8 Reasons Why You're Struggling to Reach your Potential

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8 Reasons Why You're Struggling to Reach your Potential

Think, and grow rich. What a wonderful concept. So much so that Napoleon Hill wrote a book about it called Think and Grow Rich. 

This book has now sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It contains the secret recipe for how to grow your wealth and reach your maximum potential. 

Chapter 9 of Hill’s book (which cover’s the 8th step to riches), discusses a major road block that most of us experience: Lack of Persistence

“Here you will find the real enemies that stand between you and noteworthy achievement”, Hill begins. 

Here are the eight “enemies” that stood out the most to me:

1. "Failure to recognise and clearly define exactly what you want”.

    Do you have your goals in writing? Do you review them often? If you want to reach your potential, you need to know what you want, and when you want it. Write it all down and then share it with the important people in your life. Then start chasing your dreams!

2. "Procrastination, with or without cause (usually backed up with a formidable array of alibis and excuses)."

   Stop making excuses and start making progress!

3. "Lack of interest in acquiring specialised knowledge."

     Knowledge is only the potential energy for achieving great things. But it is still a necessary ingredient. Are you spending time outside of the whirlwind acquiring in-depth, specialized knowledge?

 
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8. "The habit of blaming others for your mistakes, and accepting unfavorable circumstances as being unavoidable."

    Once you take 100% responsibility for everything, you will have a completely different outlook on life. Not everything that happens to you is your fault, but how you respond is 100% in your control. If you don’t like something change it. If you don’t like where you’re at in life, move! You’re not a tree!

10. "Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign of defeat."

    Success isn’t for the faint of heart. Once you write down your goals, plan for a lot of failure. It’s imminent. Just make sure you keep your eye on the prize, and then get up every time you get knocked down. 

11. "Lack of organised plans, placed in writing where they may be analysed."

    This is different than #1. This is the action plan. Write it down and share it with others. Then start executing.

12. "The habit of neglecting to move on ideas, or to grasp opportunity when it presents itself."

     We all have great ideas in the shower or on our drive to work. Act on those ideas immediately, otherwise you will find yourself with a lack of progress, and ultimately a lack of results. 

16. "Fear of criticism, failure to create plans and to put them into action because of what other people will think, do or say."

    You simply cannot be afraid of what others think. If you can get into the mindset that other people’s opinions don’t matter, you will open up a door to unlimited opportunities. 

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with a few of these almost daily. My biggest enemy is probably #12 because of #16. I’m working on it though, and writing this out helps. 

Where could you improve the most? What is your biggest enemy?


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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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The Knife Salesman that Doubled his Income

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The Knife Salesman that Doubled his Income

He was already a top salesperson. He had broken sales records in years past, but he wanted more. 

So the knife salesman decided that he wanted to double his income the next year. And not just for the money. He wanted to become the type of person that could create extraordinary results. 

"Is this doable?” he wondered. 

This knife salesman was Hal Elrod, author of the "Miracle morning", and most recently “The Miracle Equation”. 

The Power of the Process

In his latest book The Miracle Equation, Hal talks about The Power of the Process, a concept that every result or outcome we desire, is preceded by a process. The process is what produces the outcome. Without the process there is no outcome. 

"You can create a vision board, but without a process, you have no outcome,” Hal explained on a recent podcast. 

Hal’s goal of DOUBLING his income was intimidating. But he broke it down into a process. 

First, Hal calculated that to double his income, he had to double his sales.

Simple enough, right?

Next, Hal had to determine what the process would be. He had to write an action plan!

Hal pulled out his calendar from the previous year. Scanning each month, he counted up all the sales calls he made. 

On average, Hal made 21 sales calls per day. Could he double that? Was that feasible? Hal recalled that he had made 40 calls in a day before. He just didn’t stay at that level consistently. 

Hal wondered- if he made 42 calls per day, consistently, for the entire year, would that double his sales? He decided to go for it. 

Hal made an hour of calls every morning and an hour of calls in the early evening. 5 days per week. Every week. For the whole year. 

By the end of the year, Hal doubled his sales. Hal doubled his income. 

He had a vision. He created a process. He executed the process. 

To reach any goal you need to complete EACH of these steps: 1) You need to vividly see where you want to go, 2) You need a step-by-step process of how you will get there, and 3) You need to execute the plan. 

What goals are you reaching for this year? What is your process? Will you execute?


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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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"Please, challenge me" - Your customer

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"Please, challenge me" - Your customer

Salesperson #1: “Thank you for the opportunity to quote this heat exchanger for you. Please fill out this long form so we can send it to an engineer to get it quoted."

Salesperson #2: "I have a product in mind that I think will work great for you. Since this is a food grade application, I think we might want to look at double wall construction. Do you have a specific design in mind? We recommend plate-and-frame over brazed plates so the heat exchanger can be opened and inspected to ensure it is getting cleaned. Plate-and-frame models can also be taken apart for repair. Replacement plates and gaskets can be ordered, or performance can be adjusted if your customer finds they need to add or remove plates in the future."

Notice the difference?

These two conversations got me thinking about one of my favorite sales books, The Challenger Sale, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. (If you haven't read this book yet, please stop right now and go buy a copy. It's sooo good)

In The Challenger Sale, Dixon and Adamson share their research on what qualities or attributes buyers find most impactful to their businesses- and therefore why they buy. 

Based on feedback from 5,000 buyers in the B2B space, the following 7 reasons were the most impactful. 

  1. [Salesperson] offers unique and valuable perspectives on the market. 

  2. [Salesperson] helps me navigate alternatives. 

  3. [Salesperson] provides ongoing advice or consultation.

  4. [Salesperson] helps me avoid potential land mines. 

  5. [Salesperson] educates me on new issues and outcomes. 

  6. [Salesperson] is easy to buy from.  

  7. [Salesperson] has widespread support across my organization

What do you notice about this list? 

The first 5 attributes have nothing to do with features or benefits. They have nothing to do with the product or the company selling the product. The top 5 attributes are all about TEACHING, NOT SELLING!

As noted in the book: "Customers are looking to [salespeople] to help them identify new opportunities to cut costs, increase revenue, penetrate new markets, and mitigate risk in ways they themselves have not yet recognized. Essentially this is the customer—or 5,000 of them at least, all over the world—saying rather emphatically, “Stop wasting my time. Challenge me. Teach me something new.” 

Let’s finish by reviewing the top 5 attributes against salesperson #1 and #2 at the start of this post. 

Salesperson #1 didn’t teach, nor did they help navigate alternatives or help us avoid potential land mines. And to make matters worse, they were hard to do business with (#6 most impactful). 

Salesperson #2 was a teacher. She helped us navigate alternatives (brazed plate vs plate-and-frame) and helped us avoid a potential land mine with a food grade type product. 

Who do you think got the business?


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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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5 Reasons you're not growing sales with an account

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5 Reasons you're not growing sales with an account

If you're in B2B sales, you probably have a number of accounts that you call on. As you scan your list of customers, you notice that many of them are not growing. "Why is that?" you wonder.

Here are 5 reasons why you're not growing sales with specific accounts.

You’re not calling high enough

If you are not working with the decision maker, it will be hard to influence your customer to work with you. You could have the best solution and the best price, but if the decision maker has a relationship elsewhere, then you are wasting your time. Find out early in the sales process who makes the decision, and keep moving up until you get there. 

A great way to ask this in a non-confrontational way is, "Can you tell me how your buying process works?"

You're not working with an ideal customer

One of the first things you need to do when you build your sales process is to clearly identify your Ideal Customer. What type of business is your ideal customer in? What products and services do they need? What type of training do they need? 

If you ever feel like your prospect "just doesn't understand our value", you might not be working with an ideal customer. 

You don't have a unique value proposition 

Is your business or sales team providing a unique solution to the market? If you are selling the same product or service as everyone else, you will struggle to grow sales. All of your prospects have existing relationships that will be hard to crack with "we sell the same product as your current supplier but we have better customer service!”

If you find yourself competing on price, you probably don’t have a unique value proposition. 

You’re not solving a big enough problem

Even if you DO have a unique value proposition, you better be solving a big problem. If your product or service is similar to the rest of the market, or even slightly better, your prospect may not switch. It's a huge risk with little upside.

Look for a big problem to solve and you will see some POs headed your way.

You’re a bad storyteller 

Maybe you DO have a unique value proposition. And maybe you have a way to solve a huge problem for your customer. Even so, you better be a great storyteller. If you aren't able to articulate why your customer should buy from you, you will have a hard time earning any business. If you can tell a story that, "We are the only company that…", you will have success.

Think of an account that you have been struggling to grow sales with. Now scan the list above. Do you see a reason why you're stuck?


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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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30 Days without Social Media and the Results - The 30 day Digital Declutter Project

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30 Days without Social Media and the Results - The 30 day Digital Declutter Project

I just finished a complete break from social media for 30 days (the only exception was LinkedIn, and it was only accessible from a computer).

It was incredible.

I was finally 100% present; with my family, with friends, and at work. It was the most productive 30 days I’ve had in years.

I read 7 books.

I got more clear on my goals (personal and professional).

Best of all - I felt happier. Maybe it was because I was more productive in every aspect of my life. But I think the biggest reason was instead of spending my time watching everyone else’s highlight reels, I was creating my own.

If you would like to learn more about the 30 day digital declutter, please read on!

What is a Digital Declutter?

This idea comes from Cal Newport’s book, “Digital Minimalism”. A digital declutter is removing any “optional technology” from your life. Examples might include: social media, TV, online shopping, consuming local news, etc.  

Removing email from your life, for example, is not optional for most people, since they use it for work.

This is why I decided to keep using LinkedIn. I did, however, remove it from my iPhone. So my use of LinkedIn was very limited.

 
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What “Optional Technology” did I remove during my 30 day digital declutter?

Here are all the apps I deleted from my iPhone and iPad: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, FB messenger, 500PX, Mint, Wealthfront, all banking and investment apps. I also deleted my work and personal email accounts.

On my personal and work laptop computers I logged out of all social media apps and deleted the browser shortcuts. 

 
Screen shot of my iPhone during the 30 day declutter (and still remains this way today). Notice no social media - no distracting apps.

Screen shot of my iPhone during the 30 day declutter (and still remains this way today). Notice no social media - no distracting apps.

 

Adjustments

One thing Cal Newport talks about in his book “Digital Minimalism”, is that optional technology does provide some benefits, so when you take a hiatus, you will notice some minor headaches. But the benefits will far outweigh the few downsides.

Here were a couple of adjustments I had to make:

  1. Prior to the declutter, consuming social media was a way to give my brain a mental break between tasks. So it was difficult at first to find another way to take a break. I quickly learned, however, it was more beneficial to take a walk, or to read a few pages from a book. It turns out that using social media was actually doing the opposite of giving my brain a break.

  2. One other issue was trying to get pictures from my phone to LinkedIn. Since I didn’t have the LinkedIn app on my phone, nor did I have email (to email the picture to myself), I had to "text" an email to myself. It took me a few minutes to figure that one out. But that worked. Moving on...  

As you can see, I experienced essentially zero downsides. The aforementioned were hardly headaches. In fact the first adjustment was a benefit. It just took me a few days to realize it.

Benefits of the Digital Declutter

This experience brought many benefits to my life. 

The first benefit I noticed on day 2: My iPhone battery never died. In fact, there were nights that my iPhone had 87% charge climbing into bed. 🙌🏻

I was also getting out of bed much faster and more energized. For about 3 years I’ve been getting up at 5am (Well, my alarm has been set for 5am). Before the digital declutter, I would spend the first 15-20 minutes of my day (sometimes longer) scrolling through social media and email. With no email or social media on my phone, the only thing I could do was check the weather, look at my schedule for the day, check Evernote, or read a book. With no options to trick my brain into mindless activities, I would just get out of bed.

The biggest benefits of the digital declutter were mentioned at the beginning of this article and I think they are worth repeating.

I was finally 100% present.

I read 7 books.

I got clear on my goals.

And best of all - I felt happier.

If you feel like you might be wasting too much time on social media, you should grab a copy of “Digital Minimalism”. Or try out a 30 day digital declutter.

If you do, please let me know how it goes!


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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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