Finish

“Much of the stress people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

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The most tiring work are the projects we never complete.

Pick one thing, no matter how small, and close it out.

Make something happen today.

Watch the momentum carry over to other parts of your life.

Author Jon Acuff writes, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.”

Finishing is a mindset.

For me?

I just hit the “publish” button for the first time in over a month.

#Finish

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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Commencement

“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

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Graduating students from all over the country are walking down the aisle to receive their diplomas and begin the next chapter of their lives.

Before they throw their caps in the air, they are offered some last words of advice.

This comes in the form of a COMMENCEMENT speech.

Some COMMENCEMENT speeches are REMARKABLE.

Steve Jobs gave a legendary talkto the 2005 graduating class of Stanford.

Others, not so much.

The 2018 speakers ranged from Oprah Winfrey telling the USC graduates to “Live your best life. Keep your word. Get your hands dirty.”to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer telling Bucknell graduates that “It’s OK to fail, but it’s not OK to quit.” 

General James Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense, gave the commencement address to the 2018 graduates of the Air Force Academy.

The class got an unedited talk on the complicated world they enter as they defend our country.

General Mattis, known as the “Warrior Monk”, did what all GREAT LEADERS do.

He made his address about the cadets sitting right in front of him.

He focused his thoughts on the people he will now lead, not himself.

INSPIRE BY YOUR EXAMPLE

“Your example will be the thing that inspires others.”

Talk is cheap.

Your impact will be determined by what you do, not what you think.

Want to INSPIRE others?

Take ACTION.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

“Learn to embrace and enjoy the beauty of the unexpected.”

Life is unpredictable.

Preparation is key.

But sometimes the best laid plans fall apart.

We have to develop the ability to think on our feet.

ATTITUDE IS YOUR ULTIMATE WEAPON

Your primary weapon system is your attitude.”

We are responsible for the energy we bring into each room we enter.

Our ATTITUDE will determine our ALTITUDE more than anything.

THE ULTIMATE BATTLE

General Mattis ended with a challenge to the future leaders sitting in front of him.

“You ultimately only have to win one battle, it’s the battle for your peoples’ respect. Once you win that battle, your people will win all the others.”

The people you lead expect you to have their back.

Your people expect you to be there when they need you most.

There’s no other place a true LEADER would rather be.

#Commencement

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Break Away

“My only requirement for life is that I don’t get stuck in a rut.” – Malin Ackerman

Break Away

It was time for a break:

  • No blogging.
  • No city traffic.
  • No hustling 5 people out the door by 7am.

Time to reset.

Time to BREAK AWAY.

We had an opportunity to take a vacation.

I booked our family’s first flight together.

Traveling with 3 young kids is no joke.

But it was time to roll the dice.

Time to create some memories.

The anticipation of a BIG event is sometimes better than the event itself.

Not this time.

“Best week of my life.” – our 8 year old said on the plane ride home.

BIG words from a little one.

  • We snorkeled over coral reefs.
  • Hiked in a rainforest.
  • Kayaked to an island where one of our kids’ favorite movies was filmed.

All accomplished while keeping a non-stop 3 year old entertained.

This family vacation taught me 3 life lessons:

When you have an opportunity to create a memory, seize it.

Memories just don’t happen.

They must be created.

Family vacations take:

  • Time.
  • Energy.
  • Cash.

All 3 can easily be allocated elsewhere in your life.

A new car or dining room set will NOT create the memories that walk with you through the rest of your life.

Creating special moments with your family will.

Shared experiences bond people together.  

Hiking over a narrow bridge 100 feet above a valley (while carrying your chatty 3 year old) bonds a family together.

There’s a special closeness that forms when you experience uncommon situations together.

The more experiences shared, the closer the bond.

Sometimes you have to dive in head first.

There was a moment when I came face to face with a childhood fear.

I never fully conquered my phobia of swimming in the ocean.

Double that fear when snorkeling.

Watching Jaws a dozen times as a child probably did not help.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

I have no problem jumping on the jiu jitsu mat with a 25 year old looking to choke me unconscious.

But putting on snorkel gear has me focusing on my breathing.

This trip brought me face to face with a snorkel swim that checked every box on my phobia checklist.

Yikes…

It was time to PUNCH fear in the face.

My 8 year old son and I put on our snorkel gear.

We looked down over a coral reef.

And…

Dove in.

Getting caught in a rut is AVERAGE.

Diving into life head first feels REMARKABLE.

#BreakAway

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

(This post was originally published April 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)

Enough

“All we got is all we need.” – Malcolm Jenkins, NFL Safety

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Kurt Vonnegut told a story about when he and author Joseph Heller were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island in NY.

The guests were mingling outside on the billionaire’s waterfront property.

The owner’s yacht was docked out front.

The property had a helipad.

Vonnegut said to Heller, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller paused then said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

Vonnegut, looking a bit confused says, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller replied, “Enough.”

WHAT’S ENOUGH?

Each of us has to decide on our own version of ENOUGH.

It’s a personal decision.

This decision will ultimately decide the amount of HAPPINESS we get out of life.

Trying to keep up with the lifestyles and possessions of others is a great way to live a miserable life.

That version of ENOUGH is like running on a hamster wheel.

We never get there.

There will always seem like something is missing.

The happiest people I know base their ENOUGH on 3 things:

  • Quality people.
  • Long term relationships.
  • Doing work that matters.

What’s your version of ENOUGH?

Find that and watch your best life unfold.

#Enough

-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

 

 

Free Yourself

“Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” – John Quincy Adams

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FREEDOM and COURAGE.

You can’t have one without the other.

I read David McCullough’s fantastic book  – 1776.

It’s an incredible story of how America won it’s FREEDOM.

Midway through the book, no rational person would think the Americans had any chance of winning.

But thanks to the LEADERSHIP of Washington and the COURAGE of his army, they did.

Our FREEDOM came at a tremendous cost.

It’s an amazing gift.

The crazy part is how easily we give our FREEDOM away.

240+ years later we no longer have a foreign power occupying our country.

But sometimes our own insecurities steal our FREEDOM on a regular basis.

Here are 3 THINGS THAT LIMIT OUR FREEDOM:

FEAR OF REJECTION

We have to come to grips that not everyone is going to be a fan.

There are going to be people who are not interested in us or what we do.

Each day we face a sea of rejection.

That’s a good thing!

That rejection keeps out the amateurs.

People are usually rejecting your idea, not you.

Most people are so caught up in their own lives, that they are not even thinking about us.

Don’t hold back.

Produce your best work.

Send it out into the world.

What others think is irrelevant.

ANXIETY

Don’t let the PAST or FUTURE steal another second from TODAY.  

Give yourself the FREEDOM of the present moment.

Lao Tzu wrote, “If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

The PAST is gone.

The FUTURE is a mystery.

Live in the moment.

EGO

EGO’s are fragile.

They get bruised when we fail.

Our brain tries to protect us by keeping us “safe”.

Unfortunately our safety zone is our DANGER ZONE.

Check your EGO at the door.

Have the COURAGE to fail.

Make today your Independence day.

The Founding Fathers did their part.

Now it’s time we do ours.

Move past FEAR.

Free your mind.

Free your life.

#FreeYourself

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

The Main Event

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Steven Covey

priority.pngBrazilian Jiu Jitsu is a microcosm of life.

When you:

  • Don’t execute the BASICS, bad things happen.
  • Lose FOCUS, trouble follows.
  • Get DISTRACTED, you get hurt.

It doesn’t matter if you are training Jiu Jitsu or negotiating in a customer’s office, you have to PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST or pay the price.

This week our series continues on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #3:  Put First Things First

Let’s roll…

There is an amazing disconnect between what we say is IMPORTANT and our actions.

At times we act like a General Manager of an awful sports team.

We trade high value assets for low value items:

  • We give our ATTENTION to Instagram when our family is right in front of us.
  • We give away our HEALTH when we pass the gym to get “caught up” on email.
  • We let people steal our TIME because we are afraid to say “No”.

Take back control by putting first things first.  

It all starts by eliminating distraction.

A few weeks ago I found myself losing focus.

My phone pinged all day.

I was reacting, not initiating.

The iphone was stealing my attention away from what was right in front of me.

This was happening more often than I would like to admit.

It was time to put first things first.

I made 3 changes:

  • Removed all social media apps from my iphone.
  • Turned off all notifications for everything.
  • Limited email to 2 times per day.

The result?

More focus.

Less stress.

A game changer.

There is more white space during my day.

But the biggest benefit has been PRESENCE.

I’m more AWARE of what’s going on in front of me.

200 years before Covey wrote the 7 Habits, Goethe said:

“Things Which Matter Most Must Never Be at the Mercy of Those That Matter Least.”

Maybe it’s time we start acting that way.

#PutFirstThingsFirst

-Joe Ciccarone

http://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.

 

 

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