The way we speak to ourselves and the words that we use program not only ourselves but our clients. In this episode, Scott Carson talks with entrepreneur and NLP expert, Matt Brauning, about being mindful of choosing the right words when speaking with clients—be it for a deal or just a normal day-to-day interaction. They talk about the difference between possibility language and necessity language and how to use them in succession. Scott and Matt then highlights the importance of having values and the right attitude to get you to the next level and make the best decision for your business and life in general.
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Saying The Right Words: Speaking To Your Clients Values With Matt Brauning
We are honored to have a guy who’s been gallivanting across the country and absolutely killing it, doing an amazing job of working with business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. This guy, we’ve been playing tag back and forth, let me be on your show, get your mind back and forth. It’s finally nice to have him settled down and quit being such a TV star, but he’s going to drop some knowledge nuggets here. Our next speaker is a writer for Forbes. The two times bestselling author, a master trainer of NLP and was a self-made millionaire by 25 years old.
He filmed in the movie The Journey with Brian Tracy and Bob Proctor. I know Bob. Bob is a friend of mine. He hosts a top-charting podcast The Driven Entrepreneur on iTunes and syndicated across the country on many AM/FM radio stations. You might’ve caught him on TV on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. He’s a well-known speaker. Some of his client lists include the Harvard Club, US Bank, McAfee, New York Life, the YMCA, NASDAQ and Keller Williams. We are honored to have for our guest Matt Brauning. What’s going on?
What’s going on?
I’m doing great. You call Grand Rapids, Michigan your home and we love that area. It’s a great area up there. Everybody may see the photos with no beard. I was giving him a hard time. I was like, “Is that the November’s?”
Thank you. I appreciate it. That’s what my son says. I go, “What color is my beard?” He says, “Gray.” Maybe an eight-year-old will tell you the truth. I’m like, “It’s just on the chin. What about the rest?” He goes, “Gray.” It does keep me warm in Grand Rapids. It’s warming up. It’s the high 30s. I love it here. Real estate here is great. I got two houses for half of the price of one when I used to live in California, so that’s awesome.
When we met, we both say that off. I was like, “It feels like we’ve known each other before.” You came to me like, “I think I know you from somewhere.” I got that feeling too. Matt, why don’t you share your real estate background experience because you’ve got some great stuff we’re going to dive into. I want my readers to know that where you’re coming from, you’ve been through the journey and some of the hiccups and hurdles that many investors and entrepreneurs have had along the way. Why don’t you start with that?
One of my favorite things is I speak a lot to real estate brokers, agents and investors. I was with an investor group in LA and I love sharing there because that’s always close to my home. Still a real estate investor myself, I still own property. I started at nineteen. At eighteen, I went to work for these two brothers in the mortgage business. They taught me everything. I always give a shout-out to Joe and Ed Sweeney. One day they’re going to read this and go, “Thanks Matt.” They plucked me out of obscurity from working at Sizzler Steakhouse, gave me a job and I learned the ropes. I learned everything. By nineteen, I bought my first house. By 21, I bought my second one.
The little one secret though is I bought both of them from the first house. They sold me the second one and set the whole deal up. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, so I’m not some wonder kid or anything. These are in Orange County. They weren’t little houses for $20,000. It was like $250,000 and the next one was $500,000 and change. I got my ball rolling. By 22, I started my first business as a broker and running a brokerage for mortgages and then a second one for real estate. By 25, I had bought over ten houses, a couple of seven figure-plus homes and was a self-made millionaire. It was weird. It was awesome. I chased my dream of being a life coach and NLP trainer and flushed it all down the toilet, lost everything and then some and then had been building it back up.
It’s an interesting story about almost being penalized to chase your dreams. I sometimes think when you chase your dreams, it’s not always as easy as it’s supposed to be. It’s not always unicorn farts and rainbows and all that fun stuff. Sometimes, there’s real blood, sweat and tears involved. For me, it took a couple of years of hard work chasing the new dream until I could build back something. I’ll always have a place in my heart for real estate, for investment, notes and deeds of trust as you’d call them in California. I love that whole space. I love taking people who are passionate about and helping them just get to that next space, next level, whether it’s mindset or whether strategy. I know both.
That brings up a good point. It wasn’t all you who chased the dream. There was a little bit of a recession and some major stuff that happened in there as well to a lot of people too. We can agree to that.
It’s funny, I don’t share that part of the story, the timing. The timing was 2008, 2009. Talk about the worst time ever to say I’m going to pivot on my career and do something different. It’s important that I want to make sure everyone knows. I never once blamed the economy or blamed the downside because you can make money up and you can make money down. For me, it was because I changed gears and I felt in my heart that I had to abandon the investment part of my business, which was a huge business. I wanted to chase the new dream. Looking back now in hindsight and being almost 40 years old, I’m not young. I’m not old. It’s a weird place to be. It’s this middle zone where it’s like I have some wisdom or experience. Maybe experience is better than wisdom, but I have some experience and I know there’s more to come. Looking back, I probably would have kept my business going. I would have continued to flip the houses I should’ve flipped and also chase my dream. I could have done both but I didn’t.
I don’t think that’s bad. I think a lot of people are going through it, a lot of entrepreneurs. A lot of people are struggling where they want to go. Some people get burnt out on doing the same old. They want to chase that dream. They want to do something different. What they’re doing is like, “This isn’t quite as sexy as I thought it would be or I’m not having any fun anymore. I want to do something that I can feel maybe has a bigger impact on people.” The impact is always a big thing, but always more rewarding to oneself. Fixing and flipping houses is great and selling it and making profits, but maybe you don’t have quite the impact that you have on society as a whole that a lot of people were looking for. Let’s face it, society is a rough thing. There’s a lot of hate and ugliness out there and the world could use a lot more loving people that want to give out there.
That’s what my life is about. I still love investing and I love what I do on my podcast of The Driven Entrepreneur. That was a fun time and you get me excited about like, “Maybe I should start getting distressed now. That’s a good thing.” At this point, I’m a traditional real estate investor and after the ups and downs, I’m doing a standard, I’m going to find a good deal on the house. I’m going to make sure that there are positive cashflows or at least neutral on a fifteen-year loan. I’m going to get the house and rent it out. The one we’re living in now will become a rental in a year or two. That’s what I’m doing, easy 1 or 2 that I can maintain as long as I want every year.
I’m going easy on that. I love doing my business. I love doing NLP training. I speak and do TV and I love running the leadership side of the business. We’re putting a couple of leadership events. The Air Force Academy and one at the Olympic Training Center and then we have one slotted several months from now at NASA, which is incredible. That’s the stuff that fills me up. I’m like, “This is exciting.” I want to do some leadership at this high level. I love booking my speaker clients and my entrepreneur clients into those things. It’s fun, but I’m always going to be part of real estate. That’s why I’m here with you.
A lot of people have that in the background and keep rocking and rolling. Now that you’re in Grand Rapids, Michigan, business got a whole lot more affordable than in Southern California. That’s the truth of it. Let’s talk about some things as for our readers out there that people are pre-planning their next year on where they want to focus on, where they want to go. I love the talk you’ve given about some of the leadership traits, the villains in movies and some of the things.
It’s great. I loved it. I did that segment on CBS Washington, DC. That was fun. I did it on Fox too. I’m an equal opportunist. I don’t care what the network is, but I love getting the message out. It’s about being able to step up as a leader, take on traits. I was always trying to find a fun entertainment spin to it like the people in the morning shows. They have a good time with it. Because a lot of villain movies came out, that’s what made me think of it. The Joker, Maleficent, even Star Wars. We’re focused on the dark side and that’s the exciting thing. Some of these villains make good leaders. Think about it. They’re always stubborn. They never give up. They have unlimited resources. Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star and Darth built another one. How many business owners would say, “My whole thing got blown up. I’ll build another one.” They might not have the best approach always but they have phenomenal leadership skills.
Let’s talk about that. When life blows stuff up for us because it happens, whether we’re going down a path in one way and suddenly something happens. What are some of the biggest characteristics that you find not only in villains, but also people that are successful that are on the good side? The Force, we could say this when I’m talking to Star Wars here, are some of the most important characteristics they have to work or obtain to help you get over that hump and move on down the road to the next bit of success.
I could talk characteristics and there are certain characteristics like resilience and discipline and all this stuff. Those are all important. The reality is if I said, “Have more discipline,” you’re like, “How the heck do I do that?” “Be more resilient.” “Okay, that’s wonderful.” Some practical applications and practical ideas, number one is I would say when things happen, be conscious of the language you use. I’ve been teaching NLP, which is Neuro-Linguistic Programming and neuro is a fancy word for the language of the mind. Neuro-linguistic, the language of the mind and understanding that our mind has its own language. When you say a word, it’s not about being positive or negative, but when you say a word, that word actually elicits a response and creates what we call an internal representation.
It creates a picture internally in your mind, sounds, feelings and all this stuff. For instance, if I say I want to go buy a car, and I came back to you and you said, “Matt, how was the car?” I said, “Scott, I didn’t get the best deal.” If I use that specific language and those words, that will create a picture and a feeling in my mind, maybe in yours too. Instead of saying I didn’t get the best deal, what if I said, “I got ripped off a little bit?” I’m describing the same experience, but the language is changing my internal reaction to it, which is important. What if I came back and said, “They screwed me over and took advantage of me?” If I said that, all of a sudden you’re getting a real response. My cheeks are flushing and I’m breathing heavy.
Now I get the question of things that happened to me. A partner isn’t forthright or did they embezzle or what happened to the economy? “The economy is down and I’m going to find a way to overcome this,” or “The economy is crashing around me and I have no chance of survival.” The words you choose don’t describe reality. They create it. The words you use to create a reality around you. The first big thing is to be extra, I wouldn’t say carefully because that makes me feel like I might be a little fearful. Don’t be careful, be mindful. Be mindful of the words you choose to use in every situation. Once you are, you can never not hear the words coming out of your mouth when you react to things.
That’s especially in the note space. As we’re talking with borrowers about their situation or this time of year, it’s a busy time talking with bankers and asset managers to get them to send us lists that are on their books they’re looking to get rid of. It’s key in the right words you use to have somebody send you the list versus somebody that thinks you’re a joker broker and not take you seriously. I’m glad you said that because that’s such a valuable nugget out there for those that are reading.
Let’s talk about the note world, the investor world. I was teaching a class on negotiation for real estate investors. People, they’re looking for real property, but notes are similar or different. I’m not an expert there. That’s you. When it comes to some of the things we talked about in negotiation is its simple, little things like knowing what your outcome is, understanding what this is. Say you do pick up a distressed note and now you’re connected to the borrower and you have that first initial conversation, what is your outcome? If you go in and say, “I’m going to feel this thing out and see how it goes.” I can’t tell you how many people do that, not just in business but in life. They show up to a seminar and I say, “How come you’re here? What are your outcomes? What’s your purpose for being here? What are your goals?”
They’ll say something like, “I heard you on the radio and saw you on TV. I thought it sounded cool, so I’ll see what this is all about.” I think to myself, “First off, thank you for coming. That’s amazing.” When you walk into an experience with the outcome, your words are, “Let’s see what happens,” versus “I came here to create the next ten years of my life intentionally,” or “I want to find out exactly how to double my revenue. That’s what I’m here for.” The same thing goes for that note. What do I want? What’s my outcome? Do I want to recover 100% of the investment? Do I want 100% of the note? Am I looking to have a long-term? What do I want? It doesn’t mean you’re going to get your outcome, but as a wise man once said, you’ll get a much better result if you shoot for the moon and hit the stars. If you aim for a pile of dung and hit it, at least you hit something. You’ve got to know what you’re looking for. You’ll get closer to what you’re looking for.
That’s important because when you program, you technically program in mind, you’re more likely to hit. It’s like setting that goal of what you want to accomplish versus that laissez-faire, “Whatever. I’m here to check it out.” I’m going in with the intention to double my income or make a double-digit return or close on twenty deals in the next six months off this relationship or to work out with the homeowners to keep them in their house if we can rehab the borrower versus having to foreclose.
The important thing, are you going in with the outcome of, “I wished to rehab the borrower if possible?” Are you going in fearful, “This is my first deal and I hope I don’t lose my money and let’s see if they’re going to take advantage of me?” Consciously, you’re not going to think that, but subconsciously that’s the thing you have to watch for. People ask a lot, “How do I know what my subconscious is planning? How do I know that my subconscious is thinking?” You know what your subconscious mind is thinking because it will come out through your words when you’re not thinking about it. Scott, how are you doing?
I’m doing awesome. How about you?
I’m doing awesome. I bet you see it as I’ve never asked you how you’re doing without you saying something like, “Awesome. Phenomenal day.” What happens is when you’re not thinking about it, when you’re distracted, how do you normally react? What words do you choose to say? The words are everything. Pay attention, especially when you’re extra busy and you have a reaction. When you’re extra busy and someone says, “How are you doing?” Isn’t it fascinating? I bet you meet people that say, “I’m getting by.” “How are you doing?” “Better than dead.” “How are you doing?” “Trying to make something happen in this crazy political climate.”
It blows my mind how many people live their life emotionally upset and angry, disappointed or scared because their sports team lost or because their non-favorite political candidate made the office or their favorite one didn’t make the office or whatever. I’m even talking about what’s happening. No matter what you think, there’s one person that goes, “This is the worst political candidate in the history of the world,” and there’s someone else in their side of the fence going, “This is the best thing that has ever happened to us,” and they were upset the last term. It’s not about getting the right candidate, getting the right client and getting the right result.
It’s about how we approach the result. If you approach a result with an attitude of curiosity, with mindfulness of, “How can I get the things that I want in my life in this situation? The recession is coming. Let’s say it is. How can I make sure my business thrives in a recession?” I’m not saying it’s always possible, but asking that question is going to transform the way you approach it. If you transformed the way you approach it, you’re much more likely to find the result you’re looking for than not. I don’t know exactly how much, it’s certainly not a science, but I think it’s obvious that you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for when you’re looking for it.
That’s true, but you’re right about the Debbie Downers out there. They take everything that happens to them. It’s like, “I can’t get out of bed because so-and-so is in office,” or everything’s emotionally draining to them. When you’re like, “What he or she does in the office has no bearing on what I’m doing to accomplish my goals and to help me get to where I need to be.”
This is not a political rant but the truth is most, and I mean by far most policies, decisions and things are going to have either zero to small effect on the majority of people that are worried about it. I realize you could take what I said and chunk down into detail or into a specific instance and say, “This one matters,” I would agree with you. There are a lot of places that matter, but the overwhelming truth is when there’s been a president that I was not a fan of, and I’m not saying which one, because that’s not the point. Afterward, years later, I might find there was this one thing that eventually financially affected me. My electricity bill isn’t changing. I get to spend time with my eight-year-old son and my wife about as much as I was no matter who’s in office. This stuff doesn’t change. It’s our language and our response. That is what we can control. My whole point is you control what you can control, which is your response to things, not the things themselves.
It’s such great counsel there. It’s not advice but sage counseling. Everybody has advice but the counsel is true there. I’m thinking about the movie, the one that came out with Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures. If you think about it, we’re going to get there. I don’t care what we’ve got to do. We’re going to get there. That’s such a strong character to have. I’m going to get there. We’re going to have our ups and downs. We’re going to have failures along the way, but the idea is we’re going to learn more from our failures to get that point ultimately. I think many entrepreneurs, they get into it, they leave their job to get into what they’re doing full-time and they’re winging it. They’re going through entrepreneurship and, “Let’s see how this works out.” I can always go back to working for somebody and they don’t have the type of success that they want to be based on the fact that they’re not focused or they let other things affect their emotions versus being driven on things.
You said something interesting. I’m a pattern nerd, if anything, that’s what I would relate to. Of all the things that I do in life, I think a teacher is probably the closest moniker that I would relate to at least, because I love teaching for a living. In doing that, I always hear patterns. One thing you said for that example entrepreneur is I can always go back to my job. There’s one specific language pattern. I taught this. It teaches the negotiation. It will change how you get out of bed in the morning and how you go to sleep at night. It will change how productive you are and what you genuinely see is possible. It’s one language pattern that transforms life.
It’s much more than it sounds. The pattern is a possibility versus necessity words. There are two kinds of language I can use. I can use possibility oriented language and possibility is positive and has drawbacks depending on the circumstance. Possibility words are words like can, could, would, try. Try is a great possibility word. We all hear Yoda’s voice in our head. “Do or do not. There is no try.” We heard that and you had a boss who said, “There is no try,” but the reality is try is a powerful word. When you learn how to use it like we use an NLP, I could say, “Scott, try in vain not to get up as early as you can with energy tomorrow morning.”
You might on the surface think, “That’s a negative suggestion. You said to try and don’t get up and all this,” but you can use some of those. You felt the reaction, try in vain as hard as you can to not wake up tomorrow with bright energy. Somehow your subconscious mind hears what it wanted to hear. Words like try, can, might, may, could, would, these are all words that are possibility words. When I speak in possibility, it does two things. Number one, possibility language always opens up more options. If you came to me and said, “Matt, we’ve got to have lunch Wednesday morning at 9:00 or nothing.” That’s what a planner says. That means there’s only one option. If I said, “That might work,” maybe we can consider some other options. “Maybe one of the other days will work.”
Possibility language opens up more options, which is great when you’re looking at negotiating. What happens is when you negotiate, the other person generally has one outcome. They have one stance they want and your job as a negotiator or the other side is the more options you have, the more chance you have to win. It’s simple. I’m not talking about win-lose. Ideally, you find a win-win scenario where it’s about, how can I get them their outcome? If they only have one option and I only have one option, the chance for both of us to win is low. If I go possibility options, possibility mode. “Let’s try to find a way. What else might we do? I know we’ve tried this, but if we could find another way, what else would we try?” Did you hear all these possibility words? That tells my brain to start generating options. If you can generate options, now you have a place to go. That’s the upside to possibility language.
That’s my advice or my counsel as you said if you ever feel stuck in negotiation or honestly anywhere in life. “I have to go to this job.” If I don’t have to go to the job, what else could I do? Might I find another way? That’s another way. I could be homeless. What else could I do? I could get a Twitch account and learn how to get good on Xbox and maybe make money that way. That’s one option. What else could I do? You start generating options. Eventually, you might find that the best option was the original one or you might find a better option you haven’t thought of. The quick downside to possibility language is sometimes it can keep you stuck in no action. The problem with the possibilities is that you’ve talked to these people. “Do you want to get together for lunch?” “We totally could. Anytime, let me know, maybe next week or the week after.”
If I’m talking possibility, I’m never creating deadlines and I always stay out of action because think about it, there are too many options. If you have more than one option, how do you know which pathway to start down? You don’t. The upside to possibility language is it generates options when you feel stuck. The downside to the possibility language is you can get stuck in inaction. My favorite solution, I like to start every outcome in possibility world. I generate as many options as possible. Once I figure out which option might be the best, then I start using a necessity language, which is things like have to, need to, must, it’s time, things like that. Now I could say, “Think about it. How many notes could I get? We could do a lot of things. Might we find this one or that one?” Once you figure out which way you want to go, you go, “Now it’s time. We need to find a way and we need to move forward and generate some revenue. Let’s do this. You must.” Start in possibility and in necessity. I went off on a little rampage there but I hope that was useful.
That’s such a key thing though and that’s describing and talking about it and opening up your brain to the options. A lot of people never get off of the idea of options. Let’s go down a path and this is the way we’ve got to go and go from there.
You’ve got to start in options. Ideally, I mean that’s the best-case scenario. You can start stuck and then generate options. That’s what people do when they feel like they’re backpedaling. If you ever feel like you’re getting cornered, energetically, linguistically the reason you feel cornered. If someone came at you necessity-minded or necessity-languaged, “We’ve got to figure something out about this. We need to get this done by Wednesday.” It’s like that might be the most intelligent option because of the deadline or the potential loss of revenue or whatever, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only option. You start in the necessity, you feel stuck. You’ll look like you’re backpedaling, but you’re trying to generate options. “Before I go down this terrible road, what if we did this? What if we did that? Could we come up with a third one?” My wife is a huge eliminator of options because she likes to be done and decided and know what’s coming six years from now.
Doesn’t every spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend want that on the opposite side?
Usually. They say opposites attract. I think it’s important that opposites attract with personality type often and mode of operating, but it doesn’t have to be in value. Like my wife and I, we love each other very much. We share the same values and our vision for what we want, but our method of approaching scheduling for instance, she’ll want to lock things down as quickly as possible because that lowers your anxiety levels and makes me feel great. For me, if you lock me down too quickly, that raises my anxiety. It makes me feel terrible. I’m like, “I know this is what we landed on already, but is there another option? Can we at least look at them?” If not, look at them to eliminate them. I would like to at least look at them before I decide one thing. It’s also helpful to know what your preset is when it comes to that language pattern. Here’s one quick trick to know what your preset is what your default is. I’ll ask you if I can. Can I ask you?
You can ask me anything.
Scott, what’s the first thing you say to yourself when you wake up in the morning or what’s the last thing you say to yourself before you get out of bed? That’s even better.
Let’s get rocking. I usually get up, scratch my head and roll into, “What’s in store for me?” It’s what I mentally say to myself. “Let’s get rocking. You can’t lie here anymore. Let’s get rocking and rolling. What’s on the tack?”
You said a lot of words. The reason I kept asking is what you’re looking for is a possibility or necessity word. Some people will wake up in the morning and they’ll say no. When you wake up, but right before you get out of bed, they’ll say, “I’ve got to get up.” I’ve got to get up is a necessity word. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means that you feel like there’s only one option. Especially if there’s a negative emotion, now it feels like you’re stuck. Some people say, “It’s time to get up,” and they’re happy about it. That’s a necessity but it’s positive. It’s a necessity, meaning it’s action time. That’s good. You said, “Got to rock,” and then you said you couldn’t sit around any longer or something to that. The only word you used, it was interesting, was can’t.
Here’s what’s neat. Do you know what that means? You’re not screwed up. You’re intelligent, you’re a smart man. It means that you sometimes operate out of a modal operator, not an impossibility, which sounds weird but it’s cool. If something bad happened in your life, you would probably say something like, “I can’t let this get me down. Let’s move forward.” You would hit the impossibility and say, “This isn’t going to happen. This can’t be the way.” When impossible odds come your way, you easily see them as possible. You say that’s not going to happen that way and then you go into the necessity and say, “Let’s get rock and let’s do this. Let’s go up.” You go from impossibility to necessity, which is pretty cool. It’s probably one of the genius patterns, I would think.
Somebody would call me a genius. I think I would call me an idiot but that’s okay.
I should do a quiz for this. I don’t have one but I’ll make one.
That’s a good idea. That’s the thing. You hit it to the nail right in the head there. When things happen, when deals go south or bad things happen, I’m like, “Let’s look at this. Let’s get moving. Let’s not sit here paralyzed by what’s happened. Let’s find a way to get around it.” I’m a big believer that the worst possible things only exist in our minds. When reality happens, it’s somewhere in between the best and the worst, somewhere in that middle there for the most part. When things can seem like they’re the craziest or the worst like, “This is not reality. Let me get rock and rolling.”
Reality is never what we perceive it to be. I know that sounds metaphysical or something. That’s not. It’s based on a great book that if you like books. The book is Flow written by a Hungarian biologist named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He studied the perception of reality, which is a fascinating study. What he found was when people walk around in any given moment, it’s assuming we have all five of our senses available to us, that the world is giving us at any given second 2.3 million bits of information. A bit is the smallest bit of information and that’s everything you’re taking in. It’s everything you see. If you’re in Times Square in New York City, it’s probably more.
If you’re sitting on a farm in Iowa, it’s probably less, but somewhere in that range there are millions of bits of information every second coming into our awareness through what we see, what we hear, what we feel, and then what we smell and taste. He estimates that the conscious mind can only process 126 out of those 2.3 million bits. That’s less than one 1/1,000th of 1%. What it means is when you and I call, we say this is a reality. I say this is what happened to me. The reality we’re actually talking about, it’s only the 126 bits. The 2.3 million are still out there. That’s how you and I can have two different experiences.
I could say, “I had so much fun. It was amazing.” From my perspective, it was a blast. Scott goes, “Are you kidding me? This guy was dry and he was boring. He had a terrible beard and I couldn’t believe it. It was the worst time ever.” How do we have two different experiences of the exact same reality? That’s because your 126 and my 126 are not going to be the same 126. This is the basis for how we construct a subjective reality. It’s a reality subject to the observer. Subjective reality is like you and me saying what we agree on. Objective reality means, “There’s an interview happening.” Subjective reality is, “How good was it? Was it good or bad? Was it long or short?” It depends. If you listen to Joe Rogan, it’s probably going to be short. If you listen to five-minute daily meditations, it’s super long. That’s all subject to the person interacting with it. What NLP studies, what I do with our certification courses, clients and training, is to teach us how to interact more effectively, more powerfully, and honestly more intentionally so we can find the 126 bits or the reality that we’re looking for. If we see the ones we don’t like, how do you change those things?
What comes to mind when you’re talking about that is like going to Disneyland. There are two million things going on and people only see the 126. It’s a different experience with most people, especially if everybody’s all excited about the rides, the candy and all that. You have the characters and then the dads are running through and they’re tired of being the packhorse and getting on their knees and shins roll into there or they’re like, “It’s 100 degrees outside. I’m tired. I need a drink to deal with all of the screaming kids and the kids are running around like crazy.” That’s a great description of it.
It’s 2.3 million bits, that’s the estimate and at least 126. Your subconscious mind is the one that differentiates between the 2.3 million and 126. It filters them as it were. The biggest question is how the heck does your mind decide which bits are relevant and will make it through and which bits won’t? Everyone going through Disneyland, it will be a different day for the teenager who’s excited to get on the ride and get dizzy 100 times in a row and someone who’s older maybe has a phobia of rollercoasters. These are two different experiences of the exact same park, the exact ride. The question is how do we differentiate and determine which parts to focus on, which parts not to? It’s something we teach in NLP called our filters. You filter information because of your attitude, because of the language you use.
We filter things through our values, like values or what’s important to you. Having a great time with your family and exploring new things and being outside and amongst people. If those are important values, you’re going to have a blast. If it’s important to you to be in total control, to be able not to be touched when you don’t want to be touched. When you’re going around strangers and staying in line, you’re probably going to get touched at some point. Someone’s going to walk by you. If you’re highly introverted versus highly extroverted, the high extrovert, by the end of the day, it will be 10:00 PM and they’re like, “Come on, mom. We can get three more rides in. It’s finally calming down.”
If you’re highly introverted, you might love people, but being around them is going to deplete your battery slowly. By 4:00 PM, you’re done, you’re a soup sandwich. What experience will you have? It depends on your personality traits, your attitude, your language, your mindset and your values. These are all things that are cool. They’re discoverable and then changeable in the world of NLP. We can sit down and discover your values and your wife’s values and figure out, “You have a high value of this and she has a high value of that.” What’s cool is you might find that’s where potential conflict shows up. How you resolve conflict is by sometimes shifting those values, becoming aware of them, even if they don’t change. My wife values alone time. I value parties and being around people. It’s something like how we’re wired. It’s not that we change each other through NLP. I don’t do some voodoo pattern on her or something and she doesn’t do it on me.
We’ve learned to validate and respect each other’s experiences because it’s not just, “How come you’re a party pooper?” She’s like, “You don’t respect me. You always stay late when you say you’re going to leave.” That’s not the truth. The reality is closer to we can respect each other and go, “You need to recharge a little bit. I want to honor that and I want to bring you maybe home and call the night short. She’ll say, “You charge up when you’re around people. Let’s make sure that we plan some time when people come over. Maybe not every night, but we’ll plan it.” It’s about validating and understanding filters people have and then how to step into them a little more intentionally. Sometimes it’s with personalities and sometimes with language and all that stuff. Some of the fun I get into in these deep-dive seminars. That was this conversation.
What made you want to go from being on the real estate side diving into this? What’s the big thing, Matt, that was the moment or a-ha moment that this is the way you want to go? This jacked me up, I’m excited about listening. We can talk about this all day long. I love listening to this, but what was the biggest pinnacle to get you to move and decide you wanted to go this route?
I saw Tony Robbins a while back. I was 22 and I saw him. All our real estate guys, my boss bought tickets for us. When I saw Tony, I thought, “That’s cool. He’s helping people get their patterns and find out.” It turns out a lot of people don’t know this because Tony doesn’t call it NLP anymore, but he started off as an NLP trainer and the technology behind what he does with arenas of 16,000 people is NLP. I got fascinated by that and I decided to study as quickly as I could. I put on my first seminar and it was a big success. There are six people there, including my parents. At the end of it, I thought, “I don’t know if I made an impact.” I was going to my real estate office and I felt like I was just doing transactions, so to speak.
The part that got me jacked up was when, it’s weird to say this, but sometimes it was a husband and wife would come in and you could tell they were conflicted over what decision to make on a refi or purchase of a house. Instead of talking numbers and facts, I started asking them questions about what do they value and that stuff we’re talking about. I found that instead of being congruent to the end of making a decision on a home, I felt like I helped them to understand each other more. I got fascinated by that. I put on my first seminar and at the end of it, I was like, “This is it?” I thought people were going to cry and it was going to be amazing and everyone said, “Thanks Matt,” and they left.
One girl stayed behind, her name was Kay. She lives in Japan now. At the time she was an exchange student living here. She became a good friend of mine. She came up to the end of the seminar and I talked about this decision-making process about changing your beliefs and changing your limiting beliefs and what you believe is true. She had changed her limiting belief about herself and that process with NLP. It was a big decision for her. She came up to me and it was this beautiful moment because she just looked at me and she goes, “Matt.” She had this beautiful broken English accent. I’m not going to do it justice. She said, “I make a new decision and my life will never be the same again.”
She was serious and I was taken back. I went, “You mean it. That’s awesome.” She reaches out and she gives me this big hug. I hug her back and she has a tear in her eye and then she starts crying and now I’m crying. It was my first seminar ever holding this beautiful soul and crying. There was a moment in her life that was pivotal and she changed. I knew that she wasn’t going to go back to devaluate herself, going back to a negative relationship. She wasn’t going to go back to an old pattern. She had made a choice in a line in the sand and changed. I didn’t do it for her but I helped as a catalyst. At that moment as I’m holding her, I thought, “This is it. Thank you, God. This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I don’t care if I go broke or get rich. I don’t care what this does, I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.”
It took a couple of years of scratching and climbing quite frankly because I didn’t know anything about seminar business or coaching business. I knew about the real estate and mortgage business. I thought it was all different. I’m trying to find coaching clients. I have no idea what to do. Within a couple of years, I finally realized business principles are business principles. I started applying the same thing with marketing and prestige and I started getting out and speaking and so forth and so on. That was the rest of the story. That was the moment that transformed everything. I’ll always invest in real estate, but I’ll never not do what I do for a living.
It’s such a great story, but it’s a big thing being able to apply it. Sometimes I feel like I’m a wedding counselor with our students when I’m talking with husbands and spouses both coming from different areas. They see different things and you said something there. You felt like you were bringing them together doing mortgages. It’s that same way a lot of times. What’s your value? What are your fears and let’s help you overcome those fears and realize that this is the product for you or this is the deal that will solve that issue or this is not the deal. You need to listen to your spouse’s so that they’re more supportive when you get into doing what you want to do.
If you can understand NLP processes, language patterns and general coaching frames for life, if you have a tire business, trust me, at the end of the day it’s never about the tire. It’s not about the note and it’s not about the mortgage and it’s not about the house. Whatever you sell, it’s never about the widget. It’s always about the person and what they’re looking for. What do they want? What are their goals? What are their hopes? What are their fears? Even again, someone buying tires. It’s not about, “If I can give you $20 cheaper on the tire, then you’ll be happy.” It’s like, “No.” What do they want to know? I want to know that he took care of me.
I want to know that you understand what I’m looking for. If I own the tire shop. I don’t but if I did, it’s not about, “Do you want this brand of tire?” What are you looking for? Do you want to get the best your money can buy and have a top-shelf like, “No, you have the best integrity?” Do you want the best deal because life is hard and money is tight? Do you want to get a good bang for your buck and that’s all you’re looking for? Do you want to look good out there? What do you want? Do you want to be one and done and sometimes people want that or do you want a relationship where I’ll make sure that you’re taken care of?
You can come back in here and we’ll do free tire rotations. We want you to know that you’re taken care of and that we care. If you start to speak, I guess this is the lesson. Put it on a bumper sticker. Speak to the client’s values, not their needs. If you speak to the client’s values, that’s where people understand that you are their person and this is your homeowner you’re trying to negotiate a note for. This is the bank that has a whole list of them. Speak to their values and you can find out someone’s value here. I always love trying to give the application, the actual how-to for every principle.
The how-to for how you discover someone’s value is simple. You ask this one question. What’s important to you about blank? It seems super obvious when I say it, but no one asks that. If you’re selling a printer at Staples, no printer salesman in the history of printer salesman usually, unless he took my class, has said, “What’s important to you about a printer?” They’ll say, “What do you need? What features?” “What’s important to you about it?” You’ll find, because someone will say right off the bat, quality. They don’t want a hunk of junk or they might say affordability.
They might say, “I want the best.” You ask someone waiting in line an Apple, “What’s important to you about a tech?” They go, “I want the newest thing. I want to be able to do everything. I want the best camera.” Someone else might say, “I want this. I want that.” What’s important to you about blank? If they give you an answer, it should be a 1, 2-word answer like freedom, quality, success, care, joy, fun, high revenue,” whatever the product or service is. If they give you one answer, then ask again. That’s great. What else is important to you? Eventually, you’ll get at least their top three answers.
There might be other values in there, but you have a good guess of what their top three values are and the order that they’re in. It could be shifted a little bit, but 80/20 Rule, 80% of the time if you went with the first three answers they gave you, that would probably be the first three values they have in the right order. Scott, why is that important? You can speak to values, you can sell to values when you feedback. Let’s talk about the distressed note mortgagee or promissory note borrower. When you’re talking to that borrower and you say, “What’s important about this house, this home, this note or this mortgage?”
If you get their top three values, when you give your solution, when you say, “Here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to cut this to zero interest or what if we cut the amount?” Whatever you decide to do, whatever your solution is, feed it back to them speaking their values out loud. You say, “This is my idea.” Remember, I talked about possibility mode. If you’re going to give them an idea, this is a negotiation point. If you’re going to present a solution, even if you only have one idea, always start with the possibility of language. I’ll say something like this. “I’ve been thinking about your situation quite a bit and I’ve been going through a few ideas.” It’s the options, “I’m going through a few ideas.”
“Here are a couple of things that I came up with that we could do.” For instance, what if and what if is a possibility mode all the way. “What if we did A, B, C and this is what we did? I believe that will be a great solution because if we did it this way we could get you back into out from under this thing so you would feel free. You feel like you have a little more control over your situation and honestly bring some joy back to your life,” if those were the three words they gave you. Give them the solution and then say this solution would give you these three values essentially. Don’t list them but put them into a sentence. If you can do that, you’ll watch people light up like a Christmas tree. You’re speaking their language.
Speaking their language and bouncing back that you’re listening to what they’re saying versus going into a pre-programmed pitch. You’re listening, taking it in, and then coming back to them with a true solution, whether it’s one or multiple ways based on selling or listening to their values and identifying those that come up with a solution that hits that.
Scripts are good for about the first to third sentences of a conversation. That’s my opinion. I think they’re important for the first. You need to know exactly what you’re going to say word for word when they pick up the phone. Beyond that, after the first few sentences, it has to turn into a conversation. It has to turn to listening. If you can ask questions and you can get them to answer something, then you can dive into values and find out what’s important in their situation. Sometimes it’s powerful. You ask someone what’s important to you about this. When I was doing mortgages, they’d stop in their tracks and say, “No one’s ever asked me that.”
No mortgage guy has ever asked me that in history. I’ve owned the property for 50 years. I’ve never had someone asked me that. They always try to sell me the rate or whatever. If you want to be the person who gets shopped around if you’re doing a mortgage. I never had people shop me for an eighth of a rate difference or whatever. Once they understood that I got them and I cared and they knew I’d take care of them and they knew that I understood their value, what’s important, I need to be hands-off. I want this to be as clean and fast as possible. We got you. It wasn’t about what rate I gave them, it’s about that I can give them what they want. Is the rate important? Yes, but it’s never about the rate.
How often are you teaching workshops across the country? Where can people learn more? This is all valuable stuff. I want to make sure if you’ve got a class coming up, we’ve got a schedule where people can connect with you to find out when and where you’re going to be so they can take the opportunity to get signed up and learn more. I’m geeking out. I love this.
They’re all different times. If you’re reading this, the best way is to check out the show. My show goes coast to coast. Check out The Driven Entrepreneur. I do two episodes a week. Tuesday is a teaching Tuesday. I wrapped up a four-part miniseries on the power of purpose and how to find purpose and vision and bring it back into your life and your business. It’s good stuff, if I do say so myself. It’s a timely, relevant conversation that people are asking me. I always do teaching Tuesdays and then interview Fridays. I have phenomenal entrepreneurs and visionaries and we get into their backstory, their origin story of how they became who they are.
We had the illustrious Scott Carson on. We’ve had Horst Schulze, the Founding President of Ritz Carlton. Cathy O’Dowd, the first woman to climb Everest from both sides. We’ve had people from all different backgrounds in life, athletics, business, whatever. That’s Fridays at The Driven Entrepreneur. Follow me on social media @MattBrauning on every platform. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn. Wherever you go, find me there. I’d love to connect. I answer messages and we have a ton of fun there and that’s where I’ll put up some videos, content and new things, especially about classes coming up or NLP content.
Matt, you’ve absolutely blown away. People love this out there. I know I am. If I’m getting excited, I’m sure my readers are getting jacked up there. I want to say thank you for taking the time out of your busy, hectic schedule to be here. Thank you for showing up and delivering such amazing content and being an awesome guy that you are, Matt.
Thanks, Scott. It was a pleasure. It’s always good to see you.
Follow him and he does respond. If you’ve got questions, reach out to him. He’ll be glad to reach out to you. Go out, take some action. Take the counsel that Matt provided and learn to program your brain. Program what you’re saying to be able to identify the values, the people that you’re talking to. Figure out what is important to them and come back and be more effective in how you’re either working with auras, working with banks, or working with investors as well too out there for you. We’ll see you at the top.
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About Matt Brauning
Matt Brauning is a writer for FORBES, a 2-time best selling author, and host of the top-charting podcast “The Driven Entrepreneur” on iTunes, and syndicated on 16 AM/FM stations coast to coast. He filmed in the movie “The Journey” with Brian Tracy and Bob Proctor, and you’ve seen him on Television on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.
Matt’s speaking list includes The Harvard Club, U.S. Bank, McAfee, New York Life, The YMCA, and NASDAQ. He is an avid motorcycle rider, church leader, and rock