24 Life Lessons

January 28, 2020

Regardless of your opinion of Kobe Bryant it is impossible to argue that the world lost an inspirational, larger than life, icon. Death is always hard, but there’s an unexpected reality and pain, when those we believe nearly immortal are taken early. It’s a too close reminder, and a reality check that life is brief, that all we encounter, everything we succeed and fail, all is temporary. That only one thing is certain, and there is no avoiding.

Death comes for everyone. And as easy as it would be to become sucked down into the abyss of fear, I choose to feel and embrace this lesson. I choose to honor a man I respected as a great leader, and I will honor his memory by choosing to live, and to chase the dream with the fire he carried in everything he did.

1. “Those times you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don’t feel like working. You’re too tired. You don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.”

2. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

3. “I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.”

4. “I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose.”

5. “If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”

6. “The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord. Throughout my years, I haven’t had that fear.”

7. “These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.”

8. “If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be.”

9. “Trust me, setting things up right from the beginning will avoid a ton of tears and heartache…”

10. “The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real.”

11. “We can always kind of be average and do what’s normal. I’m not in this to do what’s normal.”

12. “Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.”

13. “I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.”

14. “Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”

15. “The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment.”

16. “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”

17. “Dedication sees dreams come true.”

18. “Either way, I refuse to change what I am. A lion has to eat. Run with me or run from me.”

19. “Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success”

20. “Be willing to sacrifice anything, but compromise nothing in your quest to be your best.”

21. “We don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.”

22. “Use misery to create mastery.”

23. “It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you—or don’t. So don’t take it lightly. If you do it right, your game will live on in others. You’ll be imitated and emulated by those you played with, those you played against and those who never saw you play at all. So leave everything on the court. Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.”

24. “I’ve pretty much done all I can here and, you know, God will carry me the rest of the way, so I’m pretty comfortable with that.”

May we all live life as fully present, as whole heartedly, and without regret for the days we chose to make great.

Best,
SL

Looking for how and when to motivate your team? Check out this guest post blog on Hoopla:
Pleasure and Pain. The “Carrot” and the “Stick.”

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Metrics

January 22, 2020

If there’s a sales topic that receives more angst than discussing metrics, I am hard pressed to think of one. And I get it, this is an emotional industry, and most likely you didn’t get into it to analyze data and think about metrics and conversion ratios.

You’re probably not going to scroll through LinkedIn and see your favorite sales talking head screaming into their selfie video “What’s a healthy pipeline to quota ratio?!” Nor will they be drooling over conversion metrics and their role in forecasting. But I am here to tell you, without them you are running on straight emotion, bias, and luck.

And while we want to talk about the hustle and grind, how to motivate, how to talk the talk, how to “CRUSH THAT NUMBER”…. sorry to break it to you sport, it really is about the numbers. And if you’ve been successful thus far without a measured process, congrats, you’ve got a badass product, great market fit, and amazing talent. But, it churns my stomach to think of “what could have been,” by simply checking your feelings against the facts.

So where do we start, and what do we measure?

The days of sales managers yelling “DIAL! DIAL! 100 DIALS…DIAL!” are gone. Historically measurements like dials, connects, demo set, closed won, etc., would have been our bread and butter. But, today’s industry demands a more personal, strategic, and measured approach; utilizing an omni-channel (call, email, text, social, etc.) process designed to target your ideal audience at the right time, the right place, and in the right tone.

Before you call center managers and power dialer fans grab your pitchforks, hear me out. There is still a place for volume metrics, but as our audience becomes savvier, so should our process. Conversion metrics are still important, but prioritize what truly matters:

  • New Opportunities Opened
  • Pipeline Size / Quota ratio
  • Sales cycle length
  • Revenue booked

….and use KPIs of yesteryear to tell a more complete story. The combination gives you and your managers x-ray vision into the strength of the sales org as a whole, and arms your sales reps with knowledge. Trends will begin to emerge, and through these trends, rules can be created. I can not stress this importance enough as sales is a highly emotional industry, and poor decisions are often made at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Understanding the right KPIs that are needed to close is a valuable asset, and can assist in measuring the performance, health, and needs of the sales team; as well as determining messaging, tailoring optimal sequences, and executing successful cadences. But less is more in 2020.

Trust your process, but give yourself a competitive advantage and use numbers and data as your law of land. You created these rules, so live by them.

There’s still time to join us in Costa Rica for The Surf & Sales Summit where we will be breaking down exactly why metrics are so vital to your organization. And be sure to check out the Surf & Sales Podcast – where we talk shop with an all-star lineup of mega sales superstars.

Best,
SL

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Pleasure and Pain. The “Carrot” and the “Stick.”

January 14, 2020

Pleasure and Pain. The “Carrot” and the “Stick.”

We’ve all heard these terms before, right?

When it comes to reward and punishment, both can play a part in creating healthy boundaries, and accountability. However, when trying to inspire action, rewarding behavior has multiple benefits that punishment does not accomplish.

By rewarding employee positive performance, their contributions are acknowledged, and appreciation for their work feeds a necessary human need, to feel valued.

Benefits of rewarding employees have true cultural and monetary impacts on business. Rewarded employees are happier, see an increase in productivity, and are largely more loyal, and less likely to leave. When employees are happy, morale is boosted, and the workplace becomes a place that people want to be, invest in, and see succeed. There is a direct correlation between engaged and happy employees, and hitting revenue goals.

There’s a science to using reward and punishment, and it comes down to “go” or “no.” If your desired end result is motivation to “go,” rewards are proven to be a greater influence. Alternatively, if you don’t want an employee to do something, punishment is more effective. Where rewards create excitement, motivation, and interest; punishment creates anxiety, fear, and avoidance.

*Note to all – use the “Stick” sparingly, or your entire culture will become fear-based.*

Effective reward, or a perk of the job?

Most people think of monetary rewards in sales contests, and although money is certainly an excellent motivator for a salesperson, it’s most important that there is an understanding of what the reward will provide to the recipient long term, and that the reward provides an effective motivational influence.

It’s about the experience. What will one experience via the reward?

Perks of the job, such as a parking space, or free lunch, prevent dissatisfaction. But to motivate and influence positive behavior there are key factors that have been shown to be powerful when aligning an employee’s feelings and the desired outcomes for the organization.

  • Appreciation
  • Development and growth
  • Inclusion and trust
  • Mentoring and mentorship

The magic formula is providing rewards that impact an employee in the above ways, and aligning those rewards with desired company outcomes. The results are more autonomous, loyal, and productive employees; happy to engage and take ownership in their role.

So where does one look for a reward capable of providing this experience?

Have you been looking for a creative reward that will accomplish each motivational factor? Are you looking to provide an experience where your employee’s can learn and talk sales with peers, and rising sales leaders? Don’t you want to enjoy professional development while also enjoying white sand, sunny beaches, and surfing the world renowned waves of Costa Rica?

Join me in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, for The 4th Surf & Sales Summit, where you’re rewarded and appreciated for the success you’ve had, mentored and coached to further improve your performance so you can set new and exciting goals, and learn alongside trusted and like-minded peers in an intimate group with tailored content. Come back refreshed and inspired to make 2020 one full of tremendous achievements.

Oh, and did I mention the mental health benefits of getting out of your routine and into a beautiful and serene landscape where you can exercise, rest, relax and have fun? Mental health is something we all experience, yet rarely discuss. So let’s at least commit to making it a part of our reward system.

While a reward system is an important piece of leadership and management, protecting, and supporting mental health within the workplace is imperative. Take a moment to read the following ebook, Start Talking – 40 Thoughts, Tips and Ideas to Start Talking About Mental Health in Sales Vol 2., by Jeff Riseley.

best,
SL

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Consistency

January 07, 2020

Welcome to the New Year!

We’re going to talk about one of the sexiest sales attributes out there…consistency. While you are in the gym working on your beach body for Sales & Surf, the same foundational mindset applies to both.

To make this year better than the last, and to make a difference, and change your circumstances comes down to one single choice. To simply choose not to quit today. If part of your resolutions was to make it into the gym more, or get into work earlier, it’s likely you’ve had company. What will set you apart is your personal endurance, but again, that comes down to just that one choice that today is not the day to quit.

Just keep going. Get your fast start, and then just..keep…going…watch the others drop off, and choose, and choose again, one simple choice.

But what makes consistency so attractive? Why is reliability such a lucrative trait in sales?

Repeatability is where scale is born.

Inconsistency is difficult to forecast, and near impossible to scale. It provides little data on what in the process works, and what needs work. Is it a rep issue, a process issue, a product issue, seasonality? You might as well throw darts at a board in the dark.

But consistency….consistency helps navigate and guide decisions, it allows for iteration across the board, and dreams of what could be to take root and begin to grow.

Consistency builds trust.

Life is unpredictable. Within the first three days of the new decade and social feeds everywhere were flooded with devastating fires decimating a country, and memes of an impending WW3. But trusting the word of an employee towing the line, or a leader transparent with their expectations and follow through creates loyalty, camaraderie, and a sense of ownership and accountability that the high/low/who-knows can’t touch.

Consistency establishes your reputation and makes you relevant.

If you’ve created a reputation of being consistent, your brand is one that can be trusted, and relied upon without the worry or concern that this may be a down month.

Best,
SL

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