Question of the Day

“Judge someone by their questions rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

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“Get out now while you still can.”

The guy on the other side of the table told me this as he stared at me with no expression.

I was a year out of college and struggling to make a job I disliked (working in a CPA firm) work.

The guy was a senior member of the firm asked to mentor me.

At our very first lunch outside of the office, instead of showing me the ropes, he tried to show me the exit.

Turns out he was miserable.

He hated being a CPA.

But he felt stuck.

He told me he was married, had young kids, car payments, and a mortgage.

“It’s too late for me to get out. Don’t get stuck like I did.” was the way I remembering him putting it.

Warning given.

Warning taken.

I jumped ship (and careers) a few months later.

SALES & LIFE

When I was an accountant, I knew many unhappy accountants.

They did not like their job:

  • The hours.
  • The monotony.
  • All those memorable lunches sitting at your desk alone staring at an Excel spreadsheet.

They may have been unhappy, but they were excellent at what they did.

They produced high level CPA work.

They delivered for their clients.

That’s not possible in SALES.

I’ve never met an unhappy, high achieving sales person.

Never.

An unhappy sales person has almost ZERO CHANCE of:

  • Engaging.
  • Connecting.
  • Building Trust.
  • Providing Value.
  • Helping someone else succeed.
  • Getting invited back.

ELEVATE YOUR QUESTIONS

What’s the best way to feel fulfilled in your career?

That’s hard to say.

It’s different for each of us.

There are no magic answers.

But there are MAGIC QUESTIONS.

The fastest way to elevate your MINDSET is also the fastest way to elevate your sales game:

Elevate the quality of your questions.  

10 QUESTIONS TO JUMP START YOUR SALES (and life)…

  1. What needs to happen for today to be a success?
  2. Who needs my help today?
  3. Who do I need to ignore?
  4. What do I need to stop doing?
  5. What do I need to get over?
  6. Who do I need to spend more time with?
  7. Who do I need to walk away from?
  8. What am I excited about?
  9. What’s missing?
  10. What am I grateful for?

High level questions attract high level answers.

U2’s Bono said, “We thought that we had the answers. It was the questions we had wrong.”

No need to get stuck anywhere.

What tough questions do you need to ask yourself?

That’s the…

#QuestionOfTheDay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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17 Ways

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul…I’m saying it helps.” – Walter Mosley

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Life is made of moments.

Last week was a special one for me.

I had the opportunity to present Sales Vibe Live to our national sales team in San Diego.

The presentation was based on the principles and ideas I write about in SALES VIBE.

We discussed ways to:

  • Prepare.
  • Engage.
  • Build Trust.
  • Organize.
  • Strategize.
  • Question.
  • Close.
  • Get Invited Back.

Over 60 people attended.

It was an awesome experience.

After the presentation, I received multiple requests for the list of books referenced in the talk.

Below is that list with a brief summary following each book.

Here are 17 WAYS to elevate your SALES & LIFE:

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful man on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino.  Iannarino writes “To succeed in sales you need three things: a Mindset, a Skillset, & a Toolset.”  Same goes for life.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.  This book made the term “mindset” hip.  Greatness is created, not born.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.  Holiday distills ancient stoic wisdom into 1 actionable thought each day.  Holiday is the modern day Robert Green. 

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer is the best sales trainer on the planet.  He also wrote one of the best books on how to create a winning attitude.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.  Willink spent two decades training & leading US Navy Seals in combat.  He shows how the lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to the boardroom. #GetAfterIt

Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar is famous for saying “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” Written in 1985, it’s still one of the greatest sales books ever.

SKILLSET

The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.  Tony Robbins was working as a janitor when he met Jim Rohn.  Rohn taught him these principles to lead an exceptional life. Gold.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  Covey’s book is one of the top 10 read books on Amazon.  He boils the secrets of success down into 7 habits.

The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer.  This book is the best selling sales book of all time.  You can put Gitomer’s ideas in to action 30 seconds after you read them.

The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer teaches how to connect, engage, and get invited back.  Hint:  “Start friendly, or don’t start at all.” 

Good To Great by Jim Collins.  “If you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any.”

The Lost Art of Closing by Anthony Iannarino.  A salesperson job is to ask for and obtain commitments. This book shows you how to be a closer.

TOOLSET

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Sales Bible is the most complete book on selling ever written.

Power Questions by Andrew Sobel. I read books then give them away.  I kept this one and refer to it often.  It’s filled with killer questions.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.”  Timeless wisdom.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday“What stands in the way becomes the way.”  Struggling through something? This is your book.

Lists can be overwhelming.

Start by picking one.

A great book will lead you to the next one.

There is a Latin Proverb, “Liber Medicina Animi – A Book is the Soul’s Medicine.”

Take the next step.

Go…

#17Ways

-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

 

 

Uncommon Gratitude

“Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.” – Napoleon Hill

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Last week was a great reminder of all that we have to BE THANKFUL.

It’s EASY to GIVE THANKS for the good things:

  • Our families.
  • Good health.
  • Our freedom.

I just listened to a REMARKABLE podcast with Gary Vee and Tim Ferriss.

Ferriss was promoting his new book,  Tribe of Mentors.

Gary Vee asked Ferriss two of the most powerful questions I’ve heard in an interview:

  • What setback are you most grateful for? 

  • What failure propelled you the furthest?

Wow.

It makes you think…

When was the last time you were GRATEFUL for an OBSTACLE that knocked you down?

  • The injuries.
  • The setbacks.
  • The breakups.

These OBSTACLES, which seem horrible at the time are actually the fuel that make the good stuff possible.

Often the view at the top is fantastic, but GROWTH happens in the valley below.

It takes UNCOMMON GRATITUDE to appreciate setbacks.

If we want to BECOME MORE, we have to CONFRONT MORE.

We have to think every obstacle that comes our way was made especially for us.

The tests of life are not there to break us, but make us.

Tony Robbins says, “Life does not happen to you, it happens for you.”

Looking back, I can see where this has happened for me:

  • I got cut from my high school baseball team.  I was crushed. To fill my newfound free time, I started training martial arts.  I’m still training to this day.
  • After missing out on a promotion I really wanted, I decided it was time to PROMOTE MYSELF.  I hired a recruiter and landed a position with a growing company.  One of the best moves I ever made.
  • My knee blows out while training Jiu Jitsu.  What started off as scary, turned into an amazing journey that showed me a better way to EAT, TRAIN & LIVE.

UNCOMMON GRATITUDE is being thankful for all the tough times that make you better.

Gratitude is not an automatic response, especially for the tough times.

Being grateful for both the good and the bad transforms an AVERAGE life into a REMARKABLE journey.

What OBSTACLE made you better in the past?

What TOUGH CHALLENGE are you facing now?

Time to give thanks.

#UncommonGratitude

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Walking Backwards

“Stop focusing on what you need to do.  Focus on who you need to become.” – Darren Hardy

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This week’s Vibe continues with the series on The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.

Habit #2:  Begin With The End In Mind

The end of my accounting career was a REMARKABLE teacher.

The CEO of my company brought in a high powered consultant to help fix a slew of problems.

This consultant was at the top of his game.

He was an Ivy League professor, political consultant, and a talking head on CNN.

After watching me struggle close out a project, he pulled me aside.

Consultant:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “Umm, trying to finish this.”

Consultant:  “What does the finished product look like?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Consultant:  “Then you’ll never get there.”

Consultant:  “Decide what you want to accomplish.  Work backwards from there.”

My 24 year old mind was blown.

Two questions each of us need to answer:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Who do I want to become?

Your answers are an amazing filter to run decisions through.

You know what to work on.

You know what to ignore.

Crossing off insignificant items on a To Do list may trick your brain, but won’t fool your legacy.

Say your career answer is: “Be the #1 salesperson in my company.”

Work backwards:

  • How would the #1 person PREPARE?
  • What QUESTIONS would that person ask?
  • How would that person respond to ADVERSITY?
  • What type of MENTOR would they be to their colleagues?

BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.

Know who you want to become.

Go…

-Joe Ciccarone

Next Week:  Habit 3 – Put First Things First

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

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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Chart Your Course 

“The ability to make that human connection is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

What’s the first thing a physician does before they walk into an exam room?

They look at the chart.

It doesn’t matter how many times they have seen that patient.

They start at the chart.

Top sales people do the same thing.

One of the best tactics I’ve learned on how to connect is to create a personal “chart” on each customer.

This simple idea is devastatingly effective.

Your chart will help you generate killer dialogue with tough customers on subjects they care about.

You will build trust, expand your time and increase your access.

Consider this….

You already have your customer’s name, email & cell phone in your contacts (You did have the guts to ask for their cell phone, right???).

Now it’s time to complete your customer chart.

The more we call on a customer, the more information we uncover.

We need a system to capture this info that is instantly accessible.

Document the info you uncover in the notes section of your customer’s profile.

After a few conversations, your chart should look something like this:

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So how does this create access?

Picture this…

You are walk into your customer’s office.  They are sitting at their desk waiting for you.

Instead of trying to break the ice with an awkward comment about the weather,

  • “How about this crazy weather?”

You start with this:

  • “So how’s Zoey’s freshman year at Cornell going?”

Or you could ask,

  • “What did you think about that 4th down call vs. Ohio State?” 

Or,

  • “So what’s it like trying to eat Paleo during the holidays?”

Questions like these start emotionally engaging conversations.

They lower the customer’s defenses.

They expand your time.

The customer is more inclined to listen to your ideas.

Your job is to find opportunities to ask these type of questions.

When the customer is done speaking, transition into your OPENING…

“That is awesome.  Great to hear.  So the reason I stopped by today is…”.

Access is 90% of the game.

Access is created when hustle, value, & trust come together.

When it does, you can chart your own course.

– Joe

 

 

12 Books That Will Jump Start Your Morning

These 12 books have influenced my attitude, career, & life.

In no particular order:

“The Compound Effect” – Darren Hardy

“The Art of Possibility” – Rosa Stone Zander

“Start: Punch Fear in the Face” – Jon Acuff

“The Power of Positive Thinking” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude” – Jeffrey Gitomer

“Think & Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill

“Break Out!” – Joel Osteen

“How to Stop Worrying & Start Living” – Dale Carnegie

“Ego is the Enemy” – Ryan Holiday

“Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” – Harvey Mackay

“What To Do When It’s Your Turn…And It’s Always Your Turn” – Seth Godin

“Power Questions” – Andrew Sobel

What books would you recommend?

-Joe