Interview with Billy, ContinuedJan 24, 2022
Hey Everyone, here’s the transcript for Episode 3.
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Hey everybody. Welcome back to the sales for introverts podcast. This is part two, a continuation of a previous discussion we had in the previous podcast. Uh, with Billy Claunch who among. All the different things you can do in this world. He is a fire truck. Salesman specifically, he's a sales manager now, but was also a frontline sales person for a long time.
Dealing with the sale of fire trucks.
So you're sitting there thinking, Hmm. Yeah. I mean, I guess fire trucks. I mean, I guess somebody has to sell it. Listen, every business in the world has to have a sales department. People are not just going to magically, you know, buy stuff from you, just because you create a product. Every company needs to be able to sell it.
So a, that's just a Testament to find something you like to do and go do it. That's my advice for you. So if you're really into. Airplanes. And you like sales. Go find out how to sell airplanes. Or video games or.
Gardening supplies. You know, there's all kinds of different things that you can get involved with. So, That being said, I'll get off my soap box now. Um, we're going to go ahead and continue with our conversation with Billy. A couple of really good insights here for you guys. So I hope you enjoy. And we'll catch you at the end of the show.
All right. So Billy, so do you know, just offhand, if any of your salespeople are introverted besides yourself?
Our closers one of them, well, They, they all tend more to extroversion that the Sr, the closers our main inbound person is definitely an introvert. My sales operations manager. So I have I'm VP of sales, but then we have a sales manager and then we have inbound, outbound, and the closers, the sales managers definitely.
Interesting. Yeah. Okay. So let me ask you this in the business world as an introvert and again, I know people have different tendencies. Some people have feel extrovert in some parts of their lives, but do you feel like you have to cope or adapt who you are to be a better business person or sales person when you're at work because of your introversion.
Yeah, a little bit. And when I was younger the first job I had was I was a stockbroker downtown. And one of the reasons I was attracted to that job is I felt. I knew I wanted to work in business. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew in business, you had to be able to talk with people.
And I didn't feel like I was very good at it, but I was attracted to the idea of the job of stockbroker. Cause you're just forced to talk to a bunch of people about a really sensitive subject and you have to do it a lot. So I was kind of like, well, that's just one way to learn how to talk with and deal with people, you know?
That, that was a very good experience for me. But certainly when I, when I'm dealing with people on a little bit like an actor, you know, like I'm kind of in character a little bit, but it's not necessarily my natural self. We do in non COVID years, we do about 25 trade shows around the country.
That's still pretty big in the fire industry. There we get great returns on those good leads from them. So I'll go to the trade shows and we'll work the trade show floor. And I love working a trade show floor, like odd. Cause I feel like I've got a purpose. I need to meet people. I know what I'm going to say to the people.
I know the product that I'm talking about. And it's just fun to do now afterwards. So I'm beat, I'm just like exotic, like on the weekend. I don't want to talk to anybody. I just sit in my room and, you know, watch TV and yell at the kids. If they come in and interrupt me, you know, I just need to kind of recharge after that.
But it, it, it is very interesting to me too, to learn about. Yeah, but it, but it's definitely a, it took, it takes some effort to, to do that. Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I'm going to try to try to hone in on in the courses is how to, how to not pretend I think I mean, speak for myself, but from, from what I've researched, a lot of introverts are, are concerned about authenticity.
So when you, when you're pretending, you're obviously not being very authentic. And, and that's something that I'm going to talk about in the course for sure, but, but no, I mean, to some extent we all do that and, and, and that's part of what's true. Yeah. That's what drains your energy because it's not you.
I mean, you know, if you get to be you, you probably don't care who you are or excuse me, where you are or who you're talking to, you know? Yeah. I agree with that to a point, certainly, mark I would say a little bit. Yeah. I don't know that I need to just be me. Like I'm, I'm kind of an ass, so we all need some, a little bit of kick in the tail to get better, you know?
But oh, LaCroix, nice. Some drinking one as well. Or flavor you got there. I'm a key lime. I'm a line guy. Great fruit. All right. Yeah. So, you know, I don't know that following your necessarily your true self, always a hundred percent of the time is the best approach. Like I don't know that I would be doing better.
Had I moved more toward introverted activities? Like I do enjoy what I'm doing. I can't do it all the time. I just, I can't do it 70 hours a week. You know, I'm good for phone calls, meetings, trade shows up to probably 30 hours a week. And after that, I'm kind of toasted, you know, I need a day of strategy.
I need to think. I don't want to talk to anybody. You know, I need to make sure I'm organized, stuff like that, but But I think there's a balance of it, you know? And in general, I would agree you can't go against your natural tendencies for any long period of time and expect to have the energy inside to want to push, to succeed.
If you're going against your natural grain, that's going to be a challenge. Yeah. Holy cow, man. I, I can't agree with you more. Sometimes I wonder if something's wrong with me because cause, cause I will get to the point where I, I Am almost too authentic maybe. And I'm showing too much of myself.
And I, like you said, I probably should be more cognizant of that because sometimes I'll send off emails or something and not think anything about it. And then I get a response from like the like our VP or our our CEO and be like, why in the world did you send that. I'm like we talking about what you you're talking about.
Cause I sent off a hundred emails a day and he forgives me the email and I'm like, well, what's wrong with that? It's like, well, that was really rude, what you wrote, you know? And I was just like, well, I was just been just sort of blunt and to the point and I, I apologize. I had no clue that I had just offended somebody by by being me.
And you, you do have to be careful about that for sure. Yeah, you saying that main going around it probably, you know, that says like you know, always be true to your actual self, you know, unless you're an asshole, then don't be treated and just be somebody else. You know? So obviously we all need a little bit of bump here and there.
I remember a story. We used to have a sales guy , who he was a retired firefighter from Birmingham. He went about 350 pounds post gastric bypass. Yep. So this is a big dude and had a booming, deep voice. He worked in sales and he, my dad, my dad likes Randy. He knows Randy. He would not like Randy in a professional environment because Randy just absolutely steamrolls who's ever in the room with it.
You know? So we used to joke that Randy sells a bunch of firetrucks, basically because people just finally agree. If you will stop calling me and talking with me, I'll buy a firetruck. If you want to. And man, he's just a great guy, Christian Guy you know, again, a retired firefighter, but we had a vendor who used to provide the lettering on our firetrucks.
And he was a cop and he moonlighted doing this lettering stuff. Well, somehow Randy and he got into some disagreement. So I called the guy and I was like, Hey, Seth was the name. I said, W what happened with Randy? So he explained Jimmy, Randy was, you know, just again, steamrolled him, you know, so I'm going to be the so-and-so and so-and-so and you know, we got this and they're going to be here Saturday morning.
So we got to get it done and blah, blah, blah, blah. And Seth was trying to get a word in or something. They didn't. So Randy hurt his feelings. And so then I go back to rain and I was like, all right, Randy, Seth is all upset because of this. And Randy. Well, boss, I didn't say anything wrong. I just did this and this, you know, and I was like, well, okay.
And I never could get like a great resolution with them. And Seth ended up quitting and, you know, go. But my point was with all that. Yeah. I had a tough time with Randy because Randy felt like he was just going to be Randy and he's a great guy, but he wouldn't flex with me too much. He, he didn't have any room for listening to people that he might've hurt their feelings because he has a deep voice and talks a lot.
He just had stuff to do, you know? So I wasn't able to really connect to them, Randy, on that level,
got to keep going, you know, and which is fine, you know, it's, some of it might be a generational thing a little bit too, you know, like a bunch of the stuff with business. Now, I always wonder what, like your granddad would have thought of it. Particularly with the psychological analysis of how you approach customers and everything.
And I always imagine him and he just kind kinda been like, I don't know, we just rang the lumber in and then we try to be honest about it and we sell it. And that's the business plan, you know? Right, right. Exactly. Yeah. There's like, there's like three sentences in his head. It's like, could you elaborate on that a little bit more, sir?
Well, my favorite, one of my favorite stories or granddad was when I don't honestly don't remember if I was there or if I just heard the story, but it was when they were having Sunday lunch and he had been out log-in and Wilson, Ben and the tree had rolled off the stack and he broke his leg. Do you remember when that happened?
And everybody was like crowded around him in lunch swell. So what, you know, tell us about it. Like what happened? How did it tree fell on my leg and broke it? I dropped it off. Yeah. And that was it. That was the whole story, you know? Yeah. My, my granddad, my granddad, for those who are listening hat it was a very stoic individual and he had a certain economy of words.
He, he grew up in the sticks literally in very rural, rural Alabama. And eventually moved to north Alabama where he started a lumberyard where I work now I'm on the third, one of the third generation family members that works there. I don't, I don't even know if the terms introvert and extrovert would even register with grandad because he was just.
I mean, I don't know. I honestly was, you know, 70 years younger than he was, so we weren't exactly, you know, contemporaries, but he, he, he seemed to be a bit of an introverted individual, but you know, people back, like you just said, generational differences. I, I doubt that anybody even really talked about that back then, so, but Hey, you touched on a couple of the things I want to, I wanna go back to real quick.
I was asking you about your, how you cope and what are some trait introverted traits that you have in your business world? And you mentioned trade shows, and you said you don't mind working trade shows. And I kind of feel the same way. It's almost like not really, I guess you're not a superhero, but when you, when you put your uniform on, you go out to the trade show and you're like the expert and people walking around have no clue what you're doing, but they might be interested in it, you know?
I kind of feel like a transformed into a different guy, because then I'll talk to people and shake hands, you know? Right. Pre COVID. Right. But yeah, I'll, I'll talk, people's ears off about my product. If they want to listen to it at the trade show. I don't care. It's not, I don't mind that at all.
And I'm like you though, too, I'm going to go crash afterwards, but. When my wife wants to go to the, you know, the botanical gardens or something to go to some sort of a mixer social event that you've got to be at for 45 minutes and then go home. It's like, I'd avoid that. Like the plague, you know, it's kinda weird how that happens.
Yeah. I'm exactly the same way. I have zero interest in. Social events with no defined purpose, however, or I can work the trade show for 12 hours a day. Again, the weekend I need to crash some, but I can work the trade show floor. And like I said earlier, I feel like I'm just kind of an actor, you know, and I know my script, I've memorized my script and I believe my script, it comes from my heart so I can go out there and talk.
But If there's no game plan. And particularly if the other people in the room don't have an expectation of what I am going to be talking about, I really don't have any interest in talking with them. Right. So I don't mind going into a trade show room and just work in the heck out of trying to sell stuff to everybody.
I meet I feel a little awkward doing that in a social situation, because they may not want to be sold anything. And I don't know when it's appropriate and I don't know, and I don't want to offend them. And then by that point, I'm just exhausted thinking about it. So I'd rather just stay home, you know?
So when I was a stockbroker, you know, I always felt that constant tension because everybody's a potential customer, right. Like every person you meet, so like I'm in Sunday school, but I'm really thinking, yeah, that's a good presentation of the gospel. I really need that guy's 401k though. You know, so there's always that kind of, but I couldn't go ask him for it, but I'm thinking it.
So, but I always had that tension. So with firetrucks it's a lot better, but okay. It's a fairly limited group of people who are possibly going to be buying a firetruck. So that's actually one of my favorite jokes. Now, when I meet somebody or whatever that has nothing to do with fire, I'll give them my card.
I'm like, yeah, let me know. Next time you're in the market for used firetruck. I'll be glad to help. Nice. Funny, funny. Hey, you probably, probably also use a lot of puns in your business. Like our business is on fire right now and barely mountains, hot, hot, hot, that kind of stuff. I take it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Th th they'd probably been done. Yeah. Yeah. And those are over and done with, huh? Yeah. Are you, are you burned out about that one? Nice one for you. That's impressive. Yeah, that's exactly right. I did not script that beforehand. You mentioned one of the thing too. When you, you said when you first got started out you put yourself in a position where you force yourself to talk to people.
Yeah. By becoming Stockbridge. Okay. So when, when I graduated school, it was 2008. We were in a fantastic economic downturn and there were no jobs available. Yeah. And I wasn't even sure if I realized that I was introverted at the time. I mean, I knew I was sort of quirky and weird, but at that point, you know, I was still trying to be social and whatnot just got out of school and.
I had to make a decision. I could go, I needed to, I needed to make some money somehow. So I was going to go find an hourly position somewhere until I found my quote unquote, real job. And I just made a decision then that I wanted to be in sales. And so I forced myself to do something really uncomfortable for me.
And I applied at a department store and started selling clothes. It had a big box department store. Oh, wow. Yeah. I worked there for almost a year while I, while I was looking for other jobs. And the worst part was probably having to stand up for eight hours at a time now on a concrete floor, my feet hurt really bad, but I was just, I was introverted and I was shy and I really opened myself up by, by doing that.
Face-to-face retail stuff. And it, it actually is, it is legitimate selling. At least it was back then and you made commission and so what you, what you sold and what you upsold mattered. Yeah. And yeah, I learned it. I learned it all from that. Yeah. You know, I was making, I don't know, 10 bucks an hour or something plus commission, but right.
I learned so much doing that and I forced myself to do it and it paid a lot of good dividends because when I was, when I did get a official sales job, after that, you know, I didn't mind talking to people. Yeah. So that was, that was really big for me. It sounds like you had a similar expense. Yeah, definitely.
Definitely. Yeah. And the SA, you know, again, we're using sales a very generic term, but sale everybody's in sales to some extent, right? Like, yeah. You just have to. Everyone has to have some ability to work with people and to get along with people and to convince people of your perspective and your point of view, even if you're working at hexagon or NASA or whatever, like you've got your group, you're working with, you have an opinion about a project.
You have to sell that crowd on your opinion, right? Like otherwise you really limit your ability in life. I think, to be able to do anything unless. Have some hugely unique technical skill when it comes to knowledge workers or you go the trade route, you know, and you're working on something with your hands where you produce something of value, you know, which is totally legitimate also, but everybody's got to have some ability to, to connect and deal with it in that regard.
Yeah. I had totally had to pull myself out of the introverted cave to do that too. I'm glad I did. I knew it was something I needed to do as an adult. Like you just alluded to. But but I'm glad I did. you have touched on a lot of my questions I was going to ask. I want to make sure that you covered everything you wanted to, were there any, anything else that I didn't ask that you wanted to talk about?
I don't know. Yeah. Sales and introvert. Yeah. So, you know, again, depending on, I don't know if your target audience who your target audience is, if you're trying to write a, put a package or a class together and online class or podcasts, you know, I assume you'd be targeting introverts. Right. So what, what I would say is that when it comes to sales again, it's.
Th big personality is just almost dead. In my opinion, there's just so many other components of sales that are as important as that. And for me, again, as a business owner, the big personality is a little scary because you want to feel like your business model is solid. Your processes are solid, and you're not depending on any particular person.
For your revenue, you know, like the more you're tied to that, the less control you have over your business in the first place, you know? And obviously it depends on your industry. If you're selling e-commerce stuff, you don't need salespeople. You know, if you're B2B stuff like you guys are kinda like we are, it's still relationship sales.
It's still makes a big difference, but even an introvert. By just doing the fundamentals of sales, right? You don't have to have the personality. One of the great things, I don't know if they had this at the department store for you, but at Robinson Humphrey in sales training, they just presented it basically as a science, they were just like, if you make a hundred dials a day, you will talk with 10 people a day.
Five of those people will either hang up or quickly in the conversation. Three of the remaining five will have zero, right? Two of the or the last two, we both have legitimate interest. You'll never hear from one of them again, but you'll be able to get an appointment with that person. So it's just math and your job is not to, it's really not even worry about that much.
What you're saying on the phone. Just make the a hundred dollars a day. Yeah. And that's a controllable that I felt like I could control. You know, if I just made the dolls, made the dolls, made the dolls, I screwed this one up, that guy cussed at me. It doesn't matter just make the next dial. And it's a controllable that I can be in charge of that has nothing to do with my personality, but only has to do with what I do next, which is making the next.
You know, but after working in sales for a long time and just like, you know, there's so many different things and particularly today with technology and the different way you're interfacing with customers and communication is certainly not just face to face and phone and text, you know, there's, there's all sorts of social communication.
And you know, I don't know how much you guys hit the lumber company, but there's just so much opportunity to be able to. Do what sales is supposed to do, and that's helped solve the problem of the customer that took a few minutes out of their day to either walk in your store, call or send you an inquiry.
Yeah, that's awesome. I really appreciate that perspective there. All right. So I want to ask you one last question, cause I got to respect your time. I know you have like 23 kids and I have two here that are just waking up from nap. So I gotta go help out there too. Okay, so I'm gonna, I'm going to close out these podcasts with one of my favorite concepts that that's called catharsis.
Okay. So I'm gonna share something that's good. Thoracic to me, that's something that you do or something you experienced that makes you happy. And it brings about a sense of energy or renewal. So, you know, a lot of introverts talk about recharging. So You have anything in mind? What do you like to do?
Well, you know, one thing, I don't know if this is exactly along those lines, but one thing I've done there and there during the COVID shutdown where, you know, I have three or four or five zoom meetings a day with people it's some internal, some external or whatever. Being that I do have. Roughly 23 kids, as you said.
And trying to be a good dad over the years, I always dressed up at Halloween solid, always by myself, a costume, and that's kind of evolved over the years into buying. A lot of different costumes. So on the zoom calls, I've started, I'll dress up randomly in a costume or whatever, often Indiana Jones and Willy Wonka and Davy Crockett, and a pirate and different stuff.
So I'll just hop on the zoom call, sitting here as, you know, whatever Willy Wonka. And it's kind of a, you know, it's all still work and it's adults and they have lives and responsibilities and everything, but it's kind of a good reset. That kind of relaxes me a little bit in the work environment, you know, where I'm just kind of like, it's not like it's a job, but it's not that important, you know?
Right, right. Good. That's a great idea. That's a great idea to break it up a little bit, right. Sometimes we all get a little bit too serious about things and forget that you only get a certain amount of years on this earth. And so kind of. Break it up a little bit. Yes. The mortality rate is approaching a hundred percent.
That is right. That is right. Well, I'll share mine for this, for this episode I don't know. I was I've been working a lot lately working a lot from home. You know, this would be a lot different if this outbreak happened 20 years ago when we didn't have the internet that great and couldn't work from home, you know, but Yeah.
I started watching some documentaries and for some reason I'm always interested in the open ocean and mysterious foreign islands and places far away that I'll probably never get to visit, but maybe one day you never know. But I saw this documentary called it was called following seas and it was just basically shot.
I think back in the seventies maybe or eighties, it was a family who lived out on a, on a yacht. And they just, they were just like sea gypsies. They just, they went around wherever and it was shot on super eight film. And so the colors were all vivid and they went to these beautiful places. And that if you actually watch it, some of the story gets a little tragic at some point, but the first hour or so, it was really cathartic to me because it was just so relaxing to see these, to live vicariously through these two, these sailors who were living their life.
And they actually raised a family out on the, on the, on the water and just went from the island hopped and went different ports and stuff. So it was really relaxing to watch it 10 o'clock at night on a work night. So. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. Well, look, man, I really appreciate your your contributions and you know, if we, if you think of anything else we can, we can talk again sometime or grab a coffee or something.
Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad to do it. I hope it's helpful. And I'll send you a bill for what it's worth look forward to it. See ya.
All right. So that was my conversation with Billy. Klontz the fire truck salesman. Or now he's a firetruck sales manager, I suppose, but a fantastic conversation. I hope you got a lot out of it. Um, just to walk another mile and, and somebody else's shoes, somebody who's been in sales, somebody who is somewhat introverted as well.
I want to thank Billy for coming onto the podcast and talking with us, maybe we'll talk to him again sometime in the future. Otherwise, we've got a lot of cool stuff coming up. Um, more content, uh, more topics to talk about. So just hang tight for those, for the next podcast episode, as well as checkout more. I mean, we are on the internet sales for introverts.com. You can go to YouTube and search for the sales for introverts channel. You can find us on Facebook sales for introverts group, and I have a business page there too.
Uh, or you got a question. Do you want to come on the podcast? You have something to say. Uh, you have any sort of, Contributions email me. My email is mark. M a R [email protected] Come join us. Be a part of the movement. Until then we'll see you next time. Thanks for listening.
If you're an introvert in the sales world, you'll want to check out my free Introvert Kickstart. It's time to reframe your whole career!