Leadership Development

What Salespeople Can Learn from Josh McDaniels Gutsy Reversal

Posted by Dave Kurlan

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If you follow American football even a little, then you were paying attention last week when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl VII.  You might have been paying attention when a day later the Patriots offensive coordinator agreed to take the head coaching position of the Indianapolis Colts.  The press conference was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but 3 hours before Josh McDaniels would be introduced as the Colts new head coach he changed his mind, left the Colts in the lurch, and decided to remain with the Patriots.  Wow!  Good for Josh and the Patriots.  Bad for the Colts.  Bad for his reputation.  Interestingly, the thing that excited me most was that we now have a well-known, high profile example of someone  changing their mind AFTER the 11th hour.  And boy oh boy does this relate to sales!

Win rates are all over the place - from as low as 10% in technology sales to 75% for elite salespeople across most industries.  So let's average it out and suggest an average win rate of 42 percent.  For most salespeople, and for all of the bottom 50% who are just plain crappy, they are on the wrong side of success more than half the time.  I'm not going to suggest that crappy salespeople can change anything but good salespeople can...

The truth is that in some cases, people change their minds. 

But most salespeople hear that they aren't getting the business and can't wait for their prospect to hang up so that they can feel the pain of losing.  Fuck that!

The question is, what compelling reason might your prospect have for changing their mind?  Let's assume that they won't reverse their decision if they were happy with the incumbent vendor and decided to remain with them.  But they could change their mind if you were in the mix the entire way and on this opportunity they decided to go with your primary competitor.   How would you do it?

You could start by asking, "Have you ever changed your mind about anything?"  You need precedent.  If they're being honest, they'll say yes. Everyone has changed their mind.  Then you can ask, "For the right reason, could this be one of those times?"  The worst they can say is, "No."  But what if they say, "Yes?"  What if you could get just one in ten to say yes to that question?

Your challenge would then be what might constitute the right reason?  You can ask your them.  I'm sure they know what would get them to reconsider buying from you, assuming that you were being seriously considered right down to the wire.

Give it a try.  If Josh McDaniels can change his mind in public, take an absolute mass attack on his reputation and be OK with it, your prospects can change their minds in private.

How To Manage Collective Creativity

What's the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of "Collective Genius," has studied some of the world's most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing -- from everyone in the company, not just the designated "creatives."

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World

From the author:

In 2017, several of my close friends died in rapid succession. It was a very hard year, as it was for many people.

It was also a stark reminder that time is our scarcest, non-renewable resource.

With a renewed sense of urgency, I began asking myself many questions:

Were my goals my own, or simply what I thought I should want?
How much of life had I missed from underplanning or overplanning?
How could I be kinder to myself?
How could I better say “no” to the trivial many to better say “yes” to the critical few?
How could I best reassess my priorities and my purpose in this world?

To find answers, I reached out to the most impressive world-class performers in the world, ranging from wunderkinds in their 20s to icons in their 70s and 80s. No stone was left unturned.

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This book contains their answers—practical and tactical advice from mentors who have found solutions. Whether you want to 10x your results, get unstuck, or reinvent yourself, someone else has traveled a similar path and taken notes.

This book, Tribe of Mentors, includes many of the people I grew up viewing as idols or demi-gods. Less than 10% have been on my podcast (The Tim Ferriss Show, more than 200 million downloads), making this a brand-new playbook of playbooks.

No matter your challenge or opportunity, something in these pages can help.

Among other things, you will learn:

• More than 50 morning routines—both for the early riser and those who struggle to get out of bed.
• How TED curator Chris Anderson realized that the best way to get things done is to let go.
• The best purchases of $100 or less (you'll never have to think about the right gift again).
• How to overcome failure and bounce back towards success.
• Why Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton believes that the best art will always be the riskiest.
• How to meditate and be more mindful (and not just for those that find it easy).
• Why tennis champion Maria Sharapova believe that “losing makes you think in ways victories can’t.”
• How to truly achieve work-life balance (and why most people tell you it isn’t realistic).
• How billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz transformed the way he engages with difficult situations to reduce suffering.
• Ways to thrive (and survive) the overwhelming amount of information you process every day.
• How to achieve clarity on your purpose and assess your priorities.
• And much more.

This reference book, which I wrote for myself, has already changed my life. I certainly hope the same for you.

I wish you luck as you forge your own path.

All the best,

Tim Ferriss

Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals

Investor and author Tim Ferriss likes to use the technique of "fear-setting," rather than goal-setting, to make progress in his life. He says fears can paralyze you from even starting toward an outcome, so managing them should take priority.

"I can trace all of my biggest wins and all of my biggest disasters averted back to doing fear-setting at least once a quarter," he says in the talk.