Humanizing Sales with Unique Experiences with Dale Dupree
Dale explains his radical new approach to sales- creating memorable experiences and human connections.
Dale is leader of The Sales Rebellion. He is a sales trainer, teaching the masses (both individuals and entire companies) how to choose legendary for their sales career. He is a dad, jedi, podcast host, sales therapist, public speaker, and author.
Billy Bateman 0:01
All right, everyone. Welcome to the show today. Today my guest is none other than the leader of the sales rebellion. Dale Dupree Dale, how are you doing? Man? That’s our belly. How’s it going, man? Good to see you. Thanks for having me here today. Yeah, good, great to see you, I’m excited to have this conversation.
You know, we’re going to talk about getting back to the human side of sales, not just, you know, cranking through numbers and just dialing for dollars, and how you believe we can do that, and then what you teach people. But before we get into that, you’ve got a really interesting story, and like how you got to where you are today. And I’d love for you just to just to share that story of everything you were doing to get to doing this.
Dale Dupree 0:46
It’s your man, what do they say? Or what do we say, as salespeople, we say that buyers love to talk about themselves, so let them talk about themselves. So, I’m happy to do that. I like to really give a clear view of my upbringing, before I get into the fun, crazy wild stuff, which is that my dad actually founded a copy machine company, right before I was born, so a year before, and they said, you know, when you’re born into the copier world, that toner runs in your veins, and that you’re literally never going to be able to get out of the industry. It’s funny because technically I’m out of it, but I train a ton of people. And it’s still so I haven’t been able to. But I was born and raised in a small business, the original entrepreneur, right, the small business owner. So, I got, I got to literally see the halls of you know, what it looked like to run a business, you know, for the 90s in the early 2000s, before I ever interacted with it as a professional that was selling. So, I love when my dad taught me, hey, this is Peggy and this is what she does for the business. And hey, this is a cliff. And this is what he does for the business. And this is Tim and he’s in sales and what he does for the business. And so, I learned a lot more than just the copy machine itself. And, and you know how to get somebody to sign on the dotted line to put one in their own office, I learned all the inner workings on the back side of things. So, because of the upbringing that I had, in that it wasn’t, it was less work and more just this really cool thing that my dad did and had. And because of that, I kind of always wanted to have my own thing like him, right, because I also watched the freedom that it provided him even though he didn’t, you know, he would tell you if he was here today, like, I never quite made the money I wanted to make but we had freedom, he can go to his house in Tennessee and work for the summer remotely, if you wanted to, you know, he could he could spend Christmas at the same cabin, he could take a trip down to the keys if you wanted to, for a weekend, take my mom, you know, like there was a lot of flexibility. And being a small business owner. So, I desired that for my own life.
So, when I got a little bit older, I actually had the opportunity to play music. So, I, I had been in a band since the time I was about 15. And at this point, I was about 17. And we started to create and draw out our tour, our first tour that we were going to do on our own dime that we created ourselves. And we spent 52 days on the road in a truck. So, I actually got my first real sales experience because the pads that we that we literally booked to the store with, they didn’t know it, but they were going to put a member of our band in each of their vans because we didn’t have enough room in our truck. So, the first night, we played in Orlando, and then sold the living crap out of letting them or letting our two to our members split into their bands. And then we hit the road and it was one of the greatest memories of my life all the way down. So, being like dead broke at certain points and wondering, are we going to make it to the next show? Yeah, and we did and we got home and we had dozens of record label offers. And I got to really see like, what hard work does I got to see what it looked like to go to a strange place in a strange room with a bunch of strange people that I didn’t know and how to cultivate relationships, how to build an audience how to create a prompt and a desire also to be involved with something that they didn’t know about and further than just like being in the moment and experiencing it but then taking it into like connecting with us on social media and at the time. Social media was my space. Yeah, that was the hot one. Right. And it was just for musicians, right, so I learned a lot of really good and valuable insights of sales and business in general. Through that process, I came back and sold copiers for my dad. The story is pretty easy. I spent 14 years in that industry. First two sucked the next two after that or groundbreaking record-breaking years which led to my father selling his business which led to the next decade of my Reign of Terror as my dad likes to call it when he was still here which was just me going out and just crushing the industry eventually becoming a VP of sales, developing the brand of the copier warrior and having a lot of fun doing it. Building the community and not just having a bunch of clients that bought from me, right, but developing and building friendships and maintaining something that was sustainable, outside of them stroking a check for a piece of equipment. So, I had a different upbringing, I had a different experience, you know, going into college, you know, it was touring the United States. And I had a great b2b upbringing as well, too, in my start to my career, and here I am now two years at the sales rebellion training teams all over the globe to sell better.
Billy Bateman 5:30
Awesome, man. Awesome. So, you, you made the transition from being a musician to going into the sales with your dad, and then you stayed there for a while. You know what, when I think of like selling copiers, I instantly kind of think of the office, you know, selling paper, as well, you know, and you see those guys, and they just like get on the phone, let me reorder, you know, 50 rooms of this or that? You know, how do you stand out in a world that’s just kind of like, it seems very price driven? And just like, okay, like, what’s the cheapest option that I can get? That’ll work for me? You know, Eddie escaped that.
Dale Dupree 6:09
Yeah, that’s not easy to do, you have to truly become a differentiator inside of your local community. And you have to have an industry perspective in the process. So, you have to sit back and say, what are people used to in the industry in regards to what it is that they typically experience? And see, when it comes to another sales rep. Like, what does that look like? How does that feel? touch and taste right is the thought process.
so, I had to sit back and really understand what I needed to evolve more than anything. What I recognize is that there are mediums. and I really like the phone. And it’s a business card if you’re stopping in like those are your mediums, right? That’s it. People would tell you an industry they would tell you, you know, white papers or free eBooks or I feel like a lot of those things are ploys and gimmicks. And I don’t mean that in disrespect. But I would say that if I go to a website, and someone says, yo, I’ve got these seven secrets, that is going to make your business so much better. Just give me your email address. Yeah, immediately. I’m kind of just like, oh, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore. This does not seem like I think that’s going to actually help me, it’s going to upsell me as much as it possibly can. And, and that’s not what I want. So, if I’m, if I’m a buyer, and I’m looking at the copier industry, and I’m thinking, what is it that typically I experienced when a copier person calls or comes in the front door, I started to basically reverse engineer that process, I started to say, well, what kind of outcome do I want? And if this front-end activity that I’m doing isn’t resulting in that outcome in an efficient manner and really, in a measurable manner that’s outside of like, you did 100 calls and you got one appointment, that’s a crap measurement. That’s not a good measurement. Even if it is consistent. It’s a bad metric. Okay? Because if I’m going to do 100 calls, unless I get 99 voicemails, right, I better get one appointment. Right? Like, that has to be the outcome. Right? So, the thought process is, well, how do I make 10 calls so I evolved the thought process, so like, this is one of my original business cards right here. Not a lot of people have actually seen this, this is one of the first times I’ve ever shown on a show actually will zoom in on this. Awesome. So, this right here is literally one of my first business cards that I ever created. So, you see connectivity business systems, for anybody out there that is of the Christian faith, you’ll actually know something in the CB and ask what was pretty unique that I thought was cool that my dad put into his logo. But on the backside of this is where my brain started, started to get to enter into the marketing side of my father’s company. So, on the back of these cards, we had all these little quotes, this one in particular was Don’t worry, I got your back covered. And we put up some parentheses because we were a managed IT service organization and a copier sales organization. So, we did backups in particular for people that had servers and he needed that on-site off-site support. From there, I evolved into this business card. This is another one that not a lot of people have gotten to see. Let’s get it. Come on baby. Come on. There we go. So, this is this is a baby on top of a coffee machine that also has pancakes on the finishing equipment gear on the on the left-hand side of the device and that it’s got a coat rack and it’s got an espresso machine and in the middle and it has an oven baking a turkey down to the bottom. And on the backside, it says I could make your life easier with the right copier solution. And super simple messaging super simple concepts. But did you notice there was a tear in the top of this one, so there’s a tear in it for a reason. So, I also had a business card which I don’t have any more cash. I wish I had it. I just used them on I never thought that one day they’d be relics you know so but I used to have a business card that I would tear down the middle and I had a tear basically etched into the card. So sometimes I would hand it to people and it would say tear here. And it would just have my information on one side, my name and my number and my email. That was it. And then it would say tear here on the other side. And so, you saw the little tear that was in this card, because I used to pre tear the cards and say, hey, I started to rip it up. Because we both know, that’s what’s going to happen anyway, once I leave it with you, right? So. So, I had all these interrupting, interrupt mindsets and concepts and interrupting marketing pieces that people will put their hands on, which later turned into this phone break, which was one of my favorites as well to where we would hand that phone brick to people with this instruction manual of a person growing that brick at a coffee machine and tell individuals. You know, we know that you hate your copier? Basically. Yeah. So, if you think about the evolution of what I did there that I started with this ideology of like, what’s something small I can do? And like, when you look at the back of my card, and you read, don’t worry, I got your backups covered. You laugh a little, you think I’m a nerd, but you also go.
I kind of need that.
Billy Bateman 11:06
Yeah, yeah. Thomas Watson. I love this. It reminded me of, you know, I used to be in real estate. And so, I’d be hiring plumbers, electricians, things like that. And grew up doing that with my dad and my grandpa. And there was a plumber that did some work for me. And he gives me his card afterwards. And on the back, it says your crap is our bread and butter. And I don’t know if I ever hired him again. But I loved remembering the guy’s name. I mean, if I really, you know, I was like, dude, I probably would not even have remembered his name unless he had that. And I was like, that is hilarious. But it is the same concept, like being different, standing out, like, having fun with it. You know, I love that we got your backups covered. That’s, I would remember that. Awesome, man. Keep going. I hate to interrupt your good knowledge of us. I love that.
Dale Dupree 12:02
I love that. Because I’ll tell you why that works. Because it’s funny. But also, like, it’s the thing you don’t want to deal with and causes the most problems. Like when you think of like, like, let’s say you have an RV, and you got to drain the old ones where you have to drain the pooper, right? Oh, yeah, there was a guy that did that for you. And he was using that kind of advertising in your mind, he would go that it’s a problem. And I don’t want to deal with it. So, as we evolved into things such as the brick or the all-in-one copier, you know, even the messaging on that if I could make your life easier with the right solution. Nobody ever felt like they had the right build out of advice. Yeah, does this but it doesn’t mean that we couldn’t get into this, it could do what they promised it would do, and it never did it. So, lots of little white lies. And we were uncovering basically through building relationships and getting different responses from people inside of our target market in our community, to evolve this ideology around that the interrupt has to be more than just a unique instance, it has to also back up the problem that you help the prospect fix. And it has to take on common assumptions that people make of sales as well, too. And it has to create a familiar place. Right? So, it sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. It’s just one stream of thought. And it keeps people from asking all these questions and getting convoluted, and eventually just deciding not to pick up your phone call or not to dial your back or not to accept an appointment, right? But instead, these types of activities and items cause people to just email in and say, Hey, I’m ready. When did we meet? And those are the kind of results that we were getting from it. And because of that, we took it to the next level. Eventually, there were six pieces of wood cardboard cutout to me or baseball bats with big old nails in them that were like placing the copier here. We did all kinds of
Billy Bateman 13:54
awesome, man. Awesome. So, you know, I think I think it just lends itself into what we want to talk about, like being more human in your sales. So, what do you think we’re missing? Like, as it just let’s just blank it, you know, sales in general? What were people missing the mark because I know like right now most SaaS companies, you know, you’re thinking about, okay, I got my MQ: s coming in off the website or wherever I’m getting those from them, my sales reps, they’re emailing the dialing, you know, we’re setting demos or discovery calls. And then we don’t make them an offer or not, and then we move them through or they drop out. Like, it’s kind of, you know, we got to have some process in place, but how do we get back to more humanity in that process?
Dale Dupree 14:36
See, I love this subject, because I think it’s a lot simpler than we make it. When we create and design this process, we’re always looking for these specific triggers, right, that are going to move people along in that process. And that’s kind of the problem about these. This idea of a funnel in general, is that we especially as sales leaders, if there’s a sale Those that are involved in the process period. You know, we’re always looking for metrics. Well, what they say, well, what was the last email? They said, well, how did they sound? Well? Did you ask him this question? How did they answer it? Those things are very there. It’s unrealistic to expect that every person is going to answer and react the same way. When someone says to me, when someone uses the Chris Voss mirroring method with me, I know exactly what they’re doing. And I tell them the brutal truth to the point that like, it’s really hard for them to say anything back that puts me deeper into the funnel, if I because when I hear it, I go, oh, you didn’t like my answer? Because it wasn’t straight enough. So here, let me give it to you straight as hell and lay it down. Right. So, it’s different. And to me, like you’re giving me permission in that moment, to be more human and to be more authentic. So, the method is great. But the problem is that we use it in order to find this next step with people, we have dubbed the process down and are doing so right, because what’s happening is that we’re taking these high-level moves and ideas and concepts. And we’re creating more conflict for buyers. And we’re creating more confusion in our process about what’s really happening at the end of the day, instead of having things that are a little bit more emotionally driven through context.
So, for example, at the sales rebellion, we’re a business card with nothing on it, but my name, and it says join the rebellion. And it has a QR code attached to it, though. And that QR code, when you scan that thing, it goes to a follow-on experience, if you take the time to do it. And the reason you would take the time to do it is the way that I get that card to you. Right, that card shows up in a box, that’s like 18 times the size of the freaking card. And it’s the only thing in the box. And so, at this point, you’re like, what’s happening. So, whether you’re going to Google my name, or you’re going to, you’re going to scan a QR code, and one of those things is going to give you a desirable experience, that experience will translate into the funnel before they ever get into it. Because the person that the very front end is going to say, this is why I’m calling this is what I’m interested in. And this is my temperature. If you have those conversations in front, my favorite type of sales cycle that ever put anybody through was what I call the all in one. And the thought process was that if I could get you to call me back, because I just dropped a card off of me and Chuck Norris beating up a copy machine, I could ask you really straightforward, epic questions that would literally not waste your time and not waste mine. So, if that person called and said, Yeah, I am, I’m interested, I’d say cool. How many beds are you getting? And instead of them beating around the bush, they’d be like two, and I’ve already got one of them. And this is the price. I didn’t even need to ask those questions that I needed that kind of information in the first place. But that transparent, very straightforward interaction occurs when you give people something that they desire to get from an experiential standpoint. And when you treat them on this level that they’ve never been treated. So, when you get them on the phone, instead of doing all these things, and saying things like, well, listen, I don’t know that we’re going to be the right fit. Like, I’m not saying that’s a bad line. But buyers are used to hearing that kind of crap, right? Yeah. So instead say like, hey, so you called me You must think I’m a good fit for you. We need to figure that out. But why do you think that? Is it just because you liked my card? Or did you do a little research, you have some problems, what’s going on, that’s bigger than just, this was funny, and you dialed my name, right. And by having that clear, concise communication with people, we just create something completely different.
It’s like taking the funnel system and basically condensing it down to one interaction that then defines the system that we’re going to put them into upfront, and it’s their choice to begin with to get in there. And then if they deviate from it, that’s where we nuance our process. So, if we’ve given people an experience so far, and they’re doing things like ghosting us, then you send them a Casper in the mail, or you send them a milk carton, with their picture on it that says missing in an email or a text message. And you just let them know that hey, I just don’t want to chase you. I don’t have time; I don’t want to do this. Please love God. Just tell me No, I’m good with that. Right? But I’m not going to be able to sleep for weeks at a time. If I’m just sitting here thinking, why won’t they get back to me? So that process, you know, being how do we get people experiences that they desire to the process to either keep them going through the funnel? That is a very basic concept, you know, really muddied up, right? Which is that someone has intent they see that you can provide to them that fixes problems provide the value they’re looking for. And they close,
Billy Bateman 19:22
right? Yeah. Dude, I love it. I love it. Like if somebody sent me a Casper the ghost, I’d be like, oh, yeah, I did forget to get back to you. And I have been ignoring your emails. So, I’ll just tell you like, I’m not interested or it’s on hold or whatever. You know. I love it, man. So, tell me a little bit about like, so you started the sales rebellion where you’re teaching people how to do this. So, like, what kind of companies do you work with? Like, what does that process look like when you’re working with somebody?
Dale Dupree 19:53
Yeah, so we work with SMBs. We work with enterprise organizations, that it’s a myriad of organizations. as well as inside from a vertical standpoint, major league sports teams down to financial advisors, of course, we help copier people and SAS. In tech in general, we love the tech world. But what it looks like is that we’re a sales training organization, we teach the rebel way. That’s the number one, you know, proven process inside of our own systems. But we like it when people bring their own flair and flavor. We like it when someone you know uses something else that they’re already good at. And they and they’ve used it to fix a problem they’re having, and they bring us something specific, we need help here. But we don’t care about that kind of we’re not, we’re not here to tell everybody that that everyone that’s come before us is dumb and doesn’t know how to do sales training, we’re here to meet people where they are in their gaps, and to fill those voids for them. So our thought process is exactly what I just said, we meet people where they are inside of our sales training entity and organization, that that goes for groups of people, you know, so teams inside of organizations other than out of an individual contributor that just needs a little extra oomph, and has a spending budget for sales training, like we provide those types of services for individuals as well, too, because we believe that individual contributors are the future of sales at this point. So many people are talking about how sales are going to be gone in five years, and it’s all going to be automated. And yeah, we’ll be if we continue to, you know, call the herd. And then the good people that we’re not calling, you know, create disdain toward our organizations, or our leaders, you know, through our actions and the way that we treated them in the first place. Eventually, gas sales will suck to the point that a robot will take it over. But we believe if we can impact an individual human being and that goes for more than just their business walks, their personal life is their goals. It’s the things that they want to achieve and desire to get to in life. If we can tap into those pieces of their puzzle, we can create human centric sellers that will beat a robot any day, just like Dwight schrute in the office, and that one episode when he likes to sell more papers.
Billy Bateman 22:00
That is awesome. When do I reach the website? Isn’t it the website? He’s like, no more. So, when was that? Man? So, one thing I wanted to touch on is dude, the automation. Like us, we help people automate things with chatbots. But I really like where we see because I really agree with you where we see the best value is where you’re using the bot to just engage people when they’re on the site or in your product, get that conversation started. But bring in the right sales rep or support person, whoever it is to continue that conversation and help them. And then you know, sometimes they don’t need it. Like it’s like, hey, you know, the bot answered all my questions. I’m good. But man, like the real magic for all our customers is where they’re able to say, oh, yeah, we use the bot to start a conversation and just get it going and then realize, hey, they need to talk to Dale, or they need to talk to Tanner, or they need to talk to mark and let’s bring him in and get that conversation really started. So, dude, I love everything, everything you guys are doing. If you had one tip for somebody, it’s like, okay, we’re going to try to humanize our process a little more. What would be your one tip, this is where you should get started?
Dale Dupree 23:13
Yeah, I would just tell people strictly to get out of your comfort zone. So, when you start looking at how to humanize the process, one of the things that you’re going to find quickly is that it’s a little uncomfortable to do things that are normal, per se. Let me break that down. Yeah, one of my biggest secrets. Not a lot of people hear this on a podcast either. So, I don’t think I’ve ever told people how to make a cold call. One of my biggest secrets is how I got my success in cold calling was that I would call people and just strictly say, Hey, what’s up? Those my first line? And the reason that I said that, and the reason that I created that kind of opening line was because I sat back and I looked at my real life. And I said, when do I ever say goodbye to somebody and go regards and then say my name, you know, like, so why the heck do we do that in an email signature in the same manner? Right? Like, why not drive more conversation? Why not be more relevant? Why am I not given experiences and why not be who we are normally, so when I would pick up the phone, I would, you know, you could say anything? Thank you for calling so and so blah, blah, blah, how can I direct your call? Hey, what’s up? literally how I did it every single time and because it’s me and it’s authentic and it’s relatable. People respond to it. So, I would just literally tell people to get out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is what’s holding you back from your comfort in business right is what I should say that this business box that people put themselves in that doesn’t exist it’s not even real. We have to as a society get away from that concept. People say Business is business you know, right it’s not personal. Like I just want to argue that all day long, right? Like you know all the smart things that happen inside of business and all the Bernie Madoff ‘s of the world. And I mean, like, how is that good? How is that appropriate? How is that okay, like if we were more personable if we weren’t human, we would never have to make that comment in the first place to justify anything because we’d always be honest and always be authentic.
Billy Bateman 25:07
Yeah, I love it, man. I love it. So, before we wrap up if people want to get a hold of you, Dale and continue the conversation, what’s the best way for them to reach out?
Dale Dupree 25:16
Yeah, a great way to reach out is to go to the website sales, rebellion, calm or sales, rebellion, calm. If you’d like content, definitely check out linkedin.com backslash, n backslash copier warrior. I post daily, I’m on every social platform, you can DM me on any of them. It’s a sales rebellion, on tik tok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, you name it. But really, you can find my cell phone. If you just Google my name. A lot of the time people will find my cell phone number. It’s out there for people to try and grab. If they’re really that interested. They’ll find it via text. Give me a call. You’ll love my voicemail. When I send you to it, you’ll laugh your butt off. But please find me. We got a free slack group that’s on our website. We got all kinds of different ways for people to come and just be a part of the rebel community and we invite anyone and everyone to come and join.
Awesome, man. Awesome. And you know, I’m just going to second that Dale does make great content. If you want to see his presentation from the demand Gen summit. Just go to our website, and it’s amazing. So, alright, man. Well, we’ll chat later. Appreciate that. Billy.