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“Bob Burg is the greatest teacher of networking in the world ”

~ John Milton Fogg, author, The Greatest Networker in the World

What Gets Us Into Trouble

February 15th, 2017 by Bob Burg

What Gets Us Into TroubleOne of the most often asked questions I receive during podcast interviews is, “What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?”

This is actually one of the easiest questions for me to answer. There are two pieces of advice.

The first is, “listen a lot more…and speak a lot less.” (Both were definitely issues.)

But, it’s the second one that’s the biggie. I’d relate — with an exclamation mark in my voice — to “younger Burg” one of my all-time favorite sayings:

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

I don’t know who originally said that. Mark Twain is often credited. While he said something somewhat similar in one of his books, he didn’t quite say that.

Regardless, in my opinion, it’s brilliant, and it’s something I wish I’d known those many years ago when I thought I knew it all.

What a difference-maker that would have been!

At 20, I was absolutely, positively, and without question certain that I knew how the world worked and what people thought. And, why they were wrong.

It call came down to what I thought; no, what I knew. And, what I knew that I knew.

Except that it turned out I didn’t. Not even close. I ended up being so very wrong about so many things.

As human beings, we make decisions and judgements based on very, very limited information.

We tend to do this well after we are 20 years old. I did. I’m sure I still do.

Sometimes, what we know that “just ain’t so” simply fits the belief system in which we grew up. Other times it’s the beliefs and words of our friends, teachers, peer group, political party, or even those things our favorite media personalities believe.

Of course, there are times when what we know for sure is indeed true. But I suspect that’s far less often than we’d like to believe.

The good news is that the moment we become aware of this phenomenon of human nature, we can take steps to correct it.

My friend, leadership authority Jesse Lyn Stoner, tweeted:

“Instead of believing everything you think, think about what you really believe.”

Screenwriter and producer Britt Michaelian tweeted:

“Whatever it is that you resist can only be effectively transcended if you question every ‘certainty’ along the way.”

And, 100 years earlier, iconic playwright George Bernard Shaw tweeted (only kidding) ;-):

“Progress is impossible without change, and those that cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

The above quotes remind me of how my 20-year-old self absolutely knew what he knew… that just wasn’t so.

Seems we see this constantly these days on television, social media, and pretty much wherever people meet in person. And from all the various points of view, right?

Not only would I like to see more respectful and civil communication between those with opposing viewpoints; I’d like to see us questioning our own beliefs just to make sure that what we absolutely know for sure…really IS so.

 

 

“People Wisdom” from Gandhi

January 15th, 2017 by Bob Burg

people-wisdom-gandhiIn his terrific new book, Reinvent Yourself, prolific author, entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster, and serial reinventor-of-self, James Altucher shares a ton of wisdom. Included are lessons from business titans to historical figures; world-class athletes to top entertainers, and many more.

And, in his usual humble, self-effacing way, he shares golden nuggets of wisdom from…himself as he takes their lessons and serves them up to us through the filter of his brilliant mind.

While this is not a review of his book (though I recommend it highly), there’s a quote I’d like to share and then provide my own thoughts afterwards.

On page 168 James points out that Gandhi never actually said the oft-quoted, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” However, he did say something perhaps even more profound:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

Rather than go through each individual line and thought in the Mahatma’s magnificent statement, let’s look at what I underlined, beginning with, “If we could change ourselves.” This informs us that we have a lot more potential to influence the world around us than we might believe. As we deal with others on an individual level, to the degree which we are in control of our own emotions, that’s the degree to which can positive effect – and yes, change – their attitudes.

In Adversaries into Allies I suggested the following:

“Expecting someone to be helpful doesn’t change them, it changes you.  And that is what changes them.”

In other words, regardless of their natural or current state, if you go into the transaction believing they will be kind, helpful, and gracious…YOU will take on the corresponding attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. And, the chances are excellent they will respond to that.

Always? Of course not. This isn’t magic. There are all sorts of people. But…usually?

Absolutely!!

Yes, it begins with you. You and your emotions are the only element of the equation that you can control. Change yourself, and watch how the world changes for you.

So, you can indeed become the change you wish to see in the world.

Giving and REALLY Receiving!

December 16th, 2016 by Bob Burg

Bob Burg - Giving and REALLY ReceivingEarly on in The Go-Giver, Joe, upon realizing he would not land a desired account, referred them to one of his competitors who was in a better position to help them.

No, he didn’t want to do that, but he understood it was the right thing to do for the client.

This later came back to Joe in a big way.

Of course, it doesn’t always work out like that. After all, life is life. Then again, that’s not why you make that referral.

You do it because it’s in the best interest of the customer. That’s the only reason for doing so. And, that’s the only reason you need.

The definite result is that you feel good about doing what you feel was right. The very likely result is that the customer feels good about you, trusts you, and respects you. And, he or she is very likely to come back to you when you can help them.

It also might result in some serious referrals, as well. After all, a person can’t feel much safer referring someone they care about to a salesperson who has demonstrated that their ultimate objective is the client’s best interest.

John David Mann and I provided an example of this in Go-Givers Sell More, and we’ve both seen it and experienced it personally in our business careers.

So has Erin Bradley.

Erin is a mortgage lender based out of Winter Park, Colorado. She also wrote a fantastic little book titled, Pursuing Freedom in which she shares her methodology for growing her business through referrals.

At one point, Erin relates an incident where a prospective customer asked if she could help refinance her home. Unfortunately, Erin’s company was not able to assist her.

As she describes it:

“Rather than give her the bad news and leave it at that, I researched a few local banks and found one that could help her. Despite not having done the loan myself, she was grateful for the direction and began referring business my way. To this day, I can easily count more than 30 transactions over the past few years that came to me as a result…”

30 transactions!! Again, it doesn’t always work out like that. However, when your goal is to help the customer regardless of the outcome for yourself, the sale will occur directly much more often than not. And, even when it doesn’t, the seeds of goodwill you’ve planted will create that benevolent context for your success both short-term and long-term.

Yes, placing the other person’s interests first is actually the most profitable way of doing business.

Can you share a similar story? We’d love to hear it!

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We’re now offering an online course version of our Go-Giver Sales Academy! Want to accelerate your success in 2017? Now is the time to make it happen.  For more information, click here. Get ready for your business breakthrough.

“Paws” for THIS Customer Experience Story :-)

November 13th, 2016 by Bob Burg

SimoneSpeaking at a client’s annual national conference recently I had an opportunity to meet Nancy Weil. Nancy is an author, the founder of The Laugh Academy and also presented at the event.

While we were talking about our pets, Nancy related to me one of the best customer experience stories I’ve ever heard.

Her dog, Simone, had to have emergency surgery to save her life. Fortunately, the specialists at the emergency veterinary hospital did an excellent job. Simone will live without half her lung, but with plenty of love from her human parents.

Also, fortunately, Nancy had taken out an insurance policy from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation when she first got Simone. Being that the bill was $3500, the insurance came in very handy. The company handled everything quickly and honorably and Nancy could focus her attention on her fur child rather than on the money.

But, it was what happened next that really made it special. She soon received an email from the insurance company that read as follows:

Hi Nancy,

We were wondering how Simone is recovering from her major surgery? We’re sorry to hear she had to go through that and send wishes for a quick recovery!

Please send a quick email letting us know how she’s feeling and giver her a great bit hug from us!

Sincerly,
Tim Weiss,
Paws & Claws Protector

There are multiple lessons to learn from this. And, rather than coming up with my own here, let me ask you instead to read Nancy Weil’s fantastic post where she shares them beautifully!

I hope you enjoyed her post. I know I sure did.

And, if you’re interested, visit Healthy Paws and check out what the rates would be for coverage on your fur child. (I already did!) 🙂

Just from Nancy’s post I’d say they are the very embodiment of a Go-Giver company!

Is This Contrary to Being a Go-Giver?

October 2nd, 2016 by Bob Burg

Cold Calling - Bob BurgA reader recently emailed me the following:

“Hi Bob, I love being in sales and want to make a difference. The company I just started working for is very focused on cold calling, and closing on the first appointment, which seems contrary to the approach in your and John’s book? I love this company but how do I reconcile this with the Go-Giver principles?”

My response:

Actually, cold-calling is a very legitimate part of sales. It’s certainly not as productive (or fun!) as when you have tons of referred prospects who are predisposed to buy from you. However, when there’s no other way to obtain these qualified prospects other than through cold-calling then that is the way to go. There’s certainly nothing inherently “contra Go-Giver” by doing so; not if what you’re selling is adding significant value to them.

Regarding a one-call close, the same principle applies. Remember, a sale, whether one-call or multi-call is a matter of communicating value to your prospect in such a way that they understand that they are receiving more in use value than what they are paying. When that’s the case they will buy from you whether it’s one call or after many calls.

At the same time, if they never feel they are receiving sufficient value in exchange for what they are paying, they will never do business with you, again, number of calls aside.

Some businesses lend themselves to a one-call close. {Note: the questioner’s business falls into this category.} Others do not, and to try and force that would be counter-productive, manipulative, and sale-focused as opposed to customer-focused.

Understand that with a one-call close type of business you’re going to have to — within that call — establish the know, like, and trust feelings as well as ask the right questions in order to successfully discover what they are looking to accomplish. Then, assuming they understand how the benefits of your product or service can fulfill their wants, needs and desires, they will take ownership.

The Go-Giver framework is all about focusing on bringing value to others. Do that effectively and you will prosper greatly in your business, regardless of how you find your customers and how many calls or visits before the sale occurs.

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Want to accelerate your success in 2017? Now is the time to make it happen. Attend our upcoming Go-Giver Sales Academy in Orlando, FL and work closely (limited to just 10 people) for two full days with Kathy Tagenel and me, along with 9 other very successful entrepreneurs and sales professionals. For more information, click here. The Go-Giver Sales Academy is where your business breakthrough can occur.