“Uneducated”, “Stupid”, “You have no real education” are just some of the comments Dale Dupree has had thrown at him because he was homeschooled and doesn’t have a degree. He’s the founder of the sales coaching and training firm Sales Rebellion. He credits his mom for instilling the learning mindset into him and his siblings. As a homeschooler, he was constantly learning. His story proves that “educated” goes way beyond a degree, it’s a state of mind. Listen as he talks about the ups and downs of his music career, eventually settling to working with his father. He developed his sales skills and a unique approach that set him apart from other salespeople. He became known as a copier warrior and utilize unique strategies that won the hearts of clients. Eventually, he combined all of it to start The Sales Rebellion. He shares how he progressed through his career and the values and lessons that make him who he is today.
If you’re a salesperson looking to cut through the noise and stand out among your colleagues, you might want to get in touch with Dale Dupree at The Sales Rebellion. His firm offers sales coaching, training and much more for you or your team.
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Jonaed: Welcome to the 23rd episode of the No Degree podcast. This is your host, Jonaed Iqbal and today’s guest is Dale Dupree, the Founder and Leader of The Sales Rebellion, a sales training and coaching firm. Dale has a passion for music and got to start playing in a band. There were ups and downs, but eventually he settled and started his career in sales. Taking lessons from his father, Dale developed his sales skills and developed a unique approach that set him apart from other salespeople. He became known as a Copier Warrior and utilized unique strategies that won the hearts of clients. Eventually, he combined all of it to start the sales rebelling. Learn how Dale progressed through his career and the values and lessons that make him who he is today.
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Jonaed: Welcome to another episode of the No Degree podcast, and today I have the leader of the Sales Rebellion, Dale Dupree and I’ll let him introduce himself.
Dale: What's up dudes? Dale Dupree here, all those that are listening and or watching, right? People are going to see me too.
Jonaed: No, no videos.
Dale: Oh, man, that stinks because I have this really cool background right now, with my Maserati in it and all the things I'm known for. But anyway, Dale Dupree, Sales Rebellion. My company is a sales training and coaching firm globally located right here in Orlando, Florida, and if you say Mickey mouse. I'm going to hang up on this call.
Jonaed: I'm not going to mention that. Can you tell us more about your firm?
Dale: I got into the B2B world a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, 2007, and I started selling copy machines. I developed a personal brand while I was doing that, The Copier Warrior. I found a new way to sell an outlet, for myself, essentially to be creative, humorous, my true authentic form essentially inside of my sales walk and kind of unlocked my own little life facts for being happy inside of work. Whereas I think most of the people that I was around, and the circles that I had at that time, especially, were just miserable and everybody was kind of trying to figure out what they were going to do and who they weren't going to be in. College was just ending for most of my friends. They had no jobs and $50,000 in debt. I sat back and just realized that we take advantage of most of what's put in front of us, and that sales is actually a role that is extremely simple, but we make it very difficult in the first place. We set these high expectations, have these crazy assumptions as well about what we're supposed to do, what we can achieve, what we can't achieve, and because we built it up as such a falsity inside of our mind, we ended up failing.
I exist and the Sales Rebellion exists in order to bring light to a lot of these subjects. Mental health is a big one for us over here. The power of basic communication and human psychology is a big one for us over here as well too, but also just kind of splitting the narrative and sales altogether in regards to the way that people approach the market from a cold calling perspective, from an inbound lead perspective. However, you look at it because what most people do in sales sucks. I stand behind that, and I'll argue with anybody that wants to put up their dukes on that with love though, obviously, because the big thing that we also believe is that nobody's wrong about how they look at sales. You can make tons of sales going and selling like one of the big gurus, taught you for his course for $9.99, but does it bring you fulfillment? Does it bring your prospect fulfillment? Does it bring your client the value, the impact and what you truly desire and that they deserve?
Jonaed: Wow, thank you. You really make sales, you just take it to a whole different level. You make it so genuine because so much of sales is this wrapped up BS that a lot of people try to portray and these sales courses that teach you techniques. But they sort of remove the human element. So, let's take it back. When you were in high school, what did you want to be?
Dale: I definitely didn't want to be a copier salesman. I don't think anybody wakes up and says, at that age, especially, I’ll be an attorney or I'm going to be as Supreme -- Well, you know what, actually, I shouldn't say that because I think that at a young age you can dream to be a Supreme Court Justice, for sure, because that's kind of prestigious. But take it down a notch, like I want to be a pest control person, you know, that just doesn't happen. But what I realized is that I’m an extremely creative and adventurous person in high school. Picking a profession really didn't have anything to do with that part of my life. That part still exists. It's not like I shut that door, my picking a profession. So, in high school, particularly, I was dreaming to become a rockstar. I was chasing that dream too. I was playing in a band locally, going up to the local church and saying, “Hey, can we put on a show here and have all of our friends come out and, you know mash and the pews, you know, praise the Lord?”
It was good times, and we did that. We gained a following through it and we started to get some traction. We realized that we had the desire and that the longing to become professional musicians, and then we had a good core group of people. By the time I was 17, which was one year before I graduated, I was a late bloomer. My birthday's in September so I get a different graduation date than all the other cool kids. But, because of that, I was still at home doing school, but we went and recorded our first album. We recorded it with Jeremy Staska, who actually did New Found Glory, Marilyn Manson, some pretty big bands. We used that as kind of our resume to go get on a record label. What we did is we did a 52-day tour right around the time I graduated and just a little bit after, and we had no guarantees, every night was like, “Hey, can we just play the show?” And “You don't have to pay us or anything.” And so we did. You get a hundred bucks here and a hundred bucks there, but we hustled.
Every show we were hustling, we were out slinging merch, selling that CD and sometimes just giving it away to other bands that we met and getting them to start talking about us. By the time that we were done with the tour, we had 17 record labels offering us contracts. My life started, like in high school, my work life “started” as an entrepreneur. It’s really what I was. I was a salesperson really, truly, because every night it was a new group of strange people that I was trying to get to buy into my business, my music, who I was, what we believed in, what we wanted to achieve that night and what we wanted for the long term of what it was that imperial stood for my band. So, that was me in high school.
Jonaed: Wow. Did you do anything else? Like anything else entrepreneurial in high school other than the music?
Dale: No, I don't have any other cool stuff. I don't have anything. I have ideas. I had ideas but for the most part, I wanted to make music my thing. Sure, I had all kinds of crazy ideas with my friends, and if I would just say to myself at 34 years old, out loud, I would have slapped myself. Kind of like you're an idiot, but I loved to dream, I think, more than anything and that was my big motivator was to be able to look deep inside myself and say, “I enjoy this idea of chasing things that cannot be accomplished or achieved in the first place.” And saying, “Who cares if that's how people feel about these things because I want them?”
So, the ability against it to just sit back and say, “It doesn't have to be status quo. It doesn't have to be what people tell me I can and can't do. It just has to be what I put my mind to in the first place and to go and take it for myself, because nobody cares as much as you.” Those are the lessons that I learned as a young entrepreneur. But my entrepreneurial life ended when I left the band and got back into the B2B world, because I had done B2B with my dad over the summer, kind of thing. My dad would let me go and do a couple sales calls with him and do some dials on the phone. It was his small business.
He was very flexible and allowing us to ruin his reputation, but we did a good job at keeping it intact for the most part. We would hang the phone up and then start cussing instead while we were still on the phone. But I ended up coming back, getting married about five, six years of doing, touring in my band. Then I came back, I got married. I started working at my dad's company and then four years later we got acquired. The thing is, like what you're asking, “What did you think you were going to do? What you're doing when you're in high school?” Not only did I nap and I had no idea what was in store for me. No idea.
The things that were going to take place and put me into the success that I ended up earning and gaining. What I don't usually tell people is that when I was back and I shouldn't say I don't usually tell it, I just don't tell this part of my story. I've never really asked it, but when I was back home in between touring, I worked gig economy jobs. I would do landscaping or I would go work at a coffee shop. I did that just because I was a hustler. I just needed money. I wanted money. It was that mentality of, I want to have a savings account. I want to have something that I can go and pull from and invest back into myself at some point to be able to enjoy my life and have fun using what money provides from that perspective.
It wasn't until I got a little bit older to realize that the money has to be relevant, right? Like the things we spend it on, I should say is irrelevant to the success that we want. So, a lot of the time, the money that I was getting was being spent on $18 at McDonald's instead of $4 at McDonald's. But I got out of that habitual mindset of ruining my life pretty quickly from all angles of the way that I described that, you know, stewardship of my funds. Stewardship of my body and my health as well, too. So, I think in my high school years leading into my first job at what I really learned was a lot about myself and who Dale truly could be and would be today.
Jonaed: Let’s go into your music career five, six years. What's the life of a musician, touring and all that?
Dale: It's insane. It's exactly what people say when they quote the rockstar life, booze, drugs, sex, it's all there for you for the taking and it's up to you as to whether or not you're going to participate. Being a part of that status quo and choose mediocrity and your habits and the things that you allow to become, what it is that you chase even, and not your true passions, or if you'll stay motivated, addicted to the impact that you're having on people and creating in the environment that you have put together in regards to your music, in regards to your message.
Even the aesthetics, the brand, all these things are so important. A lot of times, you can tell this band’s a stoner band by just looking at the way that they design their album art is a real life. The music life was insane. I have some of the craziest stories, but people probably have way crazier stories than me too. But at the same time, we went big. Every night we went big, we would purposefully do things that would cause attention when we were on stage. We were known as the wildest live act you ever saw. Then people came from miles around just to watch us go nuts, and the thing was is that you would have to unfortunately participate, sometimes do if you were too close. It was fun though.
We had a blast. We made every night, it was experiential for the people that were coming. I thrived off that. I loved meeting strangers. My favorite story is Evansville, Kentucky. We played in a pizza shop that they closed down and reopened for the show kind of thing. The night was done and they reopened it and they moved all the chairs and everything out of the way, and there were eight kids that showed up to this show. Eight kids, but this is who we were, we couldn’t care less. We unloaded our stuff, put it all up and said, y'all ready to kill it. For eight kids, we played our hearts out. The next time we came to town, there were 80 kids and the next time we came into town, there was hundreds of kids.
This became our second home. We became friends with a couple of dozen of them, 20, 25 of them. I can still tell you their names. They're still on my prayer list, before I go to bed at night, you know, kind of thing. They became my family. I love the connection that we made with people throughout the process, but also there's a lot of turmoil and drama, and that can happen as well too internally. Technically, I was kicked out of the band at one point, but the band collapsed in the midst of me getting kicked out of it. It collapsed and then I was asked to come back and fix it which just really funny. But I was out of the band for two months and it was by their actions and mine as well.
It was kind of a mutual thing at the end of the day. A lot of false finger pointing and things that people were saying to ruin who I was, to some extent, I don't know why, but people suck. That's all there was to it and understanding that people suck and loving them regardless is a big lesson that I learned through that time of my life. Music was my passion though, too and it still remains like I'm driven by it still. So, a lot of the aesthetics of the Sales Rebellion even, and the things that we do, like we have a Sales Rebellion playlist on Spotify and it's inspired by the people we coach. The time that Jeff and I spent writing our first book together, just lots of things that are meaningful and impactful to us that are beyond just like, this is a good beat, let's throw it on here. Things that actually cause the heart and the soul and the mind to be impacted and to be moved throughout it because we believe in that process in sales as well too.
Jonaed: You mentioned obviously that music is definitely like an up and down life, you have the highs and the lows. What advice would you have for people planning that career? What would you say to maximize it, to avoid the trouble, to increase longevity and also to make it so that when they do exit that they're not starting all the way from the bottom?
Dale: If you're a successful person from the moment that you decide that you want to be successful, no one can take that from you. You could be somebody that worked at this company and help them build this massive sales entity and took them from 8 million to 25 million, and then, left. Success will always follow you if you want it to in the first place. So many people tend to say there was this time in the season of my life, when I was successful. Stop lying to yourself about those types of this negative perception on yourself. I've talked to so many people too that are like, “Yes, I ran three businesses into the ground and then started working for somebody else again.” I hate it when people say that stuff because I always say, well, what business.
I listened to the stories. When they get to the end and say, “Yes, but then this happened and so we collapsed.” I would say, “Well, that's great learning. Sounds like you learned a lot, like you're in the place that you're in now because of those decisions and those successes, because failure to me is just learning.” That's all it is. People shackled themselves to that failure. They shackle themselves right to it and go, “Nope, I can't ever do that again. It wasn't any form of success. It was nothing but failure. I suck and I'm going to go work for somebody else.” But they failed to understand that and sit back and realize that it's destiny is what it is and it's choice more than anything.
Jonaed: Why did you end up leaving the music? When did you realize like, “Hey, my time is sort of coming to an end?”
Dale: I tried to keep it going, but it started to come to an end when I decided that I did want to marry my wife, the lady I fell in love with at a young age. Then I wanted to be more committed to her and I wanted to be around her. She stuck with me through all the drama, all the crazy stuff that I went through. Everything. She stuck with me throughout the whole entire process. We didn't break up or anything. She is my rock. She's my best friend and I said why not reward her as well with my actions and attitude, because it's not all about you.
There's a comment on my LinkedIn right now, one of my posts about where somebody says, “I disagree with you because they said people only care about themselves.” And then they said, “Even you.” It's amazing to me. All of you listening don't point fingers ever at anybody about what you believe or what you think or what your opinion is because it takes that person that you're pointing that finger at to have your own awakening, realization and success in the first place. So, I'm sending back and saying, “Well, she's probably okay with me, literally traveling all my life.” I started to sit back and say, what would make her happy and how can I accommodate that while still having my own success and my own happiness as well too, making the proper sacrifices while still taking the right amount of risks.
Right now we're taking a massive risk. We're a year into this organization and we're doing well. We're growing, we're hiring, we're expanding, but I've never run a business before, technically, until this. I've always worked for somebody else. I've consulted people and starting and running their businesses. I've been in the food industry for two and a half years at this point, operating and running a food truck silently from the back end. I've never been at the forefront and been a CEO. So, there's a massive risk in that and it's the same risk that I took staying on the road and touring with my band except the concept of how much time I can spend with my family. That's the big piece of the puzzle. So, that question was kind of the answer to why I should stay in the band or not, but I still chased music. Even though I left the band, I still chased music. I still played and we played locally and we recorded music albums. We were on Warner brothers.
We had the options, we had the availability to tap into things, but then my best friend, one of the founding members, he was shooting up heroin and nobody knew. I had to make a solid choice for him at the end of that, which was, I can't do this without him and he definitely can't do this anymore. No, this is not conducive to his health. That was kind of the crash and burn moment at the end of the day, but I felt good about it because the choices we made affected his life and they took it to a better place. Just like the choice I made originally to stop touring as much, and to kind of take a back seat because I still toured every now and then. But my decision to do that was based around the health and wellness of someone else, my wife, my girlfriend that I wanted to marry and became my wife.
Jonaed: Wow. That's powerful. You left music and then you went to work for your father, right?
Dale: Yes. I left music and I would write to work for my father.
Jonaed: How was that? Because you went from different lifestyle. Now it's a little more structured. How did that go in the beginning?
Dale: It was insane. I spent two years sucking at sales, and I spent two years at sucking at everything. I sucked at my marriage. I sucked at being a friend. I sucked at my job because it was such a hardcore transition. I got it together over the course of those two years, but it wasn't easy. I had my little miniature moments of success, but I worked two other jobs. So, I had full time with my dad and then after that, I would go and bar back at a bar that my mother-in-law owned. Then I would go and I would work weddings on the weekend and I would bartend there. I wasn't even a certified bartender. I just got into that, like got into that space because I was a hard worker. I was helpful and I understood how to be aware of others more than anything else and aware of their livelihood and their satisfaction.
I think that's what made me a good salesperson overall. At the end of the day, it was my ability not to be selfish constantly because salespeople are selfish, they truly are. Most of them, I shouldn't say all of them, but if we sat back and analyze ourselves a little bit harder, we would admit it and I had to admit it at one point, a couple of years into my failures of being a crappy salesperson. I had to say, well, this is why, because I'm over here in these places where I serve, where I truly serve people in the service realms. I am Dale and I'm myself and over here in the copier world, I'm pretending to be something I'm not. As I slowly started to drip away from that weird meat suit that I put on and pretended to be Dale with, I started to find my success.
Jonaed: What would you say -- you got better after two years, and you realize all those things. Was there a month that you just started getting it or you slowly started getting better?
Dale: It was a slow roll, as someone say. It took a long time for sure. But the success came like a freight train when I found it faster than you can imagine and harder heading than you could ever have thought. I'll never forget when we started the game, the success. We started to see the numbers and my dad wrote me a letter and I still have it to this day. He talked about what I have done for the company.I remember feeling pride in that. I remember feeling worth and fulfillment in that, and I just remember being on a whole other level altogether and thinking, wow, all of this was worth it, leaving my passion, walking away from my dream, coming home, working for my dad. You have to be humble to do that to an extent.
Because my dad and I, we were best friends, but I'll tell you right now that I was never going to work for my dad. Just like I was never going to buy his house. He offered me a house more times than I can count, and then when he died, I bought it. Never say never, anybody that's listening to this ever. Say not right now. That's what you should be saying. Not right now, but never say never. The whole journey was intense at the end of the day, the whole journey was extremely intense. But even when the success got there, this is the thing that most people start to say. We made it fam and they chill. I was like, what's next? What's on the other side of this wall? What's over here? What's over there? I was an explorer. I was adventurous. As creative with my success, I pursued it. I didn't just allow it to kind of happen and come to me and go, damn, I got lucky. I knew that it was intentional action that was creating these things.
My dad, he got to a point where, because of what we were doing with the business, the ability to sell the company, and I agreed to it. He told me that I could run it, but I knew that I just couldn't and I don't regret that people ask, “Do you regret that?” No. I would have literally crashed that company to the ground. I never would have known how to be a CEO. I was really good at sales. I was not a CEO at that time in my life, and I was not ready for it, whatsoever. So, selling was the best thing that ever happened to us, but he got diagnosed with cancer and shortly after we sold the business, having somebody else run it from that perspective as well too, because he wouldn't have been able to consult me.
I would have just kind of had to run this stuff by myself. It was a blessing in disguise that the way that he sold it, with everything that's slowly started to happen, there was that destiny concept. But after he sold the business, we had dug ourselves out of debt. Everything was freaking great at that point. I was making about the equivalent of about $60,000 a year though. Now, one thing to keep in mind here, when you hear that number, because you're thinking like, “I thought you said you had a lot of success in those couple of years.” We were riding a ton of business. I was riding a million dollars in revenue, but we were $650,000 and the whole from 2008 and the economic collapsed.
We were literally trying to climb out from under that and the debt accrued and piled up. There were times when you would use the gas card to eat dinner. Get hot dogs from inside because everything else was maxed out. There was no money. It was this bigger picture perspective of life that I was living during those times. I was getting to understand what success looked like in the midst of pulling out of the dirt, of the mud, like deep into that stuff, the nastiest mud you've ever been in. So, I appreciated my success a lot more, but when he sold the business, the first commission check I got with the new organization because my numbers were so good, my dad just never could pay me straight commission. He could just give me a little bit of money here and there, on top of what I made.
My first commission check, I had my phone, I sat there with my phone and I was waiting for my wife to text me because I saw it hit the bank and she would always check the bank on that day and that morning. I had seen it hit and I had my cell phone and I just waited for her to text me. She texted me and she said, this is rated R for all of you that are listening and you're not putting the thing on mute right now, if you don't want to hear me say this, but she said, “Holy shit, this is real.” Because I had promised her from the beginning, that one day with all this hard work, it would pay off. I promised her that. I promised her always that one day, the financial side of this will start to come to fruition.
That check was $21,000. That was my first commission check with them. I'm telling you right now that I never looked back. But that was a very consistent number for me and it got bigger and bigger and more consistent. I went to the next level real fast and I spent five years as a rep, the number one rep for the firm crushing it. Eventually, I became the VP of sales for that firm that acquired my father as well too.
Jonaed: Do you mind sharing the story because I know you guys got into debt in a way? But it was sort of getting into that. That really taught you a lot about the values of your father and it instilled a lot of the sales things that you still use to this day. Do you mind talking about that?
Dale: One of the things that I learned in that time was the opportunities that are given to us that sometimes we don't even see in order to impact other people and change the way that they look at life, their perceptions, and also their outcomes as well too. Imagine that you're just doing a transaction with this person and so you don't really get to see much, but behind the scenes, they have a broken home. They have a problem with alcohol. There's all kinds of things that are on the table and here's a person in front of them that's setting an example of hope in the smallest way. Let me tell you what that way was that some of the customers that we had during that time that said, “We can't pay our bill.” My dad would say, “I'll tell you what, we'll leave the copier there. You don't need to pay the bill until you can pay it. We'll do everything we can to be able to support you, but we won't pick up the machine. So, if you need toner and things like that, we might not be able to afford it either, just depending on like what you haven't paid for. But we're not going to stress you over it. We're not going to treat you poorly. We're in this together as a community. We're going to try to get out together as a community.”
Imagine that you're on the other side of that in the midst of all the struggles and things that you're going on in your personal life, the thing that we forget about from eight to five. That happens to you in the midst of your business struggles and my dad impacted people in a way that I know they will never forget until the day that they've gone from this earth. They can't remember anymore anyway, because they're not alive. That's a powerful statement to think about, the concept of when you're sitting around and thinking about what a life and my dad pops into your head and the things that he'd done for you.
Wow. That's a crazy thought. But I'm going to tell you the reality of that is in 2010. As we were trying to get out of the swine flu pandemic after going through the recession, the recession lingered for us for a little while, but not 2010. We saw it starting to see the fruit and we started to see it because we started to innovate, which was a lot of fun. I actually started creating my rebel letter campaign that you can go to Crumpled Letter document and find those are ideas that I created way back in the day that I used and it was because of a pandemic and because I decided I wasn't going to participate, basically just like we haven't participated in this one. We've been setting records and doing just fine. I'm not saying that to brag. It kind of sucks to say that knowing what some people are going through, but we're using the success to be able to provide back to our communities because we're grateful. We're not sitting around pocketing it. We're not firing people.
We're not saving for the next one. We're spending it actually on people that need it, the people that are trying to keep their doors open a little extra work here, a little extra work there. My dad taught me these things because in those moments of understanding that we needed to innovate back in 2009 and 2010. As we were trying to get out of the recession, going into a pandemic, my dad said, “Well, we could give up and we could just kind of like let things lie or we can push.” So, I was motivated to do that because I started to see the success. I created a lot of these creative drops, six foot cardboard cutouts of myself, empty donut boxes, the rebel letter campaign, which is called the Crumpled Letter, all of the concepts that I've created, that we now teach people the mindset behind it and sell.
It came from the innovation of my father's ability to be able to serve because what I realized was that if I could give you an experience like you've never had in your life, if I could drop off a little foam squeeze stress ball that looks like a brick and tell you it's for your copier and then give you a cartoon pamphlet that shows you how to throw that brick at the copier to make your life better when it's jamming and giving you problems. The person that I'm doing that to is going to have fulfillment. They're going to feel loved. They're going to feel humor in that moment. They're going to feel the stress slip just enough in order to be thankful for what I just did. As opposed to, if I call and say, “Hey, can I speak to your boss? I'm trying to sell him something.” Big picture perspective, right? But my dad taught me that mindset of a servant leader so I carried it out in all my actions.
Jonaed: So, you were the VP of sales. Why did you leave and what was the next step after that?
Dale: My dad died in 2016. He died of cancer and I got the promotion about the same time, and I actually got the largest deal of my life as well, too, in that moment, or in that timeframe. It was like, everything was going so good for me in the midst of the worst time of my life. It was really tough. Emotionally, I collapsed, which caused my physical state to collapse as well, too, to an extent. I still was extremely successful that year or like the best year ever. I was the VP on top of my specific numbers that I wrote for myself as well. So, it was like twofold success. But I woke up the next year and started to realize a lot of the things that went on in those four walls, I didn't agree with that. A lot of the people that were there, even though there were some amazing people that I'll never forget, Pat Waters, Chris Geyser, Steve Clapp, Kyle Milstein, Rich Johnson, my mentor.
Yes, there were also people in there that treated me like garbage. There were people in there that were doing things behind the scenes and that some people couldn't see and there were loyalties that lie and between departments. You couldn't get past the politics. I was sick of it and with my dad passing and kind of feeling tormented by that, there was really nothing left for me at that organization because the legacy of my father wasn't with the company we sold to. It was in him and it was in our branch. When I left, I don't know if they just did this, because they wanted to do appease me.
But when I left, they closed the branch and they moved the one that my dad liked, the building that my dad and I had worked in for so long. I was like, bye. Like they could have cared less. So, I felt those things, like leading up to that, even I felt those things. The culture started to suck and I walked because as a millennial and I think most millennials that listen to your show will feel the same way that and Gen Zers, the culture is important. Typically it's been treated poorly over the years. But that it's important, and then it's time to start to revolutionize that thought process and bring it back.
Jonaed: So, you left. What came next?
Dale: Yes, I left and I spent 90 days failing and then after those 90 days, I felt like total failure after that. I wasn't sure what to do. I basically sought out some mentorship from some close friends. James Carberry from Sweet Fish Media was one of them. I got some advice from family members, people in my life that were important to me. People basically said, well, you got this weird thing going on in LinkedIn, and this was back in 2017. They said, “You've got this weird thing. You got people liking and commenting on your posts. You're in my feed every day when you are posting.” Because I wasn't posting daily at the time. But they said, “You're in my feed. You're the only thing I know on LinkedIn.”
“Why don't you say that you need a job?” And so I did. I said the Copier Warrior is looking for his next adventure. Before you know it, I had more interviews than I can count. I did 47 of them before I called it off. It was all over the course of a couple of weeks that I did that. I was doing five a day. It was stupid. I didn't have a strategy and I just wanted to see. So, I just said yes. When people would say, “Hey, would you interview with me?” Yes. And then they'd say, “Hey, will you send me a resume?” I'd say, “No.” I was confident in that because I had hundreds of people message me.
So, in my mind, I was like, if you say no then I know you're not the right fit because someone else in here might say yes and there'll be the right fit. I gambled. I landed at a place called Zeno Office Solutions. I went there for the leadership, Keith [Phonetic]. I was attracted to his reputation, even though his reputation sucked, but externally it was great.
Between the two of us, we clicked and he knew his mistakes and he was very vocal about them. He was very transparent with me, very honest with me about what was going on. I felt super comfortable with him. I ended up pulling the trigger with that organization for that reason alone. Not for any other reason, but him.
Because I committed to him, I committed to his people and I put all my effort into the people that he added that organization to try to make them better. We built a fun team. It was a very young team. It was a very fun team, too. We were called the Net New Kids On The Block because we themed our team name around the New Kids On The Block and something that the copier world calls Net-New Business, which is anytime that you bring in a sale from somebody that's never had a transaction with you before. We wanted to be the team that did the most of that because that's what I was known for in the copier world. The five years, six years that I was a rep, that's what I did. I wrote over 60 net-new accounts a year and the average is tiny compared to that. So, I had something different than most people, just didn't have in general. I wanted to live that out through a team, but unfortunately the guy went to work for it, they sacked him within two or three months of me being there.
So, I had to work under somebody that I didn't sign up for who candidly have no problem expressing and treated me like garbage, not to my face necessarily, even though there were some times to my face for sure. But he had people spying on me and maybe there was more than just him. Maybe it was other leaders of the organization. But the people that I would go to try and talk about these things would basically tell me that they weren't interested in helping. I did a bang up job at that location. We created a culture, the branch had its best year and it was the up and coming next thing.
Then I quit at the end of that year. I spent about a year and four or five months with them and then I was gone just like that. But again, it came down to culture, the way people were treating me, what was happening and this is the biggest reason when I started the Sales Rebellion, because I sat back and said, it's crazy that people do this. They don't have to. They don't have to be so focused on their $250,000 salary and their big fat commission overrides that get them up to that seven figure mark with all these transactions, because that's all they're focused on. How many times can we hit the cash register? They don't care about the people. They don't care about the relationships with the clients internally.
I realized that most companies share that belief from a leadership standpoint because it wasn't just my orgs that were doing that, that we're treating people that way, and we’re very blind at the top. It was everybody. I was having lunches, dinners and virtual coffees with people all over the world all of a sudden, because the Copier Warrior took to the LinkedIn streets and became a Content King as people like to say back in the day when we first started. I had amassed a huge following. I was asking other top reps, “Well, what is it like it here in the office?” And starting to realize we all feel this way. So, I started the Sales Rebellion to be vocal about it like this, and to let other people know that there's a training org, coaching and training org that works more like sales therapy in some cases that has your back. We get it and we'll help you be successful in the midst of all the turmoil that you're experiencing or to help you find a new job, one of the other
Jonaed: That's cool. Before you said years early, you weren't ready to be a CEO. Why do you feel you're ready at this point?
Dale: Super transparent here. I didn't necessarily feel I was ready at that point, by any means, but what I was ready to do was to lead. I had already been a leader. I knew what to do, how to do it, and I was ready for more. I was ready to lead the masses. I was ready to become a shepherd, not just a really good salesperson and not just a really good VP of sales. I wanted to serve to a higher capacity. I realized that the only thing I was serving was my local community, but I had a bigger one that I was developing that was growing around me. I knew that it was going to be a risk and that I was going to have to learn a lot. I'm still learning a lot, but I knew it was time. Quite frankly, I'm a spiritual person and through prayer, it was revealed to me. You're going to have to get uncomfortable to be in comfort is to live in stagnation, is to live in mediocrity.
Even if you are making half a million dollars a year, if you're comfortable, you're not challenging yourself. You're not growing, you're not learning. At some point, those things will catch up to you. So, I said, alright, and I left all my safety, my six figure salary, all the things that I knew, because I'd done nothing but sold copiers up until that point, and I walked. But the thing is, I've been prepared. I've been using my aptitude and learning other people's products and how they sold them for years. I realized it as I started to get deeper into a sales community outside of copiers. When I started to talk to telecommunications people, the financial advisors, when I started to get into other industries, I started to question, “Why do you do it this way?” Because this is the way that it's always been done. We'll try this and this and tell me what happens. I got the appointment. I got the sale. I started to realize that if I would put my mind to it and if I would sit back and take the time to learn other industries, I can serve them. I'm good at learning.
I'm homeschooled. My mom homeschooled me and all my siblings and homeschoolers are not Mormon cults that do nothing and don't watch movies, right? That's not the truth. What we do is we do school all the time. We learn constantly. My mother raised warriors that were very, very educated to go out into the world and succeed. From that mindset, one of the things that she taught me, I should say, it was what aptitude was, how important it was and the ability to also understand that you can do it if you want. I might not have all the certifications and all the bullshit that people get in those industries that I serve in order to learn the product better and to be told that they're a master at it, but I bet I know it better than most of them. Because I put in the work and because I believed in street smarts more than I did in degrees and accolades.
Jonaed: How would you say the sales industry has changed over time? A lot of technology has really changed the way a lot of things are done. What changes have you seen?
Dale: You’re not going to like this answer. I don't think most of them will like it. It hasn't changed. It's still the same bullshit that has been since the 1970s. Not enough people say that. Yes, the phone is important and yes, it will definitely get you sales, but listen, I didn't use it as frequently as people go out and preach. I wrote more business than all of the ones doing that. It's not because I got lucky or I'm different. It's because I tapped into the basics behind communication, behind people, behind my authenticity. I stopped looking at negotiations and started saying, “Why don't I participate in fellowship with these people?”
I stopped saying my product was the only thing that mattered and started focusing on people. I stopped sitting back and saying, the commission check is what I'm chasing. I started looking at culture and community. I started to change my mindset and the landscape of the way that I looked at sales. It all fell into place alongside the fulfillment that I have, and that I had throughout my career.
Jonaed: It's been a little over a year since you've done the Sales Rebellion. What are some successes and what are some failures over that year?
Dale: I'd say that the failures have been awesome because they were accounts essentially, a couple of clients that we gave too much and we dug too deep into without reward or with tons of false negative perceptions on their parts, basically finger-pointing and not on performance, just in general, just stupid shit, for lack of a better way to say it. We realized that, okay, like we do want to serve and give every single piece of who we are, but they also have to give every single piece of who they are back to us. So, we started to find people that were true to themselves. We started to find students that really wanted to challenge who they were and not make excuses about why they couldn't “afford” training anymore or needed to move on to something else. Because most of those times when people said that I just kind of laughed at myself and that.
Just tell me the truth and then tell yourself the truth. You're afraid to work this hard. You're afraid to try these things. You're afraid to choose this concept of legacy over what it is that your quota tells you that you have to do. Because people are so timid and afraid of the unknown, we found quickly that we needed to communicate that differently and more effectively for people. Because a lot of times people can hear our message and say, that's what I want, but maybe it's not what they need. So, we got a little bit pickier about those types of things. We found our stride and we went from a low six figure intake to a high six figure and say at this point we're shooting for a million this year and it'll be our second year.
We're shooting for a million, we're shooting for the stars, but we're going to get close. We're going to get real close. I'm going to tell you that right now, that will be a massive increase because we only did 200,000 in our first year. I was the only person selling as well, too. I'm charging a range anywhere from $250 for one time coaching session, all the way up to $1,200 a month for a six month commitment for individual contributors. Companies can pay anywhere between $2,500 and $20,000. It was like finding our cherry spots and going out and using our LinkedIn network and being able to find the quality that we desired and that we wanted. At this point, we've had two record months over the last two months.
So, in the last two months, in a worst time in the United States and the world, in most cases, because of this pandemic and for the economy, when it comes to people being able to spend money or be normal inside of an economic standing, we have been thriving. I believe that it's because of our ability to have been able to sit back and say, we got to stay away from these things and double down on what we can control and be able to focus on quality and things that are basic, that we already knew anyway, but we needed to fail in them regardless, just to see what happened.
Jonaed: Was there ever a time your lack of a degree ever stopped you? Did people ever give you stuff or crap about it?
Dale: People give me crap to this day. People still have this false narrative around degrees in general. The education system is broken. I know you and I are already aligned on this whole concept. Guys like Justin [Phonetic] and Daniel Botero, those are my people. Mostly because they're out teaching people to be careful about their degree and not to just go rushing into one and not to think that they have to have one in the first place to become successful. I had people call me uneducated and stupid and the whole homeschooling thing came up constantly. Like you don't even have a real education to begin with. What kind of dumb ass are you? I heard it all, but I'll tell you right now that those are the types of things that there's two kinds of people in this world. There are the people that hear those things and allow them to negatively affect them, and there are people that hear those things and feel nothing but love for the person that are saying them and by doing so, it allows you to not be distracted by the way that they feel or what it is that they're spinning as it doesn't matter. Their opinion and their voice is just that. It's theirs. It's not yours. For me, it was never an issue per se, but it definitely came up in many conversations and was used negatively toward my existence.
Jonaed: I’m really sorry to hear that. Let's wrap up. If you could go back and tell yourself something earlier, what would you have told yourself?
Dale: I love this question because I don't know that people answer it this way and it’s why I always love hearing it because I'm like, cool. This is actually one that I think out of everything I say that might be different than most people, but because I like to give people a unique experience. That’s one of my favorite things. I always feel that if I can give somebody a unique experience that I've done my job, I have allowed them to think a little bit differently and to challenge themselves and to grow. When I think about going back to myself, let's just say at 18 years old, I think that I would tell him nothing. The reason why is because my 18 year old self did not have ears to listen at all. My 18 year old self would hear my advice and I could have told him the second coming of Christ and the date that he's coming and be prepared.
My 18 year old self would have been like, cool, walked out the front door, thrown a beer in the front yard, lit a cigarette up, got in the car, donuts and the coldest Zack, with the middle finger out the window, [0:46:16] [Audio Glitch] to myself and drive off. That's what my 18 year old self would have done. I think that it's what most 18 year olds would do in the first place. So, when people answer that question, I always just think to myself, it doesn't matter what you would have known. You still were going to be who you were at that point in time, no matter what. You can't change that, especially in hindsight, you can't change it. You have to embrace that stuff. You have to believe in who your 18 year old self was. You have to know that the lessons learned were important and that they are what built, what you know today in the first place.
Jonaed: I definitely agree with you. How would people get in touch with you? What are some your social media handles?
Dale: Yes, they can Google Dale Dupree and literally they can find everything. It's kind of wild, but they can also get on SalesRebellion.com. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @SalesRebellion, Linkedin.com/in/copierwarrior. Leader of the Rebellion on TikTok, at Sales Rebellion on YouTube. I can keep going, Snapchat. Come find me on Snapchat people. I bet you all can't find me. I dare somebody to find me on Snapchat. I'm not even going to say the name so we're everywhere. We believe in the power of social media and the platforms themselves and the different messages that they allow us to get out to the people. Get ready for 2020 and 2021 folks, because you're not going to just see a bunch of Dale. You're going to see a bunch of sales rebels out there, storming the gates because we're here to tear down castles and build a kingdom.
Jonaed: I’m super excited to see that kingdom grow. Thank you so much for your time. I know the listeners are going to get a lot of benefit from this episode and really appreciate you coming on.
Dale: Thanks for having me. Always a pleasure.
Jonaed: All right, have a good one.
Another great episode. Thank you for listening. Hopefully this information was valuable and you learned a lot. Stay tuned for the next episode. This show is sponsored by you. No Degree wants to remain free from influence so that we can talk about the topics without bias. If you think the show’s worth a dollar or two, please check out our Patreon page. Any amount is appreciated and will go towards making future episodes even better. Follow us on Instagram or Snapchat at No Degree podcast. On Facebook at facebook.com/NoDegreeInc. If you want to personally reach out to me, connect or follow me on LinkedIn at Jonaed Iqbal, spelled J-O-N-A-E-D, last name, I-Q-B-A-L. Until next time, no degree, no problem. No degree.com.
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