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Episode #092 Eat Their Lunch with Anthony Iannarino

In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:

Anthony Iannarino, host of Into the Arena podcast and author of Eat Their Lunch joins Jeff to discuss prospecting and serving clients who aren’t being served by their current salespeople.  You don’t have to throw any dirt, in fact, all you have to do is be there.

Topics we’re going to cover on today’s podcast:

[1:05] How do I find a mindset change?

[4:50] Displacing lazy competitors in the sales space

[6:30] The balance between putting your best foot forward vs throwing dirt

[15:10] Spam or nurture?

[22:57] The CEO of the problem

[31:20] Wisdom from a conversation with Seth Godin

More about our guest Anthony Iannarino:

Anthony is a speaker, author,  and sales leader. He has published three books, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, and Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition. He publishes a daily blog post at www.iannarino.com.

Links from today’s podcast:

Homestreet Bank 

Anthony’s website

Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition

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Read Full Transcript

Murf: 00:00 Home Street bank is the sponsor of our podcast. Go to home street bank dot Com to learn more about them. They’re our lender of choice, whether your banking needs or personal or business. Great people, great rates, tremendous service. That’s home street bank.com.

Jeff Shore: 00:18 So is it worth it to spend a few minutes listening to one of the smartest people in the sales space? That’s what we’ll do today.

Announcer: 00:29 Welcome to the buyer’s mind. We take a closer look deep inside your customer’s decision making mechanisms. Perfect sales presentation, and now please welcome your host, Jeff Shaw.

Jeff Shore: 00:43 Welcome everyone, welcome to The Buyer’s Mind. Jeff Shore here with you and I’m just now we’re recording this because they just finished the recording with the great Anthony Iannarino. I’m one of the smartest people in the sales space today and the author of the brand new book Eat Their Lunch the third in a series of books that he’s written over the last three years. The interview is absolutely fantastic and I want to just encourage you right now as you gear up for this interview, I want you to be thinking through how do I find a mindset change? Now, I know that oftentimes we listen to things because we want a skill set change. Right now, I want you to think in terms of a mindset change. The book, Eat Their Lunch is about winning customers away from your competition. It’s a fantastic book for skillset, but right now just look at it and ask yourself the question, how do I get that mindset change? Without further ado, my interview with Anthony Iannarino.

Well thrilled as always to have one of the really smartest thinkers out there in the world of sales today, but also a good guy and and thrilled to call him a, a really good friend a welcome back to The Buyer’s Mind Anthony Iannarino. Anthony, how are you, sir?

Anthony Iannarino: 01:52 I’m wonderful. How are you?

Jeff Shore: Good. Good. Good. Good. Hey, congratulations. Uh, your, your third book in three years. Eat their lunch, winning customers away from your competition. And it is legitimately a hit. I know everybody wants to sort of grab that best seller moniker because you know, my, my grandmother bought three copies. That makes it a best seller. Right? But this is legit. I mean, you just, you launch right to the top of the charts as soon as it went out. And I think on the back of a and the strength of your previous books, you must be thrilled with the results.

Anthony Iannarino: 02:28 Very, very happy with the results. You know, it’s a team sport. Last night I did an event for the Enterprise Sales Forum in Chicago and somebody asked the question, why do you promote other people’s work? And I said, because I have an abundance mindset and it takes, it takes a lot of people to do that. And you know, fortunately we have a lot of friends in the business and we all help each other and it makes everybody better. But very, very few of us still have a scarcity mindset.

Jeff Shore: 02:57 The book was part three, not part three, but the third in a trio of books that you had signed up to write, uh, uh, several years ago when Penguin said, we don’t want you to write a book, we want you to write three books. Was this going to be the third book or did you even know what the third book was going to be at the time that you did that deal?

Anthony: I knew what it was going to be. I had the first two already. Well, I mean the first one was completely done when they found me. So that one was already done. I pitched them at the same time that we talked about that book for the Lost Art of Closing and then I was saving level for value creation only because in my mind I felt like if I didn’t do The Only Sales Guide, which is a competency model and if I didn’t do the Lost Art of Closing, which is how do you really be consultative than I was, I was afraid people would be so far behind the curve. When you get to thinking about how do you become a trusted advisor and a strategic partner, we say those words, but how do you do it? And I, I was afraid of that. Not Giving people the foundation first. It would be much more difficult to implement

Jeff: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. A three great books. Uh, Anthony, I want to spend the time. We could spend a lot of time just reviewing those pages that I dog eared and line here. This is already one of the most well marked books in my library, but I just want to sort of walk through and talk about some of the things if you don’t mind, that stood out to me and just allow you to opine on those, uh, on those points.

Anthony: And what the listeners don’t know is that sometimes I just call you out of the blue and we talked for an hour and 15 minutes anyway, so we can go over anything else we want to talk about later.

Jeff: 04:34 The. Fair enough. Fair enough. Fair enough. Uh, I’m actually going to start here. I’m not with anything that you wrote, but it as a part of the introduction that was written a generously by our mutual friend, a Jeb Blount here, and uh, he says that a displacing fat and happy and often lazy competitors who were taking advantage of my prospects that, that’s just like part of our job. I mean there’s a, there’s an assumption here of, of out serving, uh, the current provider. I assume that that was a part of your original thought of writing the book is looking at and say, well, you can look and say how do you see as competitors for the purpose of stealing competitors? But Jeb cast at that as saying, listen, if, if they’re not taking care of the customers, then they’re yours and you have every right to take them.

Anthony: 05:25 Which is why I would have Jeb write a foreword for a book like this is because you know what you’re getting with chat. It’s going to be a straight blunt truth. And as, as you may not know this, but he, he sold uniforms and so he was in a highly commoditized market where it was specifically a competitive displacement business. I mean, that’s how the business works. You have to go take something from somebody else and that is his view and I think that view for some of us, if you work in a, a commoditized business where differentiation really comes down to salesmanship in large part. That’s the view that you have. And certainly, uh, I encouraged Jeb to write, you know, as frankly about that essay as he could and he did.

Jeff: 06:12 Now having said that, there could be a connotation of this sort of, you know, hey, dog eat dog world and it’s just, it’s really just a matter of, uh, of bearing down and beating the crap out of your competitors. Um, but you sort of contrast that to look at it and say, well, actually I’m going to read something that you wrote when somebody is talking about their current provider, who is your competitor. The business that you want a, you phrased it this way. Oh yeah. We have friends. They’re, they’re good people, and they do some really good work in some scenarios, and I’m reading directly from the book here that said we have, we have wildly different ideas about how to serve our clients and the results that we produce. Can I share with you what we do differently and why? Uh, talk to us about how you had to strike a balance in writing the book between, on the one hand, making sure you are putting your best foot forward to get that business. On the other hand, you know, if you go with the old axiom that when you throw dirt, you lose ground.

Anthony: 07:11 Yeah, that’s exactly at right. For some reason I think salespeople they do one of two things. One, they make so much of their competitor, their competitor’s lower pricing model, the competitor’s, you know, failing other clients that we’ve taken from them. They just want to go in and share that. And what happens is as soon as you start saying something, what you’re really saying is that I can’t create greater value. So I have to try to pull them down rather than build me up. So that that’s the first thing. And the second thing is we. We dramatically underestimate how what competitive differentiation is and a lot of it is salesmanship and a lot of it’s the intangibles, but there are also a lot of things that you can do and what I was trying to demonstrate for people is I can say something very nice about the competitor and the truth of the matter is if you really read Robert Cialdini’s influence, the psychology of persuasion, as soon as you say, you know, in this area, they might even be better than us. Okay, now you have complete trust because you are willing to disclose some sort of a weakness and by saying they’re good people, they’re not our enemies. We know him, we know the work that they do. They do some really good work. In some cases they’re a better fit for some clients than we are. But can I share with you what makes us different and how we have wildly different ideas about this particular area? Now I’ve shifted the conversation about, look, I’m not going to say anything bad about them, but there might be a reason for us to do something different and I get to start exploring the differentiation and I think what my experience tells me, and I think there’s more and more research pointing to this. The differentiation needs to happen early in the process and if you start talking about your competitor at the end of the process, you start to look like sour grapes and you’re pointing the bony finger of indignation at people and, uh, it doesn’t work in your favor.

Jeff: 08:55 It always comes across as a little desperate. I have to defend myself because I have to knock them down because I have nothing valuable to be able to share here in the first place. It’s a, it’s a refreshing way to look at it because I think it makes us human in the eyes of our customers when we. Especially when you’re looking to say, hey, there are areas that they may outperform us, but let’s talk about the areas that matter most to you. Otherwise, what are you doing? You’re selling out of fear to a large extent, right?

Anthony: That’s exactly right.

Jeff: You look at it from the perspective of wanting to build that relationship for quite a long period before you’re actually working with the customer. In fact, you talk about specifically about nurture campaigns. You’ve got an entire chapter around creating nurture campaigns over a long period of time. How long is a reasonable, I mean, at some point do you look at you go, it’s just not worth it. There are a lot of competitors that you could target, but I think one of the issues that that a lot of salespeople are going to ask is how much should I put into this before I just say, well, maybe there’s another client out there. Other than that I would rather spend my time with.

Anthony: 10:04 I never understand the question. So I had a conversation last night with somebody at that Enterprise Sales F orum event in Chicago and they said, when do you give up? And I thought I went right to Harvey Mackay from Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and said, uh, what? Somebody tells him they die or you die. You know, and, and you, you just continue on and I always wonder like you’re going to be prospecting anyway, so carve out a little bit of time and continue to nurture those clients over time. Don’t put it in your pipeline in and recognize you don’t have an opportunity yet, but why give up and go away? I waited seven years to win Petsmart in staffing. Uh, Vicky didn’t have to die. She just had to get a new job and as soon as Vicky was gone, I had a contract to do $2,000,000 a year with them within two weeks. And had I given up, I would have never known Vicki left. So I think that there, there’s lots of different types of prospecting that we do, but nurturing accounts that you want over the long haul, it may take you years to display somebody who’s had a 20 year relationship with a, somebody who’s a partner for them. But what else are you going to do? Ignore the, the best, uh, accounts in your territory because they’re cold. That’s not a choice for us either. So I think that the idea of saying I’m going to carve out, I liked the number 60 because it makes the math easy. It’s three three calls a day, five days a week is 15 times four weeks of 60 and you never have to lose track of them and you don’t have to devote a whole bunch of time to it. But why ever go away?

Jeff: 11:36 Yeah. I’m going to go back to that 60 here in just a moment, because that’s something that I had noted in the book to ask you about, but is part of the issue that if you were thinking about a long, like you’ve mentioned seven years to pursue this one client, do you think part of the issue is that salespeople are looking at it and saying, well, what am I going to do over seven years? Because they think I’m going to stay with him for seven years. Meaning every three months I’m going to sound and send an email that essentially says I’m still here.

Anthony: That’s not going to do it. That the quarter to quarter doesn’t work. It’s not a high enough cadence or frequency for anybody to respond to you, but you’re going to find insights. You’re going to look and you’re going to read news on the Internet. You’re going to look at Forrester, Gardener, a journals in your space, and you’re going to continue to try to give them insight and ideas and share with them things of value because what you’re trying to do, um, is something that I call capturing mindshare. And I imagine every client has this lens that they’re looking through. That’s how they see the world. They see it through this lens that they’ve created and I’m trying to push that lens to the side and then give them a new lens to look at it so they see something new and learn something about themselves and their place in the world and why they may want to change. So whoever controls that lens probably controls the decision that they make in your area. So why would you not try to shape that lens so that the people that they’re, they’re looking to for direction is the person you know, that can actually help them. In this case, it’s you, but, uh, I think, Jeff, to make this an easy way for people to think about this. So you need two things to be a trusted advisor. You need trust and you need advice and those are the only two things. So it’s simple two part recipe. When you start saying, look, you should read the highlighted part of this article because it pertains to what we see going on in the world right now. And they look, they’ve already started taking your advice and when you say we think these are some of the questions that people should be asking right now. And they sit down in a meeting and pull out the insight that you gave them and said, you know what, I’m not sure that we’re on top of this. Can you tell me where we are? They’re taking your advice. So you’re trying to make this a very natural progression of, I’m sharing insights. I’m creating value for this person. When there is an opportunity, the person who does that is going to be first in line for that opportunity. And I believe it. It’s also my experience in a lot of other people’s experience.

Jeff: 13:58 How specific does this need to be, Anthony? Because I think a lot of sales professionals could look at it and say, okay, I’m going to make sure that once a quarter I’m finding some really interesting information. I’m going to blast it out to all of these people, which sounds to me like a newsletter, which I quickly hit unsubscribe to.

Anthony: Yeah, I think that the more personal it is, and I’ve told people, you know, if you want. So, marketing thinks that they nurture relationships, but they don’t, they spam people. Uh, it’s one to many, many, many, many. But when it’s one to one and it says, Jeff and I wrote your name in my handwriting, which would be hard for you to make out, but I would write it anyway, and I’ve highlighted the parts for you. I scanned it and I said, only read this part. It’s the money line here that you really need to be concerned about. Now that’s nurturing because I did it for you specifically. It’s got your name on it. I sent it to you. It’s very different than marketing. It has to have your name on it, it has to have your touch, you have to be the one doing it. Nobody says, you know what? I need to talk to somebody in your marketing department. I need some help right now. And they’ve done such a good job nurturing my relationships that I really want to talk to those marketing folks.

Jeff: 15:08 You know, it’s interesting. I, I’m sure like you, Anthony, I’m getting emails over and over again and I’m pretty sure maybe you can enlighten me, you know more about marketing than I do, but, but uh, I’m pretty sure these are bots that are writing these emails and they say, Hey, I, you know, I read your blog post about this or I watched this video about that and just picked up a title somewhere off of the web and boy, do we have a product for you? And it’s going to be absolutely amazing and it sounds personal, but it’s really not personal. And then you ignore it. And then three days later, hey, I just want to check and see if you saw my email from three days ago, you know, these emails, right? Anthony? Sure. You’re deluged by them. And I recently had a got an email from a guy and there was a screenshots of him on video holding up a sign saying, Jeff, are you there? And uh, and then he said, I just want to let you know that I’m a real person that wanted to chat with you about this. Now, as this so turns out? I’m not interested. It’s not the deal, but the very fact that he took the time to write Jeff, are you there? And send me that screenshot. What did it do? It got mindshare now, it wasn’t for me, but it got mindshare. And that sense of personalization, I, I sense more and more is absolutely critical. If you don’t have that personalization piece to what it is that you’re talking about right here, you might as well quit before you get started.

Anthony: 16:29 Two quick stories. I get a lot of emails that say, Ian, I’m one of your biggest fans. And, uh, and then, um, I know, well you’re probably not. Okay. So that that’s done. And then I have somebody send me one and it’s the automated emails and um, basically it was a pitch and I didn’t click on anything, so I got the next pitch with the first pitch on, underneath it, in the, in the email, and then I got the third one and the fourth one. And finally I sent a note saying, uh, your approach isn’t working very well. You should pick up Jeb Blunt’s, Fanatical Prospecting, maybe change your approach. And I got an email back from the salesperson who said, uh, I didn’t even send any of these to you. They just come directly from our chief marketing officer. Yeah. And I’m like, well, okay. So that is not really for me. That’s for everybody in the database. There’s a difference between nurturing and just spamming people.

Jeff: 17:20 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Uh, let’s go back to the idea of 60. You look at it and say you want a good round number of dream clients for that? The number is 60. Tell me why?

Anthony: 17:33 Just simple math. If you want to design a campaign and you want to sequence where you’re going to give somebody a story, this is why we think you should change. Here’s some other people’s opinions about what’s going on in the world. Here’s the facts and figures that you can look at to determine for here’s the views and values that we have around these particular ideas, and the number 60 divided by four weeks has 15 divided by five days is three a day, so even if you were just going to do something monthly, it just makes it so easy for you to say, I’m going to have this content that I create. I’m going to have these value creating ideas that I share with people and it just makes it easy to execute. And I think the reason people don’t do well prospecting is they don’t really have a sequence or cadence at their following. They just call Jeff Shore in January. Then they try them again in April and then they try them again in September. You know it. It just isn’t a great strategy and I wrote about this on the blog last week or the week before. You just train people that you’re going to go away for 90 days when they ignore you. Um, not a great strategy.

Jeff: 18:38 Right, right, right, right. Uh, yeah. I, I looked at that number 60 in my first impression was, that’s, that’s a lot. That’s a lot. I understand the math. I mean, it, it, it does. Uh, it does make sense. Do you think though that first, because you, you advised in the book that it really shouldn’t be less than 60 in some cases though, you might have that riper target where you’re looking and you’re saying, yeah, like, like we have a company that we are now working with that we identified about three years ago and said we want to work with that company. This company is that there are similar values and we sat down and we brainstormed and we said, how can we find ways to be able to do this? It seems to like for me to be tracing or tracking down 60 clients. Not that I asked the room for it in my schedule anyway right now, but to be tracking 60 clients is like, it just feels like a lot.

Anthony: 19:29 It might be a lot and I mean if you, if you’re a defense contractor you have four. I mean you’ve got Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. I mean that might be it for you depending on your, your business. The reason I like the number 60 is because I’ve seen people say three and they don’t win those three over the course of a year or they say six and they don’t win those six. I think you need a big enough group to say of the 60, do I have a shot at creating six real opportunities and winning two, you know, multimillion dollar accounts that I can displace. Remember this is a book about displacement, so I know that these are cold. I know that they have somebody sitting in my seat right now. I know it’s going to take me time and I don’t expect to win all 60 of them in a year, but I do expect to win some of them in a year that I can then backfill and, and continue on pursuing the ones that were in process with. But other than that, I mean you will have some people say yes in part because of your timing, which helps and in part because you keep sending them enough insights about what they should be doing different that somebody finally raises their hand and says, I’d like to talk to you about this. We’re having exactly that experience you’re describing

Jeff: 20:41 In the book. You talk about creating opportunities and uh, you, you have a masterful job of contrasting the, the current state and the future state. And the specific quote that, that caught me was that your, what your dream client needs you to answer for them is what do I get on the other side of this change? What will the future look like? And it seems to me that this is one of those critical issues that a lot of salespeople miss because they spend their time pounding their chest without really asking the question, what will the future look like and how will I paint the picture of the future from their perspective and not mine?

Anthony: 21:18 What’s interesting to me about that, as I’ve watched salespeople come in with a deck that talks all about them for about eight to 12 slides and we’ll go all the way back in history maybe to the civil war, you know, to start with the founding of the company and a no value creation for the client. And then they’ll get into solutions and the solution is great. And so are the other solutions that they’ve seen. But that’s really not what they’re buying. They’re buying the future outcome. They’re trying to get a future outcome. So when you set up is there’s a current state and you described that what you’ve said is, I listened to you. I understand, but I have intimacy. I understand exactly where you are and understand what your struggles are, understand what you want. Here’s what the future’s gonna look like and then here’s how we get there, and I had a rep who did this on a million dollar annual deal and he sent me a note saying that the client, while he was presenting said, that’s amazing. You’ve perfectly captured exactly where we are perfectly, where we want to go perfectly, how we’re going to get there, how do we get started? And it’s that story that they’re trying to buy. Okay, so here’s where we are, here’s where we need to go. How do we get there, and the solution is really how do we get there, but they’re buying the future state, not the solution, and I don’t understand why we don’t spend more time teaching salespeople to focus on, okay, what do they want? How do we get them there and then giving them a picture. This is what’s now better now that we’ve done this work and it ends up being a really powerful frame when people use it. This is a whole book of frames as you figured out.

Jeff: 22:50 Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. One last thing from the book is that I still want people to, to, to buy and read and act on the book. Uh, you have a really, really interesting moniker that you throw out here called the CEO of the problems. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Anthony: 23:07 For many, many years we were told get to the C suite, the C level executive, go to the CEO directly and let them force you down into the organization, but over the past couple of decades, so you go to the CEO and they have people that they’ve hired to make decisions in particular areas where they’re an expert because the CEO is not the subject matter expert around marketing or operations or financial operations. They have people that they trust. So the CEO of the problem is the highest level person who actually cares about what you do. It’s the person that’s trying to get a better result in that particular area. And as it turns, it’s always great to have executive support and I’d rather have it than not have it every time. But if you miss that person who’s the CEO of the problem, you probably miss getting access to the executive leadership team anyway. Number one, and number two, you’re trying to talk to somebody about something that they’ve hired somebody else to do for them and I don’t think it makes sense anymore to tell salespeople. Just always start at the top. Maybe start at the top with the person who is most concerned about that outcome because that’s the person who’s responsible for doing something about it and it could be the title could be know director of operations. It could be chief marketing officer and not the CEO, and I would challenge salespeople to look at that and say, of all the people that we work with, what are their titles generally look like? And who generally is the one who leads any kind of a change effort in the area where we help people and then start there with that person because that’s the person who you’re ideas are going to probably resonate with more than a CEO who’s already hired a bunch of people to make decisions because they can’t make all the decisions themselves. Nor do they want to, they want their people to do the things that they need to do and give them the support they need when they decide they need to do something different. And it’s right.

Jeff: 24:56 Ya know, it’s, it’s a, it’s an interesting take and I look at, uh, at my business recognizing that I oftentimes do not talk to the CEO, but I still know that the CEO has to approve something that generally when we’re working with an organization, it’s going to be outside of it’s gonna be extra budget, right? Extra budgetary. So we’re going to need CEO approval, but that puts us as sales people in an interesting position in that now the person we are talking to, it’s the director of sales and marketing. It’s the chief marketing, whatever it is. Now what our role is not so much salesperson as it is sales trainer, is we’ve got to train that person and say and give them the talking points to, if you can’t get to the CEO to say, alright, let’s craft this together. So we have the best chance of, of getting this sold. And this came up recently. I was talking to a group of sales managers in the home building industry and it’s a, it’s a B2C example, but it still works, but if the case study we were talking about was a guy who got the dream job of his lifetime that required a relocation. He was in his new city. He was scouting around, uh, but he got this job offer that he didn’t have to take. It was optional, but the problem is his wife back in her city didn’t really want to move. So now what’s the deal here? He’s not, he’s not the buyer. He’s the salesperson and the salesperson is now the sales trainer. How do we craft something together that might be attractive to her? And I think that that still makes sense even on a, on a enterprise level where we’re asking the question, how do we partner together in order to get this approved?

Anthony: 26:32 That’s exactly right. I mean, I, I can tell you my last B2C sort of a buying situation. If something significant. We were putting a new patio on the back of my house and I had an old school sales guy come in, he had a big binder and he showed me a bunch of pictures of his company and he said, uh, oh, is this the kind of company you would want to do business with? And I said, so far I haven’t been able to form an opinion. And then he said, well, am I the kind of person that you would want to buy? And I said, so far, no. And, and, and then he said, would, if money was no object, would you buy today? And I said, money is no object. And uh, my wife said you are cruel. And I said, yeah, but he’s, he’s a bad sales guy and you know, he, he needs to update his approach. And I’m, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna get dragged through a bunch of tie downs from 1954. That doesn’t make sense for me. The next, the next salesperson came in, sat down at the table, uh, turned the chair away from me and towards my wife and said, tell me what you’re thinking. And she started to describe it and he said, why don’t we go out back and you can show me, you know, what you want and how you see those. And I thought, well, they’re just won a bunch of money out of my pocket. I mean, he, he recognized who the CEO of the problem was very, very quickly and he recognized that I was just, uh, the person who’s going to be the best salesperson, him or my wife. Okay. So this is an easy decision, but it’s the same internally. There’s people who have influence and the chief marketing officer has far greater influence over the CEO than we do. I would love to be at the meeting with the CEO if I can get there, but you’re right, we have to figure out who the stakeholders are and we have to try to find out what does that path look like? Do we need to get that meeting or is this person going to be able to go in and get it because they’ve already been charged with that? Those are all decisions that a salesperson has to make.

Jeff: And one key takeaway for anybody who’s listening that question, am I the type of sales person you want to do business with? A. As soon as you ask that question, the answer is automatically No. Fair warning right now. But if somebody says, well, why wouldn’t you? Because you asked that question. That’s why. It’s such a great read, a really, really a lot of fun and very interesting. And I’ll tell you, Anthony, from my business, I looked at it and said hmmm, got some work to do there. Uh, I could see plenty of applications. So for what it is that I’m, I’m doing. Not that that surprises me, but it’s such a great read. Let’s spend a few minutes here just chatting about Anthony Iannarino and, and, uh, uh, it’s kind of interesting. You know, we’ve known each other now for several years and it’s true every now and then, uh, the one of us will call the other just, hey, let’s just rap for awhile. And, uh, it’s always a, I always walk away from that conversation inspired with a lot to think about. You’re an interesting cat because you live in the sales world, but you look at people who are very bold in the sales world, the, you know, the, the, uh, the outspoken, flamboyant, you know, the Cardone’s and the Gitomer’s, the Vaynerchuk’s, and you’re not that guy at all. You’re this, you’re this a cerebral. Um, more of an intellectual. It’s, it, it’s, it, it, it’s almost surprise you that you’ve been able to find the level of success you’ve been able to fight. Or as you look at, you say, you know what? Authenticity comes in a lot of different forms. Be True to yourself and you’ll figure it out.

Anthony: 29:51 I, I go with “B” there. I mean, you, you have to be, you, you know, I’m, I’m, uh, thankfully not Cardone. You know, and I think what he says, 90 percent of it, I probably am in agreement with 10 percent. I’m wildly in disagreement, but especially using force and a sales situation only because I believe that force is the strategy of somebody who is in a weak position, you know, in somebody with better skills, wouldn’t need to use force. And uh, and I’m, I’m definitely more subtle and I’m definitely more soft spoken than both of those guys. But I’ve written a blog post for, you know, nine years, every single day. I just continued to try to do what I think I need to do to help people. And so far that’s worked out fine for me. So I, I, I look at it and think that there’s different paths for people to get there and you know, I’ve spent time with Gary Vaynerchuk in his office and uh, that’s that shtick that he’s doing, you know, on video and there’s not a, the f bomb coming out of his mouth when he’s talking to you as a human being. And he was delightful and gracious and a very, very dissimilar to what you see on, on video. Uh, that’s him being a showman, but ultimately he’s, he’s a very, very different person and I think that’s true for a lot of people, but I think that the best thing that you can do in all situations is really just be you. And that’s generally going to be enough that don’t try to be somebody or something that you’re not.

Jeff: 31:20 You have had the opportunity recently to strike up a friendship with somebody that you and I’ve both spoken of a lot of the great Seth Godin and, uh, that you had the opportunity to spend a little time with him in his office for a while to tell us about that. It must’ve been a, a riveting conversation.

Anthony: 31:40 It was amazing. And whenever you get a chance to interact with Seth at any level, whether it’s reading this blog, reading a book, or sitting in a room with them, you leave less dumb, for sure. He’s one of the smartest people you’ll ever meet. He’s completely focused. Uh, I mean when I was with them he was completely focused and just very, very interested in serving other people and I think the reason that he is such a force in, in the world right now, and I’ve watched his book launch on Tuesday and go to 27 out of the 9 million books on Amazon.com and I want to check the other 26 in front of him to see if there was a business book there. There isn’t one, there isn’t another business book that was anywhere near 27 and it’s because he is a gracious a figure who does as much as he can to help as many other people. So it was a delightful and just one of the best experiences I’ve had. I’m between you and me and your listeners. The very first email I got on the book launch day was from Seth Godin. Um, wishing me well and I think his email said, go, go, go. That was the first email.

Jeff: Love it.

Anthony: He’s a great guy.

Jeff: 32:55 Yeah. Yeah. But I want to talk about your achievement drive here. There’s no question in my mind that, that, that, that category called achievement drive is critical to success for anybody. When I talk to managers about salespeople, I encourage them to higher achievement drive above, um, above anything else. You have an extraordinarly high achievement drive. Is that something in your opinion that you have it or you don’t? Can it be groomed? Can it be goosed? Talk a little bit about achievement drive.

Anthony: 33:27 I think some of us are born with it and I’ve got three children and one of them has an it, at a very, very high level. I mean, just a very, very high level. And uh, it was genetic for her. Just, it’s just her DNA. I think other people can get it and I will tell you the, probably the primary thing that happens to people is they look around and they take in other people’s expectations rather than deciding that they’re capable of something. And I hear people, uh, Jeff, that I think good people, bad advice. They say things like, don’t compare yourself to other people. Just compare yourself to you yesterday. Well, why? I mean, why, why wouldn’t you look and say, well, if that person can do that, what am I really capable of? And if you were unwilling to look at people that are ahead of you on the path and say, how did they get there? What did they do and you don’t believe it’s available to you, then I think people are going to have a low achievement drive because not much was expected of them and they don’t know what to expect of themselves. So I think as a leader, your job is to see the maximum potential in each person and help that person get that. So I’m a, I’m, I certainly have a high achievement drive. There’s no doubt about that. But I also, I think one of the things that I try to do in every interaction I have with people is to treat, increase that achievement drive for other people because they’re capable. You know, this. I’m not saying anything to you that you’re shocked by a, they’re capable of far more than the results that they’re generating now. And if they want something bad enough, um, they have it within them to have what they really want, if, if they will sit down and take the time to decide what it is that they really want and if they look and say, is there evidence that other people have come from my circumstances or worst and still had that thing in? The answer is if you look, the evidence is abundant.

Jeff: 35:15 You mentioned earlier, just to continue that train of thought here a little bit, you mentioned earlier the idea of, you know, uh, what, uh, what does your worldview is? Is that a scarcity mindset or is that an abundance mindset? But when we think about that, when we think about scarcity versus abundance, we generally think externally, right? We tend to look at it and ask the question, is there enough business to go around? Is there enough to be had? Am I trying to just take somebody else’s piece of the pie? Or am I looking to grow the pie? Right? That’s all external. But what you’re talking about as much more of how do you see your internal scarcity versus abundance mindset? Do, do you believe that there is more for you to accomplish and I’m just concerned about the people that I meet that are, that have built these barriers around them to say, this is all I can achieve. There’s a, there’s a very self limiting paradigm as to what can be done and I think you’ve looked at it and said, Why, why does that paradigm have to be there? How do I shift my own paradigm?

Anthony: 36:16 You have to change the story. I mean it’s the story that they tell themselves in the story was, well, I didn’t go to college. Well I know multimillionaires that didn’t go to college. Does that have $100, million dollar businesses that are dyslexic and barely made it through high school so it can’t be that and it’s the circumstances of my birth or I was born poor. Well, so we’re a lot of other people and they still found a way because they wanted it bad enough or my parents were divorced or you know, there’s the story that they tell themselves and the more that they tell that story, the more that story becomes true for them. Even though you can change the story in whenever you want to, and I would tell you my story as a. nobody is more grateful for the adversity they have in their life than I am. I mean, I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for the good things too, but I’m really grateful for the adversity because that’s what sharpens you, you know, in and actually molds you, to become what you’re capable of becoming. It’s all done through adversity and I think people have a choice as to how they frame up and tell that story. It’s, I can’t because of this, but the same thing that you saying, I can’t about somebody else’s. That’s what caused me to do this thing that I’m doing. It’s a choice as to how you tell the story.

Jeff: 37:30 You know, I don’t know that you and I ever talked to about this, but I, I have a feeling you and I are going to be on the same page. One of the, the, the books that just drives me crazy. Most successful books that I hate passionately is – The Secret and the whole law of abundance. And, all that law of attraction stuff and I look at it, I say, I understand the point that you should think about things that will add to or focus you on what could make you effective and successful. The idea that the cosmos then reorder in order to give you what you were thinking about as where you lose me. But I do think that when you think about those things a lot, it doesn’t changed the cosmos. It changes you in a very powerful way. And I think that that’s to a large part, the Anthony Iannarino Story.

Anthony: 38:21 I, uh, I never tried to put out a signal to the universe to open a parking place for me. And I think it’s, it’s setting the, uh, the goal and the expectation very low as you know, if I can just think hard enough about this, the universe is going to open up a parking spot. I’ll just park at the end of the parking lot and walk in. I, I think that there’s something to the secret and you’re right. So if you put something out into the world that tends to come back to you, but you have to put it out into the world, it’s not just thinking it’s going in and acting on it, and the part that where I’m in wild agreement with you here on the secret is the secret is want something really bad, do all the things that you have to do to have that and so it’s an action oriented. The secret is not just wish it to come true, the secret is wish it to come true and then go work your butt off night and day until you have it. That’s the real secret and I think anybody who has any level of success is going to share that same secret with you.

Jeff: 39:20 What’s next for you that you’ve. You’ve finished this beautiful trilogy of books here. What’s next for you?

Anthony: 39:28 A book for sales managers and sales leaders and a and a book on how to remove negativity from your life. So I’m working on two at the same time, right?

Jeff: 39:38 I love it. And the book on removing negativity, will that go beyond the sales world? Is that for anybody?

Speaker 5: 39:43 Yeah, that’s, that’s a. That is a crossover book. We hope.

Jeff: 39:50 Love it, love it. Well there you have it. Another just fantastic. Fantastic conversation. Well, I just have to say thank you first of all, on a personal level, and I’ve said this before, thank you for how you’ve spoken into my life and to help guide my career over time. Uh, but thanks too for your generosity in sharing. You don’t hold back. You’re not one of these people that says, well, I’ve got something choice and really valuable, but in what I could sell it over here in my online programs. Nothing. I listened. I think you should roll out your online program. Don’t get me wrong, but you just, you’re, you’re just one of the most giving people that I’ve, I’ve ever met and I have my audience. I thank you so much.

Anthony: 40:26 Well, this is the mutual love club then because I’ve gained so much from just our conversations, I’m telling you at some point we should just record those conversations because people would love to eavesdrop on you and I talking about a business. Iron sharpens iron. And so I’ve learned so much from you and, uh, I always feel like I’m getting the better end of the deal when we have a conversation.

Speaker 2: 40:47 You’re too kind. Anthony Iannarino. Thanks for being on The Buyer’s Mind. Again. Appreciate it my friend.

Speaker 5: 40:52 Thanks for having me.

Jeff: 40:54 Well, there you have it. As I mentioned to you, I’m just a fantastic interview from a great guy, uh, one of the smartest people and maybe the smartest people in the sales space, but just in business in general and I really quality human being. I want to encourage you to spend some time on this. There’s no question about it. The books themselves are well worth reading and devouring and reading through, but I also want to recommend to you that you should be following Anthony. And the way to do that is to go to with us sales blog.com. The sales blog dot com. You’re going to see his videos. You’re to be able to read this blog. You’re going to figure out how to follow him. You’re to learn so much of what a great thrill to once again, have the opportunity to work with Anthony Iannarino. Now take what you apply. Go out there and change someone’s world.


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore
Jeff Shore is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and consultant whose innovative and real-world selling strategies help you to change your mindset and change your world. His latest book, "The Keys to Unstoppable Sales Success: 8 Mindsets of Elite High-Achievement Salespeople" is now available. Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Jeff on Facebook and LinkedIn.