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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

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

True Wisdom… and False Lessons

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

True Wisdom... and False LessonsA famous teaching by Mark Twain in his Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar says:

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.”

Like practically all Twain-isms, this one is a gem. How often do we learn from an experience or a teaching but rather than stopping at the actual wisdom, take the lesson to a false conclusion?

A few quick examples:

  1. You buy something from a merchant and discover later that he was dishonest in his dealings with you.

    The wisdom: Pay attention.

    The false lesson: All merchants are cheats, so never trust any of them.

  2. You hear that it’s important to always speak truthfully to people when providing feedback.

    The wisdom: Communicating truthfully is much more helpful to that person than saying only what they want to hear.

    The false lesson: Your feedback must be conducted brutally, without tact or empathy. No need to frame it properly so that he or she will be encouraged rather discouraged.

  3. You learn that in sales persistence is important to success.

    The wisdom: Don’t let the NO’s get you down. Keep plugging away. Work past the NO’s until you get to the YESes.

    The false lesson: Keep calling the same person continually and annoying them.

As the Sages taught, “Who is wise? The one who learns from all others.”

Part of this wisdom is knowing the difference between the hot stove-lid… and the cold one.

What examples of true wisdom and false lessons can you share with us?

Success Principles of Modern-Day Heroes

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Members of our military’s special forces are tough, disciplined, and they embody the heroic instincts and learned skills that keep the rest of us safe.

The Navy SEALs are a major part of these elite teams and have much to teach regarding leadership, teamwork, smarts, and a ton of bravery and guts.

Recent books such as such as Lone Survivor and American Sniper have communicated these lessons well. Even the film versions have earned acclaim for telling the story in a heartfelt way without over-the-top and cringe-worthy caricatures of SEALs often featured in war movies.

John David MannA newly-released book, coauthored by former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and our own John David Mann, AMONG HEROES: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s True Story of Friendship, Heroism, And the Ultimate Sacrifice shared some deeply personal stories based on Webb’s relationships with a number of his fellow SEALs who’ve all had their lives cut tragically short.

Webb and Mann already wrote one New York Times bestselling book together regarding the world’s most elite sniper corps. The Red Circle explored how Webb, after serving in the first SEAL team to hit the ground in Afghanistan following 9/11, went on to become Course Master of the legendary SEAL sniper school that trained Marcus Luttrell, Chris Kyle, and many others.

Brandon Webb - Among HeroesYou’ll recognize a number of names of Brandon Webb’s heroic friends in the book, such as his best friend, Glen Dougherty who, along with Ty Woods were killed while attempting to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens and others at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012.

There’s Matt “Axe” Axelson, from the ill-fated Lone Survivor mission; several members of the famous SEAL Team Six who died tragically in the August 2011 crash of a helicopter in Afghanistan, and of course Chris Kyle, outsized Texan and author of American Sniper.

You’ll also meet and learn of a number of others; all different in shape, size, natural ability and more, but all very much the same when it came to those attributes which make for a very special brand of mastery and achievement.

In this chat with coauthor John David Mann we’ll look at some of the powerful lessons he learned about about life, excellence, and genuine success from Brandon and the SEALs including…

  • Why mental toughness is even more important for a Navy SEAL than physical toughness
  • Why Special Ops forces such as the SEALS are the entrepreneurs of an otherwise very corporate-culture military, and what that means
  • How the Navy SEALs define Wolves, Sheep, and Sheepdogs
  • Surprising insights from the family members of the loved ones they lost

Also, and I found this to be especially interesting…

  • What it’s like being in business with a Navy SEAL — what John learned by watching how Brandon thinks, makes decisions, takes risks, and conducts himself on the sometimes-hazardous field of business.

Enjoy our chat!

Among Heroes

If you think the discussion with John was fascinating, just wait until you read the book. AMONG HEROES is available online and at bookstores nationwide.

To donate to Brandon’s Red Circle Foundation, which he started to assist the families of fallen heroes, visit RedCircleFoundation.org


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

The Referral-Based Mechanic

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Referral-based Mechanic - Bob BurgIn his new book, Enhanced People Skills, John Terhune tells a great story about bringing his car to his mechanic for servicing (the warranty with his dealership had expired). The particular issue was a part that would have cost him well over $500 to repair.

After doing some research, the mechanic informed John that the part had been recalled by the manufacture and so John should take the car back to the dealership where they’d most likely replace the part at no charge. They did and John saved what would have been an unnecessary expense.

Did the mechanic lose anything?

Well, one might say he lost over $500. But, did he really? I don’t believe so. Not only would John now never even think of taking his car to anyone else; he eagerly and enthusiastically refers everyone to him. And, John is definitely one of those Centers of Influence who business owners and salespeople want as their Personal Walking Ambassador.

The mechanic benefited greatly from his decision to put John’s interests before his own immediate one.

Please don’t think, however, that the mechanic was being selfless (which I define as “incongruent with self”). He was not. First, he was acting congruently with his values — that being honest and placing the interests of the customer first is the right way to live life.

Secondly, he understands that it’s also the best way to conduct business. He knew his own business would be well-taken care of. Not through some magical thinking but rather for very logical reasons. When you place the other person’s interests first, they like you more and they trust you much more than they would otherwise.

Not only does that feel good…it’s very, very profitable!

Perhaps you’ve been in John’s situation, or the mechanic’s. Feel free to share stories of either.

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We loving seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/

The Immense Importance of Follow-Up

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

follow-upRecently I was a guest along with leadership authority, Jon Gordon on an EntreLeadership® Podcast. The host, Ken Coleman first briefly chatted with InfusionSoft CEO & Co-Founder, Clate Mask, asking why he believes follow-up is so critical to the sales process.

Paraphrasing just a bit here, Clate replied:

“People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when the salesperson is ready to sell. It’s all timing. So, if we’re not staying in front of the prospect in a polite, educational, friendly way; if we’re not there when the prospect is ready to buy, we’re not going to be there for the sale. We can either be there when they’re ready to buy or leave it to chance.”

I certainly agree with that. Follow-up — or, as I like to call it, follow-through — is often the difference-maker because it respects the buying cycle of the customer.

“But” one might ask, “what if the product you sell typically sells in one appointment?”

That’s fine. So, where might follow-through come into play?

Perhaps it was the follow-through that allowed you to set that appointment in the first place. They weren’t ready to meet with you until their need or desire for whatever you sell was strong enough. And, even after the sale, keeping in touch on a consistent, value-based manner is what keeps you on your customer’s mind for referrals and introductions.

So, however you choose to follow up, be sure it is a regular part of your business model. As Clate says, so often it really does come down to timing…the customer’s timing!

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Decide…Before You Decide

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Be Bold and Win the Sale by Jeff Shore“You/I/We are all addicted…to comfort.”

According to sales authority and author of Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone And Boost Your Performance, Jeff Shore, this tendency is the driving force behind every behavior that keeps us stuck in our own status quo. It’s the malady that keeps us from reaching our potential in all areas of life, including sales.

He believes the remedy for this is boldness. And, he sees this as much more of a skill than a characteristic; one that can be “honed and perfected.”

The outcome, according to Shore, “Is to give you renewed vitality and increased confidence in your ability to face every sales challenge and to produce amazing results.”

He defines Boldness as: “Taking action to do the right thing, despite the fear and discomfort.”

Of course, by “bold” he does not mean pushy, slick, or manipulative. It’s much more about believing in yourself and the value you bring to others through taking the correct action…even when that correct action is outside your present comfort zone.

As he explains, it’s a “‘humble boldness’, a mental paradigm that suggests boldness is something to be exercised in the best interests of others. Humility and boldness are two traits that work together quite nicely.”

And, “winning the sale” means you both win; especially your customer.

Plan In Advance

One of the many excellent and helpful tips he provides is understanding the “decision before the decision.” Essentially, this means that — just as an athlete trains their muscles to respond automatically to the task at hand — we retrain our brain to automatically respond to a normally uncomfortable situation in a way that we’ll make the correct decision rather than the emotionally more comfortable but incorrect one.

To put it simply, you would move the decision-making process from:

  1. Discomfort
  2. Decison
  3. Action

to…

  1. Decison
  2. Discomfort
  3. Action

Picture scenarios regarding the uncomfortable situations you often face. Even feel what it feels like. Decide what the correct action is and that the next time it occurs you will do it. Shore suggests making up a new and positive story. In other words, imagine it playing out in the perfect way. Now, feel exactly what it will feel like as it does. And, go through this scenario again and again and again.

You’ve now created the context for bold and definitive action when the actual event occurs.

When the decision is already made in advance (and that is key) you won’t have to think; you’ll just take the correct action. That’s not to say it’s easy. it takes commitment and practice.

However, to paraphrase the author, you are now identifying those small Moments of Discomfort and reprogramming your auto-responses.

Give it a shot. No, actually commit to doing so, and to doing what it takes to master this.

And, if I may suggest, purchase his book. Above was merely the tip of the iceberg. The entire book was filled with helpful, comfort-zone expanding wisdom.

One more thing: while this book was not so much about “how to sell” but rather how to get past your own limitations in order to be able to sell, the final section happens to contain some of the very best sales teaching I’ve ever read!