Listen Up

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“The most successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of LISTENING and how listening is the fastest way to connect and INFLUENCE another person.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Listen Up

We all lead something.

Some of us coach our kid’s sports teams.

Others run companies that hundreds of people rely on for their livelihood.

While some are the CEOs of their families.

No matter the situation, LEADERS need the ability to connect and gain INFLUENCE to be effective.

No influence, no nothing.

What’s the fastest way to influence another person?

By LISTENING to them.

Learning to Listen

A few years after I graduated college with an accounting  degree, I realized something.

I was possibly the worst accountant in the state of Pennsylvania (but that has never been verified).

That career path was just not for me.

After deveopling some SELF-AWARENESS and building up COURAGE, I changed careers.

I jumped into SALES.

Overnight I went from struggling accountant to clueless salesperson.

My livelihood now depended on my ability to sell.

Just one problem…

I had never sold anything to anyone ever.

Things were really looking up.

So I decided to read every book and article on SALES I could find.

I attended every sales training course that came through Philly with the urgency of someone who’s career was suddenly in the balance.

Because it was.

What did I learn?

To be great at SALES you need to posses a SUPERPOWER.

That superpower is LISTENING.

Sales, like LEADERSHIP, is an art.

Rock star SALES PEOPLE, like great LEADERS, all have different styles.

But they have ONE THING in common.

They are awesome listeners.

They have the ability to CONNECT with people by asking meaningful questions, then thoughtfully listen to what that person says.

Asking questions and listening shows you care.

Listening forms a bond between you and the other person.

You get bonus points for not interrupting someone speaking, even when you know what they are saying is off base.

Listening is hard work.

It takes PATIENCE and POISE.

But guess what?

It’s worth it.

And LISTENING works.

Listening may be the most powerful way to connect with another human being.

George Raveling wrote, “What people need most is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” 

There is no better time to build your INFLUENCE.  

Someone out there needs you to LISTEN.  

And they want you to LEAD.  

#ListenUp

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Be Bold

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“Freedom lies in being bold.” –

Robert Frost

2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Democritus wrote, “Boldness is the beginning of action. But fortune controls how it ends.”

At first glance, this sounds like a copout.

Be bold…

But know that the final outcome is out of our control.

Do we control our own destiny?

Or does fortune?

Yes, to both.

We have the power to take BOLD ACTION.

But we don’t control the ending.

We can throw a perfect pass, but the WR can drop it.

We can have our best year ever, but be beat by someone who had a better one.

You can execute an amazing sales call, but can’t force the customer to take action.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “We control the beginning of things, but not the reciprocation. We can make the pitch…but fortune controls whether its accepted.”

So, no need to be a control freak.

Just take the NEXT STEP.

Make it BOLD.

Handle your end of the bargain.

The rest takes care of itself.

#BeBold

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

22 Paths

“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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The morning we spent together in Madison was a special one for me.

It was privilege to speak to such an impressive group of people.

I am grateful for the TRUST you gave me investing 2 hours of your time.

Below is a list of the source material that the Sales Vibe course is based.

I included a brief summary following each book.

They come from some of the BIGGEST thinkers out there.

These books are an opportunity,

It’s chance to steal some of the best IDEAS, TACTICS, and STRATEGIES that can help you rock out SALES and LIFE.

Here are 22 PATHS you can explore.

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful person on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .  Think about that for a second.

GRIT: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence.  Duckworth shows why GRIT eats talent for breakfast.

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 Sun Tzu.

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 Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday.  This is the follow up to Holiday’s Daily Stoic book.  This is one part journal, one part life lessons based on stoic philosophy.  It’s part of my daily routine.  

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.”

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.  Newport has been called the Marie Kondo of technology. Newport shows how technology is neither good nor bad. It’s our responsibility to control our screens, before they control us. This book shows how.

The Very Little But Very Powerful Book on Closing by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer shows you how to close sales that build relationships and create partnerships.  This short book also gives you some killer questions that will move the sales process forward.

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.  Fantastic.

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

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin.  A gamechanger on how to approach sales & marketing.  Godin shows you how to do work that matters for people who care.

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.

Tame it by picking just one.

Then find one idea from that book that resonates with you.

Challenge yourself to put that idea into your daily routine.

Day by day.

Step by step.

That’s the formula.

Go…

#22Paths

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Growin’ Up

“God have mercy on the man who doubts what he is sure of.” – Bruce Springsteen, Brilliant Disguise

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In “Springsteen on Broadway”, Bruce Springsteen’s epic 3-hour journey through his life and music, The Boss tells a REMARKABLE story about his relationship with his father.

Springsteen reveals he sang many of his songs through the eyes of his dad.

Springsteen’s father lived a life very different from Bruce.

His dad was a blue collar, hard drinking, factory worker who struggled through life and his relationships.

Springsteen says, “My father was my hero. And my greatest foe.”

Just days before Bruce’s wife gave birth to their first child, Springsteen’s dad drove over 500 miles and arrived unannounced at his front door.

Bruce said his dad wanted to “Apologize…and warn me of the mistakes he made, so I would not make them myself.”

Springsteen calls this the greatest moment he ever had with his dad.

His dad wanted to change from a GHOST to an ANCESTOR in his life.

What’s the difference?

ANCESTORS show the way forward.

Ancestors create a path.

They make life better for those that come after them.

We build on their work.

We stand on our ancestors’ shoulders.

GHOSTS are the opposite.

Ghosts are focused on themselves.

They have very little or even a negative impact on your life.

They are easily forgettable.

Ghosts pass by and quickly disappear.

Almost like they were never there.

These RELATIONSHIPS also exist in our PROFESSIONAL LIFE.  

What kind of path are your leaving for others to follow?

Who is better off because you showed up?

Will you be missed when you’re gone?

The world needs more ANCESTORS.

We’ve heard enough GHOST stories already.

#GrowinUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Say No

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“Half of the troubles of life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings

It’s one of the shortest words in the English language.

It has the POWER to free your day.

And clear your mind.

It’s also one of the hardest to say:

“No.”

Want more FREE TIME?

“No, I can’t make it.”

Want to be less BUSY?

“No, I am not available.”

Want to FOCUS more on what matters most to you?

“No, I have something else scheduled.”

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The more you SAY NO to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.”

Saying “No” takes COURAGE.

It may even get some people ticked off at you.

That’s fine.

Why?

Because SAYING NO lets you live life on your terms.

No better way to start a new year than doing that.

#SayNo

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Get Back Up

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” – Bruce Lee

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Jim Kelly knows something about the power perseverance.

Kelly, a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, played 11 seasons in the NFL.

He led the Buffalo Bills to a record 4 straight Super Bowl appearances.

The Bills lost all of them.

Kelly’s son Hunter died in 2005 from a rare disease.

In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with jaw cancer.

After beating back cancer, Kelly was diagnosed with MRSA.

In early 2018 Kelly underwent surgery after his cancer reappeared.

In the Summer of 2018, Jim Kelly won the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY’s.

Standing next to John Elway and Dan Marino, two of his former rivals, Kelly gave one of the all time great acceptance speeches.

His message?

“Never give up…Keep fighting…Get up.  You’ll be alright.”

Let’s think about that the next time we think we’re having a rough day.

#GetBackUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Run Into The Zone

“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” – John Bryant

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It’s 5:30am and raining.

My sneakers are soaked.

A car swerves directly at me.

The driver recovers to miss me by 3 feet.

I see them wave “Sorry!” into the rear view mirror as they speed away.

Their phone still in their hand.

Every step of this RUN makes a statement.

My mood ELEVATES.

The MIND clears.

It’s the EARLY MORNING.

My favorite part of the day.

It’s the time when the new day decides what direction it will take.

This week my early morning routine faced a CHALLENGE.

I was 3 time zones away from home for a work meeting.

THE CHALLENGE

Anyone who travels for work knows it can be a grind.

2:30am wake up calls to catch 5am flights to the west coast are really fun.

Once you get to your meeting, every second is TAKEN.

There is ZERO free time.

Any time between 7:30am to 9:00pm is scheduled.

Without a PLAN, you will have a very AVERAGE week:

  • You will eat junk food like a 3rd grader.
  • You will drink more coffee than a CPA during tax season.
  • You will end each dinner with a desert the size of your ipad.

Weeks like this used to kick my ass. 

THE ADVANTAGE

There’s a huge ADVANTAGE that east coasters have when they travel out west  – they are WIDE AWAKE at 4am on the first day.

The TIME CHANGE can be your worst enemy or your best friend.

I’ve learned staying on east coast time the entire trip puts you back in control of your day.

That’s why I wake up at 4am each day of the trip.

This allows me to control the only part of the day I can – the EARLY MORNING. 

ENERGIZE 

Early morning exercise energizes your BODY and MIND. 

This ENERGY stays with you the entire day.

Double that for when you RUN past scenic mountains, signs that say you may be mauled by mountain lions and rain slicked freeways with distracted drivers.

MIND, BODY, SPIRIT

After a 4 mile run, my thoughts are overwhelmingly POSITIVE.

Fresh ideas start to flow.

The current challenges that seemed so SCARY the night before, now seem doable.

Your body is ENERGIZED.

Your mind is CLEAR.  

The day becomes EXCITING. 

After the run, I return to my hotel room and I break out my JOURNAL.

I write down anything that strikes me as interesting.

Some ideas are just random thoughts that go nowhere.

Some are personal REVELATIONS that I bring out into the day.

When your mind and body are ENERGIZED, you become OPTIMISTIC.

This early morning routine converts your ATTITUDE from seeing problems to finding SOLUTIONS.

Positive VIBES flow into your day.

The early morning is the time to ESCAPE AVERAGE and RUN towards REMARKABLE .

#RunIntoTheZone

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

This post was originally published March 2014 on Life Unbalanced.

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

Know When To Quit

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.” – Kenny Rodgers

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The more things I quit, the better life becomes.

I’ve learned the secret is figuring out what to quit and where to DOUBLE DOWN.

Here are the 3 best things I ever QUIT:

  • TV
  • Golf
  • “To Do Lists”

TV

Want to talk about a TV series or the news?

I am not your person.

The non-stop barrage of violence, scandals, and bias news kills my positive vibe.

I’ve cut the TV cord.

(Eagles games NOT included).

Call it purposeful ignorance.   

GOLF

Golf and I were in a bad marriage.

Our problems were beyond counseling.

I would spend hours on the links, shoot my weight, and come home frustrated.

As that Andrea Bochelli’s song goes, it was “Time to say goodbye…”

QUITTING golf was liberating.

No more searching for my drive in the woods.

No more watching grown men walk around in plaid pants.

This gives me time to concentrate on more important things – like being choked unconscious on a sweaty jiu jitsu mat.

“TO DO” Lists

I used to write out daily “To Do” lists.

I’d spend the day running around, crossing items off my list.

A false sense of accomplishment would surround me like one of those cheap Today’s Man suits I wore after graduating college.

I was busy, but far from relevant.

I learned focusing on my “Not To Do” list was way more productive.

Steve Jobs said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

Knowing what NOT to spend your time on is liberating.

TOUGH QUESTION

Think about your priorities.

What are you willing to quit to make those priorities a reality?

That’s the question.

Answer that and everything else becomes much easier.

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.NET

(The article was originally published in March 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)