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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Optimal Sales Mindset virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on February 5 , 2021. It featured an interview with Chris Majer of the Human Potential Project. He is the author of The Power to Transform.]
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Chris’ TIP: “One of the things that we’ve run up against is people always say, “I don’t have time, I need to learn time management.” No you don’t, there’s no such thing. You need to learn commitment management. In today’s world, we observed people are “over-involved” and under-committed. We’ve got a gazillion little things going on but they’re not necessarily committed to many of them so let’s take a step back, go sit down, it only takes you maybe 15, 20 minutes. Make a list of the four, no more than 5 big commitments that you have in your life. Then what you do is you go look at your calendar and match up, “What am I doing with my time to support those commitments?” What you will invariably find is that you’ve got a lot of stuff that you’re doing that’s got nothing to do with those five commitments. Simple: quit doing it.”
THE PODCAST BEGINS HERE
Fred Diamond: Chris, it’s great to see you. You’re the author of The Power to Transform and I want to let you know that transformation is one of my favorite words. I’m very excited for what we’re going to be talking about over the course of the next 40 or so somewhat minutes. We’re talking about the universal performance principles to ensure the optimal sales mindset. First off, it’s great to have you. By the way, for our listeners, you’re a very inspiring guy, you’re almost like a Renaissance man. You’ve created so many things, the Human Potential Projects is easily one of the most impactful programs that is out there helping companies, business leaders, athletes transform. Today we’re talking about how sales professionals, sales leaders can take their careers to the next level.
Chris Majer: Thanks very much, Fred, it’s wonderful to be here. We’ve got some stuff that’ll be of interest to your audience and indeed we’re going to talk about the universal performance principles which, in our experience, are pretty much the foundation for everything. You tell me what’s the best way to make this successful, should we walk right through them, do you want a little history on where they came from or both?
Fred Diamond: Give us a little background, tell us what led to this. Again, I just want to let people know you’ve impacted tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people not just with the book but with the work that you’ve done around the globe. Of course, we’re not doing a whole lot of traveling around the globe these days but at the same time we’re using the mechanisms to get information across. Give us a little background on the Human Potential Project and how you got here, and then let’s go through some of these principles.
Chris Majer: To your point, I was commenting the other day to somebody like, “This has been the longest period of time in my adult life when I haven’t been on an airplane for some project or something. Like everybody, I’ve got my own version of stir-crazy going on here. The history of this is interesting and somewhat simple. I went to the University of Washington, I was a rugby player, I did a master’s degree in organizational development. About the time I was 30, my body wouldn’t take first-division play anymore, I kept playing after school. I took up the study of Aikido, a Japanese martial art. “This isn’t about punching and kicking” I thought to myself, now I’ve been doing that for 10 or 12 years, I know how to beat people up.
There I met a guy who was a sports psychologist, early 80s, this was when sports psychology was seen as something akin to voodoo or black magic but he and I got to be buddies. We didn’t really know any better so we started a business, the early business was called Sports Mind and what we set out to do was isolate and reproduce in others the elements that led to consistent winning performance. The key to us was that we’re consistent, we weren’t interested in flash in the pan performance but what was it that enabled consistent winning performance? All we did – it was innovative at the time – was take the three part model that everybody’s familiar with, mind, body, spirit. We took Eastern philosophical energetic meditative practices, combine them with Western psychology and physiology and built this body of work for athletes.
Frankly, it was tremendous. We were generating phenomenal on-field performance from our clients, most of them were individual players, golfers, body builders, runners, archers, all that sort of stuff. The challenge we had was in those days, Nike and Adidas didn’t exist the way that they do today so our clients were all amateurs and they were broke. Doing great work, not getting paid, flaw in the business plan [laughs] so we turned our attention to the same thing you’ve seen, probably participated in which is we could take a group of individual players – those individuals were terrific – put them together on a team, the team would stink. Rationally that makes no sense but it happens so often and not just in sports, there’s something here for us to learn. We went to work, built out a part work called Team Cohesion, went to work with professional teams, Olympic teams, national teams, the Seahawks. From that, we’ve started moving into the corporate world back in the mid to late 80s and what we realized is that we had inadvertently learned from working with athletes and performers all over the world that there’s one thing they had in common, didn’t matter what language they spoke, what country they were from but they all shared this foundational belief system and what we’ve come to call the Universal Performance Principles. That’s the distillation of where all that came from, it’s the distillation of decades of work with elite performers around the planet.
Fred Diamond: Following up on the teams topic you’re talking about, one of the reasons why we invited you to be on today’s show and why people are listening is teams are struggling right now. A lot of the companies you heard in the beginning, some of our sponsors, we have big companies that work with the Institute for Excellence in Sales that have hundreds if not thousands of salespeople and they haven’t been in the same room with these people in close to a year. We’re really interested in some of your ideas on how the leaders listening can be successful now with their teams even though they’re not in the physical room with them and they haven’t been, and they probably won’t be for the foreseeable future.
Chris Majer: Let’s do this, let’s walk through these principles and then come back and tie it together with, “What does that have to do with you and your team in the moment?”
Awareness, pretty simple. Everything starts with awareness, if I’m not aware of myself or my world or anything else, nothing good is going to happen. We look at awareness in two dimensions, internal and external. Internal is fundamentally understanding the nature of your mind, your mind is highly evolved, highly effective but at the same time it’s also pretty lazy and it’s essentially committed to being right, looking good and playing it safe. When you throw something new at it, the first thing it wants to do because it’s lazy is look at it and go, “Oh, I already know that. Then as soon as it thinks it knows something, it quits paying attention so there’s a very low possibility of anything new actually happening for you which bluntly is why most adults don’t learn anything, because we live in a story of either “I already know” or I say something new to you and your mind goes, “I don’t like that, that’s confusing” and it turns off also. You’ve got a pretty good defense mechanism set up for making sure you don’t actually learn anything. We have a series of practices that we put people through, it’s coming to understand what these limiting beliefs are and things you’ve got because we’ve all got them, the problem is we don’t know that we’ve got them. You don’t know what you don’t know, so we want to look and see how do I first of all illuminate these things and then move through them?
In the external stuff for sales professionals – and I learned a lot of these things the hard way – externally you think, “It’s not just my physical capabilities but what’s going on out in the world?” I’ll tell you a quick story, this is under the banner of business lesson #1 for Chris. We’ve been doing all this athletic work and suddenly we found ourselves having caught the attention of the United States Army. I found myself suddenly at scenic Fort Hood, Texas which if you’ve not been there, I recommend you keep it that way. We were there in the early 80s, the army was having all these problems. They had soldiers who couldn’t pass their physical fitness test, too many AWOLs, Article 15s, morale was terrible, let’s just leave it at that. These guys talked to us, I was sitting there in front of a room full of coronels and they’d originally asked us to just come and help solve the physical training problem because of all the work we’d done with athletes. I listened to all their story and I said, “What if we solved all those things at the same time?” and they went, “What?” I said, “Look, you’re trying to tell me that you’ve got 18 to 20 year old soldiers who can’t pass the army’s physical fitness test, my mother can pass the army’s physical fitness test. It’s not a physical training problem, it’s a mental issue and all these other things that you’re working on are all interconnected too. You guys have been sending too many people to management classes and you’ve lost sight of the difference between leadership and management.”
They said, “Okay, great” so we mapped out this program and they said, “Good, how much is this going to cost?” and I said, “I don’t know, I just made it up, you were here. It’s not like I’m selling soup, ‘here’s my can of tomato, you owe me 39 cents.'” “Give us a budget.” We took lunch break, I go back to the exciting sizzler in Killeen, Texas, I’m making up all these numbers and it was the classic take of the little angel and the devil. “This is going to cost…” “I don’t know what it costs to work with the government.” “That’s a lot of money.” “We’ll go back and talk about it.” We go back in after lunch and I walk through the budget line item by line item on this flip chart and I get to the bottom and it’s $93,000 for this three month long program which in 1983 is pretty good money. As I’m going through this it’s getting increasingly quiet in the room and I get to the end and the coronel in charge turns to the guy next to him and says, “Well, coronel, what do you think?” He says, “Frankly, sir, I’d rather not say in front of them” and I’m thinking to myself, “Lord, now you did it.” He says, “No, no, I want to get all the opinions out here.” “Well, sir, we can take the armor assigned to the test unit in question, fire it up for 15 minutes and burn $93,000, that’s nothing.” [Laughs] I’m sitting there going, “Oh.” “I’m so embarrassed math was not my strong suit, I forgot to carry the one” but it was too late for that conversation. This was big lesson #1, know your customer. $93,000 was a rounding error to these guys and of course we got the sole source contract, this took us this, there and everywhere but it was a huge lesson in awareness of, “Let’s understand what’s really going on here in the big game and then you can play at a completely different level.”
Fred Diamond: Chris, I want to ask you a question. One of the best lessons I ever had in sales is something similar, I proposed a consulting agreement to a company and my coach on the inside said, “Double your price” and I was like, “Double your price? What are you, nuts?” He goes, “Double your price.” I doubled my price, sent it back, he sent it to the president of the division and the guy said, “Can you start on Monday?” So everybody who’s out there, know your worth, double your price. Chris, we have a lot of sales professionals who come to IES programs and maybe some people who were a little more senior, 10, 15 years in will have an event that’s really impactful and they’ll say, “This was a good reminder.” You know, picking up the phone and dialing, “That was a good reminder.” I’m like, “If it’s a reminder, how come you’re not doing it?” Talk about that for a second before we move on to the next thing. You’re talking about awareness, some things around you, you go to the library, you want to lose weight, there’s 800 books on losing weight but you’re still carrying the 20 pounds from COVID, like me. Talk about the distinction getting past that, “I know it” and why that stops.
Chris Majer: You just opened up the spot we might have been better off starting with. One of the things that is essential and what you’re talking about in my parlance is the distinctions about learning. We collectively have been sold a bill of goods about learning where we think it’s all about getting insights, information, tips, techniques, all for the sake of gaining understanding. We think if we understand something we know it, and knowing is the Holy Grail. In the academic world that might be true, but out here in the rest of the world understanding is the booby prize, it doesn’t matter. What we learned early on with athletes and soldiers, it doesn’t matter what you understand, what matters is what you can do. Here’s the thing people have a tough time getting their heads around because again, we’ve been sold this bill of goods. Understanding occurs in your mind and it can, in fact, occur in an instant but in the end, it’s your body that learns and your body only learns one way and that’s through practice. No amount of understanding ever produced competence, only practice does and practice takes commitment and it takes time. If you think about anything you actually are good at, you didn’t get good at it by reading a book, you may have gotten aware of it by reading a book but it’s only through recurring practice that you’ve developed competence.
What we at the Human Potential Project sell is what we call embodied competence, embody means you can take the new action without having to stop, look it up, read it in a book and competence is simply the capacity to consistently produce the desired result. You only can do that with practice, so when we work with sales teams we give them all set of practices about awareness and it takes them a couple weeks to go do them until they actually get competent at them. From there, as you just put it up here, our axiom is choice follows awareness. Not just in the book and in the work that we do but in life, the more awareness you’ve got, the more choices you have, it’s very simple. It’s the simple little ladder analogy, the more you climb up, the more you can see. The more you can see, the more you can see different choices. Where people get stuck is making incremental small choices instead of big ones, we want to take baby steps in a world that’s moving at light speed and then we can’t understand why we get left behind. The whole point of this notion about choice is simple: you always have a choice, period. People tend to want to give up the notion, “I had no choice.” Yes you did, I didn’t say you always had choices you liked, but you always have a choice and the problem for most of us is we put off making a choice until we’re way down the road and the field of possibilities has gotten narrow to where now there’s only two or three and none of them look really good. That’s because you chose not to choose way back here when there was 15 of them.
Fred Diamond: We’re going to be talking about accountability in a few slides as well. Every time someone says, “I had no choice”, “I didn’t have the time”, “I didn’t have the time to make phone calls”… You probably deal with that all the time too, you did have the time. A lot of people tell me this, “My company says I need to make 30 phone calls a day but I didn’t.” I’m like, “Well, you have to make those phone calls. You should be making them to better prospects to be more productive, you should be making them better by practicing how you make phone calls but at the same time, if your company tells you to make 30 phone calls a day, you need to choose to make those phone calls.”
Chris Majer: Exactly, instead of choosing to make an excuse. Let’s tie this for a second, if you go back to awareness, part of what I need to be aware of is what’s the story I’m telling myself for why I’m not making phone calls? “I’m too busy” is complete crap so let’s try again. “What I don’t like is rejection, I don’t like it when people say no to me.” Okay, join the club and here’s how you change that context. I learned this from one of the great sales trainers of all time, Larry Wilson. He used to talk about his early days of selling insurance or something door to door, there’s nothing more brutal than door to door sales and he said, “I was devastated at the end of every day for the first two weeks, I was ready to quit but then some old guy took me aside and said, ‘Here’s what you got to do, get your numbers. How many no’s do you get before you get a yes?’ ‘Well, there’s about 10.’ ‘Okay, so every time you get a no, instead of being crushed say thank you to that person and that experience because now you’ve only got 9 more to go.'” It’s all about being aware of what’s going on in your mind and making a different choice, and then we move into ability versus willingness.
This is my favorite conversation to blow up for people, this “I can’t”. Yes you can. Our premise here is simple, as a human being I am infinitely able. The question is never your ability, it’s your willingness. “I’m infinitely able” does not mean I’m infinitely competent, it means I’m able to learn. If I want to get better at something, I need to invest the time and the energy and the question is not, “Am I able?” it’s, “Are you willing? Are you willing to invest the time and energy and whatnot that it’s going to take to develop competence?” When people work with us, the phrase “I can’t” is banished from their vocabulary. You can choose not to, which is a dignified choice. For instance, I choose not to spend a lot of time learning the IRS codes, I’ve got an accountant who does that. I choose not to go to medical school, I’ve got a doctor who does that kind of stuff. It’s this whiny “I can’t” that gets people stuck and it’s complete BS. You can, you just made a different choice and we’re okay with that, just own your choice.
Fred Diamond: I want to follow up on that because we spend a lot of time every day talking about things like picking up the phone and we tell people, “If you want to transform your sales career, you have to have the courage to pick up the phone, to ask for the deal, to ask for follow-up.” We have a question here that comes in from Jerry and Jerry is in New Jersey. This may be getting us off track again but it doesn’t really matter, Jerry said, “Should I work on things I’m not good at or work harder on the things I am good at?” That’s an interesting question, Jerry. I’m curious, Chris, we talk all the time about if you really want to be successful in sales, there are some things that you need to be able to do. Let’s just take an easy one, pick up the phone and have conversations, and we go deep into that. We’ve had some great trainers like Art Sobczak and Alex Goldfayn, John Asher and Tom Snyder talking about how you can get really good at that. But what do you think? Should you work on the things that you’re not good at or should you exemplify the things that you might already excel at to take them to the highest level?
Chris Majer: I wish there was a simple answer but it depends on what’s in each of those categories. Here’s where I’d go with this, there’s a very old personal growth model that says there’s three elements: be, do, have. People want to have big, successful sales career so they get fixated on the having part and that’s where all the tips and techniques and in my opinion, all the stuff that doesn’t work comes into play. Then they’ll maybe back up, so if I want to be successful then I’ve got to do stuff so that’s where it’s, “What I have to do is pick up the phone and make all these calls.” But that’s not going to work either if you don’t go back up to the primary value generating space which is being. Who do you have to be so that when you’re doing the phone calling you will eventually have the results that you want? If I’m being timid, afraid, “This isn’t going to work” and I’m doing the phone calling, you’re going to be subconsciously absolutely right, this isn’t going to work.
Where I tell people to go look is let’s start back with who are you being when you move into your day? Are you this kind of, “God, here we go again, another day in the salt mine”? Which is unfortunately currently exacerbated by the fact that everybody’s remote. We don’t have the guys close by to kind of, “He seems to be in a good mood, maybe that’ll rub off on me” or the sale manager coming around and helping you a little bit. We’ve got to be more self-generating in today’s world which for many of us is a challenge because we’ve never had to do that. Jerry, I would say focus for now on the things that you’re doing really well and get excellent at them, and then start working on some of the things that you’re not doing so great on. You’ve got to do a little bit of both because no matter what it is that you get great at, eventually that’s not going to be sufficient. I’ve got to continually be refreshing and learning new things.
Fred Diamond: Jerry says, “Thank you.” Jerry comes on the webinars not infrequently. We have another question here which is, “Could Chris expand on what it means to be?” That question comes from Ginette in the DC region. I agree with you, if you wake up in the morning and you say, “Another day, I’ve got to make 30 phone calls, no one’s answering the phone, nobody wants to hear from me today” even though you work for a great company… You work with elite performers, do you do things like visualization? Take a minute to talk about how I can be the best possible me.
Chris Majer: The next thing we want to talk about is accountability. Accountability gets confused with responsibility, they’re not the same thing. Accountability is a choice that I make in how I’m going to approach everything, it’s not about whose fault or who’s to blame, that’s a useless conversation but it’s all about, “Am I willing to take ownership for everything in my life?” Here’s something that you won’t hear any place else. One of the fundamental drivers of the elite performers is they are aware of and they know how to manage their mood. Mood management, when I say that in business too many people think, “What, are we supposed to play Barry White music or something?” No, wrong mood [laughs]. A mood is an embodied predisposition for action, it’s a story that I’m living in about the future. Moods come in two flavors, technically we call them generative and degenerative, common language, positive and negative. Generative moods and what they generate are the space of possibilities that your future lives in. Generative moods are things like ambition, confidence, trust, spree, resolve and in some cases, seriousness – not grave but serious. Negative or degenerative moods are things like distrust, resignation, resentment, cynicism, arrogance, entitlement and complacency. If you go into most organizations, you will find that they swim in a soup of those negative moods due in large part to the historically outdated management practices that we use, but that’s a topic for a different day. Back to the question, what I want to learn to be most fundamentally accountable for as it pertains to my being is my mood, my mood is a predisposition for action.
For example, oldest easiest illuminator of this is the glass, is it half empty or half-full? If you live in a mood of ambition, it’s half empty. If you live in a mood of resignation, it’s-half empty. The ambition person sees it as half full, the resigned person sees it as half empty, the cynic says, “What difference does it make? It’s a piece of crap glass anyway, blah, blah, blah.” Those moods set your way of being and that’s the foundation on which we build all this stuff. Accountability is simply, “It’s up to me.” I don’t live in any victim conversation, there’s no he-she-they did it to me, I chose and I own my choice. The old classic, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
Fred Diamond: Ginette says, “Thank you for that answer.” Chris, this is amazing. I wish we could go for hours. Once again, we have hundreds of people listening to this as a podcast and we’ve got dozens of people watching as a webinar. If you’re spending Thursday at 2:00 o’clock trying to take your career to the next level, I applaud you for investing the time. We’re going to get to some more action items from Chris here. Somebody actually just asked, I think it was Joe, he was joking and he said, “Who’s Barry White?” Go Google Barry White.
Chris Majer: [Laughs]
Fred Diamond: Quick FYI, Barry White and my significant other share a birthday. Anyway, let’s talk about commitment and this is a really interesting word.
Chris Majer: Let’s talk about Barry White, you guys need to know who Barry White is.
Fred Diamond: May he rest in peace, Barry White.
Chris Majer: But we don’t have time, go on Google. Let’s talk about commitment. Commitment, again, another term that’s widely used and deeply misunderstood. Commitment is very simple, it means doing whatever it takes (inside the rules of the game to accomplish whatever your goal is). Here’s where people get in trouble with that, remember, inside the rules. I’m not advocating that you cheat and do any of that sort of stuff. Inside the rules of the game, if I’m sitting here going, “Well, I know I’m committed, in my heart I just know that I’m giving it everything that I know how to do and I’m not getting the result. Does that mean I’m not committed?” No, it means that everything you know how to do is not what it takes to get the result, commitment is doing whatever it takes. If I know that I am heart and soul committed, I’m giving everything that I’ve got but I’m still not getting the result, then what you do because you’re committed is you go ask for help. You get some coaching, you get someone who knows more about how to get this done because doing everything you know is not the same thing often times as doing whatever it takes, and that’s the big gap for people to close is, “I got it, I’m doing everything I know and it’s not happening.” Instead of feeling bad about yourself and making yourself wrong, all you do is go, “I see, everything I know isn’t what it takes. Let’s go figure out what I don’t know and get going on it.”
People always ask, “How do I know what I’m committed to?” If you want to know what you’re committed to, look at your life right now. Exactly what you have is what you’re committed to. “No, I’m committed to X, Y and Z.” No you’re not, you’re committed to what you’ve got right now and you’re committed to talking about that, but that’s not what you’re committed to. You’re committed to talking about it which, back to knowing your mind, makes you look good but it’s not the same thing as actually doing it, getting into action, putting one foot in front of the other in a new direction.
Fred Diamond: I like what you just said there that where you are is where you are. If you say you’re committed to being the best sales performer but, “Maybe I’ll take some time off today” – nothing wrong with taking time off, but are you doing the necessary things to be a high-performing sales professional? Chris, let’s talk about trust. When you talk about trust are you talking about trusted relationships? Are you talking trusting yourself? I’m curious what you mean by this.
Chris Majer: Fred, in the end if I’m going to be a successful salesperson, what is it that I’m selling? You’re not just selling yourself, what you’re selling is trust. You’re asking your client, your customer to trust that you can deliver what you said you could with either your product, service or whatever it is that you are “selling.” Too often we have this old view of selling as, “I’m trying to manipulate this guy into doing something to buy my stuff for my benefit” as opposed to, “How do I build trust with this customer?” Here’s something for all of you people out there, see if you can digest this. Pop quiz, what are the two scarcest commodities in the world today? #1 is trust and the other one also starts with a t and that’s time, everybody’s scattered.
Watch this, if I invest the time to build trust with a customer and it’s reciprocal and I do that by consistently doing what I said I was going to do and doing it when I said I was going to do it, what happens then is as we go forward in time, the customer doesn’t want to invest time building trust with somebody else even at the expense of paying a little more for my product or service because they trust me and don’t want to have to go through that whole process with somebody else. If you notice, the symbol for trust here is a triangle, it’s got three sides and those are sincerity, competence, reliability, the three elements of trust. It’s not a moral judgement, it’s an operational element when we’re talking in business. Is the person sincere? Are you being straight with me when you tell me that you can do whatever it is in your proposal? Do you have the skill set, are you competent to actually do it and do you have a history of reliability which says you will do what you said you will do when you said you will do it? There’s nothing more frustrating than, “Yeah, we’ll have that, it’ll be all ready on the 12th of June” and the 11th gets here and they go, “Actually, we’re going to need a couple more weeks” or whatever and then you’ve got a big breakdown in trust. Reliability, competence, sincerity. Put them together, that’s how you build trust with your clients and in the end I propose that’s what you’re selling.
Fred Diamond: I’m sitting here, I’m looking at a lot of the people. We’ve got dozens of people watching the webinar and these people are with big companies and a lot of them are sales leaders. A lot of the things we talk about here have come up on other podcasts from some of the top sales performers in the world that we have on our show. One of the great messages we got was with a guy named Joe Ayers who’s one of the leaders of HPE – obviously formerly HP – and one of his big messages was, “Are you thinking enough? Are you sitting off to the side thinking?” One of the challenges, Chris, that we’re all faced with right now is that we’re in our homes, the computer is on, a lot of our companies are telling people, “Keep your video on, keep the Zoom on, if you’re home you might as well be working.” People aren’t spending enough time just contemplating, thinking and I love what you just said about – I love all of this, man. Actually, we just got a note here from Gordon who says, “Fred, I’m sure you’re eating this up” because he knows that I love talking about this and I love bringing it to sales leaders. Are you spending time thinking about what you’re committed to? I’m going to be asking you for your final action step in minutes but my action advice to people is after today’s webinar or after you’re listening to the podcast, go sit, take an open sketchpad and just think for 15 minutes. Are you doing what you say you’re committed to? If you’re committed to becoming a sales VP, if you’re committed to doubling your quota this year, sit down, think about it hard, are you truly committed? Chris, I’m stealing some of your thunder, you’re the expert.
Chris Majer: Let’s tie this honesty back to trust. The easiest way that you build trust is simply by being straight with people. In sounds pretty simple, what does that mean? Tell them the truth, but the challenge is there’s three types of truth and we get in trouble when we confuse them. There’s THE TRUTH which is the truth of philosophy and religion, basically belief without evidence. There’s “the truth”, two and two is four, sky is blue, rocks are hard, water’s wet, universally accepted truth. Then there’s most of what comes out of every human being’s mouth which is “my truth”, my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings, my opinions, etcetera. Where we get in trouble is we confuse “my truth” with one of those other two and that begets righteousness. We see a lot of that in society right now in all the political discourse and stuff where everybody thinks that “their truth” is “the truth” and unfortunately for us, human beings are the only creature on the planet that will fight and die over the truth, no other creature is that stupid. Where this comes to play for us is, it’s really simple, just be clear about what’s your truth, communicate it clearly to your customer and be open to conversations and go back and forth about it but the critical thing is be straight.
If we flip one more, because I want to get to your question for me, the last principle is simply integrity. Again, people don’t quite understand this, they think of integrity as a value and I say no, it’s value neutral. Integrity is simply consistency in thought, word and action. To say that someone doesn’t have integrity because you don’t necessarily like or agree with what they’re saying is probably not the case. Let’s be frank, there are people out there who talk like swine, act like swine, behave like swine. The dilemma from this point of view is, “They have integrity, they’re consistently being a swine, this is not just some one-off, right to the core, he/she is a swine.” That doesn’t mean they lack integrity, it just means we have a very different value set. For me the place is what happens when I am “in integrity”? I feel good about myself, I’m able to take these kinds of actions. When you’re “out of integrity” you lose energy and eventually if you’re out of integrity long enough, you can even get to the point where you’re 30, 40, 50 years old and go, “I don’t have any energy” it’s not because you’re 50 years old. It’s because you’re so out of integrity in all these areas that your vital core energy has been sapped. We tell people, “You can go back, the good news about your integrity is you can repair it and get back in the game but you’ve got to do that.” Now it all ties back, we come full-circle back to awareness, am I willing to take the time to do the reflection to see? Where am I clear that I’m really not living my values?
To the people that are listening to this, these are not people who are going to run off this webinar and go sell crack on the school yard, they’re not going to go stick up the 7/11 but what they are going to do is say yes to something when they really meant no. It’s those little ones that get us and they add up over time. The reason we talk about the performance principles in a linear fashion is that’s how your mind works. In reality, they’re just like a big closed loop. You could start anywhere but you can’t just pull one of them out. I wrote the book, it is available on Amazon, we’ve got a book site set up for it. We keep using this word “transformation”, just to be clear, for me transformation is simply a large amount of change in a short amount of time. It’s not magic like everybody thinks but it can occur that way because if I put you through a transformational process and it takes six months and some guy that you interact with hasn’t seen you for six months, he’s going to go, “Wow, what the heck happened to you?” Not understanding that you’ve been doing some rigorous work for six months.
Fred Diamond: That’s a key point there, you’ve got to do the work. I encourage everybody to get the book, The Power to Transform. We have a note here from Rachel, “This was right on.” Susan says, “I am so inspired by this, thank you IES.” Marta says, “Thank you, Chris.” Chris, I’m not sure if you realize this but it was recommended to us that we get you on the Optimal Sales Mindset by one of our members who said, “Fred, you need to meet this guy Chris and you need to get him on your webcast and the podcast based on all the transformation work he has done with so many organizations around the world.” You’ve impacted tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people with your messages and not just the messages, but the techniques and strategies to do the transformation. I believe anybody can transform their sales career in a day, like you talked about, but you’ve got to do the work, you’ve got to be clear on doing the right work. We talk about this a lot, if you want to double your quota it doesn’t mean you double the amount of emails, it means you do the hard work like you pick up the phone and you make phone calls, you get targeted and you ask your manager for advice, you talk to your partners, all those kinds of things. People out there, figure out what is necessary and again, we’re bringing those ideas every day on the Sales Game Changers webinars. Chris, I want to thank you again for the work you’ve done transforming so many people. You’ve given us such great ideas today. Another note here that comes in from Clara, “Thank you so much, Chris.” Chris, give us one final action step, besides buy the book, something specific. I’m telling people right now, go sit down for 10 minutes and think about what you’re committed to and make sure you’re committed to what you’re committed to by doing the right stuff. But Chris, you tell us, give us a final action step to take your sales career to the next level.
Chris Majer: I’m going to give you two things to do, both involve sitting down and taking a little time. One of the things that we’ve run up against is people always say, “I don’t have time, I need to learn time management.” No you don’t, there’s no such thing. You need to learn commitment management. In today’s world, we observed people are “over-involved” and under-committed. We’ve got a gazillion little things going on but they’re not necessarily committed to many of them so let’s take a step back, go sit down, it only takes you maybe 15, 20 minutes. Make a list of the four, no more than 5 big commitments that you have in your life. Then what you do is you go look at your calendar and match up, “What am I doing with my time to support those commitments?” What you will invariably find is that you’ve got a lot of stuff that you’re doing that’s got nothing to do with those five commitments. Simple: quit doing it.
Second thing is if I have ambitions to be a successful salesperson then sit down and say, “My quota right now is X.” The question you have to contemplate is, “What would I have to do to generate 10 times that? Who would I have to be to generate a 10X multiple on that quota?” Not just make it, not just beat it by a little bit. Who would I have to be – not what do I have to do – to 10X that quota? And watch what happens. Your mind will first go nuts, then you’ll get something useful.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo