EPISODE 164: Akamai Public Sector Sales Leader Randy Wood Tells How His Sales Career Began on Sept. 12, 2001 and Why Your Human Brand is So Critical in Sales

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EPISODE 164: Akamai Public Sector Sales Leader Randy Wood Tells How His Sales Career Began on Sept. 12, 2001 and Why Your Human Brand is So Critical in Sales

RANDY’S FINAL TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “it’s the importance of giving your best and highest performance every day. Performance and performance alone dictates the predator in every food chain. Sales is no different. Each and every day in sales, people and sales leaders need to commit and understand what it takes to bring our best performance to our customers and to the company and to our teams.”

Randy is the Vice President of Sales Republic Sector at Akamai.

Prior to taking over this role, he’s held leadership positions at F5 Networks, Red Hat, and Cisco.

He spent 8 years in the US Marines.

Find Randy on LinkedIn!

Fred Diamond: Randy, first of all thank you for your service. Second of all, why don’t you tell us a little more about you that we need to know?

Randy Wood: Fred, thanks. A couple things. Pouring it into that, I want to give a little context about that question you asked, “Tell me a little bit more about yourself, what we need to know.” That’s a really important question and I think it’s an important question for sales professionals, sales leaders, even today’s generation of youth to be able to answer.  As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised as how many people just can’t give you a good compelling answer there and it needs to be compelling, it needs to be relevant in a resonate thing.

With that in mind, I’ll tell you I’m two things: I’m a leader and I’m a storyteller. The importance and the power of story is something that’s part of my sales life and part of my sales career, how I relate to customers. Maybe just two things to keep in mind and we’ll talk hopefully more about just leadership and I’ll have a chance to tell you a story or two. Aside from that, as you mentioned, I started my career as a marine officer. I’m also the son of a marine officer, a marine fighter pilot so that’s how I viewed the world for many years and decided to make that the first job I did. I’m a father of two, I have a 19 year old college sophomore and a 17 year old high school junior and they’re obviously my passion and what’s most important. Aside from that, I’m a Washington Capitals fan.

Fred Diamond: Tell us a little more about what you sell today and tell us what excites you about that.

Randy Wood: At Akamai we are in the managed services business, more specifically and increasingly we’re in the managed security services business. That’s not traditionally what Akamai has been known for, for me and the public sector organization that is an enormous opportunity to really lead and drive more security relevance with our customers. That’s what we do, what excites me about it is the fact that we can create real differentiation in what I call customer confidence in a secure architecture which enables better, faster, more reliable, more trustworthy digital experiences.

We’re in the digital experience business, when it comes to cyber security the idea of increasing customer confidence, to have more confidence in the quality, the experiences that they have is what we enable. That is a really exciting thing and a great position to be in based on the platform that Akamai has evolved and brought to market over the past 20 years.

Fred Diamond: Again, you spent some time in the Marines, then you worked for some blue chip companies: Cisco, Red Hat, F5 Networks. We’ve had some guests from Red Hat on the Sales Game Changers before, Nathan Jones and Lynne Chamberlain and mentioned to you that Paul Smith had won the IES Lifetime Achievement Award. Now of course you’re at Akamai, tell us about your transition. How did you first get into sales as a career?

Randy Wood: That’s a great story. Prior to 9/11 I was more of an engineer, I came up through the engineering background, spent a bunch of years at Cisco as an engineer and engineering leader, a director of engineering. On 9/11 all that changed, and specifically the work that Cisco had done in the Pentagon was an obvious focus area on the day after 9/11. I credit my transition from an engineering position into a sales position to the Area Vice President of Cisco, Scott Spehar at the time, who came to me the next day on the 12th of September and said, “I need a Cisco account manager, I need a Cisco sales guy and you may not know it, but you’re a sales guy. You’ve got what we need in terms of differentiated skills to go help rebuild the Pentagon.”

Cisco was and continues to be a mission essential partner to that communications mission and they had a big problem. It was really the 9/11 events that caused a VP of sales, who in some ways at the time was a mentor to me, to recognize what I thought about myself but hadn’t done anything about in terms of a sales career and made it happen. It made me a little bit uncomfortable and put me in that position with an enormous quota and a situation where the stakes were really high based on the time we were in. Boy, did I learn a lot. Just an amazing experience and learned that I’m a pretty good sales guy but I think I have an opportunity to make an even bigger impact in the company in a sales leadership position. That was the start of a sales career now 18 years ago.

Fred Diamond: Randy, I didn’t know that bit of your history and obviously that’s very intriguing so if you don’t mind, I’m going to divert slightly. Can you tell us some of the things that happened shortly after 9/11 down at the Pentagon that you were involved with?

Randy Wood: Remarkable times. For us at Cisco, we’re a sales company and we’re in the business to sell stuff and to grow the business but that mission changed a whole lot that day. It was a commitment to the national mission, it was a commitment to continuity, to try and restore some continuity of operations, communications and data services and it was a do-whatever-it-takes attitude. Airplanes were grounded and we drained our parts depos geographically and brought them however we could into New York City and the Pentagon to do what it took to reestablish some level of mission continuity.

There were a number of former military folks at Cisco at the time, so we set up a 24/7 combat information center command post in Herndon and operated the way the military would to make sure we could get and keep the government and the Department of Defense back in business and up and running. A lot of sleepless nights, my daughter was two at the time and my wife was pregnant with my son who’s now 17. There was a week or two where I didn’t see the family a whole lot, so the level of commitment that we had to that mission and to the partnership was just breathtaking. One of the most impressive things I’ve ever been, the response of Cisco to do whatever it took and to spend whatever it cost to continue to partnership was remarkable.

Fred Diamond: Not to dwell on 9/11, but of course Akamai has a tie to 9/11 as well where one of your founders, Danny Lewin, was on the first plane that hit the Trade Center. Can you just talk for a second or two about his legacy and how that applies at Akamai?

Randy Wood: It’s an amazing story, it’s an amazing legacy. There’s a book called “No Better Time” about the story of Danny Lewin and Tom Leighton who is our CEO, should be required reading by everybody and certainly everybody at Akamai. I read it the first two weeks I was here and the contribution that both Tom and Danny Lewin made to the internet back then and then the irony of Danny Lewin who the 9/11 commission reported was probably the first American killed, he was on the Boston flight. The irony that that day the load that was put on the internet was unlike anything that had ever been seen before and Akamai was supporting and underpinning that load and never gave. It held the demand of the internet, so it’s ironic that it took an event like that to really underscore the importance and the contribution that Akamai has made to the internet in the last 19 or 20 years.

The company today still recognizes and remembers Danny Lewin, we have an annual Danny Lewin community service day. In fact, here in the public sector organization for the last couple years we’ve gone to the USO Wounded Warrior Center at Fort Belvoir and we’ve done all hands on deck landscaping, just giving back to the community. We recognize an annual Danny Lewin of the Year award winner, someone who embodies the qualities and characteristics of Danny Lewin who was a great man.

Fred Diamond: We’ll provide some links to some of that information, thanks for sharing that. September 12th you’re told by your boss, “You’re now in sales, you’re now a sales leader.” Most people listening to this podcast remember what that time was like but you also said you’d learned a bunch of lessons. Talk about being thrown into the fire, if you will, and of course you also experienced a lot of being in the fire when you were in the marines. Tell us some of the key lessons that you took away from that transition when your boss came to you and tapped you on the shoulder and he said, “Randy, you’re actually a sales guy. You’re now our leader.” Tell us some of the things that were going on back then for you specifically.

Randy Wood: Four things stand out, it’s great to think about this because these are the things that define you over time and hopefully the lessons you can pass on. I think the first biggest thing for me, the lesson I learned was just humility, what it takes to do this job. It’s a humble job and you need to bring a level of humility, you earn a level of humility as you make customers successful, as you bring successful positive business outcomes, there’s a humble part of that.

Second is the importance of customer advocacy, we are here to be advocates of our customers, I call this an essential mission partnership. That’s not at the expense of what the company is asking me to do but it’s building trust, it’s building confidence, it’s being an advocate for our customers, being their voice.

The third thing that comes to mind is doing what you say you’re going to do. It’s a simple thought and not a lot of people do, you’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do and see it through with your customers. I guess that’s part and parcel to being a good or a better advocate, but customers take note of that.

Finally, for me I think the biggest thing I learned that I carry with me every day is the importance of influence because what you’re trying to gain and earn with your customer is a level of influence. I want to influence my customer to take action or to do something different or to ultimately buy my product. If you break down influence, a couple things really stand out like what does influence really mean? I want to be relevant, I need to bring a level of relevance to what I’m doing, I need to be competent and most importantly, I need to be credible. I focused on influence but really decomposed that to say what do I need to do, what can I do better? What’s really in a very authentic way important to this customer relationship? That’s the four things that really stick out.

Fred Diamond: One thing that keeps coming through in the Sales Game Changers podcast, again we’re interviewing sales leaders who’ve been in leadership positions for 10, 15, 20, sometimes as many as 35, 40 years and the reason that people like you have gotten to this level is because of your relationships with your customers. It’s not just the ability to sell, typically it’s the ability to be a true partner and especially now the criticalness of value. What really intrigued me about your Cisco 9/11 story – I never really thought about it – how much of a role Cisco played on that day. We had to bring down all the airlines, of course and so many things were going on. You think about the role that a company like Cisco and Akamai played on that day and of course the continuation of weeks and months afterwards to help the country transition to where we needed to get to. Speaking about that, tell us a little more about yourself. Tell us what you’re specifically an expert in, tell us a little more about your area of brilliance.

Randy Wood: This may be a little bit different than something you’ve heard before. I’d say I’m an expert in what I call the importance and subtleties of human brand. I’m a human brand guy, I’m a brand guy in general but I really spend a lot of time thinking about and focusing on the impact, the power of brand. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later I think in the interview here, in terms of maybe my area of brilliance it’s communications and presentation mastery. Back to my original introduction, the role of the story.

Here’s why storytelling is important, here’s why it’s really important in sales, because customers are inundated and overwhelmed with facts and figures. As it turns out, they don’t want more facts and figures. They want to believe, customers just want to authentically, genuinely believe in something, ideally a solution that solves their problem. It’s typically the story, a relevant, compelling, memorable story that helps make that connection with the customer. People are dying to hear a story, people are dying to tell their stories, that’s why social media is so interesting and important whether it’s Instagram or Snapchat which my 17 year old lives on, or Facebook. If you think about what they’re doing, they’re telling their story, they’re hearing a story.

The same stands true in the sales world. If I do my job correctly, my story becomes your story. You become a surrogate of my story, you go back and tell my story and so my story lives on and my story becomes relevant to you and there’s a level of influence. The way you get that done is through what I like to say mastery in communications and presentation. It’s a critical skill, I’m concerned that in today’s younger generation it may be a lost or orphan skill so I’m committed to that back to my first thought about the importance and power and impact of human brand. That’s an important contribution component of human brand.

Fred Diamond: We’ll get to the human brand in a little bit but speaking of stories, again you’ve worked at some great companies and of course you spent some time in the military. Tell us a story or two about an impactful sales career mentor and how they impacted your career.

Randy Wood: I’ll go back to my Cisco days. After my tour of duty in the Pentagon, as a sales guy I had an opportunity to move to a national sales level position and we were responsible for what was at the time all the new stuff at Cisco. The things above and beyond routers and switches, security and telephony and all those great things. It was exciting because we were the real growth engine, we were doing lots of acquisitions and there was a lot of uncertainty and chaos. I had an opportunity to work for a guy named Carl Wiese– Carl, I hope you listen to this. Carl is now the President of Sales at Blackberry, he’s the man with the plan that’s going to transform and is transforming Blackberry to this day.

I’ll never forget the impact that Carl had on me. First of all, he’s a very steady hand, very intelligent person, a great sales leader, someone who led from the front but knew when to lead from the middle. Above and beyond all that, the two things that I learned from him is the importance and the impact of clear and simple thinking and communications. He was the clearest and most simplistic thinker and communicator that I’d ever met and I began to understand the power of being clear and simple in how you communicate and how you think. He taught me this idea that I keep with me today which is get out of the noise. In any organization there’s a noise and people love to live in the noise. The noise is fun, it’s entertaining and he was the guy that got me to get above the noise and think and communicate in a clear and simple way which could become very impactful and incredibly resonant. I think I owe a lot of where I am today to Carl Wiese.

Fred Diamond: We talked about a lot of the young people, a lot of the young sales professionals listening today, Sales Game Changers podcast around the globe. We’re going to take a quick diversion here, give us a tip, give us something that they can practice, something they can do today to get above the noise.

Randy Wood: Stay focused on what your mission is, have a plan. Be, what I like to say, flexible with your plan but very stubborn with your vision. Here’s my vision, I’m very stubborn with the vision I have, I’m very flexible with the details but this is what I’m committed to. This is what I’m focused on, this is what gets me out of the noise. An example of the noise is a lot of these sales organizations are organized into cube forms in these buildings in Northern Virginia. Sometimes the sales force gets together and they just create and get in the noise, and if you’re focused on your plan and seeing your plan thought and if you’re flexible with the details and stubborn with the vision I think that keeps you out of the noise. It keeps you focused on what your mission is.

Fred Diamond: What are the two biggest challenges you face today as a sales leader?

Randy Wood: These are two ever-present and I think probably completely different challenges but the big ones for me are first and foremost what I call product and brand resonance. It’s back to the noise, for us it’s competing in the noise and in the cyber security market it’s a noisy market. There’s a lot of things being said and customers are trying to figure out what’s truth, what’s reality, what’s not. That’s product and brand resonance so it’s back to brand, it’s projecting. I’m fond of talking about the toll road brand, up and down the toll road here between the beltway and the airport is where most companies like Akamai sit and there’s a brand there. Trying to get your brand to the top and to stay at the top is a difficult thing to do, so that’s a challenge.

Second is completely different, and for me as a sales leader it’s ensuring that planning – this is territory planning, customer planning, opportunity planning – don’t become lost skills with sales reps. I don’t think we’d live and die by a plan, but let’s have a plan. The skills required to create and communicate a plan are skills that if not reinforced and held accountable by someone like me, I think are lost. Pick your sales methodology, you could be a Miller Heiman person and like the Blue Sheet or something else, there’s real value there. I have seen it again here at Akamai just this year with my direct reports, I took them through a planning exercise and they came back and said, “That was really useful.” It’s not so much the destination, it’s the journey I guess to be a little cliche. If not reinforced and held accountable, that becomes a lost skill, a lost art and I think that’s a big problem for sales professionals.

Fred Diamond: I would agree. Back to the storytelling aspect, again you’ve worked for some great companies, now of course you’re the Vice President for Sales of Public Sector at Akamai. Again, we’re talking to Randy Wood on the Sales Game Changers podcast, you worked at Red Hat, you worked at Cisco, you worked at F5 Networks. Tell us a story about your biggest or your most specific sale success. It doesn’t need to be the biggest, but your #1 most specific sale success or win from your career that you’re most proud of. Why don’t you tell us that story?

Randy Wood: I have spent time in some great big companies and I spent a little time in the startup world along the way. I’m one for two in the startup world, I had a successful exit.

Fred Diamond: That’s a very high percentage.

Randy Wood: A very high percentage, catching lighting in a bottle more than a time or two is difficult but a few years back I spent some time at an In-Q-Tel portfolio company, small company, purpose built kind of software company and /I was Vice President of sales and we had great expectations. We elected to hunt elephants versus the hitting singles and doubles, we were going after the big deals. We were pursuing a number of big deals in the intelligence community and one in particular stood out, it was the first big win we had, it was a five and a half million dollar win.

That is game changing, life changing money for a small startup, so I joined the sales campaign sales pursuit fairly well into the process, became completely committed to it. We were in the very final stages of this opportunity and pursuing this thing, and deals like this tend to die 5, 6, 7 times. One thing learned is they’re going to die and you’re going to have to bring it back to life, that’s just part of the job. This one did and this one suffered a particularly near fatal death in that we got the final pricing wrong, and we didn’t get it just a little bit wrong, it was wrong and it was just a mistake that we made.

Budgeting had been set on that, so we were summoned to the customer’s office, it was a local building here in Herndon. It was a dark, cold, wintry December day and on the way in there was someone selling flowers. I was with the account manager and I said, “Buy a bouquet of flowers.” He said, “What are we doing?” I said, “Buy the flowers.” We did and we went up and we went into our customer’s office and with as much humility as we could muster, we presented him with a bouquet of flowers and said, “We made a mistake, we’ve got a plan to make it right.” He said, “What the hell am I going to do with these flowers?” We said, “Take them home to your wife, we don’t know.” It diffused the situation, get everybody laughing, reasonable person theory here.

We made a mistake, we made it better. Anyhow, we got it fixed, it was a five and a half million dollar deal and I said, “One more thing. It’s our holiday party here in two weeks, I need to carry this purchase order into this holiday.” It was in Clyde’s of Tysons Corner and he said, “There’s no way you’re going to get this purchase order.” I said, “I have to have this purchase order, it means that much to this company, to this sales rep.” We picked up that purchase order that morning and carried it into the holiday party, and I think the CEO hugged me with a little tear in his eye. Just a great win, but all aspects if we’re getting customer advocacy and a little bit of humility and doing the right thing, I think maybe the power that a bouquet of flowers can have in a tense sales situation.

Fred Diamond: Did you ever question being in sales? Did you ever think to yourself – of course you’re a marine, probably not too many things are hard to you – “was it too hard and just not for me”?

Randy Wood: I did, that was a big career transition to get my head around. As I mentioned, I’m a son of a marine, a fighter pilot, a man who did 3 tours in Vietnam and 750 combat missions. As you can imagine, this is a smart, disciplined, very focused, firm man and I grew up frankly under my father who has little to no tolerance for salespeople. The whole stigma associated with sales was something that he had no appreciation for. That shaped my view of the world for such a long time and I finally determined, “That’s not what sales is, that’s not what selling is.” Selling is some of the things that I’ve described here and the satisfaction that you get from that, but I did question and I almost questioned making that jump and making that transition because of the influence my father had on how I thought about the world, how I saw the world. It’s funny, I have a completely different effect and impact on my kids today who are great communicators, great storytellers and in their own ways, good salespeople.

Fred Diamond: Randy, yalk about that concept of human brand. Again, we have Sales Game Changers listening around the globe, I get inquiries from guys in Australia on a frequent basis. “That was a great interview with Randy Wood, can you introduce me?” I usually say, “Sure, just reach up on LinkedIn.” Talk about what that means, what does the human brand mean especially for people who are looking to become successful in B to B and professional sales?

Randy Wood: Human brand, your brand, my brand is the essence of who we are and a couple things stand out. First of all, you and I don’t own our brands, as people, we don’t own our brands. We can influence our brand but other people own our brands. How we’re seen, what we’re known for, how we’re remembered and I don’t think people think enough about, “What is my brand? What do I want my brand to be? What are the components of my brand?” and focus on that and emphasize that. I’m fond of saying with respect to brand, all people should have an opportunity to give their personal best to their professional lives. What does personal best mean? Personal best as a salesperson is what is your brand, what are you known for.

What do you want to be known for and what are you doing to reinforce that, to strengthen that, to fortify that, to influence other’s opinions about who you are? For me personally, I started out by telling you, “I’m two things: I’m a leader and I’m a storyteller.” In an interview, a hiring manager would ask me that and say, “Two things?” I’d say, “Yes, I’m a leader and a storyteller” and the next thing they do, they ask, “Tell me a story.” I shape their next question, that’s my brand because now you’re giving me an opportunity to talk about myself in a different way through telling a story to get to know who I am and I’m doing a couple of things there.

I’m trying to showcase for you what kind of a storyteller I am and at the same time tell you something about myself. That’s because I spent the time upfront to focus on that aspect of my brand, so brand is the composite of two or three things as to who you want to be, how you want to be remembered. I don’t think as professionals and certainly sales professionals we think enough about it.

Fred Diamond: Randy, what’s the most important thing you want to get across to the junior selling professionals listening to today’s podcast to help them take their career to the next level?

Randy Wood: If there’s just one thing someone can take away from this podcast – and I think this is just an absolute nugget of gold here – it’s as a salesperson to master the ability to ask for the order. Master the ability to ask for the order and think about what does it take to ask a customer for the order, that purchase order. It’s not an easy thing to do and you’d be surprised at how many salespeople aren’t comfortable doing that. I call that being comfortable in your sales skin bag, that’s the essence of a salesperson, I believe. How do you master that ability? There’s a couple things for me that come to mind, it’s the creation of real authentic trust. I trust what this guy Randy is saying.

Again, it’s back to providing good, consistent advocacy for the customer and it’s showing a customer demonstrably what positive business outcomes look like. What’s the business value? It’s the creation of business value, in my customer’s terms doing what I said I’m going to do. If I can do all that then I’ve earned the right to ask the customer for the order. Said differently, no deal ever closed itself, it just doesn’t happen.

Fred Diamond: What are some things you do to sharpen your saw and stay fresh?

Randy Wood: One thing is what I’m doing right now, it’s finding an opportunity to tell my story, to have this conversation with you and project my brand whether it’s radio, it’s this podcast, it’s presentations, it’s panels. Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to keynote a high school leadership conference and do two breakout sessions and touch the minds of 20 or 30 high school juniors and seniors. It’s get out and tell your story.

Fred Diamond: Tell us about a major initiative you’re working on today to ensure your continued success.

Randy Wood: I’d give you a short-term and long-term. Short-term for me is let’s stand for something, be known for something, be remembered for something at Akamai. Personally that’s what we call the “zero trust security initiative” and in that context I’m trying to become the face and the voice for Akamai. We’re trying to change and influence the brand of this company from content delivery network to being a real cyber security powerhouse. I personally want to own that and drive that, that’s a short-term professional goal. Maybe a little bit longer-term is the creation of what I think would be my next initiative in my career, something I’ve called the Human Brand Collective. It’s ultimately an organization that focuses on improving, building human brand for all levels of professionals. It’s back to the idea that people should be able to give their personal best to their professional lives.

Fred Diamond: Randy, before we wrap up here, sales is hard. We talked about some of the challenges that you face, great point there, mastering the ability to ask for the order. We did an interview with a guy named Steve Richard on the Sales Game Changers podcast, we’ll put a link to that. He’s surveyed millions of phone calls from sales professionals out to customers and he said the one big thing that they noticed as a major trend was the inability to do a follow-up request. Great call, energy, whatever it might have been but there was such a shortcoming in following the agreement for the next step. Of course, making the ability to ask for the purchase orders is the culmination of that, you’ve got to be prepared for the next step and you’ve got to have the courage to do it and the confidence.

Randy Wood: The easiest thing to do in the world is the first greatest sales call, they can do that, that’s great. It’s what do you do next, I said earlier doing what you said you were going to do is following up, it’s customer advocacy. It’s paying attention to that and have a close plan to say, “How do I build a level of relevance to this customer to where I can earn the right to ask for the order?” It’s the little things that I think people trip up on.

Fred Diamond: Also, in the early stage of a career it may not be an order. It may be just scheduling an appointment or getting something to continue building the trust and the customer advocacy. If you talked about some of the companies that you’ve worked for – Red Hat, Cisco, F5 Networks – these aren’t one call sale type things. These are years and years of evolution to get there but sales is still hard, people don’t return your calls or your emails. Why have you continued? Again, you were an engineer at one point in your career, we talked about how you had a little bit of degree of stigma based on some of your father’s impressions of sales. What is it about sales that has kept you going?

Randy Wood: For me personally there’s no better sense of satisfaction and accomplishment than developing a sales strategy for a market or for an opportunity, creating shared vision and real passion, enthusiasm for pursuing that strategy and taking that plan off the white board, that’s an important concept to me. You can see lots of plans sitting on a white board and that’s where they die, so the ability to take the plan off the white board and put it into action and to execute and then to go do great things and have great success, there’s nothing more satisfying than that. It’s getting an order on the last day of the quarter just before midnight or you know you’re making a difference for me, for the leadership of this team, for the company’s success but ultimately for the success of your customer.

The real difference that you’re making to become an essential mission partner, that’s what differentiates us in the public sector space. I’m fond of telling my leadership that I’m 80% the same but where I differ by 20% I differ dramatically. It’s things like continuing resolution in the far and the fact that I lack one thing that my peers in the commercial side have and that’s a shareholder, I don’t have a shareholder, I have constituency and war fighters. Contributing in a meaningful way to that mission is a very satisfying thing.

Fred Diamond: Randy, you’ve given us some great insights today. The human brand, how to understand that, the ability to be a great storyteller, humility, customer advocacy, the importance of influence and relevance. You’ve given us so many great ideas but give us one final thought. Again, we have Sales Game Changers listening around the globe at various stages of their career. Why don’t you give us one final thought to inspire them today?

Randy Wood: Hopefully this is a big thought and something that if you don’t get anything else out of the podcast, this stays with you: for me it’s the importance of giving your best and highest performance every day. It’s all about performance and I have a little saying about performance that my son the hockey player knows, “Performance and performance alone dictates the predator in every food chain.” Sales is no different, each and every day in sales, people and sales leaders, we need to commit and understand what it takes to bring our best performance to our customers and to the company and to our teams. For me, that is the thing that I think about the minute I get out of bed.

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