EPISODE 527: What Sales Professionals Can Learn from Jack Daly’s Life By Design

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on May 12, 2022, featuring Jack Daly. Jack’s latest book is Jack Daly’s Life By Design.]

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JACK’S TIP: “Look at sales in a very different way than you do today. This is the way the very best salespeople operate. Help your prospects and customers in the best way that you can, even if it means it’s not you who’s getting the work. That’s the mark of a person that’s in the upper 5% of performers. 30% of all of the leads that come in to me to do things for possible clients, I give out to other people because I think that would be a better match than me. Help them in the best way that you can, even if it means not your product or service. What I’m getting out there is selling is the transfer of trust. People do business with people they trust, and they’ll trust the people that go to help them, even if it means not them. That’s the key.”


Fred Diamond: Jack, I can’t believe I’ve done 550 shows. This is the first one that you’re on because as you know, you’re one of my heroes. You’re one of the guys who has influenced so many lives, with your in-person programs, your books, your lessons, your playbooks. I’ve seen you present to 12 people, I’ve seen your present to 1000. I’ve seen you at EO, we have a number of people who are in the EO organization. You’re one of the stalwarts over there and the new book, Life by Design. This is what, number 10?

Jack Daly: 10th book  and the first book that is not of a business nature, but really how to up your game on your personal life.

Fred Diamond:  One of the reasons why people listen to The Sales Game Changers podcast is to take their sales career to the next level, which we like to say also leads to a happier life, a happier family life, and things like that. The audience primarily of The Sales Game Changers podcast is sales leaders, typically B2B. People who work for sales leaders. We do have a lot of business owners who want to get better at the art and science of selling. Tell us first of all, why’d you write this book? You said it’s the first “Non-business book.” As I was going through it, there are so many things you could apply to your life that make you more successful in sales.

Jack Daly: There’s no question about it, Fred. I really appreciate the opportunity, even if it is 500 podcasts later. We’ve known each other for a long time. Thanks for having me here. Here’s the essence, so many people around the world know my philosophy about selling and growing a business.

That is two words that we rarely hear in the sales world, which is systems and processes. My largest salesforce was 2600 salespeople spread out around the US in over 100 locations. I would visit each office and have a similar message, and that was, “There aren’t 2600 best ways to sell this product. What do you say we figure out the best ways, build the systems and processes, practice the systems and processes and eventually annihilate the competition?”

Now, if you take that premise on the business side, which I have used with my own companies that have built into six international firms, and then for the last 25 years building companies around the world as clients. I took that same approach with my personal life, and built systems and processes that would enable me to be more successful, however you define success. The pandemic puts us in the lockdown a couple years ago. I said, “You know what? I’ve got time now to knock this book out and we’ll help the world get a little bit richer in living a life intentionally not by default.”

Fred Diamond:  Talk about some of the things that you do. You and I are friends and I follow you on Facebook and I’ve heard you speak couple times. Give us a little bit of a taste of some of the things that you’ve done in your life that people can represent on their own.

Jack Daly: If we start talking about that, then you’re going to start to drag me into my bucket list. I don’t want to put people off by thinking, “Well, this guy is crazy. I don’t have any of that in me.” Let me just give a taste. In November, this past November, I finished my 100th marathon.

I’ve done one in all 50 states and one in all the seven continents. When people first hear that, it’s like, “I’m not a runner.” I wasn’t a runner either. At 37 years old, I had an employee come to me and say, “They’re running a 5k out front of the building, and if you signed up, it’s for the heart fund, I think other employees will sign up.”

I ran this 5k and I found it fulfilling. I decided to run 5Ks and then I couldn’t find one one weekend so I ran a 10k. Then I eventually did a half marathon. I remember my wife, Bonnie and I, with my medal and my glass of wine. She’s taking a photo of me celebrating this half marathon. I started uncontrollably laughing. She goes, “What are you laughing at?” I said, “I could never remember a toasting to doing half of something.” She goes, “What do you mean? Are you going to run a full marathon?”  I said, “Yeah.” By the way, that was when I was 46 years old.

At 46, after running some 5s and 10Ks, all of a sudden, I run a marathon. I ran one a year for 10 years. In my 10th year, I had done 10. It was in Los Angeles, a guy who was running behind me, and he had on the back of his shirt, “I run a marathon in all 50 States.” I caught back up with him and asked him about it. Found out there’s a 50 States club. I Joined the club and then started to do that. Then I ran into the Seven Continents guys, and decided to do that. That’s how all of that took place. I started running a marathon at 46, finished running my 100th at 72 years old.

That’s the gap. I’ve done the Ironman. What’s interesting about that is I’ve done 15 full Ironmans, and I didn’t know how to swim at 58 years old. I didn’t start doing Ironman triathlons until I was 58. I’ve done the world’s largest bungee jump, I’ve swam with the sharks of South Africa. A lot of zany crazy type stuff. We classify that as the bucket list, but let me draw you back into something with a little bit more normalcy.

If anybody went to my website, Jackdalysales.com, you can find my personal goals there. They’re there for all people to see. This is everything that I want to do in my personal life this year. I give this to five people that I call the board of directors of my life. They hold me accountable to these things. Every day, I write down every single thing I do that day that relates to anything that are in those personal goals. At the end of the month, I have the key things that I should be working on my personal life and a month by month tracking. Then I can look at where I was last year for a month to month, year to year lookup. That process, Fred, I have been doing for 60 years. I started that process when I was 13 years old.

Fred Diamond:  Let’s talk about this. Let’s apply some of this. People listening to today’s show, not everybody is going to go run a marathon on seven continents. Not everybody is going to run one marathon per se. Let’s talk about applying this, the concept of goal setting. The concept of the board of directors. Our core audience of The Sales Game Changers podcast is probably someone in their late 20s, early 30s. Maybe it’s their second sales job. They’ve proven that they want to be in sales. They’ve made it past the first two years, which is the most difficult, men and women. We have a very robust Women in Sales program at the institute. Let’s apply some of the goal setting process that you have basically led the world on in the sales world and talk about that. Then let’s also talk about the board of directors accountability for these people in sales. How do we apply this?

Jack Daly: How do you eat an elephant? A bite at a time. How do you do goal setting? Make it simple first. What I heard when I interviewed successful people, and that’s an interesting point. When I was 13, I spent the summer and interviewed successful people in life. They were people that lived in big estate homes and drove fancy nice cars and were playing golf during the week. I wanted to know how they became successful, what they would do different, and what they would recommend to a 13-year-old that wanted to be successful. Here’s what’s the biggest takeaway I got. I had several, but this is the biggest.

You got to have goals. They’ve got to be in writing to qualify as goals. Don’t pick too many. Give them to other people to hold you accountable, and pick a date or some definitive thing as to knowing that you’ve accomplished it. At 13, starting the process, I picked four goals of where I wanted to be at the old age of 30. At 13, 30 seems pretty far away. One was what did I want to look like at 30 years old financially? What is my net worth and my annual income going to be? The next goal was, what do I want to look like professionally? I said I wanted to be the CEO of a company that was national in size in the money business. My third goal was education. What did I want to look like education-wise? Did I want a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, a doctorate, that type of thing? Then what did I want my family to look like at 30? Did I want to be married? Did I want to have kids. How many? That type of thing.

Once I knew what the destination was, what one might call your true north, then it was a practice of rolling it back. What do I need to do between 28 and 29, 29 to 30, 13 to 14 in each one of the four boxes? I can apply that methodology of living life intentionally. I can do that with systems and processes. In the book, Jack Daly’s Life by Design, I give the templates to people. In fact, I will tell you this, Fred, the book has over 100 pages of appendix. You don’t need to buy the book to get access, just go to my website at jackdalyslifebydesign.com. We put the entire appendix up so people can just do it on their own.

Here I’m going to summarize. I just took you through how you do this on your life, you could do this same process on your sales, on building a sales career. You got to have goals, they got to be in writing, don’t pick too many, give them to other people, have some indications of what it’s going to be. My audiences are in the 1000s. When I stand in front of them, I ask, “How many people would like to be more successful?” Every hand, as you can imagine, is up. If I lead the stage and ask, “What does success mean to you?” Now I have people stumbling. They can’t articulate what success is. Can you as a salesperson articulate what success will be for you this year? Three years from now? Five years from now? 10 years from now? Can you as an individual articulate what success is for you as a human, as a person? Otherwise, what did we work on in the past four months that got us closer to success? If we don’t know what success is, then we’re misdirected. That applies in life and in sales.

Fred Diamond:  I want to talk about a couple other things that you talk a lot about. You talked about your board of directors. As a business owner, it makes sense who you could ascribe to. We have a lot of sales leaders, Jack Daly, who listen to the show. If I’m a rank-and-file sales professional maybe 10 years in, holding down the territory for a large company, or if I’m a first or second level manager, what kinds of thing should I be thinking about outsourcing? What should that board of directors look like? Two different questions I just put together.

Jack Daly:  They are two separate questions. Let me divide and conquer. On the board of directors of my life, I happen to have five. I’m very deliberate about who makes the cut. My first wife who I lost to cancer in 2017, we were married with 47 years together, the love of my life, Bonnie. She always wanted to be on the board of directors in my life, but she never was invited because she would be too lax with me. I want people that are going to hold my feet to the fire. My daughter Melissa is 50, very accomplished person. If I showed up and said, “I didn’t get what I decided I wanted to do with my goals,” she would be hammering me. I have CEOs and business owners and people that care about me immensely and are not afraid to hold me accountable. That’s the board of directors of my life. They meet with me individually four times a year. That’s 20 times that people are holding me accountable. There’s not a month that goes by and that’s what they’re doing on the personal side of my life.

Now, let’s go to the other question, and that is, you didn’t use the term but I I’m going to, and that is high payoff activities. What salespeople need to understand in studying the very best salespeople is they are maniacally focused on the things that matter most at winning new customers and growing the ones they have.  More than 50% of a typical salesperson’s time is spent on things that don’t win new customers and grow the ones they have. I ask my audiences to take a blank sheet of paper, identify in two columns. One column is what are the HPAs, high payoff activities, that win new customers and grow the ones you have? Then anything that you’re doing that didn’t make it into the first column is the second column. Once you identify what that second column is, get rid of it.

I have this phrase that I’ve been using for over 20 years. That is, “If you don’t have an assistant, you are one.” Here’s the summary message on the sales side of the house. There are things that need to be done in sales, but not necessarily done by the salesperson. By the way, there are companies and sales managers that are telling salespeople, “You need to do these things.” The salespeople need to push back and say, “That doesn’t make any sense for me to be doing that.”

I’ll give you a great example. I’m a big believer in a contact management system and how to leverage it. I teach people how to do that. However, I would be the worst person to data entry into a contact management system. I love to make cold calls. I love to go after people that are surrounded by gatekeepers. Why would you take a guy like me that that’s what my sweet spot is, and tell me to sit in front of a computer every day and update my contact management system? I can hire somebody to do that. They’ll do it quicker, cheaper and better than I could do it. I will end up paying for them with all the increased business I do by virtue of being a hunter.

Fred Diamond: We actually had a guest on, a guy named Mark Silverman, who you may know. He was a million-dollar sales professional and he said that he paid someone to do his expense reports. I’m just curious. The book is Jack Daly’s Life by Design. You’re the top sales trainer possibly in the world right now. What’s your advice for new sales managers coming out of the pandemic? It’s been two years and sales first line, second line sales manager is the most difficult job that there is in sales. A lot of people say “We’ve had to do this job through the screen with everybody.” There hasn’t been the tactility, there’s another burst of the of the COVID going on right now. New York just increased their lockdown-ish type of moods, if you will. What is your advice right now? We’re doing today’s interview in the spring of 2022. Give us some of your thoughts on new sales managers and what they should be doing for success.

Jack Daly: Look, whether it’s a new or whether it’s an existing, I’m not sure that the tasks are different. The key is to know what your job is straight away. Here’s the way I like to put it, a sales manager’s job is not to grow sales. A sales manager’s job is to grow salespeople in quantity and quality. If you grow salespeople in quantity and quality, they in turn will grow your sales. One of the first things I do when I go to into a new organization is I want to know who runs the sales team? Then I want to know how they spend their time. What percent of the time is selling, and what percent of their time is recruiting, training, coaching, building and developing salespeople? If you really want to scale the business, the latter is where you do that.

Here are a couple of really quick takeaways on your question. The first one is you need to be engaged with your people. I’ve never found a successful sales organization with a sales leader that sits in an office behind their desk. You have to be engaged. When I had 2600 salespeople operating out of over 100 offices locations in the US, three out of every four weeks each month I was in the field in those offices. I was there visiting prospects, visiting clients and spending time with my salespeople. My organizations grew as a result of that. I can’t help you if I don’t know you and your strengths and your weaknesses. The only way that I can get a sense for that is by being intimate with you, by being right attached to you.

The other thing I would tell you is for an awful lot of sales managers, you’re a dynamic individual and your dynamics will end up going in influencing your people in a positive way. People refer to me all the time as, “This guy with tremendous energy.” That energy doesn’t just stay within me, it gets transported over to the people that I’m dealing with. To put your energy out there with your people is important as well. Fred, 50%, or more of success at selling has nothing to do with product, price, service, strategies, or tactics. It’s the six inches between our ears, it’s how we embrace the market attitudinally. A sales manager or leader of sales has got to be engaged with the people, making sure that their people’s attitude is correct, and making sure that wherever they need help, they’re getting that as help.

Fred Diamond: Jack, in the book, Jack Daly’s Life by Design, you talk about something you call a year in the life. Tell us what that is and how does that play into this conversation?

Jack Daly: Thank you. It’s obvious that you’ve read the book.

Fred Diamond:  Absolutely.

Jack Daly: Every five years, and you could do this every year, but I do it every five years, I did it when I was 50, 55, 60, 65, 70. I just picked that year and said, “I’m going to take at least one photo every day. I’m going to turn all those photos into a coffee table photo book.” I happen to do it online on a service called shutterfly.com. What I want the book to do, is when people come to the house, and they pace through the book, I hear it all the time they go, “This was in one year? You’ve done more in one year than most people will do in their entire life.” Well, if every night I go to bed and I say, “What’s going to be my photo tomorrow?” I’m excited about what it’s going to be.

Then when I get up in the morning, I say “Okay, my photo when I went to bed last night, I thought would be this. It still may, but keep your eye open, there might be an opportunity to up your game today.” What you don’t want is you don’t want a coffee table book where you’re sitting in front of a computer screen, 300 days a year. You want it to be a magical, incredible life. When I put my goals together that I showed you earlier, that year that I’ve got those goals, they are explosive. I’m going to go on an African Safari. For 10 days, I’m in Kenya with a safari and the pictures are incredible. Then I’m going to go to Australia, and I’m going to do something in Australia of some significance. All of a sudden, you’re paging through, and people are going, “Oh, my God, this is an amazing life.” It’s one that is by design.

Fred Diamond: Jack, can everybody enjoy what the world has to offer them? You’ve done some amazing things you documented in the book, you talked about it. Whatever people choose to do, can anybody just choose to do anything?

Jack Daly: I would say it this way, success is individual and personal. There is no right or wrong success. I was playing golf regularly at Pebble Beach at one stage of my life. I had a regular caddy. The caddy had a conversation with me and said, “I get paid by the government because I’ve served my military service. A woman who owns that big estate home pays me 50 weeks a year to house in it and overlooks the 14th hole on Pebble Beach.”

He belongs to Bayonet Country Club. He gets to meet cool people at Pebble Beach three days a week when he’s walking them. He plays to a minus one handicap index. He’s a really good golfer. He said, every year he’s carrying the bag for one of the CEOs of one of the largest Fortune 500 companies. The fortune 500 company CEO says, “I look forward to this week. This is the my most favorite week.” The caddy said to me, “Who’s more successful, the CEO who is looking forward to this week all year long, or me that does it 52 weeks a year?” Success is personal. It’s different for us.

Here’s my message to people. Do you know what success is to you? Are you working on the things that will enable you to achieve success, however you decide to do that? Let me show you. I was in Australia on a speaking tour as well as on a vacation tour. My wife Bonnie was with me. One of the people in my company notified me and said, ” I’ve got an offer for you to speak in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. You’re close when you’re in Australia, at least you’re closer than the US. Do you want to take it although it’ll add another week on?” I said, “Absolutely.” Then I turned to Bonnie and said, “Hey, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.” She said, “Well, I really want to go home. We’ve been away for three weeks.” I said, “Well, at home, there’s no one there, the kids are gone. I’m here and we could go, and you’ve never been to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, don’t you want to go?”

She said, “No, I want to go home.” I don’t understand that, and I pursued a little bit further, and I said, “You could die and never get there.” She said, “Well, then it won’t matter. I’ll be dead.” That was her definition of success was, “I’m not as ambitious as you. I don’t need to be you. I enjoy my life as I have designed it.” It’s really personal designing. Can anybody design their life to be what they want it to be? I’m a big believer that you can.

Fred Diamond:  Push yourself a little bit. Jack, before I ask you for your final action step, the book is Jack Daly’s Life by Design. We have some comments here. We have Darlene who says, “Great job, Fred.” Well, actually great job, Jack. Donna says, “This was really, really cool.” Jack, before I ask you for your final action step, you close the book with the Ironman lessons. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? Then I’m going to ask you for your final action step people should take to take their sales career to the next level.

Jack Daly: Ironman lessons learned after doing these Ironmans, and I did 15. I was sitting in Hawaii at the beach after doing the World Championship. I started doodling in my pad. I came up with seven lessons. What I realized is they were the same lessons that applied to my business and to my life, not just the Ironman. One of them was that you got to have a vision, that vision of those four goals when I was 13. The next was that you needed to have a playbook, the systems and processes, the next was that you needed to take action, be prepared to practice. The fourth was that you need to measure whether you were doing the things that you needed to do.

Things that get measured get done. The fifth was you needed to employ a coach. I have 14 coaches right now in my life. I have five on my personal goals, three on my business, and six on my triathlon sport. The sixth lesson was how important fitness is, and it’s really important as a salesperson to stay fit. The Seventh lesson was the six inches between our ears, and that is to have a positive attitude. Those were the seven lessons I learned in my Ironman journey. They’re the seven lessons that I’ve learned in my life, professionally and personally.

Fred Diamond:  Daniela says, “Great stories. Thank you so much.” Nelson says, “Thanks for the show, Fred.” Jack, before I ask you for your final action step you’ve given us so many great ideas, I want to acknowledge you. I’m sure you probably feel this, you mentioned how many letters you get, and emails and texts.  I’ve had over 500 guests on the show, we’ve had some repeat people and some that have definitely touched people and some that have touched a lot of people. You’ve touched, I don’t know if it’s in the millions, but you’ve definitely touched high six figures with your lessons, with your unique energy, your commitment to people’s success. I remember the very first time I saw you it was at a hotel in in Crystal City, Virginia, there was a dozen people.

Then I saw you over 1000 people, the energy, the commitment, the value and your love. Not just of what you do, but your love of people and your love for them to really achieve which led to the creation of this book. Good for you. I’m happy that we had you on the show. I’m very, very honored that you gave us some of your time and I’m happy to call you a friend. Give us a specific action step. One thing specifically, you’ve given us so many ideas. One thing people should do right now, as they’re winding down listening to this podcast, to take their sales career to the next level.

Jack Daly: I would ask them to look at sales in a very different way than maybe they do today. This is the way the very best salespeople operate. Help your prospects and customers in the best way that you can, even if it means not you. That’s the mark of a person that’s in the upper 5% of performers. 30% of all of the leads that come in to me to do things for possible clients, I give out to other people because I think that would be a better match than me. Help them in the best way that you can, even if it means not your product or service. What I’m getting out there is selling is the transfer of trust. People do business with people they trust, and they’ll trust the people that go to help them, even if it means not them. That’s the key.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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