Ep 41 – How to combine philosophy and execution in sales – Ronnell Richards

Presentation of the episode

On the 41th episode of the Virtual Selling Podcast, our guest is Ronnell Richards, the founder of Business & Bourbon.

He present the importance of the philosophy in sales, and the best way to experience it.

About Ronnell Richards

To learn more about Ronnell Richards click on the links below :


With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normal is the new normal? We’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organization’s KPIs. Everything is evolving. In the virtual selling podcast we address these issues in depth twice a week with the experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales ops, and sales enablements of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared.
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Garbiel : Hi, everybody. I’m very happy to be with Ronnell Richards who is a real entrepreneur about 20 years with his parents being also entrepreneurs and about four company in the telecom tech and channel sales, but also now a new company or not so new. I think it’s about five years ago, you created Business & Bourbon.

Hi, Ronnell. Tell us what is Business & Bourbon because, it’s not two words that are used to be close to one each other.

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Ronnell : Well, Gabriel first, thank you for, for the invitation to join. Really appreciate that and always excited to talk about Business & Bourbon and people are usually excited to hear about it.

Gabriel : Yeah. Sure. So explain us what is it !

Ronnell : So, what we do at Business & Bourbon is we create experiences, we create content that really serves the entrepreneurs and sales leaders. And our focus is to help them to connect, help them to do better business through building better relationships.

And again, we do that through events and experiences that we create public events, private events, and also content. And, leveraging these virtual mediums like webinars as well to educate, inspire, and motivate entrepreneurs and sales leaders.

Gabriel : Great. And, is there burden sometime ?

Ronnell : There’s absolutely. So, you know, part of where Business & Bourbon started, it started out of a desire to share authentically, and create environments where people could share authentically and, it doesn’t hurt to bring a little true serum in the form of whiskey or bourbon to an experience to help people to relax and to really share their truth. So, in our in person experiences, we are always mixing whiskey tasting in there. It’s always part of our presentation and our virtual experiences. We find ways to mix it in as well. Again, it’s just a way that we believe helps to create that environment where people are comfortable and people are being in their authentic selves and they’re connecting with people they have high alignment with.

Gabriel : How do you taste a virtual bourbon ?

Ronnell : So, you know, one of the things that we do, or one of our experiences in the is virtual whiskey tasting experiences. And we actually will curate three delicious, beautiful whiskeys and put those in custom engraved wood boxes and ship those out to every participant.

So they can experience or we can all experience a whiskey together. I have multiple master tasters that are experts in whiskey that will hop onto, the platform and educate and inspire and talk about the whiskeys that we’re tasting. But then, you know, again, our focus is always business, right ?

It’s business first. So we will use the whiskeys to that experience to get a little excitement around, but then we’re gonna bring in speakers, we’re gonna bring in panelists, they’re gonna help to educate, motivate, and inspire.

Gabriel : There’s a way. And what is your fun fact ?

Ronnell : Oh, my fun fact. Here’s my fun fact. When you own a company called Business & Bourbon, everyone thinks that you are an expert on all things bourbon and whiskey. I am not. I am passionate. I believe to be expert level in business that is what drives me. It’s always business before bourbon. So it’s always about the business.

It’s not just about whiskey tasting. And yes, contrary to what a lot of people out there may think. I am not a whiskey expert. I enjoy it. I know more than the average person, but I’m not a geek for it.

Gabriel : Okay. Great. So I’m happy to be with the business expert and to talk business with you. You plan to release a book named « Shut the Hell Up and Sell ».

Ronnell : Yeah. I just love the way you say it. You make it sound way cooler than when I say it.

Gabriel : It’s my accent. I’m sorry.

Ronnell : Yes, the name of my book is Shut the Hell Up and Sell. And that will be released here, November of 22th.

Gabriel : That’s great. And, what is interesting in your book is that you put philosophy first. And before, the focus on tactical and execution, you really insist on philosophy.
So, what is the sales philosophy and how do you teach it or share it ?

Ronnell : What’s the best way to teach philosophy ? What we do and what I’ve done in my book, I have hired and trained hundreds of sellers in my own businesses. And then it’s serving as a fractural leader for other companies and a consultant for other companies.

I’ve been able to interact with so many more sellers. And one of the things that I learned and I’ve learned over just the course of my career is that I feel like sellers are missing the « why » of sells. Why we do what it is that we do. You know, we go to training. Whether it’s our company training, or we go to a back I’m dating myself, you go to a Zig Ziglar course or whatever.

And you’re told to do this, do X, Y, and Z. And that will result in R right. But sellers don’t really understand why we do it, why that stuff makes sense. And so what happens is when they go back to their office, they don’t really commit to doing those things. And so I believe that the missing component is the philosophy, understanding why we do those things and relating it back to people in ways that they can connect with and they can understand.

And so the best way I think to teach philosophy is through storytelling. So what we’ve done in the book is really created stories or taken stories from my career as a seller and sales leader and use those stories to educate people and tell them why I believe the things that I believe. Why these have become my truth and tell those stories in ways that they can identify with.

And so then the second part of our book is the tactical execution. So before we ever get to, « Hey, do this » and « do that », I want them to understand the philosophy that influenced, and it created that tactical instruction and execution that we’re handy, that we’re educating them on.

Gabriel : And so what is the answer to the « why » question ?

Ronnell : Well, it’s different for everything. So like, for me, when I say it’s different for everything, what I mean by that is there are different components of the sales process, right? So what we’re doing, what I’m doing in the book is breaking down each component of the sales process.

And so before we get to those components and teaching you what to do, I wanna tell you why I feel that way. So one of my tenants in sales and in business is to build advocates. And that sounds really cool, right ? Yeah. Build advocates.

Well, of course it makes sense. I wanna build an advocate, but what the heck is an advocate and why is it so important? So in the book, I tell a story from my own life where, when I started my career in how building an advocate or rather failing to build an advocate hurt me. And it was a story that anyone can identify with.

And so, where I say it’s different for everything, it’s different for everyone, because I’ve got a different story where we’re talking about 20 plus years career dating myself, 25 years of a career. So there, there’s along the way. There’s always been these great experiences that fortunately I have been smart enough or learned the hard way enough and decided to change my actions, to be able to learn from those stories. So I wanna share those stories so people can be ahead of the game, or it can reaffirm what it is that they’re doing. Sometimes we need that too,

Gabriel : Because the, the big why in, in most of the methodology is really to help your customer find the solution to their own pains, something like that. That’s the way, you are here to help your buyer find the right solution for them and to solve their problems.

Ronnell : I agree, but again, I think,the issue is that is such a broad thing. Just like where I said build advocates. Well, yeah, it makes sense. What you just said ?Ah, makes sense.

Right ? Yeah. But we really gotta break it down to where people can understand it on a micro level and they can understand the emotional impact. Because all these things sound great, theoretically, but until you can really identify with it, you know, in our pre show discussion, I gave you the example of a young child touching a hot stove.

Your mother can tell you 10 times don’t touch the hot stove. Don’t touch the hot stove, Ronnell, don’t touch the hot stove !!! And you know, she’s telling me not to do it. So I know I trust her so I know that’s bad, but I don’t really understand the impact of touching a hot stove until I touch it. Then when I touch it, Oh my God now I get it.

Oh, I feel that sensation in my fingertips and all. So that’s the difference between understanding philosophy and just getting instruction, right ? The philosophy is much more in much more intimate. So again, that’s why I tell stories that I feel that are impactful, that people can identify with so they can, they can get closer to that emotional impact.

Now they understand why they’re doing what they’re doing in sales and they can do it consistently and be successful and enjoy it.

Gabriel : Great. And if we want to have a look at your stories and stories that you share in your book, could you tell us about your story about building advocates ?

Ronnell : You want me to give up all the goods ? (laughter)

Gabriel : A smaller part.

Ronnell : I’m gonna wanna go to the book so, you know, I will share this one with you guys. Feel free, please, go to That’s where you can pre-order it. And you can buy it when it comes out.

So, my story of building advocates. And this has been, this is part of anyone that’s worked for me understands how much this is a part of who I am, because I’ve been preaching it forever. And it’s because I learned that lesson when I first got into sales, I learned that lesson, I think it was about 19 at the time. And I was in jewelry sells. And, this story’s actually in the book, but, I learned this lesson from a very successful older gentleman who came into the store that I was working at and needed to get some work done on a Rolex. And I failed him and through failing him, I learned the importance of an advocate.

See the thing about the jewelry world is that it’s never about just that one, that first sale. Gabriel, when you come into my, into my store and you come in and you wanna get married, you get fallen in, love you come in and say, Hey, I wanna get a ring. You come into my store and you buy that ring from me if I do it right.

That’s just the beginning, because if I do it right, and I build an advocate out of you. Guess what happens ? I get to see you six, seven times a year, that you’re coming to buy various things from me because you’re gonna come after that engagement ring, you’re gonna buy Valentine’s gifts from me, you’re gonna buy birthday gifts from me. You’re gonna buy anniversary because there’s so many different things.

And so, I had the benefit of learning these lessons, in specifically the advocate lesson, In that business and the retail jewelry business. And I’ve just believed in that, that has been part of how I’ve run my business and how I’ve, how I’ve trained my people ever since in corporate sales, because that is something that’s lacking in corporate sales.

We don’t do a great job of building advocates. We go in, we sell something, we make a whole bunch of promises and then we say, we give ’em the peace sign, « hand it over to somebody else ». « Good luck with that ». And we do that because that’s the system. However we don’t under what corporate sellers fail to understand is the impact of actually building an advocate out of that person.

How you get to keep going back to the, well, just like the example I gave in jewelry that doesn’t change in corporate sales. It’s exact same thing. You get to keep going back to the, well, not just in their current position at that current job for a lifetime, there are people that I can do business with today that I did business with the first time, 15, 16, 17 years ago in different lives.

They were in a different company. They were in a different industry, but because you’ve built that advocate relationship, you get to keep going back and guess what sellers, it makes it that much easier for you. It makes your job easier and it brings back the joy in sales.

Gabriel : So, it’s not about doing the job of the customer success manager. It’s really creating a bond with your customers that lasts forever.

Ronnell : Here’s the thing. I may ruffle some corporate feathers out there, but what I tell sellers is that at the end of the day, it’s your name on the line, bro. It’s you so like it’s you walked into my office, you made promises and you’re the one that I’m holding responsible for, for one. But number two, you also get, if you do things the right way, you’re the one that gets the benefit of it. Right ?

And so, what I tell sellers is, again, some of our corporate folks, don’t like to hear this, but it is what it is. I tell sellers, you’re the one that is most invested in that customer’s success. Why would you fully disengage ? Because at the end of the day, you’re not only you, the one that’s most invested in their success, but you have the most to gain.

So yes, in the corporate world, we have these various positions, customer success managers, and all those other things. But, and this is something we also talk about in the book as a seller, you want to make sure to never fully disengage from that customer because that relationship is something that you own.

And if you nurture that relationship, and you take care of it, man, they’re gonna be around forever again. They can keep going back to the well, and one of the things I talk about in a book is that it’s not about doing other people’s jobs for them, right ? It’s not about, I’m not saying that okay, now you are doing all the customer success folks job and the account manager’s up. No.

What I’m saying, is that be aware that relationship with the customer is something super valuable to you ? So you wanna make sure to not fully disengage, you wanna make sure that you’re always there for a resource as a resource for them, and you wanna make sure that you are helping to oversee all the other stuff that gets done, whether you’re paid for it or not.

Cause again, at the end of the day, you’re the one that’s going to benefit from it. You can choose to fully disengage, but know that you’re not gonna build an advocate that way. And the way that you make this sales job easier. And the way that you you get your joy back in selling is to build great relationships, build advocates for you, for yourself and your brand.

Gabriel : Yes, that’s great. And I can see that relationship is really at the heart of the way you see sales at Business & Bourbon through your books. And it’s in fact, your philosophy is really about creating relationships that last.

Ronnell : No doubt. Absolutely. I mean, at the end of the day, isn’t that what business is ? It’s no different than it’s no different than a personal relationship. However, oftentimes we look at it differently. If you want to enter into a relationship with someone and date them and get married and all this, what things would you do ? Why do we do it any, why do we look at a business relationship any differently ? Like you need to invest in their relationship, you invest in it. You nurture it and guess what happens ? Good things happen from that.

It’s not magic. It really isn’t. But, we get sellers get in that cycle of the hamster wheel. And let me tell you sellers, that hamster wheel, it will run you ragged.

And the hamster wheel I’m talking about is that new customer acquisition hamster wheel. Like just, oh, keep going, gotta find those new 15, gotta find those new 15 or new 10 or new five every month. And you know, Gabriel, when I sit down with a consulting client for the first time, I’ll sit down with a founder and executive and the conversation is usually always the same. They want to talk about strategies for finding new customers. And then I say, well, what are you doing with your old customers ? Because the fastest way to new business is old business. How are you nurturing those relationships with your existing customer ?

Like, if you build great relationships and nurture those relationships, sales gets way easier. Because there’s this magical thing that happens. Not only do they buy more and trust you with more, but they refer people to you. And guess what, when you are getting referrals from someone when someone trusts someone else, like saying that, you know, you’re you’re client a trust your customer who’s client B and client B says, Hey, look, Ronelle’s, Ronelle’s the guy, when it comes to this, guess what ? You don’t have to do sellers, you don’t have to do your whole dog and pony show. Like literally you skip the whole level. So what does that, what does that do ?

It makes sales easier for you because you’ve got past that piece. You can get to the nuts and bolts of it, right ? So you get past the thing that sellers hate the most, which is all the front end prospecting stuff. That’s what sellers dread the most, that front end prospecting the initial date, getting to know you thing.

And if you can get past that, wow, how transformational is that for your business ? And so that’s part of my philosophy. And that’s what I’m preaching and evangelizing. That sellers it’s in your best interest to build advocates for you and your brand. I don’t care if you’re gonna be at that company that you’re at for, you know, one month, two months, six months, six years.

It doesn’t matter. Each customer. Can be a potential advocate in someone that you can monetize for a lifetime, if you do it right.

Gabriel : Great. That’s a great conclusion and it was really pleasant to have you. What is the way for people to connect with you and maybe to build a relationship with you ?

Ronnell : Well, Gabriel, I’ll try to be, I try to be everywhere. So if all else spells, if you Google my name Ronelle Richards, more Business & Bourbon, you’re gonna find us, but you can also go to my website You can reach me through that. You can go to business& You can reach us through that. You can go to Shutthehell and reach us through there. You go to LinkedIn, you can find a carrier pigeon and attach a message to them. However, we try to be everywhere. So, please feel free to reach out on all social media platforms. Again, LinkedIn, Instagram, is where you can find me on Instagram. I don’t really play too much on Twitter. But we try to be everywhere.

Gabriel : Great. And last question. What did you think about, that you tested just before ?

Ronnell : So, you know, here’s what I think. I love tools to help sellers be more, intentional and to be organized. And so I, I like what you’re doing with Salesdeck from that perspective, so that they go in prepared, organized, and it gives them structure to what it is they’re doing love that.

I’ll go back to how we started this conversation. And, I feel like I want sellers to think about as it relates to your tool, which is a great tool than any other sales tool out there, the philosophy behind how we’re using this stuff. So when you understand the philosophy, why I’m doing it, what the impact is, I think it can be a super powerful tool to help sellers be more success.

Gabriel : Thanks a lot Ronnell. This episode of the virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. Join us twice a week for a new episode, with new stories and challenges of giants in the field. If you enjoyed today’s episode, we are always listening for your feedback. Share the show and pride on your favorite podcast platform.

So you don’t miss any it that this episode was brought to you by, the virtual selling platform that increase your sales team efficiency and sales readiness, enable remote management and long sales operational excellence. Book your demo today to discover, how you can close model with engaging and better prep customer meetings.

Thanks a lot Ronnell. It was really great.

Thank you.


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