Friday, 25 January 2013

Pitch Anything

You need to be able to sell in every profession regardless if you are a lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist or microbiologist. Again all fields require you to sell. If you have an idea that will drive your team then you need to sell it. Lawyers and accountants have to have clients to do work for which requires selling. 

Why is this important to me?

I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to enhance your financial life. In order to be effective at selling, you need to be able to influence and persuade, PERIOD. These two attributes require confidence and guts. Bottom line is that 95% of the sales people today are not qualified to do the job. Most will show up and throw up features and benefits and hope you will buy.

Hope is not a strategy. One required sales activity is to book a meeting with a prospect. Here is an example – An amateur salesperson makes a follow up call on marketing lead and says – “I see that you downloaded our e-book, was it informative? – Yes – Great, is there anything else I can help you with? – No – Ok well how about I follow up with you in 6 months to see if things have changed. – Sure! This simple interaction is being said right now by thousands of sales people who think it is working. This solidifies that hope is not a strategy.

Pitch Anything really focuses on the meeting and presentation portion of the deal. I will talk about three main concepts and dive into the What, Why and How answers.

Frame Control – What is a Frame? Oren discusses several types of frames – Power Frame, Analysts Frame and Time Frame. Frames are energy fields and perspectives between people. Controlling frames is critical in winning deals. This is rooted in brain development and Oren spends time discussing the Croc Brain which is the primitive brain. Frames are rooted in the croc brain. The croc brain controls your flight / fight and friend / foe chemical reactions. Think of frame control as being the alpha dog or pack leader.

There are countless examples of Frame Control throughout Pitch Anything and I have experienced all of them. I want to give more examples and outline successful pitches from my perspective that illustrate Oren’s point. There are two critical things you need and they are guts and humor. Pulling off gutsy techniques require humor because anytime you piss people off then they will not want to work with you.

Pitch Anything is rooted in neuroscience and brain function. Oren has studied this for over 10,000 hours and I can say that it works. I want to profile some examples: 

1. My biggest deal – My team and I walk in and are ready for the meeting. I am prepared with a tight script and ready to go. There are 20 people in the room and the winning bidder will bag a seven figure deal which is large considering the average PO in the industry is $25,000. I know that controlled interaction within a room environment is critical for success. Here is the opening dialog and battle for frame control: Me: Thank you for inviting us in , what I would like to do is go around the room for introductions and have you state two main goals you would like to get out of this meeting today. Prospect: You were given the agenda and no questions or dialog will happen until after the presentation so we will not go around the room, now get started with your software presentation. At this point, my underwear is around my ankles and lost total frame control. I knew I had to get it back so as we started through our presentation I would ask questions and then pull back and joke with the group that it was not allowed. The big boss asked a question of me and I said – I cannot answer you yet. This removed all tension and showed the prospect that I was confident. Once I joked with the main boss then I knew I had control back. 

2. Hot Cognitions – Oren defines hot cognitions as things that trigger pleasure centers in the brain. For simplicity, I will simply say that people buy emotionally and make decisions intellectually. This means that you need to trigger emotion in your presentations and after give them enough cold cognitions (intellectual crap) so they are comfortable with their decision. Back to the big deal scenario above. My team and I understand this concept and used emotional words and storytelling to get their hearts pounding. We also knew that the 4 competitors after us would talk about their size, their expertise, the corporate structure etc. All this crap means nothing at the heart of the pitch. One last thing we did was take 3 minute breaks every 10-15 minutes. Your average person now has the attention span of a nat. People retain information in story format in 10 minute increments. We had two hours for this pitch and proposal review so we knew that data chunking was important. Also, with these breaks people loosen up and you know where you are at within the pitch as you mingle for the 3 minutes. 

I need to tell you that your income is directly tied to the level of your ability to persuade and sell. Most people do not think they have to sell for a living but I am telling you every interaction is a sale. You either agree or disagree to do something. Persuasion, influence and leadership are critical to winning deals. To master Oren’s methods you need to understand human interaction, have guts and eliminate the neediness. I have worked with several salespeople throughout my career and I can tell you the reason 95% of them suck is because they are “I centered”, Pushy, and very needy. This desperation is called sales stench and is why most fall out and don’t attain their dreams. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is guts. You have to build your gut level and take risks in sales situations. To consistently win, you have to control your meeting and that requires guts. You also need to have an imprint on your brain and it is this: “I am financially independent and I do NOT need this business.” Once you ingrain this in your psyche then the prospects will feel it and want to work with you. Ingrain it even if it is not true yet because it will be. Remember – don’t be cocky but be confident. 

Have a great weekend.

-Joe at Success Progress


Friday, 18 January 2013

Less is More (Really)

This book is endorsed by Tim Ferriss who wrote the 4-hour Work Week. I really like Tim’s work so I read the book. Leo knows what he is doing and has a blog with 230,000 subscribers at Needless to say after reading this book, he has one more subscriber.

Why is this important to me? I don’t want to waste your time but do you ever notice that everybody is too busy. I realize this becomes the de-facto excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to do. Sometimes I wonder why people (including me) fill their lives with non-essential crap. Leo digs in and gives great examples of how to reverse the trend.

Two simple principles that Leo points are "Identify the essential and eliminate the Rest."

The Power of Less is broken down into two main parts – The Principles and The Practice. For the sake of time, I will touch on two concepts from each part.

In the first section on principles, Leo talks about setting limits. You need to do this in each facet of life. The best place to start is by asking the following questions. Which areas of my life are overwhelming? What would I like to simplify? Do I want to limit the number of possessions I have, information I receive and responsibilities I have? These questions will help you clear away the clutter.

The second principle is focus. The power of focus has to be one of the strongest human elements for effectiveness. Multi-tasking is overrated. It is an excuse to do several things halfhearted. Multi-tasking low level tasks is fine but if you are focusing on important things then focus and single tasking has to be the priority.

The practice takes energy, focus and motivation all of which are limited.
1. One project– We need to work on one project at a time until completion. If the project or goal is large then you need to focus on the three MITs (Most Important Tasks). Complete one task fully and move it to the completed section of your calendar. This will save you time and energy. The cost of interruptions in business is significant. Productivity drops every time a thought leader is interrupted.

2. Email – I am guilty of being buried in email. This is a problem that I created with multiple mailboxes and control issues. There are three things you can do to control email hell.

1. Check email and 12:00 Noon & 4:30 pm and respond. Give yourself 20 minutes to do this and limit responses to 5 sentences or less.

2. Do not check email first thing in the morning. This kills your mojo. If you have all your priorities and you start by working on your first MIT then checking email will get you pulled off the MIT (Most Important Task) and the rest of the day will be lost.

3. Tell people your email schedule. Let people know that this is how you work so they know that if it is a real emergency then they can call you. This is important and allows you to guard your time and focus on what is most important.
The Power of Less is a really good book. Leo knows what he is doing. He is an author, father of six kids, blogger and exercise freak. He does all of this because he focuses his attention on the essentials and eliminates the rest.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is make a list of your essentials. The information in this book will not work if you don’t know what your essentials in life are. You need to ask yourself this question and prioritize the top 5 or 10 things you want to focus on in life. Once you do that then you can start eliminating the non-essentials. If you have trouble doing this at first, make a list of things that annoy you. This will be a good start to eliminate.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!
-Joe Mosed, Success Progress


Friday, 11 January 2013

What Do You Want?

It is interesting how things fall into place. Needless to say, Chris Guillebeau has the right idea. People are sleep walking through life. They get up, work, go to bed and get up again. Before they know it, they're 60 years old and wondered what the heck happened. 
Let's consider some things. Education today in the U.S. is a bit of a joke. We rank 25th of all the industrialized nations. This is horrible. Worse than that, kids are graduating college with mountains of debt and not getting jobs. Education cost is the only market that has been rising steadily and far exceeding growth in other areas. 
Why is Education so expensive and not really helping in the job market? There is so much loan money out there that the universities know they can charge more because there is money to be borrowed. It sounds like a bit of a paradox - students cannot afford college so let them go get money and pay for it for the rest of their lives. Worse than that for every engineer/tech person that makes stuff, our universities graduate 18 Lawyers and 50 MBA students. This means that one person creates actual utility and 68 people manage it. With stats like this you really need to evaluate what you want out of life and the direction you need to take to solidify your future.

"The Art of Non-Conformity" will show you some absolute great ideas and concepts that you can utilize, but it all comes down to this: What do you really want out of life? Chris talks about 11 ways to be average. I highlighted three kickers.
1. Accept what people tell you at face value. This is a classic one and you need to question everything. Remember half the knowledge we know today will be proven wrong in the future.

2. Don't try to learn another language, everyone else will learn English. This is just simple I-centered crap. I will admit that I only speak one language and frankly I am ashamed of it. This is currently being remedied.

3. Get the largest mortgage you can and spend the next 30 years trying to pay it. I can follow this one only if your money will be put to something with more utility. Remember that your house is a liability because it does NOT spit off monthly cash flow. 
Chris's book is packed with excellent ideas and a ton of non-conforming thinking. I will touch on three key points for the sake of time.
1. Remarkable work - You need to define what this means for you. We touched on in the last slide how you can be average. The remarkable life needs to be defined in terms of health, happiness, relationship and work. Give this some thought and cut out the clutter

2. Reclaiming Work - Chris tells a story about a person who was interviewing for bosses. Instead of putting a resume together and hoping to be picked out of a 100 people, she put out a blog post for an ideal boss and decided to work at that level. This is classic out of the box thinking. To reclaim your time, you need to use the stop doing list. This is a powerful tool for cutting away the clutter. Once you define what it is you want then you want to cut away all the crap and focus on what is important. If you work for other people then this exercise will free up your time and get you promoted. This is contrary to popular belief because people think there boss just wants them busy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you work for a company that cares at all about growth then they want you to focus on the 20% of the work that creates 80% for the results.

3. Alternative Learning - For those of you that don't know me, I am a big fan of self-learning. With all the tools out there and the internet the possibility for learning is unlimited. The key is to focus on what you want to learn. I realize that some of you are going to want the degree which is ok but if you are smart about it and short of cash then there are several ways to get it without going into major debt.

This is one of my favorite quotes:
"The dumbest people I know are those who know it all." -Malcolm Forbes

Have a great weekend, thanks for reading.

Joe Mosed


Friday, 4 January 2013

Power of the Network

Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn and he talks about this and the power of the network. There is nobody better to articulate those benefits than Reid. 

Entrepreneurship is required today because the old adage of go to school, get a good job and retire, is dead. You need to put yourself in a position to make sure you have security. You need to help yourself first and then you can help others. This is not a selfish act. If you look at what Warren Buffett has done for charity, he created his fortune first and helped in a much bigger way later in life. 

"The Start-Up of You" is broken down into seven parts. In this blog post, I will focus on three.

1. Develop a Competitive Advantage – All successful tech companies know this. Otherwise they would not be successful. What value do you bring to the table? What unique skills and insights do you possess? In the business world, this is known as your unique value proposition. In our software company, we spent a lot of time creating a unique value proposition and it has made all the difference in the world. You need to do the same for yourself. This is true if you are going to start a business or work for a company. People need differentiation. 

2. I to the Power of WE – This signifies the strength of your network. Your network consists of both strong and weak links and both are very valuable. In LinkedIn, if you have 170 first level connections then you are only three layers away from connecting to over 2 million people. This is very important especially if you are looking for new opportunities or for specific expertise to advance your company or yourself. The power of who you know makes all the difference and can shave years off of obtaining your goals. 

3. Pursue Breakout Opportunities - This one is straight forward in theory but sometimes hard to execute. How do you know if they are breakout opportunities? In our business we have sold products in the past that had very little market. This is not recommended. This was early in my career and there is nothing better than learning a lesson with a baseball bat. This simple lesson costs us years in time and a lot of wasted money. Have you ever watched the show Shark Tank? On the show, people have to pitch the billionaire panel and ask them for investments in their ideas. These billionaire's sniff out in the first 20 seconds the market for the idea. If the market is small or commodity then they do not invest. 

"The Start-Up of You" is a really good book that I highly recommend you read. Remember that one of the fastest ways to success is following somebody who has already done what you want to do. This can save you years of work if executed correctly. 

I hope you have found this short summary useful. Don't hesitate to reach out of you have any questions; I am more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading! T

Joe Mosed