Ep19 – The from Dragon’s Den to Human Conversation Edition with Jules White

Ep19 – The from Dragon’s Den to Human Conversation Edition with Jules White

James chats with Jules White about business, sales and her inspirational journey from Dragons’ Den winner to International Sales Coach working globally with entrepreneurs, SME’s and corporates.


As an International Sales Coach, her Live it Love it Sell it methodology is all about the human conversation and connection – not the typical pushy sleazy sales image that has not quite left us all and still haunts some of us! Her story is inspiring and she leaves the audience feeling empowered and ready to make a difference in whatever they are doing.


Her Amazon best selling book Live it Love it Sell it is also changing opinions and outcomes with her mission to un-train anyone who has been trained to sell, one she takes seriously. We already know how to sell because life skills are sales skills!


Contact Jules:


web: www.liveitloveitsellit.co.uk
email: jules@liveitloveitsellit.co.uk

Click for the full transcript

James Nathan: 00:55 Hello and welcome to The Only One Business Show with me, your host, James Nathan. Now today I’ve got a really interesting guest for you and I think you’re going to really enjoy this conversation. She’s massively established and focuses on talking about business sales and her inspirational journey from the Dragon’s Den, Winning on that show to international sales coach, working globally with entrepreneurs, SMEs, and corporates. As an international sales coach, her Live it, Love it, Sell it methodology is all about the human conversation and human connection, not the typical pushy, sleazy sales image that’s kind of, well hopefully in the past, her story’s absolutely inspiring and she leaves the audience feeling empowered and ready to make a big difference in what they’re doing. Her book’s available on Amazon as a best seller and our opinions and outcomes and the missions that she tries to untrain from people who have been trained to sell, she takes extremely seriously. That’s gonna be interesting to find out more about. Please welcome Jules White. Jules, hi, how are you?


Jules White: 01:59 I’m very well, James. Thank you so much for having me as one of your guests.


James Nathan: 02:04 Now I’m really excited to talk to you today cause I’ve spent my life talking about sales and try to sort of remove the stigma of the sleazy used car salesman kind of and apologies to car sales people, but you know that horrible stereotype that, you’re making a way through that mire and helping people relearn.


Jules White: 02:29 Yes. Yes. I think it’s based on, well it’s definitely based on 32 years of being actually in sales and having worked in quite a few different sectors, having worked in different positions in sales, you know, from knocking the doors to actually being a sales director. So you’ve got this really wonderful breadth and knowledge of sales across all of that time. And I started to look at it, James and think what was I trained to do back then I was continually trained in this process driven way that was actually quite transactional. It was inhuman. And I thought, my goodness, if I start my own business and I’m gonna do anything in sales, which I knew that was what I was passionate about. It couldn’t be in that way. I had to do it in a different way.


James Nathan: 03:18 Why are people still….. I was going to say, why do they do that? But people are still trained in that old fashioned process way?


Jules White: 03:26 I still see it, I still hear about it. And I think it’s, I think it’s changing, which is the good news, but I still think it’s really slowly changing when it doesn’t need to. And I think part of it is we’re hanging on to that process-driven way, you know, these methodologies that have become sacred in sales and I think we’re almost a bit scared to say they don’t work anymore, you know, so there are still people out there teaching those structured methods. I’m kind of wanting to untrain all of that as you mentioned earlier, and I want people to be human. I actually want them to appreciate, they already have the skills or I say is the life skills are sales skills because they are uniquely them. And that’s what I want people to start trusting that they can actually just be themselves. Cause that’s what we buy.


James Nathan: 04:23 I spend a lot of time teaching people to sell as you know, too, but I don’t teach sales people, I teach professional people to sell professional services and recruiters and that kind of thing. So it’s a different kind of starting point I guess. But the process is the same. How do you unteach somebody?


Jules White: 04:46 I think it’s actually bringing something into consciousness, if that makes sense, James. You know, we do a lot of stuff in that subconscious place, don’t we? You know how we drive a car for instance. And my son the other day said to me, Mum, how’d you drive a car? And you know, I had to take about five minutes to think about what order to tell him that everything came in. Honestly because I hadn’t brought it into that place. You know, I just did it. So I think what’s happened is when we have been trained to sell, we just do this stuff cause it feels comfortable. It’s about taking people out of their comfort zone and almost stripping them right back and saying, okay, what’s great about you as a person? What are your core values? What do you love doing? How do you talk? What’s your language? How would you meet a friend and have a cup of coffee? And when you get them into that kind of place, they start relaxing and just being them. That’s where I want to start with people to help them to sell. That’s where I want to start them connecting with their customers.


James Nathan: 05:48 Fantastic. Let’s, can we just step back in time a bit? Cause you’re a bit of a TV star, aren’t you?


Jules White: 05:55 Well apparently. So James.


James Nathan: 05:58 Tell us a bit about the Dragon’s Den and how you ended up there and, and what you, what you learned from that process.


Jules White: 06:05 Yes. So I mean obviously we’re in 2019 when we’re recording this because this may be listened to in years to come James. But my dragon’s den experience started in 2005, would you believe. That seems an awful long time ago. My son Sam was three months old when I started a business because I had fallen in love with having a baby and I started a company called Truly Madly Baby selling baby products, that party plan. So we used to just, I think women particularly used to love party plan. We’d buy anything as long as it was at a party. Honestly, it’s changed. So I thought, well now one’s doing it with baby products and must be a market here. So I researched, I started a business when I was about a couple of months further on. I’ve got about six consultants I’d recruited across the country via these little forums, you know, net moms and moms net because we didn’t have the social media back then, James.


Jules White: 07:04 And then I saw this advert pop up for Dragon’s Den on my computer at 7:30 in the morning and I’d watched the first series. So this was only the second series. I loved that. I loved how those, those poor entrepreneurs squirmed in front of those Dragons. How amazing was that. I’ll apply. I did, I applied and within two weeks I was in front of the Dragons filming pitch. Yeah. I mean, I literally think sometimes in life is about timing and I literally think they would just on the last few people, they wanted to finish a series and I just got in at the right time. And so yes, that was there. And I pitched I mean, I don’t know if you want to know that, who the dragons were back then. Is that of interest?


James Nathan: 07:53 Yeah. Let’s stretch our memories. Who can we remember from 2005?


Jules White: 07:57 Okay. So did you watch it, James?


James Nathan: 08:00 I’ve always watched, I love that show. It’s I think unfortunately it’s becoming a bit more car crash tele than it used to be. I think originally it was a lot more about good people on there trying to sell good stuff and now they have a lot of that. This is personally my opinion, but I think they chuck in the odd weird one just for a bit of a laugh, which I think is a bit unfair.


Jules White: 08:20 Yeah, I agree.


James Nathan: 08:21 So back then it was well Peter, Deborah. Was Duncan Bannatyne in there too.


Jules White: 08:29 Yeah. So I didn’t have Deborah, I had Peter. I had a Duncan Bannatyne. I had Doug Richards, do you remember him? The American guy. He didn’t know how to smile, just so you’d remember him. I had Rachel, Elnaugh. She was the Red Letters Days lady


James Nathan: 08:48 Yes. Yes. Did Peter buy Red Letter Days from her?


Jules White: 08:53 Yes. So here’s an interesting thing. She was heavily pregnant. So I went up the stairs, this climbs the wooden stairs and I thought, great, she’s pregnant, she’s going to buy into this, she’s going to love it. But she was actually the day before, actually the next day I should say Peter and Theo Paphitis bought red letter days for a pound each. She was just about to go out of business when they actually did the filming. She knew it. So she was never going to be my investor. And so Rachel and Doug Richards, Duncan Bannatyne and Theo Paphitis the new kid on the block. And then Peter Jones.


James Nathan: 09:29 And so you walk up the stairs, you stand in front of all those people, you pitch Truly Madly Baby. And do you know what, when you, when you started telling me this story, I think of, you know, I don’t think there’s been a mum ever who’s had a baby and hasn’t thought, oh, I could make a baby business. You know, no one’s ever thought of it before. Off I go. But you did it and you obviously built a great business. Did anybody buy you?


Jules White: 09:52 Yeah, so on the day I was in front of the Dragons for two and a half hours and I always have to tell you this bit cause you only saw 14 minutes on the program. I was obviously so much better in my two and a half hours and they showed me in 14 minutes. They cut it beautifully. And Theo and Peter were pitching against each other to invest in the business, which was just a dream come true because they bought the percentage down without me doing any negotiation. And then I shook hands with Peter. I shook hands with Peter on the show and that was the May that we recorded it. And then by September was the first time I heard from these people, which was a contract that my solicitor begged me not to sign.


James Nathan: 10:31 Right. Gosh that’s a long time. So it took two weeks to get you on the telly and months to send your contract, which you then didn’t sign.


Jules White: 10:39 Yeah, because as well the hard bit was I was in limbo because I couldn’t tell anyone I’d been on the Den because they hadn’t been shown. So it was top secret. And also what did I do with my business while I kind of just had to carry on running it organically. And so it was quite a funny time actually. But I cracked on as you do and then we didn’t sign and then we were on the television at the end of October. We were shown on the BBC obviously as Dragon’s Den investment winners shaking hands with Peter. And then that evening I got two and a half thousand emails pop into my inbox and three of them are from investors and I chose one lady who I knew, I’d played hockey with her and she became my new investor.


James Nathan: 11:21 Fantastic. I always wonder what happens when it goes to air cause the first thing, you know, I sit there with Mandy and we’ve watched it, watch it a lot and you know, there are some things on there that’s quite cool. Oh and nip online and see, you know, if it’s available and what it costs and what have you. And I’m sure that sales bubble must really give some of the businesses a real leg up.


Jules White: 11:41 Oh it does and the thing is you have to be well, but back then we had to be smart because we had things like bandwidth to consider with websites. So most of the sites you went to Dragon’s Den, they just crashed because they couldn’t manage all the people who were logging in. Well my ex ex husband, yeah, he’s ex now, but at the time he was my husband, he actually was a bit smart and he bought extra bandwidth so that people could still get onto our website. So that was a really smart move.


James Nathan: 12:09 Wow. Stuff you don’t think about anymore in the, in the fibre world.


Jules White: 12:13 Exactly. Exactly. So those were the days, James, weren’t they?


James Nathan: 12:16 Oh yeah. I talk about them and I feel like a fossil. I was talking about fax machines the other day Jules, and you know, then you start thinking what on earth….. But the kids look at you, or my kids look at me and say yeah right-e-o or whatever, into their screen with their instant everything. What did you learn from that experience? Because it’s a hell of a thing to go through.


Jules White: 12:38 Yeah, I mean I think it was all, it all happened really quick. I think that’s the big thing to say. So it was quite a blur, you know, imagine, I’d only just had a baby as well. So there was a lot of stuff going on. But actually three years on from being on the Den, we were a million pounds turnover business with profit. I had 432 consultants across the country from, the Hebrides down to Guernsey. And I had enquires from America and Australia to come into the, the sort of Truly Madly Baby bubble as it were. And so it was a massive success. What I learned was this, James, we hadn’t done any of the foundation work to set up that business. So when it became so successful so quickly, we couldn’t manage it. We couldn’t handle the amount of orders. We didn’t have enough stock, we didn’t have enough staff and we didn’t have the systems to manage everything, which was really, really critical because then cashflow came into play, which meant that actually my investor who I took onboard, who hadn’t really done the things I was hoping she’d do in some ways then says, I can invest the next level of investment. That’s not a problem, but I want to 75% of your business. Yeah. And bearing in mind she’d had I think about 42% was the deal I did with her following the Den. And I just, you know, my TEDx talk, James talks about, we always have a choice. And actually at that point, my choice was absolutely not. I’m not giving you 75% of my business when I’ve worked so hard working like 21 hours a day, seven days a week, which I pretty much had. And she took me into administration. So she closed me down and the next day she bought the company back and she continued to run it as Truly Madly Baby.


James Nathan: 14:32 Do you know, I’ve heard you talk about that before and it saddens me to this day to think that somebody could be so dreadful to another person, but it happens in business and we shrug it off as well, that’s just business. But it’s not just business. That’s someone’s livelihood. Someone’s existence, someone’s, you know, business baby. I know that you talk a lot about the humanity of sales and the connection between people. I guess that’s a, there’s a good starting point there really to, to think about why don’t people consider the human side of business.


Jules White: 15:07 I think, I’m guessing that some of it is based on maybe what they’ve always had, how they’ve been brought up, what they expect of life. And I just think sometimes people just think they can just have, if they want it, they can have. And, I think that’s what this was about. I think there was an element of jealousy and I think there was an element of, I just want this for myself cause it’s successful. And of course she had the money, she had the money to do that, which was the power. And I didn’t, I tried to find an investor to buy her out, but I just ran out of time and ultimately I lost everything. I mean I really did. My next couple of years were loss after loss on a personal level and obviously on the business level. So that was a massive learning curve for me.


James Nathan: 15:59 Oh, I’m sure. And so tell me about the, the essence of Live it, Love it, Sell it.


Jules White: 16:04 Yeah. So as I mentioned earlier, when I started this business, so I worked for people for some years, James, after losing my business I kind of went back into corporate. Built more experience in sales, did head of sales roles, sales director roles, which is great cause then I had this breadth of experience and 2017 I was working for a company and they just really couldn’t support me anymore in terms of my salary, I think, and what I was doing for them. They made me redundant. I had three months money and the decision was do I carry on working in corporate for other people? Or do I just go and start a business again? And in all honesty, I knew I was that entrepreneur at heart. So I thought I’ll do sales because I know I love it, but if I do it, I’ve got to create it in a different way.


Jules White: 16:53 And so that’s when I came up with Live it, Love it, Sell it because I felt it needed to be much more human. I felt live it….. And it’s what I call the sales road check James, right? So Live it is about the mindset and this is about are you fit to travel on the sales road trip? Because I think for so many people, entrepreneurs and people working in sales, we don’t usually tap into the mindset of it all and the psychology of sales. And I think it’s massive. So that’s where I start. I then look at Love it. This is planning your route. So I have all these fabulous analogies and this is about the whys. Why do I do what I do? So why does my business do this? What does my customer want to buy it? And how do we then connect the two together?


Jules White: 17:38 So we did lots of work on ideal client, actually emotional side of sales, because for me, emotion is where we connect as as humans. And so I will buy very emotionally and most of us do buy in and emotional way. The limbic brain is the first thing that starts to kick in. So the limbic brain, which doesn’t understand logic or language, it’s actually driven completely on emotion, which is your gut. And that’s really the first part of the brain that kicks in when you meet people or when you decide to buy something. So I want it to really kick into the emotional side of how we buy and also how we sell. So that’s the Love it part. And then the Sell it is about going on the journey. So I’m actually reaching the destination. This is all about how you then go out with your message, get visible, get curious, ask questions, and obviously get helping. Because I believe sales is about helping people.


James Nathan: 18:35 Well, I absolutely agree with you. And if you can get into the situation where you can help someone make a good decision, buy something that works for them, whether it’s a service or a product, everyone walks away happy. You’ve got a great business. If you, you know, we talk a lot about the difference between manipulation and negotiation and influence and you know, at the end of the day, if you run with a strong moral compass and you help people make good decisions, you’re a good sales person.


Jules White: 19:02 I agree. I think one of the biggest things I see time and time again in, in both how we train sales and how we actually sell is the, I don’t believe we spend enough time stepping into the world of the buyer. So we assume an awful lot. I’ve talked about this quite a lot lately, my posts about how much we assume, I mean in life as well as obviously in business and it’s ridiculous how much we assume. And we’re almost taught to assume in some of the old sales methods, assume the customer’s ready to buy at this point. Assume this customer wants what we’ve got to sell. But actually if we start to turn it round and say, what’s it like in your world and actually why, would you want to buy while I’ve got, tell me how it’s going to help you. Instead of telling them how it’s going to help them, ask them how they think, what I’ve got will help them. It’s massively powerful.


James Nathan: 19:53 Oh, you know when you’re talking there about, I’m making assumptions at points of the sales cause I don’t, I was thinking about assumptive closes and all that sort of stuff that used to be taught. You just think really, but I’ve heard lots of people do it and if you’re assuming things you mind reading, if you’re mind reading, you’re not listening. If you’re not listening, you’re not understanding. And if you’re not understanding, you don’t know your client well enough to sell them anything. But it’s still a still a big thing that people do. They get to those, you know, where the buying signals, and I know we all talk about buying signals, but we talk about them…. I think we should talk about them as, as indicators of another question. Rather than here we go. It’s time to….Time to close, time to close, get on with it. A bit, you know, Glengarry Glen Ross, if you’ve seen that movie.


Jules White: 20:39 Yes, yes. And I think if I could actually ban the word close or closing in that whole sales process, I would, because I just think it’s…. Everything is wrong about that word because you know, ultimately when you start to sell to somebody and they say, yes, I’d like to do business. You’re not closing and ending anything. You’re starting a relationship, you know? So so closing for me is one of those little trigger words that I don’t particularly like anyway.


James Nathan: 21:06 I really like that mindset. I really love their mindset around it at the start of a relationship. I really firmly believe, and I don’t know, see what you think Jukes. Closing techniques do one thing, they sell books for people who want to sell books. I don’t think they help people in sales in any way. And they make up, you know, there’s some really lovely, funny stories about puppy dogs and things, but otherwise it’s just about sales people selling books to to make a bit of money on the side. You mentioned why there, and I’ve had a lot of conversations on this podcast in the past about, you know, finding people’s why and whether it’s a good thing or a not a good thing. What do you think around, how do you help people find out why they do what they do?


Jules White: 21:51 I think why is about being really honest about why you are truly doing what you do. And actually my really fabulous Simon Sinek, if you follow him, I think he’s the guy who sums this up really well. So he says about the why being not what your exit strategy is, not how much money you’re going to make. That actually your beliefs, your purpose and your values. And so this is going much deeper. This is about what am I real core values in life. So you know, I’ve got integrity and I, yeah, there’s lots of things where you know, courage, lots of things that I have as values and I see those as the why in my business because the my why is my whole journey to when I started this business and the reason why I want to pass on that knowledge to the people I pass on to. That’s not to get rich. That’s actually so that I help them to understand how amazing sales really is.


James Nathan: 22:54 What, how. I was going to say, why don’t they know their why? Look, why don’t people get that, is it that they don’t spend time thinking about it or is it just not important to them at a certain point of their journey?


Jules White: 23:08 I think they don’t spend the time to think about it. It’s like anything, isn’t it? It’s bringing it into that conscious place. Like we were saying earlier. You just become so much more connected to your ideal customers and clients when you understand your why, because guess what? They’ll have the same core values as you. We’re attracted to that as humans. So if you’ve really nailed, you know, here’s my core values, this is why I’m running my business. This is why do I want to help people? Well, because of this, you know, and it’s usually based on a past experience based on some pain you may have experienced that you don’t really want everyone else to experience. You know? It’s that sort of stuff usually. They know what that is and if that story is coming through in a really vulnerable and authentic way, then your ideal clients will connect to it because they’ve got the same values, they resonate with it. Guess what happens then? They trust you. Oh my goodness. That’s why we buy. Because people buy people they trust.


James Nathan: 24:11 Ultimately it’s a….. There’s a lot of there’s a lot of great books around trust, but it is the currency, isn’t it? The sales currency?


Jules White: 24:20 I think so. I think so, because it’s just a human instinct. We can’t just, we don’t just pretend it, we don’t just say, oh yeah, I better, I better make sure I trust them. We don’t even think like that. We just have to, it’s fight or flight territory. And we just need to trust people. We know whether that feels right or not, James. We just do. When we meet people, don’t we. You must be, must feel that yourself when you meet people.


James Nathan: 24:46 Cool. I think we get a feeling of whether we feel we can trust them. Trust itself takes a lot longer to establish. And I also think that sales and trust go hand in hand at certain levels. There’s a level of sales, which it doesn’t matter. You know, if I’m going to buy a pack of bubble gum, it doesn’t really matter to me what it’s all about, the price and the availability, but for anything of reasonable value, then it’s a vitally important thing. Jules, I was reading something of yours recently which said that everybody’s a natural salesperson and I’ve spent my life saying there’s no such thing as a natural salesperson. What do you mean?


Jules White: 25:26 Well, I just mean that actually from the minute we were born we were selling, in essence, because we were surviving and we were communicating and we were connecting. And I just see sales as that. And I think we’ve, over the years we have been very clever in putting people in boxes. So we say people are introvert or we say they’re extrovert. And I agree. We’re all different and we’re all unique, but I don’t think it rules out any of those people that they could connect to make a relationship. So for me, sales is about making a relationship. Now that doesn’t mean to say that everyone is saying to have a job in sales. Okay, that’s not what I’m saying. Cause everybody won’t want a job in sales. But if somebody says to me, I can’t sell, I would say to them, yes you can.


James Nathan: 26:17 Well I think so. And we are actually coming to the same point with that because my, my theory is that, you know, sales is something that can be learned and taught and it is not naturally…. It’s not something that people can, are naturally good at. Not Everybody is naturally good at, but everyone can learn. Was at Brian Tracy that talked about the kid with the ice cream and selling, you know, selling from the very beginning wanting an ice from his dad, you know, that everyone has that ability in themselves to get what they want. If they know the right triggers to push.


Jules White: 26:51 Yeah, exactly, but I always say think that we don’t trust our own selves enough. We think that it’s something really super special to sell, that actually we know how to listen. We know how to ask questions and we know how to speak. So for me, you know, these are actually the real bare essentials of us creating a relationship.


James Nathan: 27:13 When you’ve done the close, which we’re not gonna call the close anymore, we’re gonna call the start of a relationship going on. What do people….what are the good things that people could be doing next?


Jules White: 27:26 Once you’ve actually got a relationship and you know, you’ve got the business, what are the next things? Well I do, you know, I think one of the massive things is to just continue that relationship. So sometimes it’s very easy for us to sit back, isn’t it? Well we got it now. Great, we’ve got it signed. But actually this is the start of the relationship, as I mentioned. This is now where we can really start to get to know them. So you are working in a company, build new connections in that company. Who else do we know in that company? And then actually what’s the next thing we can do to help them? Yes, we’re going to fulfill this contract on this subject. But then how else do we make that the bigger picture of working with us? Where else can we add fat? Where else can we add value? You know, it’s that isn’t it, it’s just continuing to build and grow that relationship and get, I like to get really ingrained into a client. So I’m always part of the team. So I really get to know their culture and their mission and their vision, you know? Cause then I can train alongside that.


James Nathan: 28:26 I’m not sure how you could do it without knowing those things or do it well enough.


Jules White: 28:30 I don’t think you can, but that’s, you and I are just very aligned with that sort of stuff. But people, I think if they’re too structured, again, this goes back to those old sales methods where we were just teaching the process, the transaction structure, that I’m much more about connection and understanding that because the core value of the business for me, James, that’s why I love SME business because it’s usually started by an entrepreneur. You know, they usually got some sort of passion coming through. The core values are usually ingrained through the business. You know, you can work with that. You can work so beautifully with that cause that keeps the message consistent. Then when you’re, when you’re selling,


James Nathan: 29:13 What’s the one thing then Jules, what’s the one big thing, the golden nugget, the love to leave people with, the listeners today that they can do in their businesses today or in the years to come to make their business truly better?


Jules White: 29:26 Well, you’re probably not gonna expect me saying this, but maybe you are. But I think you need to just be authentic in your business. Don’t try and be something you’re not. Don’t try and make it too complicated. Keep it simple. Be You. Understand that why that that core value as to why you’re doing what you do and then everything you do, keep it consistent so people just recognize you and they know who you are and what you stand for. It’s massive. It just goes. The ripple effect is huge.


James Nathan: 29:59 Jules, that’s absolutely fantastic. What a great thought to leave with. Thank you so, so much for taking your time out today. It’s been great to talk to you.


Jules White: 30:07 And you.



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