The Harder You Work, The Luckier You’ll Get

Phone sales, sales motivation, sales tips, working hard, top salesperson, persistence,

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

Vidal Sassoon

“The world remembers Thomas Edison as an inventor, but he was also a spectacular salesman. Edison understood that simply inventing a product, no matter how useful, was not enough. He knew that he also had to sell his product to the public. And he did.

“Like any good salesman, Edison was an energetic worker. In fact, he attributed his success not to intellect but to diligence. He once said, ‘Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.’ The same ratio applies in sales…”

From: The Salesman’s Book of Wisdom, by Dr. Criswell Freeman

In my 35 years of selling, managing, and coaching inside sales, there is one thing that has remained constant: The top producers in any company or industry are also the hardest workers. And if you’re in sales, then I know that you see this relation as well.

Here are some quotes to keep you focused on working hard:

“Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard, but it’s the hardest job in the world if you work it easy.” – Frank Bettger

“If there is no wind, row.” – Latin Proverb (And great advice during summer!)

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

“If you believe in the Lord, He will do half the work: the last half.” – Cyrus Curtis

“Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone.” – Thomas Carlyle

“It’s the job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

“Action is worry’s worst enemy.” – Old-Time Saying

“The shortest answer is doing.” – George Herbert

So, bottom line? Get busy…


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

If You Love Sales—Then Pass This On

B2B Sales, B2C sales, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Motivation, Phone Sales, Sales Tips, Best Practices, Call to Action, Performance,

“We are all salesmen every day of our lives.”

Charles M. Schwab

Whenever I’m at a used bookstore, I always browse the business section. There is gold in those isles. I found a short book called, The Salesman’s Book of Wisdom, by Dr. Chriswell Freeman, and the introduction on “The Joy of Selling” was so awesome, that I wanted to share the three paragraphs with you. Share this with others if you resonate with it as well:

“Selling has been called the greatest profession in the world and with good cause. Few experiences in business can match the excitement of a big sale. But the thrill of the close is always preceded by mundane activities such as training, prospecting and preparation. For the successful salesman, there is no dozing before the closing.

“What keeps top sales professionals motivated? In part, it is the love of selling. Effective salespeople love to make calls. Ineffective salespeople love the idea of selling, but they dislike the act of making the call. The results are predictable.

“Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi warned, ‘If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.’ His words apply not only to professional football players but also to professionals in all fields. So, if you wish to become an exceptional salesman, remember that sales calls should be savored, not endured. Once you learn to love your work, your work will love you back.”

I especially like the, “…no dozing before the closing.” Classic.

If you’re a sales manager or business owner, send this to your team members. If you’re an individual producer, then share it with your teammates.

Share the love of sales….


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Summer Sales Slow? Five Things to do NOW!

B2B Sales, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Motivation, Phone Sales, Prospecting, Sales Tips, Sales Training, Goals, Relationship, Sales Skills,

I don’t know about you, but right after July the 4th business seems to slow down and then it limps along until September. There is business to be had, of course, but the excitement and urgency of the first half of the year seems to have evaporated in the heat of the days.

What happened?

Summer happened, that’s what! As I speak to clients and colleagues (who aren’t on their family vacations) they tell me the same thing—many of their bosses, co-workers, suppliers or business partners are either on vacation, just coming back from a vacation, or just about to take a vacation. 

In fact, many people I know are taking as much as three to four weeks off! (I just spoke with a potential coaching client, and when I asked him when he was thinking of starting our coaching relationship, he told me it would be after his month-long vacation in August. He and his wife will be back right before Labor Day. 

So there you have it. Business is seasonal. Kids get out of school. The weather changes. People have worked hard and are now ready to take some time off. Business changes and people seem to relax. 

Does this mean companies aren’t buying or planning for the fall? Of course not. It just means that they are going to begin doing things on their timetable, not yours.

So here’s what you can do to not only make sales now, but also set yourself up for the best finish of any year you’ve ever had:

  1. Don’t let up. Keep working hard—if not harder. Make more calls. Send more emails; stay later and come in earlier. The time you put in now may not seem to pay off right away, but in the fall you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

It reminds me of the “dog days of summer” in NFL training camps. I still remember what Bill Parcells told his players in late December when they were about to begin a drive that would determine whether they got into the playoffs or not. He looked at his exhausted linemen and said: “This is why you lift all those damn weights!” 

The effort you put in now will make the difference at the end of this year…

  • Connect with established clients. This is the perfect time to send a card, to make a call, and to talk with clients about things other than business. For example, where are they going for summer vacation? 

Face it, if things are slow for you, they are probably slow in their business as well. How about asking what they are doing to deal with this period and what they are doing to get ready for the fall. And how about asking how you can help them do that?  Can anyone out there say “up sales”?

  • Work on improving your skill set, new product development or other part of your business that will make a difference in the second half of the year. If any of you have thought about developing a greeting card campaign to stay in front of your customers and prospects, this is the perfect time to do it!

Some of you know that I use Send Out Cards to keep in front of my clients and prospects, and did you know that you can now use that same system without a sign up fee?  Click Here to find out how.

Why not design a card with a picture of yourself and family on YOUR vacation and send it to all your clients and prospects? That’ll give you something to talk about.

  • Make goals for September through December and develop a plan of action to accomplish them. Develop an affirmation card and goal sheet of exactly how much you’re going to earn, what it’s going to feel like over the holidays to have accomplished that and begin smiling each day as you feel the feelings of having done it. 

Remember, “Fear Pushes, but Vision Pulls.” Use this time to create a compelling vision of the rest of the year for yourself and let that vision pull you through the summer…

  • Feed your mind a positive diet. This is the time to feed your mind every single day (and many times during the day as well). My favorite book to re-read during each summer is: “Beyond Positive Thinking” by Dr. Robert Anthony. You can get it on Amazon.com

I’ll bet you have your own list of positive reading material you’d like to finally read. Pick one book tonight, put it on your desk and commit to reading it before the next holiday.

That alone will make a huge difference for you.

The most important thing to remember during the summer is that “This too shall pass.” If business has slowed down, that will change. And if you take advantage of any of the five suggestions above, you’ll be the most prepared to prosper when it does…


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

The Harder You Work, The Luckier You’ll Get

working hard, success, earning money, sales career,

I was working with a sales manager last week—he manages a team of 20 inside sales reps with a direct report manager who helps manage half that team—and I asked him what kind of producer he was when he was selling.

“I was number one!” he answered proudly.

“And if you look at your team right now, many of whom are not at their goal, can you point to one thing you did to be number one that you don’t see in your team members?”

“That’s easy, I had a burning desire to succeed, and so I was constantly at my desk working. I had an urgency that was unmatched,” he replied.

“And what do you see as the main problem with your team right now?” I asked him.

“Simple: they don’t spend enough time making calls. They find too many other things to do instead of constantly hunting or contacting prospects or following up with clients.

“I fact,” he offered, “If they just spent more time dialing, they would all make a heck of a lot more sales and commissions,” he concluded.

I agree completely. And I see it everywhere I consult: Those reps who are the top producers are also the hardest working reps in the office. You don’t need to tell a top producer to get on the phone, or to spend less time in the breakroom. They already know that.

In fact, if you need to tell them anything, it’s to take an occasional break so they don’t burn out! (And all you managers know exactly what I’m talking about.)

I may not be popular for what I’m about to say, but sales is still a numbers game. Better numbers, sure. With social media, A.I., etc., we can qualify more in advance than simply “dialing for dollars,” but this should actually make the calls we do make even more successful!

If you’re picking up the phone and dialing…

Here are some sayings that, as a top producer, I used to live by:

“If you’re willing to do the things that most sales reps aren’t willing to do (like picking up the phone and making the most amount of calls in the office), then soon you’ll be able to enjoy the things that most sales reps will never be able to enjoy.”

Things like: Working from Hawaii—or anywhere else in the world—family vacations to the best spots on earth, retirement & savings accounts that allow you to sleep soundly at night, driving any car you want to drive, etc…

“If you want to buy something for yourself or your family, then pick up the phone and have someone else pay for it for you…”

“Sales solve everything.”

“The more calls I make, the luckier I get.” (The more buyers & sales I find.)

“Whenever I am undecided about when I should call a client or prospect back, it means I should pick up the phone right now and call them…”

“Prospecting is easy—once I follow a best practice approach and am prepared for the inevitable blow offs and objections I get—because they never change!”

“Making more sales and income is sure easier than being broke and worrying.”

“Riding on the bus sucks.” A Tribe Called Quest (still one of my favorite bands.)

“Some will, some won’t, who is NEXT?”

“If anyone else in the office can be a top producer, I can, too!”

As a top producer, I’m sure you can come up with some of your own. Email them to me; I’d love to hear them: Mike@mrinsidesales.com

If you agree that the more dials you make, the more people you will speak with and that will mean more buyers you’ll connect with, the resolve to make just 10 more dials today than you’re making right now. That is an easy goal. And look at how powerful that is:

10 more dials a day = 50 more calls in a week = 210 per month (4.2 weeks average in a month), = 2,520 more dials in a year! Hey, that’s more than some reps will make in a year total!

Just think of how much more commission you’ll earn if you just did that. What is that number worth to you?

And then double that. Triple it.

Are you getting a feeling for how you can double or triple your income this year?

The bottom line, as I like to say, is that the harder you work, the luckier you will get. The real question is: How motivated are you to earn more?

And that’s a question only you can answer.


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

practice does not make perfect, sales tips, sales technique, poor skills, sales teams, practicing bad skills, practicing perfection,

We’ve all been taught that practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t. If it did, then we’d all be great golfers, tennis players, and sales reps. But we aren’t, are we?

The truth is: Practice only makes permanent. If you practice poor technique—then you’re going to get really good at being what? Poor at what you’re practicing…

And, unfortunately, this is what happens to so many sales teams. Instead of improving their skills, improving and practicing better techniques, many sales reps either keep using poor techniques, or they constantly ad-lib and make up new, poor, techniques and responses over and over again.

And guess what they make perfect? Poor performance. And this is compounded when managers and business owners think the answer is more activity. “Just make more calls, stuff more leads into the pipeline!”  And guess what you get?

More ad-libbing, more poor techniques, and more unqualified leads in the pipeline. This results in more frustration, and more money spent on leads that don’t close.

The solution is that if you want to get better—even perfect—at dealing with the recurring selling situations you face, day in and day out, you need to spend some time and energy learning the best responses and skills to these situations and then practice these skills and responses on each and every call.

Does it take more focus and attention and commitment? You bet. Does it pay off in the long run in terms of a more enjoyable career and a whole lot more money from making more sales? Absolutely! Will most sales people and managers reading this start improving their skills and begin practicing perfection? In my experience, sadly, no.

But those who do—and it only takes about 90 days to change a habit and get immeasurably better—enjoy a lifetime of benefits. I’ve seen sales reps go from the bottom rung to the top, buying homes, driving luxury cars, and providing for their families like they’ve always wanted to.

And it all starts by practicing perfection—rather than poor sales skills.

There are a lot of ways to get better: great books on sales, audio programs, pod casts, etc. It’s all available if you’re ready and willing to get better. I hope you are.

Speaking of which: I just launched a brand new, online inside sales training program presented live over seven weeks. See it here.

When you’re ready to get better, to change your sales results and your life, then join me.

I’ll teach you how to practice perfection in 90% of the sales situations you may be struggling in today. And that will change your life.


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

The Best Goal Setting Technique

Happy New Year!

If you’re like most people, then you’ve got a lot of goals in a lot of areas, don’t you?

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all you’re going to accomplish, you may be wondering where you’re going to get the time to do them all.

I’ve been goal setting for years, and while I (and the rest of the world) may get pumped up by all the wonderful things I’m going to accomplish and all the changes I’m going to make, what I’ve learned is that there is only so much time.

It’s still true that if you want to know how much goal accomplishment gets done, just drive by your local gym’s parking lot during the first week of January and then compare it to the first week in March.

I once heard Brian Tracy talk about setting goals, and he recommended a technique that not only made a lot of sense, but that turns out to be so powerful, it is life changing…

He said the way to get the most out of your goals is to make a list of your top ten goals for the year. Think about what’s most important to you in the different areas of your life and write down ten things.

Next, prioritize that list so that the most important goal is number one. The way to determine which goal is number one is to ask yourself which of the ten things you’ve listed would have the most impact on your life if you actually accomplished it.

Once you have your list prioritized, throw away the other nine goals and make a commitment to making that number one goal a reality in the next twelve months.

And once you’ve made that commitment, ask yourself what one action you can take today, right now, to begin reaching that goal. And once you have identified that, do it.

Before you go to sleep tonight, identify the one action you’re going to take tomorrow, and then commit to taking it.

And then do this each and every day until you have accomplished that one most important goal.

When I heard this, my first thought was, “Yeah, but what about the other nine goals? What about balance and all that?”

And that’s when he explained that despite our best intentions, most goal setting starts strong, but by March slows down, and by the summer most—if not all—have been abandoned.

That’s why identifying one goal, the most important and most impactful goal, is a better way to go.

In thinking about this one goal, think about how much your life will change (and the lives of your family members) if you reach this number one, most important goal.

If your goal is to become a top producer in your industry and double or triple your income, think about the impact that will have on your family. Think about buying that new home, or providing for your parents, or allowing your wife or spouse to stay home.

If your goal is to finally write that novel, think about how your life will change when you finally accomplish that this year! Think about the weight off your shoulders now that it is a reality rather than just another dream.

If your goal is to lose weight, get in shape, and get off your medication and live a longer, healthier life for yourself and your family, think about the long-term rewards achieving that goal will bring you! (And think of the consequence if you don’t.)

Whether or not you agree with Brian, I’m here to tell you that it’s more impactful for you to hit the most important goal in your life than it is to set ten and not hit many of them…

And, hey, if you reach your number one goal by July, you can get to goal number two!

If you’ve set goals for years and not been very successful at following through, then why not take the pressure off yourself and try this method?

How good would it be if you actually reached your most important goal in 2019?

How to Work Anywhere in the World

Lately, I’ve received quite a few emails and phone calls from people asking me if I can help them find a phone sales job they can work anywhere in the world. I spoke with a woman last week who, apparently, has a lot of experience in inside sales, is used to working on a short-term contract basis, and wanted to know if I had any contacts with companies who could use her services. She wants to work from Paris.

Just today, my assistant forwarded me an email from a guy who asked this same question: did I know of any companies who were looking for remote inside sales reps. More and more people are wanting the flexibility to work from wherever, and, presumably, whenever they want, and why not? A couple of years ago, my wife and I took a condo on Waikiki Beach, HI, for two months. I worked in the mornings and by noon I was at the beach. It was pretty sweet.

So, is it possible to earn a living selling over the phone while enjoying the flexibility of working from where ever you want to? And, perhaps as importantly, is it possible to work less than 40 hours a week (or on a schedule that works for you) and still make enough money to enjoy the lifestyle you want?

I’d say, yes…but.

In order to pull this off the way you might want it, you have to get really, really good at selling over the phone first. And you need to have the self-discipline to maintain an independent, structured work day. Let’s break this down quickly:

First, there are only a few really good, top producers in any company. These reps can literally write their own ticket because their employers value what they produce so much. If they want to do what they do from home or from Paris, with today’s technology, most of them can. Moreover, they usually don’t have to look for an industry or company to work for, because they are already successful doing what they do.

Unfortunately, not all sales reps are that good (or haven’t put in the time to get that good yet). For the majority of sales reps like these, they could still conceivably work remotely, but it will be closely controlled, and they will make just an hourly wage (if they can find it). Not quite the freedom to explore Paris that we’d all imagine…

The solution is to first dedicate yourself to becoming the one of the best producers in your company or industry. If you can’t do that, then your options will be limited. But once you’ve attained that level, then you’ll have your pick of industries to work in.

Here’s a big suggestion for you: Pick an industry that has recurring income. Three industries I can think of are debt collection, credit card processing, and financial services. In these (and other) industries, once you develop a book of business, you spend a lot of your time maintaining that book (and enjoying the flow of consistent income) and working referrals.

Next, you need to be self-motivated and very disciplined. Only you can determine if you can do that. I’ve found that very few people can (mostly the 80% of sales reps who are selling to pay their bills), but that the top 20% producers can.

Again, this is something you’ll need to answer for yourself. If you can develop the structure and maintain the discipline it takes to work from a home office, then go for it—after you’ve become a top producer.

So, can you work remotely? Absolutely! You’ll just have to pay your dues first by following the advice above. After that, well, enjoy Paris (or surfing Waikiki)!

I Doubled My Income in 90 Days Using This Technique

Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? I mean, who can double their income in just 90 days?!

Those were my thoughts when I first heard the top inside sales trainer at the time, Stan Billue, claim that if you followed this one technique, you would do just that. I was struggling at the time, and out of 25 sales reps in my company, I was 23. Life wasn’t very good back then. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, so when I heard Stan make this claim, I was all in.

He also said something else: He said that even though this was a simple and proven technique, 90% of sales rep would not follow through and do it. I thought that was just crazy. Who wouldn’t want to double their income in 90 days? And secretly, I thought, if I increase my sales by just 50% it would be worth it. What I’ve come to find out in my long sales career is that he was right—most sales people don’t follow this powerful technique.

Here’s what it is: Make a commitment today to record your calls each and every day for 90 days, and listen to some of them, analyze them, and make a commitment to improving each and every day in the areas you hear need improvement in.

When I first started doing this, it was pretty painful listening to myself, and listening to all the things I was doing wrong. Here is a brief list of what I learned:

  • I talked over prospects.
  • I sounded like a salesman.
  • I didn’t build any real rapport.
  • I completely mishandled the gatekeeper (it was no wonder I rarely got through).
  • I didn’t listen to my prospect’s tone or to whether they were open or annoyed—I just barreled on.
  • I wasn’t following any kind of script; I was adlibbing it big time and it sounded like it.
  • I didn’t sound professional at all – too many ums, and uhs, etc.!
  • I didn’t qualify my prospects and instead just set unqualified appointments, and I wondered later why they didn’t close.
  • I didn’t set a scheduled appointment for the next call, nor did I set an expectation for that call on the rare occasions when I did set one.

And these were just some of the things I found wrong! What I also realized was that if I kept performing this way, I would never improve my results. And what I’ve found in 30 years in sales leadership and consulting is that the majority of sales reps and sales teams are making these same fundamental errors over and over again, and that’s why they continue to struggle.

To illustrate this, just last week I was asked to be a guest coach with a company called ExecVision (a call recording software company) on a webinar called, “Call Camp.” During this webinar, I listened to and critiqued sales rep’s actual calls. I highly suggest you listen to the recording of this webinar. Listen to the Call Camp recording here.

As you’ll see, the sales reps are making many of the errors I used to make. As you listen to the program, ask yourself: How many of these errors are you or your team making?

So, what to do about it? Take Stan’s advice above. Start recording and critiquing your calls today. If you need help recording your calls, for instance, if your phone system doesn’t allow you to record calls, or if you’re making calls using a cell phone, then here is a great solution to help you record all your calls easily: See the recording program here.

If you have questions about the legality of recording calls for your state, then check this article out by Steve Richard of ExecVision. You’ll learn everything you need to know.

Bottom line, you now have no reason not to record your calls. And if you do, you’ll put yourself in a position to double your income within 90 days. The only question now is whether or not you’re in the 10% group of motivated, committed closers who will do this.

If you are, get ready to earn more money – a lot more.

Knowledge is Power – Or Is It?

The week after my first session with my boss was very interesting. I took his advice and began asking myself if I could do a variety of things. Could I actually become the top producer at the company? Could I go back to school and get my PhD? Could I write a bestselling book? Could I get into ideal physical shape and run that marathon one day, and many other things. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exercise was listening to my self-talk as my initial answers came.

For example, when I asked myself if I could write a bestselling book, my automatic self-talk was, NO! I was amazed by the flurry of supporting thoughts – and by how quickly they came – as to why I couldn’t. Things like I had never written a book before; It was really who you know, not how well you can write; And I even thought that there are many, many other writers better than I was who never wrote a bestselling book.

After this initial onslaught of negativity, I then decided to do some research on authors whose first books did become bestsellers. The obvious example was John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, published in 1988. It took him four years to write that book, and not only did it become a bestseller, but he is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies of a first printing. As I continued to look, there were others whose first books became bestsellers as well.

So suddenly, I had to grudgingly admit that I had the ability and potential to write a bestselling book, but what I obviously lacked was the knowledge and training (writing experience) to do so. As I thought more about this, I was pretty certain that my next meeting with my mentor would be about learning what I was sure was the missing link to unleashing more of my ability and potential: knowledge and training.

When we next got together, we reviewed my experience with asking myself the “can I?” questions, and he pointed out how important my initial internal reactions were and especially my self-talk. He said we would be getting back to that in an upcoming session. When I told him my ‘aha’ moment about knowledge and training, he smiled again and asked me another question:

“Mike, what do you know about the importance of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet?”

Well, that was easy! I told him all about the studies I’d heard and read about emphasizing the importance of fruits and vegetables. I told him about the essential vitamins and minerals found in green leafy vegetables, about the disease-fighting phytochemicals found only in these foods. I then told him about the importance of dietary fiber which was crucial to maintaining a healthy intestinal track and, of course, and to preventing constipation and even reducing the risk of bowel cancer. I was prepared to go on even more until he stopped me and asked me another question:

“Mike, how many servings of fruits and vegetables did you have yesterday?”

I hesitated as I reviewed my eating that day. For breakfast I had bacon and eggs over easy with hash browns and white toast (lots of butter of course). I went out for Chinese food for lunch and had the lunch special of chicken fried rice. For dinner I had a steak sandwich with garlic mashed potatoes. Oh, and there was some broccoli as a side that I pushed around with my fork but ultimately ignored.

He then said, “So Mike, is it a fair assessment to say that you already have more knowledge about good eating habits than you’re using?” He had me there. He then went down the list. He asked me if I knew more about physical exercise than my daily workout routine (what daily workout routine?) would indicate? Yes. Did I know more about good organization habits than my garage at home or my closet might indicate? Yes. He asked about when I was in college if I knew more about good study habits and homework habits than I had practiced? Yes again!

And that’s when he lowered the boom on me. He said, “Mike, just like it isn’t about how much ability you have that determines your results, it’s also not about how much you know that determines your results either. Just like with potential, people have a lot more knowledge than their actions and results would indicate.”

So I brought up training. I told him that maybe if I had more training – essentially more knowledge – than maybe I’d use more of it. He immediately reminded me of the sales training I went through when I was first hired. He reminded me of all the phone scripts and proven techniques I had been given. He asked me how many of them I used on a daily basis. (Not many – I was still winging it.) He asked me where my script playbook was at that moment? Was it on my desk, opened up to the rebuttals I would need for my next call? No, I had to admit, it was in the middle drawer of my desk, under a pile of other neglected paperwork.

He asked me another question: He said, “Mike, do you know more about the importance of good qualifying techniques and skills than your last few sales lead calls might indicate?” Gee, this was getting annoying. YES! “Do you know more about closing skills and proper objection handling than your last few closes might indicate?” Okay, I surrender. I admitted right then that, yes, I knew more about most things than I my actions, behavior, and my results showed.

He told me that while knowledge and training were important, they were not drivers of actions nor of results. They were not what made someone more successful than someone else. He told me that knowledge was crucial, and that we could always use more training, but by themselves, they were not going to cause me to use more of the potential and ability that I already agreed I had. He told me that it’s not what I know, rather, it’s what I do with what I know that makes the difference.

All right, so how do I get motivated to use more of that I already know and to use more of my potential and ability? I was suddenly convinced the missing piece was motivation, right? When he heard me say this, that same little smile, now a smirk, I was sure, crept across his face. He told me we’d dive into that subject next week.

In the meantime, he challenged me again – and I’m going to challenge you – to come up with areas in my life where I wanted to achieve more, and then he asked me to begin making a list of the things I already knew in those areas and whether or not I was using my knowledge and training to maximize results in those areas. Whether or not that knowledge was influencing my behavior or allowing me to use more of my ability and potential.

It was the start of an interesting exercise, and I highly recommend you try it for yourself this week. Pick an area – as many areas as you choose – and ask yourself if you know more than you use. If fact, ask yourself how much, or how little, of the current knowledge you have in that area that you’re using. The answers for me were revealing, and I think they will be for you, too.

Best Motivational Book Recommendation

Thanksgiving is in two days, and the holidays are right around the corner. As we work to close the year strong, many of us begin thinking about our goals for 2018. And, more importantly, we begin thinking about what we can do differently next year to achieve them.

I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite books on how to achieve the right mindset for achieving just about anything. This is a book I picked up in the 80’s, and I read it at the end of just about every year as I set my new goals.

It’s called, “Advanced Formula for Total Success,” by Dr. Robert Anthony. If you haven’t read it – or haven’t read it lately – than this will be one of the most important books you’ll ever read. It’s packed with useful, no-nonsense examples that will really resonate.

It is out of print, but you can get used copies on Amazon.com for about $6.00. Believe, me, it’ll be the best $6 you’ll spend this year.

Dr. Robert Anthony updated this book a few years ago and called it: “Beyond Positive Thinking.” That book is readily available as is, or an audio version of it if you prefer to listen to your books.

Either way, though, Dr. Robert Anthony is an awesome writer who gives you the formula you need to set and achieve goals. So while you’re contemplating that second piece of pumpkin pie, make sure you eat it while you’re reading one of the most important books you’ll find in years.

Enjoy!