Most Innovators Greatest Mistake – Creations with No Sales Plan With Tim Kubiak

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Business Geek, Nomad, Aging Metal Head, Nerd, & Coffee Addict. Plus the only big guy at Hot Yoga. For over 25 years I’ve been building high performance sales team globally. Has sold over 2 billion in goods and services. Now I work with Founders, Business Owners, Executives, and High Performing Individual to transform companies, bring new solutions to market and achieve their professional goals. 

In the past year, my launches have included an app and coaching company that helps people win their most important deals in a complex competitive b2n sales environment, and an early-stage AI/ML solution to revolutionize the use of public health data by enterprises. A third company just entered their beta trials and should launch in mid-march.

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Show Notes

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Josh: What is up everybody, Josh, tap here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we are here with Tim Kubiak and I could not be more excited to have this guy here, we were talking about this in the pre interview, I just I love interviewing people with successful careers in sales because they make the best interviews because they’ve got a different take on it than even somebody who’s in the marketing space or in the business space so to give you a little bit of background on Tim, I mean, this guy has 20 25 years of experience in the sales realm but he’s closed over $2 billion in goods sold, just think about that, that’s B and I always love to quote our last President Donald Trump with the billions and billions, you’ve got to watch that video if you haven’t seen that hilarious, like 10 minutes of him saying billions quite hilarious, anyways, whether you stand politically it’s a funny video, so Tim, first off, say what’s up to everybody and let’s hop in. 

Tim: Hey, everybody, glad to be here. Thanks so much for having me, 

Josh: I am stoked to have you here, Tim. So I want to ask you my very first question, which is really centered around your business and how you would grow and this is a little bit of an unorthodox question, because you are from the sales round from a sales background, so for you, if you had to completely start over again, you still have your network, but you, you’ve lost all the money, you’ve lost everything, you’ve got to completely start over from scratch, you have the previous knowledge, what type of business would you build and how would you sell enough through that business to have a livable income within 90 days.

Tim: So I’d focus on something that had a recurring revenue stream, so I kept building for the future and I would sell more aggressively into my network and not bank on legacy relationships, where you’ve been is not where you’re going in. We’ve seen the world pivot so much lately, I’ve seen people get caught short that haven’t taken that approach. 

Josh: wow, that that was such a unique answer and I want to ask you a follow up question with that because almost every other person we bring on says go sell to your past network, what you’re saying is don’t sell to your your past network, focus on your new network? 

Tim: sell to your past network. But don’t bank on them. Don’t assume that they’re going to carry you. I’ll tell you my personal story, I started I stepped away from corporate life a little over a year ago, right, right. As the pandemic hit past network, everybody’s checkbook dried up my business state of flow because I went after New Business aggressively, I didn’t rely on people that had been customers in the past.

Josh: And for you use, you mentioned doing like a recurring revenue stream so would you recommend like an information product a SAS Model B that asked you this because you’ve had so many different types of businesses? What which of the ones would you would you start with, 

Tim: so it depends on where you’re coming from an information product, that’s a subscription service is great, a SAS service is fantastic so I spent a lot of time in the hardware and software world hardwares dead, all my old friends hate me, I say to everyone who listened, the future SAS and that recurring revenue is a heroin drip, everybody’s hooked, right? Once you get them in them, canceling them moving away, is different, and you have cash checks every month and it doesn’t matter, it can be telecom services, it can truly be SAS, there’s a ton of models out there, people don’t recognize that EBITDA and the exit strategies better to for anybody who’s really paying attention to that 

Josh: and I hope people do pay attention to that, because a lot of people come into our worlds. They’re, they’re really set on building a personal brand and a personal brand is very valuable, I do highly promote that our entire business is built around personal brand, but it’s not a saleable asset, you can’t sell you right, there’s no whoring yourself out to somebody else, right? 

Tim: I try it doesn’t work.

Josh: Yes, I knew you’re gonna make a comment about that, Tim, but for you, you know, like when you’re working with with companies and helping them to establish models like this, where are you getting your initial customers from, to be able to sell something that does have a saleable business? 

Tim: So I’m working with a couple of early stage companies right now in the SAS space, right, kind of innovative ones in the block chain side ones on the app side in the end tech world, in one of the biggest struggles both of them have had is defining what they want to be when they grow up, right, that I want to be x your products y go sell y? There’s nothing wrong with selling it at $20,400 a drink 200,000 people versus 20,000 a drink to five?

Josh: Well, and so for a lot of them, it’s it’s, who are you? Where are you going? And what’s the long run game? 

Tim: What do you really solve? 

Josh: Yeah, right. 

Tim: I always joked I wanted to do the first short fat man with the sneaker contract wasn’t realistic and I tell the founders all the time, they’re like, that’s stupid like get sometimes sometimes where you’re trying to market if nobody has money in it, but you have a product that solves this, there’s the greater good conversation, dollow the money. 

Josh: Yeah, I love that and that’s really interesting because I mean, your methodology isn’t really around business models and all these things that kind of slow down the process, you’re saying get to the money, right create a product or service that that you can quickly get to the money so with that in mind, would you recommend selling either before you’ve built the product or do you need to build the product first before you can sell it. 

Tim: So it depends if you’re selling somebody else’s product, and you’re wrapping your services around it so like a channel model, you can go out there and you can sell the stuff out and as you build your scale of your business, you can build more of your own services into it, and change your business statements, right, oherwise, get a minimum viable product. By the way, don’t build it in an echo chamber, don’t have only your Great Aunt Sally tell you it’s a good thing, go talk to actual people that have budget to spend on the stuff and get the hard facts and if you want to go out and sell that, and you can pre sell it and by the way, I’ve watched somebody last year, sell a proof of concept and funder build that way so it’s doable, if it’s reasonable, you know, but it has to be evolved enough. It can’t just be I drew this on a napkin.

Josh: And I think there’s one of the big problems with people transitioning from, you know, information products, or coaching or something to a real products business, is that, is that right? Because they’re they’re saying, okay, I want to pre-launch, but they’re coming at it with really very little knowledge of the industry or maybe they’re coming at it with Oh, the industry obviously wants this and they try to sell it to them and it’s just crickets. Right? 

Tim: Yeah. But if you think about it, information, people that build information products, they, they should have an innate advantage, because they’ve already taken an idea and developed it into something, maybe you can’t carry it around, except in your head but the ability to create that and take that to market and find people that will buy it, and frankly, probably evolve it from their own customer experiences is hugely powerful you know, think of it, if they know how to sell, they’re already ahead, because there’s a lot of really brilliant people and one of my favorite stories is I showed up on a call and literally everybody had degrees from like Harvard and Wharton and stuff, and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing there and I asked the dumb question to the founders, I’m like, okay, what’s it cost us to do this Thailand’s crickets, no answers. Well, you know, it cost us this much in development, great. What, what, what’s a per call charge? They didn’t know, what do we sell it for? They didn’t know. If you have an information product, you know, what everybody selling their stuff for? You know how to market it, you’re already ahead. 

Josh: Yeah, and I do appreciate that. And one of the reasons I like to recommend people start with an information product is because it allows you to test the market, right? You’re really getting to listen to people and they’re going to be telling you man, I really wish there was this software that would just do XYZ right? for you right? You’re in the sales round, right? Man, I really wish there was an actual CRM, that that cater to my needs as a salesperson instead of just being a generic CRM. So I do want to kind of talk through that with your company in particular, because it sounds like that was your journey, working in a space really getting to know, you know, the ins and outs of the service or of the business, but then you tailored a service around that so let’s talk through a little bit about how you developed your software. 

Tim: Yeah, so it was field tested the first win with the software that we have today, we actually used it inside of one of the major CRM companies, I was running an international sales team at the time and the first one was legitimately $125 million contract. 

Josh: Wow, geez, always. 

Tim: and as I tell the story, we sold it for 5% more than our competition but if you look at the details, the reason we were able to do that is we took an additional 6% to 12% in risk out of the client’s business. And that’s really what it is about. It’s for us was understanding what the lovers were, you know what the risks were and as fate would have it, that client had just done a multi-million dollar physical goods write off on aged inventory that was no longer sellable and a number of other things so we took on that risk, and we were in a volume business at the time. So we could do that.

Josh: Yeah, that’s that’s really cool. Because I, the way that you guys developed that, obviously, like you saw the need, but I mean, being able to start off with $125 million contract, right is what you said. 

Tim: Yep. 

Josh: Like, that’s, a lot of people look at that and they’re gonna glaze over because they’re like, Oh, yeah, I could never do that so I do want to kind of delve into your process around landing sales like that and in a sales podcast, people buy back I’ve heard this all the time but here where a lot of us are entrepreneurs, we’re marketers. We don’t really understand that like, how are you actually getting in the door with these massive companies? You don’t get $125 million contract by hitting up people who make a million dollars, right? These are Inc 500 companies so 

Tim: yeah, it at the time, I was selling to the biggest, most complicated communications companies in the world so I spent 24 months on a contract, I already was doing 10s of millions of dollars in business this just happened to be a particular wind that they were going after. And we helped them win it.

Josh: Yeah, I love that. So for you, when you’re when you’re going after these accounts, it’s it’s a long term game, right? You’re you’re doing the long term outreach but when you’re entering into these companies, are you meeting these people through networking events are you cold outreaching to them? Are you networking your way? And how do you how do you get in the door with all of these people? 

Tim: So traditionally, it was that the handshake network, it was the old trade shows it was everything else. Increasingly, though, in the last year, and I know you’re in this business, I’ve met more people in the podcasting business that have become customers than I had, from your opening question in my old network right so it’s where you put yourself out and the messaging you sent

Josh: Well, Tim, you just testified of our group coaching program, thank you so in podcast.

Tim: Exactly, 

Josh: unintentionally, you just you just sold everybody on our product, right so I do appreciate you mentioning that because I believe that is the number one way to get in the door with people because you’re poking their status button, right? They’re like, Oh, you brought me here to let me brag. Cool. Now, what do you do?

Tim: and it truly it’s built credibility, it’s so funny, because everybody, look, look, I’m not a guy who ever expected to know, Import Export law, currency fluctuations, or anything like that. I’m a sales guy right and I got really good at that and in a way, I got pigeon holed so as I was transitioning, they’re like, oh, you’re the Big Deal Guy. You’re the sniper, they bring it in? The truth is, is my businesses I go in, and yeah, that first one was 125 million my clients today I’m helping them win $25,000 deals and $100,000 deals, and they’re still seven figure deals, you know, I literally had a coaching call with one of them before this, it was 1.1 million guy was thrilled but it really comes down to what’s an important deal for those individuals. 

Josh: Yeah. Now, and I appreciate that because for a lot of people in the business space, I even know for myself, there’s there’s a numeric amount in our brains that we’re like, that’s so much, I can never do that right, I even still have those limiting beliefs, right but when people are initially starting, I think the the first big one is can I do a five figure sale? So let’s talk through a little bit of how you’re working with people, especially in your programs, where you’re training people how to do this? How are you helping them to go from not even feeling like they could sell a $10,000 plus product to where they’re consistently selling those? 

Tim: So part of it is actually understanding your audience and who you’re selling to so if I was selling to you, and you said, Look, I’ve got this $10,000 product, it does x it does y it does z, you know, we use some very generic terms we try to speak in terms of the customers do and it’s really narrowing it down as is it as individual buying decision or is it a group buying decision right, if I’m selling to you as a sole business owner and you’re gonna say yes or no. Is there anybody else in the deal that’s going to influence you help me influence you and can say no and from there, we map that out of what’s the Buying Criteria? Am I costing you money? Am I making you money right? Or is your solution costing the money? You’re making the money? And then from there, what does it really do? And who are you competing against? And my business partner, Steve hates it, but no decision is a legitimate competition, if I do nothing, and I keep spending what I’ve always spent, yeah, I may get what I always got, as the saying goes, but I haven’t taken any risk and part of it is learning to compete against that as well. 

Josh: Yeah, no, that’s, that is awesome and I love you’ve been talking a lot throughout the interview about the risk, right? And your job as the salesperson is to remove risk as a factor, right? That’s kind of your, your methodology is saying, hey, let’s let’s make this kind of a riskless opportunity for them, at least in their in their brain. 

Tim: Yeah, it is. And I will tell people, you know, yes, I’m high energy. Yes, I drink too much coffee. Yes, I don’t sleep at night. But I’ve never actually sold anyone anything right I’ve taken billions of dollars in orders but what I’ve really done is solve people’s problems, I figure out what they need and I figure out whether I have something that can solve it and I also believe in being a connector, if I’m not your guy, I will tell you, I’m not your guy but Josh can do this for you or, you know, Mike can do this for you and get people to the right place that pays back in the long term in spades.

Josh: I love it. I love that because I mean, that really is the essence of what selling is, it’s your goal isn’t to just close them on your service, it’s being the person that provides that solution. So I I love that you’re speaking truth to my soul here so for you, Tim, and your own company, as you’ve been developing business, through podcasts and through all these places through your previous life network, what do you feel like has been, like your primary lesson learned from from networking and in this way I can just new this new way through podcasting, or LinkedIn or wherever you’re doing it,

Tim: learn to speak in your customers terms, don’t speak in your own and I’ll use an SEO story. We wrote all this stuff and it was based on what I did in the corporate world and when we tried to take it to other people, they didn’t speak that language. They didn’t come from that ecosystem. So I spent a lot of time creating content and having conversations that weren’t resonating because I didn’t use the language my customers were using, and I should have known it but I’m like, Oh, we did this everybody does it this way. Not true. Talk to them. I knew what they wanted but I still use my words.

Josh: And so what do you recommend for people and finding those words, because I know like being in and around your customers is hugely important, one of the one of the big problems of being an entrepreneur is saying, how much time do I allocate to living among my customers and getting to know what they’re about? I mean, do you have a specific method or framework that you use for getting around people? Or is it just literally, like, dive in? 

Tim: So I do a strange thing. So what I do is I decide, you know, I’ve got this idea, I call some people I know, coz it’s nice to call friendly people and then I call people I don’t know, and say, hey, look, I’m actually not trying to sell you anything, I’m working on this thing, I just want 30 minutes to know what you really think and some people give me the 30 minutes and at the end of it, they’re like, okay, and and I’m like, Thank you know, you this wasn’t a hook, no, I really want to know, have those conversations, build that reputation, and then they’ll start referring you to other people, it’s the greatest market research tool, spend 20% of your time doing that.

Josh: I love that I love numeric amounts, I’m a numbers guy. So I love that, honestly, I think that’s something we need to be implementing better because those calls a lot of times, it’s just kind of easy to turn them into sales call because like, Well, here’s the solution to your problem. It’s our service, pay us money right but it’s really, really hard to, to refrain from that sometimes. But like you’re saying that creates the advocacy that we’re all looking for, right? That the real referrals where they’re not just like, oh, here’s my list, right? You’re, they’re saying, This person is actively looking for your service and I told them, you were an amazing person, they’re ready to buy wallets wide open, so I, I love your methodology. Like I said, You’re, you’re speaking truth here, I’m just gonna say amen to everything you say, will be good, so for you, Tim, you know, we have covered a lot of different topics already so I do want to make sure that we kind of wrap this all up into one beautiful little package so as you are starting this business, that you start your business from scratch, like we talked about at the beginning, and you’re leveraging these sales, methodologies, and everything, who is the first person that you hire, and you bring it onto your team.

Tim: In my case, personally, it’s it’s a copywriter, and editor and a marketing person, somebody with those three skill sets because those are the things that take me away from my core business that I’m not good at, like you, I’m a numbers guy. I love the numbers. I love the sales process. I love working with sales people and business owners, I don’t love marketing 

Josh: now I definitely get that, I’m the other way around, right? I do love the sales side but we were talking about this beforehand, right? For me, I love the first thing I outsource was managing my podcast, because I hate everything about podcast except the interview. I love I love getting to know people don’t like having to do the outreach, I don’t like having to edit I don’t like having to promote on social media. We hired that all out because I don’t want to do that so I The reason I wanted to ask that as one of the final questions here is because the way you’re scaling and the way that you scale, your company is really built around who right like the who you’re hiring, who you bring into your team and for you, you’re saying Okay, I’ve got the sales piece got that taken care of and are you the guy who also does fulfillment or? 

Tim: so no, I I do have people that helped me, I do 50% of the fulfillment, because I don’t want to step away from it yet, you know, if you look my weekend, the first four hours of every Saturday before the rest of the world wakes up, I’m doing my planning my new content creation and everything and it’s literally a download of what happened the previous week from clients that I can benefit prospects and clients with, right and I tried to share pretty openly and then from there, it really is dry it just driving the business and unfortunate because I’ve been around nearly 30 years in the industry, my business partner, I hired three times as an outside consultant so that’s awesome, I’ve got Steve and he’s got a team. He’s been in business for 15 years and then I’m building the bench so to speak so one of the things that I won’t do is outsource my own inside sales organization, which seems crazy, right but I want to grow the next group because I never want to put somebody in front of a customer that isn’t a real salesperson, that that’s what we do, that’s what we teach, I don’t have trainers, I don’t have facilitators, I have people that carry the bag, carry number, know what it’s like and I’m never going to change that and as long as I can find the right people out there, I’m in a good place.

Josh: I love that. And like I say, really wrap that the entire thing up in a bow because when it comes down to it, you have to stay in your area of genius and I love how you mentioned it there at the end, I mean, as the maybe as the owner of the company, your role shouldn’t be the CEO, right? I do not want to be the CEO of my company, I one of my partners, I was like, You are the CEO, I don’t want to do it anymore because that requires a lot of the things that are the slog for me, but in your case, right? Who better to outsource your sales to than somebody who has sold $2 billion worth of goods, right? That’s, that’s a big deal and you probably couldn’t find somebody better to outsource that to so you’re the person, you’re the guy for that so I do love that and the fulfillment has been taken care of not just by you as well. So that’s, that’s a cool, cool business model. So I want to ask you, this, you know, we’ve talked about quite different, quite a few different topics but for you, and you know, what you guys are promoting, as far as with your your coaching program, your training program for salespeople? Can you tell us a little bit about that, and how people can get access to that? 

Tim: Sure. So everything can start at my website at and literally, people laugh at my sales process, when I’m working with somebody new I actually, yes, you can buy stuff off there don’t write, have the conversation because we’re particular on who we work with, not everybody’s a good fit for us and we’re not a good fit for everybody. So we actually want to have a real conversation and to my point earlier on being a connector will get you to the right place if we’re not the right place and we have everything that we built from New Hire sales, skill stuff, and we deliver it all live and by the way, I still deliver this class, I don’t let anyone else do it. That runs it, if you’re hiring new reps, and you want them not to have product info, and you want them to have actual selling skills, right? We have a program that runs every month like clockwork, you put people in great, it’s easy, it’s simple. We have the app that we’ve talked a little bit about, that’s an add on its sales methodology and CRM agnostic, we know people using just about every CRM system that use it, it’s for must win deals. It’s not for your whole pipeline. And these are conversations we’re happy to have and then there’s always the mercenary sales management piece in the coaching business do

Josh: love that so go check that and honestly spelling that’s going to be hard for a lot of people, so it’s k u b i a k and we’ll also add that description in the link below so once again, so make sure you go check that out, I mean, the guy literally just told you don’t buy anything from me until you look through stuff so make sure you go check that out while we’re another he’s not trying to like lure you in and hook you into things but I do want to end on one final question here, Tim, because we have covered so many different topics. What is your final parting piece of guidance for people on this interview?

Tim: be focused, know what you’re going after and know what you want it to look like, I’ll leave it with a Kurt Vonnegut quote, which is, you have to be careful what you pretend to be because you might just become that.

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