The Sales Blog http://thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:03:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Your Willingness To Succeed http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/20/your-willingness-to-succeed/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/20/your-willingness-to-succeed/#respond Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:00:38 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47350 Your Willingness To Succeed is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Your Willingness To Succeed is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Are you willing to do what is necessary to succeed? Are you willing to take the first step alone? Are you willing to begin your journey by yourself? Are you willing to start earlier and stay later? Are you willing [...]]]>

Your Willingness To Succeed is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Are you willing to do what is necessary to succeed?

Are you willing to take the first step alone? Are you willing to begin your journey by yourself?

Are you willing to start earlier and stay later? Are you willing to begin your day before anyone else? Are you willing to keep working after everyone else has stopped?

Are you willing to study your craft? Are you willing to keep learning, to keep searching for the distinctions that only the master can make? Is good enough not good enough?

Are you willing to ignore the voice in your head that tells you that what you are doing isn’t good enough? Are you willing to ignore the voices of the critics that will only point to your flaws and keep on?

Are you willing to keep working towards your goal when there is no shred of evidence that you are making progress? Are you willing to keep going when a rational person would have long ago given up?

Are you willing to make adjustments to what you are doing? Are you willing to be infinitely flexible in your approach, even when it means that you aren’t going to reach your goal the way that you hoped to?

Are you willing to ask? Are you willing to ask other people for help? Are you willing to pick up the phone?

Are you willing to believe? Are you willing to keep the faith through the dark times when what you are doing isn’t producing the results you want and when your actions are actually moving you away from your goals?

Anyone can do what is necessary to succeed. But very few will. Are you willing?

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Known, Liked, and Trusted: A Revision http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/19/known-liked-and-trusted-a-revision/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/19/known-liked-and-trusted-a-revision/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 02:00:24 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47344 Known, Liked, and Trusted: A Revision is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Known, Liked, and Trusted: A Revision is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino For three decades my friend was a successful salesperson. He was gregarious, charismatic, and charming. His method was to develop a personal relationship with his clients that was very much a friendship. He would invest his time and [...]]]>

Known, Liked, and Trusted: A Revision is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

For three decades my friend was a successful salesperson. He was gregarious, charismatic, and charming. His method was to develop a personal relationship with his clients that was very much a friendship. He would invest his time and his money in that friendship. If his clients wanted tickets to the game, he’d buy them tickets. If his clients needed some present for their children, he’d acquire it for them. He spent money on lunches, dinners, golf outings, and other things that deepened his friendship.

When we had lunch, he said to me, “My sales are terrible. I don’t understand. I am doing what I have always done, but it isn’t working.”

The reason that my friend’s approach quit working is because he did nothing to create economic value. His friendship and his willingness to spend money buying things to please his clients is no longer enough to win their business or their loyalty. The world changed, but my friend did not recognize those changes and, worse still, he did not change with it. He did not shift his focus to the areas where he can create value for his clients.

Your client relationships are still built on your being known, liked, and trusted. But the fundamental questions have changed.

  • Known: It isn’t enough to be known. It’s what you are known for. What are you known for? Are you known for your ability to deliver some result? Are you known for solving some problem? Are you known for your business acumen and your situational knowledge? Are you known for creating value?
  • Liked: It isn’t easy to buy your client’s business anymore. You still need to be liked. But being liked means something different. It doesn’t hurt to be gregarious, charismatic, and charming. But your client is trying to make a decision as to what it’s going to be like to work with you long-term. The decision they are making is what it’s going to be like to have you on their team. Are you like having a great new team member? Are you going to be easy to work with? Is the rest of their team going to want to work with you?
  • Trusted: Great relationships, business or personal, are built on the foundation of trust. My friend’s willingness to spend money now subtracts from trust. It looks and feels unethical. It isn’t unethical for my friend to spend his own money, but it often can be for the person who accepts his gifts. The trust that you need is built on your ability to keep your word and your ability to delivering the outcome your client needs. How do you enable your clients to trust you? What do they need to trust you to do?

It is still known, liked, and trusted. But what these words mean has changed. You have to change, too.

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How to Find Your Voice http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/18/how-to-find-your-voice/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/18/how-to-find-your-voice/#respond Wed, 19 Nov 2014 01:54:35 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47340 How to Find Your Voice is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

How to Find Your Voice is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino You are never going to find your voice until you start exercising it. If you want to find your voice, you need to start talking. You need to start sharing what you know, what you believe, and what your [...]]]>

How to Find Your Voice is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

You are never going to find your voice until you start exercising it.

If you want to find your voice, you need to start talking. You need to start sharing what you know, what you believe, and what your experience has taught you. Until you start talking, until you start hear what comes out of your mouth, your heart, and your mind, you won’t know what’s really in there.

I have seen dozens of people find their voice through Toastmasters. It awesome to see someone transform from quivering, fear-racked mortal to master and commander in the course of ten speeches. You can easily do the same.

You will find your voice when you start writing. You have no idea how much you have buried deep in the crevices of your mind and even deeper in your gut. If you don’t write, you don’t really even know what you think. The act of writing sets your voice free. And it frees all the ideas, beliefs, and values you have trapped inside.

You can start writing now. You don’t even have to write for someone; you can just write for yourself. Sit down with a blank screen and blinking cursor and tap on the keys. Write whatever comes into your mind. Don’t censor yourself. Write, and write, and write and you will find something inside you.

If you want to find your voice, go looking for it by speaking and writing. I promise it’s in there, and it will reveal itself to you when you do the work.

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The Mental Game of Success http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/17/the-mental-game-of-success/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/17/the-mental-game-of-success/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:13:40 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47334 The Mental Game of Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Mental Game of Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino The mental game of success starts with your belief systems. It starts with what you believe about the world, yourself, other people, past events, and all the other countless beliefs that make up your worldview. You can understand a [...]]]>

The Mental Game of Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The mental game of success starts with your belief systems. It starts with what you believe about the world, yourself, other people, past events, and all the other countless beliefs that make up your worldview. You can understand a lot about your belief systems when you look at your rules.

Whenever you say something like, “People are always . . . ,” or “People never . . .,” then you have identified one of your beliefs. When you tell the story of some event in the past to explain something you are unhappy with, you reveal one of your beliefs, like “I didn’t get to go to college.” But it works the other way too, like when you say, “I dropped out of college to start this business!”

The mental game of success is also found in your general attitude. Everyone has off days, but if your general disposition is negative, success will avoid you. If you are impatient, intolerant, unhappy, cynical, or generally unpleasant, you will get back what you put out. Success (at anything) isn’t easily found, and those who do find it carry what is generally a positive, upbeat, optimistic, empowered attitude.

The way that voice in your head speaks to you will always tune you into your beliefs and your attitudes. If that voice constantly chirps away with statements like, “I hate this . . . ,” or, “I don’t know how I am supposed to accomplish this,” or “There is no way that this could possibly work,” your inner voice is destroying the possibility of success. When you hear that voice, shut it down. Recognize that that voice is the voice of fear. Maybe your voice. Maybe it’s your parent’s voice. Maybe it’s society’s voice. The voice of success says, “I am going to rock this thing!”

Success is a mental process. It starts first in your head.

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The Leadership Playbook: Chart Your Own Course http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/16/the-leadership-playbook-chart-your-own-course/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/16/the-leadership-playbook-chart-your-own-course/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:00:02 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47330 The Leadership Playbook: Chart Your Own Course is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Leadership Playbook: Chart Your Own Course is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino When Walter Isaacson released his biography of Steve Jobs, there were countless articles written about what you can learn about leadership from Steve Jobs. There isn’t a day that goes by that the Internet isn’t flooded with [...]]]>

The Leadership Playbook: Chart Your Own Course is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

When Walter Isaacson released his biography of Steve Jobs, there were countless articles written about what you can learn about leadership from Steve Jobs. There isn’t a day that goes by that the Internet isn’t flooded with suggestions about how you can lead more like Richard Branson. Or Abraham Lincoln. Or someone else.

These articles are written with the best of intentions. But you aren’t Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Abraham Lincoln. And while there are lessons you can learn from lots of great leaders, you still have to chart your own course.

Every leader has her own history, her own back story. Every leader has her own set of experiences that have led her to leadership. A leader’s unique history and unique experiences are their own. Your history and your experiences have shaped you, and your role as a leader is to use everything you are and everything you’ve learned to lead.

Every leader’s organization has its own individual identity, its own DNA. The organization’s history, it’s core competencies, it’s competitors, it’s challenges, and it’s opportunities are uniquely their own. Apple and HP are different. Like Virgin and Southwest are different. Your organization is different, and your role as a leader is to lead your organization.

The best lessons you can learn from effective leaders are principle-based. From Jobs, you might learn the value of being relentless in pursuit of excellence. From Branson you might learn to break from the orthodoxy of the Industrial Age. From Ulysses S. Grant (one of my favorites), you might learn to use all the resources at your disposal to generate the major outcome you need without making excuses.

You are going to have to be the leader you have to be now. You are going to have to chart your own course. If someone were to write about your leadership, what lessons would your leadership provide? What principles would help a future leader to be the leader they need to be?

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The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Sweat the Small Stuff http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/15/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-sweat-the-small-stuff/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/15/the-hustlers-playbook-hustlers-sweat-the-small-stuff/#respond Sun, 16 Nov 2014 02:00:05 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47325 The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Sweat the Small Stuff is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Sweat the Small Stuff is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Hustlers focus on big outcomes. That focus is what allows the hustler to produce bigger outcomes than non-hustlers. To produce those big outcomes, the hustler must ignore smaller, less important outcomes. If something isn’t critical [...]]]>

The Hustler’s Playbook – Hustlers Sweat the Small Stuff is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Hustlers focus on big outcomes. That focus is what allows the hustler to produce bigger outcomes than non-hustlers. To produce those big outcomes, the hustler must ignore smaller, less important outcomes. If something isn’t critical to producing a big outcome, the hustler ignores it or hires someone else to manage it.

This idea is important. Your life is the sum total of the outcomes you produce, especially the results you produce in your most important relationships.

The non-hustler focuses on small outcomes. They allow trivial things to distract them from larger outcomes. And this is a distinction worth noting (and changing). The hustler hires someone to do administrative work for her so she can focus on creating the value that only she can create. The non-hustler does the administrative work themselves, giving it far more weight than it deserves.

I hear you thinking, “Wait, Iannarino. You hooked me here by saying hustlers do sweat the small stuff. What gives?”

Hustlers focus on big outcomes, and they know all the details necessary to producing that outcome.

I know one hustler who knows the metrics of his business at a level that is difficult to imagine. He can name his top 20 accounts, their revenue, their profit margin, the percentage of his business the account generates in sales and profit, and all the main people on his team who serve the client. He knows all the main contact’s names, their children’s names, and dozens of other details. He cares about every little detail.

Another hustler I know keeps dozens of projects going at the same time. She knows the status on every project, the next action that must be taken, who is responsible for taking that action, and when it is due. Like the hustler in the paragraph above, she is mired in the details on the big things that matter. If it’s important to producing the outcome, she knows the details.

Non-hustlers focus on things that are urgent. Non-hustlers focus on activities that, even if successfully completed, do nothing to produce a great outcome. The non-hustler thinks that they need to sweat the small stuff without recognizing that knowing and dealing with the details only matter if the outcome truly matters.

Are you steeped in the details of your most important projects, your life’s work?

Are you focused on the largest, most interesting, and legacy-building projects? Or are you spending your time on small outcomes that won’t move the needle?

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Famous For What http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/14/famous-for-what/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/14/famous-for-what/#respond Sat, 15 Nov 2014 02:00:48 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47319 Famous For What is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Famous For What is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino We live in interesting times. Centuries after Gutenberg, we now have a toolkit that allows anyone with Internet connectivity to produce content for the masses. There are no barriers, and on balance, this is a very good thing. With a bit [...]]]>

Famous For What is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

We live in interesting times. Centuries after Gutenberg, we now have a toolkit that allows anyone with Internet connectivity to produce content for the masses. There are no barriers, and on balance, this is a very good thing. With a bit of effort and some hustle, you can get attention, and attention is important if you have something of value to offer.

The same tools that enable the communication of value also allow for the communication of things that lack value, things that instead only titillate. These tools are as powerful for the attention-seeker as they are for someone with a valuable contribution to make. And therein lies the difference: the value creator contributes something of value while the attention-seeker contributes something only designed to draw attention to themselves.

There is a difference between what Seth Godin does and what Kim Kardashian does. Only one of them is going to be remembered for what they have contributed. Seth is only famous because of his great contribution. Kardashian is famous only for her ability to do anything necessary to draw attention to herself.

For the creator, the question here is about your legacy. What do you want to be known for? What do you want your contribution to be? When people look back on the body of work you have created, how do you want them to be moved?

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How to Maintain a Resourceful State In Difficult Conversations http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/13/how-to-maintain-a-resourceful-state-in-difficult-conversations/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/13/how-to-maintain-a-resourceful-state-in-difficult-conversations/#respond Fri, 14 Nov 2014 02:00:24 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47312 How to Maintain a Resourceful State In Difficult Conversations is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

How to Maintain a Resourceful State In Difficult Conversations is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino You cannot afford to be in anything less than your most resourceful state in difficult conversations with the people who work for you and with you. If you are in a foul mood, upset, or [...]]]>

How to Maintain a Resourceful State In Difficult Conversations is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

You cannot afford to be in anything less than your most resourceful state in difficult conversations with the people who work for you and with you. If you are in a foul mood, upset, or impatient, you can’t produce a positive outcome. Your attitude subtracts from your ability to achieve the outcome you need.

If you are upset with someone’s performance or something they have or haven’t done, the time to speak with them isn’t while you are angry. Even without meaning to, your focus can easily shift from the outcome you need to the person. And when the person you are speaking to feels like they are being attacked personally, they become defensive. Worse still, you aren’t motivating better performance; you are demotivating the person. Instead of helping them produce better results you cause them to focus on the negative nature of your interaction.

If you want to be effective in dealing with people and working through difficult conversations, you have to separate the outcome you need from your desire to give the person sitting in front of you a piece of your mind, teach them a lesson, light a fire underneath them, or whatever metaphor suits you.

Here’s how to get back in state.

  • Pause: Covey said all there is to say here. You have a choice to make in the gap between the stimulus and your response. That gap is where your power resides. Blowing over the gap disempowers you and eliminates choices. Take time to cool down before you engage in a difficult conversation.
  • Determine Your Outcome: You may believe that it will give you great pleasure to read someone the riot act, but that probably isn’t the outcome you really need. It’s more likely that the outcome you need is a different result. The results probably require that the person you lead needs a changed belief and a changed behavior. What do you want to be the outcome of the conversation?
  • How You Can Help: What are you going to do to help the person you are speaking with to do better in the future? What do they need to do? Can you be there to provide feedback? Can you encourage them? Can you provide additional resources? Remember, you have a responsibility to the relationship.
  • Plan the Dialogue: When a conversation is important (actually, any time you are having a difficult conversation with someone you lead), invest ten minutes in writing down your outcome, writing down your talking points, and writing your plan to help the person succeed. A good plan can help ensure you get the real outcome you need.

People are going to remember how you make them feel. Be sure you deliver the message in a way that adds to your relationship and ensures the person with whom you are unhappy can produce the outcome you need. That means having the conversation when you are best prepared to get those outcomes, not when you are in an unresourceful state.

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A Rather Incomplete List of My Beliefs on Sales http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/12/a-rather-incomplete-list-of-my-beliefs-on-sales/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/12/a-rather-incomplete-list-of-my-beliefs-on-sales/#respond Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:47:52 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47303 A Rather Incomplete List of My Beliefs on Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

A Rather Incomplete List of My Beliefs on Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Both businesses and salespeople have to make a choice as to whether to be transactional or whether to create some higher level of value. An individual salesperson has the power to create a higher level [...]]]>

A Rather Incomplete List of My Beliefs on Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

  • Both businesses and salespeople have to make a choice as to whether to be transactional or whether to create some higher level of value.
  • An individual salesperson has the power to create a higher level of value for their clients. But doing so requires that the salesperson knows and understands their role, as well as developing their ability to create value.
  • The nature of the relationships between sales organizations and their salespeople with their clients has changed. It is no longer enough to have a relationship based solely on a personal relationship. Lasting business relationships require an economic benefit as well.
  • All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still win. It is the salesperson’s role to ensure that all things are unequal and, by doing so, tilt the playing field in their direction.
  • It is better to do battle for mind share than it is to do battle on a spreadsheet. It is better to have a relationship that enables value creation, value conversations, and collaboration than it is to compete on measures that ignore subjective decision criteria and over weight allegedly objective criteria.
  • A process that enables opportunity creation is more powerful than a process that favors responding to existing client needs. Effective salespeople sell from in front of the buyer’s process, not from behind.
  • Business acumen and situational knowledge are more important than sales acumen.
  • Effective salespeople can explain the process of change to their clients. They share the value proposition for every sales interaction, deliver that value, and gain the commitments necessary to moving the process of change forward.
  • The foundation of every relationship is trust. The foundation of trust is caring. Effective salespeople create trust by being other-focused as opposed to self-oriented.
  • It is no longer enough to react to your client’s needs once they have recognized some form of dissatisfaction. Salespeople must now be proactive and lead their clients to the new outcomes they need, guiding their thinking and managing change.
  • The best opportunities are future-oriented, helping the client with their current challenge or opportunity as well as building a platform for future initiatives and future results. The best salespeople generate new ideas and present new initiatives quarter after quarter.
  • Sales organizations and salespeople own the outcomes they sell. They are now accountable for the outcomes, regardless of the product, service, or solution they sell.
  • Decisions that are expensive, complex, and risky require consensus. Salespeople need to enter into opportunities with the goal of identifying stakeholders and helping them build consensus.
  • If you create value, you are entitled to capture a fair portion of the value that you create.
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Move the Pain Forward http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/11/move-the-pain-forward/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/11/11/move-the-pain-forward/#respond Wed, 12 Nov 2014 02:02:51 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=47298 Move the Pain Forward is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Move the Pain Forward is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino It’s hard to break bad habits. It’s hard to change especially when you cannot yet sense the danger of not changing. If you smoke a cigarette today you won’t die. Well, at least you won’t die today. And you won’t [...]]]>

Move the Pain Forward is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

It’s hard to break bad habits. It’s hard to change especially when you cannot yet sense the danger of not changing.

If you smoke a cigarette today you won’t die. Well, at least you won’t die today. And you won’t die tomorrow either.

If you eat bad and don’t exercise for a week, nothing really bad will happen. Your health won’t be diminished, you aren’t any greater danger of cancer or heart attack regardless of what you eat for a week.

Over time, bad decisions have a way of catching up with you. You get to choose your actions, but you don’t get to choose the consequences. And you don’t get to choose when necessarily you will suffer those consequences.

Moving Danger Forward

But this isn’t about you. It’s about your clients. Some of your dream clients believe that change would be simply adding bubbles to the warm bath that is the status quo that they’re comfortable sitting in now. They aren’t compelled to change because the danger, the risk, isn’t close enough to be felt.

Some of your prospective clients will put off the inevitable for as long is as humanly possible. Money not spent today is more valuable than the outcome you sell if it means your prospective client has to go through the pain of change. They’d rather wait until they have to.

It’s easy to change when you have the right motivation. When the doctor tells you that if you don’t quit cigarettes or change your diet and begin exercising you were cutting the very few years you have left off of your life, you can change in an instant. But if the doctor tells you that you may or may not suffer any repercussions from the choice you make for a long time, it’s likely you’ll continue doing whatever it is you’re doing now.

A Little Push

Some of your dream clients need a push. Some of them need you to prod them along. Some of them need you to take the danger that appears to them as something far away and move it closer to help them understand the implications of the actions they’re making now.

There is a reason the basic elements of survival are the largest base of Maslow’s hierarchy can. People will do all sorts of things if their very survival is at stake, including things they would rather not do and changes they would rather not make.

If you would serve your clients you would move that pain forward so they can feel it now and avoid the harsher repercussions that will inevitably come later.

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