Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:00:05] Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
This podcast is designed to help you increase the value of your business, and at the same time, give you the certainty to capture the maximum value in your liquidity event.
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Welcome to episode 67 of the Sell My Business Podcast. Jess Todtfeld shows executives and C-suite leaders how to be magnetic, how to quickly gain the confidence and skills to master speeches, presentations, and media interviews. Jess Todtfeld, CSP, is one of the leading communication and media training authorities in the US. With more than 15 years as a communication trainer and consultant, Todtfeld helps CEOs, business executives, spokespersons, public relations representatives, experts, and authors to become more confident, more in control, and to create more results from their speaking engagements and media appearances. He brings with him 13 years of experience as a TV producer for NBC, ABC, and Fox having booked and produced over 5,000 segments.
Jess's time in front of the camera includes features reporting, guest spots on national and international news programs, and hosting of America's Premier Experts and times square Today, which has been broadcast on ABC, NBC Fox, and CBS affiliates in the US. Jess went on to set a Guinness record for being interviewed the most times in 24 hours with 112 different interviews on radio.
Jess, welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. It's an absolute pleasure to have you with us today and for our listeners just bolt onto your seats you're in for a rocket ride today with Jess. This guy is incredible. Bestselling author. In the media, on the news channels. You name it, he's done it, but Jess, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's start with the story behind the story. How did you get to where you are today?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:02:50] Thanks, Jeffrey. I was a TV producer on the national level, ABC, NBC, and Fox. Always enjoyed that, but knew I was going to start my own business. And I left officially in 2007 to run a training business. Media training, teaching folks to be in front of the media. And then of course sales presentation training, and it's been an amazing ride and I love helping folks to not only look and sound better but create amazing outcomes. And the people who tune in here today know exactly what kind of outcome they're hoping to create. And we're going to talk about it.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:03:27] That sounds terrific. A little bit of a teaser there.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:03:29] You can't take the TV guy out of TV.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:03:33] So, let's talk about that for a second. Jess. On the TV side, and when you were doing that, obviously you had your goal of attracting viewership to make the show successful. What would have been of the things behind the scenes, in terms of the strategies or the tactics that you were using to get that viewership going?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:03:49] When I worked in TV news, if you show up and you say everything was great today, there wasn't a single problem, people are not going to tune in. I'm just pulling the curtain back people. And it's very similar. It's something we can really learn for our own presentations that you have to show people the problem or that you have to show them the, wow.
That's another thing we used to call it. Behind the scenes, where's the, wow? It's a new diet. Yeah but where's the, wow? Where's something that I never heard before? Something that's just a little bit different and that compels people. And you tell that story and you walk people through the process and you ideally show an outcome or bring people to a certain destination.
So, there are a lot of parallels, and know it made me a better speaker and a better presenter. And I'm going to even jump ahead. I'm trying to give lots and lots of value all at once, right in the beginning here. And I'm just going to throw this nugget in because it's something certainly we thought about in TV and certainly something that's so important.
Anybody is doing a sales presentation or any presentation, which is be audience centered. That means not just thinking about you. It's what can I be doing to make sure these people, human beings listening are just absorbing and understanding and going on a journey with us and getting what they want? So, flip the equation just a little bit.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:05:13] Jess, I love that. You're really preaching to the choir here at Deep Wealth, we call that the future buyers. Favorite radio station, WII.FM. The what's in it for me radio station. And so you're so right. How many times have you just walked in when a client hires you? And you see some boring PowerPoint.
Someone's just droning on and on. You're bored to tears. Talk to us about that from the flip side of why should our business owners or entrepreneurs or founders, why should they care about that? Because some of them are saying, yeah, Jess Jeffrey, it doesn't make a difference. I have this amazing company. I have incredible profits who wouldn't want to buy my company? Jess.
Why is that maybe not necessarily wrong, but they're leaving money on the table in your experience?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:05:59] They are leaving money on the table. And you said, how often do I see it? Most of the time. Most of the time and people are, even though they think I'm a little bit better than the average person or really, it's about the numbers. I'm going to show them the numbers tell the story, what do they care. I don't have to be Richard Simmons and jump on the table and be so charismatic.
I'm trying to pick the most charismatic person I can think of right now. Usually, what I do say is I walk in, I've had this experience over and over, which is person says, all right, we’re going to start, we're going to do our presentation. I'll take out a video camera and say, great.
I want you to, see it. We're going to get a baseline. And they're looking down at the table reading and they have a PowerPoint that is going at the same time, all numbers, way too small to see with human eyes. And it's a battle. For which one is more boring. That's not effective and you really hit it when you just said, you know, leaving millions on the table.
People buy people ultimately. And boring people who didn't even understand that they want to engage the people that are thinking about buying their business about taking some sort of next step. You know, these groups are going to have to work together through a process here and it doesn't instill a lot of confidence.
So, the good news is that it's all fixable and it's all learnable. And when people do say I was telling you before we started here a few, war stories, but when people see themselves get better, they are not only, really excited and empowered, but the rest of the team, it's almost a weird thing that happens.
The whole rest of the team is like cheering them. Like holy cow, we didn't know you had it in you as a person starts backing up like. I thought I wasn't that bad. And it's not that they were bad. It's that it's just so much better. So, yeah, it's something that people need to pay attention to and work on.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:07:52] You know, as you're talking about the stories in my mind, I'm just imagining, it's like you have Clark Kent who's at the table and Jess, you walk in and you share your strategies. And all of a sudden, this person's like a Superman or Superwoman. Who's just a presenter extraordinaire because of what's going on.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:08:08] Exactly. And then that would make me, I'm going to mix up superheroes. Who is Batman's guy in the caves? I don't know.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:08:15] Robin, Batman and
Jess Todtfeld: [00:08:16] no. He had the older guy who was helping him. He
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:08:19] Oh, Alfred.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:08:19] I'm mixing up characters. I'm like Alfred. coming in but you're right. It is like going from Clark Kent to Superman and or Superwoman, depending who it is, work with all different folks and people had it in them.
And it's a matter of, I find, obviously, this is what I do working with somebody, a coach who can take you through the steps a little bit faster is obviously very helpful. But then the best tool, I wish it was me talking all day, but it's not the best tool ever, even though I'd like to think so.
And I will ask my family when we're done with this. Does it mean talking all that? No, it's the video camera and the playbacks. And, I related a story to you where I said, all right, let's get a baseline. And I was videotaping people and then we played it back and it was just maybe a minute and a half of people doing their thing right at the top of the day.
And then I played it back and people literally slapped their hands on their faces. Because they realize they are boring themselves, which is not the intent. The intent would be the opposite, which would be to be interesting and charismatic and walk people along a journey and not have people think. I should check my phone right now.
I wonder what I'm going to eat for lunch later. That's the wrong action. Yeah, so I think even the realization that makes me the good guy because I don't even need to convince them if it's working or not, people know, but how often do we even videotape ourselves? Nobody taught us this.
And I honestly, I think this is not public speaking skill. This is a business speaking skill. This is when it matters. This is a life skill. If you care about business or you don't want to leave millions on the table, because you seem like somebody that doesn't know what they're doing.
So, yeah. I find it really exciting to see people change right in front of themselves. It's a great job.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:10:13] What's interesting Jess, and for our listeners. So, Jess comes from the world of TV originally, and, the news stations or the shows. They are broadcasting to millions and millions of people. And what's the first thing Jess, that you said was, what problem are we solving?
And whether it's on the most popular TV show in the world or the best business in the world. The best business in the world, when you're preparing for your liquidity event. What problem are you solving? And then how do you tell the story around that? What's your narrative? What's in it for me as a future buyer?
Why do I care about that? Why are you going to get me excited? So, Jess let's now go back to a business owner and they're preparing for the liquidity event. That's our wheelhouse at Deep Wealth. It's all about the preparation our nine-step roadmap of why you do that first before you start your liquidity event.
And I would imagine Jess before we get into the specifics of the narrative, When you know how to speak, whether it be somebody in customer service to your front-end person, all the way up to the CEO or the owner of the company, magic happens. Or in your words, you become magnetic. What's that all about?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:11:19] Yeah, that's something I talk a lot about, which is we know people that we've seen that seem magnetic, and probably the average person doesn't necessarily think that they are magnetic. Maybe they've been told it, but the average person not exactly. Especially if they're reading spreadsheets full of numbers, to explain something to somebody.
So, that is the big question. How can we be magnetic and create a magnetic relationship that converts into business? And you hit on one big piece, which is storytelling. And stories are the currency of life. It's how we interact with each other. Jeffrey, if you and I went to dinner and we're just having some fun real relaxed, you know what happened the whole time? We would be telling stories, I would say, oh, you're not going to believe this thing that happened to me last week.
And you say, oh, that's good. You don't. That reminds me of, oh, years ago when I was in college, this thing happened. Oh yeah. You know that? Let me tell you about that. The whole dinner would be stories. And the reason why I bring that up is we are natural-born storytellers.
So, a lot of people feel like, oh, I got to start from scratch. I'm not a storyteller. Like they think it's like a bedtime story or something. Once upon a time. And it's not that, but there usually is a story and people enjoy the backstory. It's almost like when you look at a piece of art and then you hear the backstory, whether it's a newer artist that you know something about, and your, your town or your area, or a famous artist, as soon you know the backstory, you're like, oh, I love that piece. Now it hits you on an emotional level. And any of the folks who are tuning in, who've been through some sort of sales training, a lot of pieces that I include are taken also from the sales world and mixed with other influential techniques and all of that.
But you were asking about being magnetic and the storytelling is one piece, but when you tell stories they are visual and because they're visual, they are memorable. And that's the key thing, I need sound effects today, but that is the key piece, which is if we're memorable, then we stand out from the pack and people want to come back and work with us.
And then we're also, you know, you're talking about word of now or people saying, oh, we'll go back and we'll go talk about it. You'll be able to have people do your presentation word for word. I know it because we've field-tested it and you'd say wait a second. You're going to be able to word for word, say by PowerPoint.
I'm getting ahead of myself here, but they will be able to go through your story and it'll talk about outcomes. And surprisingly they'll remember numbers. Close enough numbers if they were just relaying it by word, but that's how you're magnetic. And you draw more people to you when you practice this and try to practice it every day, not just in these pitch meetings.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:14:19] Jess I love this because really what you're painting the picture right here with your stories and you're using your voice tonality and everything else. So, there's a formula here that I'd love to deconstruct with you for our listeners. But when you go through it, it's more than just a narrative.
It's more than just a story that you're talking about. There's body language. There's back in the days when we used to meet people, that's just around the corner, again, lights at the end of the tunnel, but that whole physical presence that you have, or in a zoom meeting that you have, so maybe we can do this for our business owners and you're absolutely right.
No one teaches you this stuff. And how can you master what you don't know, what you've never been taught? So, we're going to get a little bit of a schooling here today with you, Jess. And so let's, if you could, for us. Could you contrast what most people do, that's absolutely wrong from beginning to end, and then what you do when you come in and you begin to work with a client of how to just take them from just the regular, plain, old person to Superwoman.
And they're up in the skies doing these amazing things.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:15:21] So, the part of what people do, that's wrong is the easy part for me to share, which is I'm going to boil it down to this. Winging it. I'll just wing it. Come on. I've been doing this for X number of years. I know what I'm talking about it. I eat, drink and sleep this. And then they go in and somehow winging it is all over the map.
Sometimes it's okay. Sometimes it's pretty good. Most of the time it's not so great. So, that's the biggest problem. Really, if I were to dissect this, as you were hoping I would, it comes down to two categories, which is style and substance. And Jeffrey I'm going to ask you the only trick question, even though you're interviewing me, I'm going to ask you a question the only trick question of this entire time today, which is, what do you think is more important style or substance when it comes to a presentation?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:16:17] Well, Jess, if we hadn't spoken about this offline, I probably would have picked one or the other, but because you schooled me in that, I'm going to say they're both important.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:16:23] You got it exactly right. I went and told him the answer when I said what I was hoping to talk about and that's it. And, you know, I ask it that way because a lot of times people have been told along the way, oh, you have to have more style. You know, You're reading through this spreadsheet and all the numbers and what you're sharing but you need more cells.
So, they say, oh, I got to use hand gestures. Okay. And I'm going to get into it. So, they're throwing in a bunch of hand gestures while their nose is buried in the papers that are right in front of them. And everybody turned to page 98 who like how many pages are there? 498? So, it can be a lot.
And so we have style and we have substance. All right. So, style, we want to be a little bit more interesting. We want to be a little bit more charismatic, so I'm just going to work each I work through both of them. Just give you, give people some actionable steps here, not everything that there is, but just a little bit to get better today.
Normally, you know, we wing it and you know, do our best to try to be interesting. And again, people worrying about themselves and not thinking about the audience they're thinking about themselves, which means they're not serving. And by the way, the word audience is whoever you're talking to. Not necessarily people sitting in seats in a theater.
Whoever you're talking to, I always call your audience and they just want what's best for them. And most people worrying about themselves. Look, as far as style, be interesting. I mean, I'm going to just go into body language for a second. Head, hands, body. Those three, if you move those three and you and I are recording this on Zoom, even though it's all audio, so you can see me. I'm standing today while I'm doing this.
Why? Because it's going to sound better to all of you. I'm using my hand gestures. Even though you can't see me. Why? Because it makes my voice sound more interesting. And if we're in person, it would be a little bit more interesting, charismatic as well. So, really just those three things, head hands, body, and then we should look people in the eye.
If you want to go back to, I don't know, the beginning of time when it's a courteous thing to look, somebody in the eye, you know what the opposite of that is? The opposite is turning your back on people. If you go over to show them the PowerPoint it's literally the worst thing you can do yet.
He turned his back on me. But nowadays it just means everybody take your phone out. And start texting your kids or something and totally tune out. Yeah, so we should look at people if there's an opportunity to move around. And we should do that. That makes it a little bit more interesting, but it also makes it where a little mystery. Where's Jess moving?
Is he going to come close to me? Is he going to go pick something up? What's happening. Yeah. That's subconscious. Even getting a little close to somebody when you're making a point. We've all seen TV shows like Mad Men and their presentations and it's kind of interesting, you know, they stand, they sit. They're smoking cigarettes, everybody starts smoking.
All right. No, that's the only bad piece of advice I'm giving this whole time. It keeps you on your toes. That's why that's interesting. Where's it going to go? And I'm going to jump over to substance. I mean, I could talk all day about both. But substance, especially as I bring up Mad Men, a lot of times they have thought about objections in advance. That comes from the selling world, but that's something that I bring up when people do these types of presentations, you got to be ready for all of them. You got to bring them up in the substance of what you're saying. As I was just sharing this stuff, I'm asking some of my own questions and answering them.
Partly for the fun of it. And, just a little bit of theater, as I'm delivering the material, which I really enjoy and have passion around and hopefully people do when they present for themselves. But that's it. It's thinking of those objections in advance, working them in, and saying something like some of you might be thinking this.
And of course, the people listening, the audience as I call them will say, that's exactly what I was thinking in their own head. And that's a great thing to do. And just the last thing. So, bounce it back to you is on the substance side, not just giving facts and numbers but it's also telling stories. And there's a nice little walk between the stories and the point or the facts and bouncing back and forth.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:20:42] What's amazing about this, Jess. And we're talking about the style. We're talking about the substance. And for our audience that you can't see just, I can. We're on Zoom. But Jess what you're talking about, that this is really your personality that's coming out with them. This is all you, and you've taken your strengths. You're amplifying. That's really part of your presentation in terms of what you're doing.
And I imagine it'd be the same thing when you're working with a client of just taking a measure. Okay. Who is Sally? What is Sally all about? And really what are her strengths? How am I going to bring out those best attributes that are in her? And then at the same time for our listeners, I love what you said, Jess, of bringing out those objections in your presentation itself, be vulnerable. In the Deep Wealth Experience in steps, number four and five is all about due diligence. And this is where you do bring that out of, okay, this is where we actually failed here and here's why, or here's why we have a big customer concentration in this one area, but this is why it's okay.
And this is what you may be thinking. And you go into that. And so it's interesting how your best practices really fit like a hand in glove into what you're doing for a liquidity event. All of these things for our business owners that I hope you're listening, and I hope you're paying attention because this stuff is gold.
This is gold. Of everything that Jess is saying of helping to increase your enterprise value because Jess it goes back to what you said, people like doing business with friends, not strangers. And so maybe you can talk about that. How do these techniques break that barrier, you know, someone comes in and they're all formal then they're stuffy.
And I don't know you're the seller, you're the buyer we're supposed to be at odds with each other. How do you get beyond that? So, you can just get a deal done and maximize your outcome, and you're helping them solve a problem, which is important for them. And everybody wins. How can these strategies help with that?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:22:32] Presentation begins the second two people are together and looking at each other. Meaning it may not have officially begun, but it's begun. People are sizing each other up. They're getting to know each other. And that's a moment to establish some rapport, talk on a relaxed way. Be friends, somebody ask them about themselves.
It's really an important moment that really shouldn't be overlooked even though the presentation might not begin for 10 minutes. People are making their way in, somebody's pouring water for everybody and they're asking, oh, where'd you fly in from Miami? Oh, man. I wish I was in Miami right now.
And hey, do you know this one restaurant? And now they're bonding over restaurants and wait, this person? Oh, holy cow. We know the same person and sometimes you could even do a little searching, even say on LinkedIn, you can know who you both know. And that's interesting too and say, oh, I happen to go over LinkedIn.
I noticed this person maybe you find out they have a kid in college or some other thing about themselves, or you looked on a webpage about them. They like to ride motorcycles and you ask them a motorcycle question. Now they love you. You're talking motorcycles? You took a moment to get to know them.
So, the rapport piece right in the beginning doesn't have to belong. Just shows that you took an interest in them. And like you just said, you now started off with this friendship and the more people practice that, not just the presentations, but in their life, a couple of things will happen. One is they're going to do it without ever realizing or thinking like, oh, I have to help him with some rapport and I have to add this piece.
But they will have other people like them more, they'll become more likable. You're know how there's some people where you just say that they're just, there's something about them. They're really likable. I don't know what it is. I don't know. They get along with everybody. Probably one of the things they may be many things is that they took an interest in other people. I have a neighbor. They're never going to see this or hear here what we're doing today. And they never ask us about us. Then the second we see them, they say, I've done this and I've done that?
And I'm doing, this is the kids are up to this who were like, okay. And now it's a game because they've never, they just don't ever ask.
I live in New York, so we don't talk to neighbors for too long. I don't know why. It's the New York thing. We're having one of these meetings, these presentations, and when I said it starts before it starts, it may be when everyone walks in the room, it may be on the phone prior or Zoom prior.
It may be you notice something, you half mentioned it in an email. All of these are opportunities to establish that rapport, huge piece.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:25:18] And Jess have you read our playbook or maybe you wrote the book you've written so many books, but this is right out of the step three of the nine-step roadmap, your future buyer, do your homework. Who is this person? What are they all about? Because again, we do business with friends, not strangers.
And what's the business all about? What can I learn about this person? That's going to make it interesting for them, because look, we all have choices. As business owners, we can sell to any particular buyer that meets the bill for us and the buyer can purchase any particular company that meets the bill for them. So, why not it be us by making it interesting and fascinating and intriguing for them?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:25:55] I, of course, I'm sticking with the playbook. This is why we hit it off because we have slightly different angles on many of the same points for people to walk them through. And I spend a lot of time going working in person with people and walking them through the steps and recording them.
But these are important pieces. And if we make this a few hours longer today, then we'll hit a few new pieces. Now, we will hit some new pieces that are in there. And I think, you know, look, we may say some things that are similar and it's usually there are some nuggets that come out that people say, oh, I didn't hear it that way.
Or now that I heard it this way, it really makes sense to me when I had to hear it the fifth time to be able to get it
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:26:40] And I'll make sense. And for our listeners, Jess was joking about making this a super long podcast. Don't take him up on the challenge. This man holds a world record. Why don't you tell us what that was about? Just it's off-topic but related. So, go for it, Jess.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:26:53] Yeah, somehow it didn't come up, but I do hold a world record and it is a speaking category, which is most interviews given on radio in 24 hours. It was 112 different radio stations. Some of them syndicated to 500 stations or longer. I still hold it about a decade later, a little over a decade later. And I was promoting a book.
And you wouldn't think that this would be a Guinness record. What was it about? Speaking and communications and all of that. And basically, a friend challenged me and said, you're the communication guy. You better do it bigger than anybody else. So, looked around and laughed and said, what does that mean?
Next thing you know, I'm going for a Guinness record. And it's been a nice thing to, hang my hat on and test out my own skills. And that's a different type of presentation when you're in an interview or being interviewed it's shorter, but you know what is very similar to the Q and a portion of a presentation when, you know, people worry the most?
They say I have my presentation down, but what about when they ask me questions and people really meltdown about that, but they can really practice and guide people toward the answers and places that they should really be talking about.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:28:15] I love it. And don't take him up on that challenge. Look at this guy, he's just so passionate about what he does. Now speaking of passion, I'm going to ask the listeners a question here, because Jess, we're going to do a little bit of a reality check here. So, if Jess was one of your future buyers for all you listeners, what do you think of him?
Now compare Jess. This is likely that will, maybe they've heard of you before Jess, or they've read your books, which is terrific. But if this is the first time that you're hearing Jess and he's a future buyer, and you're hearing the passion ooze out of him and he's telling stories and he's making you laugh and you're giggling along the way, and you're hearing all about these interesting things that he's done.
And you contrast that to your more traditional kind of buyer, who's just all strait-laced and stuffy and monotone and just not so fun. And you have similar offers. Where are you going to go listeners? If I was a betting guy. I'd say you're going to go with Jess because you can relate to him and he gets you excited with what he's going to do for the business.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:29:11] I have $91 million burning a hole in my pocket. I don't know what to do with it. I came here and I wanted to see who wants it,
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:29:19] Jess you're saying given 91, but with the Deep Wealth Experience, we're going to make it 191. And then we'll have something to talk about.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:29:25] We'll talk after that sounds fantastic. But you know what you bring up a good point. When it comes to how, how should we create our personality? And I certainly don't want people to think, oh, I have to be exactly like this person or that one or Jess or Tony Robbins or Oprah. It's not me.
Okay. Totally fine. But how about we create the best version of you and by create, it's in there and your family probably has seen it. Your friends probably have seen it. And maybe there's a way you act when you're, in a business setting. That's maybe not exactly the same. And how do we find that middle ground that brings all the best pieces of you out?
And surprisingly, when I say that you see amazing things come out of people where you know, that there was one guy I was brought in and they were Eh for this particular event, they were taking a company public. And the whole training was happening because this one guy who goes monotone and he was the main guy who needed to be speaking.
And they would just, oh, he, they said he just bores everybody. And what we have is so interesting and they said, listen, we don't expect much. Probably. Are just throwing money away, bring you in because you're not going to be able to help him. So, it was fun. I was laughing because all right game on.
And I had a similar conversation with this guy. I'm not trying to get him to jump up on the table, like he's on an infomercial or something, and run across the room. But the question was, how can we play with what we've got and how can we find. And you know what? I talked to him and I say, it starts before it starts, you know, all of this.
He and I chatted in the hallway or we were closer to his office before we walked into the big board room to practice. And he was giving me some of the backstory of how they created this company. And there were wonderful stories and you can tell he was passionate about it. And we needed to see that in the actual meeting.
And he gets in the meeting and then just get reads and monotone off that spreadsheet and goes through numbers and abbreviations for everything where hopefully, usually, most of the people will know what he's talking about, but there wasn't an extra flavor. I said, remember when you talked to me earlier, we need to do more of that and got him going.
And actually, we even got him, you don't have to do this, but some of it was so boring. I said, what if during this one piece where we had images that they shot in the field of this, I'm trying not to give it away because I've signed papers that say, I can't talk about it, but images of what they were doing in the field, which was amazing.
So, I said, what if you get up and just go over by the screen and kind of point and just, tell the stories. And the CEO said I got to call an audible. We've never had people getting up, walking around, and doing this stuff. And I think this is going to be awful. And I said let's just try it once.
And he said I'll indulge you. Fine, do it once. And we did it. This guy was amazing. And like you had mentioned, playing with the tonality of your voice and moving around. And then it was interesting the stories he told that the CEO said new rule. We're all going to move around and tell stories and do whatever it is that we've been doing so far. This is great.
It was just enough, you know, you got to make sure, obviously what you think works for your group. Though it was just enough to really make it compelling. Why would we ever invest money for the buyer and something that's not compelling?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:32:54] Jess, I love that story. And again, you're just reinforcing for me. I'm just going to call you out. We'll have to think of a title, but you're like a Superman or Superwoman creator or finder. Here's this guy he's boring as anything, and then you animate him and it becomes interesting and passionate, but on the flip side, something interesting from that, because when you think about it for a business owner, hopefully, you're doing it right.
That your company runs without you. That you have a management team. So, it's great that as a business owner, you're the visionary and you can tell a great narrative and you're a wonderful storyteller. That said your team better be as good or hopefully even better than you. And so Jess, I would love to hear your thoughts on how do you work with teams or a management team in this case where you have key individuals who are going to be making an important presentation in this case for a liquidity event for the business, what does that look like from your end?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:33:49] Rehearse together. I call it rehearsal. Training sounds there's some sort of deficiency there. Oh, we got to send you back to the farm team. But rehearsal sounds like due diligence. Whoever reaches out to me, I'll say, why don't you tell them that they should rehearse with a coach who can walk them through and just make it better?
Yeah, it's not saying that right now it's terrible, but we're going to make it as good as we can get it. So, as far as working with a team, it's a matter of getting everybody up, practicing. Everybody, seeing the other people improving. And the interesting thing happens is they all notice something someone else is doing where they say oh, that was good.
I should do that. There'll be times I'll be telling that story. This is them talking. I might tell that story when I'm not around Bob. Yeah. So, you should tell it the way Bob just told it because he just did something different. And it may be what I call the act out where you're just showing with your body language, the way something and we moved it forward and you're pushing your hands forward.
Are there ways to make it look a little bit more interesting? Again, we have to make sure we do it within what somebody feels comfortable with and their own personality. Again, if we went to dinner, that's how people would act. We would be acting out the stories. They would have dialogue. We would be very visual so that we can see it. But as far as teams, yeah, it's really very similar to working with one person except that they all get to go and they get to see each other and it's kind of nice because you'd be surprised. Everybody ends up cheering everybody else on because they see everybody else it's getting better.
And then those people get excited and inspired by their colleague and they're like, I'm going to try this new thing now that Jess just told us to do. And then they'll do it. And the other people like, oh man, that person's the best. And they're all great. But it's funny because sometimes people like, ah, I don't know how it is.
Let's play it back and we'll see it. And then they realize that it's a big difference from when they did it to start. If I wanted to be a famous basketball player or just even a great basketball player, I would get this Jeffery practice basketball. So, you have to.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:36:01] You think!?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:36:03] So, the thing is people spend more time say putting together the data and the facts and that's important, but they really spend the smallest amount of time practicing. And then when the important meeting is over, then they say, oh, you know what I would've done? I would've done this. Oh, I should've said this.
Or their colleague is making little notes saying you know when the other person was talking, you weren't looking them in the eye and you would do the laying on your pad. Oh, I do that when I get a little nervous or whatever. All right, it looked terrible. It looked like you hate that guy who wants to give us money and buy our company.
Oh, is that what it looked like? And I'm embellishing the story and trying to make it fun. I mean, I've been in meetings, I've seen people do that exact thing where they're, looking down doodling, looking at their phone, it's not just our kids who we yell at it. Enough with your phone.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:36:49] So, true and actually, in the group dynamic, what's interesting about that. As you’re. Talking about that, Jess, it really reminded me of the four-minute mile. So, when the world saw that you can do a four-minute mile, other people were now doing the four-minute mile where they thought before was impossible in this group dynamic when people are, oh look at Sally.
She just hit that out of the park. She's amazing. Here look, Bob was incredible. If he can do that, then I can do that. So, it sounds like in addition to the strategies and the training that you're providing, they're learning from each other, it's a positive feedback loop and you're actually getting better results when all is said and done across the entire team in that group dynamic.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:37:26] Yeah. And I like that analogy because there's a lot that people didn't think they were capable of and they don't necessarily say it out loud, but they say, you know, this is as good as it gets in their own head. And it's not. That can usually do much better, but nobody's showed them. And it's not really that much of a stretch to be able to add in a few interesting techniques.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:37:50] Absolutely. I love that and love how you approach that. So, Jess let me ask you this. So, there's this, I don't know if you've heard of this little thing called the coronavirus, this pandemic that's been
Jess Todtfeld: [00:38:00] No. Tell me about it. What is this? Is it happening anywhere near me? Hold on. I'm in a busy restaurant. I'm just going to finish up and talk to you on this interview.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:38:08] So, we're still, going through it light is at the end of the tunnel here. And we'll see what the new normal looks like. But I would imagine that obviously, the business landscape has changed. So, with what you're doing with presentations now that are being done virtually, whether it be Zoom or some other technology, how does that change, Jess?
All the things that you're doing before maybe modify or not do some, or add some new things in what advice would you have?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:38:33] And that's a great question because even after this whole COVID time period, we're going to be using Zoom way more or any of the other ones. Whatever conferencing tool, but it's really bringing my two worlds together of the, TV and media training and the presentation skills because we've all seen it.
And I actually did this speech for a group recently through Zoom, where I was showing also all the wrong things that people do. And they were entertained by me looking terrible, but we've seen people looking down into their laptop and you're like, oh wow. That guy has way more nose hairs than I thought he would during this meeting.
I had no idea. Why is he so close to the camera? Sorry. It's my iPad and I'm sideways. It's like why did you do that? This is where, you know, it all comes together. We still have to be interesting. We still have to be compelling. We should think about our background. We should think about having some proper lighting or a microphone that people can really hear us nicely on and you can go to Amazon and get answers to those very quickly. Or if you have a younger person in your life, they can probably guide you and you can go buy a new webcam or a microphone or a little ring light or something to go with you. You know, it's funny a presentation that is done digitally or through Zoom or the like, if the image is slightly off, it's not the end of the world, but if the audio is muffled or you're too far away, people will tune out and they're done.
They can hear what you're saying. You're done. This is a point I've made for years on the presentation side. When somebody is either they're speaking too low, where they're mumbling or they have. Anything that gets in the way, like a sound system, maybe they're up at a conference and they're up in the front and there, you know, I don't need to go that close to the microphone.
Do you? Every time I've been at a conference, the whole room, yes, please. We can't hear you. I can hear me cause it's coming out of my own head. I can, you can as well, but we can. Yeah, this is where you bring it together. And in some ways, even more important too, while they're both important to practice, but we have to make sure how does it look?
I mean, people can't see today and we're just using zoom to record this, but you and I can see each other. I have my webcam on a selfie stick with a tripod. Why? I have it because I can put the camera right up in the middle of my screen and put your face behind it. So, it looks like I'm looking at you and right now people might think.
And I'm answering an objection that they might have in their head. I'm just calling that out. They might be thinking who cares. Jess, why would you do that? Because we're not going to see this. Well, because it makes it a more interesting conversation between me and Jeffrey and people like it than if I were say looking down all the way, at the floor or looking too far up or sideways or whatever it is.
And yeah, even little nuance pieces like that go a long way. So, people really have to really look at all of it and say, you know, is that the difference between, $10 million? It might be easy, right? If they're like, yeah. I kind of liked it. The guy was boring. I've done some business with people that are not, going to be my next best friend.
But if something seems so off, we start questioning what else is off about them?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:42:02] Absolutely. And you call it out. Hey Jess, you and I, we don't make these rules. But it is what it is when someone sees you, if you're not looking great, or if you're in a dark dingy background or they can't hear you, you're right. It's done before it's even begun. So, always put your best foot forward. If you were winning an award,
And back in the days when we'd actually get together, would you show up in that award ceremony, in your sneakers and shorts, or are you going to be putting on your evening attire or some kind of tuxedo or something along those lines to show up? And accept that looks matter, your presentation matters, your surroundings matter, your audio matters.
You got to play to those strengths. As usual, you're spot on with all of that. So, thank you for sharing that.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:42:43] No problem. And I'm definitely pro-pants. People should wear bottom clothing on Zoom, but even after COVID, whether you're on camera or in person, I think we should dress in a way that best conveys the message that. we're hoping to convey. So, if I knew we were, if I'm going to sell my business, am I going to wear it depends, what kind of business?
So, I was going to say, am I going to wear a suit? And we're going to have tie no tie from a software company. Am I going to, put on something that usually these guys, they have a t-shirt, but is it your better t-shirt whereas the one that has, a big hole in the side cause I've seen both and you say I, there was actually one software company where or they actually made games and this the CEO really cool looking guy.
He had scruff and he did have a t-shirt, but he had like. one notch cooler, you know, it's oh, I've never seen something like that. And then you had some people around the office that looked like they were waiting for the Coronavirus, so they could wear these outfits at home, but they were wearing them at work.
I'm like, that's your pajamas?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:43:50] Ouch.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:43:50] Again, but we have to decide, I might feel weird if I saw somebody from a software company all suited up three-piece suit like they're a banker. And maybe I want the banker to look like a banker. So, the thing is we decide on all of that.
We have to make sure that we are matching our other people's expectations.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:44:07] Love it. And again, I hope for our listeners you've been listening because this is all the art side of what we're talking about. This does not show up in a spreadsheet, but it does show up in your enterprise value. All of these things, the more people like you, the more presentable you are, the more they can relate to you.
The better off you're going to be. So, Jess as we begin to wrap up this podcast, there's one question it's my favorite question. We ask every guest and it's this. I want you to think about the movie Back to the Future the movie, you have this magical DeLorean car that can go back to any point in time. So Jess imagine tomorrow you're looking out your window and the DeLorean car it's out there it's waiting for you.
The door is open and you can now go back to any point in your life. Jess as the young child or the teenager, the young man, the adult, whatever it would be. What would you be telling yourself in terms of life advice or lessons learned or wisdom or, hey, do this, or don't do that? What would that be for you?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:45:08] You did pick what's probably my favorite movie. So, that was pretty great. And I'm going to resist going to the future, although I'll probably go to the future and not tell you, because that seems a whole lot more fun. Because I already did the past. So, I don't usually live in the past, but it is an intriguing question.
So, I probably would go back to maybe when I was graduating high school going off to college, and you kind of wonder, am I going to be able to do this adult thing? And you'd be able to carve out my own space, whatever it is, maybe there are people who are better than me.
And I guess I would tell myself, you got this. Go carve out your own space. And this is actually something I tell people I work with, which is to think like an athlete. So, I played different sports and I was mainly a runner and. Let's think of a marathoner, you know, they would never go out there and it's like raining one day and they like.
Oh, no, it's a little rainy and I don't really feel up to it. And there are people in my personal space and I think I wore my slow shoes. They wouldn't be making all those excuses. They would just think like an athlete and be like, I got this. Even if you're not a hundred percent sure how you're going to make it happen, just be like, I got this.
So, I think that's what I would tell myself earlier. Which I didn't, think or act like that as a piece of my operating system, till I was much older, then I could get started even earlier on all of that. So, that would be fun.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:46:34] Love it. Words to the wise. I got this. What a story. What an inspiration in so few words. So, Jess as we wrap this up and I'm going to put this in the show notes for our listeners to get in touch with you online, what would be the best place?
Jess Todtfeld: [00:46:48] They can go to SuccessInMedia.com, which is one of my training sites. But if they go there, there'll be able to find me and reach out, or actually I'll tell you what, I haven't even better easier way BookJess.com which is when I give some speeches and people are curious about all the various things that I do.
That's an easy place to go. And then it reroutes people wherever they want. Definitely reach out if you've got something good let me know. And hopefully I can be helpful to those folks who need it the most.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:47:20] Terrific, Jess, thank you so much for coming on to the, Sell My Business Podcast and spending part of your day with us and sharing some wonderful stories and insights. And as we wrap this up, please stay healthy and safe.
Jess Todtfeld: [00:47:32] You too. Thanks for having me.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:47:34] If you're not on my email list, you'll want to be. Sign up at www.deepwealth.com/podcast. And if you enjoyed this episode of the Sell My Business podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews, help me reach new listeners, grow the show and continue to create content that you'll enjoy.
As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe.