The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

30. The Art of Sales with Piano Matchmaker Erica Feidner

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Inc.com called her one of the “10 Greatest Salespeople of All Time.”

For 13 years, Erica Feidner was a sales representative (later elevated to Executive Sales Representative) at the prestigious high-end piano maker, Steinway & Sons., where she sold over $40 million worth of instruments.

Feidner’s fascinating journey has been spotlighted across print and visual media, featured in Forbes, Canadian Business, Smart Money, Men’s Health, A&E, The Food Channel, CNN, and The Hallmark Channel.

In this special episode, Eric Janssen speaks with Feidner about her long love affair with music and her approach to the art of sales.

You're listening to the IVYONTRENORpodcast from the Pierre L, Morrisa Institute, Foonte Preneurship at theIvy Business School in this series I entr Preneur, an IV faculty member,Eric Janson Woll anchor the session a right, I'm here with Eric afier Erica.Thank you so much for making the time happy to Eric I'm just thrilled to havebeen asked to to that with you. So thank you very much yeah. This is atopic that the topic of sales is reallyinteresting for a lot of the entrepreneurs that are listening and alot of the UNCH praners that we have on. So it's nice to be able to go into adeep dive and in doing some of my research, you came up as ink magazine had listed you as one ofthe top ten salespeople of all time. So I'd love to know in your own words, I'mnot going to root it. For my audience. In your own words, maybe you could tellus a little bit about yourself, sureabout myself. Well, I I probablywas as surprised and delighted as everybody else sould see my name upthere in such distinguished company Um. So, as far as myself, I grew up N, afamily of seven pianists and we were all educators and performers and Um. I decided to combine that with businessa while later I got my MBA, which actually was a very big challenge. Forme, that was one of my biggest Challengen Al Caenties in my life, andthen you know I, as order was leaning toward sails and justap ban. Having agreat time doing. All of that, that's great an so you started your did. YouStart Your careeer in the music space, or did you jump right out of your MBAin sales? Oh, okay, Um. I actually began teaching piano when I was nineyears old m. That was a a great thing because it's is actually one of thefavorite thing, my favorite things to do to this day, so my family wee, wewere all musicians and tennists, so that was part of faily life. Actually,so we were all playing, we were all teaching piano. I was teaching Chano atthe age of nine and so on, and so that was a big part of life, but it didn'tseem different to me because that's all I knew and we also in the summers wehad forty five children from around the world living with us. She learnd by theChiano Yeah, be my childhood home, so you knowburst off whe I was when I was five. I think it started. We started business,but by the time I was nine or so I was a founding m member. I was a facultymember. I was a teacher. I was a student. I was a friend. I was a arch,an crasts director, just many many different positions. If you want tocall it that and all of those experiences, I think I really played abig part in Ho Iam today, and it was. It was just a wonderful, wonderfulthing to be around people nd around music, and I you know, because I was sofocusing music for, for most of my life in Fackheo was eleven. I attended theULIARD SCHOOL AF music traveling five hours, each way alone from Vermot,where, where I was living, so it really certainly was a big big part of mygrowing up, but I really felt that there was a gaping hole in my educationand so therefore I ortof looked into the idea of an MBA and for sure thatwas the biggest challenge I've ever had in my entire life because it was veryforeign to me, but at the same time I loved to learn, and so it I think itwas very, very helpful. You know, especially I went and got my n b a frommyself caus. I wanted to be more rounded in my education and I was veryhappy that I dit so I think you know...

...those different pockets of educationand so on. I have brought me to where I am, which is you know the e. There arenother things that I still do: N, I'm still teaching and I'm in sales, and Ido speaking engagements and all of that. So you know for me. It just feels likea natural evolution. Yeah, that's great. I so in my reading I found out thatyour your parents, or at least your father, was Dutch correct. Yes, my dadcame to this country from SBAN when he was nineteen years old with a dollarfifty in his pocket. And yes, yes, and eventually he was a professor ofmathematics at Bennington College where he met my mom and you know things wenton from there, but European flair, I think, was a good part of our lives aswell, and no, I make generalizations. But you know Dutch people tend to beknown as Novery well educated and go getters and great with people and goodnegotiators d and things like that and- and perhaps you know, never reallythought about it. But I really think that that was a part of my educationand well that's interesting. So my I I'm Dutch, my father was born inHolland. He came over when he was only a few months old, so we don't our yeah, our immediate family. Doesn'tyou know we have some Dutch traditions? We're not, but I don't feel like Iinherited any of the definitely none of the language, but Olma still, you knowtell stories about the way that things used to be when she was growing up inAmsterdam. So we share that in common MHM, Yeah Tha, that's be surprised. Ihad no idea yeah, so okay, so you, your background was primarily in music. Youlayred on business. How did you find yourself in sales? I remember. While I was getting my Mba,I was a full time channel teacher and I was making what I call house calls andso on and I loved doing it. I just was really learning to do somethingdifferent, so I wound ut selling my teaching practice much like attorneysdo, or doctors, Du and so on. So I felt good about that and I was earning myNBA and of course, Inociano was I'm very comfortable about phanels, Iremember being on vacation in Italy on the top of a mountain thinking, okay,Bergab! What's next in life, and I wrote down the name of some CIANOmanufacturers and M certainlystineway- was at the sunman. Sons was at the topof the list, so I had approached Stonan sends, and I was it was suggested to meto get some experience first and I I completely understand that Um, it'sjust tough, to get experience en. That's what you're trying to get in thefirst place. FRITTHERE was a smaller organization with very high end pianos.I I joined for about two years finished my m BA chatted, wit, sternway againand was put on the floor day, one and just just felt great that everythingwas a match wow, so it just felt like when you got out tothis was the store in New York the floor in New York. Yeafamhall, formerlyUNBASCUE, seventh street yeah must have felt like such a surreal opportunity.I've seen only pictures of the of the hall that it looks incredible it. I isabsolutely stunning. The architects were the same architects that thatdesigned Grand Central Station- and you know the the building- was recentlysold. It's a landmark building and I had to tell you it. It was verydifficult to to believe that that wasn't going to be part of New York or the PA world, or this theworld in general it was. It was very, very difficult to to learn that theywere going to sell the building, that it wouldn't be Stin the hall any longer,but you know having grown up with pianos thirty ganeels in my house,going up so that we could accommodate...

...all the students practicing it so on inthe summer. So you know there was his this beautiful showroom, O k o withgrandeur and and all that- and I loved it. I was you know: easely usedthe word sureal and I WUSD say for sure it was that kind of a feeling becauseit was seally agreen come true and they were at that night. Just five of us andI delt very honor to be one of them. Did you feel like that was potentiallypart of what helped when you're sitting down with a client? was that t e theatmosphere that the building itself created was that part of the y part ofthe sale as well? I would say absolutely you know the presentation ofa high and Lo luxury good in general, is nomly presented in a beautifulenvironment and so on. So I think for sure I mean there were paintings ofcomposers and just a lot of music and the history of music in in the building.So yes, I would say absolutely it was a big part of the presentation. On theother hand, there are so many people that would come in and say no gosh. I don't know whether Ibelong here and I' wanted to comin the door so many times, and yet I wasintimidated. So that was a geg problem. That was a problem Tuch time at all. SoI would try you know as a person when somebody came in to greet them. Youknow very sort of contemporary way and very excited and and so on, so that wecould break the ECES because af the building its theiry intimity, you know,would say it's beautiful, but you know it was one of those things where youhad to break the eyes of bit whensoveond. He walked in the door, so I had tis. I think it's very commonin sales, especially like new technology sales. Nowadays, people are,if you come up with something new and exciting. It's it's actually, not thatdifficult if you're, a decent writer or okay on the phone to get a meeting withsomebody, but those people might not be serious. They're more interested in youknow, learning from you picking your brain spending time with you, even ifthey're never serious about ever really buying anything. So how did you thinkabout? You must have had a lot of window shoppers. You must have had alot of people that came in that were just you know, excited to see the spaceor wanted to come in and just take a peek. How did you figure out, or didyou even care to figure out who was serious and who was not absolutely solike many SAS organizations, we had a rotation system, and so we also had aterritory. So our territory was New York and Connecticut and New Jersey,General area, and so the receptions would need to sort of get no idea ofwhere they lived, and then you know which sales representative would behelping that person. On the other hand, if t was somebody just looking aroundand they were Fr out of town, it was still rotation, but it was in adifferent sense. So, yes, absolutely a lot of our time. It's IU K o a very,very good question that you have here. A lot of our time was invested ingreeding out of towners that were just there to look and I'll. Tell you for me.It's it's the same thing, because if somebody is coming in to learn abouttiming in general and pianos, and so on, it's a huge opportunity to encouragethem tocontinue to be interested in piano or music, and there are some somepeople where I just took them aside, and I have a paten on how to read musicin one lesson, and I would sthow them how to read music and off. They wentits just. It was jit's always an opportunity, and yes, there are kindswhen somebody came in and they said that they n had no interest in theCIANO and that sort of thing and did they go home with a beautifulinstrument. Absolutely- and I think part of that is sort of to me. It wassort of finding a thread with the client in how to talk about CIANO and music in generaland then too, because again, it's very...

...intepreting to some people. Yes, forinstance, it was a gentleman who was about to buy a seven foot steineway a d.It was about eight thousand dollars and he said: Look Eri that I love his piane.I understand completely why I should choose it. He explained to me thecrastand shippen and all that and each piano, 's different and o told me thatthis one is fiery and it's very sort of French horn round sound and so on andunderstand that Arica. But I'm embarrassed I'm embarrassed by EIGthousand Orpiano when I don't know athing about music and I don't play. We talked about his family and he had adaughter and I made sure to get her a piano teacher in her ou know in theirhometown and with the gentleman yeah. I showed him how to read music as well,and you know it's one of those things we're doing what I'm doing can actuallychange people's lives, and I know that sounds kind of lofty and all that hatreally that's what we're doing and m you know buying a piano is and buying apianel to me, the whole experience is like none other or it should be, andyou know it's bringing you know, beauty and Mussic into someone's life, and howwonderful is that? So that's a that's a great segua! I wasgoing to ask you w what are people buying when they buy a piano? What likewhat is it that they actually are buying well certly they're buying an insurint,I'm not sure whether you want me to focus on that or or I mean for me- Idon't even use, I don't even think about it- the sale. I I really thinkabout saying a load of the customer and welcme welcoming them into stinmhall orwherever and actually just independent. Now, so I go to different chorns and soon, but really making an experience tor. That person, that is, is going to bememor, mimorable and educational, and you know th t for me: It's really notabout the sale at all. That's I don't want to say it secondary, but that'skind of how it feels to me, and so I guess t when they come in wih nee. Theyget, they get an experience and hopefully one that they will rememberforever whether they buy something or not, and if even if they don't buysomething. If you've planted that seed of joy of music. With that person, thecan tell their friends and their friends are going to come in and choosea piano. So I mean no matter what you're doing, there'salways some kind of connection or some benefit to everybody. Everybody winswhen you take care of the customer, even the perspective customers, eventhe ones whot never actually buy. Oh yes! Yes, you know those are the finofpeople where you just know they're not going to buy up channel. They keepcoming in sometimes time to play the CAS. I don't think that person isannoying. I see that person is someone who loves music and gets to know me andtells their friends who are also interested in music to come in an Copiayeah, that's interesting, so I notice in the interviews that you'vegiven you're very careful to say that you're you're, not in sales.You don't want to say that you're a sales person. So why are you so carefulto make that distinction between either matchmaker or guide versus salesperson,right, great question and I'll I'll? Give you an example of of where I'mcoming from, and that is before going into seling channels. If you want tocall it that or channel match making, as I maret Palt when I was a teacher, and myfather of course was a MA mathematician, but also a pianisina teacher. We allwere- and I just remember, altling him that you know I was so excited becauseI had been asked to join the team at stanlansons at the Mecca on West FiftyNignhth Street, and he looked at me and I ia with I with a disappointed things,but that's what it was and he said Eca you going to be a salesperson reallylike it just it just got this idea that ofcourse he wanted me to be a concecganis and so on, and you know what was Idoing so. I think that many people, my...

...father included that was way way backone hoan, nine hutdred andninety two, something like that, but the the wordsal or sales or cell I've been known to say that it's a foor letter t word, andI can tell you also that just like t the world in general, I'm I'm changingwhat I have to say about sales, because I think people areready for Dispessin aD and sort of honoring, the the business ofsales in the profession itself. So for me selling now my perspective is yeah. Iother's a transaction and we're going to use that word and so on, and I guessI would just say that you know seing is is honorable. I also think you know toget Ito the Hart of it when people are born. I M, when they're little whenwhen you want something, if you wan't that in bar son, you can do everythingyou can to figure out. HOW HAVE MOM say? Yes, we're selling ourselves all. So you know in every respect- and Ithink that you know a lot of people are like. I could never be a salesperson oror what have you, but I think everybody has the ability if they wanted to andif they need a little bit of help. Well, Hey. You know I teacher and isteachable so and you know P S, it's fun. If reallyit's really fun, you're ound people all the time- and you know it it's a greatfasion yeah. It's I feels like the tides, are turning or have been turningfor some time. Certainly, you know I teaching right now at the Ivy BusinessSchool were one of the leading institutions that are reallyconsidering you know, investing heavily and educating our students in sales. Soit's it's nice to see it's starting to be taken way moreseriously than it used to be. Oh, absolutely a and, like I said it'sbeing it's, it's considered a very honorable profession these days and youknow seeing these universities and so on, such as IV, it's terribly excitingto know that you're actually cheaching sails, because you know lk just mention.I do believe it's teachable. Yes, it would take somebody with expertise toteach it, but I think it's fantastic, that there are organizations that arefocusing directly on sales, because there are people like me whoseexperience is only organic. I mean I I didn't ever take a class on sale. Evenwhen I was getting my MBA. Yes, there was marketing that that was very, verydifferent, so you know it's it's something that is a great professionand lots of fun and, as I mention it's teachable and I'm just thrilled thatsales in general and- and you know, leadershien on to Preser nership ar areall getting the attention that they deserve, and I mean that's one of thethings that I'm moving into my own life is to speak with executives or atcolleges and universities, with classes, classrooms and so on, about sals andabout you know how how to sell at someone and it's terribly fun. It'sreally just I mean I very exciting. People are keen to learn things thatare actually going to help them right away that they can turn around. Youknow walk out of the classroom and start to use right away, so it's it'saccounting for them. It is, and you know I I think also it's important-that people know that you kN W w. What we're doing is we're not teachingtactics. We're really. I anyway really believe that we should talk more aboutcowder client thinks and you know from the costwors perspective, and it soundsobvious. I know it sounds obvious, but it it isn't it's about the customerless so about the product and less so about yourself course. The JEWLIVERY isimportant, but you know really focusing on what the customer wants and needsand then Akigel. So if you were to teach Don', I'm sending send a studentto meet with Ariafider and I she'sinterested in even selling piano specifically. What would you...

...what would you teach her, and I askbecause when I look at like all the different reasons, why salespeople aresuccessful, I think a big piece of it is having conviction in what you'reselling you know truly believing that it's helpful for the client or theprospect there's a huge element of do main knowledge or expertise, which Ithink I know y. You have probably more than a lot of other. You know peoplethat are selling pianos out there, so so how? How would you go about teachingthat? Or would you not teach that part would attease something differententirely? No Um excellent question it. It kind ofit really does kind of depend on on the audience of Fourte, but one of thethings that is is terribly important m. You know you mentioned the conviction.Of course you have to you, have to have conviction and expertise them ' alwayslearning more about how it CAA works, a D and so on an it's just a lifelongthing, but the I would say the most important thing is really underscoringthe idea of integrity and without that you really have very little, but butwith it, you have. You know, you're build up a great reputation and youknow from there it it's like a platform. I think, if you really move forwardwith with integrity at every touchpoint, that's something that again I it'sdifficult to teach, I would say, but it is a very, very important element. Soas far as UM sales and that sort of thing, if it Werean individual, ofcourse I would go out in one direction, but as a bre. No, I think, probably thebest met to go about it is to ask questions of what is it that you wantto learn and what Ow, what's on your mind and then tell a story or get anexample and and show them a solution to that question, it's very important toshow, I think, when it's for anstudence of his ouch anexperience at I've hadwith the client to answer a question that that a student has that', in myopinion, the best way to go about it, because it's real and people can relateto it, and it's true. So if I were to, if you're known, you're known as thepiano matchmaker, how do you, if someone sits down? How do you find thematch for them like? What's your what's your process, how do you find itareally fun question my favorite. So when I was at stanme and sons, we hadan inventory of four hundred caws. There were grand pianos vertical pianos.The STEINA second line called the Boston Po. Now the third line calledthe Esitcano and so on. So for me, I made certain that every day I would know the inventory backward andforward so because I grew off Ron, catos and so on. I just had an tact for knowing essentially who a piano is sthey havetheir own personalities and PS. They have their own zerol Nember. So some ofthem look, I sayine. So what I would do is to get to know a channel veryquickly. That's just something that comes natural to me and very fortunate,and that I look at its name, also known as its zero number and that sort ofgoes into a bank in my head so every day I would make sure that I knew theinventory backwar and forward and which pianes were selected. You know an whatcans a come in from the factory that weren't ready yet, and so I would godownstairs and I would crawl under the Shaows to get to the ones that had justcome in and and give them a try H, because you know it. I remember there were a couple of timeswhere a CIANO hadn't been prepared. They would spend you know eight hourson a pie before it goes on the showroom floor, but I was able to hear thepersonality of that Ciano through any idiosyncrasies that were showing up andUm. You know there were a couple of times for where clients wil chose apiano that was really not Rouh. What they could see and understateunderstood with me who that piano was...

...and why it would be the rest of thebest selection for them. So you know, I would say, knowing your inventory isterribly important, but um you know it doesn't I mean t it doesn't sound likea big deal, but it's Raly rely when it comes to pianos. It's a huge deal,because every piano, wis really different and you know mean to say also when a customer comesin. Usually they don't know that so they're thinking, okay, beow's going togo on the window and we need a six foot and we want a wood finish: okay, well,a Woodstinis Piano Canotgo and he can't go in the window because the vener isquotosensitive. So you know we'll talk about placement and that sort of thingas well, but to open a can of worms and tell the customer that every piano isdifferent. They would look at me like w. What are you talking about and he dojust complicate this process and it does compligate it, but at the sametime educating the Tustoer I would not have. I would not betther Pano go homeunless that person really understood why that particular Canna was theperfect match for that Pirson or that family or that room is not that pialschange Um, but they don't. But you know placement in a room o. It has a littlebit of an effect. So I O. I hope that is the question. It's just you knowagain it's a wonderful experience, so that's fascinating to understand fromthe product side like you literally, would start your day. By going. I don'tknow where it was the basement. I guess, and just picking through the inventory ye its ar was every nay we had 'n eventat the factory and there were probably three hundred channels that werecollected from you know. All over the country- maybe you know other dealersor what Hav you anyway, they would have three hundred pianos or or whatever alllined up, and they wouldn't finish moving them Min till like midnight thenight before the Qute sail happend. So I am known to have been crawling around drolling around. You know at midnightwith these CIANOS and yeah. Once in a while, I would see a mouse, you knowor.I really wanted to get to know the pianos and I onwy had you know a fewhours we gix MICO Laka. So what I did just to make sure I knew what I wasdoing it. I did a couple of things. I already knew what the point wanted asfar as size and funish and price Rach, because I'd always spoken with them andsilet ar there were some walkins but theyre also apnan Te e ID o the youngclients. So I knew that and then you know once I know the pianos, I would match them up so iwould take a littleyellow, stick, em and say: okay, these are the two or three pianos oneis overthere. One's way over there, I think they're Abad match, take a look andthen sorry to say, but we don't have time we're just going to have to choseat, but you know so that there was a lot of pressure for for everybody, butit was very exciting to you know I love getting preparred. I guess that's theword I was very prepared. I had you know I had a client list. I had youknow. Cero numbers mapped out and I forgot to say I had my own note. If you want to call it that, so Iwould have be a list of the models. NOWs far asize and finish anhe age and that's fine, but then I would rate the Piansfor one to ten on whether they had a versinal sound or if they were shy orwhether the GATTL sings beautifully or whether it's a dryer sound. I mean allthese factors, so it it's kind of like chosing, a wine, many people med. Thisis kind of like choosing wine, and it is so just you know: Verishefulfeilling and great fun, running round in this yod rol with all thase pianosand customers, and you know everybody's...

...going Ho happy. I mean how is thatrightthat's? Amazing? That's amazing, 'dids! You ever maybe a weird question,but did you ever have any like sad pianos that you just I don't know youdidn't get along with, and so therefore you never recommended them to customers.They just sat there for years. At a time you know Um. I have to say that there is afoundation in a piano that I call and is known as the sustain and that'sreally essentially how well the soundboard in that particular cianel isperforming, and I would say that you K ow. I really would only choose the topfive percent. Sorry- and you know somebody said wellwho's going to sell the P. It's not that the other pans are bad, butcertainly not whether it's stineway or Foty Olor Bresno. You know each one hasit it's only beautiful atthibutes and then there are some that have even moreso. Those are the ones that I would choose and if t e piano didn't havethat well there we wait now. That's a big risk. 'cause, maybe o shoppingsomewhere else, but that doesn't happen. It doesn't happen if you really helpthe customer and and educate them, and they know that you're Goin to find Pianfor th should tell you an example. I remember sitting at my desk and I got apiece of mail, so I opened it up and said her Erica. Our pon teacher thinksthat you're really good at choosing great pianos, an we're looking for aWaltat POSWAT and there was a checkin there. There was a Cheqk for a thousanddollars and what we can do is we can reserve a channel and- and then youknow, hove the customer come in and you know either choose it or not. But youknow it was just so funny and yeah. There was a fot one wall that that wasout of this world. It just happened to be other times. You know we would haveto wait, and that was frequent too, but you K if you reall heat, work on yourreputation and you do the right thing every time and you educate other pianoteachers who yo they have th ir their own ego Joe, you know, and what, if youyou, educate them and and become part of it, then it you know everybody'shaving a good time. So I just remember that definitel thing, it's happened afew times, but it just maybe so happy that somebody really trusted o trusted.You that much here's the money you pick it yeah. Eventually, of course I didbecause I again, I will not let her ca go ome unless the customer understandso EA, it's Gret Fun. So I want. I want a one more question than I'm gonna Iwan to wrap up Um. So you talked a lot about how you get to know. I Iunderstand now how you became such an expert. I understand your process forgetting to know the pianos. What was your process forgetting to know thecustomers and really understand what they wanted? AH, again, a really greatquestion, and fortunately for me it was in you kN W an organic education. So asfar as getting to know the customer remember that in the summer there wereforty five kids living with us right every week, so there were probably twohundred fifty kids in and out of there every summer we also had ten dayprograms for adults from around the world. So we were around education andpeople from all walks of life all the time, and you will know as a professorthat when you speak to people, you must speak with respect and if you'reteaching you know you want to be, you know if I'm teaching Chano, I want toencourage them, but at the same time there are things that need improvementand you have to find ways to say that so M. I would say that, as far asgetting to know the customer Cosh, when, when I'm with them or even on the phone,I listen very carefully to their voice. But if they're sort of intimidated orif they're nervous or what have you, I will sense that and then you know goforward from there or maybe you know, maybe they're really excited, and wedon't have time to talk about pianes...

...that just get them right on the benchyou know just. I think everybody has this ability you're around people, allDIN, Ol, lit and and P S you're also selling at every touchpoint in yourlife. So you Kno as far as getting to know the customer. No, it's not easyand have I oned it to you know an expert levelyeah and I think a lot ofit is just a natural thing and getting if you want to call it abide on aperson, then that's that's really W I mean I will know within five minuteswhich piano somebody should choose that was going to be. I was going to say sosomeone I don't know appointment is booked. I come in to see you in NewYork, you and I are sitting in a room together, we're having a conversation.How long until you start to I I, like I want to peer in your Br, want to zip,open and peer in your brain you're running through your catalogue of allthe different pianos and the and the different serial numbers and like howlong until you say it's one of these Um, or do you even say that? Oh Loud?Oh, yes, so you know people might be. I would say that you know to answer thequestion I will know within five minutes. It used to be about half anhour, but you know, as you go on in life, you get better at things, and soI wou have an idea of whether somebody needed a piano that was sunny or hadyou know, a very deep, bae or or Raer. You know, or other words that I use,and so I would make sure difically make sure that the customerunderstood that each pianel is different and I would show them onvarious pianels. You know what kind of tone I'm hearing a lot of people say. Well, I don't knowanything about music well, they may not think that they do, but everybody'svoice is different and you can tell the difference there even on the phone. Soit's one of those things where I try to make it as simple as possible, and evenyou know even obvious. You know it's my job to explain to a customer what aCIANOL has to offer. So are there times where a customer comesin and fine, I not even fine, I wisl showd in the pianel. I have in mindright away. Yes, that has happened. Why? Because we use another customer lookingat that piano right ten, and I'm really sorry that that Pians meat to me for mycustomerwe O, it's like ight, that's or piano. You came to me because your friendrecommended me that would be important right. So they've been referrd to me orwhat have you? That's your piano, let's reserve it and then I'll tell you why it's theWRIGE ONE IT IS AL! I mean I wouldn't I wouldn't do that. You know we all haveto e respect each other. I mean maybe that customer just kind of looking atthe cabinet or something like that, but you know with the really good ones Iwant that to go to my customers, and so there e have been times. Oh, forinstance, there have been times where I call at cusomer and Askd Fer thercreditgard number over the phone to reserve the piano, and then they comein that I do all the time involved. So that's an interesting commitment. Youget like a microcommitment to see you know. If, if you understand them, youknow what they want, let's reserve it so that no one else takes it, becauseI've got the perfect one for you. Yeah I mean again I I'm trying to put it in theperspective of actually selling, because to me it's just a natural thing.You know so yes does it create urgency? Absolutely absolutely, and you know thecustomer feels grate about it, because I'm there on their behalf and I havefound the piano for them and Um. You know that must be a good feeling. Iwould think so o Kno when they come in to see the Yoit. It's like a PABARTYISN's, it no it' just great fun, so ow this is' just for piano. This isanybigin life. You can make anything AP Magty and it's got better, be fun likeif you're going to spend this much time...

...doing it and it's your job. Maybeconvincing is the wrong word but like if it's your job to transfer theemotion and the passion that you feel for whatever it is you're selling intosomebody else. You better be excited yourself exactly exactly D. If somebodyis selling a commodity, I mean that's a quest, a good question. I think as well.If somebody's P on your commodity, then how are you gong to differentiit? Youcan't so what you can differdifferentiate your owncommunication with a customer and that's what you can be known for is youknow, should make sure to take care of everything, an the delivery, and thenyou make sure that you're known for your good work and that way people willgome to you ye yeah. I noticed in that New Yorker article. They talk, theymentioned a having happy customers and them. You know referring other people to youor you made the point earlier. Even when people may not necessarily becustomers right now, they might tell their friends of what a good experiencethey have or have had, and then they would send their friends in so you'veby taking good care of people and actually caring about them. You've gotthis amazing referral system happening. In the background absolutely- and youknow my final years at Stangway, I was working. FIE referral only wouldn't be taking the calls. Iwouldn't be taking the walk INS. So you know that was a big risk to think abouttaking, but it was less of a risk because I I feel like I, I know whatI'm doing and I had you know, really built up a reputation and, of course,Hi New Yorker story was was was a big one. It was really helpful to have thatsort of as my calling card so by the way in new Yorka story has justbeen auctioned, which is known as sold to a world famous executive producer. Oh eacher, Film Wow lie R, just got col, it's just crazy.My life rights got told eighteen years after the story came out. is anexecutive producer H, who has done films like twelve years af slave shonabout millionaire Hilyalia, the Iron Lady. I mean this woman is amazing andshe said that she couldn't get the story out of her head and that shewanted to do a feature film. So that's wow. That would be amazing. I'm staringI feel, like I'm Starin, I'm staring at your picture in the article right nowand I I could see it. It would be a great movie. Thank you. I mean I, I understand thatthe mortality rate is very high for film and that sort of thing, but but Iyou know, Gosp, crospingers and so on, but Um. You know again it's sort ofit's exciting to be able to share my world with the rest of the world, which isyou know, the joy of music and how it can enrich your life and you especially for oneself. If you havean idea of different, sound and Chach and that sort of thing it's justexhilarating to play on different channels and to meat different cows,it's it's so much. Funyeah I've got ever since I was a kid growing up sort of middle class family, but Ialways had dreams of owning a beautiful grand or baby grand piano. That wouldbe on like an elevated platform in my home that I would play one day so Itook you know I took lessons growing up, but since I moved away to universityand started a family on my own, I I haven't revisited it, but it'ssomething that's sitting in the back of my mind, so I feel like I would be. Iknow who I'm going to come to when the time is right, because there will be atime- and I know who I'm going to come to. I can't helpbut say when you're, readyand PS, I can help you get ready right and call me and I teach Bicesihe, it'sreally fun. So the other thing is, I don't. I don't know the age of yourchildren, but children can leard bi the piano from the age of two, and you knowthat's that's what I do with I. I do have some students that are two yearsold going in here or their piano fun.

It's not even a canel lesson okason. Soyou know EDBE happy to to talk with you about that at another time, but onceyou once you get the Chianes Lash Music Bug, there's just there's no end to it. It's funny. We, I E we've tried toexpose them to music early on, so we've got a drumset at home and I've got thelittle drum set for them and we bought you know little keyboards and thingsand the first it was over the Christmas holiday, where we brought them to afriend's House who had an upright piano and they were o. They were okay withthe kids playing it. So my oldest is four. My youngest is two and a half andthe kids. You know how kids sometimes just get onto something, and I alwaysjust let them go for as long as they want to go and they were probably playing on thepiano for ninety minutes, just playing and playing and playingand playing and playing, and I was looking at them thinking Ha. This isinteresting I feel like. Maybe I should maybe I should act on this and get themget them signed up. Ou have to tell you Eric. I have chills right now thathappens when I get excited and I'm happy do something my left arm, I havecills on it and you know ninety minutes is it's really something I thoughtmaybe youould say half an Hour O. Ninety minutes is really reallysomething and Um. I think that you're right to payattention and as a pianist and a teacher, I'm suggesting that you reallytake a really good look at this, because it sounds like they're ready.It's they're ready, yeah. This is it's interesting. You know you so often youwant to put kids and things that'll. Let them release their energy right. Soyou look at soccer and karate and hockey and ballet and dance and all of thesethings, but at least my mind wasn't immediately going to getting them intomusic this young. So I will take your advice. I go to get them started insomething this spring. That sounds fantastic, you're, a great dad greatgreat well, this has been. This has been really great. I I'll ask you onemore question and if you don't have anything inmei comes to mind, that'sokay, but I'm I'm teaching a hundreds of students this year who have neverbeen exposed to any sales in their lives, and I think a handful of themare actually going to go out and start their young sales careers. So, assomeone Ha's been in the business now for as long as you have- and it's got abunch of experience in a great track record, do you have any advice forsomeone? That's just getting started in sales, Um Gosh it. It sounds like a question thatshould be easy. It's not an easy question, really hard question. I saythe best the hardest for last. I do have some kind of an answer, which is be honest and be yourself. I really, I really think those twothings in communicating W th with the customer really really I'm not doing.Those are the only to things that those two things are really important. Ofcourse you have to know a lot about the product and so on, but you also need toknow why that customer should have it and how you're going to benefit from it.So certainly honesty in in integrity. Those two things are so importantbecause you never kno. I mean I never bought in a million years, I'd be asales present and theu be steiling high on pianels, like it never imagined thatit just sort of unfoldid and T it's a great way of life. So you know, I think most people want to be honestanyway, so you know those. I think, that's what I would say just be honestand go forward with integrity. THAT'S GREAT FERICA! It's been a lot of fun. Iit's weird I, although we're not in physically the same place, I feel likeyou're sitting across the table from me. So, thank you so much for agreeing tothe time and I'. I learned a lot link you very much. Oh Gosh, I had a blast.Thank you so lice, thank you. You've been listening to the Iviongminorpotcast to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the show inyour favorite podcast player or visit IV dotca forward, slash Entrcrenersha.Thank you so much for listening until...

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