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Understand Your Buyer's Self-Interest and They'll Make Time

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This week, we are taking ideas and insights from Andrew Sossin, the co-founder and CEO of Recovery Unplugged Behavioral Health. So, what can Behavioral Health teach us about how to be better salespeople? It's about understanding our buyer's self-interest. Doctors are incredibly busy and are asked to do so much more than treat patients. By demonstrating how your product or service will make their life easier, you make the process of selling that much more effective.

What you'll learn:

  • How to better equip your sellers to for selling to governments
  • What is the correct follow-up strategy for extremely busy buyers
  • What are some informational items you should be gathering from your buyers
  • How to identify your "Big 5"


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Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't by Michael J. Losier

10x Is Easier than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less - by Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy

Recovery Unplugged Treatment Centers

[0:00] I love all the doctors that work for us. I love all the doctors that are my friends.
Both my roommates in college are now doctors. I have doctors in my family.
All that being said, extremely challenging people to have a conversation with.
True. Because today, especially in America, every doctor is overworked and underpaid.
Unless you're the top plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills or South Beach, take those two people out of the equation. All right?
Yeah. You know, everybody else is overworked, underpaid, stressed out.

[0:38] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast. If you are listening to this, you are likely leading a team responsible for generating revenue.
Purpose of Full Funnel Freedom is to support people like yourself and keep your.

[0:51] Music.

[0:51] Funnels consistently, reliably full.

[0:57] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast. I'm your host, Hamish Knox.
Today, I am delighted to have Andrew Sossam, co-founder and CEO at Recovery Unplugged Behavioral Health as my guest today.
In Andrew's work with Recovery Unplugged Behavioral Health, he's led the consistent, proactive, and responsible expansion of the company from a singular treatment facility in South Florida to a national mental health and addiction treatment organization, which now helps thousands of clients per year from all over the country find their way to long-lasting recovery and stability.
He is a graduate of the Tony Robbins Mastery University Business Mastery and Leadership Academy programs and is a former student of the Jack Canfield Breakthrough to Success program. Andrew, welcome to Full Funnel Freedom.
Thank you. Great to be here and I appreciate the time.

[1:47] So I've given the audience the 30,000 foot view of who you are and what you are up to.
Take us down a level. Tell us the story of Andrew and how you got from where you were to where you are today, leading this incredible organization.
Sure. Yeah. I mean, you know, I never thought I'd be in this industry.
You know, it's one of those things where in throughout my life, I've been involved in businesses, had an insurance agency, helped start a call center here and in two other other countries and just helping several family members that were battling mental health and addiction for several years.
I was actually coming back from a Tony Robbins event and said it would be cheaper for me to open up my own treatment center than keep paying for other ones.
And that my friend said, well, you can't leave a Tony event and say something like that.
And that led to a meeting with the gentleman that helped create the mental health and drug court system so people People will get treatment instead of jail.
And then, you know, me and Marshall, who I became friends with from the UPW Tony Robbins event, met with Paul and Richie Supa.
And Richie had this idea called Recovery Unplugged. Richie's an award winning singer songwriter for the last 55 years, toured with Aerosmith as well as other people, and just had this amazing concept of using music in therapy.
And we took that a step further to use music as a catalyst for evidence based therapy. And so I am not a doctor. I am not a therapist.

[3:13] I just care. And I care about my family, care about my friends and I care about others.
And so throughout my life, you know, whether, you know, in my in my previous life, I cared about people. And that's why I did insurance, mostly life insurance.
I was involved in all types of insurance, mostly life insurance. shirts.
And, you know, I saw, unfortunately, firsthand, that, you know, things happen.
And without that, you know, policy, people's families would have lost everything or not been able to do what they did.
And I've always been around the thought process of, you know, what can I do that's going to make a positive difference?
You know, and then throughout my life with Tony World, the Jack Canfield world, the Esther Hicks world, and that it was, you know, working with and around around people to do more on a greater scale.
And so when this challenge arose in our life for me and my wife with multiple family members, it was like, what are we going to do?
And again, the goal originally was, hey, let me open up a place to help them and go back to what I'm doing. That was a.

[4:22] 2012, we opened Recovery Unplugged 2013, just a small ad patient center in Fort Lauderdale.
And then, you know, after the first year, I was like, this is different.
I'm actually seeing, you know, people that have been to 30 plus treatment centers, you know, stay clean, stay sober and believe that they will.
And so we grew to Austin and Nashville and the D.C. area.
And then starting next week, we'll be opening in Charleston, South Carolina, and then next month in right outside of Southern New Jersey, outside of Philly.
Um and then very excited that we are now in the not just the treatment space for addiction uh but we also opening our first mental health facility for people battling anxiety depression and ptsd because everybody that we work with already has that and is abusing drugs or alcohol and so what's happened the last two years uh it's happened for a while but we noticed right after covid COVID was so many people, everybody, everybody knows somebody's struggling with something.
We're calling us for help. They weren't abusing drugs or alcohol, but they were having severe depression or anxiety or PTSD.
And so, you know, we're very happy that we're opening up an inpatient and outpatient and online center to deal with that.

[5:44] Amazing. What an incredible story. And I'm very curious to unpack this, and especially because, you know, I'm based in Canada and a portion of my audience is in Canada.
And, you know, we don't necessarily get this, you know, that privatized, that space, those private clinics, because, you know, we have the socialized

[6:04] healthcare and there's some private things.
So help me understand, how does sales work in your world?
Who are you selling to? Because is it the people with the addictions or is it someone else?

[6:17] It's really about 60-40, the family member, right?
So I'm who we were selling to, right, in the past, right?
I'm the family member that was paying for treatment for a lot.
Normally, it's one person. I paid for a lot of people. And I'm grateful they're alive and well today.
Day and so when i look at you know our sales funnels you know um and again it's changed so our first eight years we were out of network or private pay facility so people would pay or they'd have insurance it'd be a high deductible and they they had to have out of benefits um during covid we switched everything so now we are 100 in network so anybody that has any major insurance uh can come to us you know and and we have as of 2024 24 contracts were signed with the military for current and retired veterans.
Wow. So that's a huge change. But to answer your original question, about 60% of the people that call us initially are a family member that's looking for help.
And 40% are the actual person that has decided that they're going to go somewhere where they're going to go.
And so we used to be just, um.

[7:32] More of the, I would call it onesies and twosies, where we get the people that can send us or send one or two people at a time.

[7:40] You know, one of the things that I'm excited about for this year is now that we have these in-network agreements and we haven't done it yet, but we are now refocusing a portion of our team that are just focused on large employers, employee assistance programs for unions.
And like we just got we've gotten four municipalities like the miami-dade county or you know austin texas which is travis county the people that work for the cities or the counties can now utilize our services and so you know in the past it was just the individual calling or their family member and now it's still that sure but we're educating uh the people in charge of hr and the employee assistance programs that we exist.

[8:28] Let's walk through that conversation because what you just described is like it's selling to government, right?
And for anyone that I've ever talked to or worked with who sells to government, that's code for lots of committees, long, slow, we'll get back to you, never, et cetera, et cetera.
So how have you successfully equipped your sellers to have those conversations and lead those conversations with people who may not even really care to want to talk about addiction recovery because that's kind of a hard topic to discuss.

[9:04] It's extremely challenging. I mean, it is what the last two months we've spent a lot of time on.
And so, you know, because we are, you know, an ongoing entity with over 400 full time employees, we still have to have help clients every day. Right.

[9:20] So we still have everything that we were always doing, fiber practice therapists and individuals and our online ads and just everything we've done over the last decade to continually get those those individuals that come to us and call us on a daily basis.
Basis um with with the new focus it's it's a it's really a multiple prong approach so step a was we had to get the contracts that took years and now once you get the contract that just allows you to say you have the contract and so what we're doing now is we put together um for example um you know we have uh programs that can give continuing education credit so in america you have to have continuing education credits if you're an attorney if you're a therapist and then so an education peach for people in hr so we actually created our own content that we went to the different and everything is it's not nationalized so it's in the state of florida we had to get approval the state of texas the state of tennessee and state of virginia so we now have these programs which we've come up with so we can do a webinar for a group of attorneys for a group of therapists for a group of professionals and now for people in government they can say okay come get you know lunch on us and learn right which you have to do anyway and we're sponsoring it we're teaching it right so that's one channel that we just put together that's a tried and true approach but again in the past you meet somebody you let them know we exist they send some people.

[10:47] Over you're helping people within a week this is a you know minimum six six months approach.

[10:53] And so we have to look at, okay, how do we keep doing what we're currently doing on a daily basis, same business while we build these large, large channels. And it's.

[11:04] You know, one of the conversations I had today with our two top people was what we have to do differently because we have to on the follow up side, because it's a different it's a different business, different sale to different

[11:18] process from what we're used to doing.
And so we have a new program in Salesforce.
We have a new program with Hardop, drip campaigns.
But, you know, there's a whole new system that we're putting in place so that you meet the person, you set up the meeting, you find out when their benefits go, you find out who their employee assistance program is through, you educate them.
And then, you know, it's all about follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up.

[11:44] And then the next question is, what is too much and what is too little?
And where are you at in terms of too much and too little?
I appreciate that right now this is a bit of a still an experiment for you.
What are you noticing in terms of that longer sales cycle?
What is too much and what is too little? So what we see right now is, you know, if you're calling somebody every week, they're going to seriously, they're going to get annoyed.
Right. You know, at least having that monthly or quarterly follow up.
Also, you know, sometimes it depends on, you know, oh, we're having our regional meeting here. We're having our quarterly event here, and I can present it there.
So it's really about making sure our team captures the different details from the different people so they know, okay, they spoke to somebody yesterday. It's February.

[12:29] So somebody just – today, perfect example today. There's a big event in June that we could potentially be speaking at, right?
So now we're going to have to follow up, plan this for this June event, and know that nothing is going to happen until June.
And then once June comes, we're going to have to remind everybody who we are, re-educate everybody and, you know, hope we do a good enough job, which I know we will, that maybe by September, something will come from that.

[12:56] Again, very different from how we've operated in the past.
Fair enough. Yeah, you were going from, I would imagine, it's almost like a one or two, a phone call.
And we're still doing that, just so we're clear. We still have a life-saving center that's still getting calls every day.
I just hope that as we grow, and especially with our new online outpatient program, the only way to get that to the level that we are going to get it to is through these large groups, government, employers.

[13:30] Yeah, so you made a strategic choice because, yes, you have this life-saving center.
They're taking the calls. Hey, I need to get into treatment, et cetera, et cetera.
That's a pretty quick sale, right? Right. You know, and some people might react when I say the word sale. It is a sale. There's money changing hands.
You know, people are getting support for what they need. And then, yes, the strategic choice of, hey, we got to grow. We got to re-vector.
Now, I got to believe also, Andrew, that your salesperson who has this opportunity

[13:56] in June, you're also coaching them to not just sit on their laurels and keep their fingers crossed.
That comes across the finish line like they've got to keep that ball moving.
Fair. Well, they have to have multiple balls in the air at all times like that.
And so the conversation I had today was literally this morning.
I want to I want to create in the next week a hundred different potentials that we have over the next between now and June.
OK. And breaking it up into where Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and next week, South Carolina and then Jersey. And so South Carolina will be first.
So I said, OK, let's break up and look at, OK, with these large, large, large employers that have one hundred thousand employees. Right.
I believe that somebody wins the lottery every week and I know it happens, but I'm not counting on it.
So what I said when we when we set up this hundred, let's choose five employees.

[14:55] Just, you know, literally 100,000 or more targets.
And then 95 local targets that have, you know, that people can make decisions locally that don't go through 20 committees that don't have, you know, you know.
And I said, let's do a 95-5 because for somebody that has a thousand employees or less, right, they can make that decision right then and there.
When you get over 1,000 employees, now you're talking about, you know, just different laws that have to go through with insurance.
And then when you get over 10,000, you have employee assistance programs.
And so I said, let's create a target list, 95 to 5.
And we know the 5 may take a year or two or whatever. And the others we can go to, talk to, educate now, you know, in our regions.
But, again, the key for what we're doing, and I think it takes a 30-second explanation, is our online program now, anybody can access in any state that we operate in.
For example, if somebody comes to our Austin facility for a month of treatment and then they go back to Dallas or Houston, I mean, that's hours away.
They're not going to drive to an outpatient program, right?
Now they can access that on Zoom. Right.

[16:13] Fully covered by insurance right but there's a huge education piece because this has not been done before like this and so you know and now we also have people in other states that you don't even have to come to our inpatient program you could just come to our online program so we have people right now that are using their own money and private paying us their insurance doesn't cover it out of state you know and other people that they went to some other treatment center somewhere and they live in central florida and we have our facility in south florida and it's It's five hours away and they can ask for our online program.
And so that's what we're very excited about.
You know, very cool. Well, I'm curious, Andrew, you know, as one of my coaches says, elephants.
Right. So those five that you picked. Right. Those are elephant prospects. Right.

[16:59] Elephants are really, really smart and they move really, really slow, as you've just identified.
And so when we're looking at getting in front of these individuals and I go back to a conversation you and I had offline about. about your sellers get in front of doctors, right?
And I have sales leaders and sellers complain to me, oh, I can't get in front of my engineers that I'm trying to prospect or my IT providers.
It's like, Andrew, sellers get in front of doctors. How often, listeners, can you get in front of your doctor?
And then think about a salesperson trying to get in front of that same doctor.
So Andrew, how do you support and coach your sellers to actually get in front of these individuals who are like you, wanting to support their patients and your salesperson has something that could probably help them support their patients more?
How does that conversation go?

[17:49] I love all the doctors that work for us. I love all the doctors that are my friends.
Both my roommates in college are now doctors. I have doctors in my family.
All that being said, extremely challenging people to have a conversation with.
Because today, especially in America, every doctor is overworked and underpaid.

[18:09] Unless you're the top plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills or South Beach, take those two people out of the equation. All right?
Yeah. Everybody else is overworked, underpaid, stressed out.
And so what we do is we figure out how to provide value.
And by value, we mean clients, right? Sure.

[18:31] We have hundreds of people going through our program on over 400 and change a month right now.
Wow. throughout facilities and every one of those people have uh co-occurring disorders and comorbidities that require doctors um and even i'll take a step further as we became the first pet pet friendly treatment center in america which was my idea so people could bring their pets to our treatment center i'm allergic to them and i cannot as of right now in 2034 walk into my treatment centers for more than 15 minutes without having an asthma attack But that being said, because of that, we now are able to get in front of veterinarians because I now have something that they also need, which is a constant flow of people that will need depth.

[19:17] And so our salespeople and our business development team, as we call them, they do when they're calling the doctor's offices, Dr. Busy is, listen, we want to explain what we do.
But we also have patients that need your services that we pre-qualify them to know what network they're in.
We now where we have let's just say you know blue cross blue shield or united health care we're heading over signa so what our team will do is they'll find doctors that we want to work with whose insurance we both take so we know that somebody coming to us we can refer to them we're all in the same network and so when we have the conversation it's look we want you to know who we are for our purposes but we need to know who you are so we can have a trusted person that we We could also send people to, and we have a 24 hour life savings center.
So 70% of the people that call me, I can't even help my own place.
But we find places that they can help.

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[20:45] Brian and sales leaders who are listening that want to reinforce what Andrew just said is find out what that person's self-interest is, right?
Like those doctors, the self-interest is they want more patients and that's not a detriment.
That's their business that they're So understanding what are those personal motivators of your buyers and getting your sellers to understand that.
And then also being able to refer out, like Andrew just said, those are really brilliant ways to raise the level of trust in you and your sellers and create a long-term mutually profitable relationship.

[21:19] Andrew, I love chatting with you and we could nerd out about this stuff all day long.
However, both you and I have lots of stuff on our plates already. ready so i got a few questions for you to wrap us up first one being if you could go back and coach younger andrew go back as far as you want doesn't matter and you could say hey younger andrew in the future you're going to be running this great business uh you're going to be supporting a whole ton of people who really need some help you are also going to have a bunch of bumps and bruises and scar tissue what would you coach younger andrew to say or do differently to get Get to the same place, but with fewer bumps and bruises and less scar tissue.
I believe some of those bumps and bruises are necessary to get here. Fair.

[22:00] And I would also say that, you know, some of the mistakes that I made along the way were, you know, maybe being a little naive on every conversation and everybody that I met that they were all well intentioned.
And so one of the things I've done a better job of at this point in my life is, and again, when you're young and you've been around a lot of people and you're in, especially the personal development world, you believe everybody has the right intentions.
That's not the case. So, you know, I've dealt with some very challenging people in situations situations over the years that maybe I would have done differently.
And so I would say in that situation, one of my friends has a sign on his wall, in God we trust, all else be verified.

[22:49] And so that's one of the things that I would always recommend is just, you know, I believe that people are inherently good, but people have their own self-interest at heart.
And so just really understand when you're doing business and you're doing deals, and I'm an old school guy, So I've done a lot of stuff on a handshake and unfortunately just can't do that anymore.
So that's one of the things that I would say, but I would also say that the idea of how I got here was really, you know, the mindset.
That's my, that's been my, my belief that I coach my own team, my friends, myself, it's all about mindset.
I don't come from a family of entrepreneurs.
You know, I didn't come from an idea of – I had kind of the rich dad, poor dad life where my dad – I love my dad, but he would go to school, get a good job, get a good education. My best friend's dad was, screw school.
Anything that you're going to do, you're going to do yourself.
You have to put yourself out there. You have to take risks.

[23:48] And so that's where, for me, it was take those risks, but also understand the risk.
You know and also i would also say i look back is it's okay to be confident and it's okay to believe in yourself but under you know you just can't have blind faith right i've jumped out of three planes but i've always done it with a parachute and so and so in some of the things i've done in life and business that have been you know more challenging was i also jumped just assuming it would work and it may have worked but i went through a lot more than i should have because I didn't properly vet the situation.
Fair. And I've been through a couple of those scenarios myself.

[24:30] So I appreciate that we are kindred spirits in that.
Andrew, what have you read, watched, listened to, whether recently or maybe in the past that's really influenced you and inspired you in your career that you would recommend the audience of sales leaders check out as well?

[24:45] My favorite book ever, it's not a business book, it's called The Law of Attraction by Esmeralda Jones-Fix. I've bought and given out that book to more people than anything else.
The most recent book that I've read in the past year that's been extremely impactful of me right now is 10X is Easier than 2X by Stan Sullivan, which that thought process and mindset is just next level.
So The Law of Attraction, I've been giving that book out for 25 years.
And the new 10X, 10X, 2X, which I just recently read the past year.
I'm now that's that's my new favorite at the moment.
Very cool. And I love both of those books. We will link to those in the show notes.

[25:23] Andrew, last question for you. You've given us great ideas and insight already.
What is a closing thought, a final bit of wisdom or maybe something that you want to plug? The floor is yours.
Sure. You know, I think it's it's kind of all goes hand in hand.
Everybody's battling something, which is why, you know, we helped create Recovery Unplugged.
That we have our Recovery Unplugged online program that I was just talking about that could help people anywhere.

[25:47] But I think the parting wisdom is keep moving forward. And I believe that no matter who you are, what you're going through, what's going on right now, success is not permanent.
So make sure you understand that. And failure is definitely not permanent.
And because of that, I think people, especially young people, they think it's going to like everything's going to happen in a moment today.
It may not have happened yet.
I'm a living proof of keep moving forward and great things can happen.
There will be challenges along the way, but if you look at them as challenges, not problems, challenges are fun to overcome.
Very true. Andrew, what a great way to wrap this up. Thank you for being a guest on Full Funnel Freedom today. Appreciate it. Thank you.

[26:29] Sales leaders, that was a really cool interview for me. And when Andrew and I first met, I wasn't really sure how a conversation with him might relate to full funnel freedom.
And then as we were talking and he was sharing about how they work with doctors and they sell to governments and things like that.
And that's something that from my experience working with my clients around the world that sales leaders and sellers are really struggling with is how do we get in front of people who tell us that they have no time,

[27:00] even though we all make time for things that are important to us?
And how do we manage those long sales cycles where there's committees and people and maybe the people that we start talking to are going to change in four to six months or and we have to start from zero all over again.
And so a couple of things that I really took away from Andrew's conversation. Number one is.

[27:25] Understand, gather that information from buyers.
When are there major events on their calendar? And work into those events and around those events and get our sellers focused on, I'm not going to close the sale in the first two conversations.

[27:42] I've got to be focused on building a rapport with this buyer and supporting them and making their life easier and getting them to where they want to be.
As Andrew illustrated, they can connect with doctors because they understand what the doctor's self-interest is.
And when we can focus our sellers on how do we uncover and then illustrate to our buyer that working with us is going to get them to where they want to go personally, our buyers will make a ton of time for our sellers.
The other thing that I really appreciated Andrew sharing today is this idea of this 95-5, as he described it, where we're going into a new market or we're already in a market.
Who are those big five buyers or logos that we would really, really want to work with?
And as he even said it, they may not happen until the following year.
However, who are those 95 that we can get our sellers focused on that can make those choices within a much shorter sales cycle and allow us to continue to

[28:47] hit our growth goals and continue growing and scaling?
I'm really curious to hear what your takeaways were in comments on social media.
Until we connect on the next episode, go create Full Funnel Freedom.

[28:58] Thanks for listening to today's episode of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast.
You can continue to support us by leaving us a review and a rating, sharing this episode with a couple of sales leaders in your network who you care about.
I'd love to connect with you. I'm easy to find, Hamish Knox on LinkedIn. in.
Also, if you'd like a free 15 minute call with me, go to forward slash how to Sandler until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

[29:30] Music.