Lead the Way

“Leadership is influence.  Nothing more, nothing less.” – John Maxwell

 

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What makes someone a LEADER?

The best definition I ever heard is “INFLUENCE”.

Whether you lead a global corporation or run your family, every organization needs the next generation of leaders to step up and LEAD THE WAY.

John Maxwell wrote, “Everything rises and falls with leadership.”

You may be a new leader trying to establish TRUST.

You could be an established leader looking to STAY RELEVANT.

Either way, one thing is certain –

Leaders are CREATED, not born.

HOW TO LEAD THE WAY:

SHARE YOUR BEST IDEAS

Leaders need to ELEVATE the thinking of everyone in the group.

Don’t hold back.

Put your best ideas into world.

Edwin Markham wrote, “What we put into the lives of others, comes back into our own.”

MAKE DECISIONS

Leaders have the COURAGE to make tough decisions.

They gather the available information and have the guts to make a call.

Leaders know that NOT making a decision is making one.

Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” 

MOVE ON

Not every decision will work out.

Life will knock you down.

The past is an awesome teacher, but a bad place to live.

Leaders learn the lesson, adapt, then move on.

EMPOWER OTHERS

Leaders take people with them.

Wayne Gretzky said, “It’s not about how great you are.  It’s about how great you make the people around you.”

Empower others.

RAISE THE BAR

Leaders raise the bar.

From Washington leading the Continental Army, to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, to Steve Jobs denting the universe…

Great leaders show what is possible.

Seth Godin wrote, “You can raise the bar or wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless.” 

Elevate what people think is possible.

STAY RELEVANT

Leaders know the best way to STAY RELEVANT is to keep learning.

John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Leaders keep learning or slowly fade away.

IT’S YOUR TURN

The world is asking you to step up and help show the way forward.

Someone is waiting for you to LEAD THE WAY.

Who will you INFLUENCE?

How far can you take them?

It’s time…

Lead, follow, or please get out of the way.

#LeadTheWay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

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A Beautiful Mind

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

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What’s the SECRET TO LIFE?

The best explanation I ever heard is from Tony Robbins.

In his UNSHAKEABLE podcast, Robbins said there are 2 rules people need to follow to live an extraordinary life.

RULE #2

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

Who do you spend the most time with?

Who’s In Your 5?

These people influence:

  • What you DO.
  • What you EAT.
  • How you MOVE.
  • What you READ.
  • Where you GO.

Think about it.

Is this the life you want to lead?

If not, it may be time to MAKE SOME CHANGES. 

Nothing will elevate our lives faster than being surrounded by great people.

RULE #1

“Develop the ability to live in a state of gratitude regardless of your circumstances.” 

It’s easy to BE HAPPY when things are going our way.

It takes a strong MINDSET to do so when life gets difficult.

Robbins said, “We have to remember that life happens for us, not to us.” 

Each OBSTACLE is there to make us better.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Obstacles show us who we really are.”

There are seeds of opportunity in every setback.

Gifts are hidden inside each problem.

Our job is to find it.

There is nothing more liberating than…

#ABeutifulMind

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

You Too

“Everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if you deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.” – Zig Ziglar

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Have you ever tried to convince your kids to eat healthy?

Have you ever asked someone out on a date?

Ever try to convince your spouse it’s time to buy a new car?

If you have, I’ll let you in on a little SECRET:

YOU ARE IN SALES.

Anyone trying to MAKE A CHANGE happen is in sales.

  • It’s the PHYSICIAN convincing their patient to start a new therapy.
  • It’s the TEACHER getting their students to READ more.
  • It’s the BACKUP QB asking his head coach to run a trick play in the SUPER BOWL.

Seth Godin wrote, “If you’re not trying to make things better, why are you here? So, you are SELLING something.”

The sooner you realize this reality, the easier your reality becomes.

Be Proud.

Say it loud….

“I AM IN SALES.”

Now go out there and change something for the better.

#YouToo

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

The Sweetest Thing

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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A woman in India had a son that ate way too much sugar.

No matter what she did or said, her son continued to eat sugar.

The mother was so upset that she decided to take her son on a trip to see his idol, Mahatma Gandhi, to ask for his help.

They traveled to see Gandhi.

They waited a day and half to get an audience with the leader.

When their turn came to speak, the mom walked up to Gandhi with her son at her side.

The women said, “Sir, my son eats too much sugar. It’s affecting his health, his teeth, his mood.  Every time he eats sugar I can see the change in him.  There is nothing I can do to stop him.  I am afraid that sugar will ruin his life.  Please tell him to stop eating sugar.”

Gandhi listened to the woman.

He looked at the boy, then paused.

Gandhi told the mother, “Go home and come back to me in two weeks time.”

The woman was perplexed.

She wondered why Gandhi did not tell her son to stop eating sugar.

The mom took the boy and traveled back home.

Two weeks later she returned, boy in hand.

The pair waited hours again for an audience.

When their time came, Gandhi motioned for them to come forward.

Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, stop eating sugar. It is not good for you.”

The boy nodded and promised he would not eat sugar any longer.

The mother was confused.

She turned to Gandhi and asked, “Dear Sir, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I first brought him to see you?”

Gandhi smiled, “Mother, two weeks ago I was still eating sugar myself.”

CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU

Want something to CHANGE?

Change yourself first.

LEAD by example.

Live what you preach.

It’s the fastest way to build TRUST.

There is no better way to establish CREDIBILITY. 

Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” 

Start with you.

Earning TRUST and having CREDIBILITY with your colleagues and customers is kind of like winning the SUPER BOWL.

Its…

#TheSweetestThing

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Step By Step

“One walks over the highest mountain one step at a time.” – John Wanamaker

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How do you eat an elephant?

One step at a time.

Why anyone would want to eat an elephant confuses me, but you get the point.

BIG things are accomplished by breaking them down into small, actionable STEPS. 

Our goal is steady progress.

Keep moving the ball down field.

I just read Anthony Iannarino’s new book, The Lost Art of Closing.

The book is fantastic.

Iannarino shows how taking a STEP BY STEP approach to CLOSING A SALE is a highly effective way to create new business.

Our job as sales professionals is to ask for and obtain commitments.

But when people hear the word CLOSING, they can get a negative vibe.

Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake, in Glengary, Glen Ross comes to mind.

Baldwin plays a shady, money hungry deal maker.

His world is all about getting the customer’s money.

Great movie.

Amazing one liners.

But total BS.

Blake’s “A.B.C.” (Always Be Closing) Method of selling went out of style a few weeks after parachute pants did in the 1980’s.

Modern day selling is about helping your customers succeed.

CLOSING A SALE can take multiple appointments, a number of stakeholders and months to achieve.

A good sales person knows where they are in the SALES process.

They understand the next STEP they need to take.

They know that CLOSING involves more than just asking for the business.

A sales professional knows that they need to secure a series of smaller commitments from the customer before they get anywhere near a sale.

This process can be smooth.

You just have take it STEP BY STEP:

THE INTRODUCTION

Not all stakeholders will want to meet with you.

Many may not even respond to your emails and messages.

That’s a good thing.

This keeps all the AVERAGE sales people out.

The best way to deal with this is to get your advocates inside the customer to make the introduction.

This idea is killer.

Try it.

THE NEXT MEETING

Secure the next appointment before you leave the current one.

The most effective way to keep the sales process alive is to stay in front of your customer.

It’s amazing how many sales “professionals” don’t do this.

TO BE INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS

Great sales people are considered TRUSTED ADVISORS.

They secure a commitment to be included in the customer’s decision making process.

They are sitting next to the customer in the conference room when they are deciding which path to take.

THE ORDER

It sounds cliche, but it’s true.

Many sales people are afraid to ask for the order.

Sometime all you need is the COURAGE to ask.

“Would you like to move forward with an order?”

At worst you get a “No” and the real reason holding them back.

At best you get a new customer.

Ask and you shall receive.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

This is true in SALES.

It’s true in LIFE.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Just ask that elephant.

#StepByStep

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Stand Guard

“Stand guard at the door of your mind.” – Jim Rohn

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To live a POSITIVE life we have to feed our minds positive thoughts.

We have to protect our thinking from negative influences.

Negativity is constantly knocking.

It’s searching for a way in.

We have to make a conscious decision to keep it out.

In a interview, Tony Robbins said learning to deal with negative thoughts was one of the greatest lessons he learned from his mentor Jim Rohn.

“Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle.” Robbins said, “Every day, STAND GUARD at the door of you mind.  You alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life.  For these thoughts will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

In our 24/7 connected world, that’s no easy feat.

Negative is everywhere.

It’s waiting for us each time we log into social media.

Negative is on overdrive on cable news.

We have to curate the information we allow to influence us.

So much of what we are exposed to are sensationalized events that have nothing to do with us.

  • The tragedy 8 time zones away.
  • The celebrity that got arrested.
  • The shady politician screaming into the camera.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.

Everyday we all have important work to do.

Our job is to FOCUS on what we can control and ignore the noise.

Vince Vaughn said, “Don’t give a voice to things you’re not able to change.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

Keep all that useless, negative information from souring our thoughts and attitudes.

When we allow negative influences into out mind bad things happen:

  • Our attitude sours.
  • We get distracted.
  • We lose focus from the things that really matter.

If we pay attention to uncontrollable, negative events long enough, our thinking becomes negative.

Negative starts to follow us around all day long.

We have to feed our minds a healthy diet of positive information.

THINK ABOUT IT.

The information you allow into your mind affects what you think about.

  • What you THINK about creates your MOOD.
  • Your MOOD creates your ATTITUDE.
  • Your ATTITUDE influences your ACTIONS.
  • Your ACTIONS determine your OUTCOMES.
  • Your OUTCOMES become your LIFE.

Believing that we are unaffected by what we let into our mind is like saying what we eat does not matter.

Shut the door on the PEOPLE, EVENTS, & STORIES that try to pull you down and drain your energy.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Cut the negative strings that pull your mind.”

Shut out the negative.

Protect your mind.

Improve your life.

#StandGuard

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Airplane Mode

“Starve Your Distractions.  Feed Your Focus.” – Anonymous

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Have you ever flown across the country?

If so, you can speak to the phenomenon of PRODUCTIVITY that happens when you are at 30,000 feet.

It’s called AIRPLANE MODE.

Many frequent fliers tell tales of getting more work done on a cross country flight than an entire week in the office.

AIRPLANE MODE serves up the perfect work environment:

  • Zero distractions (barring that screaming baby 2 rows back):
  • No interruptions.
  • Your phone does not buzz every 10 seconds.

You are in a bubble.

Work gets done:

  • Presentations get finished.
  • Books get read.
  • Blogs get written.

Author Peter Shenkman brags about writing 28,000 words for one of his books on a single flight.

One of the BEST IDEAS I discovered in 2017 was bringing AIRPLANE MODE to ground level.

It’s an awesome way to get work done.

I spend 1 hour of each day on AIRPLANE MODE.

Jon Acuff talks about this concept in his book FINISH.

There’s no need to wait for your next trip to Las Vegas to make progress on an important project.

We can create an uninterrupted, distraction free bubble to do our most important work on the ground.

The start of the year is a great opportunity to experiment with new ways of doing things.

So buckle your seat belts.

Put your tray tables in their locked upright position.

Oh…

And stow that carry-on bag under your seat.

TIME TO GO ON AIRPLANE MODE:

CHOOSE ONE PROJECT 

What’s the ONE THING you need to finish?

What project has been hanging over your head for too long?

Choose that one.

PICK YOUR PLACE

Find a place where you will not be tempted by distractions.

I found my home office was a terrible place to get work done.

There were just too many distractions.

So much so that I gave up my home office.

It was converted into a playroom.

I find cafes and local libraries work way better.

GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT  

What time of day are you at your best?

Schedule AIRPLANE MODE at your mental peak.

I’m a morning person.  For me, the earlier the better.

Night time does not work.

I fade late afternoon like the Dallas Cowboys in December.

DISCONNECT 

Shut your phone down.  Turn off your ipad.

Completely disconnect.

What if my kids call? 

What if I miss a customer email?

Be brave.

The world will be there 59 minutes later when you reconnect.

SET A TIMER

I put my iPhone on AIRPLANE MODE.

Then I set 60 minutes on my timer app.

The first couple times I found myself looking up every 5 minutes.

Eventually the hour flies by.

GET TO WORK

Don’t let the distractions of everyday life keep you from doing your best work.

Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser focus.”

Starve your distractions.

Feed your focus.

Go on AIRPLANE MODE.

And watch your productivity TAKE OFF.

#AirPlaneMode

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SaleVibe.Net

Leaving 2017 Inspired

“Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” – Anonymous

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Below are the PEOPLE, BOOKS, & PLACES that inspired me in 2017:

People

Ryan Holiday is my favorite author.  Holiday’s writing draws modern day wisdom from ancient philosophy.  His latest book, Perennial Seller shows how to create perennial success by basing your work on timeless principles.  His other book,  The Daily Stoic , is the book I give to others the most.

Seth Godin has the greatest blog on the planet.  He has published a daily blog post for over a decade without fail. His blog is the first thing I read each morning.  Godin challenges people to stop hiding and leap. He is known for asking, “Would they miss you if you were gone?”  The answer is up to you.

Jocko Willink spent 20+ years leading & training Navy SEALS.  His Jocko Podcast is a weekly wave of leadership & life lessons.  Jocko tells stories from military history, modern day business, & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Willink inspires you to rise up when others fade away.

Tom Petty is the person from 2017 who I never met, but will miss.  Petty, who died this year at 66, has been part of the soundtrack of my life since high school.  His concerts were the best.  Petty’s, I Won’t Back Down”  inspired me through tough times. RIP Tom.  Your music made many “Feel A Whole Lot better.”

Books

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done was my favorite book of 2017.  Jon Acuff breaks down why starting is not the problem; finishing is.  Acuff writes about simple tactics to overcoming obstacles that keep us from finishing.  One of my favorite quotes from the book, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was my surprise book of 2017.  I had no expectations, but found myself completely engaged and not wanting it to end.  This book informs and entertains.  The first chapter drops more “F” Bombs than the bar scene in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas The F*cking premise of the book is that our time & energy are limited.  They are the greatest resources we have. We need to figure out who & what are most deserving of them and “not give a F*ck about everything else.”

Tools of Titans by Tim Feriss is a true gift.  Imagine having access to billionaires and world class performers like Brene Brown, Peter Theil, General Stanley McChrystal and Malcolm Gladwell.  Then imagine having them share their best habits, routines, and tactics.  Thanks to Feriss, we now do.  You can open this book to any page and get inspired.

Principles by Ray Dalio.  Ray Dalio is a self-made billionaire and a legend in the financial world.  Bill Gates and Tony Robbins go to Dalio for advice and council.  This book is filled with ideas and principles that lead to success in business and life.

Places

Our family’s most “Magical” week of 2017 happened in Disney World.  We took our first family trip to the Magic Kingdom.  Mickey did not disappoint.  I was skeptical going in.  Impressed on the way out.

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Happy holidays.

Wish you a REMARKABLE 2018!

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK

“The person that gives value first has the leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

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What’s the worst professional advice you ever got?

In Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tribe of Mentors, Ferriss asks a series of questions to a group of elite athletes, super achievers, & billionaires.

Here’s one question that generated some fascinating dialogue:

“What are the bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?”

This question brought me back to my first SALES job.

During our weekly sales meetings, my manager would walk around the meeting room and say phrases like “Work the close!” and “A.B.C. – Always Be Closing.”

It was like Alec Baldwin’s character “Blake” from Glengarry Glen Ross giving you a motivational talk each week.

SALES was all about CLOSING a deal.

Get the contract signed and move on.

Helping a customer succeed and establishing a long term relationship had little to do with the process.

For my money, “Always Be Closing.” is the worst professional advice I ever got.

EVERYONE IS IN SALES 

Like it or not, EVERYONE is in SALES.

We all have something to sell:

  • Our product to a customer.
  • Your kids on brushing their teeth.
  • Convincing your husband it’s time to remodel the kitchen.

If you really want to CLOSE THE DEAL, focus less on CLOSING and more on VALUE. 

LEAD WITH VALUE

Sales is all about providing VALUE.

It’s HELPING someone get the OUTCOMES they are searching for by using your idea, product or service.

Gary Vaynerchuk, internet entrepreneur & bestselling author, has an amazing philosophy on how to get people to decide in your favor.

It’s called JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK.

GIVE TO GET

Think of the SALES process like a boxing match.

Each JAB is you providing HELP and VALUE to your customer.

The HOOK, which comes only after a series of jabsis your ask.  It’s what you are trying to get the other person to agree to.

Your JABS setup the HOOK.

The JABS increases the chances that your HOOK hits the target.

Just like a boxer has a GAME PLAN before entering the ring, each salesperson needs a plan before entering a customer’s office.

SALES PLAN

Before you ask a customer to do anything, HELP THEM three times.

Prove your VALUE. 

It’s not about “Always Be Closing.

It’s all about: “Always Be Helping.

It’s:

  • Give Value
  • Give Value
  • Give Value
  • Ask

The JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK method delivers knockouts:

  • It ENGAGES customers.
  • It creates TRUST.
  • Establishes long term RELATIONSHIPS.

People are way more receptive to take action on new ideas with people they like, trust, and know have their best interests at heart.

This is not just a GAME PLAN for SALES.

It’s also a great philosophy for life.

#JabJabJabHook

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Talking About Practice

“If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.” – Andre Agassi 

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In 2002 NBA MVP & Future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson held one of the most famous press conferences in sport’s history.

Iverson was 3 days removed from his team being eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

Emotions were raw.

There were rumors he was on the outs with his head coach.

People around the team whispered he was giving less than 100% at PRACTICE. 

A.I. took his frustrations out with a rant about PRACTICE. 

The word PRACTICE was said over 20 times in a 5 minute period.

A.I. downplayed its importance.

He told the media as long he gave everything he had during the game, PRACTICE did not matter.

The press conference was immortalized with his famous quote:

“We’re talking about practice.”

With all due respect to THE ANSWER…

LET’S TALK ABOUT PRACTICE.

PRACTICE is a force multiplier.

It’s a DIFFERENTIATOR.

PRACTICE makes POTENTIAL reality.

It creates MOMENTUM.

From playing in the NBA to the world of SALES – PRACTICE matters.

PRACTICE can reveal a person’s true CHARACTER.

Many people claim to be “hard workers”.

PRACTICE proves it.

PRACTICE creates champions.

Muhammad Ali said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses…in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Want to see how much CONFIDENCE a salesperson has?

Just tell them you will video their PRACTICE session and play it back for their peers to critique.

I have seen experienced SALESPEOPLE crumble at the thought.

WHAT WE NEED TO PRACTICE:

SKILL BUILDING

This is the PHYSICAL side of PRACTICE. 

This is Old School practice.

This is the SALESPERSON writing down and rehearsing thought provoking questions before their BIG meeting.

This is the BJJ student drilling a new move dozens of times to ELEVATE their game.

This is the NBA star shooting hundreds of foul shots after practice to fix a problem.

You find something you need to get better at, then – REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT

PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE

This is the MENTAL side of PRACTICE.

This involves losing your EGO.

This is having the guts to try something new.

It brings about the possibility of you looking foolish doing so.

This is putting yourself out in the arena, again and again, to either succeed or fail.

This type of PRACTICE is far more rare.

It’s gettin knocked down, making adjustments, and having the guts to try again.

This is knowing you have to EVOLVE and having the COURAGE to do so.

This type of PRACTICE gives no guarantee.

Seth Godin writes, “This is doing things that might not work.”

PRACTICE IS A MINDSET

In Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET, she proves the greats in every field are MADE, not BORN.

How?

PRACTICE.

The world is filled with talented people who never ESCAPE AVERAGE.  

But not you.

You’re better than that.

Here’s THE ANSWER…

#TimeToPractice

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net