Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

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photo: Andrew Seaman

Think back to when you were a kid when you did something wrong, instead of getting you to fess up, your mom just filled in the blanks for you by saying, “Look, accidents happen all of the time…it happens…you spilled the orange juice on my rug didn’t you?… Honey, you tried to clean it up, but I just need to know what happened…” And what did you do? After a little more coaxing of a few different It’s ok scenarios, you cave in…with eyes watering & mouth quivering, you agree with your psychic mom. In the end, you get to keep your street creds because you never admitted to the wrong doing, all you did was agree with what was already said. Getting children to agree is a psychological superpower that parents have known & used forever, it worked for them and it’ll work for you in sales.

Getting your customer to agree is way easier than getting them to admit. For instance, say I have a customer who seems tense; judging from their body language I can tell there’s something that they’re thinking, but they just won’t say what it is.  Instead pressuring my customer to just come out and say what’s on their mind-which usually makes the situation way worse,  I’ll say what they’re thinking instead by saying something like, “You know a lot of my customers feel they need to shop around in order to make sure that they’re getting the best deal…” and I’ll let my voice fade off.  Here’s the superpower part; if my assumptions are wrong, they’ll correct me and if I’m right, all they have to do is agree and once they agree, the rest of their fears normally come out too. In either case, whether my assumptions were right or wrong, once I can get the conversation out of their heads and into the open, I can then address their fears and concerns.

Customers don’t like to admit because they don’t want to fight…they don’t want to throw out an objection and then have to defend it. Many times they’re objecting because they’re terrified of the consequences of making a mistake or they’ll say No with no real defense to support the rejection, so they’ll keep it inside instead to save themselves from caving in to being sold.

Try getting your customer to agree instead of admitting. It’ll keep the mood light & conversational instead of dark & confrontational.

Check out The Sales Life w Marsh Buicepodcast.  A podcast for the busies that makes a point in less than 10 minutes each day. You can find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

When CNN personality Van Jones was young he asked his dad to give the unfortunate money that way they would no longer be poor. Upon hearing  his plea, Jones’ father leaned forward in his recliner and said, “Son, that may stop ’em from being broke for maybe a day or two, but if a person is still poor in their skills, poor in their education, poor in their self-esteem, & you hand them a bunch of money? They’ll be broke again by tomorrow...every poor kid has got to climb that ladder out of poverty on his or her own efforts. That’s the responsibility you have to develop yourself so that nobody can keep you poor or make you poor again. You have to make it so you know too much; you bring too many skills to the table. Then you can reach down for the next man and help him climb a rung. But no one can do the real climbing but you.”  

 

You can’t have what your first not willing to become.…scratch that…You can’t keep what you’re not willing to become…sure you can manipulate it..you can catch a wave of luck…chance can randomly fall in your lap, but if you don’t become before you have, you’ll never keep what you got because becoming is an embodiment. It’s acquiring the necessary skills, education, and loving yourself in such a way that when “it” happens it’s of no surprise..it doesn’t catch you off-guard because you were already be-ing before come manifested.

Coming up as a salesperson, I caught wind of how much the managers were making so that became my target and within a year I was promoted into management…only by title not by income. Oh I had the new title printed on my new business cards, but I wasn’t making anything close to what the others managers were making-as a matter of fact, I was making less as a manager than I was as a salesperson. When I spoke out of frustration, I was told, “You’re paid for what you know and as a manager, you don’t know very much.” It was hard..I had to do the menial jobs and grunt work-basically  whatever the senior managers didn’t want or feel like doing got passed off to me only to sign their names to the completed works. I had to scrape-many nights of eggs & rice…many weeks of borrowing from one payday loan to pay another and when referrals came in to buy from me, the salesperson inherited the full commission…while I got only a sliver of a percentage…

And you know what…

…it was the best thing that could’ve happened to for me because it caused me to have to go to work on my new level. I had to work on my too’s…becoming too skilled, too educated, to know too much. I realized that too was a mindset not a destination-it’s not a place that I had to get to, it was a direction that I needed to head toward. It was at that point that whatever they handed me I took on and when I finished it, I asked for more.  I stopped trying to prove my worth to others & worked to create value to myselfbecoming in such a way that no one or no-thing can keep me or make me poor again. In retrospect, had they paid me what the senior managers were making, it would’ve destroyed me financially and personally. Becoming is your natural set point which is why you see those who get a windfall of money from an inheritance, settlement, or lottery,  piss right through large sums of money and often end up worse off than they initially were before-erroneously thinking that they had to first have in order to be. Having doesn’t make you, it reveals who you’ve worked toward becoming. 

Be and the have’s will come…

See, when you work first to become, even if they dropped you in a different city with $100 and no cell phone you’d parlay it into success…even if you got wiped out, you’d be the phoenix rising for the ashes of failure.

Don’t wish to have…work to become & even if you’re temporarily broke, you’ll never be poor again.

Catch The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice daily podcast-making a point in less than 10 minutes. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

bigbox
Marcus Luttrell wrote a book that went on to become the movie titled Lone Survivor…& Marcus has a Heavy Box Mentality- he had to have one in order to become a Navy SEAL-the best of the best,  but he also needed to have a Heavy Box Mentality when he was recovering from his injuries and surgeries…
Even though people were urging him to join a gym, he refused… he didn’t need a gym-he had a gym right there in his mind and in that gym was his Heavy Box. Even though there were days that he could only do one push-up against the sink…even though there were times when his progress skidded back down to the bottom… that Heavy Box was right there. Luttrell pushed that Heavy Box into the corners of his mind, out of the way, but still within view- he kept it right there because he was determined to work towards picking that Heavy Box back up.
We all need a Heavy Box Mentality… a Heavy Box Mentality  is the gap of choosing between doing the easy or taking on the hard…that 5 seconds when you can make a choice to slide by with the routine or make that split second decision to yank the heavy box… you’re Heavy Box.
See, the reason why most of us don’t pick… the reason why we won’t choose the Heavy Box is because a Heavy Box Mentality is strictly voluntary… it’s not mandated… it’s not a prerequisite… it’s voluntary and most of us won’t step up and volunteer-to do what is hard in our own lives.
We pick the light box instead…
 So what are they heavy boxes in your life right now? What are the hard choices – the one staring right there at you…
The ones that trip you when you’re dark… the ones you stub when trying to find light… the ones you elect to go around instead of going through…
 I get it… going through causes you to sweat… causes you to strain… going through may cause you to admit that you can’t lift your heavy box…it means you’re defeated…
… but only temporary.
The fact that you stepped up, squared your shoulders, got a wide base, and wedged your fingers underneath…
…the fact that you yanked on your Heavy Box is a start and like Luttrell, it starts with first trying, then testing your limits, then-even if it’s at your base camp, working your way back to the Heavy Box ever so present in the rooms of your mind.
That heavy box is there, we all got ’em. That Heavy Box where you can take the easy dollar $1.69, 10 piece Burger King nuggets or you can grab that salad from Wendy’s that’s four times the price. That box that you can numb the differences through silence and alcohol or that Heavy Box where you sit him down and say, “We’re” done, this ain’t going to work.” That box when you sell just enough to cover your $3000 monthly bills or the Heavy Box where you say I need to make $3000, but I’ll make five and next month I’ll make seven..then you do the math- you break the numbers down to a daily plan and go to work on your box.
The box with no sweat, no strain, no fatigue or the Heavy Box where there’s no way out but through… 
It’s voluntary…
…and you got five seconds to decide. Always pick theHeavy Box. 
Don’t forget I have a weekday podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found iTunes or any of your favorite podcast stations.

Graham Betchart a sports psychologist & mental toughness coach to professional athletes begins coaching his players w/ 3 plays. These 3 plays set the foundation toward continuous growth that you & I can use…the good news is we don’t even have to run sprints or stadiums to be one of the best!

  • Play #1: W.I.N. stands for What’s important now? Simply controlling the controllables. You can’t control the ultimate outcome but you can heavily influence it. Outcomes can be influenced by the 3 things within your control: Attitude, Effort, & Focus. If your attitude is one where you’re walking around blowing your breath in big huffs- looking like a big ass eye roll emoji then you’re going to get back what you put out- negative results. But if your attitude is that of being open minded- in his book Principles, billionaire investor Ray Dalio calls it being radically open-minded, this mindset keeps the channels of your mind open and flexible. Look, things are going to ebb & flow- some things will bounce your way, other times, even when done perfect will not, but you’ve got to keep the attitude and keep plugging knowing things will swing to & fro. If you think about the times that you’re all pissed off, you usually have a rigid, closed mind, don’t you? You’re also in control of your effort- concentrate on giving full effort to each day, customer, & encounter. I find that when your attitude trails off you tend to be more me focused– worried more about what you’re getting & less of what you’re giving. You just give it all you got- you’ll get what you deserve. You also control your focus. Ask yourself, What time zone am I in right now? We live in 1 of 3 time zones: Past, Present, or Future.The only one that’s productively real is what’s happening right now. Stay local (not loco).
  • Play #2: Be present. Graham says it’s reeeeel easy to play present when you’re winning and everything’s going right- but can you play when your in the shit spin cycle of Life…can you play present even when you’re in pain? Graham has a saying that I love & use that re-centers me back to the present when I feel like I’m starting to drift into the past or future, “Play where your feet are.” It’s an instant slap back to reality- where are your feet right now? Play there…
  • Play #3 Next Play Speed: Athletes don’t have time to get hung up on a blocked or missed shot- Graham coaches his players to hurry up and get into the next play. This prevents them from getting stuck in an action that has already happened. Whenever I don’t do well with a previous customer, I try not to park & bitch about what I did or didn’t have/do- no, I quickly get back in the mix by looking for the next play- the next opportunity or activity that I can possibly capitalize on.

So that’s it! 3 plays is all you have to remember & run today. W.I.N. (What’s Important Now); Play Present, & Next Play Speed.

Blow the whistle- You’re in!

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

Listen & Subscribe to my daily 5 min podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found on iTunes or anchor.fm/marshbuice

thelittlebookoftalentI like Daniel Coyle’s book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips For Improving Your Skills-now he also wrote The Talent Code which is a good book about how individuals unlock their talent-a book that we’ll chop up later, but today I want to talk about something I hope that you’re doing every day…and that’s making mistakes-not only making them, but more specifically what you do after you make them. We don’t like to make mistakes-mistakes make us vulnerable to others…it exposes us to being laughed at, talked about, sneered at, pointed to, written up and even fired-and that’s just on the outside. The internal game -what’s going on the inside of us is even worse. When we make a mistakes, we begin to lose our internal mojo-our self-confidence, but self-confidence is a very strange thing: if you try and fail your self-confidence slips a notch…but if you don’t try for fear of failing, that too causes you to lose your self-confidence because you’re not producing- so it becomes one of those damned if you do..damned if you don’t scenarios. So here’s my thing, if you’re going to expose yourself to the possibility of losing your self-confidence either way, then why not lose it in the only direction that you have the possibility to not only gain it back but also inch it forward-and it sure as hell ain’t by sitting around…you’ll gain confidence and skills through making mistakes because as Coyle says in Tip #22, “Mistakes are your guideposts for improvement.” Coyle discovered brain scan studies that revealed that .25 seconds-a quarter of a second after making a mistake we do 1 of 2 things: We either ignore the mistake or we look hard at it…

I’ll add a third to Coyle’s findings…

We justify the mistake. We justify why we did what we did, then ignore any sort of corrective coaching or measures thereafter. Some of the most intelligent people ask, “How could I have been wrong in the action that I took..” instead of justifying why they could’ve been right.

Don’t wait to look at the mistake- look at it right away. Players know this- as soon as they come to the sidelines they’re looking at their tablets trying to figure out how they threw the interception, how the ball was stripped out of their hands, or why they were called for pass interference- they don’t have time to explain away the mistake nor do they have time to deal with the mistake later- they analyze & correct immediately because the game is still going on…

So is yours…

…precious time is ticking away while you’re either standing around explaining (to those who really don’t even care) or you just flat out ignore one of the greatest teachers the Universe has to offer: Mistakes.

So do me you a favor…1) As long as they are not illegal, immoral, or unethical, make many mistakes today and right after you make them, 2)Look those mistakes right in the mouth- don’t wince or shy away from them…don’t blame anyone or anything for them. Own them- if you accepted the wins then you sure as hell have got to own the losses. Find & improve your mistakes. And as Coyle’s Law states, “Take mistakes seriously but never personally.”

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

Subscribe and Listen to my daily podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

I know a guy who is always late to work…now when it comes time to leave, man he bounces out with precision-on time, every time, but he can’t seem to make it to work with the same gusto. The other day he & I are talking and he’s telling me how last month didn’t end well and this month is starting even worse…and come to find out his months in sales have progressively gone downhill. I cut him off by asking him, “What time did you get to work today?” Stammering he answered…”What about yesterday…& the day before that? As a matter of fact have you ever gotten to work on time for a solid month?” He was locked and loaded with the comebacks that ranged from the kids, alarm clock, clothes in the dryer, to funeral processions (in the mornings?)- he had a range of reasons why he couldn’t punch in on time…

I cut him off by saying, “You live in the ish world.”

Giving me a WTH look, I elaborated telling him that you’re starting your day in the hole- coming in at 9ish ..10ish ..You’re not precise- and because you’re not precise- because you’ve got slack to your day, you’re not as productive as you should be because you’re in debt the minute you step on the lot.

Look, I know things unforeseen happen…your kid forgot her lunch or your teen left his assignment under his bed…things popping up are rare…your ish is not…it’s become habitual & is incrementally costing you big time. When you live with an ish creed, you’re showing (to yourself) that you’re not taking things as serious as you need to. Look you’re a professional and pros don’t roll on ish.

Ish means somewhat-that you’re not all the way committed and bought in to that which you are doing. You’re not salesish, associatish, accountingish, parentish-you damn sure don’t want a doctorish. Look, your clients are looking for a pro not an ish- act like one.

I don’t care what your job title is today- it won’t stay that way if you step your game up, but I can assure you that you’ll forever swim in the Lake of Mediocrity as long as you rock with that ish mindset. Even if no one checks you on it…even if you’re on a salary or commission, stay sharp- you show to yourself & others (trust me, others are watching-even your kids) that you take what you do and how you do it very seriously.

We all have 86,400 seconds in a day. Make a few minor adjustments and you’ll see your progress compound.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

Subscribe & Listen to my daily podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

You may think that because Steve Young was a Super Bowl wining quarterback, Hall of Fame inductee, attorney, & successful sports analyst that he just had the “it” factor- like everything he touched turned to gold but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He went to BYU as a quarterback and realized quickly that he wasn’t going to be a starter anytime soon…if ever. The starting QB Jim McMahon (Future Super Bowl winner) had the lead position locked in- not only was Young behind McMahon, but he was behind 6 others vying for the coveted QB position. In other words, 7 others players would have to go down before Young would ever get his shot. Steve began to have second thoughts- he wished he would’ve gone to a different college so he called his dad (nicknamed Grit) telling him that he wanted to quit. Grit told his son that he could certainly quit, but he couldn’t come home, saying, “I don’t live with quitters.”

Steve stuck it out…

To make matters worse, Steve’s coach walks up to him one day informing him that Steve was no longer a QB, he’d been demoted to defense. “I don’t coach lefties,” his coach walked off saying. Sure enough, Steve found out that every BYU Hall of Fame QB had been right handed- Steve Young was a leftie.

Given Young’s already brittle state of mind, that statement alone could’ve broken him…instead it motivated him. Although his position was now on defense, Young was determined to play quarterback. He set out on his own by working on his footwork, technique, & threw over 10,000 spirals in 2 months time. His arm hurt- he was putting in extra work for a position he didn’t even play…

But he kept at it…

A new coach meandering across the field saw the accuracy of Young’s throws & began lobbying to get him switched over to offense. Steve’s hard worked paid off…sort of…although he was back to the 8th QB, at least he was back on offense. With new hope, he began outworking others and moved through the ranks to the #2 spot. As “luck” would have it, the starter went down, and Young went in.

Now I’d like to tell you the rest was history and it was all cupcakes and rainbows from there but it wasn’t. Steve played awful- in one half alone he threw 5 interceptions… in a short amount of time, Young had racked up more losses than McMahon had amassed in 2 years.

But he kept at it…

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs, he played poorly for 2 seasons, but once again someone saw a diamond playing in the rough. Bill Walsh, Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers, brought Steve Young on board to back up legendary quarterback Joe Montana.

Back on the bench again, the role and mission were all too familiar and Young used his secondary role to study & learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Montana & Young competed and jostled for the starting role-at one point, Young was relegated to a backup position when he was told he would be a starter.

But he kept at it…

Young got his shot, secured the starting position and went on to become Super Bowl MVP, Hall of Famer, attorney, & sports analyst for ESPN.

Nothing for Young came easy- even when he earned it, he found himself always having to prove himself…not so much to others, but to himself.

Steve Young kept at it…

…and so should you…..

Anything worth having will be hard. At times it’ll be thankless & humiliating… but it’ll all be worth it…some how, some way. While you may be deep on the depth chart in life-just because you’re not in the lead position…just because you’re not a starter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think, study, & play like one. Don’t play up to the position you find yourself in today, play to your potential. Do the offline work- work that is meaningless to everyone but you…learn from those you back up-good or bad, don’t stand around hoping they fall, help them rise & in return you will too. Put in the work not knowing when “the day” will arrive- when is not your concern…what you do between now and when is. You put in the effort & the universe will supply the events and people to ensure it “just so” happens. And often it happens beyond your wildest imagination.

But first you’ve got to play to your potential, not your current position.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.