What Do You Do For A Living?

Matt Ruby over at Sand Paper Suit shares a great video of David Mamet discussing why you shouldn’t ask someone what they do for a living.In a lot of circles, I know that this is taboo for all of the reasons that he says, but I really disagree.First, I guess I’ve always assumed that I have less money and am not nearly as smart as most people out there, so I’m not too concerned about putting people in the buckets like Mamet explains.Second, living in Silicon Valley, I’m fascinated by people that aren’t in the technology industry.  Especially here, but generally wherever I go, I tend to find really interesting people that want nothing to do with this industry.When I meet people that live in the SF Bay Area that aren’t in the tech industry or something that supports it, I fall off my block a bit.  My neighbor runs a company that makes decorative concrete castings. It is an insanely successful business and has nothing to do with technology. I find that really cool.A lot can be gleaned outside of someones social status by what they do.  This is something that a person spends 8 – 10 hours a day doing, they must have a passion for it, why not learn as much as possible about why they are in that industry?I find that the question comes up a lot on the golf course. You’re pretty much stuck with someone for 4 – 5 hours, it is the first way, once small informalities are out of the way, to establish a common bond with this person and potentially form a friendship.Don’t be afraid of asking someone what they do for a living. You’ll be amazed at what you learn about a person.Am I really off my block?  Should I not be discussing these things?  Tell me in the comments.

Michael Jordan’s Rules (Adapted for Sales) – Don’t Think About the Prize

This is the 3rd in a series of rules outlined in Golf Digest by Michael Jordan on how to be more competitive in golf.  I’ve been working on how to adapt them to be more successful in your sales career.  I suppose, that at the end of it all, I’ll a

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

dd a bunch of links and compile everything.Rule #3 – Don’t Think About the Prize, Think About the WorkAdmit it, that hint of the big commission check comes into your head when you get your comp plan. You’ve already spent the money, haven’t you.That spiff that your VP rolled out this quarter? You’re already on the beach.Put it out of your head.  Don’t even think about, because when you’re thinking about sipping mai-tais in Maui, you’re not thinking about doing the work that is required to get there.You’re not thinking about the cold calls you’ll need to make, the meetings you’ll need to go to, the follow up letters you’ll need to send.You certainly won’t be thinking about the work that will need to go into strategically moving your deals forward.One of my prizes from last quarter was a trip to Pebble Beach.  I didn’t even realize that I was close to it until after the quarter was over.  Had I known I was getting close, it would have been really hard not to picture myself standing on the #7 green (where I knocked it stiff, of course).  And that leads to not doing the work involved to get there.Little things add up to big things.  Make the calls, do the follow up, focus on the things that will take to get to your number. Don’t focus on what happens after you get there.


Michael Jordan’s Rules (Adapted for Sales) – Have Total Confidence

This is the second in a series of 10 posts based on the Golf Digest article in which Michael Jordan discusses how to be more competitive.His second rule is ‘Have Total Confidence In What You Can Do’.A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was totally convinced that if a company didn’t use our software that they would be out of business in 3-months (of course I can’t find it, but here is the RT). I recognize that this isn’t true, but I go into every deal with the conviction that this is the case.I’m so convinced that my product is the best thing for my customers.  I’m convinced that I’ll win every deal that I go into. I’m convinced that companies that don’t choose our software will be toast.This conviction carries over in your voice, your mannerisms and your decisions that you make for your customers. It’s easy to say that you have their best interest in mind, but do you really?  When you are totally and utterly convinced that you have the right thing for your customers, that will come out and you’ll win more deals.On the flip side, be honest with yourself and your customers.   If you work for a company with a shit product, leave. If you work for a company that is unethical, get out of there. If you don’t believe you have a good fit, walk away from the deal and recommend a competitor that would be a better fit (believe me, nothing builds future credibility like this).If you don’t believe, who is going to believe for you?


Michael Jordan’s Rules (Adapted for Sales) – Focus on the Little Things

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This month, Golf Digest has a great Top 10 things suggested my Michael Jordan to improve your golf game.  Of course, like any hyper-competitive scenario, these suggestions can also be applied to sales.  While I don’t exactly watch a lot of professional sports, I think that there are a lot of similarities.Over the next few days, I’ll document each 10 of MJ’s tips and how they carry from the golf course to your overall sales activities.1.) Focus on the Little ThingsThis is crucial to success in sales and there are a million little things that need to get done.  Daily cold calls, follow up emails, scheduling properly, calling when you say you will.All of these little things add up to a lot.  Are you doing them?Everyone knows that to make sales, you have to make cold calls.  Focus on the basics, do the work each day and it adds up to you making your number.As a manager, are you asking / helping your team focus on what is important? Do they know what is important and what the little things are to drive success in your business?  If not, maybe it’s time to have a refresher course for your team.Tomorrow – Have Total Confidence


Why @bubbawatson Had Such A Cool Tweet

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Last night, PGA Tour Player Bubba Watson, tweeted a link to a video of him teaching how to hit a flop shot over a bunker.  I retweeted the link saying (from my golf site) that I thought that it was cool for a bunch of different reasons.  Like most RT’s, I half expected it to go into the ether never to be heard from again.A few hours later, I got this response:


Wow, that is cool, but probably a response worthy of more than 140 characters. Here is what my immediate reaction was.1.) Adoption – A few days ago, I noticed this tweet from Stewart Cink:


So less than a week ago, Bubba Watson was new to Twitter and now he is sharing video.  As someone who lives and breathes by adoption rates of my product, this is awesome to see.  Bubba Watson may be my new case study on adoption. Within a week, he recognized the power of social media, built a huge base of followers and regularly adds value using text, photos and video. What if a percentage of your employees did the same thing?
2.) Actual pro’s sharing video – Sharing video on Twitter isn’t new. Giving lessons to people via links in Twitter isn’t new either, but usually golf lessons are delivered via @dorfongolf and you have to take them with a grain of salt.  Seeing a tour pro give a lesson offers a much different level of credibility and, like watching any professional athlete, it is a little magical too.  Usually playing lessons are reserved for high quality, Golf Channel, fancy production things.  This was just Bubba out for a casual round and making a quick video.  I’ll take 30-minutes of this any day.
3.) Response time – Bubba Watson interacts with his fans a lot on Twitter.  Probably more than anyone else on the PGA and most people on LPGA.  Not since Shaq have I seen an athlete truly converse with their fans in this manner.  I shouldn’t be surprised by the response rate, but it was still pretty cool.
4.) The video is pretty good too:
I’ve always dug Bubba Watson as a player. He has a sweet swing and hits the ball a million miles. But in the last 12-hours I’ve gone from average fan to huge fan all due to a simple video and a quick response.