In this episode, I talk about something that is in my friend Justin Breen’s new book. The book is called “Epic Life – How to Build Collaborative Global Companies While Putting Your Loved Ones First,” and I definitely recommend you pick it up.
The chapter I want to talk to you about today is Chapter 26 – Be the Buyer. It really resonated with me and made me focus on whether we want to be the seller or the buyer in the transactions of our life, regardless of whether or not we are the actual “buyer.” Justin’s concept completely flips on its head the mindset that ‘the customer is always right.’ It’s actually quite brilliant. Who is the customer or client you really want to work with? Who will get the most value out of what I do?
I think you’ll enjoy today’s episode, especially the three takeaways from Chapter 26. Enjoy!
Full transcript below.
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Be the Buyer in Your Life (Episode 311)
buyer, justin, chapter, pay, seller, famer, selling, book, hall, people, business, partners, buying, work, epic, talk, firm, flips, companies, clients
Mike Malatesta 00:08
Hey everybody, welcome back to a Friday solo episode with me. Very happy to have you here, as I am with every one of my episodes, solo or guest or whatever. And today, I’m going to talk about something that’s in my friend, Justin Breen’s, new book. His new book is called “Epic Life”. If you’re watching, here is a picture of the cover. I did buy the book — even though he’s my friend, I bought the book, “Epic Life – How to Build Collaborative Global Companies While Putting Your Loved Ones First.”
So ,Justin is definitely a family-first person, as you will certainly find out when you read his book. I do highly recommend his book, so much so that I’m going to share a chapter out of it that intrigued me, I guess. And, you know, when I reviewed his book, I actually put in the review that I love to read chapter names first when I get a new book. So I go to the chapters, and I read the names, because if the names of the chapters intrigue me, then I automatically get excited about the book. I don’t know how you feel about chapter names and whether they matter, but when I like them and when I start, you know, going through the chapters, if there are ones that really sort of grab me, then I really want to start digging into the book. One of Justin’s chapters, amongst a number that grabbed me, was this one called “Be the Buyer” — be the buyer. And I’m gonna read this chapter and comment on it as I read it, because I think it’s so interesting. It’s just what he lays out here I think is interesting, scary and a bit on the edge, let’s say, with the way most people think and certainly the way that my experience most entrepreneurs think, and business owners or people running businesses think about their business. And so you might call it, I don’t know, unconventional, but I think it’s really worthy of digging into here.
So this is chapter 26 in Epic Life, and it’s called “Be the Buyer.”
The Hall-of-Famer was incredulous. He could not believe what I was saying. He could not fathom that people would meet me and within a few minutes want to sign with my PR firm. [So Justin’s firm is called Epic. And it is a public relations firm that specializes in media, particularly getting your story out to the media outlets where you want it to be.] I told him it happened all the time. He was flummoxed. But then he went on to say how great he was, how he was the Hall-of-Famer, he yelled that he would not pay a dime until there were some tangible results achieved. He huffed and puffed that I needed to prove myself to him. I told him that I needed to do no such thing because I was the buyer. Companies invest in and pay my firms. But I am just the buyer of the people I want to partner with. I do not sell anything. And everything is paid in full. Upfront. No exceptions. No negotiations, period.
I want to stop there for a minute to let you know that Justin is not someone who’s been in business for 30 years and you know the person who, let’s just say, everyone knows and everyone has to go to — he does have a lot of people who know him, but he’s not like a movie-star-type. person. He’s not a celebrity, I wouldn’t say so. Having this approach to business where he’s the buyer, and you either sort of play by his rules or don’t is really different. It’s really different. It’s not the way I played the game. I mean, we sold millions and millions and millions and millions of times, and we always were the seller. We were never the buyer. So we were always open to the terms that the customer set or the discounts that the customer wanted and those kinds of things. And so it’s really interesting to hear Justin’s perspective about being the buyer and having that perspective from the very first time he started his firm. And I will admit, maybe that’s unique to the type of work that he does. But I don’t want to dismiss it as being unique to the type of work that that he does, because I think that while there may not be an opportunity in your industry, for example, to do exactly what he’s doing and what you’ll learn more about in this chapter, but there’s probably an opportunity to do more of it than you otherwise would think to do, or you’ve been programmed to do. And by the way, this Hall-of-Famer, as you’ll learn more in this chapter, he is buying the way he’s been taught to buy, like the buyer gets what he wants, and then determines the value that he or she is going to pay to the seller. And Justin flips that switch completely on its head in this chapter. So let me carry on.
My firms just solve partners’ problems, getting in front of the media, and being connected to the right fit, abundant visionaries, and the right visionaries will gladly pay to solve their pain points quickly and effectively. As background, a networking friend of mine had introduced me to the Hall-of-Famer, who was going through some major legal trouble. In the 45-minute conversation, the Hall-of-Famer spoke for 44 minutes and 15 seconds. In the 45 seconds during which I talked about my company, I revealed the process, why it worked, and the level of investment involved. He was not interested. But even if he were, I never would have partnered with him. Later that day, I texted my networking friend, and expressed that I appreciated the intro. And that further intros needed to be two people with the exact opposite mindset as the Hall-of-Famer. Dan Sullivan [you’ve heard me talk about many times on the podcast], the co-founder of Strategic Coach, stresses to always be the buyer. As Dan writes in his book, entitled with the previous phrase, at a certain point, you are creating so much value that you become sought after in the marketplace. And that is when you become the buyer. No longer will you take just any opportunity that comes your way. No longer will just any customer or client be worth your time and effort. Being the buyer is the best place to be.
It is endlessly fun, selling nothing directly stating how you transform lives with purpose. And then having the greatest people on earth invest in your services and networks. It eliminates the stress of outbound gimmicks, clickbait garbage and funnels and the annoyance of wrong-fit clients. You only attract right-fit partners and you repel everything else.
Again, that’s brilliant. You know, it gets to the core of like, who’s the customer or client that you really want to be working with? And/or working for? I think that’s a thought exercise that too many of us do not do. We instead look at how many people can I work with, as opposed to who do I really want to work with and who will get the most value out of what I do, my approach etc. Let me carry on.
Buyers respect other buyers, I have found they do not like sellers, just as high-achievers do not like mediocre people. I became a buyer by going through this four-step formula I have seen time and time again when people start businesses.
Number one, get to get. I reached out to 5,000 people to find my first five clients.
Number two, get to give. You are starting to give a little, but mostly still getting. [That sound familiar?]
Number three, give to get. You’re mostly giving with a goal of still getting a little back.
And number four, and this is like the Epiphany, give to give, but only to the people who get it.
I think those business owners, and people in general stop at steps one or two. Maybe they reach step three, and never even think about step four. They are always giving, but always with a motive to get something in return. I have found the true pure global entrepreneurs have attained step four, constantly giving, but only to the people who get it, like them, and thus have become the buyers. Because they get it.
I am truly hoping there is an even more involved Step Five out there. If someone already knows it, please provide the details. Flipping the script from selling to buying will change the game for you and your companies. By selling nothing and solving real problems, you become a buyer for life.
And at the end of each chapter, Justin has these his epic takeaways and the epic takeaways there are three from this chapter, chapter 26, “Be the Buyer,” and they are:
- Buying is much better than selling.
- Give to give, but only to the people who get it; and
- When you create endless value, you become the buyer.
So the lesson I want you to take away from this, or I’d like you to take away from this is what are you in business for? Are you in business to make a buck? Are you in business to sell whatever you have to sell? Are you in business to change people’s lives, or are you in business to make a difference in the people’s lives? Who buy from you? Are you in business to be with like-minded people who value what you do? And see you as different? And the other side to that is — If you want to be the buyer, how do you differentiate yourself? How do you position yourself? How do you start to think like a buyer instead of a seller? Not easy. That is not easy. But it’s also not hard. You know why? Because no matter what industry you’re in, I can be pretty sure that your competitors are thinking like sellers and not buyers. So all you need to do is say, yes, sure we’re — even if you’re selling the exact same thing, selling the same product or the same service — it’s not the same. Think about how it’s not the same, the delivery, how you treat them, the way you answer the phone, how you package things, how you talk about things, how you get to the root of how your product or service makes a positive, valuable difference in the person who’s buying it’s life or business or whatever their goal is. Really start to think about how your sameness isn’t really sameness. And how that’s a trap. That’s a trap that people get into. That’s a trap that industries get into. And then think back to Justin, a guy who was a newspaper reporter, wrote stories he became an entrepreneur after 5,000 tries to get five clients. And in five, six years, the guy has figured out how not only to differentiate himself, but also to how to approach the way he does business and make himself, like he calls it, the buyer. It’s powerful stuff.
Thanks for joining me today. I hope I made a difference. Until next week, maximize your greatness.