Kale Flagg on Keeping it Simple

Kale Flagg is a successful businessman who has worked in marketing and sales for more than two decades. In this brief interview, Kale Flagg shares a couple secrets of his success.

Q: You speak of the similarities between golf and business. Are you an avid golfer?

Kale Flagg: I’m not the world’s best golfer; I’ll be the first to admit. But I do enjoy playing golf for recreation.

Q: I’ve heard you say that you learned one of your most important business lessons from a golf instructor.

Kale Flagg: Yes. It was the first golf lesson I took from a pro. I noticed he gave very little instruction on stance and swing. He told me that in the end, golf is simply about hitting a ball. It’s a very athletic movement. He advised me not to complicate it. “You’re just whacking a ball,” he said.

Q: How would you use this analogy to break down the business world?

Kale Flagg: Business is, in essence, just making connections with other people. You are simply trying to get people to make commitments, keep those commitments, and take action.

Q: You describe it as “getting people to do stuff.”

Kale Flagg: Yes, it really is that simple. Whether you’re setting up a meeting or standing up in front of a group of people to sell your idea or motivating your employees to put their heart and soul into building an enterprise, you’re first asking them to show up in mind and spirit. Once they’ve taken that step, the next step is to get them to apply themselves consistently, creatively and passionately with a focused objective of accomplishing their task.

Q: And the next step is to get those people to buy something?

Kale Flagg: Absolutely. The common factor in all of this is that you are asking people to make commitments and keep those commitments. Buying something isn’t always about people giving you money. More often it’s about people buying into your idea and dream and helping you make it happen!

Q: Is there a surefire method of getting someone to make a commitment?

Kale Flagg: That’s the interesting thing about business in general and sales in particular. Each person brings his or her own personality to selling a product. This personality is ingrained in them from birth. So everyone has a different way of getting people to buy into their product or their idea or their mission. The key is to move people from being wishy-washy (thinking about it) to taking action and moving and accomplishing.

Q: When you say that each person brings his or her own personality into it, are you talking about the way we learn to “get our way” from a young age?

Kale Flagg: Exactly! Everything from learning to talk your way out of getting in trouble for being tardy or convincing someone to help you clean the yard is an example of how we learn to get our way. This is a kind of “convincing” talent that can’t be taught. You have to be yourself and be compelling.

Q: What qualities do you feel are helpful in selling?

Kale Flagg: Energy and confidence are crucial. But other than that, each person brings his or her own set of personality qualities to a sale. Some use charisma, some use humor. The key is to be natural and use what works to move people, to get people to make concrete decisions and then take action.

Q: And how is this similar to the golfing analogy you mentioned above?

Kale Flagg: It’s as simple as the “whack the ball” tip mentioned by the golf pro I worked with. Don’t overcomplicate things. Just be yourself. Just move people; get them to do what you need them to do and what will help THEM accomplish their goals.

Q: So it sounds like the key to good sales is simply to use your own natural talents.

Kale Flagg: It all boils down to the same question: How do you get people to do stuff? What combination of talents do you have that convinces people to commit? This is what makes a difference in sales. It’s beautifully simple.

Kale Flagg is a businessman who currently holds key roles in several companies, including the American Redevelopment Fund, Array Asset Management and Stable Development. A graduate of Yale University, Kale Flagg worked on Wall Street before relocating to Reno, Nevada, where he resides today.

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