing with relationships. When was the last time that you gave to someone with no expectation and return? Because we all know that the more we give, the more we give some more, it comes back to us tenfold, twentyfold. In terms of us receiving, and I can only speak from my own experience, I've been so blessed, so fortunate that folks have really come through. They've said, Hey Larry, you've done me great over the years. What can I do to support you? And it's wow, this is absolutely amazing. 

[00:34:47] Kyle Vamvouris: Yeah. And unlike a deposit at a bank, you're not getting rid of anything. I'm not handing the bank $10 to put into my account. I still keep the 10 bucks. Cause whenever you sit down, you do something kind for somebody, you don't really [00:35:00] lose anything. I guess you lose the 30 minutes, the hour you talk to 'em. What is that? I get time is money and stuff, but I really try to optimize every second of every day. Just feels like a little aggressive to. 

[00:35:10] Dan McDermott: Yeah, it's, I think I'm thinking of the best sales teams that I know, and right off the top of my head, the immediate thing that comes to mind is how generous they are with each other and how proactive they are with each other in terms of there's there's no sort of glass ceilings with, there's no fear of talking to your manager, right? But then also you also look for solutions horizontally and. They know who writes the best kind of CTAs, for example, right? Oh, nobody's clicking on my stuff. First place to go is Oh, you know what? Mike writes these great ones. Maybe I should go ask him this stuff. And the, there's such a culture of, I think that's the word of this culture that it's just they are so productive, always testing. Oh, it's a joy to be around. And if, I have examples from the other side too, where there's no communication at all or people are afraid to talk to each other or exactly closed off defensive. And that goes. Yeah. You could be the [00:36:00] best whatever in the world. Come in, give them great, stuff to, to use scripts and templates and everything. It's not gonna go anywhere. And it's, yeah. I think that it's that's the magic X factor for me when I look at a team. 

[00:36:09] Kyle Vamvouris: I'm curious on your side Larry, what are some of the attributes in the most successful sales teams that you work with? 

[00:36:15] Larry Long: Oh man. Sales team. It. It's no different than what happens to the most successful sports teams, the most successful theater teams. Teamwork really makes the dream work. Now, does that mean that everyone gets along heck to the no? But does it mean that everyone wants what's best for everyone? We all know that. If I have success and you have success, it's gonna raise up everybody. It's everyone is holding each other accountable, cheering each other on encouraging, Hey, I want you to be successful. I, I'm not gonna hold back information and hoard information. No, I know that if I share that, You can now do the dag on thing just like me. We can all thrive. We can all win. So the best sales [00:37:00] teams that I see, they have a culture. You talked about culture earlier, Kyle. They have a culture of sharing, caring as well as, I don't know if Allen Iverson is listening, but if he is. We're talking about practice Allen, not the game. They have a culture of practicing. Think about it. How difficult is it to practice in front of your own colleagues, in front of your own peers? Ooh it's getting me goosebumps just thinking about, I'm getting nervous. Hey, I know that's gonna make me stronger. It's gonna make me better because I'm getting honest feedback. On the positive side as well as the opportunity areas for improvement. Hey, you did this great. Here goes what I would've explored differently. Here goes what I would've do. Take it or leave it. But I'm just sharing with you something that might help you elevate your game. And that's at all levels. That's at all. You can learn something from. From the newest hire straight outta college. What am I gonna learn from them? They don't have any sales experience. You might [00:38:00] be right, but I think you're wrong. They do have sales experience in a different way. They do have a fresh perspective, fresh eyes, that can help you. Hey, the world is changing. These millennials today are on TikTok. Have you ever thought about leaving a video, a TikTok style video to your prospects to connect with them? Wow. Mind blown. So essentially it's the sharing. It's the practice and it's the innovation, the willingness to shake stuff up and give it a try. Maybe we haven't done that in the past. Let's go ahead and run a test. Let's go ahead and see if that thing will get results. 

[00:38:42] Kyle Vamvouris: It's so power. I mean it's so important it this is the piece I think is often missed cuz a lot of times, even us, like I'm very data driven. Everything we do is about data. We break down every KPI that we can to try to better optimize the process. But at the end of the day, there's a bunch of humans and their responsibility is [00:39:00] engaging on the front lines with your potential customers, and that's not something that should be taken lightly. That's a really important responsibility. And if you're not helping the people who are responsible for that first interaction or second interaction, that before their customer experience, if you're not supporting them both person. And operationally. And how they're developing and they're improving and you're creating that culture where everybody works together. If you don't have that, I feel like it's a really, it's a really big missed opportunity. And it's sad, frankly. Cause then you're at this, you're at an organization where you don't feel that connection with your employees. And to go back what you were saying earlier, remote makes it even harder than ever before. It's hard to build those deeper connections. I've never left a Zoom meeting and been like, Wow, magic just happened. But I have in-person. So that maybe that's an argument that teams need to come in person occasionally, even if they're remote oriented. I'm sure there's, I think there's a really good argument for that, but also I think it's an argument of, [00:40:00] Hey, how can we try to replicate that cross pollination within the team virtually? And there's some platforms that allow you to do that, which I think is helpful. But ultimately, I think it comes from the leader.

[00:40:11] Dan McDermott: I do too. 

[00:40:11] Larry Long: Oh, big time. They set the tone and the name of your podcast, The Sales growth podcast. Guess what? Opportunity is knocking. If you're listening. If you're watching this right now, opportunity is knocking at your door. My question is, are you gonna answer it or are you gonna act like you just didn't hear it? Oh, crickets, crickets. Opportunity is knocking what you gonna do in 2022, which is gonna dictate who you're gonna be in 2023. I encourage you to go get it. Now there, the great philosopher, Young Jeezy, has a song Go Getter, and I love a go getter, but my man, Bob Bird has a book and I've got it on my bookshelf back there called The Go Giver. We want people that are gonna proactively go [00:41:00] out there and look for opportunities to give. Yeah. Whether it's with prospects, whether it's with clients, whether it's with colleagues. My question to you is, when was the last time that you were a go giver? Answer me that, and if you can do that every single day consistently. Woo. In the words of the other great philosopher, JJ Walker, I know my, I got something for you. For those that are like, Hey Larry, I don't have the time to give. I'm gonna give you the hashtag three minute challenge every day going to your Rolodex. I know some of You'all are like, Is that the fancy watch? No, that's a Rolex. Your Rolodex is the contacts in your contact list in your phone. Find one person, go to Google, take three minutes to find something that will surprise and delight them. Something that will bring a big old smile to their face. If I was trying to surprise them, delight my man, Kyle and Dan, I'd probably find a funny Steph Curry meme and I'd send it to him. I'd say, Hey, what's going on Gents I was thinking about you, I hope all this [00:42:00] well, swish. I'm not asking you for anything. I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm just letting you know you're on my mind. I care and I'm making that deposit. Now. I'm an overachiever. I do the hashtag 15 minute challenge, five people every day, and it's amazing that when you give and you give some more, how many, how much comes back to you in return? Home Run dynamite. Case close. That's what I'm talking about Willis. 

[00:42:30] Dan McDermott: 

[00:42:30] Dan McDermott: I think that's a fantastic exercise. That's a, and I think it sounds like it's a habit too at this point, like where you just, you get good at it too, I'm sure. The , I've told you this on our LinkedIn message threads before your gift game is strong, my friend it's ones where every time I see your content, it puts a smile on my face. That legitimately and. to, that doesn't just come outta nowhere. You build a habit. So one of the things that we have lightly suggested for a lot of SDRs out there, and teams in general, but it's just start creating more, start posting more, start talking more. It's not just to game [00:43:00] the social media algorithm and whatnot it's to be on top of stuff. Are you engaged in the stuff that you're, what do you care about? Yeah, what do you Exactly. And if you can find what you care about, plus what they care about. Great prospecting stuff, but it at a deeper level, you should find some fulfillment in just in doing a deeper job, I guess.

[00:43:16] Kyle Vamvouris: A hundred percent. I think it's important. 

[00:43:18] Larry Long: That's right. I got something else for you. For all my sales professionals and leaders, are you leveraging GIFs or GIFS however you wanna say it. Audio on LinkedIn Mobile. You can send an audio message where folks can hear your words, they can feel your passion and watch out now video. Send them a video message where they can see you, they can feel your passion. They can tell that you're not faking it, which when you just write plain text, I can't hear your tone in plain text. But when you see me on video, watch out now. 

[00:43:52] Kyle Vamvouris: Let me give you a timely example of this working and then I think we could probably wrap up here. But just today our, we have an sdr. Our sdr [00:44:00] reached out to a prospect called her a bunch of times. She ended up responding to an email and she said, Yeah, I'm interested in this topic of improving our sales team, et cetera. How do you guys help? So he gave a response and said, Would you like me to use your calendar link that's in your signature to book a meeting? And she said, Before we book a meeting, just send me some more information. So he grabbed the video on our about page and sent it to her and her response was, I loved that video. That was really great. She said, I sounded nice, which I'll take any compliment I can get. Larry. She said, I sound. Anyway, there's an example of the power of video. Now, if it was a personalized video, that would be even better. He just grabbed the video from the website, but even that had an impact. So I think it's important that we leverage all of these different tools we have at our disposal to try to build better experiences for our prospects. 

[00:44:44] Dan McDermott: You know, I just on that real quick, the I think I wanna go back to the idea that is also a skill. Video is a skill, so totally. I know a couple people on certain teams where they try one video and then they'd get discouraged when it didn't get results, or they felt weird and they were like, Oh, it doesn't work for me. I'll just, I'll stick to [00:45:00] emails or something. Whereas if you look at another person on their team is crushing it with videos because, and there, there's one woman in particular, she's fantastic at video. At video introductions. And if you just learn a little bit from somebody else on the team how to do it and build up that skill. It is a powerful tool. Powerful. 

[00:45:16] Kyle Vamvouris: Absolutely. Larry, this has been great. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. Why don't you shout out where people can find you.

[00:45:23] Larry Long: Oh goodness. You can find me on LinkedIn. Follow me on LinkedIn. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Larry Long Jr. I got the smile for a mile. I got the face for radio. I got the gold mic. You can also check me out on my website www dot Larry Long, Jr. That's JR. Larry Long, JR. dot com Would love the opportunity to serve you and assist you along your journey. Thank you so much, Dan. Thank you so much, Kyle. 

[00:45:50] Kyle Vamvouris: Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much and we will talk soon. 

[00:45:55] Larry Long: Peace.[00:46:00] 

Top Blog Posts