Spencer Lodge is a well-known motivational speaker and business magnate, with over 23 years of experience in the financial industry. Thousands of people have heard him speak live either in companies or on social media through his Podcasts. From his childhood in London to prestigious positions in top finance companies, he narrates The Investor his motivational story in order to inspire others. His message to the world is that if you work for something, you will get it. He has been spreading his positive message to encourage others to have the life they deserve. This is the story of one of the best sales trainers in the world, who created Make It Happen.
“Growing up I was just an average kid from an average family, living in average England. There was nothing special about me and I certainly didn’t have any silver spoons. My parents got divorced when I was seven or eight years old, and this impacted me quite dramatically. But one thing that I always had was the love that came from my family.
My father lost his business and had to start from scratch when I was still quite young. There were definitely some lessons that I took from that. Seeing someone that I loved and admired having to build himself from the ground up after losing everything made me realise that if you work hard, you’d ultimately get there. It also gave me the determination that I needed to succeed.
School was always horrible for me. I remember the day that I finished school and how excited I was to do something else- although back then the only thing that I wanted to be was a ski instructor! After some practical exams I went on to become an instructor and taught people how to ski, but my mother was never very happy about this. She told me that times needed to change quickly, and that I needed to pursue a professional career.
On the day of my first ‘professional’ job interview my mum told me that I needed to give it my all, but all that I could think of was that I didn’t have a clue as to what a salesperson actually does, and I wasn’t interested in pursuing it as a career. But in hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’ll always be grateful to my mum for making sure that I went through with it.
When you go for a job interview what do you think the employer is looking for?
Your credentials? Your university degree? Your experience? Your character?
In most cases these employers are looking for the person who has a combination of all of the above, in addition to being a good team player. So how do you get this across in an interview? You sell yourself!
Whether you’re being sold to or are selling something yourself, you are exposed to the world of sales.Spencer Lodge
I went on a train up to London for my job interview and I met two guys who asked me about my background and history, and then one of them asked me to sell them a pencil. I’ll never forget this moment. I made them laugh, I engaged with them and built some rapport and they landed up offering me the job on the spot. I couldn’t believe my luck. My first job as a trainee salesperson started shortly after this.
After some training my life for the next eighteen months was to do 100 door-knocks every morning, and 100 cold-calls every afternoon. Whether I wanted to or not, this was what I had to do every single day. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life because even though I hated lots of it, it taught me so many things and I learnt so many valuable lessons. More importantly, it taught me how to sell.
Want to know the secret to success? It’s knowing how to sell!
Whether you’re a young professional, someone going for a job interview, or the CEO of a company, everybody needs to have sales skills.
Selling is a prerequisite in life. If you’re a CEO in an organisation then you’re selling the services of your business. If you’re a young professional going for an interview, then you’re selling yourself and your skill-set! Selling is important for everyone.
Sales skills will ensure that you’re able to persuade, negotiate and operate in the world of commerce as well as in the world of success.Spencer Lodge
The two guys that I worked for at my first job- David Shillingis and Eric Pomfret were so supportive and played an incredibly instrumental role in my career early on.
A couple of years after starting my first sales job, I went for an interview for the chance to live and work overseas selling financial advice. I got the job and I was sent across to Bangkok in Thailand as my first overseas posting. I was so excited to go on a new adventure. However it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
I remember walking around Bangkok when I got there to try and get my bearings and all that I could think was ‘what on earth am I doing here and why have I done this?’ I went back to my hotel room, sat on the edge of the bed and cried. I was twenty-three years old and I didn’t know what I’d done. I phoned my mum and told her that I wanted to come home, and she said: “No. You’re not coming home. You’ve made a commitment, and the company have offered you a job. You’ve got to stay there for the next three months and give it your very very best. Be committed and if it doesn’t work out after three months then you can come back, but you’re not coming back before then”. This was the best piece of advice I ever got!
My boss in Bangkok told me that people wouldn’t trust a twenty-three year old with their life savings. He told me that I’d have to stand out and be different, and the only way I’d stand out is by being really smart and truly knowing my subject. He bought me every single book that was available about wealth, financial management, and financial services. For three months I studied these books. In school I had never been a fan of studying, but this time there was a purpose- this was going to help accelerate my career.
Over the years my career became more and more successful. I was one of the best wealth managers in the international arena. But with success came arrogance. I started believing that I was above other people and this was an ugly characteristic.
One day I was knocked down to earth with an almighty bang when my CEO- the guy that I’d helped build a business with decided that he didn’t want to carry the business forward with me any longer. After being at the company for sixteen years, he no longer thought I was the right person for the job.
The following day I was told that my back was broken and that I needed spinal surgery. In addition to this, my partner told me that our relationship was going to end. In just a few days, I experienced three massive blows.
This sent me to a very dark place. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue living. I’d had enough of the world and I hadn’t accepted the fact that I was actually responsible for what had happened. The wind was knocked out of my sails for a long time after this.
It was my family and close friends that ultimately pulled me out of this dark place. They gave me hope and made me realise that there was in fact lots to live for. My kids kept me grounded, and my now-wife Anna and friends Danielle and Sarah were very supportive. They were there for me when I needed it the most. When you look around and see the wonderful people you have around you, it gives you a reason to re-focus. In my case it allowed me to pick myself up and face the right direction and actually look forward to my future.
The experience that I went through gave me the opportunity for a new beginning. It made me identify and address what it was that I really wanted to do, which was to help people.
I wanted to help people grow and have better lives and be more successful. I knew I had the skills, I knew I had the experience, and I knew that I could make a difference. And this is how make-it-happen was born.
Make-it-happen was born from the desire to get people out of their armchairs, up on their feet, and focused on their careers. My aim is to improve people’s performance in order for them to have a better, more enjoyable, more fulfilling life.
It’s quite simple: if you want to have the life that you dream about, then you’ve got to change your story. Remove the excuses, because if you change your story, you’ll change your outcome. And if you change your outcome, you’ll have a much better life.”
When our team asked Spencer about the importance of sales, this is what the sales genious replied with:
“ Sales is about persuading someone to buy your product, service or skill:
Selling is all about persuading, convincing, and negotiating. It’s essentially about getting your own way. Let’s take an example: When you buy a house you negotiate to get the right price. The seller might be selling you their house but you’re also selling them on the price that you want to pay.
When you want to get your own way or persuade someone, you are going to have to use your sales skills and that applies to every single one of us. Never underestimate the power of selling.
Know what you need to do to make the sale:
There have been a lot of companies in the tech space in recent years that have failed. What’s the difference between them and the tech companies that have gone on to succeed? A lot of these entrepreneurs will claim that they couldn’t raise enough money, but if you have a great idea then you should be selling that idea.
If you aren’t raising enough money then either you’re not selling your idea or services quick enough or you’re not selling in the correct way. These people don’t know what they need to do to make the sales they need to make.
It doesn’t matter how great your idea is if you’re not selling it to anyone. People who start up new businesses will face this challenge. While some of these small businesses will thrive, a lot of them will go bust in the first year. This is because the people who set up these small businesses don’t understand the value of selling and the skills that are needed to help that business grow.
Selling will create revenue, and if you create revenue you can keep yourself moving forward. Small business revenue is essential. If you’re going to set up a business and are already going through the hassle of legally setting it up, buying stock or getting products manufactured then it’s of vital importance to know the value of selling. Sales will keep your business alive.
If you’ve got a good idea, a good concept for a business and you want to make a success of it, then I urge you to be a really effective and professional sales person. You’ll understand how to persuade, negotiate and get people to buy into your idea.
Commission isn’t a bad word:
Commission. What does it really mean? Well first things first: commission isn’t an ugly word and secondly, commission isn’t all about money. People who go and do a job every day sometimes say that they prefer a salary because it’s safer, since they have their expenses that they need to cover. Whether you work hard or not, that salary stays the same every month. But with commission you get paid for what you do, what you deliver, and what you’re worth. Commission is so much better than a salary.
If you work really hard then you’re going to get paid more commission. More effort and more input means more commission. With commission you’re in control of your income. If you’re lazy then perhaps this isn’t for you but if you’re a hard worker then you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
If you go and see a lawyer or an accountant they’ll charge you a fee per hour. But if they didn’t have any clients, they wouldn’t be making any income. And in sales, if you don’t make any sales you also don’t make any income. It’s exactly the same. “
If this article has motivated you go after what you want, leave a comment below or share it with a friend. Check Spencer’s social pages for more inspiration.