One of my salespeople wants to double his income this year. “If you want to double your income then you’re gonna have to at least double the amount of customers you work with too,” I told him. We calculated specifically how many customers he would have to work with each month to realize his goal. When I wrote the number down, I saw his eyes widen & the wheels of doubt began to churn.

51…

Calling out his fears I asked, “I bet you’re asking yourself how in the hell am I going to do that, aren’t you?” But when we broke the seemingly big, overall number down to a per day digit, it worked out to a manageable 2 customers per day. That’s it! To move his goal from a wish to a reality, he only needed to work with a little over two customers each day. Then I talked a little shit to him, “Are you telling me in at nine or 10 hour workday you can’t find two customers to physically work with every single day?!”

Of course he nodded emphatically in agreement- it seemed easy, but it’s not. The math is the easy part; doing it consistently for 23 straight days…well that’s the hard part. Sales by design is simple, but when it comes to putting that simplicity into action, it ain’t easy because as the rejections mount up, the effort wains. One way your brain works to protect your fragile ego is to disguise itself is being a “timesaver;” instead of taking a risk and working with the wrong customer, your mind whispers to you to selectively pick & only work with the perfect customer-the ones who look like they can & will buy today. What we really want to know is, “Is this customer even worth my time?”

Funny isn’t it when you were new in sales you didn’t even know to ask that question. Each day you spent more time working with customers and less time hanging out with salespeople and today it’s opposite; you spend more time with salespeople and less time with customers because you’re always trying to figure out, “Who’s worth my time?”

Maybe instead of self-sabotaging your success, when you’re mind flares up and asks, “Is it worth my time,” you should shut your mind down and push on by saying, “I don’t know, but they’re worth my two.” Two is all you need today! Just 2 everyday to put in your bucketful of 51 customers for the month. So the next opportunity is just a part of your bucket list this month. Regardless of the outcome- can’t buy, not ready to buy, or did buy, make it a part of your 2 (or whatever # yours calcs out to be).

Maximize the opportunity and whatever the end result throw it in the bucket and move on to the next customer. Selling is a little bit of a Jedi mind trick. To shortcut & conserve energy, your mind works in patterns. It compares your current pattern to past patterns (& outcomes) and if it doesn’t like the pattern, it tells you to bail out by asking limited, “Sorry I can’t help you,” questions. Take control of your mind & your success; when it asks, “Is it worth my time?” You respond with, “I don’t know, but it’s worth my 2!”

Put your 2 in the bucket every day & at the end of the month, you’ll pour out a pipeline of working customers, more sales, & a strong ass work ethic.

I’ll see you in the Sales Life.

⭐️⭐️Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

For every now, there was a then...

Once it was just Mick, Keith, Charlie, & Ronnie before they became The Rolling Stones. Don, Joe, & Timothy were just regular dudes before they became the legendary band called the Eagles. Andre & Antwan weren’t always Andre 3000 & Big Boi of OutKast. “Luda!” wasn’t shouted by the doctor as he slapped Chris Bridges on the ass in the delivery room.

When you look at people’s now, remember there was a thenmany, many then’s in order to become their now. Be patient & work your ass off in the months & years of then’s. Yes, it’ll be thankless @ times; it’ll seem as if it’s for naught often; periodically you’ll feel like a damn fool for grinding on your dream while everyone else seems to be getting ahead except you.

When your days are in the ditch, remind yourself that you’re investing in your then…your nows will come soon enough & the results will pay off.

For “then” just keep working for “now.”

I’ll see you in the Sales Life.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

Kyle Maynard was born with no arms and no legs. He may have been classified as disabled, but his parents didn’t treat him as disabled. Kyle grew up doing many things that his “normal” friends did. It may have taken him longer to do something, but he’d always figure it out. He tried high school football and ended up falling in love with wrestling. Initially, like anything Kyle took on, wrestling kicked his ass, but he stayed with it-pushing back the self-doubt & self-defeat-always determined to figure it out. (Check out his book No Excuses)

In Daymond John’s book “Rise & Grind,” Kyle said that he’d always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest peak in Africa. Each year 20,000 people try to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, but with thin air and fierce storms, only half are able to check it off of their bucket list.

In the beginning, Kyle set out to climb Stone Mountain, a tiny mountain of only 900 feet in comparison to the 19,000 foot behemoth Kilimanjaro. The Stone Mountain climb was brutal for Kyle, tearing large patches of skin off of the ends of his arms in the process. When the climb was over, a beaten & battered Kyle told a friend of his dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. She looked at him as if he were crazy, asking, “You just tore up your arms doing (tiny) Stone Mountain. How are you going to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kyle answered her with three words, “I don’t know.”

But it was those three words that made him go to work to conquer his dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. (And he did it.)

What happens when you say the words “I don’t know?” Do you use the words as a crutch? Explaining that you’re not experienced enough… that you’re too short, too fat, too skinny, or the wrong skin shade? Do you say the words, I don’t know, because you’ve been conditioned all of your life to accept life as it is because you were raised in the projects; had to live with Big Mama, had no dad, had a drug addicted mom, were fired, demoted or bankrupt? Specifically what has, I don’t know, done to you? …but what can it do for you?

I don’t care where you’ve been, hell been only makes for a good story when you soon tell of your massive success. Don’t let “I don’t know” be a handicap & work against you. Make, I don’t know” work for you by going to work to figure it out.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

Have you ever used a product or an app and thought to yourself, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?! I mean the idea was so simple – it’s been sitting there in plain sight my whole life,” slaps forehead), “Why didn’t I just see it?”

You didn’t see it because you’re not trained to see it…

VC firms have what’s called Idea Flow. Masses of people line up & pitch a continuous flow of ideas & projects to the VC members. If they like the idea, these firms will invest millions of dollars in hopes of reaping multiple millions if not billions of dollars in the future. Fewer than 1% of these ideas make it through the next stage, but some go on to become Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and Twitter (Waitr an online food/grocery delivery app based in my hometown named sold this past summer for $308 million.) (Slaps forehead again)

Now I know what you’re thinking, I don’t have millions to spend nor years to invest, but you & VC firms share one thing in common, you both have “idea flow.

In the book Disrupt You!, Jay Samit challenges his students to write 3 things that you notice that could be improved every day. He says that at first it’ll be easy, but as the days roll on it’ll become more and more challenging, but if you discipline yourself to do this every day it’ll cause you to become more introspective and more observant to the world around you.

Anything… Everything is up for grabs… “How can this be improved?” Recently Tesla founder Elon Musk looked at the bottleneck of Los Angeles traffic & posed the idea of building an underground tunnel were people seamlessly commute in a capsule. Will it come to life? Who knows, but that’s one of hundreds of ideas that Musk spitballs and asks, “What if?” Instead of taking life at face value, why not generate your own idea flow? When you’re standing in line, ordering, shopping, or just taking a piss, ask yourself, “How can this be improved?”

Think about Poo-Pourri, a small bottle that you can drop into the toilet bowl after you take a crap at your friend’s house to hide the stank… “Why didn’t I think of that?” (Quickly slaps forehead.)

Even on your job…what’s the bottle-neck? What can be improved? How can this be disrupted? Frustrated? Good! The more frustrated the better, because frustrating times are prime opportunities for you to take notice and ask, “How can this be bettered?” See, while the rest of the world stands around pointing and bitching, you’re strategically thinking about capitalizing on disruption. Uber took the status quo taxi service and flipped it upside down. Airbnb, which started as an air mattress on the floor and breakfast in the morning, disrupted the entire hotel industry.

Not all of your ideas will come to life, but you need a continuous flow of them for the best ones to rise to the top. Three ideas per day, that’s 90/month-that’s 1000/year. Just imagine if 1% of those ideas disrupted your life for the better? Change starts with an idea.

Try it this week and let me know how it goes.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

The broken places become the strongest points when re-welded. What components do you use to re-weld your life.

Most people initially struggle in sales because they’ve been taking orders their whole life. When you were young, you did what your parents told you to do. Sure, you may have bucked up a time or hundred, but immediately you’d back down from rebelling once they slapped you back with one of those, “When you have your own damn place and pay your own damn bills, then you can do whatever the hell you want to do…but until then, you better do what the hell I tell you to do!” We grow older, but in some ways, we never age emotionally-I mean we pop bottles on monumental birthdays, but we stall out in a fixed wage mindset. Our employer tells us, “Do that and I’ll pay you this,” which traditionally is par for the course, but when you get into the sales, you’ve got to take that decade or more of being an “order taker-” of being told what to do and you’ve got to flip it on its head. If you were working in fast food as a salesperson,  it’d be as if someone came in and placed an order, and then you turned right back around and challenged that same order.

(Customer): “Yea I’d like a large #6 with a Coke.”

(You, the fast food salesperson): “You know a small cheeseburger with a water would be calorically better.”

You couldn’t do that working at Slap Beef Burger– hell you wouldn’t be there long if you did. You can’t challenge when it comes to taking orders, but you do have to push back when it comes to working in sales.

Selling effectively is all about challenging the thoughts of your customers. Statistically speaking most of your customers are going to buy something different than when they first started looking. Keeping that thought in mind, it’s not that you ignore them or tell them defiantly, “You don’t need that…this is what you need;” it’s more so leaning into their logic with suggestions and notice the patterns that begin to emerge when you ask Past, Present, and Future questions. What did they like before? What do they wish they had now as opposed to then? Why is your customer in the market in the first place and how will your product fit their needs? Based on your customers’ answers, you then begin to steer the sale, by adjusting your sails. As the conditions of your customers’ answers improve or deteriorate, you adjust your sails towards the winds of budgetary concerns, options, equity, or the fact that they’ve got a funky attitude thanks to their last 4 sales experiences.

I know this seems challenging at first. You will get better, but first, you’ve got to stop stopping. When a customer “places an order-” when they make a statement or voice an objection don’t just pull up short and react, clarify and challenge their thoughts, objections, fears and concerns instead. What do they really mean? Where are they going with this? What’s the intent behind their words? Anticipate and adjust accordingly. Think to yourself, how can I give their ideas fresh legs with a new perspective?

Of course when you’re new, your mind is going to screeeeam at you to stop. This is all new to you-you fearfully get the answers but you’ll never knowledgeably amass the answers nor gain experience if you keep on stopping at the points where you get stuck.

Stop stopping…

Oh…but you thought this post was only about those people in sales?

No, I’m talking to you too.

You may not work in sales, but you sure as hell live in sales. Sales isn’t just a profession, it’s a life skill and you need to stop stopping. You may not have to fill an order, but you do have to fulfill a calling. What’s life calling you to do? What’s that pull…what’s that whisper..what’s that yearn?

Through circumstances and events-some beyond your control, life tries to place an order on your life and I’m telling you that you don’t have to fill that order. Your past is ordering that you aren’t good enough. Your upbringing is ordering that you’ll never get off of assistance. The notice you received; the word you just got, the month that you’re having right now is ordering that you’ll never make it out-that you’ll never move up and that you’ll never get ahead. What you’ve got, where you came from, or what you’re going through, is not a calling, it’s an order. Life’s pulling at you to lift your eyes above your thoughts and present circumstances and stop stopping.

Fu*k that order…take today’s apron off and throw it on the counter and say, “No…you can’t take my order, but you can sure as shit take mine.”  Stop taking orders and begin placing them. Fear left un-pushed, will make you wait for your orders…but fear acted upon, learned from, and put back in motion will make you realize your full potential.

Pull up, place your order, and stop stopping.

Catch the 300+ episodes of The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice podcast. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

 

 

whoa

You’re gonna have your whoa-mentum days those days where no matter how hard you worked, the wheels wobbled and maybe even flew off and you skidded into the end of your day saying, “Whoa!”  Whoa-mentum days jack you up mentally and the next day you have the choice to either carry yesterday’s whoa-mentum forward, by thinking negatively and working less, or you can instead choose to treat whoa-mentum days for the blessings that they are.

I say whoa-mentum days (WMd’s for short) are a blessing because those are the rare occasions that you are alerted of momentum slippage. Use those days to determine what caused the whoa-mentum. Maybe you worked too fast with a customer; asked limited questions to see if the customer was “worth your time;” weren’t persistent enough in asking for the business; or you just dialed in the effort, giving a half-baked effort because you weren’t feeling the customer. If you can detect what specifically caused your whoa-mentum, then you can quickly make the course correction to get your month back on track.

The tricky part is that momentum is so sneaky and subtle that you don’t realize you’ve lost it until it’s too late because lost momentum usually takes weeks to reveal its full negative impact and it takes days-if not weeks to regain the rhythm back.

Take yesterday’s whoa’s and feed the mo-chine...the machine of momentum by applying the formula: Consistent action, applied strategically with persistence, equals Momentum.

I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!

Subscribe to The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice podcast where we make a point in minutes not hours. Check it out on iTunesSpotify, or your favorite podcast platform.

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