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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Optimal Sales Mindset Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on April 278, 2021. It featured “Only 10s” author Mark Silverman.]
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MARK’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Write down every single one of your accounts, everything that’s taking your attention, everything that’s important. I say write them down, don’t put them in a spreadsheet, don’t look in your CRM. Write them all down, rate them 1 through 10. If you’ve got some 10s, that’s awesome, put them off to the side. Now look at anything that’s a 1 through 5, get it off your plate. Now look at the 7s, 8s and 9s. Your accounts are the same way when they talk about investment. They say don’t fall in love with a stock. Buy and sell when it’s the time to buy and sell. Same thing with your accounts, you have accounts that you love the people, you have accounts that you just know are going to crack. If you can’t make it a 10, you put that off to the side and look at it later. Now look at your list of 10s and take some time with it and get creative, get innovative, figure out ways that you haven’t been able to look at it before and go there. Now look at those 10s. When you’re done with that 10 list, now you can go back to the other list and see what you can elevate.”
THE PODCAST STARTS HERE
Fred Diamond: Today’s an interesting show. We’ve got Mark Silverman and we’re talking about overwhelm, we’re talking about basically getting on top of things. Mark, of course, is the author of Only 10s, it’s a great book, its second version just came out. Mark, congratulations on the book which is fantastic. It’s a mandatory read for anyone who has any degree of overwhelm. Also, congratulations on your podcast, Mastering Midlife. You’re providing a lot of good things out there.
Mark J. Silverman: Thank you. I appreciate you having me on this show. I love the idea of talking to salespeople and getting them to focus on the things that are really important.
Fred Diamond: It’s May 2021. Prior to the pandemic, we would do a live event once a year on mindset. Now we’re doing one every single week and we have hundreds of people who are watching the webinars. Then of course we convert this to a Sales Game Changers podcast.
All right, Mark. Being more effective, you’re an expert on that, you wrote the book. If you read the book, it talks about how successful you were in sales at some great companies like VMware, NetApp. Then you left and now you’re consulting all around the globe. You’re working with company CEOs to help them get focused and more effective.
Mark J. Silverman: That’s what I do all day, every day. The reason I do it is because I wasn’t focused. I was effective, but I wasn’t focused which meant I worked twice as hard, three times as hard to get to the same place as everybody else. I have been diagnosed with severe ADD, so for me, everything is a rabbit and everything’s a shiny object.
I, when I was a sales guy, chased all the shiny objects. Anybody needing anything, I did it. If there was an opportunity, no matter how ripe and how well qualified, I went after it. If I liked the prospects, that was death for me. If I liked the prospects I would spend so much time with them and not spend time with the people who would buy.
For me, time management, energy management, focus management became life and death. Especially when I left sales and I became a coach, now I’m my own sales mantra, now I’m my own CEO, now I’m my own boss and I have all this free time and my phone’s not ringing. Everything has to be generated from me.
For me, that was a wake-up call and a death sentence to go from having a sales manager and wanting to be prepared for my sales calls. I got things done not because I wanted to get things done, but because I didn’t want to look like an idiot on my calls with my sales manager. Or if I had clients or customers who needed things, I would get to them.
But now when I’m left to my own devices, I was left to managing my own activity. With the ADD, it was really hard to focus on those business-building activities because there were other things I liked to do. I’m in the helping industry so I love to coach, I love to help people. That’s not necessarily going to be the only thing that builds my business.
I had to have focus, strategic actions that were going to yield me some kind of an ROI so that I could stay in business. I wrote this book, Only 10s, for me as a Ph.D. in how to get things done. The tagline on the book is you don’t have a time management problem, you have an honesty problem.
We all have the same 24 hours as Elon Musk and Richard Branson. They seem to get a lot more stuff done than we do. What is the secret to that? For me, what I found is I spun my wheels a lot. I spent a lot of time on superfluous activities, I spent a lot of time on things that seemed like they were important, they felt important so I did them.
Or things like dopamine hit, we’re all addicted to our phones. We all know that dopamine hit is what we’re going for. We come out of a stressful meeting, we want to just see what’s on Twitter. Who should we be mad at politically now? It’s so much more fun to be mad at someone than actually sit down, do triage on your sales call, go and see what the next step is. It’s like I just need a relief. It’s like you can’t have a beer in the middle of the day so you’re going to go get that hit on social media.
For me, pairing all those things down, figuring out why. Because I’m a reformed people-pleaser, I’m a reformed all-things-to-all-people kind of guy. Why are things on my to-do list? What we’re going to talk about, we’re going to translate this to sales. But right now, we’re going to talk about how do you decide what to do and what not to do? I want to talk about the to-do list.
We’re going to talk about why things are on the to-do list, what trips us up and then we’re going to translate that into qualifying in and qualifying out prospects. Does that sound like a good plan?
Fred Diamond: Absolutely. It’s interesting because again, on the Sales Game Changers podcasts and all the webinars we do, people watching today – and I see some people chiming in here saying, “I’m in sales, I am overwhelmed.” We hear that all the time. Especially, again, we’re doing today’s show in May so we are still in the pandemic-ish mode. Of course, things are changing because of people getting vaccinated, etc. But everybody that’s watching today I presume is watching from home. Everybody who’s listening today, it depends on how far in the future they’re listening.
There’s a lot of challenges. You have the camera on frequently. We talk about scheduling meetings, people say it’s getting harder because people are beginning to shut you out if you’re in sales. But at the same time, we’re still sitting here in front of our computers looking at Zoom, looking at Teams or whatever it might be and there’s still an expectation from sales leadership that you need to be active. You need to be doing things.
One thing I learned very early in my career is that activity doesn’t necessarily mean success. The right activity, hopefully, will lead to success. But getting your emails cleaned out, it’s not going to make you a whole lot of money but it’s going to get your emails cleaned out.
Mark J. Silverman: Right, and doing your expenses, all the sales reports and all those things. The enlightened sales managers and sales leadership understand that they want their salespeople out doing what they’re really good at, what they’re paid for. They take as many of those non-revenue generating activities off their salespeople as possible.
Most are not enlightened, most are resource-constrained so we’re all doing all the things that we can possibly do. I was a startup guy so I was my own marketing guy. I did my own pamphlets because we didn’t have a division that would send us out our marketing so I had to do all of those things.
Let’s start out with an overview of Only 10s. The reason people are overwhelmed is because they don’t have a gate to their activities. I’ll talk to powerful CEOs and they’ll go into victim mode and they’ll say, “I don’t understand it, they overschedule me all week, I don’t have time to do anything.” I’ll just ask one simple question, I’ll say who’s actually in charge of your schedule? Do you skip permission, yes or no, to put things on your schedule?
We start to have a conversation of are you a victim of the people who are around you, or are you the leader and can you pick and choose when you’re going to spend time? For me, getting a CEO to take responsibility for his own overwhelm is the first space. Taking a salesperson to take responsibility for their own, because they’ll tell you, the customers are calling me, my sales manager’s calling me, this is going on, my family needs me.
It’s really much easier – and I hate to use this word right away – but it’s really much easier to be in victim mode. To at the end of the day, work your butt off all day long, not know what you did all day but just know at the end of the day, pop a glass of wine and just go, “Thank God it’s over.” Rather than spending some time and deciding what it is you’re going to do the next day and then actually execute on it.
Then do triage at the end of the day. What did you do? What didn’t you do? Why didn’t you do it? Let me give you a quick overview of Only 10s. I rate everything on my to-do list from 1 to 10. If it’s a 5, it maybe wants to get done. If it’s a 9, it really should get done. A 10 is it must get done, it must get done by me and it must get done by me today. That’s it. I don’t look at the weak stuff, I only look at today. What has to get done?
If I got run over by a truck, what really needed to be done? Is there a consequence I want to avoid, like I pay my bills on the last possible day so I don’t get a late charge, or is there a reward I want? I want to call that customer because they have a purchase order in their purchasing department and I want to get that. I want to avoid a consequence or I want to get a reward, or I just have juice for it, I really feel like it’s a really good thing to do.
That’s my definition of a 10. What do you do with the 1 through 9s? That’s where it’s really interesting. I tell them, if something’s a 1 through 5 or 6, take it off the list. Just get rid of it. It’s never going to get done, you’re just going to torture yourself, your to-do list is now a things-I-should-have-done-yesterday list and it just gets bigger and bigger. We copy it and we bring it forward.
If we’re ruthless on our to-do list, now we’re looking at the 6s, 7s and 8s. The 6s, 6s and 8s are interesting, they’re possibly really good things. You want to do them, but you’re not committed to getting them done. With the 6s, 7s and 8s, I start to look at them and I say, what do they need to do to be a 10? What makes them essential? If they’re not essential, they go on another list which I call the radar. They go on a long to-do list of things I want to keep track of, but I’m not looking at it every day.
The only list I look at are the 10s for the day and the 10s for the week. Everything else goes someplace else so that I’m not looking at it. You can always go do the 6s, 7s and 8s just like you can watch Netflix, just like you can scroll through Facebook, but only after your 10s are done. If you commit yourself to your 10s, all of a sudden what happens is space starts to show up.
How does something get on your list and look like a 10? Someone put it on your plate and said, you’re going to do that? And you didn’t set a boundary, you didn’t make an agreement of, can I get this to you next week instead of this week? You start to see that the things on your to-do list are, I’m going to do this because I’m afraid to have a difficult conversation and tell someone I’m not going to do it.
Now, when we translate this to what your boss says, if your boss put too many things on your plate and you really can’t get to them and you’re in overwhelm, you haven’t had a conversation with your boss on what is effective and what’s not. You haven’t made your case and enrolled them into, I can do A, B and C. D and F I can only do if I get more resources. You haven’t taken a leadership position in being able to get your job done in the best way possible.
How do we translate this to sales? This is the interesting thing. In Only 10s, I put two of my friends who were the best sales guys I know, Seth Scharf and Kurt Greening. Two of the best territory sales guys I ever met. I was a big account sales guy because again, with my ADD if I had 100 accounts, I would just drown. I had to have five accounts, go deep, build relationships, otherwise I would have sunk.
Kurt and Seth somehow were able to manage large territories and bring in the same sales numbers I did. I would have one, two, three sales for several million dollars each and they would come in with 50 sales totaling $5 million. I always watched them and I looked at what they did. The thing they did that was better than anybody else was they qualified. They qualified in and they qualified out.
They did what I do with the to-do list with their prospects, they did not waste time on prospects who were not going to close. Did they leave a few on the table that might have closed if they worked real hard? Yes, but did they spin their wheels on all the kind of stuff, those things that weren’t going to close? Focusing on what they knew was going to close was the biggest deal.
I was working with one of my CEOs who was overwhelmed. I told him he actually only had one 10 every day. For a week, he only had one 10, one thing that was important to him every day. He’s like, “What’s that?” “Your 10 every day is to delegate everything you can delegate. Your 10 is to get everything off your plate that you can get off your plate, that’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. What can you get off your plate?” He thought that was crazy.
By the end of the week, he realized he had so much more space in his world, he had so many more resources for him to have time because his job and any leader’s job is to go from tactical to strategic. He can’t be doing the little things. Now, as a salesperson, you need to be doing the tactical because you need to be doing the sales. But you have to get strategic first to decide which are the things you’re going to do.
Fred Diamond: I have a question for you. I want to a little bit about mindset for a second here. Again, this is the Optimal Sales Mindset webinar. In your book, you talked about something that I thought was really interesting. You gave an example of when, I presume it was you, your assistant offered to do your expenses for you and she said that she’ll do it if you give her 10% back. That goes to the mindset.
One thing we talk a lot about, Mark, we talk about the notion on the Sales Game Changers podcast and webinars that you are the vice president of your career. You may be a major account rep for this technology firm, you may be on this type of a plan but you are the vice president of your career. I remember when I read that example and basically, what Mark says in the book is that his assistant offered to do his expenses for him which for him wasn’t a 10. But you still crewed a lot of expenses so you’re talking some real money there.
Your assistant said, “Mark, I’ll do it for you but you give me 10% back.” Took her a short amount of time and as you’re thinking about it, your original thought was, why would I possibly give up some of this money that I’m entitled to? Because I paid for the meals and for the taxi cabs and all those things. But then you did the math. You said, “I am worth X hundreds of dollars per hour. Then you said, if I’m going to get $300 back for me to spend three hours – I’m just making up those numbers here.
I want you to talk for a second or two about some of these 10s or things that aren’t really 10s and how you should be thinking. When I read that chapter, I thought that was brilliant. I’ve never heard of anybody who did that, but I’m very conscious of the concept that if you want to make a million dollars this year, it’s $500 an hour. You’re worth $500 an hour. Anything that you’re doing that is going to bring you in less than $500 an hour, in theory, is not a 10. Those are the things that you delegate, you move off.
Talk about that mindset about the fact that you are, as a sales professional, even though you work for a company, you’re an employee of a company, you’re a W2 of a company. At the end of the day, if you’re a successful sales professional, you’re still essentially an independent contractor and you’re the independent vice president of your career. Talk about that.
Mark J. Silverman: You’re totally an entrepreneur. They want a result from you, that’s all they care about. They can tell you how much they love you, they can tell you how good you are at your job. But if that number’s not there at the end of the day, it’s not good. For me, when I had to do my expenses, it was a whole rigmarole. I had to get myself ready, I had to get the right pencils, finding the receipts was just impossible for me- again, the whole ADD thing.
I would venture to say that most of my sales compadres are a bit ADD and that’s just not their strong suit. The engineers probably had their expenses in looking great. When I thought about it, I did my expenses every 6 months. My bosses would be pissed at me, the accounting department would be calling me and everybody’s mad at me. Our admin in the office could do it in 15 minutes. I just sent her my receipts, she just did it and she took 10%. So $10,000, for me, I lost 10% of my receipts. That thousand dollars was gone anyway.
By giving her that thousand dollars, and it was only a couple hundred dollars every month when she did it, they were in on time, they were easy-peasy, she took the money. I was happy, she got the extra money so she was in her zone of genius, I was in my zone of genius, everyone is happy. The things that you’re not good at, you should not be doing.
Same thing if you do team sales. I’ve seen this over and over again when the sales guy has an engineer and they both have to go to every meeting. The sales guy has to be at every meeting the engineer is at, they have to cross the t’s, dot the i’s, they’ve got to see everything, they’ve got to know everything instead of dividing and conquering. Having the engineer go do what he’s really good with and then have agreements of what information he’s going to bring back. What do you need to know? What reports?
I’m working with finance, I’m working with legal, I’m working with the executive team while my engineer’s working with the other team. Then we come back together and we’re both in our zone of genius and one plus one equals three instead of one plus one equals two. You’ve got to let your hands off the controls. That’s also an accountability feedback and an agreements conversation people need to have to be able to do that.
Fred Diamond: Are you a fan of Gay Hendricks as well?
Mark J. Silverman: Love Gay Hendricks. My thing with all of my clients is if you’re a CEO, if it doesn’t take judgement or creativity, you shouldn’t be doing it. Their job is to obsolete themselves in the operations of their organization so that they stay in their zone of genius. Then when I work one level down, we work really hard to figure out what their zone of genius is, what their zone of excellence is. Everything else has to be taken off their plate.
Fred Diamond: We had Gay Hendricks on the webinar.
Mark J. Silverman: I saw that.
Fred Diamond: It was quite fascinating. It’s nice to hear you say zone of genius because it’s a nice reference there.
Mark J. Silverman: Let’s talk about how to get in your zone of genius. In all of my workshops, this particular slide is what everybody asks me for a copy of. This is what we call the ladder of consciousness, the mood ladder. It’s your state of being. With COVID, with politics, with everything going on, we’re all in a little bit of fight-or-flight. Most of us in Western civilization, especially since 9/11 are walking around in some semblance of fight-or-flight.
What happens in flight-or-flight is you’re breathing much shallower. Your body is ready for danger. What happens is your physiology starts to focus in on what it can do in any situation. So you’re less open for a relationship, you’re less open for creativity, you’re less open to intuition and you’re much more tightly wound.
For this, we start out triggered. You got a bad email from your boss or from a customer, you got a fight with your spouse. You’re triggered and you should never send an email, you should never talk to anybody. You need to go deal with yourself, go take a walk, go drink some water, go get calm, go talk to a friend before you do anything.
Most of us around the Washington DC beltway are hanging out fast and furious, running and gunning and we think that we do so great on that adrenaline all the time. Like we’re so busy and that’s when we’re at our best. I call bull on that, because what we’re doing is we’re doing too many things, we’re not thinking about what we’re doing and we’re not being strategic in any way, shape or form.
What I’m trying to do with getting things off your to-do list, with qualifying things out is to get you to a state where you’re closer to your genius. Having shallow conversations with more people is not going to get you further. You’re not doing yourself any favors by touching as many people as possible as shallow as possible. Rather than getting into relationships, asking the questions you need to ask of what’s going to make them successful. What do they need in order for the sale to go through? What are their goals and objectives?
When you want to get in deep, you’ve got to be able to breathe deeply, you’ve got to be present with the people. When you’re present with your customers, they’ll remember that more than your pitch any day. Most of my sales career was because of the relationships I built, and in order to do that, you have to slow down enough to get to know what’s important to them.
Because they actually don’t care what you’re selling, they only care about their solution, get themselves out of their problem, fix whatever it is that they need. If you can listen to that and do that, then you’ve got a bigger chance. By saying no to a lot of things, by slowing down, now you’re going to move yourself up the ladder of effectiveness.
These are all things that you know you need. This is part of my Mastering Midlife presentation that I give to Vistage CEOs. Mastering Midlife is the same as mastering life at any time, it’s just that in midlife, people are so overwhelmed and they’ve just had such enough that they’re willing to listen. I’m going to try and talk to salespeople and tell you, if you’ve got a meditation process, if you slow down, if you start to get ahold of your attention- and that’s what meditation is.
I have New York investment bankers on one minute a day meditations. These guys, their legs are going a mile a minute, everything they do is worth a couple hundred million dollars and I’m like, can you just sit in your chair for a minute? Then the next week, can you sit for two minutes? You don’t even have to meditate, but can you slow down? Can you bring your breath to your belly instead of your chest? Can you get out of fight-or-flight for a couple of minutes?
Once you start to ground yourself, to slow yourself down, that’s when you take out a piece of paper and you start to look at your accounts. Now you’re not in fight-or-flight about your accounts, now you can look at them with fresh eyes and start to qualify in and qualify out. What does this one need? What does that one need? Intuition and creativity start to show up.
When I wanted to get to a CIO of an organization and I’m banging on every single person I can and I can’t seem to get through to them, then I go, oh, wait. They’re really interested in such-and-such. What I’ll do is I’ll go buy a book on the subject that I know that they’re really interested in and I’ll FedEx it to them. That inspiration, those thoughts don’t come until you slow down, consider who the person is, who’d your VITO, your Very Important Person?
When you start to consider what’s important to them now, now you’ve got traction. Every action has bite to it and you can start to move forward. When you start to slow down, all of a sudden now, curiosity and relationship start to move up into the list instead of furiously getting things done.
Start to work on your emotional intelligence and start reacting so much. Sales managers have a special place in my heart for triggering me. I can go into fight-or-flight or rage from any sales manager. You question my livelihood and what I’m doing, it’s going to trigger me. Sometimes it would take me days to come off of a rage from something someone said to me.
Now, with emotional intelligence, with some of these tools, five minutes and then, “Screw him, I’m going to go do what I need to do, I know how to do this account.” I’ll give him a report and I’ll go what I need to do. Until you can get yourself right, you’re wasting all this time. This internal work will change the game of sales. Everybody talks about how stressful it is and how they’re burning the candle at both ends.
I get so many calls, I got hundreds of calls when I switched careers of people saying, “I wish I could do what you do. I can’t stand the stress, the stress is so much, it’s just killing me but I need the paycheck.” I’m like, let’s have a conversation about doing this differently.
You can be successful, you can take massive action but not spin your wheels and be in that stress and overwhelm all the time. It only takes a couple minutes to get yourself out of overwhelm. I like to say that I can take any executive, any person from overwhelm to freedom and space in 30 minutes or less.
Fred Diamond: Talk again about a high-paced environment. We have a lot of people watching today’s webinar, listening to the podcast who might be SDRs or business development reps who are in the lower stage of the sales process. Maybe first or second job, some cases maybe third. There’s an expectation, I’ve spoken to a whole bunch of them, some of them are frustrated because they’re told, “You’ve got to make 50 phone calls a day.”
It’s tough. Again, we’re doing this in May, we’re still in the middle of the pandemic. Your leadership says that you need to make your calls and I tell them, you need to make those calls because your boss’s boss’s boss is expecting his boss, his boss and his boss to make those calls. They’ll say, “But what if I’m not calling people who really care or are not going to listen?”
Well, then there’s a problem, like you mentioned before about some of the guys you worked with about calling the right prospects, asking the right questions or calling at the right time. They say we live in this fast-paced environment. It’s interesting, in your book you talk a lot about you in your early stage of your career. Then you went through some transformations that opened up your eyes into, as we like to say, what you didn’t know, you didn’t know.
That gave you clarity, and it’s very tough for a 25-year-old to be in the space of what you don’t know, you don’t know. A lot of these things you discover 10, 15, 20 years into your career. What would be your advice, Mark Silverman, for some people who are early stage who are being driven pretty hard?
You talk about the New York bankers type, well, there’s people sitting here in Raleigh, North Carolina who have to make 50 phone calls a day who also are facing a similar challenge. They may not feel that they have the confidence to take some time to go through some of the stages you did. What’s your advice to them?
Mark J. Silverman: My first sales job was for New Horizons Computer Learning. My job was to make 60 phone calls a day. I’m a rabid introvert and I’m really shy, and when I started, I did not like to bother people. Making 60 phone calls a day was really hard.
I actually was saving for a Ford Explorer, so every time I made my 60 phone calls, I put money into a jar for my Ford Explorer. And every time I didn’t make my 60 phone calls, I would not be able to listen to the radio on the way home from work [laughs]. That was the only way I could get myself to do that.
Some jobs are just what you have to do. Even the investment bankers. One of the guys I’m working with, he was up till 3:00 o’clock in the morning for five days in a row because that’s what the deal meant. Now, he’s going to make significantly more money than any of us are talking about here, but sometimes a job just takes it.
If your boss says you have to make 50 phone calls a day, you have to make 50 phone calls a day and you don’t have standing, so which hills are you going to die on? You don’t have standing to change that but you do have time outside of that to work on your emotional intelligence, your bearing, your calm, your focus. So that you can start to get the results, so that you can be in relationship with everybody that you call.
If you make a call with someone who’s not interested, you may make a connection that lasts a lifetime. If you’re able to be in those calls and do them consciously, you’ll snag one or two that you wouldn’t have snagged otherwise, even though you’re checking the box. Sometimes you’ve just got to do the job that they told you to do and it’s stupid. They’re not giving you the right guidance, but you don’t run the company, you’ve signed on.
Acceptance is the key to my serenity. When you argue with reality, you only lose 100% of the time. If your job is to make 50 phone calls, make 50 phone calls. But it’s also your job to make the best 50 phone calls you can make and that’s when you, outside of your job, become the person who’s going to be more effective during those 50 calls.
Then when you have success, people listen to people who have success. You don’t have success, you’re just a pain in the butt. But if you’re the top inside salesperson in an organization that’s making 50 phone calls a day and people want to know why you are more successful than other people, now you can have a conversation to change things. But you’re probably going to be the guy who gets promoted out of that bullpen faster.
Fred Diamond: If you think about a lot of things that we talk about as well on the Sales Game Changers podcast and the webinars we do every single day, part of it has become things like become subject matter expert. Provide more value to the customer. If you’re looking at this as a chore of, “I’ve got to make these 50 phone calls a day and it’s hard and people don’t want to talk to me”, you’re obviously going to fail.
But I love what you just said. If your boss says you’ve got to make those phone calls, you’ve got to make those phone calls. How could you prepare yourself? And that’s just a fabulous answer in all aspects of sales. I find people sometimes who call me because I run the Institute for Excellence in Sales and they want to express some of the challenges that they face. I’m saying to myself, that’s the company you work for.
The company has dictated, this is how we do it, this is our sales process, this is what I want you to do. When I explain it to them, it’s because your boss’s boss’s boss, they’re all getting managed for those things so don’t fight it. But I love the way you just said that, figure out how to be as good at it as you can be so you can provide more value.
Mark Silverman, you’ve provided so much value today. You’re the author of Only 10s 2.0, I really recommend people. Where is this available?
Mark J. Silverman: Amazon’s the best place to get it.
Fred Diamond: Also, you did the podcast, Mastering Midlife podcast. I want to thank you, you’ve given us so much great value today. Mark, I want to ask you for your final step. Before I ask you for your final action step, I’m going to ask you a slightly different question. We’re getting a lot of nice comments here and I didn’t get to all the questions because we just got so enwrapped into the conversation.
Jerry says, this was so amazing, I’m going to go buy the book. Marlene says, thank you so much. Jordan says this was fantastic. Gina says this was great. Before I ask you for your final action step that people should take right now after watching today’s webinar or listening to the podcast. What would you tell the 21-year-old Mark Silverman?
Again, you’ve reached the heights of a sales career, you’ve worked for some amazing brands, you’ve moved on to become a very successful author, consultant and coach. What would you tell the 21-year-old Mark Silverman who’s just starting out in sales?
Mark J. Silverman: That’s a tough question because the 21-year-old Mark Silverman was a drunk and a drug addict and was homeless by the time he was 27. All this happened in my 30s, I went from homeless to millionaire in six years, that’s a whole other story. But going back, learn a skill.
Get good at something, figure out what your zone of genius is. Each salesperson, if you study salespeople, each one of them have a specific thing that connects to a customer. Some people are more technical-based, some people are more relationship-based, some people can tell stories. Find out what your secret sauce is and then exploit the hell out of that.
Fred Diamond: That’s powerful. Mark, once again, we’re closing today. Give us your action step, give us something specific sales professionals watching today’s webinar or listening to the podcast must do right now. I’ll tell people already, go buy the book. But something different besides go buy the book.
Mark J. Silverman: Write down every single one of your accounts, everything that’s taking your attention, everything that’s important. I say write them down, don’t put them in a spreadsheet, don’t look in your CRM. Write them all down, rate them 1 through 10. If you’ve got some 10s, that’s awesome, put them off to the side. Now look at anything that’s a 1 through 5, get it off your plate. Now look at the 7s, 8s and 9s.
Your accounts are the same way when they talk about investment. They say don’t fall in love with a stock. Buy and sell when it’s the time to buy and sell, don’t get romantic about it, don’t get caught up in the hype. You decide when you’re going to buy and sell the stock. Same thing with your accounts, you have accounts that you love the people, you have accounts that you just know are going to crack.
Mine was Intelsat, I worked on Intelsat for five years because I loved the people and they were the coolest thing in the world and they never freaking bought anything from me. But I loved them and I had 45 meetings there. Now really decide, are you going to be able to make it a 10?
If you can’t make it a 10, you put that off to the side and look at it later. Now look at your list of 10s and take some time with it and get creative, get innovative, figure out ways that you haven’t been able to look at it before and go there. Now look at those 10s. When you’re done with that 10 list, now you can go back to the other list and see what you can elevate.
Fred Diamond: Mark Silverman, thank you so much for all the great content.
Mark J. Silverman: Thank you, Fred. I love these series, it’s amazing what you bring to the world.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo