Who's Brad Lea?
Brad Lea is a legit sales guy having spent over 25 years in the auto sales industry before moving into the internet-based training sector.
After going around the country training sales teams, Brad had an epiphany in 1999: what if he could use this brand new internet to offer his sales training to many dealers at once?
LightSpeed VT was born.
It's now the online training platform that many well-known trainers use share their knowledge and skills, figures like Grant Cardone, Daymond John, Tony Robbins, Jonathan Hawkins, Eric Thomas and more.
And, according to Glassdoor, Lightspeedvt does pretty well:
Now let's see if Brad's "Closer School" does as well.
Closer School Masterclass Review
In this section, Brad covers the basics of a great sales mindset.
He emphasizes 7 different characteristics that make up the seeds of a strong outlook and enable you to respond (not react) to every situation you are a part of.
The most important one, Brad says, is gratefulness.
So important, in fact, that it's the first thing Brad does when he gets up:
He writes down a few things that he is grateful for.
There's a ton of science that backs up the profound impact on daily gratefulness
Harvard University said this:
In traditional sales training, I was taught to "fake it 'til I make it."
Brad flips that cliche' on it's head, saying
“Worry more about how you think about yourself, because when you know you are competent and think highly of yourself, that comes out in your interactions with others.”
In Brad's Closer School, he's got 4 videos on developing your mindset, each sharing some overall philosophy and a practical tidbit that you can begin to incorporate in your life.
Similarly to Brad, I've realized the importance of gratefulness.
In fact, last year, the coaching program that gave me the skills to quit my job developed a tool for daily mindset development, called the Hustle Handbook.
Another helpful mindset bomb Brad drops is on self-confidence
Some other mindset gurus might touch on it, but Brad explains how to develop it in a helpful, short and sweet manner
He lays out a simple 3 step process
Brad Lea's Self-Confidence Formula
- Forgive Yourself for Your Past Mistakes
- Commit to Keeping Your Promises (to Yourself and to Others)
- Realize You are a Good Person & You Deserve Respect
- Rinse and Repeat
If you work through this process, you'll find that, over time, your walk will have more a bounce in it, you'll feel better about yourself and you'll have a greater level of influence on others.
I worked through a similar process using Belfort's Straight Line System, which pushed the dial of my income to over 50k per month.
As your mindset gets better, your sales will get better.
And really, it's not just about you making more money, it's about getting the strength you need to reach out and help more people
My clients will actually reach out to me, sending messages like this:
I agree with Brad Lea when he says this about mindset development
Step 1: Preparation
You must get ready for the sale in a couple different ways:
(1) Your Appearance and (2) Your Product/Service Knowledge
Brad Lea puts a spin on the cliche "Dress to Impress"
Rather than dressing to impress others, like your prospects (those who you want to buy your product), you should dress to impress yourself.
Why the switch?
Brad's logic builds on his self-confidence process he laid out earlier:
If you dress so that you feel like a million bucks (even if that means less formally), you have a better impression on your potential clients than if you come across as uncomfortable in your suit and tie.
The second way to ready yourself for the sale is become an expert in what you are selling
Here's what Brad recommends you do to be product prepared
Brad Lea's Product Prep Tactics
- Walk the Inventory (Know what you have to sell)
- Check the Pricing (MSRPs, Specials, etc)
- Get Your Bearings (Know the Service Levels: Basic to Premium)
- Check what the company's ads and offers are for the month
- Double Check Your Confidence Mindset
Brad wraps up this step emphasizing mindset, saying
Step 2: The Introduction
This section is the Closing School's shortest as, according to Brad, it's the simplest.
Note: I think that Jordan Belfort would take a bit of an issue with this, saying that the first few seconds of the interaction have a profound impact on how you position yourself for the relationship.
"Meet as many people as you can every single day," is Brad's advice here.
Brad talks about the intro correctly as "the opening of a relationship," where you walk up confidently, put out your hand, saying "Hi, my name is ____, and yours?"
Then you are into the next phase of the interaction: Gathering Intel.
Step 3: Gather Intel
There's 2 sides to the coin of gathering intel in 2020.
What are they?
Think of it like a give and take
1st: You want be prepared with your product knowledge so you can answer any and all of their questions.
That's the give.
2nd: You want to have your questions for your potential customer ready, so you diagnose how you can best help without wasting any time.
Brad includes a list of do's and don'ts to help you when you are gathering intel.
Here's a partial list:
Closing School Keys to Remember
- Don’t be nervous
- Don’t get tongue-tied
- Don’t lose your confidence
- Be funny and humorous
- Be sincere and genuine
For those old-school "high-pressure" salespeople, Brad offers a warning:
Don't "qualify" your prospect
He says this as it's no longer cool to judge your conversation partner, thinking they have nothing to offer, as you can't see the referrals they could give you.
What should you ask as you are gathering intel?
Brad suggests asking questions along the following three lines:
Intel Discovery Queries
- What do they want?
- Why do they need it?
- What problems are they attempting to solve?
Obviously you wouldn't ask them directly, but you'd smooth them over by phrasing them like:
- Can you help me understand...?
- Talk to me about....?
When you are talking with your potential clients, Brad finishes the section with a helpful tip:
Humor is the most attractive element humans can offer
Once you've gathered that kind of information, you'll be able to begin building the value of your product.
That's Step 4.
Let's get into it!
Step 4: Build Value
This step is where you help connect the dots between your service and the customer's problem in their mind.
You are also building the value of what you do so that they will not question you on the price in the future when the deal is being closed.
Building Value Best Practices
- Be thorough and always explain what each feature will do for the customer
- Point out the feature, the advantage of the feature, and then the benefit of feature
Unfortunately, Brad doesn't go into much more detail, saying that since this training is a masterclass, it's much more focused on helping you develop the proper mindset.
Step 5: Ask for the Sale
Brad's repeated motto through out this section:
"If you don't ask, you won't ever get"
How to Ask for the Sale
- Are you ready to get started?
- Can we Earn Your Business on this?
- Ready to Pull the Trigger?
Brad wraps up this section as rapidly as an amazon package wrapper, with repeated encouragement to ask for the sale.
Step 6: Close the Deal
At the beginning of this section, Brad makes the distinction between "selling" and "closing."
Brad defines the difference this way
"Selling ends and closing begins with the customer says 'no.'"
He and Jordan Belfort differ on their presentations on closing as Belfort combines "selling" and "closing" into a third, new variable, which he calls "influencing."
Here's a super short (30 seconds) video of Jordan explaining "influencing"
Many who are new to sales look for specific "closes" to use.
Here's where Brad's "Closer School," falls short imo.
He includes little material on the actual specifics of closing, nor does he use many examples.
Basically, Brad repeats the general mantra that the "best problem solvers are the best closers" over and over.
The big irony to me is that he calls it the "Closer School," but when he trains on closing, he leaves a lot to be desired.
Maybe I have too high of expectations of a masterclass, maybe not.
But as far as I can tell, the masterclass is named one thing, but does another.
If you are looking for an introduction to the entire sales process, which Brad does a very good job explaining, I'd recommend it.
Here's a visual of the sales process that Brad goes through
Brad Lea's Sales Process
If you want to learn more about closing specifically, I'd encourage you to look into Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Sales 4.0 (the full sales and closing course is 5k, but he's also sells the closing section for 400 dollars, which is how much Brad charges for his training masterclass)
All that said, let's keep moving.
Step 7: The Indoctrination
After you close them as your client, your works not done yet.
Now you've got to encourage them to stick around.
Everyone knows that when you get married, you've got to keep "dating your spouse" to have a successful relationship.
Same thing goes with your clients.
To keep the door open for referrals and second money, you'll want to keep showing your appreciation for them, sending them notes on holidays like Christmas, their birthday as well as periodic updates on your service offerings.
Saying "Hey" every 6 months or so is good enough.
Basically keep the line of communication open by touching base more often than Ricky Henderson
Henderson Holds the Record for the Most Stolen Bases in NBL History
Career vs. Job (Your Book of Business)
For those who want to build a career in sales, Brad does an excellent job explaining how to do that.
He shows how you can build your own book of business by adding a little ingenuity and a little extra hustle.
If you have a job in sales, you probably were given a number of accounts that you are responsible to maintain, a collection of companies who have done business with your company in the past.
Figure out how you can grow that and you'll increase your value to your company.
Don't just call those accounts, but look for a few new accounts to start seeing that you can add to the list.
Start building more relationships and some of them will turn into customers.
Inside this section, Brad tells the story of how he used an index card "CRM" in the 90's to build his company up to where it is today.
He had a section for each day of the year, so he knew who to contact and how to follow up with each company.
As time went on, he had more and more people to contact, too many, in fact, that he needed to hire assistants to contact the business for him.
That's how he built his company.
Asking for Referrals
If you don't ask for them, you won't get them.
Make it a habit to ask for referrals every single time, and you'll multiply the size of yoru business.
How should you ask for the sale?
Asking for Referrals the Right Way
- BEING STRAIGHT TO THE POINT: Hey, would you be comfortable introducing me to people you know that could use my product or service?
- ASKING TO BUY INSTEAD OF TO SELL: Ask for introductions who have what you want to buy.
Throughout this section, Brad emphasizes the need to ask for the referral immediately, and not wait a week or two.
Did you wince as you read "Prospecting"?
"People who hate prospecting don’t really know what they are doing."
You want to prospect like a banji
What’s a pipeline?
A recorded list of opportunities and prospects that are ready or getting ready to make a buying decision with you.
What's the benefit of keeping your pipeline full?
If you are low on potential customers, you'll likely sound desperate.
and you know what they say about sounding desperate:
Sounding desperate never sells
(in business or in dating lol)
Keep a full pipeline by selling regularly
What's a full pipeline?
More than just a few.
Brad encourages you to have the following minimum:
"You should always have at least 50 prospects in your pipeline."
Having a pipeline is part and parsel to being a true pro.
You can’t really say you are a professional and not have a pipeline.
In order to have a full pipeline, you need to prospect on a daily basis.
You keep your pipeline full by being intentional about it.
Salespeople that have more over 50 people in their pipeline make more money and hit quote more often than those who do not.
Wondering how to get your own pipeline started?
Brad lays out some structure:
5 Step Prospect Producing Process:
- Write down a list of 100 people who you think might be customers
- Then you begin contact them
- Then you begin to a have a sales process
- Make the choice to add prospects and opportunities to your list daily.
- Commit to keeping your pipeline full.