Sunday morning… I get up before the Pop Tart and Cartoon wolves howl
At our door ,
Grab the keys, and go watch surfing. Last 6 weeks I’ve been doing this; part therapy,
Part study, part analysis paralysis before I actually attempt surfing again.

And this morning there are two guys with metal detectors, one roaming the beach randomly, the other guy in a grid, back and forth, up and down.

Who do you think is doing better?

The one with the obvious system, right? Working every square inch of the beach?
Organized. Systematic. He’s probably got a trapper keeper in his car.

The other one just roaming. Following the next hot lead. Lightning strike Larry.

Like they say in the oil business.. WEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL No.

I couldn’t take it; I’m a coach, I’m curious, amped on poorly made coffee (yours truly) and an intent desire to make conversation with everyone… So I approach Larry.

You can see in his face he’s not impressed: grey hair, hat on backwards, dressed like a guy who should be surfing, yet solely knows the stores where to get the stuff…..he wants me to make this quick so he can get back to treasure huntin’

Then he lays my assumptions out with what I can only describe as the haymaker of maturity: brevity, clarity, and The This Ain’t My First Rodeo look.

Larry: “I combed this beach for five years, just like that guy, up, down,
Grid, took notes. Repeat.
Repeat. Repeat. Great exercise. sh&*% pay off.”

“Driving home one night, parking lot was full, we pulled over, my 8 year old
Son and me, to see a couple parties down there, a few couples,
And where twilight surfers had set their stuff.”

THEN MY SON SAYS THIS: ” you should take a picture with your phone of where people are sitting; dig there tomorrow cuz that’s where they sat all night.”

Go to where the people were/are.
Simple research.
Save energy.
Save time.
Increase payoff.

Review your habits with an 8 year old or your coach.

Larry, your son is a genius.

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What if each client, each customer, each contact didn’t revolve around you making a dollar in the next 30 days? Would your conversation change? Would the intent of the next call? Or the outcome of this call, would it be earth-shattering? Could be. Start focusing on incredible service, communication, and a series of “this is what will happen next” questions based off the OTHER person’s agenda may make your end of year bonus a client for life. You may just become a better business person, boss, AND salesperson.

Video  —  Posted: May 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Two trips: one to your average parking lot Carnival, the other Disneyland.  Happiest place on earth besides Jet Ski Sales offices around the globe.

At the Carnival, you’re taking your life in your hands, and you know it.

  • You buy the same tickets to ride a physics-enhanced sling shot of fury and fame that you did at the cake walk.
  •  Their concentration is on overhead.
  • There are no security guards. The carnies will handle you should you attempt to snatch back your fin.
  • They’re short term… the grass is trampled, the kiddie pool the hippo is in? That’s okay if it cracks, they’ll buy a new one in Petersburg.
  • Their background checks? Literally, checking to see if someone’s behind them, hopefully not with cuffs, an IOU, or worse collections from the LAST carnival.

At Disneyland, you’re taken care of.

  • The gates, spotless.
  • The employees? They’re cast members trained on making your day the best ever, no matter what.
  • Their gardens parallel stuff the Queen walks around, sans the cartoon characters and laser shows.
  • Different themes for everyone, clean, calculated,
  • there’s a whole city at work underneath the spectacle you see.

Yep, you pay for it. And you’re willing to, because you feel better.  Customers buy great feelings. And yes, it will cost you more than running the carnival.

Given the PROFIT you can make, are you going to plan a carnival?  Or plan a Disneyland?  One will require work and be awesome, one will not, and be gone tomorrow.

Watching soccer in the brew pub at Universal Studios, while my kids ride the Minion Mayhem… easily one of the most brilliant concoction of sapping your kids’ willpower to stand in line, while taunting them with cotton candy just a few mere feet away.

I’m watching soccer, and while I’m not a learned fan, I love watching each match in that they run almost non-stop, always playing chess out there, always following drills, patterns, knowing that the strengths of their forwards’ are and playing to them.

And there’s always one guy, you can tell he is probably the best on the team. His hair is the best, most emotional, always connecting with the ball, making the cool little juke plays that drive the crowd crazy, follows up with the refs to make sure NOT that they believe him to be right, rather that he’s clear why they a) lost the ball b) got carded or c) here’s who’s giving us trouble to keep an eye on.

Teamwork divides the task and doubles the success.

And when I was early, younger, in the game, I’d always think “They should just give THAT guy the ball all the time. Have the goalie roll it three feet to him, and he’ll bolt up the field and score. Every time, right?”  He could do everything, and probably has done EVERYTHING on that field well since, like, day one.

Here’s why he needs a team:

  • he’d get exhausted running it up the field every time. Maybe once and a while he COULD do it, and successfully, he’d just get exhausted.
  • When he gets to the end, to where he shoots, he’s exhausted, and his shot isn’t the 100% it could be. It’s like 60%. then 50%. then 30%. By the end of the game, doing it all, he’s zapped his strength, and that might hurt his rep
  • People watch the 4th quarter, because that’s when you win. If you’re incredible in the first quarter, awesome. Welcome to everybody. Having energy in the 4th quarter is what makes champions. So if future opportunities are judged by how you compete in the 4th quarter, and you’re by yourself, good luck.
  • What if he’s not the best passer? Or too close to see a change on the way?   Other people looking out for him, helps the team win, him win, and they can pull him before he makes a poor shot, or gets hurt. Then he can’t play ever.
  • He can help develop plays that work with any players, so if he gets sick, or red carded and has to miss a game, his team still wins.  When they win because of something he’s taught them? Now he’s a leader. Not a prima donna who yells a lot. When they win because he’s made THEM better? That’s impact for life. And that in itself is a pretty cool job.

We see business paradigms everywhere. Doesn’t make us geniusi, or geniuseseseses, or smart, we look for metaphors because that’s how we like to learn.. this time is like that time. You’re successful in this avenue, so make this street look like that street, and we’re golden. Years of  “accrued credits” now applicable to your current degree of work.

You need a team. You’re team is out there, and needs you.

Quit crying about the slide tackle and go build one.

That won’t work here. There aren’t any _______ in my area.   Brand X has that locked up.  Heard ‘em, said ‘em. Believed ‘em for a while.

And you’re right, based off the perspective you’re bringing, broken down to your information + your focus. Past market experience and past market research from others experiences would say, should nothing change, you’re going to be a freaking Nostradamus when it comes to the future.    Or at least the part where you kill yours.

Unless you bring new strategy. New energy. New system. New information. New staff. New Experience. New resources. A new plan.     Then everything changes.

Real estate specific for sec here, if you’ve got a tight knit community, then introduce that community to outside markets that it might appeal to. There’s a shortage of people moving from their house to next door. So find their next neighbor.  Gary Keller has cited a gazillion times that somewhere there’s someone getting on a plane to come to your town tomorrow to buy a home. You’re anticipation of the information they’re getting before they get here is the key to their success. Who’s alerted them to your town?  How are they determining home prices? Areas?  Great Schools? cost of living?  If you’re answer is “I don’t know”, it may be important to just notice that. Then get to work.

  • Maybe find the buyers before they’re buyers.
  • Then find the sellers before they’re sellers.
  • Or the deals before they’re deals, and introduce them to one of the two previous groups.

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” -Jim Rohn,

If you’re a broker, don’t forget the hustle part, where you get paid to put deals together, even if they  don’t pan out, you’re still creating an active market.

“That won’t work here” tells me that you’ve exhausted all your possibility, say it more than three times in a conversation, and you’re letting the world know you’re waiting to be made “re-available” to the industry.  Or that you’re open to new strategy.

Which is okay, because I’m in sales, I will hustle, and will keep bringing strategy to either you or your replacement.

Chirp chirp.

Image  —  Posted: May 2, 2014 in Business Sense, Mindset, Motivation, Sales practice

Blue tie or red tie? What would you prefer to see? Red?  perfect. 

AHHHHHHHHH! I’m just kidding. I’m riding BOLO.  See what I did there? Asked for your input, then put in a drawer next to my copy of “Hip Hop Abs” that’s also not getting used.

When you’ve taken the time to validate a behavioral breakdown of what motivates people, and you ignore it, you’re telling us exactly who you are

  • like the guy who wears the t-shirt of the band to see the band.
  • like guy who goes back to where he worked still asking for the employee discount. If they liked you, they’ll extend the offer, don’t ask for it.
  • like the girl who shows up to college, and takes the Overnight Phish Pill, and goes hippie in 24 hours
  • like the Winter Mountaineering Jacket you’re wearing that hasn’t seen sub-zero temperatures unless you count that look your mom gave you when you fell asleep in church
  • like the Uncle Rico, recounting previous fame that saw the Ronald Reagan administration in office. And none since
  • like the name dropper, who’s stories sound more like a table guide at the who’s who table. Even if they were just serving drank

Social media’s made it easier. We’re only showing what we want you to see. In business though, there are models, conversation structures,  employment histories of your staff, there’s a paper trail.

So, overhaul with the people you work with.

  • How do I win with you?
  • How do I lose with you?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how honest do you want me to be?
  •  If I seeing you doing something I disagree with, how should I approach you about it?   (this line of questioning was taught to me by a mentor and a boss, who’s a total boss btw).

Then go back and answer the questions from your behalf. You may be surprised that who you sit down with, isn’t the same person as who you stand back up with.

#YOLO #SOLO #BOLO

20120418-203418.jpg I fly a bunch. Most of the folks who do what I do fly a bunch. And every now and again, between the frisking  (lucky, I know) and the pretzels, and the aisle seats, it gets pretty mundane.    You’d see the usual gate lizards who ask what you do, and if you fly a bunch. Yep.  Headphones back in, book gets picked back up, and you go back into your solemn existence, hoping “that guy” doesn’t make eye contact and start up a conversation about the Yankees, Obama, or how Obama should buy the Yankees.

It’s just something you get used to.

Then, one night, I was flying and this guy was VISIBLY uncomfortable, then audibly uncomfortable, and if I had stared enough, probably spiritually uncomfortable with the whole flying process.    So I get curious; I’m in the fear business, squashing them, picking them apart, embracing them, and I start to ask him questions.

This is exactly what people in a fear state love, interrogation. I can sense this. I pursue anyway.  “You realize that you’re scared of the idea of flying, yet we’re already flying. If it’s an event, you’re here already, they punched your ticket, so the worst is over, right?”

And what he said next changed my mind on the power of words and how we describe experiences forever. Foreva eva.

“You don’t understand, right now, YOU’RE flying…” and his volume started to build “BUT I’M HURDLING THROUGH SPACE AT 300 MILES PER HOUR!!!”

And I got really excited, started grinning ear to ear, and thought , hey, this whole time, I’ve been selling myself short! When I tell my kids, my family, my clients what I do, I was describing something incredible very blandly, because I got used to it.  On average, I hurdle through space at 300 miles an hour weekly to build millions of dollars of business with business owners from across the planet.

My job just got a little cooler.

And I’ll leave you with this, next time you hear a baby crying on your flight, and you can’t take it anymore, remember that that particular baby? It’s hurdling through space at 300 miles per hour. Screaming is exactly the right emotion at that point. And that kid is NAILING it.

Image  —  Posted: April 25, 2014 in Business Sense, Mindset, Motivation, Sales practice
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The lifeguard question: If I were a lifeguard, and every morning, I put clients the my call “pool”, what would happen to them?

CHRIS! I’ve got focus issues!

ADD? That’s a symptom of focus (trust me, I’m with you all the way). You can get better at focusing when you’re clear on what the job of the day is… there are mornings where I ask the lifeguard question of my business, “if it fell in the bottom of a pool, broke its leg, and got stung by a bee on the way in, what would I fix first?”

Wouldn’t treat the bee sting, the person’s still drowning.

Wouldn’t set the leg, still drowning.

Have to do the one thing that brings the business back onto dry land, and THEN work on the other symptoms.

What are the bee stings you’re treating while your business is drowning? They’re not unimportant, and will NEED TREATING, just not immediately. What are the broken legs? The ones that shake your focus tree?

So here’s a game. Draw a swimming pool around your call list for the morning. Color your call list in BLUE. Anyone you don’t call? Doesn’t make it out for that morning. Imagine the impact of saving 6 people and letting the other 14 “marinade” because you lost focus, or treated bee stings on the six you saved?

And read this each morning, “I’m the lifeguard of my clients, and save all those I choose to put in my pool.”

Video  —  Posted: April 22, 2014 in Business Sense, Mindset, Sales practice
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The focus and the concentration and the attention to detail that flying takes is a kind of meditation. I find it restful and engaging, and other things slip away. -Harrison Ford

Well said, Indiana Solo, well said. The Falcon had that effect on ALL of us.

It DID  all sort of fade away, you know?  All sound. All distraction. Eye catchers, drift magnets, time leeches disappeared this morning, as I hunkered down to own material in my office like I haven’t since third grade.  Make that fifth grade– you know when they MAKE you learn all 50 states, their capitals, mottos, birds, trees, flowers, and flags? Mr. McCandless at Stony Lane elementary, your tutelage until now was limited to my shocking the Shizzle out of friends during Trivial Pursuit.

Regressing, digressing, walking away from that gong show of a paragraph, it’s another lesson as today was a success in concentration, focus, and drive.

Man, is it fleeting.

Already writing this blog I’ve checked Facebook 12 times, taunted friends about procreation and Googled the set list of the album Chicago 17 by Chicago. Putting away all distractions and just getting work done, son took effort.

Learning the words, the plays, the exercises took drills, took practice. The same way I learned the states and such:

  • I repeated each sentence as I read it as fast as I could 25 times each, keeping tally on a whiteboard, with a chess-clock running, and recording the practice for review, and keeping an eye on body language and Lebon movements
  • After each page, I’d repeat glancing at notes 10 times, then from memory towards camera 10 times until I could do it from memory. Each 12 pages took roughly 45 minutes, with the first section totally 96 pages
  • Yikes. That reads Tim Ferris-y. Ferris-like. Save Ferris. You can read what I was up against, eh?

I’ve taught and learned scripts, policy, theory, and strategy this way my whole life. It’s not glamorous, there’s no silver or magic bullet, and certainly no magic silver bullet, save for the one that  starred  Corey Haim where a kid in a wheelchair defeats a werewolf. (Also had Gary Busey in it, stunning)

You gotta say it out loud, or you’re just reading, folks.   You go through this trance where the words have no meaning in the beginning, then you start to get into a rhythm of how it should sound to connect with the listener, years of being trained by marketing and TV Newscasters runs through your mind. Books on tape you once thought were the easy way out are now raising their hands in your subconscious saying ” holy crow, he LEARNED something.”   Yes, it sounds weird.  Better during practice than in front of a client.

Keep Score of your practice. Helps you see where you are, what you’ve done. If you’re not a carpenter or a builder, sometimes it’s hard to leave work with your chin up when you don’t have a barn to look back on and say, “Hey man, nice barn I built.”

And you’re tempted to short cut. You test your integrity as to how close you’re going to learn it, and whether the rest of the office will wait for you to go to lunch. You skip lunch.

And you skip lunch because you’ve gotten in the zone, you’re finally unlearning the words because you’ve learned them so well.

A mentor and a good friend used a great teaching moment with me (read: slight reaming) on poor presentation. Paraphrasing, he said you need to know the material, inside and out, so you that you CAN stick to it. It’s powerful enough as it’s prepared, and WHEN you’re prepared.

“Don’t make love to it up there.”  Like people making out in a hotel hot tub, the staff and guests and everyone else don’t want to see you mauling something, pawing all over it and ruining life for the rest of us.

So I built a workout. And it’s draining. And I move past the “i gotta learn this fast or else” to “how fast can I learn this as I’m loving it?\

Welcome to the Zone. (someone call Kenny Loggins)

If you’ve got like 3 minutes to watch, here’s a montage of me, doing this above.  Over 60 percent of us are visual. So I should probably put this at the top, too.

ImageCalm. Calm. It’s just an airline. Remember the first headline in any article is designed to……get you to the second line. Yes it’s a writing device, and just like the riddles that your uncle used to tell you that you scoffed at, you’ll turn around and use it in your next article, so “you’re welcome.”

Every second with this company made me feel better about flying than I ever have.  The stewardude even called my computer bag a “purse”, and I’m still on board.  And while EVERYTHING looks cooler while lit softly in purple, let’s do that for the rest of the article. (i’ll check with my intern on this)’

Let’s get to it:

1)  Staging Works: Based on perception, environment, lighting and the stage set (including music) changes the experience.

2) Small gratuities subdue any beast. They stop/silence petty objections and one-up the clients expectations as well. And gives the staff something to brag about. (this is your front line in marketing, if they’re bragging, your future clients aren’t expecting and are impressed.)

3) Clients treated incredibly  will yearn to please you back. Remember the 6/20 rule, where if you do well, someone tells 6 people, and if you do wrong they tell 20? The internet kind of changed that. You want new clients that are A+++++++++++++ awesome? The ones that are ushered in on a cloud of compliments by your current clients.

4) Top-down coolness. Everyone on staff “has it.” From the captain down to the tech, their SMS, their marketing to the barf bags (read: risk management plan)

5) They’re not putting the man on the moon, this is just an airline.   There’s not Cristal pouring from each of the faucets, nor is it the nicest plane.  Small changes/small effects are what bring the comfort and value up.

6) Good hearted marketing: There is nothing negative about other airlines in their marketing, just trendy reminders of why they rock, mainly because it wouldn’t be cool  to be negative.