#023: When Buyers Say No – Tom Hopkins Interview [Podcast]

As you may already know, this episode is a huge milestone for me and I couldn’t be more excited!  In this podcast I had the opportunity to interview one of my heroes in the sales game, Mr. Tom Hopkins.  When I first started in the Voluntary Benefits arena, Tom Hopkins was doing sales training and consulting for the carrier I went to work for.  The name of the program he developed with them was “Building Aflac Sales Champions”  I still have the binder and the cassette tapes that came with it sitting in my office and I still revisit this material often.  I almost wore those tapes out.

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Within my first year in sales I traveled from Seattle, Washington to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend his Building Sales Champion’s Bootcamp. I paid for it out of my own pocket with money I didn’t have.  I am so thankful I did as it completely changed my sales career.  According to Amazon.com Tom has written 18 books on sales including his classic How to Master the Art of Selling
and his latest: When Buyers Say No: Essential Strategies for Keeping a Sale Moving Forward
Tom was kind enough to send me a copy of it last week and I haven’t been able to put it down!  If you read only one book on sales this year, make sure it’s my book Disturbing Questions! But if you are going to really stretch and read two books on sales, I can’t recommend “When Buyers Say No” strongly enough!!!

During the episode Tom answered the following questions.  Some were posed by my readers/subscribers.  Others were mine.  I’m just going to give you the questions here.

  You will have to listen to the podcast to get Tom’s answers!

  1. You have been a huge inspiration and long-distance mentor to me. Who inspired you?
  2. My father sent me the following question: “Do you put your pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else.?” (He does!)
  3. This question is from Pete Cormie.  Pete is a Regional Manager with Redbird Advisors out of New York State.  Pete’s question is this: “With all of the technology available in the marketplace today, what if anything, should be changed or adjusted in our prospecting approach? What “basics” should stay the same?”
  4. The next question comes from Linda Bambacus who is the Vice President of Service Operations for Colonial Life.  Linda’s question is this: “On Twitter you said, “Don’t worry about sales quotas, Take care of your clients & the quotas will take care of themselves.”  Many of my listeners live in a world of weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals.  How do I balance “taking care of my clients” with the pressure to hit targets?”
  5. My good friend and author of the upcoming book “The Job Serach Roadmap” Paul Freed has the next question: “How does one help someone on their team, that is struggling through a sales slump, without resorting to platitudes?” If you are in need of career advice or need a very sharp headhunter, shoot Paul and email to: paul@herdfreedhartz.com 

I asked the following questions from Tom’s book When Buyers Say No”

  1. I find it fascinating that early on in the book (page 14) you mention that the world No can have many different meanings.  In fact you identify 8 meanings that ‘no’ can have.  How do you know which no is which?
  2. In the book you talk about how the salesperson’s attitude towards no is critical.  This question comes from listener, John Green: “As you know in sales we get a  constant barrage of ‘NO…NO…NO,’ We don’t want or need your product” is VERY discouraging. How do we remain optimistic or regain our optimism every day we are pounding the pavement looking for new clients?” johng2u@gmail.com

What Tom is up to now:

  1. We talked about Tom’s upcoming 2-day Sales Academy.  It is coming up quickly in Las Vegas, August 22-23 at the Tropicana Hotel.
  2. We closed with my standard question of all guests: How do you want to be remembered? (I think Tom’s answer was very special.)

You can buy the two books I mentioned here:


I had a fantastic time with Tom and learned a ton!  I hope you will really listen with an learner’s mindset and are able to pick up several ideas that will propel your business forward.  I also hope that you will give serious consideration to  attending Tom’s upcoming sales academy in Las Vegas August 22-23 at the Tropicana.

You can find Tom at the following places:

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Hey! I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary……. including success!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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