Killer Instinct: Predator and Prey in business and sales

Killer Instinct
Predator and Prey in Business

How many of you would like to be more successful?
How many of you would like to make more sales?

How many of you would like more happiness?
Do any of you believe that more money could help with that?

How many of you have lay awake at night pondering why you are where you are financially?
How often have you lamented the fact that others seem to do it so easily and it is such a struggle for you?

There are a number of reasons and a multitude of solutions but before I address those, may I tell you a bit about myself and how I work? Thank you.

How many of you would agree with me that successful people do what it takes?
That successful people do what it takes DESPITE that it sometimes feels awkward?
In other words, they are willing to step out of their comfort zone?


Let me tell you a story.
I was applying for a sales manager position through a personnel agency.
They were brilliant. Amongst other things, they gave me a photograph of the MD and board members who would be interviewing me. But the most important tip was this, “80% of people who ask this question at the end of the interview, get the job. ‘Is there anything preventing me from getting the job?’”
I asked it, and I got the job.
A year later the same personnel agency sent me a salesperson.
At the end of the interview he did not ask me the question!
When I asked him why, he said that although he had been told to ask it, he felt uncomfortable doing so.
Do you think he got the job??????

NO. Of course not.
Although he had a great CV, he demonstrated 3 things:
1. He would not do what he was told
2. He would not do what it takes
3. He would not get out of his comfort zone

Are you willing to do what it takes?
Will you get out of your comfort zone today? With me? Now?

Thank you.
Will you all prove this to me right now by giving the person next to you a high five and say,
“I am willing to get out of my comfort zone and do what it takes!”
Good Job! Thank you.

And while we are at it, and I now have your permission, please would you repeat Success Key #1?


Good Job! Good Job!

The reason I told that story is because I see myself as a trainer and teacher more than a speaker.
For years I have stood in front of my audiences and talked.
Recently I encountered a new breed of trainer who used a different method that improved retention and learning dramatically.

Tell me, do you learn more by passively listening or by being involved?
So will you allow me to help you to get 100% out of the next hour?
I know it’s uncomfortable, but will you step outside of your comfort zone with me?
Thank you. Give yourself a high five and say, “I’m awesome”.

Right. A little about me.
I was born into a poor family. My father worked the gold mines and was doing very well until he had his first heart attack. From then on we struggled. Mom worked and he taught karate to augment the family income.

I was sent off to boarding school from standard 5 to matric, ensured I did not get good enough marks for university and did my 2 years military service.

I consider myself only born on the day I klaared out (left the army) and rented a flat in Hillbrow with an army buddy. There got into a glorious cycle of sleeping for 8 hours, working for 8 hours and clubbing for 8 hours. Day after day except for Sunday. The day of rest right!?

My career started in Hotel Management but soon changed when I got my first sales job for a telecommunications company selling PABX systems.

Before I tell you about that, let me share what I learnt about sales and life from being a waiter:
Lesson 1:
If you truly serve you are in demand. Most people will reward you handsomely for good service.
People will ask for you by name when you serve. People will tell other people about you when you serve.
Your boss loves you, you don’t get fired and are last to get retrenched.
It’s the same in the big bad world of life and business.
If you have something someone else really needs and you supply it in a superior way, you will be in demand.

Lesson 2:
Not everyone plays by the rules.
No everyone tips 10% or even at all.
But at the end of the day, you average about 10%.
The over tippers balance the under tippers.
It’s the same in the big bad world of life and business.
Sales is a numbers game.
Your ability to manage rejection is directly proportionate to the amount you will sell.
Not everyone will buy from you.
The longer you are in the game though, the better the stats get in your favour.

When I moved into the sales position, I did 2 things. I read 20 books on sales and applied what the authors said. I also studied human behaviour, consumer behaviour and very specifically body language and applied that knowledge.


Please would you stand up, take a big stretch and then repeat after me, “I am willing to learn from successful people”.
Thank you for getting out of your comfort zone. I understand that it feels strange. Please sit down again.

In the early days I worked on a simple principle.
See enough people and you will get sales.

Tom Peters an absolute sales legend gave the following formula for sales success:

Now, I know we live in a technological age and I know you can reach 10 people in 10 seconds via email but NOTHING beats a face to face meeting.

Tell me honestly, how many of you can’t wait to put your knife and fork down to talk to the telesales person about getting a second cell phone contract that you don’t need? Well me neither.

How many of you can’t wait for the stream of marketing emails to hit your inbox? Me neither.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is a place for technology. There is a place for social networking and newsletters. Just don’t make it your primary activity. I believe all of that is back up credibility. I don’t have a website to attract people. As far as I am concerned, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is an oxymoron.

I use my website to prove to prospects that I am legit. That’s it.
Most people that go to my website after meeting me, buy form me.
Most people who find me and ask for a quote without meeting me, never use me.

Here is a quick thought on business cards:
Anyone you GIVE your card to, won’t call.
Anyone who ASKS for your card, will.

That gives us success key # 3:
You have to have something to offer that someone else wants.

Seriously, you don’t want a salesperson who would sell ice to an Eskimo.
The Eskimo does not need ice (with global warming however, this may be a viable business in the future!! ).
The Eskimo will have serious buyer remorse and will cancel the order during the cool off period or feel immense resentment toward the salesperson AND the company.

Right or right?????

Briefly back to me.
Since my sales first position I have been involved in sales and marketing all my life.
I completed my IMM diploma part time and worked my way up in various companies.
At Shell SA I ended up as the Shell Ultra City Brand Manager and I have held numerous Sales and Sales Manager positions, the most notable one with Bytes Specialised Services.

Two and a half years ago, I finally followed my passion to become a speaker and teacher.
To be honest, I am a bit of a chameleon.

My first colour is rather Spiritual.
I conduct weddings and funerals for non church going believers as a Spiritual Master of Ceremonies.

My second colour is Coaching and Counselling.
Life coaching, career guidance, relationship courses and grief counselling.

I am the author of, “So you’re engaged, now what? The journey from engaged to married” and “So you’re Alive, now what? The journey from birth to death” with a couple more books in various stages of readiness.

Lastly, I am a speaker and trainer.

Right now I am living proof that if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.
When you do what you really love, there are no weekdays and weekends. Only days that you do what you love.

Whenever I hear someone say, “Yay, its Friday”, I think to myself, “How sad to hate 5 out of 7 days of your life!” The truth is that we work half of the time we are awake.

So my first rule of fulfilment is,
If you are going to work half your life, you may as well enjoy it!

Dr. John Demartini asserts that whatever job you do, there will be challenge and support. So why not do what you love?
Have you noticed that wherever you work there are people you get on with and people who annoy you?
That there are customers you love dealing with and others that are actually unpleasant?
That despite the great interview, your boss generally becomes a pain in the butt over time?
There is always a balance of easy and difficult. Of happy and sad. Challenge and support.
So you may as well find a way of doing what you love.

Yes or YES?
Just keeping you awake and involved!

Predator and Prey.
Domination and submission.
Killer Instinct.
How are they all linked?

Lets start with money.

Can I have a show of hands how many of you would love to be financially independent?
Now can I have a show of how many of you are?
Is anyone interested in knowing why?
Have you ever wondered why others are and you are not?
And If I had the answer, would you be interested in hearing it?

Do you know that only half a percent of the world’s population is financially independent?
That means 1 in every 200 people.
Here is a quick exercise: if I gave you a million rand, what would you do with it?
[Wait for 2 minutes]

The real question here is; HOW MUCH DID YOU INVEST and how much did you spend?
Did you make the money work for you to create more wealth or did you spend like a true consumer?

Here is one of the keys to understanding this.
It’s linked to Axiology. The study of values.
A simplified form of this is the 7 areas of life. Also known as the wheel of Life.
Write these down please.
Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Societal, Family, Vocation, Wealth Creation.

Health, Activity, Appearance, Home, Car, BRAD PITT, ANGELINA Jolie

Learning, Teaching, EINSTEIN, Dr. JOHN Demartini

Philosophy, Religion, Belief System, JESUS, Buddha, GHANDI

Immediate Family, Extended family, OBAMA and Michelle

SOCIAL (societal)
Social Networks, Society, Charity, Friends, OPRAH, Obama, Madiba

Career, how you make money, Passion, Job, MOTHER THERESA, Richard Branson

Building Wealth, Financial Inclination, Stocks, Businesses, WARREN BUFFET, Donald Trump

Now. We have been taught that we have to have all of these in balance to find happiness.
That is not 100% correct.
The truth is that 1 of these will be the most important aspect of your life, high value area #1.
And 1 will be the least important low value area #7
And the rest will be ranked 2 to 6 in-between them.

So here is the moment of truth.
If you were to rank these areas in your life and wealth creation was 4,5,6,7 the chances are you will never be a millionaire.
People with a high value on Building wealth eat sleep and drink wealth creation.
They are not consumers. They are investors and savers and own companies and stocks and property.
When they have extra cash, they invest it or use it to create more wealth.
They own an expensive car only because it’s the best tax write off.
They are actually stingy in spite of being wealthy – because they VALUE money.

Here is another thought from Dr. Demartini: Money flows through the economy from those who don’t value it to those that do. From disorganized spenders to organized investors.

So, I have good news, better news and bad news.
The bad news is you are who you are and you probably will not change that.
The good news is that you are magnificent as you are.
The even better news is that if you really, really, really want to change and become more wealthy, IT IS POSSIBLE. That is the subject of another talk…….

From a business perspective, it is advisable to know where wealth creation lies in a prospective salesperson BEFORE you hire them. You really want Finance to be high on their values.

Here is another thought:
I attended a stunning workshop (twice) called, Millionaire Mind Intensive by the famous T. Harv Ekard.

His theory is that we have a financial blueprint that essentially keeps us in a financial band. He states that he can spend 5 minutes with someone and predict their financial future. It’s like a thermostat in a room set to keep the temperature at, say, 22 degrees.
When the room warms up, it cools it down. When the room cools down, it warms it up. Back to 22 degrees.

Your financial “22 degrees” is essentially set.
You would have to break out of that to earn more.
And if you won R10m on the Lotto. You will probably lose it all.
22 degrees.
Changing that, is also the subject of another talk…..

Here is an interesting question.
How many of you believe you require good relationships in business?
Here is a thought for you:
The worst trait for a salesperson is a need to be liked. Your proverbial ‘nice’ guy.
Nice guys get nowhere! Your nice guy salesperson is always selling internally to management.
Always trying to negotiate a better deal for his customer. Always trying to bend the rules for a deal. Trying to be the nice guy to the customer.

I once worked for the most persuasive person I ever met in my entire life.
He would sell ice to an Eskimo if there was money in it for him.
All of his customers hate him. He has to find new customers every year to replace the unhappy ones.
He IS a millionaire and highly successful in financial terms.

Let me tell you a story about a nice guy I know.
Stephen van Basten.

There was a time when I had the goal of being:
• The best husband in the world
• The best dad in the world
• The best friend in the world
• The best spiritual leader in the world
• The best employee in the world
• The best friend in the world

Lovely affirmation right?
Nice and inspiring right?

I became a doormat to all of those people.
I became PREY to them. Prey with an “E” not an “A”!
If they wanted anything, they just had to say, “Hey best dad in the world” or “Hey best husband in the world” or “Hey best friend in the world” and I would do anything they asked.

Instead of becoming respected and loved, I became subservient and loved.

I did learn an awesome lesson.
This is it.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
You can’t please some of the all of the time. Anyone married?????
The best you can do is please some of the people, SOME of the time.

Would you dominate your comfort zone right now and repeat the following?

I love the Bill Gates story.
When he sold Windows the first time, he did not have it.
He sold it and then went and got it.
Was he dominant or subservient in that moment?
Predator or prey?
Doormat or Leader?
Thank you.

When Martin Luther King Jnr made his famous, “I have a dream speech”, was he dominant or subservient?
Correct. Thank you.

When Jesus commanded the dead Lazarus to stand up was he dominant or subservient?
When Mother Theresa confronted the authorities in India, was she dominant or subservient?

When Mel Gibson, I mean ………………. Asked his soldiers to go to battle, was he dominant or subservient? Predator or prey?
Thank you. Give someone a high five and say, “YOU are an inspired leader”

When the leopard goes hunting, does it ask the buck nicely if it can eat it?
And when the buck eats the living grass, is it predator or prey?
Thank you.

When we have a lovely T-Bone steak or pork chops. Are we predator or prey?
And when that telesales call comes in, are we predator or prey?

When we as young boys went out looking for girls.
Who was predator and who was prey?
Thank you. You are all brilliant!

Do you know why we fear salespeople? Especially as salespeople ourselves?
Because a great sales pitch will make us realise we need something that we did not realise we needed.
Because a great sales pitch will make us realise we need something that we did not realise we needed.
And then we will buy it although it is not budgeted for.
So, are we prey to a good salesperson?
Or do we FEEL like prey to them?

I spend hours exhibiting at wedding fairs and am astounded at how many people will answer, “No thanks” to my “Good morning”. They OBVIOUSLY feel like prey to me.

The truth is that we are both predator and prey all the time.
The grass is prey to the cow and the buck.
The cow is prey to the human. The buck prey to the lion.
The rhino’s horn to the Chinese erection.
Our children are prey to the paedophile.
Our rich children to the kidnapper.
We lock our homes because the contents are prey to thieves and our cars are prey to hijackers.
The red indian was dominated by the Americans.
The Aboriginee to the Australians.
Africa was largely annexed by England, France and Holland.
The African to just about everyone and very specifically white apartheid.

Here is another version:
Grass is prey to buck and cows.
Buck are prey to lions.
Cows are prey to humans.
Kids are prey to paedophiles.
Women are prey to rapists.
Rapists are prey to detectives.
Detectives are prey to crime syndicates.
Consumers are prey to corporations and their marketing and advertising.
Corporations are prey to hostile take overs.

As yucky as it is, does this make sense?
Thank you.

You can’t change this but you CAN understand it and then use it to your advantage.
So in business we are vulnerable to our competition too.
If we do not dominate the market, someone else will.
In a saturated market, every sale of the competitor is a loss to you.

T. Harv Ekkard has a saying, “You can be right or you can be rich”
I like to express it this way, “”You can be nice or you can be rich”
“You can be subservient or you can be rich”

How many of you believe it’s a jungle out there?
Thank you. Me too!

And what’s the law of the jungle? Eat or be eaten.
Business is no different.
Right or right?

This gives rise to my 3 of my 10 Life skills rules

Life sucks
Life is NOT meant to be easy. It’s designed to challenge and reward you.
Challenge and reward come in different seasons. Be at peace with the season you are in.

The universe owes you nothing
You are not entitled to anything. Go out and earn it.
You are responsible for your own life and your own happiness.

Life is a game of trial and error
Go out and PLAY!!!!!! Experiment. Reach for more.
Fail often. Fail again. Fail until you succeed.
Do more of what works and less of what does not.
There is no shame in failure. Only in giving up.

Killer Instinct.
May I relay a personal experience?

In 2009 I made the South African Goju Kai Karate team to compete at World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.

I knew I had a reasonable chance of doing well and that a lot of things were in my favour.
On the way there, I set my sights on medalling. I had entered 2 events and really wanted to get a medal. Even 1 bronze would be cool.

The first event was kata (form) and was a reasonably big section. I placed 2nd and received a silver medal.
Mission accomplished!

While warming up for the kumite section (fighting) I was incredibly nervous. At 45 years old, you feel the pain more and it lasts longer. Preparing for battle has never been stress free. At that point I said the following to myself. Please listen very carefully here. This is the crux of the talk.
“Stephen. What are you doing this for? Are you mad? You are going to get hurt.”

Friends please. NEVER give yourself permission to fail.
How often have you clutched defeat out of the jaws of victory?

In my opinion, this is the major cause of most failure.
We give ourselves permission to give up.
Winners never do that.

Thankfully, I pulled myself together saying, “Stephen van Basten. You will NOT give up. Go out there and do your best.”
I won gold that afternoon, becoming the new world champion.

Please stand up and give someone NEW a high five and tell them, “I do what it takes. I NEVER give up”
Turn to someone else and tell them, “You are a champion”

Killer Instinct in Business and Sales:

To me business is actually pretty simple.
Supply a product or service for profit that someone wants and needs.

To me sales is actually pretty simple.
Go out and find the people who need your product or service and sell it to them for a profit.

We were in the Kruger Park the other day.
Boy, where we lucky. We saw the big 5 in 2 days.

One of those days we sat watching a pride of lion. At one point, they all looked up at the same time.
10 minutes later some buck happened along. Instinctually they all tensed up and crouched silently.
Predator and Prey.
That was killer instinct in its purest form.

The buck were too far and the lions too lazy (or not hungry enough) and we thankfully did not see a little Bambi become Mufasa’s diner.

The question is, do you have killer instinct when it comes to sales and business?
When you have the customer on the verge of signing, do you give in to the pressure and say, “Listen Peter, let me give you a day or two to think about it. I’ll give you a call”?
Or do you give in to the request for a discount without getting something back in return?
Worst of all, do you allow the customer to dominate you in the sales call?
Do you go to sales training, get great advice from experts, and then just go on doing it your way?
You can be right. Or you can be rich.
You can dominate or submit.

I know that the successful people out there, do what it takes rather than do what feels comfortable.
There is an old saying.
If you continue doing what you have always done, you will continue to have the same results.

Here is my take on business.
You really need to know what your competitive advantage is.
What do you have to offer that nobody else does?
Know your market and where to find them and how to reach them.
Get 100% clear on that and then make sure you sell that message consistently.
The killer instinct is to do it so well that you put your competitors out of business.
Given the chance, they would do so to you in a heartbeat!

I still follow the old fashioned model for sales:
• Suspect
• Prospect
• Qualify
• Present
• Close
• Get some of the money
• Get some leads
• Deliver
• Get the rest of the money
• Support
• Keep in touch


Sales tip 1:
In my opinion, RAPPORT is the greatest sales tool.
Of all the people I have sold to, generally they liked me.

I attended a talk from a sales trainer recently.
He had a stunning perspective. He claimed that the buy decision is made much earlier than commonly believed.
He likened it to the employment process.
How many of you have employed someone?
Thank you, me too.
So you go through the process. Get CV’s. Read through them. Choose a shortlist. Interview the shortlist. RIGHT?
Now cast your mind back. Before you interviewed anyone, you had a favourite didn’t you?
You had one candidate that you soooooooooooo hoped would interview well, right?
Right. The buying decision was made EARLY.

This is how my wedding sales process works:
• I exhibit at wedding expo’s (full of prospects)
• I qualify couples with a simple question, “Do you have a minister for your wedding?”
• Those that say yes I give a very brief overview of how I work (building rapport)
• I then ask if I can email them more info (another qualifying question)
• A week later I email them info on who I am, what I do, how much I charge and how I work and suggest a meeting (another qualifying event) (building rapport)
• Most will check my website at this stage (credibility)
• There will be a couple of emails back and forth as we agree on dates and times (building rapport and a relationship)
• By the time we meet, I am already the preferred supplier. I really just need to interview well (keep rapport momentum).
• I get booked 90% of the time using this method

Now I know that this is a very specific market. I am blessed with many prospects.
YES. I do lose some business because of this method. I would probably do better to not disclose my prices, I am expensive, and only tell couples during our meeting.
This way I have effectively ELIMINATED the money objection!!!!! Once they agree to meet, they have tacitly accepted my price.
Tell me honestly now. How many of you have the price objection as the number 1 issue in your business? I NEVER hear, “It’s too expensive”.

Sales tip 2
Good sales people overcome the major objections upfront.
They make them irrelevant.

Sales tip 3
A really truly properly effectively qualified prospect has few objections.

I am a believer in the 80:20 principle.
I believe too many salespeople chase deals that will never close.
I would rather use 2 hours finding new hot prospects that are ready to buy, than following up on cold suspects who will probably not use me.

I KNOW when I am in rapport with a couple. I KNOW the buying signals. I KNOW how qualified they are. I KNOW the odds of them buying is 90%. I love those odds.
Sales tip 4
Pick the low hanging fruit first

Someone once said, “If I had 5 hours to chop a tree down, I would spend 4 hours sharpening my axe”. If you get your prospecting right, the rest is easy.

Stand, give someone a high 5 and say, “I am a master prospector”

Sales tip 5
Make it a non-event, a no brainer

How’s this for edge? For killer instinct? This is how I earned a fortune selling self-loading ATMs.
[Telephone] Ring ring
“Hello Mr. Pick and Pay Family Store owner. My name is Stephen van Basten. If I could show you a way of saving R250 000 a year on cash deposit fees, would you give me 20 minutes of your time?”
I never got even ONE no to that question. Never.
I have also noticed that I am instantly in rapport with anyone I can save R250 000!

Are there any questions before I close?

I would like to thank all of you here today for your attention. You have been awesome.
I want to thank you for having the courage to move out of your comfort zone and grow with me.

Let me leave you with this last thought:
When one speaks of killer instinct, one immediately thinks of the big cats or famous boxers or famous war veterans. That would be correct.

What you should not overlook is the spider.
It finds a great spot where there are insects (prospecting)
It builds a web (presenting)
It waits for food to get caught up in the web
It eats

Killer instinct is not necessary an external outwardly expression of strength and power.
I can also be an inner strength brought about by knowing that your system works.
And then following that system, even when it is not comfortable!

Would you all please stand and take a pledge with me?
Please stand and place you hand over your heart.
“I ……..[say your name and surname], do solemnly pledge, that from this day forward,
I will do whatever it takes, to achieve my goals.
And I will never, ever, ever, ever, give myself permission to fail again.
I am an inspired leader and I am in control of my destiny.”

Good Job.
Thank you everybody.
Give yourselves a HUGE round of applause.


About Stephen van Basten - The Marriage Expert

When you meet Stephen van Basten you instantly realize that there is more to him than meets the eye. This is not a moment to judge a book by its cover. Stephen boasts a list of achievements: He met his wife, Jacqui, 27 years ago, married her 21 years ago and is the proud father of a 'very together' 18 year old daughter. Stephen will immediately tell you with a twinkle in his eye, that Life, Work, Marriage and Parenthood are not for sissies. That while they are all hard work, they can be, and should be, incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Stephen is a past Karate World Champion, a yoga enthusiast and recovering golfer. If you opened Trip Advisor on his facebook page you will see that he has visited 81 cities in 52 countries including the USA, Alaska, Japan, Europe, Australia and China. Stephen has owned his own company, worked in his family's business, being employed by small and large businesses like Shell SA and the BTG Group. His titles include Brand Manager, Sales Manager, Account Manager, Sales Representative and Business Owner. He now sees himself as an Author, Speaker, Trainer and Coach. Stephen published his first book, "So you're engaged, now what? The journey from engaged to married" in December 2013. His ingenious marketing strategy put this book into over 2000 hands in its first 6 months. His second book "So you're alive, now what? The journey from birth to death" is available online and he is working on 5 more books in the series including "So you're married, now what?". Stephen's obvious passion and first love is Human Behavior and specifically Human Behavior as it manifests in RELATIONSHIPS. He is quick to point out that we have many differing relationships: employer, employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues, friendships, marriage, parents, siblings, children, our maker, other drivers on the roads and we generally have issues in most if not all of them. Stephen is a student of the well-known human behavior specialist, Dr. John Demartini and is constantly researching and honing his understanding of this incredibly complex subject. In 2013 he completed over 175 hours of intense training on T. Harv Eker's signature courses.
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