Competition

“No Pressure, No Diamonds.” – Thomas Carlyle

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Larry Bird had Magic Johnson.

Bill Gates had Steve Jobs.

Batman had The Joker.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Eventually, someone (or something) will stand in your way.

They will want the exact same thing you do.

They will TEST YOU to your limits.

They will do everything possible to stop you.

“They” are the COMPETITION. 

COMPETITION is:

  • That swimmer who just beat your personal best.
  • That new drug that has your customer’s attention.
  • That Jiu Jitsu opponent who submitted you in the finals.

Anything that stands between you and your goal is your COMPETITION.

NO CURSING

Here a tip –

Never speak bad of your competition.

Respect them.

BE HAPPY they showed up.

Why?

COMPETITION will make you better.

They will force you to ELEVATE your game to higher levels.

Magic Johnson said in an interview, “My job was to kick Larry’s butt, and his job was to kick mine. I didn’t want Larry to like me. But we both respected each other.”

Think of your COMPETITION as a TEST.

It’s the test you have to pass to prove how bad you really want it.

MIND GAMES

Barbara Corcoran said, “The biggest challenge is not the competition, it’s what goes on inside your head.” 

Winning begins in your MIND.

REMARKABLE people rise up.

AVERAGE people crumble.  

Which one are you?

PERSONAL BEST

How do you beat the COMPETITION?

By NOT focusing on them.

Your path to reaching your goal will be decided by how good you want to be.

The goal is not to beat the competition.

It’s to be the best you can possibly can be.

Jeffrey Gitomer wrote, “Competition does not mean war. It means learn, it means prepare, and it means be your best.” 

The COMPETITION does not decide your fate.

You do.

#COMPETITION

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

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

Take The Plunge

“You have two choices, control your mind or let your mind control you.” – Paulo Coelho

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There is a scene in the documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” where Tony Robbins jumps into a 57° plunge pool immediately after waking up.

Brrrr…

Robbins TAKES THE PLUNGE every morning to tell his mind that he is in charge of the day.

PROFESSIONALS get up and go to work.

AMATEURS wait to be in the mood.

Our brains are hardwired to keep us SAFE and COMFORTABLE.

They are not concerned about our SUCCESS.  

When our brain spots a PERCEIVED threat, it tells us to go in the other direction.

This worked great 10,000 years ago when we were being chased by saber-tooth tigers.

Not so much when this same FEAR crushes our present day CREATIVITY.  

Our minds will try to convince us not to:

  • Wake up EARLY.
  • WRITE that blog post.
  • Make that UNCOMFORTABLE sales call.

We can’t let our MOOD decide if we will execute or not.

There are ways we can PRIME ourselves to do the work that our minds are trying to keep us from doing.

4 WAYS TO TAKE THE PLUNGE:

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COLD

Want to create your mood the moment you wake up?

Cold shower.

Standing in a cold shower for 30 seconds is an incredibly effective way to tell your mind who’s in charge.

CREATE ROUTINES

Before each Jiu Jitsu class, I head to the pull up bar in the back of the academy.

I do a set of 10 pull ups.

This routine tells my BODY & MIND that it is time to train.

No matter what thoughts are bouncing around in my brain when I walk in, after I hit pull up #10,  I am totally focused on training.

FOCUS ON THE OUTCOME

Muhammad Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I loved being CHAMPION.”

For me, writing consistently is a struggle but I love having a WEEKLY BLOG.

I focus on how I will feel after I hit the PUBLISH button.

SCHEDULE & PROTECT

Each of us need to use some sort of calendar.

  • SCHEDULE what’s important.
  • PROTECT what we schedule.

If we don’t, life will eat our time for breakfast.

Robbins says, “When you train yourself to do it anyway, you will have a freedom that few people will ever find.”

There will always be things we HAVE TO DO that we don’t WANT TO DO.

Free yourself by taking MOOD out of the equation.

How will you tell your mind that YOU ARE IN CHARGE?  

Feel the fear.

Do it anyway.

#TakeThePlunge

-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

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

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.

 

 

Be On Alert

“Find out something personal.  Do something memorable.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

No access, no nothing.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your 1st week or 10th year.

Your goal is the same:

  • Get invited in.
  • Get invited back.

The Vibe will jump start 2017 by focusing on strategies & tactics that increase our most valuable asset…

Access.

To have access to our top customers, we must be perceived as having the 6 B’s dialed in:

  • Be engaging
  • Be valuable
  • Be prepared
  • Be trustable
  • Be brief
  • Be gone

The best way to ENGAGE a hard to access customer is to focus on their interests.

You have to do your homework.

  • What’s new in your customer’s world?
  • What has their attention?
  • What do they do in their free time?

Enter Google Alerts.

Google alerts can be your secret weapon for new customer information.

Google Alerts scans the web.

It delivers a report to your inbox each week about anything new that hit the web about your customer.

  • Did your customer just win an award from some obscure society?
  • Did an alumni newsletter just do a feature story on your customer?
  • Was your customer just interviewed on a podcast?
  • Did your customer just complete their 1st Iron Man?

If it hit the web, Google Alerts keeps you in the know.

So how does this increase your access?

Glad you asked.

Imagine writing your customer a hand written note congratulating them on finishing their 1st Iron Man.

Then you follow up a few days later with an email asking them to meet to discuss a new idea that may help streamline their reimbursement processes?

You just tripled your chances of meeting a previously non-responsive customer.

Or combine this with “Before we get started…” for a killer way to expand your time with a transactional customer:

  • “Dr Meredith – I have a new idea for that resident training we discussed. But before we get started… I listened to that podcast you were on.  How did that come about?”

Find ways to create and expand access.

Or lose to someone who does.

-Joe Ciccarone

The Art of the Start

“Every day the world you live in is created by your attitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Sales professionals live in a sea of rejection.

It’s an occupational hazard.

We hear “No” infinitely more than “Yes!”.

Our job is to weather adversity and keep our positive attitude flowing.

Nothing will destroy your success (or career) faster than a poor attitude.

The good news is that we control 100% of our attitude.

Start each day by creating the attitude you want to bring into the world.

Here’s the advice a mentor gave me:

  • Wake up 15 minutes earlier.
  • Read from a positive, thought provoking book for 10 minutes.
  • Write the best idea you learned in a journal.

This process pushes out any negative thoughts floating in your head when you wake up.

It fills that negative space with positive.

It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

As an added bonus, in just a few weeks, you will create a KILLER JOURNAL filled with the best ideas you ever came across.

It’s a simple process, but CONSISTENCY is key.

Like bathing, this must be done daily to be effective.

Our minds will go in the direction they are pointed.

What we think about becomes our reality.

We are 100% responsible for the energy we bring into each room.

It’s up to us to bring our best self to our family, friends, & customers.

Wake up positive.  Live positive.

Get your morning right, the rest of the day follows.

#StartRight

-Joe

*** If you would like 12 AWESOME books to consider, click THIS LINK.