Every Rose Has Its Thorn

“Less is more.” – William Shakespeare

rose4.jpg

What can a rose teach us about life?

Everything.

As a rose bush grows, it creates more buds than it can sustain.

A rose bush does not have the capacity to keep all of it’s buds nourished.

The bush creates so many buds that eventually it exhausts itself and fades away.

The only way a rose bush can thrive is by pruning the unnecessary buds so the essential buds can THRIVE and BLOSSOM.

Sound familiar?

Our lives work the same way.

Less is more.

We all have way too much to do.

When was the last time you took a hard look at what is on your calendar?

PRUNE the unnecessary from your schedule.

Remove One Distraction This Week.

Before you start this week, look at your schedule.

What’s on there that shouldn’t be?

What did you say “Yes” to because you felt bad saying no?

What interaction provides little value?

Have the COURAGE to take it off your calendar.

Reallocate that time back to your TOP PRIORITY. 

Our life, like that rose bush, needs constant PRUNING:

  • There are COMMITMENTS that no longer make sense.
  • There are RELATIONSHIPS that are holding you back.

Where can you better INVEST your ENERGY instead?

Time to PRUNE away.

Cut out the unnecessary so your life can BLOSSOM.

This won’t be easy, but you’ll be glad you did.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, “Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away”

#LessIsMore 

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Advertisements

JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK

“The person that gives value first has the leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

jab2.jpg

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

 

 

Build It

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos

Empire-State-Building-9.jpg

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

 

 

Prioritize & Execute

“Make a list of everything you need to do.  Figure out your highest value activity.  Throw the rest of the list away.” – Warren Buffett

pae.jpg

Life gets hectic.

The urgent gets in the way of the important.

We miss opportunities to do our best work.

Daily fires burn up our chances to create an impact.

It’s time to push back.

It’s time to punch our TO DO list in the face.

How?

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE.

Average sales people check off items on their TO DO list.

This gives them a false sense of accomplishment.

Elite sales performers:

  • Allocate their time to their highest VALUE activities.
  • Create IMPACT by focusing on what matters.
  • IGNORE distractions.

Most people have life happen to them.

It’s time to start happening to life.

Last week’s Vibe discussed the value of putting everything on paper.

This week we turn our TO DO list into a strategic game plan.

“Prioritize and Execute” is a core principle in Jocko Willink’s book “Extreme Ownership:  How US Navy SEALS Lead & Win“.

It goes like this…

You have to be RUTHLESS to the things that don’t matter.

You have to learn to DISAPPOINT the right people.

How to Prioritize & Execute:

  1. Write out your TO DO List
  2. Prioritize your list in order of importance.
  3. Create 2 lists:
    1. Your Top 3 TO DO items becomes List #1
    2. Anything on your list from #4 down becomes List #2
  4. Title List #1: Game Plan
  5. Title List #2: Do NOT DO List

You just decided where you’re going to focus your TIME & ENERGY. 

You also just decided who you’re going to disappoint.

Never fun, but necessary.

Focus and attack #1 on your GAME PLAN list.

Be relentless.

Decline, delegate, or delete everything on your Do NOT DO List.

This is simple, but not easy.

It takes courage to say “No”.

But hold the line.

You will be trading a few uncomfortable conversations for long term impact.

We dive head first into AVERAGE when we try to be all things to everyone.

You’re not here to be AVERAGE.

Someone is counting on you to be REMARKABLE.

Go…

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVobe.Net

 

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

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

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:

FullSizeRender.jpg

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

 

 

The Big 3

“There are 3 things every successful salesperson needs: the right mindset, a refined skillset, and an effective tool kit.” – The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

Mindset is everything.

We must dial in the right mindset before we go anywhere near a customer.

Below are 3 questions that will help you create a killer pre-call mindset.

These 3 questions are applicable to any selling situation.

Below each question is a micro question related to our customers.

Mentally rehearse these before your next appointment:

  • 1) What can I LEARN?
    • What’s been their experience?
    • What do they perceive?
    • What outcomes do they see?
    • What’s most important to them?
    • Where are they apathetic?
  • 2) What VALUE can I bring?  
    • How comfortable are they with dosing?
    • When do they hold off injecting?
    • What muscles are they afraid to inject?
    • How strong is their reimbursement?
    • How efficient is their schedule?
    • What are they working on in the new year?
  • 3) What ACTIONS can we take?  
    • What idea can we agree upon?
    • What 1 patient can we identify?
    • Who can I connect this customer to?
    • Who can this customer introduce me to?
    • What project can we work on together?

LEARN what’s going on inside your customer’s head.

Bring VALUE to every interaction.

Facilitate ACTION.

Do these 3 consistently, take your access and influence to the next level.

#TheBig3

-Joe Ciccarone