If your goals don’t determine your success, then what does?

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If your goals don’t determine your success, then what does?

I’ve been studying the ultra-successful for a long time. Most of them preach that if you aren’t successful (yet), it means your goals aren't big enough. They tell us to keep the end in mind, and NOT to focus on the “how". 

In some cases this is true. If you can’t visualize success and don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. 

What about people that have BIG goals, but never seem to make progress?

Craig Groeschel, host of “The Leadership Podcast”, points out that we all have similar goals: Successful people and unsuccessful people; Winners and losers. We all want to be promoted in our job, make more money and to have more meaningful relationships. 

There is not a single football team that started their year hoping to finish 5th place. No one says they hope to make less money this year.

Why do some people have more success than others? It’s the systems and habits that make all the difference. It's all in the “HOW”. 

Craig notes that successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.

 
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Why is this so difficult? One reason is we don’t see progress fast enough.

When we don’t see progress quickly, we start to give up.

Craig Groeschel uses a pot of boiling water to explain how habits compound. When you have pot of water on the stove and turn the heat on, the water slowly warms up…85 degF, 120 degF, 150 degF, 200 degF… Every minute that the stove is on, the water is getting hotter, but you can’t see that from the outside. Finally, at 212 degF, the water starts to boil. 

Habits are the same way. They take a long time to show results. It takes consistent action over a long period of time for results to show. In Darrin Hardy’s book, “The Compound Effect”, he says Small Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

What are some ways to make sure your habits stick?

  • Make it a DAILY habit. It is very hard to start a habit that you do 3 or 4 times per week. This is why I run first thing in the morning every day. 

  • Make sure the habit is measurable. For example, read 5 pages of a book per day, or run 2 miles per day. If you can’t measure it, it can be easy to slip. 

  • Track it! It's fun to look back and see how much you’ve progressed which adds some much-needed motivation. 

  • Start SMALL. Don’t try to add five habits at one time. Pick ONE and try to create a habit out of it. In “The One Thing" they say it takes 66 days to form a habit. In “Principles", Ray Dalio says it takes up to 18 months. Either way it won’t happen fast. The more challenging the habit the longer it will take. Be patient and only add habits when you’re ready!

  • Have an accountability partner. I am currently in a push-up challenge (100 per day for a whole year). We have a google doc that is shared between everyone in the competition and we are holding each other accountable (also notice this this is a DAILY habit that is MEASURABLE).


What success habit will you start today? 


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.


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Podcast: Why Taking the Time to Write for Customers is Worth It

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Podcast: Why Taking the Time to Write for Customers is Worth It

When Lindsay Konzak, president of 3 Aspens Media, asked me to join her on an episode of her podcast, I immediately said yes.

On her podcast we discussed the importance of content, how it helps build relationships with customers, what books I’m currently reading and more.

Click on the image below to go straight to Lindsay’s website where you can read a brief outline of the podcast and stream the audio.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you click here to listen via the Apple Podcasts app.

Let me know what you think of the episode in the comments!


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.


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Homeless to Billionaire - Sales Lessons

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Homeless to Billionaire - Sales Lessons

After listening to a James Altucher podcast starring John Paul DeJoria, I knew I had to share the lessons learned immediately.

If you don't already subscribe to Altucher's podcast, you can find a link to this podcast at the bottom of this article. 

This episode will consume roughly 70 minutes of your time, but it has an abundance of valuable sales, business and marketing lessons that make the investment worth every second. And to top it off, DeJoria is fun to listen to and gets your creativity juices flowing. 

Here were my biggest takeaways from the podcast:

Be prepared for rejection 

One thing you learn early in your first sales job is how often you get rejected. DeJoria started off his career selling door to door, which probably has the highest rejection rate of any sales role. If you can't thicken up your skin and accept the fact that you will get rejected far more often than you will make a sale, then sales may not be for you. 

Think of rejection like a batting average. A professional baseball player has a very good year when their batting average is 300. In other words, 70% of the time he is rejected. 

Sales is no different - every day is filled with rejection. It is rarely (if ever) a personal rejection. So figure out why your product or service got rejected and LEARN FROM IT!

Believe in your product 

In this podcast, DeJoria talks about many of the products that he owns or co-founded: Patrón Spirits Co, John Paul Mitchell Systems (hair products), Aubio cold sore gel. And each time he talks about a new product, you can hear his eyes light up. He gets excited about the products because he believes in them. He knows exactly how to sell them by discussing their benefits, not their features. 

Do you believe in your product or service?

 
Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association.

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association.

 

Have a unique pitch 

Almost everyone in sales is selling a product or service that is NOT unique. That means you better have a unique story or pitch to sell your product. In this podcast, DeJoria tells the story of when he sold encyclopedias door to door when he was younger. Most people would pitch about how much information is in the books, and how smart it could make you (selling the features). DeJoria's pitch was, "I am in the area with a new educational program and wanted to get your opinion of it. It will only take a few moments”. 

THAT is a unique pitch!

How can you position your product to be different? Do you have unique pitch?

To listen to this podcast, click the link below! What is your favorite sales or business podcast? Let me know in the comments!

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-james-altucher-show/e/jamesaltucher.com/podcast


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.


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8 simple ways to grow your sales without a business plan

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8 simple ways to grow your sales without a business plan

Sometimes I have random surges of sales & business thoughts rummaging through my head. These ideas bounce around my cranium like ping pong balls until I can get them out. When this happens I will occasionally do a brain dump to relieve the pressure. 

If you follow me on social media, you likely saw this on LinkedIn or Twitter already, so I would like to formally apologize for the double up. They say repetition is the mother of all learning, so maybe it’s not a bad thing after all. 

Here is my official brain dump on how to grow sales without creating any type of business or marketing plan. By the way, you should still have a selling strategy, and you will need a really good product or service too. But following these rules will help you grow sales in spite of having everything else perfected. 

  • Respond to your customers right away. Even if you can’t get to them immediately, let them know you’re working on it with a quick email or text. 

  • Ask your customers what they want/need, then give it to them. Make sure you listen well and get their order right.

  • Offer options that your customer may not have thought of, or will keep them out of trouble, but only after you've asked a lot of questions. 

  • Don’t be afraid to tell your customer that you don’t have the right product or service. Then send them to the best place to get what they need, and give them a contact name and phone number. Do it, not because it will create more business for you down the road, but because it’s the right thing to do.  

  • Say please and thank you, a lot. Thank your customers for each order. Remember, they have a lot of options. Make sure your customer feels good that they gave you the PO.

  • When you make a mistake, own up to it immediately. Specifically say, “I’m sorry. That was my mistake.” Then fix the issue as fast as possible. You’re not fooling anyone when you don’t admit fault. Your customer knows it was your mistake, and if you don’t admit it, you look bad. 

  • Throw something in for free every once in a while. Give your customer an upgrade, or cover an unexpected cost. 

  • Catch up with your customers like you would a friend. Don’t ABC. 

What do you think? Did we miss anything?

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.


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What Big Brands Know. "Because" it makes all the difference

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What Big Brands Know. "Because" it makes all the difference

What do Coors Light, Red Robin and Quiznos all have in common? — Gerry O’Brion.

Gerry worked for each company in a major marketing role, serving as vice president for two of the three, and made big moves for each.

At Coors, he helped develop the “frost brewed liner” marketing campaign that included the image on the can changing colors when the beer was cold enough to drink (more on this later).

At Quiznos he almost doubled their customer base through the Million Sub Giveaway.

And at Red Robin he helped launch a new tri-fold menu that had a major impact on their bottom line.

I had the privilege of watching Gerry live on stage at the HARDI Annual conference in Austin, and he knocked it out of the park. Here were the major takeaways from the keynote.

Give your customers more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.

Seems obvious. But many of us are spending too much time working on things that our customers don’t care about, and not enough time on what they do care about. Ask your customers what they need more of and give it to them!

Ask your customer: "What would it take for us to be your only contractor/supplier?”

This question might sound absurd, and sure, it might not be realistic. But just ASKING your customer this question might unveil more information about how you can improve on number 1. And who knows, maybe you can make it happen.

What is your “because”?

When your customer calls you and asks, “Why would I choose you over your competition?”, if your response doesn’t start with “Because” and “We are the only company that…” then you are not any different than your competition.

Let’s unpack this.

First, how important is having a “because”? A Harvard University study from 1977 shows it is extremely important. In the study, a researcher asked if they could cut in line to make some copies on a Xerox machine. Here were the results:

  • “Excuse me, I have 5 pages, may I use the Xerox Machine”? — 60% said yes.

  • “May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?” — 94% said yes.

  • “May I use the Xerox machine, because I need to make copies?” — 93% said yes!

The study showed that people only need to hear the word “because” to be convinced. It doesn’t matter if your reason is important.

Let’s look at a couple examples that Gerry gave during his keynote.

Take a look at Papa John’s logo:

 
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This logo tells you that Papa John’s has better pizza, “because” they have better ingredients. Pizza Hut didn’t believe them so they sued, but Papa Johns won because they used fresh tomatoes and filtered water. The lesson here is to make sure something is actually different, though it doesn’t have to be major.

What about Coors Light?

In 2012, after much debate about a new marketing direction, they decided to focus their brand around cold beer. “You should drink our beer because it's the coldest beer."

The problem here is no one will believe this story without more information. How would a Coors light can be any colder than a bud light bottle siting next to it in the same cooler?

 
Source: Gerry O’Brion

Source: Gerry O’Brion

 

This is where the blue liner comes into play. The liner that “locks in refreshing frost brewed taste.” Every beer company uses a liner in their aluminum cans, but Coors painted their liner blue, and then said they have the coldest beer BECAUSE of the blue liner. Now the 21-year-old male can tell himself a believable story that Coors is colder (and maybe that it even tastes better) BECAUSE of the liner.

What story are you telling your customer? What is your “because"? Are you the only company that…?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.


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