2:48 Charlie Manson was in in San Quentin 3:16 San Quentin is where Ben taught his People Builders Program for 5 years. 5% of inmates that participated in this program returned. 67% of non-participants returned within two years. 4:16 the People...
2:48 Charlie Manson was in in San Quentin 3:16 San Quentin is where Ben taught his People Builders Program for 5 years. 5% of inmates that participated in this program returned. 67% of non-participants returned within two years. 4:16 the People Builders Program was how to get out of prison and stay out of prison, which became ironic when Ben was indicted by the federal government. 7:44 in prison, Ben ran first their educational department. And then took over the regional warehouse, which meant everything the prison system might used, received on the west coast, basically, of the United States, went through his office and crossed his desk. He turned it into a business which made him too valuable and lengthened his stay! 12:29 Ben was a counselor to many of the correctional officers 13:49 taught sales and marketing public speaking. Got hundreds of people there GEDs. 20:07 Charles Manson sued to get into the general population. Why did he want to go back to solitary? 21:19 How Ben Gay lll came to meet Charlie Manson. 24:49 Charles said, "...the only book I own is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie....it's my Bible. I couldn't have built the Manson Family without it." 24:55 Jim Irwin, commander of Apollo 15 36:20 Joe Bonano 27:16 the guy down the two bunks down, got cleared on a single killing cleared on a double killing and cleared on a triple killing. 38:36 attitude coach so the astronauts Apollo 15 16 17 .Shaken the hand of every person who has walked on the moon. 39:18 first friend when Ben moved to Atlanta in 1948 was Arthur. He was born a slave and still lived in the slave shack in which he was born behind the Jarvis mansion 39:39 Sally Stanford. The San Francisco madam. The United Nations was formed in her parlor. 41:33 Ben encourages viewers to make it a goal to meet interesting people. 43:04 Og Mandino saved Ben's life 46:20 started the 800 call center industry 48:05 Origin of THE CLOSERS (over 10 million copies sold) 53:41 THE CLOSERS part two, Ben wrote by hand on legal pads 1:10 Ben coaches someone live!
Unknown Speaker 0:00
Somebody scored him with a can of lighter fluid and ignited it. He had one book in his cell. And when I saw it on the top bunk, I said, I said, Charlie, it's an interesting reading selection. He knew what I was talking about. He said the only book I own was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I couldn't have built the Manson Family without it. And I also met 100 other people that were worse than Charlie Manson. Joe banano. more impressive would be the guy down the two bunks down, who had been through three murder trials. He killed people for a living. I've shaking the hand of every person who has walked on the moon. My first friend when I moved to Atlanta in 1948 was Arthur. He didn't really have a last name. He was born a slave and still lived in the slave shack in which he was born. The San Francisco madam was a dear friend of mine, the United Nations was formed, much of the work was formed in her parlor, in her house of prostitution. meeting all those people was not accidental. I sought them out like a stalker, Dr. Napoleon Hill, augmon Dino who saved my life by the way, literally Zig Ziglar and Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. From the downturn, I started the 800 call center industry. First one in the world, terribly written little bitty ad. But it had the word closer in it, I felt like I'd found the Dead Sea Scrolls, the author and his two partners sold one copy. I sold 10 and a half million when we counted 25 years ago, you hit upon a script and a system and you follow it every day all day, no matter how you feel.
Unknown Speaker 1:49
Jeff, Jeff Sterns connected
Jeff Sterns 1:50
through cars, if they're bigwigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns. So we certainly have quite an author here, quite a sales person here. I remember from our last session, if I recall, at five ish percent closing rate at six, but that's okay. It's close enough. I don't want to take anything away. I don't want to take anything away. And you've been so generous to agree to come back to talk about something that we talked about offline after our last visit. And that was about Charles Manson, which on its own, would be interesting enough. But to discover that you'd actually done a little bit of time or handle you're a little bit of a guest. with federal,
Unknown Speaker 2:46
federal, yeah. Okay. Charlie was in in San Quentin, California, San Quentin,
Jeff Sterns 2:52
I mean, legendary place. So yeah, I was a little nervous to ask you if you are willing, because I didn't want to offend you disrespect you. I mean, I appreciate what you've done in your life for others and how you've turned it around, but the way you handled it and being willing to come back on just to talk about that, I really appreciate it. So let me just ask you directly. And I'm actually nervous to ask you, what led to you having your six year visit to San Quentin,
Unknown Speaker 3:18
San Quentin is where I taught. I taught my people builders program there one night a week, 12 hours a week from six o'clock Friday night to six o'clock Saturday morning, for five years. That was San Quentin. And oddly enough, part of it was a large part of it was in addition to giving them skills, so he didn't have to come back the recidivism rate at San Quentin, what I got there was 67% of everybody released was back in custody within two years. If you are a graduate of people builders, the recidivism rate was 5%. So we made a drastic change, coupled with the fact that type of people who would give up their Friday night and 12 hours sit in a room and be yelled at by somebody. Me, maybe we drew a little different type of personnel spotted out but nevertheless 67% 5%
Jeff Sterns 4:13
that's a huge impact on lives. That's a huge impact.
Unknown Speaker 4:16
Yeah, it the city, the system I set up had a huge impact. I don't take personal responsibility don't take personal responsibility for the 5% that came back. That was their decision. And the 95% of the state out and some of them did extremely well, that's, that's on them too. But the part of the people builders program was how to get out of prison and stay out of prison, which became sort of ironic when I was indicted by the federal government you having your six year visit, I was indicted by the federal government overall marketing plan and taxes. State two taxes on the pile. Nope. Nobody would have cared normally, but it made me look worse in front of the jury. So I went through a year long trial, the longest in the history of the Ninth Circuit, which is most of the West Coast and went through a year long jury trial with a degree of confidence. A I didn't do anything was like being indicted for robbing a bank in a you didn't rob the bank and be the bank was robbed. That sort of gives you a feeling of I'll get through this. Because it just wasn't true. And then after the year long trial is we neared the end, my attorney says, you know, this could go either way. I said, I only got to get one out of 12 one. Well, apparently, my sales skills failed me because I didn't get one, they deliberated for a few hours and came back and guilty. The trial that just ended the famous trial about the guy who knelt on the other guy's neck and so on, when the jury came back in three hours, besides the fact it was sort of obvious probably what was going to happen when the jury came back in about three hours. I said that people with me that day, he's going down. They don't listen to a weeks long trial and divide, you know, deciding three hours. They listen to a year long trial in my case and delivered. I think they had the verdict before lunch, if that gives you an edge.
Jeff Sterns 6:28
Now the work you were doing at San Quentin, the people builders, was this before that occurred or after? before? Oh, so it was the irony. Unbelievable irony. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 6:40
it really was. So I went to the sentencing, it was all handled like a domestic case, in that I was never arrested. I was never, you know, nothing. From the time I was indicted to the trial was almost three years the trial was a year long. When they said guilty, I thought they would just cuffed me up and sentenced me right then didn't happen. Came back in about a month. When he sentenced me, I had, I think 3060 days, 30 days to report turn myself in at the gates. And so it was all sort of surreal. It was like being sued in small claims court, but the consequences were much worse, obviously. So I figured, you know, he give me a year or two. And you do a percentage of that. And that'll teach me my lesson. More importantly, teach people their lesson. If you do what he allegedly did, then you too could go to prison.
Jeff Sterns 7:40
Can you say what the charges were been?
Unknown Speaker 7:44
they did, they said we were a multi level company, which by itself isn't illegal, but a multi level company that was scamming people out of their investments and so on. And if if we had it, the problem was to get the maximum discount, you had to sell a certain amount of product, or you could buy it upfront at 65% discount, and that would qualify you and now you're locked in at the higher price. So we had some people who put up about $24,000. And then like a lot of people like the garages of the world are filled with Amway products and the latest vitamins and so on. Well, they solicited our distributors and said to them, we can get you all your money back. And they knew that wasn't true. I didn't have the money it would take to paid everybody back. My theory was why don't you go in your garage, find out what you own and go sell it and triple your money, but whatever. So 60 some odd people said, Yeah, I'd like my money back. So I was indicted on 60 counts what it was was a they didn't care for the Business Times 60 separate individuals who wasn't 60 different crime one crime 60 people. So when I went to sentencing, I figured they had offered me three years if I would just plead out. And I say do anything wrong, I'm not pleading out. Hence the trial. Well, it was a year, I would have almost been out if I'd taken a three year deal and gone in. But I kept thinking and my attorney did not dissuade me. I kept thinking, well, at least I know the worst it's gonna be three years do either one to two years. That's the way that system work then under what's called all law, and I figured, okay, well, we'll have to do one or two years. I stand up in front of the judge, Judge Milton Schwartz, who's gone to his just reward and I'm confident he's looking up on us now. From his, from his, from his place. I got in front of him and he said, Good morning, Mr. Gay. I said good morning, Judge Schwartz. We've had full month for a year we've been eating dinner in the same cafeteria and And it wasn't like he didn't know me and have some idea that maybe I was a pretty good guy. He said this. You're one of the smartest people I've ever met. And I'm thinking, Oh, he's gonna give me a testimonial dinner. What a tremendous waste of talent. So I hereby sentence you to 15 years. And I remember looking at my truck glanced at my attorney thinking, did he just say 15 years or months or whatever, which meant do five minimum or 10 maximum depending on your behavior? And I thought it was, it was hard for me to take in. But couldn't register it right. It's no, it just didn't make any sense based on what really went on. So off I went a few months later, I self surrendered to the front gate and began what turned into six years, one month, one day and two hours, and instead of five years, would be the minimum I have to do. But the mistake I made it wasn't because I led a good life while I was a as good life as you can have in prison was I ran first their educational department. And then I took over the regional warehouse, which meant everything the prison system might used, received on the west coast, basically, of the United States, went through my office and crossed my desk, and I redid their systems, I turned it into a business word just before then a typical government operation run by inmates who weren't trained to do what it was none of it ever run a big business. So I found out later from some friends of mine, who are correctional officers, who several of those remained my friends to this day, that I had made myself too valuable. When it came time to meet with the parole board, or at least one of my friends went in and said, Can we hold him a little longer until we get the systems where we all understand what he's doing. So some portion of the extra year and whatever was based on I did too good a job.
Jeff Sterns 12:12
Like the salesperson that can't get promoted because they don't want to lose his sales. They he doesn't they can't put them in management. They can't let you out because they can't lose your production or your processes. Oh, yeah,
Unknown Speaker 12:22
exactly what you read about in business books.
Jeff Sterns 12:27
Unknown Speaker 12:29
And I was a counselor to many of the correctional officers one had a wife who also worked at the prison. She had an affair with a guy and with life without possibility of parole. He sat beside my desk and I cried and I counseled him. For weeks. I approved overtime for correction officers. If the real boss wasn't around, if I initialed it in the lower right hand corner, put in BFG three then when the real boss came by, he just signed it. So if you want to work overtime, all you needed when my initials. So it was a an interesting situation. And the average inmate gets $30 gotten 25 of it is they would have gotten if they sat in a room for so they can have soap or whatever they need. I was making five $600 a month, which was you know, it may sound silly to you and me in prison five or $600 a month. It's more than you can spend. you're limited to $200 a month the commissary. So under that program, you got to save 400 a month minimum. So it's an interesting experience. But Jeff, all I did was I took what I've been doing my entire adult life and took it to prison and did it there. I taught sales and marketing public speaking I got people I got hundreds of people there g DS. If you're not in California, I don't know if that's a national term or not. It's a high school equivalency. I taught people how to read I taught him how to write. I wrote things to the parole board for them so that at one point for about a year or so, almost anyone in the prison who wanted to write to the warden with some complaint came to me and I wrote the letter form or edited what they had written. Then it went into the warden and it came to my desk with a yes or no in the upper left hand corner from the warden. So it was my job to write back to the inmate, generally speaking that his request had been denied. So I argued for and then I told him no, and if he wanted to appeal I wrote back. It was it was like a science fiction movie where I was writing to myself, I don't think the inmate couldn't frequently couldn't understand what I asked for. And the warden didn't care the answer was no. So I had to turn no into a full page letter.
Jeff Sterns 14:56
So Ben, when you're you're doing these classes. In public speaking and helping people were their common rooms or the lunch room or something where you were putting on your seminar.
Unknown Speaker 15:08
Yeah, the dining hall was another. There was another building that that was sometimes used if something was going on in the dining hall. We'd have that Lompoc 100 200 people a night in the on the teaching nights at San Quentin it was bigger. But yeah, so we just use the dining hall.
Jeff Sterns 15:32
So you're in the dining hall. I'm trying to picture this with your whiteboard or your overhead projector or chalkboard and chalkboard yeah chart okay. And in handouts and people showing up at the prescribed time etc.
Unknown Speaker 15:48
Right? Let me show you one who showed up that's one of my you know, if you want to say what good did you do? Look at this, that slumber Lamont Bowens, we Gigi and I unofficially adopted him. Don't let your past hold you back. The night I met him, he came to the public speaking cut, we're scared to death. He was a high school dropout. That's assuming he ever dropped in. I don't know that he went high school at all. I never asked him but I know he didn't graduate. And today, he's a practicing attorney. He has three offices, one on the East Coast, West Coast and one in Texas. He's up for a judge ship. And do an extremely well his plan before he came to public speaking, public speaking, Jeff is one of my secret weapons. It gives people cut if they're never going to give a speech in public again after they leave the class or maybe only if their rotary club or their church doesn't make any difference. It gives them a confidence that they didn't have before they did the most scary thing they can do speaking in public, supposedly, I don't understand it because I love it. But is the number one psychological fear ahead of death by fire. That's what the studies have shown. I've read it numerous times.
Jeff Sterns 17:12
I never knew that. You know, I I saw Jordan Belfort speak at a conference, you know, The Wolf of Wall Street. And he said something that I stole. Some people have a fear of public speaking. I have a fear of not public speaking.
Unknown Speaker 17:26
Yeah. Yeah, I'm more comfortable standing in front of 5000 people with a spotlight on me than I am in my living room at Thanksgiving making small talk with these relatives. I'm at home on a stage can't wait to get on. People see me off to the side. But as I'm being introduced, and, you know, doing this, I said, Are you nervous? I said, No, I'm waiting for him to shut up so I can get on your site. This is this is what I do. But when you can take somebody like Lamont here, here was his game plan. He wanted to get out of prison, stick up somebody get three or $400 to finance his way back into the drug business. That was his life plan.
Jeff Sterns 18:11
So he was looking for steak money to get started.
Unknown Speaker 18:15
Yeah, with drugs. And the public speaking class. He heard good things about it. But he shuffled his feet and didn't come for a couple three months before he got up the nerve. And then he took to it like a duck to water. And that's what he does all day, every now he speaks to juries and so on.
Jeff Sterns 18:35
On our last visit, this is the fellow that you and your wife adopted that you'd sign for him on a couple of student loan guarantees or something. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 18:46
we we guaranteed his college tuition, and then we guaranteed his law school tuition. And when he called a few months ago and said I need another letter of recommendation, I said, How much is this one going to cost me and let me put a footnote on there. We've never had to pay a dime. He's paid everything. So I've never been called. And so it didn't cost anything to look like a good guy and guarantee the walls. But then he calls that I need Dad, I need another letter of recommendation. I said, How much is this one gonna cost me? He said nothing. This is a judgeship.
Jeff Sterns 19:23
Now when you are on the inside, I think I remember on our last session, but I wasn't picking up that you were like in there. You said that there was certain days that you put on a suit and went to the visitors room. You'd have to give me a direct quote back. Okay, fine.
Unknown Speaker 19:39
I always look good, because I had access all the clothes, but a suit So actually,
Jeff Sterns 19:45
what I'm remembering is when you talk about meeting Charles Manson Oh, that's it. San Quentin. Oh, so sad. So Charles Manson wasn't when you were visiting. St. Charles Manson is when You're teaching before you ever went in. Okay?
Unknown Speaker 20:02
Yeah, I came in every Friday night at six o'clock or a few minutes early and left it Saturday morning. And we were within sight. I didn't know it of Charlie. I knew he was there somewhere. But he was he didn't have access to the general population. he sued and got access to the general population. The first day he was out on the yard. Somebody scored him with a can of lighter fluid and ignited him. And so he decided that perhaps the adjustment center where you're basically in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, didn't look so bad after all. But know that the suit was I'd come in in the big Cadillac, they couldn't see that walk through the sallyport. And from his cell, out a little window across the open air to the next wall with a gun, Rael is he could see me and he saw people greeting me. And then few hours later saw people waving goodbye. And he asked Terry Wooster, the lieutenant who was sort of in charge. Well, he was in charge of the prison, but he was also if I had a problem trying to get something done. I told Terry and everything happened because the warden had said, make it easy. We want him to stay here. So he looking out through the window. Charlie, ask Jerry Wooster. Who is that? What's been gay, and he does want to, I want to meet him. I didn't know this conversation taking place. Jerry Wooster came up to me one night when I came in, and he says, Ben, I got an inmate that wants to meet you. And I said, we'll send him to the class, you know, we can always squeeze in another chair. He said, this one can't come to the class. I had full run or the prison, I could go even into death row. But I chose I chose not to, I thought that was sort of bad taste to go in and stare at people that were only about 40 elem on death row, then now that California doesn't execute people are 700, I think. But I chose not to go in there. The other place that I really, it was sort of made clear to me I shouldn't go was the adjustment center. Those are the people who for one reason or another hadn't qualified for death row, or they won their appeal or something, but they didn't play well with others. So they kept them locked up. That's where Charlie Watts, he and he said, He's in the adjustment centers. I Oh, okay. He said, but he wants you to visit with him. I said, Okay. Does he have a name? He said, Yeah, Charlie Manson. And so I agreed and went in to his to the adjustment center, and therefore his cell
Jeff Sterns 22:41
threatened. At that moment, when you said, Does he have a name? And they said, Charlie Manson, like you didn't like you were very level right there. You didn't show any emotion. Were you totally fine and calm about it? Did you kind of ask, like, who like the Charlie means? Like, what happened?
Unknown Speaker 23:01
No, I work in at San Quentin for five years with some very unusual people, some great people, but some very unusual people who had done very unusual things. And I'm running around with them loose on the floor and all. And then Lompoc, there were people in the camp, who had done things as bad or worse than Charlie Manson. So they just didn't get the notoriety and the headlines. And also No, it didn't bother me at all. And, you know, common sense. They're not going to send me into a lion's den and not sort of pay attention. I hadn't been in a cell five minutes when a guard came walking by, up on the fifth year, jingling his keys, when a guard wants you know, he's there. He lets the keys jingle when he doesn't want you know, he's there. He holds him in his hand. So I heard the jingling keys, which was a signal to Charlie ennemi. We got armed people out here. But Manson I didn't know it till I met. What it reminded me meeting set is Sammy Davis Jr. who I also met. They were tiny people. Manson was not a physical threat to anybody unless he snuck up on you and did something. He was a mental threat. And I've told many people be glad you weren't in San Francisco in the late 60s, when they were all here looking for the you know, the Summer of Love. Be glad you weren't there and didn't bump into Charlie Manson. Because you know, that Manson gang was made up of upper middle class educated people. He didn't need dummies to recruit them. And I may have told you this in private conversation. He had one book in his cell. And when I saw it on the top bunk, I said, I said Charlie, it's an interesting reading selection. He knew what I was talking about. He said the only book I own was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. He said it's my Bible. I couldn't have built the Manson Family without it.
Jeff Sterns 24:59
Unknown Speaker 25:01
all the techniques are that you know, you can take the same, it's the same. Yeah, you can take a gun and protect your family and take a gun and go rob a bank. So gun, the techniques in How to Win Friends and Influence People will work in just about any situation no matter what the goal is.
Jeff Sterns 25:17
I can totally see that and of course, read the book and I get that it's just amazing in that like, okay, but did he have remorse? I mean, I don't know what you got into No,
Unknown Speaker 25:29
no, okay. Charlie was crazy. But not the television crazy that he just died, as you probably know, I don't know, roughly a year ago at age 80. Which was a shame because he was trying to get married and I thought just when Charlie was settling down, he bitten the bullet and took off. But anyway, he was you've seen him with Geraldo, Geraldo. Rivera Rivera, whatever his name is, he loves to have I was with Charlie Manson looking death in the eye and so on Manson, I repeat was about the size of a mouse and have no physical consequences. But he would get up in front of the camera in the Geraldo type situation to go bigger, bigger, bigger than you know, he had the swastika by then carved in his head and carry on. Well, Charlie was crazy. But I discovered talking with him for nine hours that he was nuts. But it wasn't that kind of nuts. He was nuts. Evil nuts. When you looked in his eyes, they were mesmerizing. You got the feeling he could look through your eyes and out through the back of your head. And he knew how to use the physical attributes that he had. And time into. What if he aimed it in some direction was quite impressive. His mental acuity, but it got misguided. When the first night I was there, guard comes down, I forget was the same guard that I just told you about with the rattling keys. But early on, guard comes down the area outside the cell. And the keys are rattling and we're enjoying it talking about something he said excuse me, Ben jumps up, runs over to the bars as the guard goes by goes boo boo boo boo does the crazy stuff you've seen on television. The guard didn't even look at it just said Hi, Charlie, and kept going. Apparently he'd seen the show before. Then Charlie came back sat down. He said I'm sorry. They love that stuff. So to him, it was a showbusiness act.
Jeff Sterns 27:43
It was proactive. It was intentional. Going back to the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. But it's not surprising to me that he could say that I use the knowledge from that book to do what I did or use the principles to do what I did. What bugs me, or what I'm stuck on a little bit, is he's keeping it what's the word like as a reminder or as his guide or Bible or of his one thing? Like? Yeah, that's the book that got me where I am like, he was good with it are okay with it? Or happy about it? I mean, does that make sense?
Unknown Speaker 28:23
Yeah, I know sorting memory, memory might be what you and I might read, How to Win Friends and Influence People as an inspirational book to teach you something that reminds you that people want to feel important and help them do that and so on. with Charlie the book was a manual, do this, they'll do this, do this. Now. It was very his, the way we when we discussed it, it was sort of like you decide to take part of car engine. First take off the whatever he not to, to improve mankind. Just to get the whatever that thing is sits on top of orange. Jeffrey, get it out of the way all in action. Yeah, whatever. And now you do this. And now you do this. And now you do this. It wasn't for the good of mankind. It wasn't for the good of the car engine it was cause this is what you do to get people to jump through certain hoops. So I repeat, you can use a gun to rob a bank or to save your family.
Jeff Sterns 29:32
He used it to rob a bank. Amazing. And I mean, so you said you spent nine hours with them tell. I'm assuming more than one visit. I mean, you didn't sit there with him for nine hours.
Unknown Speaker 29:41
Yeah, it was three visits of three hours and not wanting I've had friends come to people builders and then beat they want to have a prison experience be taken back into the cell by one of my classmates because they had to go back for a count in the middle of the class twice. Actually in The middle of the 12 hour class and on more than one occasion they went back got locked in a cell and my people were allowed to do that the guard getting ready to do the count would note that there was a visitor in there so you know, don't count the visitor when you go by that cell. And they go back and account wouldn't clear it because somebody wasn't where they were supposed to be or the somebody escaped or tried to or whatever. So you didn't want to be in a cell when the count is messed up because you stay in the cell. They don't want to hear your visitor right then they freeze the prison. And some of my visiting guys won the trainer with us leasing Corporation. He was a sophisticated wonderful guy. He spent 12 hours locked up in a friend of mine sell another guy with I think TWA his name was Yuki Santo, because I remember when I got home, I went home I knew it was gonna be a while Misano called and said, Ben, my husband hasn't come home. I said, No, he's locked in the West block. Waiting Joe Maxell waiting for the count to clear He's fine. Probably not the safest he's ever been in his life. But he's not coming home from the count clears. I said all that to say this. I went into Charlie cell three times. Right after the count cleared. Then I went in, and then they're gonna count again in four hours. So I left after roughly three hours, I had no desire. Nothing was scary. I just didn't have any desire to be locked in a small space with Charlie Manson for 12 hours.
Jeff Sterns 31:43
So when you were with him? Was it interesting? Because it's interesting. Did you have a ministry feeling? Because obviously, your background is your background is all about improving the lives of others period. I mean, that's, that's your common thread, common thread common thread. So I mean, I can understand as like a fix it project. Did you Did you have a feeling like I'm going to turn Charles Manson around, like What had you in there three times. What was the No, he was too far gone.
Unknown Speaker 32:14
I was just fascinated. I didn't spend a second of trying to turn Sholay around. I do remember spending a little time in my own head making sure Charlie didn't turn me around. He was a very persuasive guy. No, it was just to do something interesting. You know, if I've spent more time with Jim Irwin, commander of Apollo 15, than I ever did with Charlie, and because of Jim's techniques, and he was a test pilot and so on. We ran through my information contribution to the conversation rather quickly. What I wanted to know from Jim was, what was it like to walk on the moon? What was it like when it took off wondering if it's, you know, Apollo 13 had blown up? He was in 15. So that's got to be on your mind. So much. So I want to know, stuff like that. What was it like when you came around the moon and took that famous Earthrise picture? Jim, there's several of them. But Jim took the first one. So what what was the feeling like? And I thought he was gonna say, the power of the United States or all my work is paid off, or, you know, whatever. He said, Ben, I was struck by my total insignificance, you're on the moon looking at the earth, and he can see unobstructed, much of the rest of the solar system, if not the universe, in it. Probably what he was trying to explain to me makes you feel very, very tiny. So I just want to know what what Jim knew and felt with Charlie, I want to know the same thing. They would just seem to different professions.
Jeff Sterns 33:52
We don't have to spend much more time or any more time if there's nothing interesting about Charles Manson. But did you end up leaving with anything really eye opening or distilled down to something or just crazy evil?
Unknown Speaker 34:05
Crazy evil was probably number one. Yeah. But number two was seeing how he used the systems and techniques that I've been using and teaching for years all around the world. He boiled it down and used it for evil. But it was in some bizarre way. I probably regret saying this. It was a validation of the way things work. People say you go into San Quentin, what was it like I said, Nothing goes on at San Quentin, it doesn't go on in your neighborhood. The difference is, it's compat. There's more people inside those walls per square foot than in any neighborhood on earth with a pop of possible possible exception of some tenement project, New York City. So it's condensed and it happens first faster. You might in your Lifetime witnessed a murder or an event where a murder was the end result. You know, just getting out and around, it can happen, especially if you know, perhaps a big city and so on. At San Quentin, the first year I was there, 56 people were killed. So you can stay there are places in San Quentin, you can see stand and see very, except from behind a wall, virtually the whole prison. So you got back then 3200 inmates in a very tight space under a lot of mental and physical pressure. And we are within sight of 50 plus murders. In a year. I live in a very wealthy neighborhood in Orange County, we had a murder while I was there. I remember probably more than one but we had one but it was so many square miles to have 3200 people in it. And we didn't have 56 murders, we had one with the comp, the concept is the same. So it's just it's like being life in a pressure cooker.
Jeff Sterns 36:05
So I don't know if it's interesting. We can leave it in or take it out. But
Unknown Speaker 36:11
you had an interesting mate soulmate when you're in, or at least an interesting name. I had many miles met 100 other people that were worse than Charlie Manson. Joe banano of the crime family was right across the aisle from me when I was in the medium security. We're living in a dormitory type situation. Nice Guy, not terribly bright. In fact, the joke in the banano family was he wasn't bright enough to be a real main guy. And the reason he was there, you know, the banano family, federal prison. He was there because he was selling asphalt repaving jobs to little old ladies somewhere and then not doing the job or doing it poorly. And I guess I don't know how it turns federal. But I guess maybe he did it on a federal reservation or something. So he was not exact. And I met his father and his older brother. They were serious players. They came to visit him a couple of times. While he and I were together. So yeah, Joe banano was there more impressive would be the guy down the two bunks down, who had been through three murder trials got cleared on a single killing cleared on a double killing and cleared on a triple killing. And but told me he was a professional Hitman. So he got off, but that's what his profession was. I spent a lot of time talking to him because I was just fascinated. How did somebody pick up it was a line of what was like being a plumber. He killed people for a living. Joe banano. So bad driveway jobs,
Jeff Sterns 37:50
less interesting, less lethal. So from a timing standpoint, I'm going to meet you today. I'm excited that today's the day I jump out of bed I'm wearing my Remember to wear my closers t shirt for you. I'm happy to visit with you. Because after our last visit, I mean I really, it really felt related to you and felt like you're a relative. Now I don't know how it is on your site. But I want you to know how what you are to me. So I was very happy about it. And on Facebook, because every morning I post this week's podcast guest so I keep promoting that on Facebook and LinkedIn. I get a paid advertisement for the movie about the book Think and Grow Rich. Did you hear or see anything about that?
Unknown Speaker 38:33
But I saw it flashed by the listing.
Jeff Sterns 38:36
Well for those of you that only watch this episode and don't watch part one of Ben gay the third, which I encourage is super interesting guy that's Oh, so excited to come back. This time you worked with I mean, Napoleon Hill was your personal mentor for two and a half years. Right? Correct. Last two and a half years of his life. Watch the first one if you want to hear about that. But there's a little teaser about that very interesting.
Unknown Speaker 39:00
If I had a lesson to leave with the viewers if I'm worthy of leaving a lesson, I've I've led an interesting life attitude coach so the astronauts power 15 1617 I've shaken the hand of every person 12 who, who has walked on the moon. My first friend when I moved to Atlanta in 1948 was Arthur. He didn't really have a last name. He was born a slave and still lived in the slave shack in which he was born behind the Jarvis mansion, which is right across the street from our house in East Lake, the East Lake area of Atlanta, Sally Stanford. The San Francisco madam was a dear friend of mine not when she was a madam I met her when she owned a restaurant in Sausalito. And she's told me fascinating stories. The United Nations was formed. Much of the work was formed in her parlor in her house of prostitution whorehouse for those of us who were not well educated after hours, they would come to Sally's for what Sally had to offer and have a cigar and some liquor liquor. And she said, Ben, I watched the United Nations be formed. I saw the negotiations going on and so on. So I think you have a list of some of the she's still alive. No, no. Okay. Cute, quick story. I'm sitting with her one day, at the end of her bar of Ohio. Just talking to her and my wife was with me. And she had gone to the restaurant. So we're talking and Sally and I are talking and this lady comes up, says Ms. Stanford. And Sally was always had a Gibson girl hairdo and dripping in jewelry. This Stanford, I think, you know, my husband, my husband is so and so Dr. so and so. And he's told me he knows you. And Sally said, Sorry, I don't know. I've never even heard the name. And oh, no. And she dropped a few little things that would indicate probably the husband didn't or, and finally she gave up and went away. And I said, Sally, I think you know, that guy. And she said, Ben, if Gigi came out of the restroom right now and asked me if I knew Ben gay, I would say no, in her line of work. It was always No. Yeah, you admitted to knowing no one. But in that era in San Francisco, she knew everyone mayor's governors, supervisors, bankers, and so on. So I would encourage the viewers to sort of make it a goal to meet interesting people. My life is so much richer as a result are going and famous, or infamous, is a little extra bonus. But many of the most fascinating people I've met, no one's ever heard of, but me and their immediate family. But I go out, if I walk into a situation, restaurant living room, we were at a party last night. And there's somebody there that's unusual, has a, you know, a little classic story. I'm right over next to him sitting down talking to him. And sometimes I'm wrong, and you have to go find somebody else. But it's how I met all of these, you know, you have a list of famous people, I think, essentially, now people people might want to talk about meeting all those people was not accidental. I sought them out like a stalker, hired them if necessary. You know, Dr. Napoleon Hill augmon Dino who saved my life, by the way, literally. And Zig Ziglar and Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, all of those people I sought out or hired so I could be around them. And it's made my life a whole lot for
Jeff Sterns 42:54
Can you tell us how augmon Dino saved your life? Is that worth talking about? it? Well, I was to me, saved my line other than you still being alive. Is it interesting?
Unknown Speaker 43:04
Yeah, he was. In one of his books. He wrote about it, that he decided to commit suicide. He was a park bench drunk, frequently covered with vomit, and waking up in the morning, and not knowing which Park he was in. And he decided to end it all. So he went to a pawn shop looked in the window, and there was a pistol he could buy for $39, I believe was the figure and he didn't have $39. So he said, I'll, I'll save up the money. Oh, by the time you saved up the money, the feeling had passed for the moment. But later, he got ahold of a gun somehow. And he said, I decided to end it all down. And so I put the gun in my mouth. And he said I tasted defeat combination of cold steel, gunpowder residue, probably the oil from whoever claimed the gun last he said so unique taste the taste of defeat. And I refuse to be defeated, put the gun down and what about my life and became augmon Dino? So he told me a story. And I thought well, that's interesting, you know, not too long after two, three years later, my life as I knew it was unwinding. My mentor and boss, William Penn Patrick and I got in a squabble and I got fired. But I continued living like the money was coming in like it had been, but nothing was coming in. And in result, I got terribly depressed house was foreclosed on cars were towed away. And I was up in my office and from a distance in this magnificent home, obviously successful guy broke looking out over San Francisco Bay, and I picked up my 357 Magnum, which I'd gotten because there was some death threats. I was in multi level marketing In the wild west days, I picked up my 357 Magnum and decided to end it and I put it in my mouth. And I was gone. I had made the decision. And I tasted what augmon Dino had described. I tasted defeat. And if he hadn't told me that story, I don't think it would have crossed my mind.
Jeff Sterns 45:22
Sure, that was a trigger that if sure I would think of that if I ever God forbid, put a gun barrel in my mind, I would always think of that now.
Unknown Speaker 45:30
So put the guest the gun down on my desk, and went back to being been gay. And og had literally saved my life took a while to climb out of the hole, but it all worked out. far better than had been before.
Jeff Sterns 45:48
The book, you so you wrote the closer's after this downtime in your life?
Unknown Speaker 45:54
No. The Yeah, after it came into my hands. You got time for a closer story, please. Okay, in the closer's Part One can't probably see it, but down beneath my name. It says, editor.
Jeff Sterns 46:11
I see small letters. Yeah, yeah,
Unknown Speaker 46:14
editor. And the reason is I had after I bounce back from the downturn, I started the 800 call center industry, first one in the world. And, well, we all use one number and then broke them apart with operator numbers and department numbers and so on, so that people could, I could afford to have an 800 number they used to cost $10,000 a month, for 240 hours. At the end of the month, you got a new bill for 10,000 plus overtime from the previous thing. So the little breakthrough I made was a timeshare and 800 number still have it to this day. And we started up the whole new business. But 95% of all Americans didn't know an 800 number was free to them. With no 800 numbers in advertising. It was primarily used by huge companies to transmit data late at night computer to computer no one had
Jeff Sterns 47:13
to read 100 numbers came from Okay, yeah, why you watch a watch line? Watch line, right?
Unknown Speaker 47:20
Yeah. So we figured out a way to timeshare. Well, now we had to get clients, because I when I had this brilliant idea, I am one of those people who assumes if I know what, you know what if I'm excited about it, you're excited about it. Not necessarily true. I had to educate the business community than an 800 number was to their advantage. And we several of us in the office during the day sometime were given a magazine or a newspaper mine was the Wall Street Journal, to clipboard tear out ads, to send them to the word processing department who would then include that ad in the series of letters, letter one, we saw your ad blah, blah, blah, letter to em responded wondering why and so on. One day, going through the Wall Street Journal, I saw this terribly written little bitty ad, but it had the word closer in it. And sort of like your shirt. You know, my, my attention came up, if only because that's what I do. And so I clipped it out, and just started to send it down to word processing because it didn't have an 800 number in it. But then as I started to do that, I looked at the ad and i think i think they're selling a book, it was only three or four lines long and minus the word closer, I wouldn't have responded. So I put my personal check for whatever they were asking 1495 in with a request for the letter series and send it down and forgot about it. Did not wasn't looking for anything to come in the mail literally wiped it from my mind. Three or four weeks later, a package came a little beaten up envelope with a Cray and it looked like a marker maybe addressed to me. And it's the type of package if I wouldn't today I wouldn't open unless it was out in the yard or something for fear. I blow up the you know, it just it looked like it came from a crazy person. But we got so much mail it skipped over me and I opened it. and out came this horribly designed Blue Book, said the closers on the front. That's all it said
Jeff Sterns 49:32
with like almost computerized squarish. That's the one I bought.
Unknown Speaker 49:37
All right. So I opened it up and flip through it like you do with a new book, you know, did the pages and they shot all over my office that whoever designed one they didn't have to design a book to the not a binder book and then I've when I found out the real story didn't how to print it either. So I'm picking up the stuff grumble to myself and I want to throw it in the trash but it said the closers on it. So I put a rubber band around it, threw it in my briefcase and thought, well, I'll read it on the next flight. This is before 24 hour movies and you know, all the things you have now, you read the in flight magazine, and then you tried to go to sleep. So I'll bring it on the plane. I'll read it, then I'll leave aim has designed day one, I had a plan for getting rid of it, put it in the seat pocket of the seat in front of me when I was done, because I knew I wasn't gonna haul it. So I I did that on the way to New York from San Francisco. I started reading it had to put the pages in order, but I started reading it. I get all the way through it, but it was I felt like I'd found the Dead Sea Scrolls of selling. It was poorly written, poorly bound, poorly printed, poorly written misspell words, horrible grammar. But through it all. I could see genius in the understanding of the sales process. So I read enough of it. When we landed LaGuardia, I got off the plane went right to a payphone against the wall for you. Younger people get hung on the wall or came in a booth and you put money in it and call people diode of
Jeff Sterns 51:18
names or have a payphone up.
Unknown Speaker 51:20
went up. Yeah. I said the gentleman who answered the phone, I said, Hi. I just finished reading the closers and I want to talk to somebody said, Well, Mr. Gay, how are you? And I'm looking around, I felt like I was on candid camera or something because we didn't have caller ID in those days. I didn't say who I was. And I said, How do you know my name? He said, Well, we printed 500 copies of that book somebody condom into doing it claimed he'd written the book. I don't believe that. But whatever conscious in the printing 500 copies, we ran one ad one day in the Wall Street Journal. We got one order. So if you've read the closer's Your name is Ben gay, and you live in Placerville, California. That's amazing. I said, How many more? How many more have you got? He said, like I said, we printed 500 sold one, I don't have to go look for 199. I said, I'll take them because I figured I could make a joke out of it to explain its horrible condition and so on. Well, my people began eating it up giving it to their distributors and so on and coming back saying how do we get more what through 500 rather quickly. So I called the guy back, Roy Bradley was his name and negotiated the rights to the closer's internationally, and the permission to rewrite it. So the author and his to the author, and his two partners sold one copy, I sold 10 and a half million when we counted 25 years ago. So it was a very fortunate sale on their part and a very important discovery on my part, funny house, you know, serendipity? What are the odds of me seeing that ad one day, clipping it out, getting intrigued? buying it, reading it, trying to read it? And then negotiating where I can't remember the last time I was in a sales office where they say, How do I get hold of the closers as well, the numbers in the back of the book? How do I get one who's got a closers in here? And somebody or more than one hold it up? You almost can't get away from it. So Ben,
Jeff Sterns 53:29
the How about Part Two and beyond? Was that you? Or were you also editing more of this fellow's work?
Unknown Speaker 53:35
No, no, Part one is it that was just the closers which we now call part one, part two, I wrote by hand on legal pads. And then the art and science resort sales I wrote with Dennis McCann, he was the timeshare expert, I was the writing and marketing expert. So we did that together sentence by sentence. And then the closure is part three is back to more of an editing situation, because it was written in a foreign language. First, it swapped over to English and then we did it together, but closures but part one shows you the kicks, the blocks and the punches of selling the red raw meat. selling the way it really is not that we sometimes wish it was. And then part two shows you what sophisticated people really do with that information. And part three shows you all that information in action in a real world situation
Jeff Sterns 54:33
question. And you don't have to answer of course, did you make at least $1 a copy on the tenant on the first 10 and a half million? Well, we
Unknown Speaker 54:40
um, it's a business and we have other expenses. You got to have somebody to answer the phone and so on. But yeah, I was talking to somebody just last night about that. They was fan of the closers we were at his house, and he said, Tell me the economics. I said, Well, the printing cost has gone up, but when I first started The book was I think, we took it from 1495 to 1995, as it was 1995. Plus, I'm quoting from memory $2.50 or $3, postage and handling. Well, whatever the number was, let's say it was $3, covered postage, handling the envelope that came in, and the printing of the book. So the gross was about $24, a book back in those days, now printing has gone up, and the industry has changed. But yeah, it was, it was good for all of us. three kids went to college on it.
Jeff Sterns 55:40
So something's coming to mind. For me, I don't this is out of left field, I don't know if you'll be into it. And I don't know if you say yes, if I could even pull it off. I'm in my office. Right now, this is where I work. I'm selling software and consultative service to our boat and RV dealers. I'm VP of sales for the company. I've been here nine years. And I'm also a salesperson, meaning I sell direct to customers and have my own customers. And I've always done quite well with it. My philosophy, whether I was selling cars, or managing dealerships, or in real estate, or the many things I've sold on the side, or this has always been that if somebody can do it, like if somebody could run a four minute mile, I can do that at least and that's the only thing I look at, I don't worry about the statistical odds about well, what's the average guy making your company or something like that? Can you identify with something like that idea? Sure. Okay. Yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 56:32
want I do want to know, what the top guy is making or girl is making sure cuz I want to, I sort of want to know, you know, what, what, what's the field we're operating in here. If I want to be a millionaire, I can't do it selling lawn mowers at Walmart. I know that I couldn't get into the Walmart system.
Jeff Sterns 56:52
Unless one guy in the nation's making a million selling lawnmowers at Walmart,
Unknown Speaker 56:56
then I'd wanna know how he did that. And I would write I would do that too. But the I do want to know the game we're playing and the potential of the game. And then I want to get next to whoever's doing that top thing. And start saying and doing whatever he and she is doing while I'm building my own thing gives me an idea of of basically what's possible. But it doesn't tell me what my limits are. Because I've done more than whoever was number one. When I got in any situation, I always wind up being number one, because I come early, stay alert, late work on weekends, do whatever is necessary work my referral base, I sold somebody late yesterday, right before we went out to dinner, who I first sold in Atlanta, 50 years ago. I see people say, when I left, they wouldn't let me take my mailing list with me. Hello, you had the mailing list. First, you gave it to them keep a copy. I have many of them from the early days have passed on to their great reward. But if I sold you into a holiday match distributorship, 55 years ago, I still have your name and your number, then I may have been updated and scratched out and moved around. But so my I haven't run a paid ad in 25 or 30 years. My business is referral marketing and Reputation Marketing.
Jeff Sterns 58:26
Okay, so I'm gonna, I'm going to try to steer this conversation back, very dangerous combination you and I talking. So the reason that I brought that up, and that you You and I are in alignment are resonating on that, like, let's discover what's possible, or at least what we've heard is possible. That doesn't mean that's our limit, but we're not at all concerned with status quo is or the problems with it, we just want to know what's possible. I have a salesperson that works with me here that I love to death, he's been through a little bit of a trauma in his life. So his self worth is a little bit down. But even more than that, he's a literal person. What does the data tell you? So for example, I'm in here doing what I'm doing selling my X amount of agreements a month or, you know, setting up X amount of accounts a month, along with managing the office, you know, etc, etc. The people out in my phone room, cold calling dealerships and opening up which could we get an appointment for a demo. And then of course, once you have a demo, to present and sell have less luck than me, I'm continually counseling them. I don't want to elevate myself too much. This is not an ego move. But I mean, you remind me a lot of me in that, that, you know, anytime I get anyone that's willing to listen or asks for help in how to improve, I'm so attracted to it, you know, I can't not right. So I have him in this office often and his rebuttal. And I'll say, not serving himself, self limiting, and I'll even call it an excuse and I'm not talking about Even though I'm not mentioning names yet, because I've saved this to him, is that but based on what's going on out in the general population of our phone room out there, here's all that can be expected. And by the way, what's the best that happened last year? So this kind of answer now, if I was dealing with a guy that I didn't know better from spending a lot of time with them and trying to work with them. I would just say that's a Debbie Downer, excuse guy, typical bottom of the board. language, you know, that would be my first blush. But after getting to know him, I think he's got this analytical personality type that really gets in his way. And it's legitimate, not an excuse. Okay. I don't know if he's available. I don't know if he's on a demo or a call. I don't know if you're willing. But if I was able to get him right now and put them on, would you talk to him a little bit? Sure. I spend my life trying to teach him just about the numbers game, the roll, let marble sometimes, if you call enough people you don't know who just had a conversation about that this morning, just the timing. And his resistance is the inefficiency of that. And I'm like, Look, if I'm here eight hours, and I can make x if one of those marbles falls in. I'm here eight hours either way, and I'm gonna make X amount at the end of the day, if it happens. Oh, Fred, this has been gay. The third when he stopped counting 25 years ago, he was at 10 and a half million books. The clothes are sold his lifetime closing average. And what he's been selling is 86%. Up till now, I just had a little setup with him. We're done with our with our podcast and everything. But I says I have a guy here in Ben and I are so in alignment in our viewpoint of view. I says he's handsome. I mean, he's tall, handsome and good looking. Right. Nice looking guy. Nice looking guy. Okay. So I said what Fred allows to get in this way. Is the the data, the analytics, what happened last year? What's going on with other people? What's the obstacle? I says, Would you please just talk to Fred? Now this guy's work with Norman Vincent Peale. augmon Dino's Zig Ziglar, etc. I'm going to give you the headphones, man. Ben, how you doing? I'm doing fine. Fred Ben gay.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:23
Hey, nice to meet you. It's a pleasure. I'm a Jeff and I have talked about you all in good terms. So well, thank you. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:30
Jeff, very impressed. fond view, the subject matter for today was perhaps your analytical abilities sometimes get in your way a little bit. And I was just telling him, some of how I've gotten through some situations out of ignorance. I started the 800 call center industry, you know, see your 800 number dial it somebody answers take shorter, that I started that 1976 with a national communication center. And had I had your great analytical brain, I would have researched and found out that 95% of all Americans did not know a toll free number was toll free to them. 99% of all ads didn't have an 800 number in them because they didn't know that the sales would go up 4050 60% if they did, and so on. Had I known all of that. I never would have started the business or the industry, I would have decided my way out of it because I have better things to do than to educate the United States of America. I would sort my inclination would be I'll wait a few years for them to catch up. Surely somebody will do this. And then but by the time they caught up I would have been off doing something else and then probably not thought of it again.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:53
It sounds like you sounds like you got you capitalized and leverage that first mover advantage. You were ahead of your time you saw something in the market that said I can make this work and and even though the majority did not tussle with it, right?
Unknown Speaker 1:04:10
Yep. But what I did was I figured out a way to timeshare, an 800 line. I was just telling Jeff while ago, an 800 line. I don't know what they cost today, not much because homeless people have 800 line. But back then and one 800 line cost you $10,000 in advance for the month I got you 240 hours. And at the beginning of the next month you got a new bill for $10,000 plus the overtime from the month before. So the reason time sharing was important was nobody could afford an 800 line for a year. I still love to open a phone bill here. I rarely do but open one. Because for years if I opened a phone bill it said 56 $60,000 for the month. So to open one now and have it be 400, to me is like Christmas morning, I can't believe. But anyway, the way I got through it was I didn't analyze it, I plunged ahead. That's probably not what they're teaching at Harvard this week. But really, there's an element of good to that. The next thing you're in, I'm not blowing smoke at you. I am not the smartest person you've ever met. by a longshot. What I do is I take good ideas, and I copy them, and then hopefully improve on them. I've sold 1000s of types of different products. I've never invented one. I didn't invent the 800 lines. they existed, I just found a different way to twist them and use them. In the cosmetic business. We didn't have a single breakthrough product. We had better products because of the quality of the stuff that went in them. But no, look what I invented product. It was just more Cleansing Cream, more body lotion, more lipstick, you know, whatever. So I find out what works. If I were in the car business, Alan, do you know who Alli Rida is? He's the number one salesperson in history in the automobile business broke. What was his name? Gossard? No, it's funny that he he beating so bad, I can't remember his name. And we all record stood for 44 years, Allie Rida soul 14 145 cars in 2019. The year he set the record, he sold 1582 cars in 2017, in one year, working five days a week minus children's birthdays or whatever, he has honed his skill. So if I was in one of the car business, I trained a lot of but I don't claim to be an expert in cars, I would hop on a plane and go to LA Rita and say, Hi, I'm your new shadow get used to me, I'm Ruby within three feet of you all day, every day unless you're at home. And I would do what he does that work. So I don't have pride and authorship, I find out what works. And I systematize Napoleon Hill gave me he helped me develop, but he tricked me into doing it my daily success system. He said, then for you to move up in the company, you got to replace yourself. And it's got to be somebody that you can say, Hey, I recruited him, you got to be proud of him. So let's decide what that guy's gonna do. I wasn't smart enough to figure out I was already president of the company. And the only person that bugged me was the owner and short of death, he wasn't going anywhere. But anyway, I worked on it with him the most of the day, and we worked out here's what my replacement should do. Every day. Some things were constant every day is about 10 items on the list that I do every day, no matter no matter what. They're just basics. And the rest of them are things that can be once a month, once a week, whatever. And then of course, like any good gallery, you have things that today that you didn't know about yesterday, but the system allows for that. So we put it all together. And then I said all right, that's good. I'll save that. He said, No, no, you don't need to save it. What you need to do is type it up every Secretary type it up, run off copies, and this is what you do every day when you come in. And he had written bam, gay at the top of the list, instead of this unknown guy we were going to have, so he systematized what I was supposed to do every day, back to systemization. What you're doing, if Jeff were out there he would in that film room, he would quickly if he hasn't already developed the script for you. Here's what you say. Now the script is moveable because the prospect doesn't always say what they're supposed to say. But when they say what they weren't supposed to say you have a script for that. And then you don't have to be in a good mood, fight off your analytical side. And you just do over and over and over again, what works. I have an 86% closing average, acquired that 30 years ago, and it's been up and down a percentage of two, but basically, for some reason, it's always 86%. The good news is that means I've closed 10s of that I figure I've given 100,001 on one presentations, phone in person, whatever. So 86,000 said yes, but it still bugs me that 14,000 heard the entire Ben gay presentation said no. You know, what's wrong with them? And never dawned on me what's wrong with me? But what you do is you hit upon a script and a system and you follow it every day all day, no matter how you feel. I told my co writer in mind one time I said who I hired to write a ghostwriter book for me. He said I want you to write half the chapters, I'll write half the chapters and so on. I said, I'm paying you to write the book. He said, Ben, you're a better writer than I am. I said, Yeah, when I agree with that, when I'm inspired, and in the movies, we've hit upon the problem. professional writers don't write when they're inspired or in the mood. They write every day, no matter how they feel. And he set a goal for me this is 30 years ago, a page of copy that I wrote, rewrote, edited, if we had to go to the printer, right, then one page like that every day. Well, that means you write about a book and a half a year, if you're not even trying to write a book, right? And you follow that For
Unknown Speaker 1:10:45
how long? How long were you writing a page a day.
Unknown Speaker 1:10:49
For it from the day he told me that till today, before I leave here, and sometimes you get inspired and write 20 pages? Sure. The best thing I've ever written is sales infiltration, the last chapter in the closers part to borrow it from Jeff and then get your own and mark it up. I wrote that in one sitting, it runs about 45 pages, I think I was inspired, I hit on it and took off other days, it's all I can do to do a page. But if I let down and do less than a page, then I'm letting the system slip away. So your system, when you go to get your car washed, and you drive up, they don't go home. Look at that. Fred brought a really interesting car in here. Wonderful we ought to do with that. They say drive up here, sit still roll up your windows, and the system washes your car, just like it washed the 10,000 cars in front of you. And just like it'll wash the next 10,000 cars. Selling should be that way. If you're analytical, wonderful. Take up crossword puzzles or something to fill your your spare time at work. Follow the system. And if you don't have one help have Jeff develop it for you. And follow the scripts to which most salespeople young like you say, Well, I don't like scripts, they were you know, restrict my freedom and other bullshit. If you've been in selling over 30 days, you're on a script. Now, you say we tend to fall into habit pattern. So the question is, is it a good script? Was it tested? Do you trust it? And then you just do that. So I look at selling as exciting and glamorous it is when someone's you know, here comes Ben gay. And here's what he did and not. In the real world, I look at selling like selling sausage, or like grinding sausage, you put the stuff on this end, you do what's proven it comes out this in sausage, you put 500 in a box or whatever. And then you start on the next one. It's not exciting, doesn't have to be exciting. It's a system that works. And if I do something spontaneously that works, I might make a note to check that. But by and large, I try not to let that influence my thinking because I was already doing something that has an 86% closing rate. Why would I changed that? So anyway, that's a long time to tie you up. You should be on the phone talking to people, but he thinks the world of you. He thinks you're smart as hell. And if there is a problem, it's that you overanalyze things. I've known people throughout my career, I've been at this 55. So it depends on when you start counting. But I've been at it roughly 55 years at a high level, most of the besides negativeness and laziness. Most of the failures I've seen, have been based on them sitting around overthinking their ideas, getting ready to do something alphabetizing their prospect cards, and when you get them all alphabetized then it's probably best to go back and shuffle them and put them in zip code order, or area code order, all of which is designed to make you not have to make a call and face what we all fear in selling rejection. They will listen to me and they'll say No, thank you. Well, sure they will. Your job is to get your closing rate up to the point where you can live with that. 14,000 people have said to me No thank you, Ben. And he and you've already solved this. Let me give you some good news. I say to number I sort of made up but I made it up based on experience. 85% of all the problems in selling go away. If you pick a quality product or service you already have done that is competitively priced. The marketplace takes care of that if you guys were weren't competitively priced and soon would be where you'd be out of business. And you spend your day talking to qualified people in your case. Except to making sure you're talking to the right person within the business, the business you're after is clearly defined, you know who you're calling 5% is product knowledge. And the rest of it is you becoming a person of class quality and substance that can easily project that. They need to know they're talking to a winner, and that their fate is in good hands if they trust you. Because that's really the only thing you bring to the table that wasn't there before you got there. They didn't restructure the business when you arrived. What's different about the business when you're talking to somebody who's with you? They get Fred.
Unknown Speaker 1:15:42
I appreciate your time, Mr. Gang. It was a pleasure meeting you. here's, here's Jeff. Ben, you're
Jeff Sterns 1:15:47
awesome, man. Thank you. nice young man. He is so I know you have your next thing pending if not overdue.
Unknown Speaker 1:15:54
Yeah. I just got a note implied I was a slacker for not being where I'm supposed to be. But I'm also a sucker. a sucker for helping young people.
Jeff Sterns 1:16:05
Well, I knew and I took full advantage of that. Not fair has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Salesman/Speaker/Sales Trainer @ "The Closers"/Coach/Consultant
Ben Gay III has been called a living legend in the sales world.
After 50+ years in professional selling, he has been the
#1 salesperson in every organization in which he has worked.
At age 25 he was president of what was then the world’s largest
direct sales/network marketing company, having been personally
trained by fellow sales legends J. Douglas Edwards, Dr. Napoleon
Hill, Earl Nightingale, William Penn Patrick, Zig Ziglar and many
other sales giants.
One of the most famous, popular and powerful sales trainers
in the world, Ben now writes/publishes/produces “The Closers”
series of books/audios/videos/newsletters/teletrainings/live
seminars, a series that is considered to be “The Foundation of
Ben was the founder and is the current Executive Director of The
National Association of Professional Salespeople.
Ben and his lovely wife Gigi live near Lake Tahoe in the little
Northern California town of Placerville, California – where the
California Gold Rush began!
Deals on Ben's books! stores.ebay.com/ronzonebooks
Here are some great episodes to start with. Or, check out episodes by topic.