#17 episode of “Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time”, with Jeff Scott.
He has spent over 20 years as a successful sales professional in the enterprise software industry.
Jeff enjoys public speaking and storytelling, so sales really came naturally to him. He learned that sales is an honourable profession, and he always strived to live by that.
“Life is about relationships, both professionally and personally. How effectively we communicate impacts our productivity, success and satisfaction.”, writes Jeff in his LinkedIn “about” section.
P.s. There’s an interesting story behind the company name.
STAY TUNED for more incredible lessons, stories and growth tips, straight from the most successful entrepreneurs!
[00:00:07.930] – Dancho – Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of “Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers – One Lesson at a Time”. And what a time this is going to be because I have a really special guest with me today, it’s Jeff Scott. Jeff, hello.
[00:00:21.500] – Jeff – Hello, Dancho.
[00:00:23.210] – Dancho – And we had a really interesting call, was it a month ago, Jeff? And we talked about so many things. And I said, wait, remember this thoughts? Let me just put it into the recording because I really found some very interesting lessons or golden nuggets from that conversation. And I just wanted to use the opportunity to present Jeff to all our community. So, Jeff, to kick it from somewhere, perhaps we should start with who you are, what you do, so we can have some background when we get more deeper on the topic.
[00:00:55.380] – Jeff – Absolutely, thank you. And thank you for having me on the show today. I’m delighted to be here. So Jeff Scott is my name. I’m the CEO of Section 810 Communications. We’re a training firm based outside of New York City. And our goal is to help individuals and organizations increase their level of influence. That’s everything we do. Participation training, sales training, leadership training. But all in the area that helping people influence others more effectively.
[00:01:24.470] – Dancho – Nice. When you say influence, it covers quite a lot of different aspects. And it’s an all-hand overview because you said from leadership, from marketing, from sales.
[00:01:36.590] – Jeff – Yes. It’s funny because I spent the majority of my career in sales, primarily high tech sales, enterprise software, and sales is influencing others. If we think about what is influence, it’s helping people see things in a way that they don’t currently see them. So when you’re in sales, you’re helping people to see how your product or service can help them meet their needs, that’s influence. But a lot of people don’t realize that the attributes of a good sales professional can be applied in all different areas of life. Leadership, if I’m a leader and have people on my team, I want them to do things. I don’t want them just to do it. I want them to want to do it. And that’s where influence comes in, where we can help people really see things from a different perspective and have them change their way of thinking or behaving.
[00:02:24.050] – Dancho – Nice. So it’s not just sales, it’s really having a better business, actually. Because when you start saying, well, it is HR influence, it is marketing influence. Is it financial influence? Can you influence your accountant to make it a bit more richer if possible?
[00:02:41.510] – Jeff – What do you think about your business? In the business of lead generation or business development, it’s helping people to realize that maybe they have a pain they didn’t even know, it’s bringing it from the back of their mind to the forefront. That’s what business development and lead generation is all about. If you’re influencing people, you’re going to be and I know you are much more effective in doing that versus being non influential. Unfortunately, a lot of people have been placed in positions of leadership and they really don’t know how to influence people. I like to laugh and say not every manager leads and not every leader manages. They’re two distinct things. Ideally, a good manager should also be a good leader, but it’s not always the case.
[00:03:26.110] – Dancho – True, Jeff. And how does it affect on the different hierarchy, whether it’s just for a top management or it’s also applicable for the middle management or for the low management?
[00:03:36.740] – Jeff – I think it’s across the board. If I look back at my career and as the light colored beard will show you, I’ve been around the block for a few years and I’ve had people in my life in business that have been really effective leaders. Sometimes they were my first line manager, an introductory manager level. Sometimes it’s a CEO, so it goes across the board. What I found is that leadership has a culture and an organization typically starts at the top. If the C level of executives have good leadership skills and know how to influence people with sincerity. And I can’t stress that enough because look at influence as manipulation, that’s terrible. But effective influence with integrity should flow down from the sea level down to the EVPs and all the way down through the front line managers and even to the individual contributors that may not manage formally, but they’re leaders. Have you seen that in your career where there’s people who have no managerial responsibilities. On the ORG chart, they don’t show up anywhere, and yet people look to them, they take direction from them because they’re natural leaders and the influencers.
[00:04:44.400] – Dancho – Yeah. And I think that even in theory, Jeff, they were called, formal and informal leaders because formal leaders is by hierarchy, which is appointed. But the informal is just the guy behind it. When the boss says something, they’re like, okay, but now the other guy, okay, what should we do now?
[00:05:04.850] – Jeff – Exactly, exactly.
[00:05:06.040] – Dancho – But interesting, you touched the topic, differentiation between what’s an influence versus manipulation. How do you do the fine line? Okay, from this onward, it’s manipulation before that is actually influence?
[00:05:19.730] – Jeff – It’s a really good question. I don’t know if there’s an easy, clear cut answer on that. Manipulation is when there is an element of deceit, in my opinion. Manipulation is getting people to do things, but they may not really understand why that’s when you’re manipulating them. If I’m the leader and I come to you and say this is what we’re going to do, why we’re going to do it, and I help build excitement in you and you want to embark on this journey with me, but you know, the end results when it happens. We high five each other because we knew what was going to take place. Yes, exactly. It is a win-win. When you manipulate someone, they may come out of this saying, what did you have me do and why? And I think that said, what is the motive of the leader in this? Is appearance sincere? Because the leaders should always be looking out for the best interest of their teams and the organization as a whole. They should not be mutually exclusive.
[00:06:14.930] – Dancho – I see, that helps me a lot, because now I have in my head, what is the differentiation. And Jeff, how did you end up being a trainer in influence? It’s not like you were born and they were like, what a cute baby, that’s going to be an influencer trainer. What happened in your life that made you shape and focus on this kind of training?
[00:06:37.010] – Jeff – Yeah, that’s a great question. When I was younger, I spent most of my career in technology sales, as I mentioned before. In my career I had the privilege of being trained in a methodology called Solution Selling by Michael Bosworth. And this was back in the 1990s when Mike was actually doing the training himself. I had the privilege of being trained by him personally. And he walked into a room of sales professionals. The first words out of his mouth, I can still remember it like it was yesterday. He said, sales is an honorable profession, let’s keep it that way. And that was really a pivotal point in my career. So through my sales career and sales journey, building relationships, influencing others, but doing it with integrity, that was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it. Over the years, I started to mentor people informally. Again people would come to me and look to me for leadership in different areas. And then most recently, about seven years ago, I had a very distinct privilege of working for a very large quantitative hedge fund, completely different industry. And I was helping lead a crowdsourcing initiative, which was having people all around the world participate in our endeavor. In that, I had the privilege of traveling through Eastern and Central Europe and the Middle East and Asia to universities and at conferences, influencing others. And I realized that I have an ability to influence people and to teach them things. And people were responding. And for me, Dancho, is very rewarding to see people respond favorably to the message I was presenting. And so the organization I work for, even though it wasn’t part of my job responsibility, they said, when you travel, we want you to train our offices, we want to train our leadership. We want these sales techniques. Even though we’re not selling, we want people to influence. So I started creating courses like The Art of Influential Leadership or how to create special presentations, anything to help people along those lines. So the short answer to your question is, I kind of fell into this as my career progressed. And then a couple of years ago, I had the privilege of starting my organization, Section 810 Communications, with the very focus being on training. And now it’s transitioned with the pandemic into more training in virtual communications, which is a totally different nuance.
[00:08:56.990] – Dancho – Yes, indeed. As I’m listening to Jeff, I mean, I started as a management consultant and slowly transition into sales. You’ve actually from sales transitioned toward the influence, because the knowledge and expertise in sales can be applied in non-sales environment within the company, right?
[00:09:15.430] – Jeff – Yes.
[00:09:15.990] – Dancho – And now when you have the sales, you have the virtual sales and can be also applied to virtual managing of companies. And this is actually the topic that we’ve touched earlier. Is that how different is actually the remote, the virtual, the online sales compared to the traditional one?
[00:09:33.950] – Jeff – Yeah. And it’s very interesting because in this new virtual world, communication is similar, but vastly different. Right now, you’re this big in front of me. My brain is not wired, nor is yours to interact this way in a normal world, we’d be face to face. I’d shake your hand, we’d be sitting. I’d have the ability to read your body language. Now, again, you’re two inches square on my computer screen, but yet there is still body language. People can still use hands effectively, smiling and facial expressions. You’ve probably seen this with your podcasts and with your interactions. Very often, people don’t know how to communicate in a virtual environment. They think that it’s the same rules, and it’s not. It’s even more important to engage your audience. So I think there’s a lot of differences there.
[00:10:28.070] – Dancho – Nice. And especially now with the Covid, like it or not, people were pushed, but not only to communicate online, but actually to sell online and even harder to actually manage their team online. And now this all falls under your umbrella of influence, just not the physical way. Just like you said, you were traveling from University from city to city. Now you need to figure out a way how to do the same thing just online through those two inches on the screen, right?
[00:10:56.680] – Jeff – Yes. And everybody responds differently. A big part of the training we do is personality assessments. We tend to use the DISC, personality assessment tool. Everybody responds differently to motivators, to stress triggers, communication styles. So last year, when the pandemic first started, I did a series of free webinars, are all on my YouTube channel for section A, 10 communications. But one was how we respond differently. So, for example, someone who’s an eye personality, they tend to be more social, more outgoing, where the C personality is very conservative, very systematic and very scientific, if you will. And as I had two people on my panel and one said the C personality, said the pandemic is terrible. But working from home, it’s a dream come true. I get to do my work and I focus on my task. And the eye personality said, yeah, it’s a dream, it’s a nightmare. I don’t get to see people at the coffee machine, the water cooler. So in business, it’s important. And bringing back to sales, who is your audience? How are they responding? How do you keep them engaged so that you can influence them because everybody handles Zoom differently.
[00:12:11.930] – Dancho – I see. I’ve done actually the DISC test, but it was a long time ago, now that you mentioned I was like, ahh that was the questionnaire with different questions. And then based on that, they’re giving you a personality characteristics, and then you know what works, what doesn’t, and how to communicate with those people. Okay, but walk me through the process. So before every training you’re actually trying to do a DISC test in order to understand about your students, in this case, who they are and how they prefer to communicate, right?
[00:12:44.690] – Jeff – Yes and no. Not every organization that I work with wants to go through an actual DISC assessment. It takes 15 minutes to go through the questions that you mentioned before. Sometimes I will incorporate that in training. Other times, I just have to make a quick determination where I think people may fall in and it’s not to put them in a box. Not at all, because we’re all very complex beings. But when I was in sales. Go ahead.
[00:13:09.530] – Dancho – No, I’m just confirming what you’re saying, that even people are unique. You need to put them in box so you would know how to best help them for their own sake. Sorry, interrupted you, Jeff.
[00:13:22.570] – Jeff – No, not at all. When I go back to my sales days and I was actively involved in enterprise software, when I walked into a room and it could have been 6, 8, 10, 15 people in a room I was presenting to, I had to quickly size up the room. Who’s the power player? Who’s that D personality? Who’s more the social on that I, who’s a steady, stable on that S, and who’s that calculated, systematic person to see? So when I was getting to the point of presenting maybe ROI, return on investment analysis or talking about payback, I would look at the room to the people who I knew were those C individuals. Maybe it was a CFO, because I knew that they would respond to that message. When it came time to making decisions on next steps, I would look for those power brokers, the deep personalities to say, what do you think? Where do you think we should go from here? And so by tailoring my message and again, not manipulating, but by being able to say who’s going to respond to this piece of the message, it allowed me to connect with multiple people at the same time. It takes years to be able to do that. Part of what I train is streamline that process to learn quickly, to see how do you read by someone’s facial expression, the way they sit or lean or stand, how they shake hands, the volume and pace of their speech? These are all indicators that we can use to try to make a determination of what someone’s core temperament is.
[00:14:47.750] – Dancho – I see, and tell me a bit about, you had about virtual quotation when we were discussing if you can share with the audience a bit more about that because that was also a very interesting aspect?
[00:15:01.280] – Jeff – Yeah. And it’s funny because we all know IQ, the intelligence quotient, and EQ, the emotional quotient or emotional intelligence. So about a year and a half ago and the pandemic was first hitting one of my friends and colleagues who was leading a division at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Heidi said to me, Jeff, would you come on and train our graduate students? Because they’re some of the smartest students in the world and I think they could improve even more their ability to communicate in this new virtual world because we’re doing career fairs and interviews all virtually, they may be in a dorm room or an apartment and they’re not as familiar with that. So we came up with the concept VQ. Again, we have IQ and EQ, but VQ is virtual quotient. How do you apply an emotional intelligence level or soft skills in this virtual world? Be it your physical surrounding or background? I tell people your camera and you do it perfectly, Dancho, is having your camera as close as you can to eye level, you should never be able to see your ceiling or your floor, little things like that that people don’t always think about. How are you in frame? When you use your hands, are they all over the place where people can’t see them? Are they in frame? So there’s various elements and then the communication itself. How do you know when you’re interrupting someone, when you’re on Zoom? How do you read people to see if they want to say something to be sensitive to that are cognizant of that? So these are all different elements. And the VQ training that I do has become wildly popular. People love the concept because it’s new. It’s only since the pandemic that we’re living and breathing by Zoom or go to meetings or blue jeans or whatever it is. It’s the new reality and it’s not going away anytime soon. As big firms are saying we’re going to be remote forever or at least hybrid. Two days in the office, three days home. What you and I are doing right now, this is going to be around for the foreseeable future and it’s important for people to be able to manage it effectively.
[00:17:06.890] – Dancho – Yeah. People will have to adjust to the digital, but also how otherwise we would be having this call? I’m sure not coming to the US just for an interview, it’s going to be a lot of traveling around.
[00:17:18.430] – Jeff – I don’t mind visiting you. It sounds fun to go out there.
[00:17:21.460] – Dancho – Yeah. We have really good food and drinks, but that’s a different topic here.
[00:17:26.150] – Jeff – For the next call.
[00:17:27.280] – Dancho – Exactly. But honestly, when it comes to this virtual environment, I personally feel myself far more efficient because in 1 hour, in one day I can do seven, eight, nine different calls. While if it was a physical, I can do two. And that’s it, because you need to commute, you need to travel, you need to prepare and everything. Now you just put Zoom, click, you have everything set up as an environment and you can jump on the call. And I was interested with the VQ because as a new concept, the whole point is that you’re really getting into the details because people know how to do video interviews or video recordings, but no one has gone into the depths to better understand, well, you know, what? The frame, the angle, the camera. Of course, what you’re saying also matters, but it adds up the same as when you see a physical person. You can check out their shoes, what they’re wearing, and other aspects of the appeal in order to try to see in which direction you need to communicate. Well, here is same on Zoom with different angles. You’re trying to better profile the person that you need to talk to, because in order to get to the influential part, you need to figure out how to, what kind of approach to use on that person. And I was just curious, how hard is it that the training that you’re doing? Is it like a week training? Is it an hour training? How big is the scope of the trainings that you’re doing?
[00:18:57.150] – Jeff – It varies. Very often we’re doing sessions that are one to 2 hours in length, and often that can be serious. I recently conducted a training series, an emerging leaders workshop for a group over in Vietnam. And it was four consecutive two-hour training sessions each Sunday. Well, it was Monday in Vietnam. It was a four-week series. Other times, people ask us to do a keynote presentation or a two hour training. So it runs the gamut. And it’s funny with what you just mentioned, Dancho, one of my clients in Russia, we were doing a session and the general manager of the office said I find myself interrupting people more now on Zoom than I did before. So, again, everybody’s a little bit different in how they’re handling Zoom because they don’t know how to read. If someone leans forward a little bit or opens their mouth, it may be just indicative. It could be very subtle, but they have something to say as being cognizant of that. Speaking of cognizant, I’m cognizant of our time because I know that we’re coming close to our wrap up window.
[00:19:57.910] – Dancho – Yeah. And Jeff, I also usually ask everybody on the show that if you wanted to share one lesson or one golden nugget that you want to be remembered for. So people will say, you know, that Jeff guy, well, he’s famous by something. What would be that one single thing?
[00:20:16.380] – Jeff – Sure. I think one of the critical things is sincerity. And it sounds maybe a bit trite, but I mean, that 100% throughout my sales career, sales people, as you know, unfortunately, can have a bad reputation of not having the highest integrity, sincerity, really caring about the other person, whether you’re selling, whether you’re leading, it’s the sincerity and hand in hand with that is recognizing that leadership and interpersonal communication is not one size fits all, be cognizant of the other person, whether it’s through DISC or understanding personality. We’re just really taking a personal interest in them. That’s what makes a good leader. That’s what makes a good sales professional and a good business professional in general.
[00:20:59.150] – Dancho – Well that actually makes you a good person in general. If people are sincere, you have a much better community.
[00:21:07.190] – Jeff – Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And all these principles that I talk about and train on, they’re all applicable in our family lives. So with my children, I’ve learned a lot from having a large family and being able to see that. But yes, all these skills, it’s interpersonal. So whether it’s in our work life or in our personal life, it’s just really caring about other people and then recognizing we’re not all the same.
[00:21:30.830] – Dancho – Nice. Well put, Jeff. As we’re approaching toward the end, where people can find you? I’m sure that people would want to hear more from you or actually get in touch and ask some specific questions about training, where people can find you, Jeff?
[00:21:46.150] – Jeff – Absolutely. Our website is section810.com. It’s the word section, the number is 810.com. We have a YouTube channel with a number of free resources, videos recorded webinars, and that’s Section 810 Communications on YouTube. And of course, I’m on LinkedIn, happy to connect with individuals as well.
[00:22:06.890] – Dancho – And I’m curious why Section810?
[00:22:11.840] – Jeff – Two reasons. We talked about influence. I tell people if you picture a gauge, I call the influence gauge. On a scale of one to ten, we want our clients to score between an eight and a ten on the influence gauge. That’s Section 810. But the real reason, goes back to when I was a child, when I was about 13 years old in 8th grade here in the US, we had different sections. There was Section 81, 82. I was in Section 810. It didn’t mean that we weren’t as intelligent as the others, but we weren’t looked upon at that same level. And so we knew it. But it wasn’t always talked about. So fast forward 35 years, and I met up with an old classmate of mine who had been very successful in her own right, having a large PR firm in New Jersey. And I’ve been successful in my career. And over a glass of wine, she said, you know what, Jeff? We didn’t do too bad coming out of Section 810, did we? And I realized nobody should ever be able to set a bar and how far we go. And so Section 810 reminds me that the only limits that are set in our lives are the ones that we set ourselves.
[00:23:15.710] – Dancho – Nice. That’s really deep title of figuring out a way how to name a company. Jeff, I wanted before we finish because I’m taking notes, the student approach, I actually took three, four different golden nuggets that I wanted to summarize, whether for people to see later or somehow they have missed them. The first thing that I learned from this conversation was really a very interesting approach on what’s different between influence and manipulation. I mean, the part that the one is based on the deceit, while the other one is really more being sincere in the approach, it helps and does not help only in sales, being sincere, but also managing people, managing clients, managing expectations. Sincerity is always a good asset to have. The second thing is that the DISC, for anybody that hasn’t tried it. I really recommend it. It’s free of charge. It’s 10, 15 minutes to answer a bunch of questions, and it gives you some threads about your personality and what you like and what you dislike. And there was some podcast that when you’re building a team, you need a mixture of different personalities in order to have a really functional team. The third one, I really like the IQ, EQ, VQ, because it has like, well, if you’re good at this, it doesn’t need to be, if you have IQ, it doesn’t need to have EQ. And it’s the same with the VQ. Even if you are good at the emotional intelligence, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to do a great job on the online communication or on the VQ. So that was really well put. And the fourth was the sincerity in sales is actually key. We always try to sell that in sales. Yeah, you can take the spammy and deceitful approach, but sincerity is like, look, I know how to solve this pretty good. All I’m trying to do is reach out to companies and find who has that problem. If you have that problem, I can solve it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s not like, well, would you try something else or something completely different? Sincerity is I know how to solve this, and I’m just looking for companies that had that problem. So four golden nuggets I actually took out from this conversation, Jeff.
[00:25:21.830] – Jeff – I thought that was amazing the way you summarize that. Thank you very much. And by the way, you just apply two of the principles instinctively that we train on with our VQ training. One is active listening, which includes taking notes. And the second is what I call the Boomerang approach, and that’s sending it back around to the person to confirm what you heard them say. Those are both very critical aspects of virtual communication. So well done. I didn’t even teach you that, you did that.
[00:25:49.850] – Dancho – I haven’t tried the VQ. But it feels natural that I wanted to summarize. And Jeff, I also wanted to thank you again for participating on the show. I really hope that other people that are also listening it will find some value out of this conversation. And of course below the video I’ll add your LinkedIn and your website so people could actually read more about the influence and the VQ and how sincerity actually works in real-time.
[00:26:17.870] – Jeff – It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to to be here. Thank you for inviting me and I agree and hope that it’s valuable for our listeners.
[00:26:24.890] – Dancho – Thank you again, Jeff and have a great day.
[00:26:27.080] – Jeff – Thank you. You too. Bye.