Burning Your Ships – Featured Interview with Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

Co-Founders of Courage Crafters and Bestselling Authors

Courage Crafters co-founders Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton talk to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about learning to love the word “no.”

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How they started their business by “burning their ship”
  • A clever approach to expanding business within a client company
  • Understanding that each of us has a “relationship” with the word “no”
  • When it makes sense to celebrate a “no” to encourage positive behavior
  • Getting off the roller coaster of reactivity

Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton talk with Bill Ringle about using the power of no to create the results you want in business and in life.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:22 Waltz  tells about her first real job working for LensCrafters: how she met Fenton and launched into her own business at a young age.

2:44 Fenton –  “From my earliest memories, my earliest ages, I had always had a desire to be a professional speaker and to write books.”

3:29 Fenton – Tells about meeting Fenton and meshing on what it meant to be a high performer and achiever.

4:50 Waltz – [On quitting their jobs to start the new company] – “We knew that in order to really make the business work and to burn our ships…we knew that we had to leave and be completely dedicated and completely focused.”

5:44 Waltz – On getting their first client JC Penney.

6:25 Fenton – [On working with JC Penney] – “We worked for them over the course of the next 10 years, we probably did over 25 different projects for them, and over the course of time we did well in excess of $250,000 worth of business.”

7:58 Waltz talks about hers and Fenton’s self-published book The Secrets of Retail Magic and how their “Go For No” concept allowed them to become an essential resource to JCP.

9:03 Waltz tells how Fenton’s boldness got them their first client.

11:08 Waltz – “Our ideal client has a sales force and, ideally, we like working with companies with large sales forces. Right now we focus on doing keynote presentations at the annual conferences. We don’t focus on a specific industry, although we’re very popular in the direct sales and network marketing industry.”

12:00 Waltz – “The problem is that people have a fear of hearing the word ‘No.’ They have a fear of failing, looking like a failure, a fear of rejection. And that’s the problem that we solve.”

12:35 Waltz – “All of the great sales skills that [employees] get trained on are a waste if they are still too scared to use them.”

13:10 Fenton – “It’s far easier to spread your wings within an organization and to expand your reach working from the top down than it is from then bottom up.”

13:55 Fenton describes how changing their positioning to keynoters gave them a better footing with decision makers at an organization.

14:52 Waltz-  “The first thing that we do is that we help people see that they are probably avoiding hearing the word ‘No,’ and we have them identify the facts that they actually have a relationship with the word No. Because one of the things we always ask is that when you get a no, how do you respond?”

15:23 Waltz“80% of our audiences, when they heard the word no they stop, or they assume that they’ve done something wrong or that they are a failure.”

15:53 Waltz discusses the creation of “No Awareness.”

16:17 Fenton – “We try to get people within organizations to do something which is completely counterintuitive, and what we do is teach people to stop setting, at least exclusively, what we call ‘yes goals.’”

16:52 Fenton – “Instead of setting ‘yes’ goals for your business, what if you were to set ‘no’ goals instead?”

17:37 Fenton – “When we work with companies to set ‘No’ goals, we say ‘Ok, what if you were, instead of setting the goal to sell 1 copy machine, what if you were to set the goal to have 10 companies tell you ‘No?”

18:04 Fenton – “In a ‘Go for Yes’ world, most companies slow down when they hit their quota. In a ‘Go for No’ world, if you made your first call and they said ‘Yes’ to you, you still have 10 ‘No’s’ to get.”

18:43 Waltz – “To have no become a positive rather than a negative, so when you do achieve a  goal, like hitting your ‘no goals,’ it does become positive and it is something that you can celebrate.”

19:06 Waltz – “When you only reward yourself for the yes’s, the no’s do become so deflating, depressing, and that ultimately slows people down.”

20:05 Fenton – [On their process] – “It was a shifting in our mental attitude about how we rewarded ourselves for our performance. Traditionally, most people when they set a goal and hit the goal they reward themselves for hitting the goal. Well, Andrea and I realized that we were kind of telling people to do that, but in our real world we weren’t doing that.”

20:37 Fenton – “We said, ‘What if we started celebrating and rewarding ourselves every time we heard the word ‘No.’ And we stopped celebrating and rewarding ourselves every time we heard a ‘Yes?”

21:57 Fenton – “If the shortest distance between you and success is a straight line, the last thing you need is to be going up and down.”

22:00 Waltz and Fenton discuss what they do to overcome the emotional rollercoaster.

 

Expert Bio

Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton are the co-founders of Courage Crafters, Inc., through which they teach people how to reprogram the way they think about the word NO, and to fail their way to success. They have brought their message to many organizations over the last 15 years, including American Express, Kodak, Pep Boys, Harry & David, and more.

Richard’s background includes working in Distribution Sales for Disney and as Training Director for Hart, Schaffner & Marx and LensCrafters. Andrea originally wanted to work with George Lucas, but after getting rejected (she was 8 years old) she went on to build a career in sales and management at LensCrafters, where was was the youngest General Manager in company history.

Together Richard and Andrea have written four books, the most popular of which is Go for No!, which has been on #1 on Amazon’s ‘Sales & Selling’ Best Seller list and has remained in the top 20 for the last two years. Their articles have been published in Success Magazine and hundreds of online and offline journals. They are members of the National Speakers Association and the Direct Selling Association U.K.

For more information, visit Andrea and Richard’s website.

Contact Info for Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

Business Phone: 800-290-5028

Web address: GoForNo.com

Travel From: Orlando, FL

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