Which Is More Important – Relationships Or Mindset?

Scott Ingram is the host of the Sales Success Stories Podcast and the Founder of Sales Success Media.

In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, I ask Scott which is important to sales success, the internal elements such as mindset or the things that we’re less in control of like business relationships.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Scott Ingram
Founder of Sales Success Media

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Scott Ingram:

The more there is technology and noise and distraction, right? The human element is becoming so much more important, right? So if you look at prospecting or you look at sales processes, these days there’s so much drive to be impersonal and to follow a sequence and a script. And I think the more that we can bring the human back into this, because at the end of the day, it’s humans that are buying from us.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation. I am Will Barron host of The Salesman Podcast. The world most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already make sure to click subscribe and with that let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Scott Ingram:

This is Scott Ingram. I’m the founder of Sales Success Media host of the Sales Success Stories Podcast, The Daily Sales Tips Podcast and the Sales Success Summit. And you can find information about all of that at top1.fm.

 

Which is More Important for Sales success: Relationship or Mindset? · [01:22] 

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the show, we’ve regular returning guest and complete legend Scott we’re diving into mindset, relationships, business relationships, rather than random personal ones, productivity and a whole lot more essentially we’re diving into Scott’s deep knowledge and archive of essentially content from the top 1% of sales professionals. And so let’s jump right into it. Scott gun to head mate, which is more important for sales success to become that 1% sales professional. Is it to have your mindset right? Or is it to have incredible business relationships?

 

“The mindsets are the foundation. It all starts with that. You can have the best relationships in the world, but if your head isn’t right and you’re not in the game, it’s not going to matter.” – Scott Ingram · [01:37] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah, that’s actually not very hard, Will. The mindsets are the foundation. It all starts with that, right? You can have the best relationships in the world, but if your head isn’t right and you’re not in the game, it’s not going to matter.

 

Are Relationships in Sales Becoming Less and Less Important? · [01:54] 

 

Will Barron:

So from that perspective, then we’ll go down the relationship route, because we’ll cycle back round to mindset, because there’s a 15 hour conversation there, rights to be had about that. On the relationship front then is this exactly what you’re saying? Is this getting less important as time goes on or is it getting more important to have good business relationships?

 

“The more there is technology and noise and distraction, the human element is becoming so much more important. If you look at prospecting or you look at sales processes these days, there’s so much drive to be impersonal and to follow a sequence and a script. And I think the more we can bring the human back into this, because at the end of the day, it’s humans that are buying from us, right? It’s not robots that are buying from us.” – Scott Ingram · [02:10] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah, that’s a good qualifier. I think it’s becoming more important, right? The more there is technology and noise and distraction, right? The human element is becoming so much more important, right? So if you look at prospecting or you look at sales processes, these days, there’s so much drive to be impersonal, right. And to follow a sequence and a script. And I think the more that we can bring the human back into this, because at the end of the day, it’s humans that are buying from us, right? It’s not robots that are buying from us. It’s not AI that’s buying from us yet. And so those elements are still so, so critical, but let me qualify something here real quick. And that is, I think that there’s two kinds of relationships. And I think the kind of relationships and sales that have gotten a bad rap are this, I’m just trying to be your friend.

 

Scott Ingram:

I’m going to wine and dine you and we’re going to play golf. And because of that, you’re going to buy for me. That’s not what I’m talking about. I think that is becoming pretty irrelevant because of the distractions and how much work all of us have on us that maybe we didn’t have before. So I don’t have time to go goof around, right. We’re here to get a job done. And so the relationships that really matter are these relationships that are very professional, where there’s a lot of trust and there’s a lot of value. That’s what has real meaning when we think about relationships.

 

Value and Trust Versus Business Relationships in Sales · [03:45]

 

Will Barron:

You took the words out in my mouth and you just ruined the next 15 questions, I was going to ask you there, Scott of that’s literally what I wanted to dive into is it a business relationship where we are friendly or is it just value? And I’ll qualify that fervour of would a professional buyer buy from someone that they thought was a complete idiot and they perhaps didn’t even like the person, but they brought so much value to the table. They were a true industry trusted advisor or true industry expert. Are they more likely to buy from that person they dislike, but gets value from versus someone that they really get along really well with and probably would go for drinks with after work?

 

“We’ve heard for years that we do business with people we know, like, and trust. Honestly, I think that know and like are irrelevant. What it comes down to is trust and the way that you build trust. And here’s what happens though. You build real relationships and you become friendly with those that add that kind of value that you have that kind of trust in because they’re impacting your career, they’re making your life better.” – Scott Ingram · [04:30] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. It’s 100% the first person, right. Again, we’re here to do a job. Right. And so liking somebody. So I’m going to push back on this whole idea. We’ve heard for years that we do business with people we know, like, and trust, honestly, I think that know and like are irrelevant. What it comes down to is trust and the way that you build trust. And here’s what happens though. You build real relationships and you become friendly with those that add that kind of value that you have that kind of trust in because they’re impacting your career, they’re making your life better. I like those people.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Well, I think of the know part of it as trust at distance, right? The audience know who I am. They probably know who you are as well. You’re killing it with your content and books and podcasts. And so there’s an element of trust that I don’t know how that is wide into our brains, whether it’s a tribal thing or what it is, but most people will trust those that they’ve heard of, obviously more so, although they will preemptively trust people and wait for them to break trust versus someone that they have no idea who they are when you first meet someone in that initial instant. It is someone from a different tribe, someone we don’t know, someone we’ve got to be cautious of.

 

Benefits of Building a Reputable Personal Brand Where People Trust You and Buyers Associate You Value Addition · [05:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So I think there’s deeper wirings to all of this than, just eye contact and building rapport and all the stuff that we were taught. Oh, well I wasn’t taught it. People were taught in the ’80s apparently about winning business with weird handshakes and stuff like that. But with that said, is there then benefit to working on things like personal brand and working on creating content to build that trust at distance, or should we just be focused on serving the customer directly kind of face to face, which we can do, but marketers can’t?

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah, for sure. I think there still is value. I think the primary focus needs to be on the core craft and the people that you can impact directly. Because I think one of the ways that you start to build that personal brand, and there’s a great story in the sales success stories book about just how critical referrals are. You don’t get to the referral stage, unless not only have you built that trust, but you’ve been able to get a deal done and then deliver on what you promised, right? It’s typically post-delivery that you’re then able to have a relationship that leads to other relationships and that shortcuts the heck out of a sales process when you can get those kinds of introductions.

 

“When you’re initially interacting with somebody, they don’t know who you are and they look you up on LinkedIn and you look like a generic sales guy, there’s a lot of walls that are going to be put up. So if you can have some demonstration of knowledge and expertise and the fact that you helped other folks, then that is going to help you in that process. And you’re not starting from frankly less than zero, I think.” – Scott Ingram · [07:04] 

 

Scott Ingram:

And then I think from a personal branding standpoint, again, more and more, if you can come in, it’s hard to get over that that initial bar of scepticism, right? When you’re initially interacting with somebody, they don’t know who you are and they look you up on LinkedIn and you look like generic sales guy. There’s a lot of walls that are going to be put up. So if you can have some level and some demonstration of knowledge and expertise and the fact that you helped other folks, then that is going to help you in that process. And you’re not starting from frankly less than zero, I think.

 

What the Top 1% of Salespeople Do to Be Successful · [07:33] 

 

Will Barron:

So at the top 1% are they separated from everyone else? Because it seems like perhaps we’re over complicating all of this and people are spending time, social selling, building websites, building funnels, taking on the marketer’s role rather than perhaps leveraging marketing, especially if you’re in a big organisation, right. Do the top 1% do all this or do they just win business, get the results recorded or get references or get testimonials or whatever it is, get referrals to new business and then they just leverage success to build success?

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. I think it’s definitely the latter. I mean, if you look at the sample set that I have. As we’re recording this, I’ve done 68 of these interviews with top 1% performers and you’ve maybe heard of two or three, right. And so I think that says something in and of itself, right? They’re not out there speaking all the time and on a lot of podcasts. Typically, I’m seeking them out and we’re finding this thing. Again, it’s occasionally there’s folks like Scott Barker, who is a sales hacker and now outreach Scott is an incredible personal brander or Jeremy Leveille LeadIQ. I mean, these guys do a great, great job. I mean, the main thing that I see the biggest theme is all of these folks have figured out how to be the best version of themselves. So for folks like Scott and folks like Jeremy and frankly, somebody like me that fits our personality and we leverage that and we go all in. For most of the top performers I’ve talked to, that’s not their deal and their building relationships within their clients, within their industry and it may not be super visible.

 

Will Barron:

Interesting. I’ve never really thought about like this before, but if we scale this up to the CEO level, I don’t know if you know the CEO of Coca-Cola right now, I have no idea who it is. Who else? Even Apple, Microsoft. I bet the average person in the street, even though they clearly know the brands don’t know the CEOs of their organisations. And clearly they’re not 1% they’re certainly there. The 0.001% who are truly crushing and are probably incredible deal makers as well.

 

The Key Difference Between Salespeople Who Work to Build Online Brands and the Ones who Produce Results in the Background without an Online Presence · [09:42] 

 

Will Barron:

So what’s caused us to put trust at a distance, building brand, building relationships at a distance at the forefront of the sales industry, seemingly with social selling and all this other nonsense that I constantly try and push back down to where it came from? On this podcast, Scott, is it Instagram? Is it the fact that we look at other people’s lives on social media? And we go, hey, if I can just portray myself like that, I can live a life similar to those? What’s going on that’s kind of created this need for sales people to not just close deals, winning business and build success on top of success, but to try and promote themselves as an individual as well? Of all our egos just got massive, all of a sudden. What’s going on?

 

“When you help other people in sales, you make a lot of money.” – Scott Ingram · [11:12] 

 

Scott Ingram:

I don’t know what the root cause is, but I think your CEO analogy is perfect, right? And it made me think of good to great, and this idea of a level five leader and sort of the top performing leaders. A lot of them you just haven’t heard of, they’re just in there executing, it’s very selfless. And that’s another theme that I’ve seen this idea of and this starts to cross over into mindset a little bit. This idea of servant leadership in sales is pretty predominant within the top performers. And again, that’s not about personal branding and self-aggrandizing, and about ego. It’s about serving and deriving value from, I love helping other people and you know what, when you help other people in sales, you make a lot of money.

 

Scott and Will Talk About What Would Happen if a Salesperson who is Active on Social Media Were to Stop Posting For a While · [11:17]

 

Will Barron:

Sure. And just for context to the audience. I don’t know if you’ve ever experimented to this. Maybe you’ll have kind of thoughts that could either back this up or disprove it, because this is very literally an n=1 one experiment, so terrible data to rely on, but I’m not really posted on social since January. We’re recording this kind of halfway through the year at this point, because I’ve been working on the sales school. My podcast downloads have gone up the sales school memberships. You can’t get into it right now, because I said, we’re getting ready to relaunch the new version of it, but they’ve gone up as well. And all of them are doing is just creating the podcast. And I thought that the walls are going to collapse and all the hell was going to break loose as soon as I stopped posting 10-second videos, 30-second videos on Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

Will Barron:

And nothing’s happened. It’s taken the burden away from me. I’m less concerned about even on a mindset level, I’m less concerned about what people are thinking about stuff. The only result from it is I’ve had people emailing me saying, what’s going on? Are you still alive? Did you just back up four years’ worth of content and you’ve been on holiday for three years since then, because obviously the podcast is I try and keep it quite evergreen in its content. So it doesn’t necessarily tie down to a specific date, but have you ever experimented with kind of going offline for periods of time and did the world fall apart when you did that Scott?

 

“I actually think that social is a very dangerous double-edged sword and leads to deep distraction that’s not going to do anything productive for you. I don’t see a lot of people closing a lot of deals because of their huge personal brand, and the level of investment that that takes is very, very long. It’s that 10 years to be an overnight success. So if you’ve got that level of patience game on.” – Scott Ingram · [12:41] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah, so I actually think that social is a very dangerous double edged sword and leads to deep distraction. That’s not going to do anything productive for you, right? I don’t see a lot of people closing a lot of deals because of their huge personal brand and the level of investment that that takes is very, very long, right? It’s that 10 years to be an overnight success. So if you’ve got that level of patience game on. I think of myself as a conscientious Facebook objector. I disabled my Facebook account about three years ago. I don’t find Twitter to be very valuable anymore. I mean really the only thing that I do these days is LinkedIn. And I come in and come out. I mean, I’m always kind of looking up folks and using it to prep for meetings and things like that.

 

“If you’re just doing your job and you are helping people and you’re doing great work in the sales field, then stuff’s going to come around. There is absolutely no requirement that you have to be great at social or an amazing social seller to be successful in sales.” – Scott Ingram · [13:56] 

 

Scott Ingram:

But as far as posting I’m not one of these guys that I got to post something every day and I got to do all these videos and all the latest, greatest stuff. And same as you, right? My podcast continues to grow, the platform and the audience continues to grow because we’re putting great value out there. And so if you’re not in that space and you’re not a podcaster like Will, and I. Although we were just joking before we got on here, I’ve got a list of now 150 active sales podcast. So there’s a lot of them out there, but if you’re just doing your job and you are helping people and you’re doing great work in the sales field, then stuff’s going to come around. There is absolutely no requirement that you have to be great at social or an amazing social seller to be successful in sales. There’s almost no correlation.

 

Is Focus the Be-all, End-all Sales Mindset in the Distracted World We Currently Live In? · [14:17] 

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Maybe if there was someone else who is more focused on social, they have a different opinion and be able to sway our judgement maybe on this slightly, because I feel we’re very one sided in this debate that we had tried to pose, but yeah, and going onto mindset now from relationships. Because I think we’ve covered a lot of ground there Scott. Distraction is something that’s top of mind for me because I’ve found I’ve been so much more focused. I’ve been so less stressed from not worrying about doing 15 different things and only focusing on the sales school. Once it’s done, it’s done. And then all I’ll be doing is selling the sales school through the podcast, through content and through consulting calls and other means. But well, it was in January. I turned off all the tracking on my email.

 

“If you’ve got distraction and focus on either end of a scale, if you can remove distraction by default, you’re in focus.” – Will Barron · [15:23] 

 

Will Barron:

So I wasn’t getting pinged every four seconds saying, blah, blah, blah’s open this email or this and that’s happened. I removed proactive notifications on my phone. So I have to go into the Gmail app on my phone and swipe down to get notifications on there. I turned down everything because my… And I probably got this from someone. I don’t think I made it up myself, but my theory was that if you’ve got distraction and focus on either ends of a scale, if you can remove distraction by default, you’re in focus. So from a minds set perspective, one, does that make sense? Do you have an experience in getting more focused and how do you go about it? But yeah is focus kind of the be all and end all of mindset in sales in such a distracted world that we’re currently living in?

 

Scott Ingram:

Will, I don’t know that it’s the be all end all, but it’s a huge component. So I actually did… I’m preparing for a webinar and by the time this airs, it will have happened with the Dale Carney organisation and what I did every interview, I always ask for the top three things that, that top 1% performer believes is what’s making the difference for them. And I took all of those and all of that verbiage and I threw it into a word cloud and the word focus was massive. So it was relationships by the way. So that was kind of interesting, but I think that for me I read a couple of books early in the year and I’m forgetting one of them. It was by Cal Newport and he’s got another one coming out and he’s really started to dig into this idea of getting out of distraction and into focus.

 

“I’m always asking about the sales tools and the technologies and the things that they (top 1% salespeople) are using and over and over and over again, it comes back to I use my calendar, I use email, I use my phone and I use some type of note taking thing, sometimes it’s still paper. That is like the core tech suite of the top performer.” Scott Ingram · [17:14] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Oh, Deep Work is the name of the book. So into this idea of Deep Work, I also read Dan Pink has a book called Win. And the combination of those was really, really fascinating. And I’ve started to slide it’s been a few months and I need to kind of re prune because these things sort of sneak in, right? All of a sudden the distractions are back, but yeah, just going through that process of taking out all the notifications and stuff, the other thing that’s been really interesting to me and all of the sales tech companies are going to freak out right now. But as I think back through again, dozens and dozens of these conversations, I’m always asking about the sales tools and the technologies and the things that they’re using and over and over and over again, it comes back to, I use my calendar.

 

“All of this technology I think is driving us to distraction. I think it is detracting from the results that we’re all trying to drive towards and not enabling us and propelling us and helping us get better. I mean, if you look at your life, things are better, it’s easier to find things, but oh my God, just the overwhelm and the number of things coming at you is insane unless you’re super intentional about shutting it off ” – Scott Ingram · [17:46] 

 

Scott Ingram:

I use email, I use my phone and I use some type of note taking thing. Sometimes it’s still paper that is like the core tech suite of the top performer. There’s a lot of LinkedIn in there, but that’s probably the most technical wiz bang thing there is. Beyond that, it’s all of this technology I think is driving us to distraction. I think it is detracting from the results that we’re all trying to drive towards and not enabling us and propelling us and helping us get better. And I think that’s true not just of sales technology, but just technology in general. I mean, if you look at your life, things are better, it’s easier to find things, but oh my God, just the overwhelm and the number of things coming at you is insane unless you’re super intentional about shutting it off like you have, Will. 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. And, I’m putting my money where my mouth is of all this as well of the audience will know if they don’t skip the ads and paid to them, the soapbox which is a video, I’ll give them a plug while they sponsor the show for the air. But essentially simplifies the process of making a video email and not just some crappy live weird chopped off thing, either end where you’re escaping the video camera allows you to do it more personally works really well, really like it. This year so far, the past six, seven months, I don’t think there’s been any sales technology companies sponsored on the show because I don’t think any of them, other than you need some kind of CRM. Clearly you need an email tool or a way to get into Gmail or whatever you’re using.

 

Are Salespeople Overcomplicating the Sales Process by Using Numerous Bits of Technology? · [20:02] 

 

Will Barron:

You don’t need perhaps, but I like using an online calendar because I like to shuffle things around and I like to block off time so that people can’t book things into my diary. And even with the podcast, I don’t use that many tools. I bet you there’s five, six apps that’s installed for both on my computer and the MacBook that we run the show off. And so I’ve just not done any deals with any of these companies that are all do really well. So there must be people using them. But yeah, I don’t think there’s that much value in them either. And as I said, I turn off all these notifications. I can focus and perhaps the four seconds or the advantage I save or that I would’ve had from having a notification, someone just open an email. So perhaps I should call them right this second. Well, I’ve got more focus, Deep Work is a great book by Cal Newport that I really recommend as well. And I took a lot of the kind of principles from that and his new book as well, which I’ve got an advanced copy of. And yeah, I don’t think it’s… I’ll go back to a question I asked you before Scott, are we just over complicating all of this? Because I feel like we are.

 

Scott Ingram:

Yes. It’s not-

 

Will Barron:

I mean that that’s let me ask you a better question, Scott. Sorry to interrupt you mate. Are we over complicating this because we’re looking for a hack, we’re looking for shortcuts rather than perhaps doing what you outlined before, which is you become an industry trusted advisor after 10 years of really working harder in an industry. Should that be the goal? Should that be what we’re focusing on rather than short term hacks, tricks, software tools and all this stuff, which may be counterintuitive to a certain point?

 

“Less is more. Don’t distract yourself, don’t pile on all of this stuff, just get on with it.” – Scott Ingram · [21:42] 

 

Scott Ingram:

100%. Yeah. I think what’s, what’s interesting is if you really dig into my content, you listen to the podcast, you read the books. They’re designed to be inspirational and show you what real people are doing, but you’re not going to find some secret bullet, right. It really comes down to fundamental things that you knew this, you knew that that’s what you had to do. The reality is, it’s hard and people don’t do it and they don’t do it consistently. And, that’s why the mindset piece is so important, right. And I think the mindset has to be, look, this is going to be hard and it’s going to be uncomfortable if I’m it right. I’m going to have to do difficult things over and over and over again. And there is no magic, right. I just have to get in and get on with it. And in a lot of ways, I think to the point earlier less is more. Don’t distract yourself. Don’t pile on all of this stuff, just get on with it.

 

What Can Salespeople Do to Be Less Distracted Everyday · [21:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So to get practical for a second, I give a few examples here, but what can we do over what we’ve discussed so far to be less distracted day to day?

 

“It’s basically been proven that multitasking is a myth. So stop it. Do one thing at a time. And I think that it’s very useful to have a practise where you figure out, okay, what do I need to get done today, what are the most important priorities, and then just do them one at a time.” – Scott Ingram · [22:42] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. So I, I look at what’s distracting you, right? I think that our phones are probably the biggest culprits. So the easiest thing to do on your phone is literally just turn off notifications, turn off everything. I mean, the only thing that should maybe pop up on your phone is a text and calendar reminder so you don’t miss your next appointment. But beyond that, do you need any of the other stuff? The other thing that that often does is it gets rid of the little red dot with a number in it that freaks you out and stresses you out because you’ve got 42 messages on LinkedIn or whatever it is, right? That is a big piece of it. I think the other thing is, again, going back to Deep Work, I mean, it’s basically been proven that multitasking is a myth.

 

Scott Ingram:

So stop it. Do one thing at a time. And I think that it’s very useful to have a practise where you figure out, okay, what do I need to get done today? What are the most important priorities? And then just do them one at a time. So get rid of the gajillion tabs that you’ve got open on Chrome, open the one that you need, right? You got to draught an email, draught that email, right? I’ve been using a tool. I’m a big Inbox Zero guy in my process. The problem within Inbox Zero is there’s always emails coming in and that can create some psychic extracts. There’s a couple of tools out there. The brand name one is called Inbox Pause, and it basically just makes emails stop coming into your inbox.

 

Scott Ingram:

So you’re working on Gmail, you can still be working on the things that you meant to without being interrupted, interrupted, interrupted, interrupted. So it’s just, again, seeing, what’s interrupting you, seeing what’s distracting you and shut it off. Put your system in aeroplane mode. I mean, I hate Wi-Fi on planes because that used to be the place where you just couldn’t find me, you couldn’t distract me. And I got great, great focused work done. And then some idiot decided we should have Wi-Fi on the plane. So turn that stuff off. Pretend like you’re 30,000 feet in the air in 2004.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. I’ll add a few because you’ve covered what we typically talk about on the show, which is good. Because the more times it gets covered on the show, the more it means that I’m just not a crazy person rambling stuff at the audience of most important task of the day, clearly important in the sales school and the planner and the system that we have there’s most important task and also a bold action each day of something that you can do in or out of sales, which is perhaps reach out to that CEO rather than reaching out to lower down because who knows you might be just the right place at the right time blocking in your calendar. So very literally saying I’m going to prospect 9:00 till 11:00, every single morning, whether it’s on phone, LinkedIn, whatever it is or you’re going to do X, Y, Z in those periods and then having it as a meeting.

 

The Benefits of Tidying Up Your Workstation at the End of the Day and Starting the Following Day on a Clean Slate · [25:01]

 

Will Barron:

So no one can distract you. No one can come in and change it. Your sales manager comes over and ask you to do them a favour. And you explain that you’ll do it at 12:00. Or you’ll do it later on during the day and being firm about stuff like that. The one that I get a lot of benefit from, and this is so ridiculous. And I can’t remember the book. I think it’s a relatively famous book. It was written by a monk, whereas essentially just tidy your shit up, have a clean desk, have a clean house or office or whatever it is. That makes such a huge difference to my day when I the night before I’ve gone around and just moved all the crap off my desk, all the paperwork. So when I sit down and I don’t know what it is.

 

Will Barron:

Obviously your sensors are picking up many multitudes of things, more than what you are consciously processing. So maybe it’s having notes and paperwork and post notes on the desk. Your brain’s kind of processing them and trying to bring it back up into your attention. When all that is gone, I get so much more work done. I’m so much less stressed, I’m so much more productive. And again, this is something that your mom or your grandma or your great uncle Barry, who is productive would tell you just clean your stuff up before you kind of wrap up for the evening. Again, it’s simple, right?

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. Will, a lot of that goes to my own process. That is very the source of it, the core of it is a lot of David Allen getting things done type of stuff. And his whole methodology is you’ve got to have a way to capture everything, right? So if things don’t fall through the cracks and then you process it and figure out what you’re going to do with it and then it goes away. And you-

 

Why Salespeople Need to Follow David Allen’s Process of Capturing Everything · [26:22] 

 

Will Barron:

Scott on that, mate just give us a quick overview of the framework. We don’t need to go into too much detail. This is what it is literally how I do. I don’t use folders and files. I use kind of computers and software to manage it, but tell us about that framework and how it works because getting stuff out of my mind onto paper or onto a document, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. For sure. And I’ve bastardised it so much in the 10 years since I’ve discovered, I’ll do the best I can. One hint that I have is the book I tried to read afterwards and it’s just not great. What I found was a live recording of him doing a two day seminar that was epic. So if you can find something like that from David Allen, that’s gold. The book is a little bit harder, but again, it’s this idea of having a process to capture everything. And so you’ve got a process for capturing the emails that are coming in. You’ve got a process. I mean, mail is less of a big deal that it used to be. He had a lot of process for dealing with paper and things like that.

 

Scott Ingram:

But you’ve got sort of this intake and then you are processing it. So you’re making decisions. And the idea is you’re really not touching anything more than once, right? So if you are not an Inbox Zero type, the tendency is you keep opening the same email four or five, eight, 22 times. Open the email once, decide what you’re going to do with it. Do you need to reply right now? He also has, as you’re doing that processing and he suggests that you carve out time to do that actual work. If it’s going to take two minutes or less do it, don’t schedule it and add it to a list, just knock it out, be done with it, right. So that’s kind of the process. And then he’s got a lot of kind of fitting things in and scheduling things out. So you’ve got a pile of stuff that’s going to be, look, I don’t even have to worry about this till next month, the way that it manifests for me, the way that I’ve kind of managed it is I have in my email, I’ve got action folder.

 

Scott Ingram:

I’ve got a waiting for folder and the waiting for piece is really, really key. So if I send something to Will, I asked Will a question and I’m not able to progress through our deal until he gets back to me. I need to keep track of that because when Will, doesn’t get that back to me in two days, I’m going to ping him again, right? So you’ve got to have a process for those kinds of things. And so what I do in my daily process is I review all of these buckets that I have, and this action folder then feeds what I’m going to get done today, right? And there’s also just a lot of calendar processing and things that I do. So people have asked me, Scott, how on earth are you managing a $3 million quota hosting, two podcasts, writing books hosting this summit, doing all of this stuff. It’s because of this system. And because I’ve got this great process and I’m actually going to talk about it and dissect the whole thing at this year’s Sales Success Summit, because again, it’s one of those core fundamental things that takes years figure out your own style and your own method, but we’re not talking about it enough. How that isn’t a core sales skill that we are teaching people is insane to me.

 

Great Salespeople Focus on Having Efficient Sales Processes · [29:38]

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. And it is a big part of the sales school content. I’ve literally bastardised the, get things done methodology and I’d done what you’ve relied then and shared that along with some productivity hacks in well I can’t remember what the workshops called now, but essentially, it’s a productivity workshop with the sales school because I know how important it is for me because it’s cliché to say time, isn’t really money, but efficiency is money, right? You can either close the gap between starting the sales process and winning the business. And Andy Paul talks about this on his show and he’s called my podcast to talk about this a lot as well, reducing the sales cycle length, or you can become more efficient to have more threads going on at once if to use a computer analogy, right? They’re probably the only two real ways to hack the process or to make the process more efficient so you end up when the equations are all balanced to more revenue out the other side. So that should be, what we’re focusing on, shouldn’t it?

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah. Absolutely. I just finished an interview with a woman that she just blew my mind, right. So not only is she a top performer, she’s got four kids. One of them is a baby. Her husband is deployed overseas. So she’s basically doing this as a single mom and oh, by the way, she’s in the Wyoming Air National Guard. And is Mrs. Wyoming getting ready to compete for Mrs. America. You don’t do crud like that if you don’t have a great system to make it all work. Otherwise you’ve got kids running around naked and sick and God knows what else go going on. Well, that probably happens anyway, but you can’t pull all this off if you don’t have a system and a process for getting this done. And process is such a key. That’s probably the third piece, right? We talked about relationships. We talked about mindset, having a process and you can have a process for mindset and you can have a process for relationships, right. So that becomes very, very core and very fundamental as well and then it comes down to focus.

 

Will Barron:

You can tell you’re a podcaster, because that’s a good way to wrap up the show there, Scott, and for context. And I think this is probably important, right? Because it’s one thing for and I’ll give my opinion. You can show your thoughts on this in a second, Scott. But it’s one thing for me to say, well, I’ve got Inbox Zero. I only focus on two things, the sales school, the podcast, I’m not doing social media. Well, I don’t have any kids. All I do is the business. I train Brazil jujitsu three or four times a week. I’m getting a dog in, in a few months’ time. So that might change things up and might force me to have more process and more kind of organisation. But yeah, it’s a whole novel game.

 

Scott’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become More Efficient · [32:30] 

 

Will Barron:

I’m imagining if when you are married, mortgages, kids, dogs running around, kids chasing dogs, dogs chasing kids, naked. It’s a different game, right? So is there anything that… Let me ask you, so I’ll ask you the final question to wrap up the show and I’ll frame it like this of, Scott if you could go back in time to speak to your younger self, is there anything you would go back and tell your younger self when they perhaps had less responsibilities than you do now with all the stuff you’ve got going on that would help them become more efficient?

 

“Act on the idea of surrounding yourself with the best people. So if what I’m trying to solve for is productivity, let me go find people who are ultra-productive and spend time with them and figure out what the heck are they doing because I need to learn from that. And I think we’re able to do that a lot in the books and the podcasts and the things that we listen to.” – Scott Ingram · [32:59] 

 

Scott Ingram:

I’m just going to spin the same answer that I always have. And I mean I’m looking for a time machine to go do this. And it is act on the idea of surrounding yourself with the best people. And you can find the best people, best people is a generic term. I think about it in specifics. So if what I’m trying to solve for is productivity, let me go find people who are ultra-productive and spend time with them and figure out what the heck are you doing? Because I need to learn from that, right. And I think we’re able to do that a lot in the books and the podcasts and the things that we listen to, but that’s different than okay. But what happens in the real world when you’ve got kids, right? And kids definitely force the issue. So there’s think about that. And I am actively working on it myself now. I can’t go back in time, but I can work on it now.

 

Finding the Balance Between Physically Being in Front of the Top 1% of People Versus Reading a Book or Listening to a Podcast · [32:48] 

 

Will Barron:

And how does the balance of that lie? Because you might be able to read the top or 1% of individuals books, but it’s unlikely you’re doing to be not you, but people in general, it’s unlikely that most people, without some kind of huge leverage, you’re going to be able to spend time with that 1% person in reality. You may not be here anymore. If we’re talking about kind of business or sales or things along those lines, how much do we prioritise being physically in front of people, if we’re perhaps having to drop down into the top 10% versus the benefits that we could get from a book or a resource that learning from distance?

 

Scott Ingram:

I think it’s as much as you can, right? So it’s easy to in your passive time listen to a podcast, listen to an audio book. We’ve got to connect more with humans though. And that’s the reason Will why I started the Sales Success Summit, right? It’s because I’m like, this is great that I get to talk with all of these folks and many of them have become my mentors and I get to learn from them, but we need to be together in a physical space to have the conversations that are more one off and more real time. And it ratchets up really fast, right? It’s one thing for me to be talking to another 1% performer, but what if there’s 10 of us in the conversation and we’re deep diving on a particular topic and they’re all able to interject and kind of share their pieces and feed off of each other. It’s insane. So I can’t wait till October to do it again.

 

The Difference Between Learning a Process and Cultivating a Mindset · [35:24] 

 

Will Barron:

Final one on this? How does that split between process and mindset and what I mean by that is can we learn? It seems like we could learn process from a book, but mindset might be far quicker learn from osmosis of just the people that we’re around.

 

Scott Ingram:

A little of both, I actually am personally working on right now, improving my mindset process, right. So what are the things that I can do to make sure that my mindset is rock solid? And I’ve fallen off a little bit. I don’t feel like I’ve been totally on top of my game for frankly, a couple of months. And so I’m really taking a hard look at that right now and figuring out, okay-

 

Will Barron:

And how do you take hard look at that? And we will wrap up the show eventually. Because I said, we’re going to wrap it up like 15 minutes ago, because this is genius. So everyone knows when they’re a little bit off, right. But how do you sought out whether it’s analytically or you look at the work you’ve done or there’s some kind of data source here, how do you know what needs correcting?

 

Scott Ingram:

Well, so for me, it’s twofold. One, I’m looking kind of empirically at what am I doing? What’s working, what’s not working. What can I shore up? And then once I’ve got some ideas, that’s when I’m leveraging my network and my mentors and a lot of these folks that I’ve interviewed and it’s talk therapy, right? I’m just sort of talking it through, here’s what I’m stuck, what are you doing? And sharing my situation, but being inspired by their, getting their advice, getting their guidance. So I’ll have this turned around in short order.

 

Talk Therapy in Sales · [37:07] 

 

Will Barron:

Good. Interesting because talk therapy isn’t, maybe it’s a thing. It seems a lot of a, less of a thing here in the UK, Great Britain. And it seems like maybe there’s just TV shows of America and Canada. It seems like a more reasonable thing to do to talk to someone when you’re not sure on something. As I’m saying this, it might be a very British thing of just sitting there under a rain cloud and getting on with stuff without contemplating and trying to process these things. And it seems like, again, a American Canadian, less European thing to go, hey, there’s something here let’s get off our asses and get sorted. And I’m intrigued as the top therapy and it’s a conversation for another time. But yeah, that’s a really good way of putting it. I’ve never heard anyone put it like that, of throwing ideas out there and having people who have been there and done it just perhaps even allow you to ask questions where I find that most of the time I end up answering the question myself.

 

“This is exactly what I look for in a great sales manager, I don’t need somebody to tell me what to do. I’m going to bring, hey, here’s what I’m thinking. Here’s kind of the overarching piece. Here’s the gaps of the risks that I see, let’s talk this through. And they’re able to ask the right question and sort of prompt the right ideas and inject some ideas where needed. And that’s where the real power of magic is. The problem is it’s not a lot of sales managers that think and work that way either, right? The easy thing to do is tell people what to do.” – Scott Ingram · [38:02] 

 

Scott Ingram:

Will, and that’s exactly what I look for in a great sales manager, right? I don’t need somebody to tell me what to do. I’m going to bring, hey, here’s what I’m thinking. Here’s kind of the overarching piece. Here’s the gaps of the risks that I see, let’s talk this through and they’re able to ask the right question and sort of prompt the right ideas and inject some ideas where needed. And that’s where the real power of magic is. Problem is it’s not a lot of sales managers that think and work that way either, right? The easy thing to do is tell people what to do.

 

Parting Thoughts · [38:34] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure, sure. Well, I guess that’s the difference then between legitimately coaching and just being a dictator in the sales space, I’ve had plenty of sales managers like that. And before we get depressed and go down that route, Scott, tell us more about the book, the podcast and then of course the conference, the event as well.

 

Scott Ingram:

Yeah, I absolutely, you can find everything at top1.fm. That’s the number one. There’s now two podcasts. So Sales Success Stories, which we’ve been talking about predominantly where I’m interviewing top 1% performers. Those interviews are very long. They average 75 minutes or so very deep dive. And I’ve got another show that is the exact opposite called Daily Sales Tips. That’s less than five minutes and it’s every day. The book Sales Success Stories is really this collection of stories written specifically for the book.

 

Scott Ingram:

So this wasn’t, we just bastardised podcast episodes. They were written specifically for the book and recorded specifically for the audio book. We’re getting ready to release volume two. We’re working on that right now. That’ll be released at the next Sales Success Summit. That’ll be here in Austin, October 14th and 15th. Again, top1.fm will get you there. But top1summit.com is the direct link to the event and would love to see folks there if they really want to work on themselves, invest in and surround themselves with the best.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing. I will link to all of that in the show note to this episode over at salesman.org. And with that, Scott, I thank you for your time for going back on the show for showing all your insights and for collecting all these insights as well on your own content and your own platform. You’re doing a service for our sales community mate. And with that on a thank you for joining us again on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Scott Ingram:

Always great to be here. Thanks, Will.

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