Why we all need to dance with the Devil? Nicky Pattinson – Leading Authority for sales and captivating public speaker
Nicky Pattinson speaks the Truth in all she does! A northern lass who traded on the markets at the beginning of her career, similarly to your host. Now, Nicky has a best-selling book “Email: Don’t Get Deleted” and her own YouTube channel NICKYPTV.
Nicky is entertaining and magnetic in character! Working with the biggest brand names out there, she’s seen, well, pretty much everything.
Nicky is able to quickly connect with an audience and understand what makes them tick, leading to expert advise in sales and inspirational speaking to drive success for your business. Her down-to-earth attitude and sense of humour is captivating.
Find and connect with Nicky here:
Sit back and listen to Nicky explain why she is grateful she Danced with the Devil…
Making Conversations Count – Episode Six
26th November 2020
Wendy Harris & Nicky Pattinson
00:01:45: From shoe shops to market stalls
00:09:27: Making instant connections
00:11:04: Be someone, not everyone, especially on social media
00:12:37: Nicky’s pivotal moment
00:21:55: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Welcome to Making Conversations Count, the podcast where I bring you business leaders that share with me and you, the listeners, a pivotal moment that really has created a turning point in their life. I am so excited, because today I have Nicky Pattinson; hi, Nicky!
Nicky Pattinson: Hi, it’s marvellous to be here. Thank you for even thinking about me.
Wendy Harris: We have to thank you wonderful Louise Jones, a good friend of mine and fan of yours, so I’m sure she’ll be downloading it on every platform that she can.
Nicky, I know from looking at some of the interviews that you’ve done, you are what I would class as a “WYSIWYG”, what you see is what you get, and you’re not scared of having difficult conversations and bringing it to the fore for people to think about.
Nicky Pattinson: Yeah. What you see is what you get; that’s who I am. And, it’s got me into a lot of trouble over the years, but it’s also got its graces. And I think it is me. I can’t play games. You know, when I first started speaking all those years ago, people said, “Oh, crikey, that accent! She swears a bit”, etc; don’t we all?
People kept saying, “You’ve got to change, you’ve got to calm it down”, but calm it down to what; somebody that isn’t real? Those people are ten a penny, so yeah, absolutely, not everybody likes it but some people do, and you are what you are. I just am very grateful for anybody that listens and likes what I say.
Wendy Harris: I’ve liked everything that I’ve heard so far and I’m just thrilled to be chatting with you today, you know, somebody who likes to communicate. You get up on stage and you present to people. What do you talk about in your presentations, Nicky?
Nicky Pattinson: It used to be all about sales; long story. At 16, my first job was in a shoe shop. I sold more shoes in one day than anybody else could sell in a week. Wendy, I had no clue how I was doing it, I just knew it happened. Now, I can tell you every wink of the eye, every wave of the hand, as to what put that money in that till.
I mean, I’ve worked in all kinds of industries and long, long story. And, me and my ex-husband had a market stall in Huddersfield selling cakes and biscuits. Now, I don’t often big myself up, but [beep] hellfire; I reckon that we had one of the most successful market stalls in the country, if not THE most successful.
We took a business selling other-make cakes and biscuits from £1,000 a week to just shy of £2 million a year. And, this is going back 30 years now. That was serious, serious money. But, we were 10% more expensive than anybody else, all selling the same thing. They were queueing out of the [beep] doors, you know. 9.00am until 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday night, you could not get near us.
We had five stalls in the end altogether, but it wasn’t the stock; it was the way that we made people feel in our presence. And, if only I’d have known at that time, but it’s more about advanced connection, advanced communication; be someone, not everyone; how to be seen; how to resonate; how to be someone in the world; and, that comes in many guises. And, it’s taken me to so many places, but it started in that shoe shop and on that market stall.
Wendy Harris: Yeah. Now, not my first job, but I worked the trade as well on the markets; jeans and jackets. Saturdays, and before and after school on a Tuesday, and it was a fantastic community of people to be involved with. And I get it; they don’t want that, “Can I help you, madam?” do they? They want, “How are you? What are you doing today then; have you got anything nice planned?” They want to be made to feel quite special, don’t they?
Nicky Pattinson: We had a very particular way that took our customers to a very particular range of feelings, and I used to just sit and study, as I do now when I’m doing these projects. I’ll watch and I’ll look to see what people are feeling and then it’s, well, what do we need people to feel to trigger something that gets them to buy or to resonate with us, or whatever it is that we’re trying to get people to do.
It’s almost like acting, but we’re not acting because it’s actually more real than real, and that’s what I learned on those markets. We taught every single person that I worked with, that we worked with, and there were about 45 part-time staff at one time, but we taught all those people how to take those customers to two emotions: one was belonging; one was validation.
It was Maggie Thatcher’s years; that’s where we were in society. And, I worked out very quickly that my audience was single parents of low-income families, who had very little to belong to and didn’t feel they had a value. I’ll tell you what, Wendy, when they left out [beep] stall, they did, and they were addicted to coming back to us, because we knew exactly how to take them to those feelings of connection.
And, isn’t it funny? If somebody had have said in those days, “You know what; you’re going to lose everything; you’re going to be in a place where people have to leave bags of food on the step, where you’re going to be terrified that you’re going to be homeless”, I would have laughed. But, if only I’d have known that because of all that, I would have had all this. Isn’t it funny where life takes you?
Wendy Harris: I think there’s an awful lot to be said for emotional intelligence that, yes, we’ve all got a role to play, we’ve all got a job to do. But ultimately, to me certainly, it’s about the experience that if you can’t, at the end of the day, feel satisfied that you’ve given everything that you possibly could and you’ve not taken advantage; and I mean that in a negative sense of the word “advantage” because, let’s face it, as women on market stalls, you’d flirt, you’d have a bit of banter; and I think that’s the same for men as well, so I’m not talking sexism or anything like that; but, it is just about being able to spot that you can make somebody’s smile wider on their face.
Nicky Pattinson: Yeah, and it’s the phraseology. So, I talk a lot about trance-phraseology. What I mean by that is that when we say exactly what everybody else in that industry says, it puts the listener, the recipient of the words and the phraseology into a bit of a trance, because we’ve heard it so many times.
So, in retail, “Are you all right there; can I help you?” “No, I’m fine thanks”; that’s our auto response. But, it’s our auto response because we’ve heard that phraseology so many times that it just doesn’t hit our consciousness. So, not only do we delete the words, but we delete the people saying it as well.
And honestly, I’ve done these projects and I’ve thought, do you know what; they’re sending these young people and these returners to work out onto them shop floors, I don’t just work in retail, and telling them to walk up to people and ask them if they’re all right and if they can help them.
And, when they get rejected, deleted, more than a few times, they begin to think it’s them. It’s not; it’s the words; it’s the body language that they’re using. And every industry has its own trance phraseology.
Wendy Harris: Well, we’re conditioned as children, because out parents will say, “Oh, you shouldn’t do that”, and the kids go, “La-la-la”. As kids, we stop listening to what we don’t want to hear too?
Nicky Pattinson: Yeah, it’s no wonder. But the thing is, and I guess what I do these days is I look at people, I look at businesses, we look at the emotions we need to take people to; we look at who people really are, not who people have told them they are; who you really are. And then, we find the words and the phraseology that ignites people and gets people to see you.
And, honest to God, I’ve just done a zoom of my own this morning for one of my own, “Be someone, not everyone, over 40 and beyond” course. It filled up overnight and we’ve already got a waiting list for the next one. But, it’s funny because I interviewed someone that I worked with who is now a top makeup artist and it was fascinating when we talked about, there we were in Selfridges; and all we did, we changed the tone, changed the words, changed the body language slightly and we tripled overnight.
I can never see how people can’t see it, you know, same in law firms. I can’t see how they can’t see what we can see; well, they can when the [beep] money goes in the till, Wendy. When those chuffing BACSes start going, suddenly their [beep] eyes are opened and, “Our Nicky” ain’t quite so funny!
Wendy Harris: It’s focus though, isn’t it; it depends what your focus is? If you put people at the centre of everything you do, then you’re going to take notice of what you’re saying, how you’re saying it and how people are reacting to you; that’s really where you’re making those conversations count.
If all you’re going to do is put your goals at the centre and, you know, whatever financial reward or target that you want to set yourself at front and centre, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on around you, really, are you, in a human connectivity?
Nicky Pattinson: No. Put the business friendships first and the brass will follow, and I could tell you, honest to God, you could make a connection with somebody in a millisecond; you don’t need to know somebody 20 years. I like to think that when people meet me, they wouldn’t know me any better if they spent 20 years with me.
But me and Adam, well, the makeup artist, we were talking this morning about how those customers, many a time, would just hug us before they went. I worked at the airports. I mean again, we tripled everything we touched, but people would start to walk to the gate and then come and hug me and Paul Williams, who is now a senior manage at Christian Dior; but, we worked together and people would come and hug you because very quickly, we’d melted the reserves.
It was soul to soul, not customer to sale person; that’s the difference and that’s the skills that people need now, because that’s where the planet is going.
Wendy Harris: And I think you’re right. And, I heard a phrase this morning, “We might be physically distanced, but we’re socially connected”. It’s understanding that, you know; I’m missing my hugs so much, I’m having to hug my husband every day. It’s a real trial!
Even my brother yesterday on the phone, “Sis, I’m missing my hugs” and I’m like, “Well, it won’t be forever”; well, I hope it won’t be forever anyway. It is about people and I think you’re right, Nicky, you know; you’ve got to touch people’s soul, break down those barriers, reach inside, pull them out and go, “Come on, this is the real world!”
Nicky Pattinson: And meanwhile, while we’re not physically together, we’ve got to get very adept at sending those emails, writing those Facebook posts, and immediately connecting on zoom, because the world is becoming ever more saturated.
The good thing is that 99.9% of all the people that you meet say the same as everybody else, which is why my little strapline these days is, “Be someone, not everyone”. And, in so many cases, people speak live everyone. How the hell are we going to create resonance and get elevated from those words that everybody says? Got to find out who you are and that’s the end of it.
Wendy Harris: You didn’t mention phone calls; that’s my speciality, you know, pick up the phone, make sure that people can hear you. I’m loving sending voice messages over all platforms now. If there’s notification or something I want to say to somebody, I will just send them a voice message, because I think that’s where I can really say, “I mean this. What I’m saying to you, I mean it”.
Nicky Pattinson: I love voice messages and I love Marco Polo; that app. That’s brilliant! All my friends in America, because of time zones, we all speak over Marco Polo. It’s amazing; what a great app; get it downloaded.
Wendy Harris: I’m going to look that up.
Nicky Pattinson: Get on it and send me a message!
Wendy Harris: I will! I’ve got to write it down though now, or I’ll forget. Nicky, I ask everybody to come on the show with a pivotal moment, a conversation that changed. Are you ready to share?
Nicky Pattinson: Yes. I’ve had a very up and down life, a lot of heartbreak, a lot of amazing experiences that other people can only dream of, and not that much in between actually.
There are some conversations that you never forget as long as you live and at the time, they break you; but then, you look back and you go, “No, that was a pivotal moment that was meant to happen to set me off on another trajectory”. So, can I just start by saying that there’s no malice in me talking about this conversation. It happened; it was part of my life; and I thank my ex-husband from the bottom of my heart for saying what he said now and ending the marriage, basically.
So, for anybody that knows me, my first son, Jackson, he died at nursery at 4 months and 2 days old. And they put it down as cot death, but it was no cot death. Witnesses came forward afterwards to say what had actually happened and at that time, I didn’t take any court action. I was broken and all the money in the world would never have put that boy back in my hands.
And I have to say, just to finish that little bit of it, people often say, “How do you feel now, 31 years later?” because it’s always going to be yesterday. Well, I still miss the man that he would be, that would be arguing over the dishwasher, that I’d be taking to Selfridges like I do his brother and buying him Ralph Lauren shirts, or shopping, or eating, or doing the things that you do with your adult children. I’ll miss him until the day that I die.
So, when all this happened to Jackson, me and my ex-husband, we got the top cot death specialist in Europe and we went to London to see him. And they gave us this oxygen monitor that only me and my ex-husband could use; nobody else could use it. So, there was only me or him could babysit. And imagine the stress, because the [beep] beeper went off every two minutes, day and night. Not that there was a problem, but maybe a lead had come undone.
I’d not been anywhere for six weeks. I’d sat with my second son with all these monitors on for six weeks. I was exhausted; I needed a break; it wasn’t a great marriage anyway.
Wendy Harris: I imagine you were under immense strain anyway, just because of what had happened?
Nicky Pattinson: Yeah, absolutely. My father was struck dumb; he couldn’t speak. It took him days to get his voice back. My mother went straight down with a bad heart. The grief; he was the first grandchild, the first boy in the family for 70 years. I really needed to go out this particular Friday.
My husband played squash, so every single night, well we thought, but that is another story, that he was playing squash. So, every night, my husband would go out and I’d been on my own with the baby all day and I’d be there all night and he’d go out.
This particular Friday, it was the Wednesday and I said, “Do you know what; I really need to go out on Friday. Some of my friends are going out; will you babysit?” and he just said, “I’m not babysitting. I always go out on a Friday. I go to the same Italian with my friends and I am going”. I said, “Oh please, come on?”. So I thought, oh, he won’t do that, he won’t do that.
The Friday came and I said, “So, are you going to let me go out?” and he said, “Get yourself a babysitter”. I said, “I can’t get a babysitter because nobody else can work the equipment”. So, off he went and the morning after, I got up, and at that time, there was always cash in drawers. And I pulled some cash out of a drawer and I just said, “Right, there’s the baby, there’s the monitor, there’s the nappies and the food; I’m going out”.
So he said, “Well, you’ve got to be back for 4.00pm, because I’m out again tonight; I’m playing squash and then I’m going out”. We had like a double winding staircase and I got to the first level and I just said, “No. I will come back when I am ready to come back”. He called my name, he called me Nicola. He goes, “Nicola”, and I turned and he just looked and he said, “That’s you all over. You’ve killed one baby, now you’re just trying to get rid of the other”.
And I just looked and it went all the way to the bottom of my soul; it was the end. I just said, “Your marriage just finished. Your marriage just came to the end”. And it took another couple of years for me to actually get out of it, but I can’t even begin to tell you the damage those words did. I let it permeate my soul.
But, looking back, and I genuinely mean this, people don’t say things like that unless they’re broken themselves. Unless they’ve had experiences that have taken them to — maybe he was just terrified and couldn’t say; I don’t know. But I thank God that he did that, because the marriage did end, but I still had how we did it on the markets. And I have had this amazing, amazing life.
And sometimes, you know, we may have been married forever without that; who knows? We might just have bobbed along forever with him going out every night and me doing whatever. But, I just thank God because it sent me onto another trajectory, because I knew when I heard those words, I was completely alone.
Then, my mother died shortly after that; my father died shortly after that; and, there was just me and a 4-year-old little boy. It was those words that made me realise I would be completely alone on the planet for a time. And thank God, because we haven’t done bad from it.
Interestingly, a similar thing happened last year with somebody I was in a long-term relationship with and again, you know, completely out of the blue, very similar words just scathing to the soul. And I was devastated; I was devastated to hear the same thing happening again. However, I can tell you, again, I look back and think, thank God, because again, I went on a completely different trajectory that people only ever dream of.
So, I’m very grateful to both of those people. I’m not that bothered for having it happening again, but I’m very grateful to those people! And that sounds a bit trite, doesn’t it, but I [beep] am, because opportunities are coming now for this old bird that only come along once in many, many lifetimes, Wendy, and I perhaps wouldn’t have taken them up with the hand-clapping that I’m doing now, had I had somewhere to put my head on somebody’s shoulder on a night, thinking I was going to be there until pension.
Wendy Harris: Do you know what, Nicky, you’ve given me goosebumps, because being right at the bottom of those stairs hearing those words was devastating for me to hear, and I can completely understand that gratitude; because if anything, that’s just kind of made you dig a lot deeper to make sure you make more of it, and it’s on your own terms?
Nicky Pattinson: You know, I genuinely believe that we all move in soul groups, that somewhere, in other lives, we would have met. You can pull up at the side of a bus stop and see an old lady with wobbly lipstick and look into her eyes — that’s probably me actually — and look into her eyes, and there’s a connection. And you’d never know each other any better in 100 years if you sat and talked; you just know.
And maybe before we came here; me, my ex-husband, my ex-boyfriend, my son, my mother, my father, people in my life that have been significant and pivotal that have either held me up or nearly [beep] killed me, my ex-husband might have said, “I’m going to say this to you; I’m going to nearly [beep] kill you, but I’ll tell you what; it will put you on a trajectory because I will fully release you that day, because you would have hung on if I don’t do that”.
Maybe my son, Jackson, said, “Mum, you’re going to choose this nursery for me and it’s going to be extreme negligence, it’s going to be very difficult and it will nearly kill you; but, you will go on to help people that have lost children, because you’ll know what it feels like, and it will put you on a trajectory to somewhere that other people can’t dream of”.
And, my mum and dad had a strange — you know, I’m vegan because my parents had a beef farm and, God, the stuff I used to see and hear; and, it makes you different, but creates an intensity in your soul that you [beep] anything off to get to the place that you see yourself being. So, I thank God for that; I really do.
Wendy Harris: Nicky, it’s a powerful pivotal moment. I’m humbled for you to share it with us today. I’m guessing there are going to be an awful lot of people that will be touched by your story and maybe even been through something similar and can resonate with what you’ve said. If they want to reach out to you, Nicky, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Nicky Pattinson: Oh, email@example.com; I’m on Facebook; I’m on @HiyaitsNicky on Twitter or Insta, but can I just say one other thing, because there is one thing that it’s really left me with? When people say nice things to me, I can’t stop crying, and it’s a bit of a problem when I’ve been doing the gigs, because they can’t stand up there going, “Right, today’s speaker is …” and then say, “Do you know what, she’s an absolute [beep] dipstick, and don’t bother listening to her because she’s rubbish”.
But, when people start to say, she did this, she tripled there, etc, I’ve really got to fight back the tears. I don’t have a shield against it and, yeah, it’s really strange. Words change everything, good and bad and actually, they can both make you cry in a similar way, because laughing and crying are actually very similar emotions.
Wendy Harris: Yeah. It’s when you combine the two and then you wet yourself … We’ll just leave it on that note, I think!
Nicky Pattinson: Oh my God! Sorry, I’m just getting over flipping COVID; that’s why I’m coughing!
Wendy Harris: I’m so glad to see you looking well. I know that you’ve had a rough patch. Nicky, honestly, you’re going to continue to be that magnetic personality that I’ve grown to love. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Nicky Pattinson: Thank you, and thank you everybody for listening. Please just say hello. It might take me a couple of days, but I always, always come back to you. Thank you.
Wendy Harris: She does; she really does. Thank you for listening everybody. Don’t forget, if you have any comments, let us know; we do reply to them all. Make sure you share this with your friends and family. You can subscribe always at www.makingconversationscount.studio/podcast. Thanks again for listening, everybody. Take care.