Morris Sims - Coffee N.5 Podcast

Episode 65 – Coffee N.5 – The Business of Selling Yourself with Morris Sims

Morris Sims is the CEO of Sims Training and Consulting. Before that, he left his career of engineering after five years and dove head-first into the world of sales. He spent 32 years with New York Life Insurance Company and retired as the VP and Chief Learning Officer in the Agency Department. Join us as Morris discusses the importance of knowing how to sell yourself and your product/company in every situation. He shares with us the value of getting to know your customer, building credibility, and the importance of understanding your “Why.”

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Morris shares the importance of caring about people and providing solutions as opposed to pushing products. 
  • Morris shares the different roles of a salesperson. 
  • Morris discusses the 5 Critical Questions any business person must answer to achieve success
  • Morris defines marketing and prospecting. 

For more information about Morris Sims and Sims Training and Consulting, check out his website here.

Download Morris Sim’s free audio to learn how to grow your business here 

If you want to learn more about the show, visit our website!

Follow our host Lara Shmoisman on social media

Instagram: @laraschmoisman

Facebook: @LaraSchmoisman

LinkedIn: @laraschmoisman

Twitter: @LaraSchmoisman

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Episode 65 – Coffee N.5 – The Business of Selling Yourself with Morris Sims


Lara Schmoisman  0:05  

This is Coffee N5. I’m your host, Lara Schmoisman. Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for being back here with me in Coffee N5. And growing up, everyone knows well, first of all that I’m from Argentina and I recall the sexy accent, then I grew up in a service family, we always provided services. My parents were lawyers. And they were lucky enough that they always had clients come in to them or recommend them. So I don’t think that they ever heard the word sales or having to go and bridge for new clients. Of course, I was a black sheep. And it’s not the reason I left the country. But it wasn’t in my plans to be a lawyer. And I decided to try new things in my life. And I realized that, you know what, I wasn’t doing sales and sales was not my thing. But I realized that I had to sell myself, if I wanted that position, if I needed to, I wanted anything in my life, I had to present myself, I had to sell myself. Come on, I had to learn a whole new language when I came to this country. She has to advance in life. So this is something that really fascinates me because a lot of people don’t want to call it sales. A lot of people call it all their charm. Other people choose to call it business development. And today, I invited Mr. Morris Sims, I hope I said that, right. And you have a lot of initials after your name that you’re going to have to explain to me what they mean. So welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.


Morris Sims  1:54  

Laura, thank you for having me. I’m really excited about our conversation today.


Lara Schmoisman  1:59  

I’m excited about talking about sales first, first, tell me a little bit. How did you get all those letters after your name, because it’s msm,clu, c, h, f, c. So okay, educate me.


Morris Sims  2:18  

I’ve been trying to see if I can get the entire alphabet after I’ve gotten there. I have a friend that has a JD and has all these letters after his name. And he’s, he’s pretty well, he got the whole alphabet, I’m not even close. It’s really simple. It’s a master’s degree in management with an emphasis in leadership. And the other two are specifically insurance industry designations. One is for life insurance. And the other is a Chartered Financial consultant. I spent 32 years with New York Life Insurance Company, starting as an agent, selling insurance in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Lara Schmoisman  2:57  

And of course, growing yourself in the company advances, you have to sell yourself for it


Morris Sims  3:04  

each and every day. And that still continues on today. I started my career as a chemical engineer. That’s where my degree is. And after five years, I decided that, you know, engineers are great people, but just not a lot of fun. And I wanted to do something that was fine. So I decided to go sell life insurance.


Lara Schmoisman  3:26  

Wow. And yeah, okay, so what is the first thing you learn and say, Oh, this is sales, I can do this, what was the first thing that gave you that hint that you will be good at sales.


Morris Sims  3:42  

When you care about the people you’re talking to, and you have that ability to, to be there for the other person, when you’re in sales. And, and you walk in the door of any situation, I don’t care if you’re, you’re selling widgets, or insurance, or if you’re trying to just sell a project that you want somebody to find. If you walk in there with your sale as the number one thing in your mind, and all you can think about is what’s going to happen when they say yes, and I need them to do this, that or the other, you will fail. If you walk in the door with me I have a solution to your problem, and I can help you get what you want. Then I’m going to be successful. And when I learned that selling is really about being a counselor, it’s about being an educator, it’s about helping somebody else get what they want. Then all of a sudden, everything just came together.


Lara Schmoisman  4:35  

I realised something that I learned and maybe I’m doing it wrong because I was criticized so many times that I do it wrong, but it works for me. I was told that in a sales call. It’s about the person. And I found out that the cell’s core call, of course, is about fixing their problem and that you have what it takes, but first you need to establish That authority and that rapport with the person, that they can believe that you are the person who can do the job.


Morris Sims  5:08  

 it’s all about building a relationship, you’re 100% correct. It’s all about building that relationship. And part of that relationship is helping them understand your credibility to provide the solution that you’re bringing to the table. Thus, all the letters after my name, and after all sorts of other people that are in the insurance and financial services industry, we all tend to get designations to help show our credibility and to improve our knowledge and skills. So yeah, Lara, I think you’re absolutely right, you’ve got to sell yourself, and you got to sell your company, if you will, your  credibility, before you ever begin to talk about selling a product.


Lara Schmoisman  5:48  

Absolutely. That’s my belief. And I always talk about that with my team. And I truly believe that in marketing, we have two things, that is our authority and relevance. It’s basically it is first for whoever you’re doing marketing for, you need to establish their authority. If they don’t have authority, you cannot do anything. And therefore, relevance is super easy for people to find.


Morris Sims  6:12  

It is and it’s so important today, especially with the younger generations, relevance is everything. If it’s not relevant to them, it’s not if it’s not practical, I love that word. Practical, it means useful, right? Absolutely. Oh, golly, if it’s not practical and relevant to them in their lives, then forget it, hang it up, go find a prospect that will talk to you.


Lara Schmoisman  6:33  

Well, I’m reading here in my notes, and you have five critical questions that any business person must answer to achieve success.


Morris Sims  6:44  

Yes, absolutely. And it’s, it’s been refined over the years, but it still boils down, in my opinion, to those five things. Yes. 


Lara Schmoisman  6:53  

Can you tell us about those?


Morris Sims  6:56  

Sure. How many hours do you have? Laura,


Lara Schmoisman  7:01  

we can continue. And also we’re gonna give all your chapter notes in the chapter notes, we’re gonna give out your information so people can get more feel good, let’s give them something


Morris Sims  7:12  

easily done. And for sure, no problem at all. The five questions are very, at first, you may look at them and think of them that well, of course, I’m gonna know the answers to those questions. But you have to think on purpose, Lara you have to go beyond the surface, you have to go beyond what you just automatically would think of, and really dig down and give it some time and some thought, because the first question is, what, what do you want? What do you really, really want? What is it that you’re trying to achieve? What is it that you want to do or have, and I’m not talking about a new plane train, or automobile, or, or a new house or something along those lines that said that that would work. But we need to think about the bigger picture, like I want to build a business that’s going to help people do this, that and the other. And it’s going to make an income for my family to allow us to do things that we’ve never been able to do. That’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about. So it’s your vision, if we’re talking about business, it’s your vision for the business. What do you really want here? What is it that you want? The second question is tied directly to that and that’s why is it that you want whatever it is you just shared with me and your vision? Why do you want the why is it important to you to do whatever it is you do? Why is it that you want to get up in the morning and go to work and be a part of an organization that does those things? Why because why is what it gets you up in the morning gets you through the obstacles gets you through all those, those not so happy days, when things come along, and you’ve got to jump over hurdles and you’ve got to plow through walls, and you got to deal with people maybe that you don’t want to deal with Why is what keeps you going. If you’re wise just and I hear a lot of my clients tell me this right off the bat first aid. Well, I’m doing this for my family Morris. Well, okay, that’s, that’s true for all of us. We’re all working for our family. Basically, I want you to dig deeper than that. I want to know why that makes some sense. When I was selling life insurance, I came to a reason that really was for me wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion Lara, you see my dad took his own life when I was three weeks old on Halloween of 1956. And at that point, mom had to pack up her six year old daughter and her three week old baby and move back to Birmingham Alabama, where thank God for our family or we’d never have been able to have a place to live. So when they came right down to it and I started selling insurance, I started thinking about the protection that I could help families provide for their for their family if it suicide aside If something happened to the main breadwinner, be it Mom or Dad, Or both. How is that family going to continue financially? I have a solution to help them make sure that whatever happens, there’s going to be money there to take care of that family. That for me, was wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion. Got me up, got me moving, gave me a reason to go out and make that phone call and go knock on that door if I needed to, to go meet somebody new to help them and educate them and help them learn. What was that all about? today. My Why is about helping other people, other salespeople get bigger, get better, get better at what they do, log in, grow their business. Why? Because I want to be able to say that I’ve had an impact on people’s lives, and I’ve been able to help them get to where they want to go. So why is probably the most important of the five questions. What do you want? Why do you want it? Third question is, how are you going to get there? You know, if we want to go to Washington, DC, maybe I want to get a watch to see a monument. I’ve got a really tight reason for that. But how am I going to get there? I could ride a bicycle, I could get on an airplane, I could drive a car. Those are the answers: how are you going to get from here to there, as you said in number one, what you want? That the answer to that is your strategy. And everybody has to have at least one or two strategies, but not 10 or 20. We can’t focus on 10 or 20. But we can focus on one. And we can focus on two if we do it one at a time. So what do you want? Why do you want it? How are you going to get it? And then how are you going to handle the administration? And how are you going to handle the accountability and the implementation? Those get into all the details of creating a Strategic Action Plan, having an administrative system to help you and building the systems to make it happen. But the three most important lara, what do you want? Why do you want it? And how are you going to get there? What’s your strategy?


Lara Schmoisman  12:04  

I think that’s brilliant, because people don’t have those. Even people succeed in their business. They don’t have the fifth one, and the business can fall apart. Totally. And I saw that. I have a question for you. Because this is what I feel like a lot of businesses fail is that they don’t have the strategy of how they’re going to sell the business. Because even for example, my business is marketing agency and production. I don’t have a part of sales, I need to be selling my product or upselling my product when you have a client, there’s always new things that you can offer. How do you start I mean, there are cold calling cold emails, what tips can you give people to work to start to sell their product and how


Morris Sims  12:54  

marketing and prospecting is probably the one thing that everybody that I talked to in sales is the one thing they say, well, Morris , can you help me find more people to talk to. And that really comes down to have some systems in place to make it happen. marketing systems and prospecting systems. Friend of mine taught me a long time ago, because I didn’t figure I didn’t understand it. Marketing is one of those terms that everybody, everybody throws it around. But everybody seems to have a different definition for it. This gentleman is a marketing expert. He was on my podcast. I recorded him this week. And Fred taught me that marketing is attracting people to you. That’s attracting folks that you don’t know that you don’t have a relationship with attracting them to you and your business. prospecting is taking the people that have been attracted to you, and beginning the sales process beginning to encounter them on the level of what do you want? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? And how can I help you get there? And that’s the prospecting side when we start the sales process. So how do you get them to do the marketing things today, email marketing is still a wonderful digital way to go about it. I really am meant to do email marketing stuff. I think that there’s some really good stuff there. Folks like to talk about social media, but I tell you what, I think just recently Facebook was down for


Lara Schmoisman  14:29  

Well, that happened yesterday Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down. And that’s why I always recommend all my clients to go to the omni channel. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket. And I will never never let anyone run a business from a platform that they cannot handle either platforms like kajabi or that they’re wonderful, but I don’t trust that because you have everything in one place.  I like hybrids.


Morris Sims  15:02  

Yeah, it makes sense. Because, as I was saying, You can’t bet on social media to do it all for you. And you can’t bet on social media, because it’s all passive. Once you get people attracted to you, I think you have to be proactive, I think you have to reach out to those prospects,  you have to begin to build that that relationship and you’re not going to get there unless you unless you get a chance to meet them either virtually in today’s world, or meet them face to face, I have a friend that used to talk about. He had a bank president that he wanted to meet, and couldn’t seem to find anybody to give him an introduction. But he knew that if the guy had lunch at this particular restaurant at least two or three times a week, he would go and hang around the restaurant about lunchtime. And just act like he was waiting on a client to come meeting for lunch, waiting on this guy to come in just so he could bump into him and say hello and introduce himself. You got to find a way to meet people, even when you’re even when your business to business, you get to find out who it is in that business that that you want to talk to about solving their problem, you got to find out who it is you need to talk to, and find somebody to introduce you to them.


Lara Schmoisman  16:18  

Exactly, I believe that everyone is accessible, nothing is impossible. And you just need to find a way to get there. I create strategies, like for example, something that I’m really tired of, I’m super friendly. And I don’t know, if we have connections in LinkedIn properly, I will accept you. But in the moment that you send me a message, just to sell me something without knowing me. That’s a deal breaker.


Morris Sims  16:49  

Indirect direct messages that are our Hi, I see I saw your profile, and I love what I see. Let’s connect because maybe we have something in common. I’m sorry, I just don’t have time. I just don’t have time for that. I’ve got to spend my time with folks that I’ve got a little more of a connection with.


Lara Schmoisman  17:07  

Exactly. But then I’m getting those emails, I’m offering this and I can chat. No, we cannot chat. I am super busy. And if I need something, I will do my research, my due diligence, and I will find the company that is good for me. Right? It will be very different. If I have someone in my network that I see that they’re commenting, or they posting, they have posts that I respect, you create that relationship. And then someone will say, Hey, I noticed that you’re doing this and that you have this problem because I see what you post. I see what you do. And I think I can help you this way. And this way that’s super different than someone  approaching you out of the blue because it’s an easy one to do. It’s the lazy one doing it that way. 


Morris Sims  18:00  

Oh, I agree completely. And I you know, it’s one of those things if your producer Denise, were to call you and say, Lara, I have this this person that I’ve been working with on this, that or the other and I’d love for you to have the opportunity to meet them because I think you guys might have a connection, but he may be able to help you with this, that or the other. You’d probably agree to at least have a conversation with that individual right?


Lara Schmoisman  18:25  

Yeah, I mean, an introduction, Totally will take it. But it has to be an introduction not to waste my time.


Morris Sims  18:32  

Right? Yeah, absolutely.


Lara Schmoisman  18:35  

I always say that anything I do in my life needs to give me added value. And everyone in my life needs to add value.


Morris Sims  18:46  

I have to agree. It’s and that’s where we are today. In today’s world, we’ve got to add value in order to be able to begin to build that relationship, which again, that’s the foundation of the whole thing is that having a business relationship?


Lara Schmoisman  19:00  

Or even when someone applies to work for my company, what are the values that you bring? And if someone tells me I want to learn from you, and I think it’s great, yeah, you will have the opportunity to learn a lot. But what do you bring to the company that you need to sell yourself?


Morris Sims  19:18  

Totally, totally and completely. I can’t think of any.  In my mind, I cannot think of any work that someone could do. I hate to call it a job, but any job somebody could do where they don’t have to sell something themselves, their ideas, their projects,  their desires, what they want to do with their career, what they want to do with their job and their position in the company. We’re going to have to sell ourselves and sell whatever it is that we want to have happen to somebody else.


Lara Schmoisman  19:55  

With this show, we’re starting something new. I want to ask you a question, which is, okay, a mistake that you made, that you can tell someone. So they don’t make it again.


Morris Sims  20:16  

The biggest mistake I made, I spent 32 years with New York Life, and


Lara Schmoisman  20:21  

I thought you’re gonna say coming to this podcast, but


Morris Sims  20:27  

no, this has been a blast. I will come back next week. Wow, you’re asking me to be vulnerable. Laura. Yeah, the 32 years with New York Life started as an agent retired as the vice president and chief learning officer, I was in charge of training our 12,000 agents and 1000, managers, 500 to 1000 managers. My team was about 25 people in New York and about 150 people around the United States. My biggest regret is that I never really learned how to collaborate with my team. I would call a meeting and I would bring them all together, and I would get their input. And then I would make a final decision. That’s, getting input and consultation from other people. It’s not collaboration, collaboration is we talk and we decide, not we talk and then I go off and decide. And I wish I would be. I wish I had been better at true collaboration, I think we would have gone further and faster and bigger and better. If we had used all of us to make things happen, rather than just get input and me go make a decision, because they were all a lot smarter than I am Lara.


Lara Schmoisman  21:46  

Well, I think it’s brilliant that you are able to say that. And I do believe that we learn from our mistakes, which is that it’s okay to make mistakes. And it’s okay to fall because we learn a lot. And it’s all about how graciously we get up. And we try again. And, I truly believe in collaboration with my team. And still I’m learning every day, we try every day to be better. But I also believe that now we have the tools to do it. So give yourself some. Okay, and I think you did great. You had an amazing career. And you’re here because all you did. So you did something right.


Morris Sims  22:31  

Well, thank you, I appreciate that. That it is it is a difficult thing to do when you’re in a leadership position to, to not take it all on yourself and to realize that if you bring in your team, you bring in other people and you really collaborate to get a joint decision, not just consensus, but a joint decision, then you’re in a much better position, and you’re going to do bigger and better things than you will if you just try and do it on your own. But it’s so easy to say, I want my team to agree to do this. So I’m going to go in here and I’m going to sell them on my idea. And that’s not what collaboration is at all. So that’s what I learned Lara,


Lara Schmoisman  23:11  

and well also, I mean, I think collaboration is to be open for them to sell you on their idea. Yeah, totally. Well, thank you so much for being here and caffeine number five. It was such a pleasure to have you here to have coffee with you. And we’re gonna again, you have some freebies. Can you tell us about the freebies that we’re going to put here in the chapter notes?


Morris Sims  23:34  

Absolutely. Got an audio file that I made with a number of prospecting and marketing ideas, specifically for people who are in sales and who need to go out and find more people to talk to. And that that free audio is available at That’s moRISS i m slash free audio. We’d love to hear from you please share your email with us. We’ll be happy to put you on our list and we’ll send you great ideas and never ever ever spam you in any way shape, form or fashion and you can always unsubscribe if you don’t like it. But you get the free audio no matter what, Lara.


Lara Schmoisman  24:19  

Wow, that’s awesome. I’m gonna listen to it. And thank you everyone. It was great having you here and seeing you next week. It was so good to have you here today. See you next time. catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.


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