The Sales Blog http://thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:00:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/19/it-isnt-supposed-to-be-easy/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/19/it-isnt-supposed-to-be-easy/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:00:19 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47155 It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino If reaching your goals were easy, you wouldn’t appreciate the struggle. If it were easy to reach your goals, there would be no reason to chase them. They wouldn’t be goals; they’d just be something that you do. If [...]]]>

It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

If reaching your goals were easy, you wouldn’t appreciate the struggle.

If it were easy to reach your goals, there would be no reason to chase them. They wouldn’t be goals; they’d just be something that you do.

If it were easy to accomplish something worthwhile, then everyone would be doing the same. There wouldn’t be anything special about the accomplishment.

The fact that your goals stretch you, that they force you out of your comfort zone, that makes them worth experiencing. It’s these experiences that cause you to grow, to exceed your current boundaries and limits and become something more.

Even when you fail to reach your goal, you get the satisfaction of the struggle. You get to push against the way things are. You’re reminded that you are acting on the world; it’s not acting on you. Accomplishing the goal isn’t the thing anyway; it’s what you become through the struggle. It’s the rough and tumble parts when you feel like you are making no progress where you grow.

Remember, the struggle is not supposed to be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/18/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-persevere/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/18/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-persevere/#respond Sun, 19 Oct 2014 01:47:06 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47151 The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Hustlers persevere. The hustler is determined to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter how difficult the goal is to obtain. It doesn’t matter how many obstacles they need to overcome to reach their goals. The hustler keeps at it, [...]]]>

The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Hustlers persevere. The hustler is determined to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter how difficult the goal is to obtain. It doesn’t matter how many obstacles they need to overcome to reach their goals. The hustler keeps at it, chipping away, relentlessly taking action until they succeed.

The non-hustler most of all seeks comfort. If something makes them uncomfortable, they’ll do everything in their power to avoid it. If the primary tasks that would allow them to reach their goal is difficult, they’ll change their goal. Determination means you continue to try even when you make little progress. The non-hustler doesn’t like obstacles. Two or three significant obstacles breaks their will.

The hustler has intestinal fortitude. Intestinal fortitude is a combination of courage and endurance. Hustlers face their fears. They deal with pain (even though most of what we consider pain is only discomfort). They are willing to endure difficulties, setbacks, do-overs, rejection, being mocked by their peers, and even failure. But none of these seemingly negative occurrences ever dissuades them from continuing to pursue their dreams.

Non-hustlers lack intestinal fortitude. They aren’t willing to do what is necessary if it means facing their fears or dealing with pain. Where the hustler attached no negative meaning to the events they experience on their way to reaching their goals and finding success, the non-hustler attached only negative meaning. Difficult means impossible. Setbacks mean failure. Rejection is personal. Being mocked is being judged.

The hustler is resolute and committed to what’s important. The non-hustler is uncommitted and half-hearted in the few things they are willing to try.

Other hustlers recognize a brother or sister of the path when they see their determination, their willingness to persevere. The non-hustler sees someone who doesn’t know better, who should have long ago given up, and someone they can never understand.

If you really want what you profess to want, then you have to be willing to persevere, come what may. That’s what hustlers do. Nothing less is acceptable.

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7 Ideas About Creating Content http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/17/7-ideas-about-creating-content/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/17/7-ideas-about-creating-content/#respond Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:18:35 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47144 7 Ideas About Creating Content is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

7 Ideas About Creating Content is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino All content isn’t created equal. The best content is helpful. The worst content is not helpful. You want to produce content that benefits people in some way, whether it is by entertaining them, educating them, persuading them, or inspiring them. [...]]]>

7 Ideas About Creating Content is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

  1. All content isn’t created equal. The best content is helpful. The worst content is not helpful. You want to produce content that benefits people in some way, whether it is by entertaining them, educating them, persuading them, or inspiring them. The very best content serves the consumer.
  2. Negative content may get you a bit of attention for a very short while, but it isn’t a long-term strategy. Over the longer term, the trail you are leaving behind you defines you, and a wake of negativity isn’t going to serve you. Trolls sometimes get attention, but they never develop and audience of their own.
  3. There are three strategies around content. You can be a creator and write, record (video or audio), or create some other way. The Internet runs on the work of creators. You can also be a synthesizer. We don’t make enough of this role, but people need someone to tie the pieces together and point them at the bigger themes. You can also be a curator, sharing the work of creators and synthesizers and pointing people at useful content.
  4. Any attempt at short cutting the process of gaining an audience works against you. If you title anything “And you won’t believe what happened next,” you will be known as someone with weak content and a willingness to sensationalize and overstate value. Over time, you will teach the audience you are trying to develop to ignore you. Guest posts might do a teeny bit to build your brand, but you need to do the real work yourself.
  5. Consistency counts. Consistent quality counts. Predictable publishing counts. It’s a sign of professionalism. If you write on Sundays, write on Sundays. If you publish daily, publish daily. If it’s three times a week, that’s what it is.
  6. Content works while you are sleeping. You aren’t creating content only for today. The content you create will be working for you years into the future. People underestimate the half-life of content and dramatically undervalue evergreen content. Your ideas are right for the people who need them, when they need them, and where they need them. Google brings people to the content they need when they need it. But only if you create it, synthesize it, or curate it.
  7. Your content, if you are a creator, gives people the experience of what it might be like to work with you. Your content gives them a clear idea of what you think, what you believe, and how you approach things. Producing the right content attracts your dream clients to you.

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How Long Does It Take To Win? http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/16/how-long-does-it-take-to-win/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/16/how-long-does-it-take-to-win/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 01:00:46 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47137 How Long Does It Take To Win? is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

How Long Does It Take To Win? is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino It takes time to nurture and develop your prospects. It isn’t easy to be known for the value you create or to prove you have ideas. The longer it takes you to prove you have the ideas [...]]]>

How Long Does It Take To Win? is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

It takes time to nurture and develop your prospects. It isn’t easy to be known for the value you create or to prove you have ideas. The longer it takes you to prove you have the ideas and the ability to help, the longer it takes to create and win an opportunity.

It takes time to work through the discovery process with your dream client once they agree to meet with you. Trying to spend less time working to understand your client’s needs–and helping them to understand them–only increases the time it will take you to win that opportunity. If you win it at all.

Rushing to present your solution in hopes of speeding things along actually slows the process of creating and winning an opportunity. It doesn’t mean that all the work that you should have completed up to that point doesn’t still need to be done. But it does mean that what you present isn’t going to be dialed in tight enough and that you aren’t likely to have the consensus you need.

You can sometimes find an opportunity at just the right time and acquire orders without following your sales process at all. That seems really fast. Until you actually start doing the work and realize that you and your new client didn’t do any of the work together that might have given you a reasonable opportunity to succeed together. Now what you won is at risk of being lost forever. The time you gained is now lost dealing with challenges you hadn’t anticipated.

You gain speed by having all the conversations and gaining all the commitments you need to create and win an opportunity. The sooner you have those conversations and the sooner you gain those commitments, the sooner you win your opportunity. Skipping stages to speed things along actually slows things down.

In all things with human beings, fast is slow and slow is fast. If you want faster results, do the work.

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What I Talked About at Dreamforce 2014 http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/15/what-i-talked-about-at-dreamforce-2014/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/15/what-i-talked-about-at-dreamforce-2014/#respond Thu, 16 Oct 2014 03:55:37 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47131 What I Talked About at Dreamforce 2014 is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

What I Talked About at Dreamforce 2014 is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino If you missed my speech at Dreamforce, here is what I said: I told the audience at Dreamforce that they have to create a higher level of value if they want their dream clients to find them [...]]]>

What I Talked About at Dreamforce 2014 is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

If you missed my speech at Dreamforce, here is what I said:

I told the audience at Dreamforce that they have to create a higher level of value if they want their dream clients to find them compelling. I told them creating a higher level of value is a differentiator. I showed them how to create Level 4 Value. Then I showed them a list of behaviors that make you transactional (every phone was lifted up to capture that single slide for future reference).

I explained how most salespeople (and as many sales organizations) don’t really understand their business strategy. Since they don’t know, they compete on price–even when that’s not their competitive advantage.

I shared with the salespeople, sales managers, and sales leaders that they have a moral imperative to create more value, as well as the equally important charge of capturing some of the value that they create as profit. That profit is what allows you to deliver the outcomes that you sell, and it allows you to innovate and create new, higher levels of value.

I shared the idea that many salespeople and sales organizations are allowing their dream clients to underinvest, never disabusing them of the big lie that they can produce the outcomes of better and faster while also being cheaper.

One person asked the question as to what they should do if their dream client doesn’t have the money. I told him that they do have the money. They have the money for everything that they believe is critically important, things that are tied to their strategic outcomes. But if I am wrong, he should help them with whatever budget they have and then build the future projects with them, delivering the outcomes they need over time.

Salesforce is doing a lot to build a great sales conference. I was honored to be a part of it, and thrilled to once again share the stage with my good friend, Mark Hunter.

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Change This One Thing Now http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/14/change-this-one-thing-now/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/14/change-this-one-thing-now/#respond Wed, 15 Oct 2014 01:00:44 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47121 Change This One Thing Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Change This One Thing Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino If you missed this week’s newsletter, you missed two questions that have caused a lot of people to email me with their thoughts. The two questions were: What is it that you perceive to be missing? (Meaning, what do [...]]]>

Change This One Thing Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

If you missed this week’s newsletter, you missed two questions that have caused a lot of people to email me with their thoughts. The two questions were:

  1. What is it that you perceive to be missing? (Meaning, what do you need to produce the result that you want).
  2. If someone were to pick up right where you are now, what would they do different to produce that better result?

Brett asked himself these follow up questions, “If my boss were to replace me, what different results would he want?” and “In what results have I been lacking, and what can I do about it?” Brett is a smart cat who is willing to ask himself the tough questions.

So what about you? Are you willing to ask yourself the two questions that Brett asked?

Thinking It Through

If your boss were to replace you right now, what would your boss tell herself she would want in the way of new and better results? What would she consider an upgrade? This kind of gap analysis can help you see through your blind spots. And there aren’t too many things that can provide you with a solid future than holding yourself to a higher standard than anyone else could ever hold you to.

Now think about your replacement. When they walk in and try to pick up where you left off, what are they going to stop doing that you do now? What are they going to start doing immediately to establish themselves and make their presence known? What are you doing now that is going to cause them to wonder, “What was he thinking?”

Change It

Every day you get to make the choice as to who you are going to be. No matter what happened in the past, you get a chance to start over, to begin again, and change your game.

The newsletter I wrote was called, “The one thing you need to change right now.” The truth is, I don’t know what that thing is. But once you recognize you already have everything you need inside you right now, you can ask yourself that question. And you can answer it.

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The Sound of Your Phone Not Ringing http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/13/the-sound-of-your-phone-not-ringing/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/13/the-sound-of-your-phone-not-ringing/#respond Tue, 14 Oct 2014 01:11:33 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47115 The Sound of Your Phone Not Ringing is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Sound of Your Phone Not Ringing is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino That silence you hear is the sound of your phone not ringing. Maybe you don’t want to pick up the phone and make your calls. Maybe you think you should have enough inbound to keep you busy. [...]]]>

The Sound of Your Phone Not Ringing is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

That silence you hear is the sound of your phone not ringing.

Maybe you don’t want to pick up the phone and make your calls. Maybe you think you should have enough inbound to keep you busy. Maybe you believe social selling is going to generate more than enough leads.

Maybe you believe that the guys and girls in product are supposed to design products that people clamor for. Maybe you believe that marketing is supposed to craft the irresistible offer. Maybe you believe that your prospects are supposed to beat a path to your door.

I know one company that has so many inbound leads now that their management reached out to tell me that they’re scared that their sales force has completely lost any ability (and all willingness) to prospect on their own. That isn’t your company, is it? And it isn’t going to be.

Today I am at Dreamforce and some cat named David shows up at my table while I am eating lunch to interrupt me and hand me a slick, four-color, glossy card about his company. Then he hands me another card which is an invitation to see a demo at a fancy restaurant tomorrow. David doesn’t have the money for the big booth. So David goes guerrilla.

You might be unhappy with David interrupting your lunch. You might be put off by the idea of hustling people into a lunch somewhere to pitch them. But David isn’t, and over time, David just might beat you. David knows his phone isn’t ringing, and he is acting accordingly.

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Mind Share or The Spreadsheet http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/12/mind-share-or-the-spreadsheet/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/12/mind-share-or-the-spreadsheet/#respond Mon, 13 Oct 2014 01:00:07 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47108 Mind Share or The Spreadsheet is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Mind Share or The Spreadsheet is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino You have a choice of where and how you compete. You can choose to compete on the battlefield that is “mind share.” Or you can compete on the battlefield that is “spreadsheet.” It feels like “mind share” is more [...]]]>

Mind Share or The Spreadsheet is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

You have a choice of where and how you compete. You can choose to compete on the battlefield that is “mind share.” Or you can compete on the battlefield that is “spreadsheet.”

It feels like “mind share” is more difficult. You have to get into the process much earlier, long before a spreadsheet has been created. You also need to try to develop consensus around what your dream client’s challenges are, as well as what the right solution needs to look like. It takes time and effort to get in front of deals.

The spreadsheet feels easier. All you need to do is ask to be added to the list of companies who are going to be included in a request for proposal. If there isn’t a proposal, all you need to do is to offer up a lower price to someone receptive enough to compare your price to your competitor’s.

But in all things human, fast is slow and slow is fast. Difficult is easy, and easy is difficult.

“Mindshare” takes more time and effort, but it massively increases the likelihood that you both create and win an opportunity. By developing the relationships, the trust, and the deep understanding, you position yourself as the right choice–regardless of the differences that show up on the spreadsheet later.

The “spreadsheet” isn’t the best place to do battle. Much of what is supposed to be objective turns out to be subjective. Without your being known as someone with the ability to create and deliver the right solution, your dream client has no choice but to look to more easily measured attributes like price, attributes that don’t likely help you to position yourself to win. In fact, a low price can easily be seen as unresponsive and irresponsible.

You want to do battle for mind share, even when it is more difficult. Competing on the spreadsheet is more difficult and eliminates your ability to make things unequal when it comes to what is really important. Most of what is really important is invisible and can’t be captured on a spreadsheet. It needs to be seen and felt by the people who will ultimately make the decision to buy.

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The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Don’t See Themselves As They Are http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/11/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-dont-see-themselves-as-they-are/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/11/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-dont-see-themselves-as-they-are/#respond Sun, 12 Oct 2014 01:00:14 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47102 The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Don’t See Themselves As They Are is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Don’t See Themselves As They Are is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Hustlers don’t see themselves as they really are. They see themselves as they want to be. Then they act accordingly. Look around you right now. Your smartphone is somewhere very close to you, [...]]]>

The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Don’t See Themselves As They Are is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Hustlers don’t see themselves as they really are. They see themselves as they want to be. Then they act accordingly.

Look around you right now. Your smartphone is somewhere very close to you, isn’t it? It’s a modern marvel that we can carry our telephone, computer, internet, email, camera, photo album, video camera, home movies, blockbuster movies, music, newspapers, magazine, maps, address book, and global position satellite in our pocket (and the list of all the other things your smart phone does is greater than this list).

What’s interesting about your smart phone is that everything that was necessary to make it has been on planet Earth since before we were. There isn’t a single element that wasn’t here since forever ago. All that was missing was vision and the knowledge.

The hustler knows that success is never a matter of resources. It’s a matter of resourcefulness.

Hustler’s Have Vision

The hustler sees themselves as something bigger, brighter, and better than they are now. The hustler has a vision of what they will become. The hustler’s non-hustler friends will criticize the hustler for his vision. They say things like, “Who do you think you are,” and “Do you think you are somehow better than us?”

The non-hustler can’t imagine being something more. The non-hustler lacks the vision; they lack the identity. They question the hustler because they fear facing the person they could become and because they fear losing the hustler as they grow.

Hustlers Are Resourceful

The hustler knows that everything they need to grow and develop into what they must ultimately become is already inside them right now. They don’t believe that they are missing anything that they can’t somehow go acquire. The hustler looks at the gap between what they are now and what they want to be, and they go do the things they need to do to close that gap. They develop the vision. They acquire the knowledge. And they take action.

The non-hustler believes that the successful are somehow anointed from birth or that someone taps them on the shoulder and hands them their success. The non-hustler doesn’t believe that what they need to succeed lies dormant in them right now, this very second. They believe that the circumstances of the birth would need to be different for them to succeed. They believe they’d need permission, a formal degree, or more money to get started.

The non-hustler sees themselves as what they are, with no vision of what they could become.

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Commitments By Degree of Difficulty http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/10/commitments-by-degree-of-difficulty/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/10/10/commitments-by-degree-of-difficulty/#respond Sat, 11 Oct 2014 01:00:36 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47097 Commitments By Degree of Difficulty is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Commitments By Degree of Difficulty is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino We tend to think of the final close as being the most difficult to obtain. But this isn’t true. Here is a lis of the commitments you need to gain by degree of difficulty. These three commitments are relatively easy [...]]]>

Commitments By Degree of Difficulty is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

We tend to think of the final close as being the most difficult to obtain. But this isn’t true. Here is a lis of the commitments you need to gain by degree of difficulty. These three commitments are relatively easy to gain. Even signing the contract is an easy commitment to gain, if you’ve done great work up until that point.

  • Review Your Solution: Everyone likes to learn, and everyone likes to see something new. Gaining the commitment to review your solution in your presentation is easy after you’ve had a single conversation about your dream clients needs. This is the easiest of all the commitments you need to gain.
  • Collaborate: The commitment to collaborate around a solution is one of the easier commitments to gain. Your dream client has ideas about how they need things to work, and they’re more than happy to share them with you.
  • Signing the Contract: For all of the hoopla about closing and getting the final commitment, this isn’t anywhere near the most difficult client commitment to gain. If you’ve done good work up until this point, this is a very easy and natural commitment again.

These commitments are more difficult to gain.

  • Resolve Concerns: Your dream client will tell you they need time to make a decision. Without you being there to help provide them with information and insight, they will struggle to resolve their concerns. This commitment is more difficult to gain.
  • Decision: The commitment to make a decision to act is one of the more difficult decisions you will have to gain. Even if your dream client knows and understands their need to change.
  • Consensus: One of the biggest obstacles to a deal is getting everyone on your team clients team on the same page at the same time. Consensus is difficult. The status quo as many allies.

These are some of the most difficult commitments you will need to gain to create and win an opportunity. None of these is the final “close.”

  • Time – First Appointment: Your dream client is extraordinarily busy. They have more work than they have time. They’ve had too many experiences with bad salespeople to risk spending time with another one. They’ve changed providers three times and never gotten a better result. They’re comfortable with the status quo and they trust their problem more than they trust you. This makes time difficult to gain.
  • Invest Enough to Succeed: If your customer was capable of getting the result they needed with their current investment they would not be speaking to you. They need help justifying the need to spend more to produce the real outcome they want.
  • Execution: There is nothing more difficult for you or your client then executing. This is the most difficult commitment again because it requires that your customer change what they are presently doing.

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