Who’s In Your 5?

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

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One of the great things about living in Philly is how close you are to the beach.

You can go from the Liberty Bell to the ocean faster than you can watch Rocky 3 for the 10th time.

“My Prediction?…Pain.”

During our last trip, I went in the ocean with my kids.

After a few minutes I turned around.

We were 25 yards from where we walked in.

An undercurrent pushed us down the coast without us even realizing.

This concept plays out in our everyday life.

There is a POWERFUL force that either pushes us forward or pulls us back.

It’s the people in our lives.

Who we spend time with INFLUENCES who we become.

There is a great quote from Goethe that says, “Tell me who you spend time with and I will tell you who you are.”

Each person we allow into our life influences us in some way.

We start to:

  • EAT what they eat.
  • DRINK what they drink.
  • READ what they read.
  • SPEAK like they speak.
  • THINK like they think.

Eventually, we start to do what they do.

To have a remarkable life, you have to surround yourself with REMARKABLE people.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The people we surround ourselves with set the baseline for what we think is possible.”

We have to keep the right people in (and out) of our lives.

This is not always easy.

But it’s necessary.

Jim Rohn taught that we have to EVALUATE and SHIFT our associations into 3 categories:

  • Expand
  • Limit
  • Walk Away

Expand, Limit, or Walk Away

EXPAND

There are certain people that make us BETTER.   

They CHALLENGE us and bring out our best.

They PUSH us forward.

Our job is to find ways to EXPAND the time we spend with them.

Where do the people you admire hang out?

Join those organizations.

Find ways to spend more time in those communities.

LIMIT

Some people drag us down.

We need to LIMIT our interactions with them.

Maybe we can spend 5 minutes together, but definitely not 5 hours.

This idea can be tough.

This person may be a coworker or even in our extended family.

Regardless, we need to LIMIT our time with NEGATIVE influences.

WALK AWAY

There may be times when we need to WALK AWAY from people all together.

Can you think of a person that kills your ENTHUSIASM each time you see them?

You may have to cut them out of your life.

We can’t allow another person’s NEGATIVE ENERGY have a profound affect on our life.

No one knows what challenges lie ahead.

Being surrounded by positive influences is a great place to start.

#Who’sInYour5?

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

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The Best Investment

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”― Warren Buffett

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Be Bullish

INVESTING means different things to different people.

For some, it means the stock market.

For others, its real estate.

There is one INVESTMENT that gets overlooked.

This investment generates the highest RETURNS and has the least amount of RISK:

  • YOU

When I started in SALES I knew I had to level up or I wasn’t going to last long.

So I started attending SALES seminars.

The first one I attended was a game changer.

The conference had amazing speakers:

It was awesome.

But an author named Brian Tracy was the one who changed my MINDSET.

Tracy told the group that the THE BEST INVESTMENT a person could make is in THEMSELVES.

He challenged the audience to invest a portion of their annual income on their continuing education & personal development.

Tracy said INVESTING IN YOURSELF would return exponentially more than any stock or real estate holding ever could.

The 20 something version of me was SOLD. 

It’s a PHILOSOPHY I live by to this day.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BEST INVESTMENT: 

INVEST IN YOUR CAREER

Jim Rohn said, “Income seldom exceeds personal development.”

In every field there are THOUGHT LEADERS. 

There were REMARKABLE people that came before us.

They established best practices.

Our goal is to make original mistakes, not the same ones they did:

This INVESTMENT alone will separate you from the masses.

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Thomas Sowell wrote, “There are no decisions, only trade offs.”

One thing we don’t want to trade for anything is our HEALTH.

No amount of money or recognition is worth it.

We have to INVEST a portion of each day to:

  • Exercise.
  • Healthy Eating.
  • Good Sleep.

We all have the same amount of time.

We just have to decide that being HEALTHY is a PRIORITY.

INVEST IN A HOBBY

Nothing centers us and clears our mind like a fulfilling hobby.

For me, its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ delivers an unbelievable workout.

It keeps me humble and focused.

Jiu Jitsu has introduced me to an amazing group of people.

It even gave me a new ACL.

Like Robert Arnott said, “Investing in what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”

Find a hobby you love.

It will pay lifetime DIVIDENDS.

INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS

With the exception of just one person, the entire world is about everyone else.

Make it a priority to invest the TIME and ENERGY into the special people in your life.

BE BULLISH

There are times when we need to HEDGE our bets.

Investing in yourself is NOT one of them.

Time to go all in…

#InvestInYou

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Master Skill

“If something is not a “Hell YEAH!”, then it’s a “No!” ― James Altucher

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Warren Buffett is worth $78 Billion.

The “Oracle of Omaha” is the 2nd richest person in the world.

Buffett was interviewed by SUCCESS magazine.

When old Warren speaks, it’s probably not a bad idea to lower the volume on House of Cards and take a listen.

The interviewer asked:

What is the #1 Key to your success?”

Without hesitation, Buffett answered:

“For every 100 great opportunities that are brought to me, I say no 99 times.” 

Buffett concluded:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “No” to almost everything.” 

“NO” GIVES YOU OPPORTUNITY

We make a decision to START a NEW GOAL.  

As soon as we make a little progress, life tests our commitment.

The universe will try to take that time back.

We will be:

  • Invited to an event we don’t want to attend.
  • Asked to take on a forgettable project at work.
  • Picked to be on a group that meets way too much.

Saying “Yes” to the wrong things causes us to DRIFT. 

Lucky for us there is a WAY OUT .

Say “No”.

“NO” IS POWERFUL

“No” may be the most POWERFUL word in the English language.

Darren Hardy wrote, “Saying ‘No’ is the master skill of success.”

Saying “No”:

  • Puts us in back in charge.
  • Buys back our time.
  • Creates space to work on what’s important.

“NO” IS HARD

I have struggled saying “No” my entire life.

When I tell someone “No”, I feel like I am letting them down.

I’ve come to realize when I don’t say “NO” to distractions, I’m just letting myself down.

To accomplish anything REMARKABLE, we have to disappoint some people.

“NO” STARTS WITH GRATITUDE

Saying “No” requires TACT. 

I’ve found saying “Thank you” in front of “No” has real value:

“Thank you for your offer, but I can’t make it.”

Saying “Thank You” shows GRATITUDE.  

It’s also easier on the other person’s EGO.

“NO” NEEDS TIME

Another “No” tactic that works is asking for time to think about.

“Thank you for your offer:

  • “…I just can’t commit to that right now.”

  • “…can I look at my schedule and get back to you?”

  • “…I can’t make it, but if something changes I’ll let you know.”

“NO” CREATES SIMPLICITY

Saying “No” declutters our schedules.

“No” simplifies our lives.

We create more time to work on the things that matter.

Josh Billings wrote, “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying “Yes” too quickly and not saying ‘No’ soon enough.”

Take a HOT TIP from the world’s greatest investor…

#JustSayNo  

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Secret Ingredient

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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My grand mom was a KILLER cook.

Her chicken cutlets were incredible.

The cutlets were so good, they caused arguments before Sunday dinners.

A constant stream of cousins would walk by and grab the cutlets as they came off the frying pan.

Everyone would downplay how many they swiped.

There would be none left to put on the table.

This cutlet heist played out over decades.

The early bird gets the cutlet…

One day I asked my my grand mom to teach me how to make them.

My version was average at best.

The cutlets all made it to the table.

Something was missing.

Years later I learned I forgot her “secret ingredient” that tied everything together.

The art of COOKING & SALES share the same principles.

Leaving out 1 ingredient can separate AVERAGE from REMARKABLE.

In SALES, that secret ingredient is EMPATHY.

Empathy is defined as the ability to step into someone else’s shoes & experience emotions from their perspective.

In his new book, Sales EQ, Jeb Blount writes, “Empathy is the most important of all the Sales Emotional Intelligence traits.”

The BIGGEST communication problem in SALES is we tend to listen to reply, not understand.

This habit can crush opportunities and destroy relationships.

Your EMPATHY must precede your advice.

If your customer doesn’t feel you UNDERSTAND them, you have zero chance of INFLUENCING them.

People like to think they’re special.  This mindset carries over to their perceived problems.

It doesn’t matter how simple the customer’s problem is to fix.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your solution is.

Your solutions (and sales) will go unheard if your customers don’t feel you understand them.

3 Ways To Bring More Empathy to Your Sales Game:

Never Interrupt or Correct

  • Give your customer your full attention.
  • Listen.  Then listen some more.
  • Let them say everything they need to say.

ReState Their Position Back to Them

  • After they finish speaking, say, “If I hear you correctly, you feel that…”
  • Then list each of their points back to them 1 by 1.
  • This will make your customer feel heard.
  • This will make them receptive to what you have to say.

Show How Your Can Help

  • Only after you do the above, offer your ideas.
  • Be Concise.
  • Be Relevant.

Empathy is a key ingredient for success in SALES and LIFE.

Empathy will increase your influence.

Empathy will help you close the sales that feed your family.

Will that food make it to the table?

Depends who’s cooking…

#LeadWithEmpathy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

Super Power

“Know thyself.”  -Socrates

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If you could have one SUPERPOWER, what would it be?

Growing up I wished I could read people’s minds.

Facebook cured me of that.

Now my superpower would be SELF AWARENESS.

Self awareness is magic.

Self awareness is:

  • Knowing your strengths.
  • Realizing your weaknesses.
  • Understanding how your actions affect others.

Self Awareness is more important than intelligence.

Early in my career, I struggled big time with self awareness.

I wanted to be a tax accountant.

I got a degree in accounting and a position in a CPA firm.

How do you say “bad idea” in Italian?

Family members, who never offered me advice ever, pulled me aside during parties and told me I was making a mistake.

They said accounting and me were not a good combination.

Did their opinions have something to do with my inability to sit still, not being great with math, and my habit of talking to anyone who entered the room?

It’s amazing what others see, but we can’t.

My lack of self awareness caused a number of job changes.

I moved through 3 different industries to find my career path.

Fun times…

Tony Robbins said, “Self awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities.  Very few people are aware of their own patterns.”

So true.

Self awareness dramatically improves your chances of succeeding in SALES.

How?

Selling is about INFLUENCE.

Influence starts with self awareness.

3 Ways to Increase Self Awareness:

1.  Video Yourself 

There’s a reason video is used by every professional sports team on the planet.  The tape does not lie.  Watching yourself give a sales presentation can make you uncomfortable, but gives amazing perspective.  It shows things you would never realize.  Once you see your errors, they are much easier to correct.

2. Imagine You are Being Recorded

This idea came from Jocko Willink.  Willink said just the thought of being recorded will affect your actions.  Imagine your actions, expressions, and words are being taped. Then imagine that video played back to your family & friends. Ouch…

3.  Seek Out Feedback

Find someone you respect.  Ask them to critique your game.  How do they think you’re doing?  What should you start doing?  What do you need to stop?  This one takes courage. Double that if you ask one of your customers.

Gary Vee said, “If you don’t have self awareness, then no matter how smart you are, you aren’t going to get very far.”

#KnowThySelf

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Believe

“Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels

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37 years later you can still feel it.

The air inside the building has a presence to it.

You can sense something REMARKABLE happened there.

As you enter Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid NY, you are greeted by 2 amazing images:

  • A 30 foot photo of the 1980 US Hockey Team diving on captain Mike Eruzione.
  • A banner hanging in the rafters that states, “Miracles Happen Here.”

Goose bumps…

ESPN ranked the 1980 US Hockey Team’s win over the Soviets as THE GREATEST sporting event of the 20th Century.

A group of rival college kids, under a drill instructor head coach, defeated the greatest hockey team ever assembled.

They went on to win the GOLD medal.

This MIRACLE was made possible by 1 thing:

Synergy.

This week we continue a series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit # 6:  Synergize

Synergy is defined by the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Synergy means 1 +1 = 4.

Synergy is everyone following the same script.

The 1980 US Hockey Team may be one of the greatest examples of SYNERGY.

Most of the players on the US Olympic hockey team could NOT even have made the Soviet roster.

But together they found a way to defeat them on the world’s biggest stage.

The reason?

Synergy.

3 SYNERGY Lessons from the 1980 US Hockey Team:

  • Diversity is a force multiplier: Brooks selected players with different skillsets, back grounds, & perspectives. Great teams are created with diversity.
  • Trust: Synergy is built on trust.  You know the other person has your back.  You know they will be there when you need them.  No trust, no nothing.
  • Expect Adversity: Adversity is going to strike.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.  How you handle adversity determines who you become.

The 1980 US Hockey team SYNERGIZED their way into history.

Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Believe In:

  • Yourself
  • Your teammates.
  • Your mission.

Synergize.

And watch the miracles unfold…

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

2 Ears & 1 Mouth

“A wise old owl sat on an oak.  The more he knew the less he spoke.  The less he spoke the more he heard.  Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Ernest Hemingway

 

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Early in my sales career I worked for a VP that would personally lead our training sessions.

Her philosophy for a “successful” sales call was for the team to spew out the amazing facts about our product.

We were NOT encouraged to ask questions.

She thought asking questions gave up control of the conversation.

She believed we had a much better chance of connecting and influencing by making strong statements and doing all the talking.

Yikes…

Would you be shocked to learn that despite having some of the most talented, energetic people I ever worked with, this team never hit their quota?

Shocking.

No question, this was a bad idea.

This week we continue with our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #5:  Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

What’s one of the worst characteristics of sales people?

For me, it’s listening to respond rather than listening to understand.

The fastest way to connect with another human is by LISTENING.

Listening will separate you from the masses.

3 Killer Phrases to Understand, Before Being Understood:

  • “So what you’re saying is…”
  • “From your perspective, you feel that…”
  • “So what I am hearing is that you think…”

2,000 years ago the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

It takes courage to stand up and speak.

It takes even more to keep quiet and listen.

Listen.

Understand.

Connect.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Be On Display

“Follow the 20 Butt Rule. When 20 of your customer’s butts are gathered in the same room, yours should be too.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Imagine this…

Your customers are standing in line waiting to speak with you.

They mention how much they appreciate your support.

Your conversation ends with the customer asking you to stop by their office to discuss other ways you can work together.

Is this a dream?

Are you in Fantasy Land?

Nope.

This scenario is real.

How do elite sales people open doors and create access?

They EXHIBIT at conferences.

One of the most underutilized opportunities in sales is attending your customer’s conferences.

These conferences are amazing ways to establish yourself in your local marketplace.

You get to connect with the busiest customers and key opinion leaders outside the chaos of their office.

The customers literally come to you.

A good day exhibiting at a conference crushes a month of driving around your territory walking cold into offices.

Here are 3 Ways to Get Yourself on Display:

  1. Contact the CME Office of each academic medical center you cover:  
    • Ask for the person who coordinates their CME events.
    • Ask that person for their most updated course schedule.
    • Ask to be included on their distribution list.
  2. Ask your top customers what local conferences they attend:
    • “Dr John – What’s your favorite local medical conference?”
    • Ask your customer for their contact person for that conference.
    • Contact that person and tell them you want to help support their next event.
  3. Ask your customer what local organizations support their patient population:
    • EG- “Miles for Migraine” hosts a yearly 5k run in cities throughout the country.
    • Top customers & Key Opinion Leaders from multiple institutions attend.
    • You literally can go for a run with your top customers.

Your BIGGEST customers are the HARDEST to access.

That should excite you.

Those barriers are there to keep the average sales people out.

Don’t be average.

Leverage your resources, courage, & creativity.

When you do this, your value to your customers & company will be on full display.

#BeOnDisplay

-Joe Ciccarone

Next Week’s Vibe:  The Exhibitor’s Playbook: How to Engage, Connect, & Get Invited Back. The elite salesperson’s guide to working a conference.

 

 

The Gift

“Feedback is a gift.  Embrace it.” – Anonymous

The fastest route to customer access is to provide REAL value.

A HUGE problem for new salespeople is that they have no clue what value looks like.

This killer question can help.

It allows your customer to share their top of mind thinking.

It provides a path to the real value they are looking for you to provide.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate…”

  • the outcome of your last chronic migraine patient?”
  • your confidence in your reimbursement process?”
  • the quality of the toxin training your residents receive?”

Any response less than a “10” gets a series of follow up questions:

  • What’s missing?
  • How would you change it?
  • What do you think the next step should be?

The difference between the customer’s answer and “10” is the VALUE that customer is looking for someone to provide.

The person who does gets the access.

If you are really brave, you can use a version of this question to see what your long time customers think of the value you are providing:

  • “Dr Smith, I have been calling on you for over 5 years.  I am always looking to get better and be a better resource for you.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the value I bring to your office?”

Yikes…

This question takes guts.

This question helps you figure out where you need to be.

The answers will not always be pleasant.

It took me years to learn how NOT to get defensive when someone gave me feedback I did not want to hear.

Just remember, feedback is a gift.

Feedback shows you a better way forward.

Average sales people get defensive.

Good sales people embrace it.

Exceptional sales people seek out feedback to become more.

#BeTheException

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

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Play Your “A” Game

“Intelligence is not enough.  You must create relationships.”Tony Robbins

Proximity is power.

Our success is predicated upon our ability to access our customers.

Access enables influence.

Influence determines relevance.

There are times we need influence in places we have no access:

  • A physician won’t meet with us.
  • A pharmacy director won’t stock our new product.
  • A key administrator won’t buy into our recommendations.

Good times…

What to do?

Get creative!

This is where elite salespeople play their “A” game –

Call in your ADVOCATE.

Think of an advocate as a relationship on steroids.

An advocate is a person inside your customer’s organization that:

  • Believes in you.
  • Believes in your idea.
  • Is passionate about making things better.
  • Is willing to go to bat on your behalf to other members of their team.

Advocates bring your influence to places you are unable to access.

Advocates can facilitate change inside your customer that you can’t accomplish alone.

An advocate could be:

  • An injector.
  • Department administrator.
  • A respected RN.

How can advocates help you?

Glad you asked…

4 Ways Advocates Can 10x Your Influence:

  1. Introduce you to hard to access customers:  
    • “Dr Bill, would you mind walking me down the hall and introducing me to Dr Alison?  I have never met her.  She hasn’t responded to any of my emails.”
  2. Make New Products Available:
    • “Dr Kelly – I need your help.  Would you mind stopping down the hospital pharmacy and asking the pharmacy director to stock the 200 unit vial?  I met with her.  I don’t think I convinced her.”
  3. Get Best Practices Implemented:
    • “Cate, would be able to discuss the flow assessment recommendations with your chairmen?  Dr Andy told me nothing can move forward until they buy in.” 
  4. Create New Customers:  
    • “Dr Mike – Could you connect me with your new resident chiefs over email?  I will work with them on setting up that chronic migraine training we discussed.” 

Our best ideas will not always be embraced.

We will hit obstacles.

We will run into roadblocks.

Average salespeople will respond in average ways.

Don’t be average.

Play your “A” Game…

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net