Cross The Gap

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” – JD Houston

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Sales & Jiu Jitsu have alot in common.

Both are humbling.

Each take decades to master.

Both have consequences when you underperform:

  • Make a mistake in SALES, you lose a customer.
  • Make a mistake in JIU JITSU, you lose consciousness.

The best practitioners in both fields feel a constant TENSION.

It’s a tension created by the GAP between where their SKILLS currently are and who they want to become.

Crossing this GAP takes time and a ton of work.

Early in my SALES career my skills were pretty awful.

My phone skills were so poor that prospects would actually offer me free coaching advice before they hung up.

Me: “Mr Prospect – Blah…Blah…Blah…”

Prospect:  “Hey buddy – You need to relax & slow down, or no one is going to buy anything from you.  Click.”

At least he did not leave me hanging.

There comes a time when we have to decide if we are going to remain just another face in the crowd or make an IMPACT.

We have to decide if we are going to CROSS THE GAP.

HOW TO CROSS THE GAP:

OPEN YOUR MIND

The best in any field are constantly EVOLVING.

They keep experimenting.

They actively search out NEW IDEAS. 

Ray Dalio wrote, “We have to be radically open minded to see what’s missing.”

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

Don’t wait for your performance review.

Make feedback a constant force in your life.

Feedback may bruise your EGO but will open your eyes.

It will keep you in touch with REALITY.

Elon Musk said, “It’s important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Feedback is a gift.

Embrace it.

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE

Jocko Willink wrote, “Stop spinning. Prioritize and Execute. Pick the highest impact idea and do it.”

MAKE IT ROUTINE

Put your top priority into your schedule.

Work on it 30 minutes each day.

You will be amazed how much progress you make in a month.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

We become our peer group.

Want to get better at Jiu Jitsu? Join an academy.

Want to get better at SALES?  Attend a sales conference.

Proximity is power.

DO THE WORK

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Professionals DO THE WORK.

  • How do you get rid of writer’s block? Start writing.
  • How do you get out of a sales slump?  Make a sale.
  • How do you get better at Jiu Jitsu?  Train.

Hard work creates luck.

DECIDE

Where are the GAPS in your life?

What part of your life is AVERAGE that you know could be REMARKABLE?

It may be time to LEAP.

#CrossTheGap

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

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Selling Is A State Of Mind

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is depth and distance.” ~ John Maxwell

 

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Salespeople are behind the eight ball from the very beginning of their career.

They have dug a hole and don’t even realize it.

Salespeople pride themselves on being professional, and society requires initials.

In today’s society, “professionals” are identified with initials behind their name: DDS, RN, NP, JD, MD, MPH, CPA, CMP, OD, DO and many more.

Virtually every person in a physician’s office is also loaded with initials credentialing their education, professional status and legitimacy to be called “a professional”.

Many of these people with initials in their name, are required to take continuing education courses each year, to maintain their stature or licensure as “professional”.

Not salespeople.

Many salespeople attend a 1-2 week long training course and may take a couple quizzes from the company hiring them, and manufacturing the product they are about to sell.

These salespeople may be among the highest paid people in a lawyer or physician’s office, with no requirement for CEC (continuing education credit).

Society may treat salespeople like a label.

They weren’t smart enough to get into medical, pharmacy, optometry, dental or law school.

Since they are not professionals, they settled for sales.

They are like a brother-in-law, who is unemployed or spends most of his time on the couch, claiming to be a professional.

“Professional” in the sales world is a state of mind – the customer’s mind.

Salespeople aim to be perceived and received as “professional” and yet society, doesn’t’ really recognize selling as professional.

Salespeople are already in a hole.

“Wanna be a Better Salesperson – be a better Person.” ~ Jim Trunick

Professional sales people have to be incredibly:

  • Trustworthy
  • Patient
  • Sensitive
  • Hard-working
  • Dedicated

A “professional” salesperson has to rise to the level of ‘professional’ expected in society.

We all know “professionals” who act unprofessionally.

In yesteryear, when professionals with higher education, knew more, it was everyone in society hanging on every word or action of intellectual professionals, to guide their lives.

Today knowledge is so prevalent, that all professionals are in the persuasion game.

All professionals are selling:

  • Teachers sell kids on the value of homework.
  • Parents sell kids on the value of spinach.
  • Brokers sell clients on value of stocks.
  • Physicians sell patients on compliance of medications.

That requires professional conduct even more that professional letters.

In fact, any professional of letters, asked to describe their biggest challenge, or what keeps them up at night, its not their knowledge or studies, they almost always lead with – “getting people to do what they expect”.

We all sell.

Those members of society believing initials somehow separate professionals from non-professionals, are misguided in the emotional intelligence that goes along with influence, persuasion, caring and engagement.

Care More Win More.

Selling is a State of Mind.

– Jim Trunick

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Author, The CORE of Leadership

https://jimtrunick.com/

Lean In

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

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The guy in the blue shirt was floating down the river.

A few seconds earlier his raft failed to LEAN IN.

He flew into the water.

Now he was waiting to be rescued.

One of the highlights of our summer was a white water rafting trip we took with a group of friends.

Before we got anywhere near the rapids, a man wearing a grizzly bear helmet stood before our group and laid down the law.

He told us there were RULES TO THE RAPIDS.

Rule #1 was to LEAN IN.

Our guide told us when our raft was heading straight for a BIG ROCK, don’t back down.

Take the obstacle head on.

Everyone in the boat had to LEAN IN to the collision.

When you LEAN IN, your raft has a strong center of gravity.

You bounce off the rock.

After the initial jolt, your MOMENTUM will take you around the obstacle and towards your destination.

He told us our rafts (like our lives) are built for these collisions.

If we back away, our raft would be off balance.

The obstacle would FLIP our raft over.     

The look on that guy’s face floating down the river said that’s not the place to be.

LEANING IN is a principle we can apply to our lives.

When an OBSTACLE gets in our way, don’t back down.

Attack it.

Be glad that it showed up.

Obstacles are amazing opportunities to show everyone what we are made of.

Obstacles are there to keep the AMATURES out.

CHANGE and OBSTACLES will never stop showing up.

If we fail to LEAN IN, we might end up in a bad place.

How we handle OBSTACLES will determine the direction of our life.

Sheryl Sandberg wrote, “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by pulling back when we should be LEANING IN.”

Problems will come at us from all directions.

When life throws BIG ROCKS…

#LeanIn 

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Build It

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos

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My first year in SALES was rough.

Watching me try to secure an appointment was like watching Shaq at the foul line.

They paired me with the best sales person in our office.

He took me to lunch.

After listening to me complain how hard it was, he offered some advice:

“Be patient.  You need to BUILD YOUR BRAND.”

I wasn’t even sure I knew what a BRAND was.

BRANDING was not taught in tax accounting class.

We all need to BUILD our own BRAND.

What’s a BRAND?  

Our BRAND is:

  • The REPUTATION that arrives before we do.
  • What people EXPECT when they decide to work with us.
  • What our customers SAY about us when we’re not in the room.

Tom Peters said, “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. Our most important job is to be head marketer for the BRAND called “You”.

If we don’t BUILD IT, we’ll become just another face in the crowd.

If we work for a BIG company, we’ll fade away into another replaceable employee.

If we run our own business, we’ll be at the mercy of PRICE.

Our BRAND gives others PROOF:

  • It’s the PROJECTS we’ve done.
  • The OPPORTUNITIES we took on.
  • It’s the way we TREAT other people.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR BRAND:

LEAD WITH VALUE

Our first move should be to HELP the people we are looking to serve.

Find ways to help people accomplish their goals.

Nothing establishes TRUST faster.

BE FRIENDLY

People may not remember what you accomplished.

They will definitely remember how you made them feel.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Remembered people get opportunities.

Send the hand written note.  Remember their birthday.  Know their kid’s names.

Do the hard work it takes to make CONNECTING easy.

BE AUTHENTIC

Have the COURAGE to be yourself.

Everyone else is already taken.

BUILD YOUR ON-LINE PRESENCE

Your BRAND is not your product or your company.

It’s YOU!

Pick a social media platform.

Establish your online presence.

A good brand acts like a MAGNET.

People will proactively seek you out.

The best time to start BUILDING YOUR BRAND was about 5 years ago.

The second best time is TODAY.

If we don’t BRAND ourselves, someone will do it for us.

Your move…

#BuildIt

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Plus, Minus, Equal

“To become great, you need someone better you can learn from, someone lessor you can teach, & someone equal that can challenge you.” – Ken Shamrock, UFC Legend

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Ken Shamrock is a dangerous person.

Shamrock is a legend in the Mixed Martial Arts community.

He is a 4x World Champion and  UFC Hall of Famer.

What can Ken Shamrock teach us about sales and personal growth?

Everything.

Shamrock is now a renowned trainer for young MMA fighters.

He developed a training strategy that is studied by business leaders and best selling authors.

It’s called:  Plus, Minus, Equal.

Let’s double leg in to take a look…

PLUS

Everyone needs a coach.

We need someone in our life who has more experience than we do.

It’s human nature to revert back to the mean.

You need someone you can go to when you’re in a slump.

You need someone to tell you the hard truth you don’t want to hear.

Consider this:

  • Tiger Woods has a swing coach.
  • Mike Trout has a hitting instructor.
  • Robert De Niro has an acting coach.

Even Warren Buffett has Charlie Munger to run deals by.

It doesn’t matter if you have won 4 Masters, 2 American league MVP’s, 2 Academy Awards, or have a net worth of $74.6 Billion.

You need a mentor.

MINUS

Everyone needs someone to teach.

When you teach something, you are forced to understand it better.

The teacher benefits as much as the student.

I was a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 7 years.

People earn their law degree faster.

I had incredible instructors.

I had a peer group who enjoyed smashing me into the mat.

But 1 thing was missing.

I was not teaching anyone.

Then I was asked to teach a weekly basic’s class.

An amazing thing happened…

The more I taught, the more refined my own skills became.

That faded blue belt is now draped around my college diploma in my home office.

Find someone to mentor.

EQUALS

We all need a peer group that pushes and challenges us to be our best.

Tony Robbins said in a recent podcast that there are 2 rules people need to follow to live an extraordinary life.

Rule #2 is:

  • “Surround yourself with quality individuals.  You become who you hang out with.”

Rule #1?

Sorry, that’s a topic for a future Vibe.

The Plus Minus Equals concept works so well because it gives us continuous feedback from every angle.

When we play in all 3 spaces, we get exponential benefits.

Plus Minus Equals changes our mindset.

Too often we get caught up in singular titles:

  • “I’m the director.”
  • “I’m just a sales rep.”
  • “I’m the new guy.”

No more.

Everyone teaches.

Everyone learns.

Everyone trains.

Your CHALLENGE is to find an area in your life where you can dive into all 3 roles.

Mouthpiece not included.

#PlusMinusEqual

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Win the Day

“Each day you are writing your legacy.” Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Picture this…

It’s 20 years from now.

You are looking back at your career.

What do you see?

How will you be remembered?

Will you even be remembered?

Ouch…

Tough questions.

No easy answers.

One thing is certain.

Amazing careers are the byproduct of great years.

Great years are built on productive days.

There is no better way to create your legacy than to WIN the day.

When you win the day, great years start showing up.

Jim Rohn said, “Run the day, or the day runs you.”

You are the author of your career.  It’s time to start writing…

Below are Gary Vaynerchuk’s “5 Rules to Win the Day”.

These are simple, but profound.

For those not familiar with Gary V, start here.

Below each rule, I list ideas on how to apply these principles to our daily SALES hustle.

Gary V’s 5 Rules To Win the Day:

1) Be Confident

  • Your confidence shows up before you do.
  • Confidence starts with PREPARATION.
  • Anxiety is your mind telling your body that are not fully prepared for what you are about to do.
  • Preparation eats anxiety for breakfast.

2) Positive Vibes Only

  • You can focus on the POSITIVE or dwell on the negative.
  • Positive energy attracts. Negative energy repels.
  • The choice is yours.

3) Strength Over Weakness

  • Develop your strengths.
  • Too many people waist time trying to upgrade their weaknesses. BIG mistake.
  • The best version of you is hiding out in your undeveloped strengths.

4) Legacy > Currency

  • Play the long game.
  • People who focus on the short sale over the long term relationship lose.
  • Think LEGACY over moment.

5) Hustle

  • HUSTLE beats talent.
  • HUSTLE + TALENT = ELITE PERFORMER
  • Be the first to show up.
  • Be the first to follow up.
  • You are responsible for the ENERGY you bring to each room you enter.
  • #BringIt

Average people have AVERAGE years.

Elite performers create REMARKABLE years.

When you look back on your career, what will YOU see?

Up to you…

-Joe Ciccarone

 

 

 

Prioritize & Execute

“Make a list of everything you need to do.  Figure out your highest value activity.  Throw the rest of the list away.” – Warren Buffett

 

Life gets hectic.

The urgent gets in the way of the important.

We miss opportunities to do our best work.

Daily fires burn up our chances to create an impact.

It’s time to push back.

It’s time to punch our TO DO list in the face.

How?

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE.

Average sales people check off items on their TO DO list.

This gives them a false sense of accomplishment.

Elite sales performers:

  • Allocate their time to their highest VALUE activities.
  • Create IMPACT by focusing on what matters.
  • IGNORE distractions.

Most people have life happen to them.

It’s time to start happening to life.

Last week’s Vibe discussed the value of putting everything on paper.

This week we turn our TO DO list into a strategic game plan.

“Prioritize and Execute” is a core principle in Jocko Willink’s book “Extreme Ownership:  How US Navy SEALS Lead & Win“.

It goes like this…

You have to be RUTHLESS to the things that don’t matter.

You have to learn to DISAPPOINT the right people.

How to Prioritize & Execute:

  1. Write out your TO DO List
  2. Prioritize your list in order of importance.
  3. Create 2 lists:
    1. Your Top 3 TO DO items becomes List #1
    2. Anything on your list from #4 down becomes List #2
  4. Title List #1: Game Plan
  5. Title List #2: Do NOT DO List

You just decided where you’re going to focus your TIME & ENERGY. 

You also just decided who you’re going to disappoint.

Never fun, but necessary.

Focus and attack #1 on your GAME PLAN list.

Be relentless.

Decline, delegate, or delete everything on your Do NOT DO List.

This is simple, but not easy.

It takes courage to say “No”.

But hold the line.

You will be trading a few uncomfortable conversations for long term impact.

We dive head first into AVERAGE when we try to be all things to everyone.

You’re not here to be AVERAGE.

Someone is counting on you to be REMARKABLE.

Go…

-Joe Ciccarone

Drain Your Brain

“I couldn’t sleep at all last night.” – Bobby Darrin, Tossin’and Turnin

Life gets unbalanced.

Things come at us from all directions.

Our mind wanders.

ANXIETY creeps in.

It gets difficult to stay in the PRESENT MOMENT.

Time to FIGHT back.

It’s time to kick anxiety to the curb.

Elite performers teach themselves how to tame chaos.

One of the best tactics I’ve learned to work through this is called, “Drain Your Brain.”

Jeffrey Gitomer writes about this in the “Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude.”

This idea is simple, but highly effective.

When life gets HECTIC:

  1. Grab a writing tablet
  2. Write EVERYTHING down on paper you need to do.

EVERYTHING.

From the $1,000,000 sales proposal you need to create to picking up your dry cleaning.

Don’t stop until:

  • Everything is on paper.
  • Your mind can’t think of anything else that needs to be done.

What does this do?

There is a therapeutic effect to getting your thoughts out of your mind and on to paper.

Your mind is now free to focus on SOLUTIONS rather than carry the weight of your to do list around.

This tactic literally clears up space in your brain that allows your PROBLEM SOLVING ability to kick in.

Your mind is freed.

CREATIVITY flows.

Ideas pop into your head.

There is a quote that fits perfectly here, “The most tiring project is the one we never get to.”

So true.

Why?

Because our minds drag unfinished tasks around like a 50 pound backpack.

No more!

Empty your mental backpack.

Drain your brain.

Free your mind.

Free your life.

#MindsetIsEveything

-Joe Ciccarone

NEXT WEEK:  Prioritize & Execute.  How to turn your to-do list into a strategic game plan.

Plan to Win

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Last week’s Vibe focused on the value of attending customer conferences.

This week we roll out the game plan.

Our conference goals are to:

  • Engage.
  • Connect.
  • Establish access.

We will focus our plan on 2 scenarios: 

  1. Meeting an existing customer who does not yet work with us.
  2. Meeting a potential new customer.

Game on…

Scenario #1:  Existing Customer  – No Access

Step 1:

  • Get a copy of the conferences pre-registered attendee list.
    • Is there a customer attending that you have not met?
  • Select the customers you want to meet.

Step 2:

  • Do you have any customer advocates who can introduce you?
    • Is your advocate attending the same conference?
      • “Dr John – I saw your name on the EMG conference list.  Would you mind introducing me to Dr Kelly during one of the breaks?.”
    • If your advocate won’t be at the conference:
  • “Dr John, Would you mind introducing me over email to Dr Kelly?  I would love to connect with them at the EMG Course.”

Step 3:

Work the room!

  • Not everyone will visit your booth.
  • You may have to proactively walk around, find that person & introduce yourself.
  • Remember your goal:  Establish Access.
    • Sell the appointment, NOT your product.
  • “Dr Kelly – Dr John said you were someone I should meet. There are a ton of new resources available.  Could we set up a time to discuss?”
    • “What day of the week works best for you?”
    • “What’s the best way to stay in touch?”
      • You will usually get an email address.
    • Ask for their cell #.
      • You will get it 50% of the time.
        • Send them a brief text the next day:
      • “Great to meet you!  Look forward to working with you.  Joe Ciccarone”
    • If you can’t get their cell #, ask for their admin’s name & phone #.

Scenario #2:  Potential New Customer 

Step 1:

  • An endless stream of people will stroll by your booth.
  • Your job is to:
    • Engage.
    • Gauge their potential.
    • Connect.
  • You’ll need at least 3 engaging power questions prepared in advanced.
    • 3 Conference Power Questions: 
  • 1) “What’s been your experience with __________?”
  • 2) “When you see __________, what’s your first move?”
  • 3) “When you hear the word _________, what comes to mind?”
    • This question is killer.
      • The answer gives you a glimpse of this customer’s top of mind awareness of your product / service:
        • You will hear:
          • “Can’t get paid.”
          • “Doesn’t work.”
          • “I need more training.”
          • “I refer out.”
            • Respond, “Really?  Why’s that?”
            • Don’t cut them off.  Let them finish speaking, no matter how off base their reasoning may sound.
            • Tell them you have a few ideas that may help.  Ask when is the best time to stop by and discuss further?

New customers are the life blood of any business.

When you expand your influence, you expand your impact.

Create a plan.  Be intentional.

Success never happens by chance.

#PlanToWin

-Joe Ciccarone