Rob Hoerntlein was born to be a business creator. He came from a long line of them. His dad taught all of his children that they are better served to create their own destiny rather than depending on a corporation to do it for them.
He would say that working for a big corporation for 40 years, getting a gold watch and a pension is a lousy trade. Instead, create your own company, buy your own gold watch and create your own pension.
Starting at the Bottom
He taught all of us how to sell by getting small things that were popular, were small and easy to carry. He taught all of us about making change, answering objections and being persistent. He put us in varying situations by taking us to the shopping center, to experience having people come to us as well as having us go door to door.
We lived in a suburb of Los Angeles. One of our favorite places was Mexico, it was only a couple of hours away by car.
He taught us how to negotiate in many ways. One of the ways was to take us to a beach in Mexico where there were a lot of vendors. We were allotted a small amount of money and were expected to come home with a LOT of merchandise. Not only were we experiencing a variety of objections, our objections were being countered with a large variety of closing tactics. We would bring these back to dad and he would help us understand all of this.
One very big objection was; “if I give this to you at the price you are demanding, I won’t be able to feed my family.” He helped us to understand that this “close” was very effective because it is the vendor transferring the responsibility of his family to us. By making us feel responsible for feeding his family, he has stopped all further negotiation. We won’t want to make his family starve.
His idea for checking this was to tell the vendor thank you and walk away. If the vendor follows us and offers to continue negotiating, it was a ruse. If the vendor does not follow us, that will often mean that he is busy selling at full price or he is taking the negotiating to the next level, waiting for us to come back and buy it for the last negotiated price, at which time he will often raise the price up to continue the negotiating in his favor.
These lessons were extremely valuable and still serve me to this day.