“I want you to remember that the things that you take for granted are often the most important things to keep in mind at all times.” – Jeff Bajorek in today’s Tip 1652
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s special weekend tip comes from Jeff Bajorek as I repurpose a great video that he shared with his subscribers last weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve shared a tip on the weekend and this one is a little bit longer than usual, in fact, I thought about breaking it into 2 parts, but that would have been silly, so here’s the whole thing from Jeff Bajorek:
Jeff Bajorek: Happy Sunday, or Monday, or whatever day it is that you’re watching this. I am shooting this video in place of writing for my Sunday newsletter this week because, quite frankly, it was a marathon week, and I have so much to process than rather than sit down for two or three hours and try to crank out seven or eight hundred words, I thought I would sit here and process it live with you, because this is really my preferred way to process lessons and to think about what I heard and what I spent time paying attention to this week. Let me know if you like this, if you prefer this, after all is said and done, versus me writing, let me know and maybe I’ll insert this format a little more often. But I have three main themes from my marathon week. I spent the first part of my week at the Sales Success Summit in Austin. I spent the latter part of my week in Annapolis, Maryland, for a private client engagement, clients’ retreat. I’ve got something else that’s been on my mind for the last couple of weeks that I think ties things together. I’ve got three main takeaways from a marathon week for you today, share with you today.
None of those takeaways involves the sustainability, or lack thereof, of continuous 15-hour days, one after the next. We’ll just leave that one for another time. But the first part of my week was spent in Austin, as I mentioned at the Sales Success Summit. And the theme that kept coming up for me was trust and how important it is to build trust in our clients, in our network, with our friends even. And this seems like something that is really easy to take for granted. In fact, I took it for granted. I started thinking about all of these talks coming up and all these people discussing these issues. I’m like, Well, wait a second. Aren’t we past this? Isn’t this elementary-level stuff? Isn’t this 100-level stuff that we have to be trustworthy? And the resounding answer was no. As a matter of fact, you can’t afford to take this for granted because it’s necessary. And when you start to take things for granted, you end up forgetting them altogether. And we just can’t afford to do that as a profession. We have to build trusting relationships. And what the top performing salespeople do, perhaps better than anybody else, is they never leave their prospects. They never leave their customers hanging. By hanging, I mean, you never leave them wondering if their best interests are in mind. You never leave a prospect wondering if you’re really thinking about what’s good for them. That’s the difference between a seller that is trustworthy and someone who’s just out to make a buck.
When I think about all the people who throughout my career, throughout my life, really, who have not trusted salespeople, it’s been because they don’t feel those sellers have their best interests in mind. Best interests in mind. Long week, sorry. Everybody who was on the stage, everybody who got to present and more than the majority of the people who were in that room, in that group, earlier this week, do an excellent job of building trust. No, it doesn’t start by buttering someone up and sending gifts ahead of time and trying to be so likable that they want to buy from you. It has everything to do with being someone worth talking to, having something worth talking about, and having your prospect’s best interest in mind. I said it better that time.
I want you to think about this because I’m hopeful that you haven’t taken it for granted. But I know at some point in time we all have. So here’s your reminder that the top performing salespeople across any industry, because multiple were represented there this week, they’re thinking about that stuff. They don’t take that stuff for granted. You shouldn’t either. I have a contrasting lesson to take away from the second half of my week. So many lessons. This one has really got my head spinning in a very, very good way because there’s a lot to review. I have more words to write than I have time to write them. But I want to talk about the concept of perfection. And my friend Todd Capone would be very happy to hear this. But I sat with a group, basically an entire company. It was a large group of us all together in Annapolis. And at the very end of the retreat, the leadership team got up in front of the group and they were revealed the results of an assessment they had taken, a leadership assessment. It really went into all of the dynamics of what a high-performing team needs to accomplish. They realized in real time where they Excel and where they fall short. This transparency, you’re welcome, Todd, this vulnerability, this willingness to be fully forthright with what they struggle with, with what they do well, was beyond refreshing.
I don’t know about you, but when I worked in a corporate position, I just assumed that my board, my leaders, my executive team, whatever it was, that they were perfect. Whenever they were upset with something, it was because the rest of the company could not live up to the lofty expectations of the ideal. I think back to companies where I worked, where I’m like, Wait a second, this guy, he thinks he’s perfect. And we’re all supposed to be perfect. But I’m looking at this guy or this woman or this team, and I’m like, Wow, you’re not even close to perfect. Again, when the dissonance between perception and reality makes itself apparent, when you can’t wrestle with or adjudicate the fact that those two things are so different, but one of them is supposed to be right and it’s not the one you know to be right, it causes a lot of noise up here. That cognitive dissonance makes it really difficult for you to do your job. It breeds resentment. It’s terrible, and it’s contagious throughout an organization.
I’m here to remind you that your leadership team is not perfect. They’re not perfect. As a matter of fact, when you start recognizing they’re not perfect, you may pay attention to their actions, their words a little differently, and it might impact your ability, your efforts differently. When I think about the perfection of a leadership team, I all of a sudden think about my actions as never possibly being good enough. I have been to the top of the mountain of success. I have been the number one seller in my company. I have been among the top sellers in my company on a consistent basis. I’ll go as far as saying the last company I was with, I was one of the best sellers they ever had. Can you imagine what my performance might have been like had I been freed up? To not be afraid of failing so much as being willing to lean into what made me really good. I think it was my ability to navigate that back in the day. It’s getting longer and longer. But back in the day, my ability to navigate that was probably the reason that I succeeded as well as I did. But what if I were to free myself from those expectations, expectations that clearly were not reality.
So credit to a leadership team that is vulnerable enough and willing to be vulnerable enough to be transparent to demonstrate that those frustrations are not because their team can’t live up to the state of perfection that they’re setting. But when that leadership team, their frustration comes from their ability to not fully meet the expectations of their team, flip that concept around. When you realize that that’s what a team is arguing about in the boardroom, what that team is working hard to accomplish, it’s a completely different outlook. It’s a completely different motivation. It’s a completely different reason to justify your purpose. Those are the kinds of leaders that you want to lay down in traffic for. The other leaders, those are the ones that breed resentment in their organizations, have high turnovers, don’t pay their salespeople. And every time you hit your number, they say, Thank you. Do it again, except more this time. Which organization do you want to work for? And which organization might you be able to drive that change?
The last point I want to make is a little more personal, but I think it is also relevant to you. You have a lot to learn. I say that to you. I say that to me. I say that to anybody who is walking this earth. Basically, you have a lot more to learn. I flipped another year on the calendar a couple of weeks ago, and for some reason, I had taken it for granted that once I reached the ripe old age of 44, I would have it all figured out. I would have a lot more clarity on things. I don’t know how I got to the point where I am this age, and I didn’t have the wisdom to remember that every once in a while I was still going to have to eat shit in order to get to that next level, in order to take that next step. I apologize for my spicy language. I’m a lot more capable than you might realize from some of these videos. But you know what? Every once in a while you have to be humbled. Every once in a while you have to remember that there is always another step to be taken. When I remembered this week that some of the things that I had been taken for granted and some of the other things that I just needed to learn, I recognized that I have a lot more to learn. And sure, I have a lot to share, and I’m willing to distill the wisdom that has bestowed upon me the things that I learn, and hopefully, I can package them in these weekly installments to you along with the podcast. But it was a poignant reminder for me over these last couple of weeks that, Hey, you know what? I may have come a long way. I may have come longer than a lot of people ever will, but I still have a long way to go. The more curious I am, the more I’m going to learn, the more curious you are, the better you’re going to get. You can’t be curious unless you’re willing to be wrong.
I want to inspire you to stay curious. I want you to remember that you don’t have it all figured out. I want you to remember that the things that you take for granted are often the most important things to keep in mind at all times. Hopefully, you work for a company with a leadership team that is willing to be vulnerable and transparent and let you in a little bit because those are the companies worth working for and there are way more out there than you realize. Thanks for spending the last 10 minutes or so with me. It’s got a little bit longer than I had intended it to, but I hope it was worth it for you. And if you think someone else needs to see this or hear this, please pass it to them. And I guess I will talk to you or write to you very soon.
Scott Ingram: Want more Jeff Bajorek? First of all, go subscribe to his newsletter right now. He consistently shares great stuff every weekend. We’ve got links for you at DailySales.Tips/1652 and if you want to hear more about the Summit, go listen to the deep dive debrief that Jeff and I did together on the Sales Success Stories podcast in the aptly named Summit FOMO Frenzy bonus episode. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!