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

 

 

Nix the Selfie

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

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

Habit #4: Think Win Win

This concept may be the most difficult of all the habits to implement.

Double that if you are in sales. 

Why?

The first 3 habits were about us:

  • Be Proactive.
  • Begin With the End in Mind.
  • Put First Things First.

It’s EASY to think about us.

Sometimes it’s hard to think about others.

This is especially true because the game of sales rewards individual performance.

Thinking “Win Win” means each party benefits from the end result.

Thinking “Win Win” takes CONSIDERATION and EMPATHY.

Contrary to popular belief, sales is not a zero sum game.

The opposite is true.

Elite sales people are COLLABORATIVE.

They see their work through the eyes of their customer.

Elite sales people create results where both sides win.

For you to win, the other person does not have to lose.

You win.

They win.

Each party becomes more.

Give to get.

Make other people look good.

Create an environment where everyone walks away with something to brag about.

Nix the selfie.

Take the group photo.

-Joe Ciccarone

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

 

 

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

The Power of Habits

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”  – John Dryden

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Name the 1st book that changed the way you think?

For me, it was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 7 Habits changed the way I conducted business.

It changed the way I approached life.

Each habit called me out.

The Habits are simple concepts that separate the REMARKABLE from the AVERAGE.

The Vibe will cover each habit over the next few weeks.

Let’s go…

 Habit 1:  Be Proactive

You can’t wait for things to happen.

Nothing starts until you do.

To live our best life, we need to LEAN FORWARD.

We can’t wait for perfect circumstances or the mood to strike us.

We must create the mood with ACTION.

One of my mentors in Gracie Jiu Jitsu told me “If I only trained when I was in the mood or had the time, I would train 3-4 times a year.”

Tony Robbins said, “Great concepts don’t just appear, they must be pursued.”

Being PROACTIVE means stop negotiating with your mind.

Your mind is wired for survival, not success.

Your mind will tell you to:

  • Stay in bed.
  • That’s too hard.
  • You’re not qualified.
  • It’s too cold.
  • It’s too hot.
  • You’re too old.
  • You’re not good enough.

All lies.

Being PROACTIVE means moving the ball forward a few yards each day.

Proactivity starts with changing your MINDSET.

When we are proactive, we no longer blame outside circumstances.

We become the circumstances.

Think of all the VIP’s in your life:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Customers
  • Coworkers
  • Managers

How can you be more PROACTIVE in their world?

Go there.

How can you be more PROACTIVE in your world?

  • Get proper sleep
  • Limit distractions
  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Read a Weekly Blog J

Where do you need to step up?

Start that habit today.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

Own It

“It ain’t the rain, the snow, the boss, the competition, the spouse, the money, the car, the job, or the kids – it’s you! And it always has been.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

The first person we have to lead is ourselves.

We have to own the outcome for all areas of our life.

This is called taking Extreme Ownership.

When we take Extreme Ownership, we change everything.

We no longer have our happiness dictated by circumstances.

We set the tone, not others.

But this mindset requires COURAGE.

Why?

Because when something goes wrong it’s on us.

There is no one else to BLAME.

Taking full responsibility can bruise your ego.

The BIGGEST threat to our own success is not some uncontrollable outside factor.

It’s our decision making process.

Don’t like the way things are going?

Change it.

Not where you want to be?

Adjust.

We may not be able to control what happens to us.

But we have 100% control on how we respond.

Once we figure this out, everything else becomes easier.

#OwnIt

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

Win the Day

“Each day you are writing your legacy.” Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Picture this…

It’s 20 years from now.

You are looking back at your career.

What do you see?

How will you be remembered?

Will you even be remembered?

Ouch…

Tough questions.

No easy answers.

One thing is certain.

Amazing careers are the byproduct of great years.

Great years are built on productive days.

There is no better way to create your legacy than to WIN the day.

When you win the day, great years start showing up.

Jim Rohn said, “Run the day, or the day runs you.”

You are the author of your career.  It’s time to start writing…

Below are Gary Vaynerchuk’s “5 Rules to Win the Day”.

These are simple, but profound.

For those not familiar with Gary V, start here.

Below each rule, I list ideas on how to apply these principles to our daily SALES hustle.

Gary V’s 5 Rules To Win the Day:

1) Be Confident

  • Your confidence shows up before you do.
  • Confidence starts with PREPARATION.
  • Anxiety is your mind telling your body that are not fully prepared for what you are about to do.
  • Preparation eats anxiety for breakfast.

2) Positive Vibes Only

  • You can focus on the POSITIVE or dwell on the negative.
  • Positive energy attracts. Negative energy repels.
  • The choice is yours.

3) Strength Over Weakness

  • Develop your strengths.
  • Too many people waist time trying to upgrade their weaknesses. BIG mistake.
  • The best version of you is hiding out in your undeveloped strengths.

4) Legacy > Currency

  • Play the long game.
  • People who focus on the short sale over the long term relationship lose.
  • Think LEGACY over moment.

5) Hustle

  • HUSTLE beats talent.
  • HUSTLE + TALENT = ELITE PERFORMER
  • Be the first to show up.
  • Be the first to follow up.
  • You are responsible for the ENERGY you bring to each room you enter.
  • #BringIt

Average people have AVERAGE years.

Elite performers create REMARKABLE years.

When you look back on your career, what will YOU see?

Up to you…

-Joe Ciccarone