How To Be Effective REGARDLESS Of your Current Circumstances

Aaron Schmookler is a Culture Engineer and an ally to People-First leaders, helping their teams to commit their full talents to the job at hand and to bring out the best in those around them.

On today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast, Aaron Schmookler joins us as we get into the topic of how to be more effective in sales regardless of what your current circumstances are.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Aaron Schmookler
Culture Engineer

Resources:

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Coming up on today's episode of the Salesman Podcast.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Well, if we back up away from the world of sales for a moment, and just think about cause and effect, we are effective. Congratulations, Will, you're effective. If you stay home in your bed, the effect will be that not much happened.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

There is a universal human bias called the negativity bias. We all have it. We are all pessimists at one level.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. My name is Will Barron. I'm the host of the Salesman Podcast, the world's most downloaded B2B sales show. On today's episode, we have the legend. He's been on the show a bunch of times now, Aaron Schmookler. He is the co-founder of The Yes Works.

 

Will Barron:

On today's episode, we're getting into the topic of how to be not just more effective in sales, but how to be effective in sales right now during a global pandemic, regardless of what your current circumstances are. There's a tonne of value in this episode, so let's jump right into it.

 

What it Means To Be Effective in B2B Sales · [01:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Today, we're going to answer some difficult questions and hopefully provide a tonne of practical, valuable value for the audience. I want to get into this topic of what it is to be effective, and how to be effective when seemingly the world may be falling down around us.

 

Will Barron:

We can get into the metaphor and whether that's the reality or not in a second, but to get started, Aaron, what does it mean to be effective? Do you have a definition of this? In the context of B2B salespeople specifically, what does it mean to be effective?

 

“We are effective to a certain extent. If you stay home in your bed, the effect will be that not much happens. There is cause and effect going on, whether you like it or not. The question is what is the effect that you want to see happen, and then the other question is what are you going to do about it.” – Aaron Schmookler · [01:45] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Well, if we back up away from the world of sales for a moment, and just think about cause and effect, we are effective. Congratulations, Will, you're effective. If you stay home in your bed, the effect will be that not much happens.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

There is cause and effect going on, whether you like it or not. The question is what is the effect that you want to see happen, and then the other question is what are you going to do about it.

 

“Being effective is not necessarily getting the results that you're resigned to, but getting the results that you want. And that takes being sure that you can get some results that you want.” – Aaron Schmookler · [02:19]

 

Aaron Schmookler:

For our purposes, being effective is getting the results that you want, not necessarily getting the results that you're resigned to, but getting the results that you want. When we talk about being effective, it takes being sure that you can get some results that you want.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Notice that I'm saying some results that you want, not necessarily exactly the results that you want. You can be moving in the direction that you want. If you're resigned to not getting the results that you want, then congratulations, you'll get that too.

 

Will Barron:

I love this. [inaudible 00:02:57]

 

Aaron Schmookler:

In the context of sales, of course, there's the number of deals that you make, or there's the number of dollars or pounds or euros that you earn. Then there are any number of other metrics that you could be looking at in terms of what is effective.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

At a time like this, some companies, maybe like yours, like some others that have to do with having a platform for remote teams, Zoom, for example, that is doing all the video conferencing, the effect that they might want might be to cool things off and keep up. In the case of a more service oriented business or corporate real estate, the effect might be to figure out what victory looks like right now.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Speaking of medical devices, we had a client this year, one of the major medical device companies, one of the very top ones, that changed their metrics for the year from, ‘We want to do X in revenue,” to, “We want to grow our market share.” I don't know what their market share was at the beginning of the year. If they had 20%, then having 22% at the end of the year was getting the effect that they wanted.

 

Here’s What To Do If You Want To Be More Effective · [04:32] 

 

Will Barron:

I want to go back to something you said right at the top of this, Aaron, because I used to be, less so now, admittedly, I used to be an incredibly bad procrastinator. If you'd have said this sentence to me a few … well, maybe not a few years ago, maybe five, 10 years ago, especially when I was a student, this would've really changed my paradigm as to my effectiveness and the results I'm getting.

 

Will Barron:

You said … I'm going to paraphrase. You can add to this if you like. You've got cause and effect. We've all heard that. Whether we've let that sunk in is a different question. But you got your cause and effect. If you stay in bed, you know what the effect is going to be. You're going to be incredibly effective. So you got to choose what you want to see, and then what you're going to do to achieve it.

 

Will Barron:

I know it sounds so simple, but for a B2B salesperson who's listening to this, who perhaps the customer base has just fell apart, perhaps they're having months and months of panic and the whole company is struggling, they're just trying to stay afloat. Well, if you do nothing, you're going to get the effect of that, which is zilcho.

 

Will Barron:

You've already touched on it here, and we'll probably dive to this more throughout the episode itself, of we can become more effective by perhaps choosing better outcomes to aim for, depending on the environment that we're in. But literally, that just cause and effect and what you want to see is, on its own right, incredibly powerful, for me anyway.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Indeed. So let's be a little less flippant. Because if people are listening to your podcast, they're not the people who are hanging out in bed.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I can tell you one of the traps that I often fall into, as somebody who needs to make sales in order to make a living, is, “Well, I can do this.” Like, “I can send this email that hasn't been working 500 times in the next month.” I can send 500 of this email that isn't working, and I can feel very productive and very busy, because I'm doing something. I'm doing something about it.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

We know what the effect is going to be if we stay in bed. That's just ridiculously obvious. It's also true that we know what the effect is going to be if we keep doing what we've been doing, if nothing else in the world changes, which right now, is not the circumstances we're in. Everything has changed.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

If you're trying something and you're getting results from that trying something, even if the results are your phone doesn't ring, that's a result. “My phone does not ring. I am not getting responses.” That is a result. “I'm getting people emailing me back saying, ‘Stop emailing me.'” That's a result. If you keep doing …

 

“Insanity is doing the same thing, but expecting different results. That's the trap that we're much more likely to fall into as far as cause and effect go. So if the cause is getting this effect, the cause is very likely to keep getting that same effect.” – Aaron Schmookler · [07:31] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I'm sure we've all heard the definition of insanity before, that insanity is doing the same thing, but expecting different results. That's the trap that we're much more likely to fall into as far as cause and effect goes, is if the cause is getting this effect, the cause is very likely to keep getting that same effect.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

“Being effective is going for what you want, not just getting any result.” – Aaron Schmookler · [07:47]

 

Aaron Schmookler:

So again, effective is going for what you want, not just getting any result.

 

Will Barron:

I think you're being overly flippant with this idea of being in bed. Because this is me as a student, party until stupid hours, and getting up late, and missing all my lectures.

 

Will Barron:

There's probably not that many students listening to this, but I think this will emphasise the point of I would stay in bed and go, “Sod it. It doesn't matter,” but that's because I was not able or wasn't willing to look at the consequences for the action. So that is really powerful for me.

 

Effectiveness Starts When You Identify The Effect You Want to Achieve · [08:20] 

 

Will Barron:

This is what I do organically now. It might have been you in a previous show. Someone has wired this into my brain of I'll go, “Can't be bothered to send that email. I'll do it tomorrow.” Then immediately, I take a step back. It's almost like that is … Maybe that's the instinctual part of my brain, and the higher, thinking part of my brain goes, “Hey, but if you send it today, X, Y, Z.”

 

Will Barron:

It's almost like there's A part of my brain and B part of my brain. They're both always going at each other. One's trying to be lazy. The one's trying to be effective. One's trying to conserve energy. Perhaps it's more of a primal thing. The other one is saying, “Do you know what that car/house …” yada, yada …”

 

Will Barron:

We're hopefully on the waiting list for a golden retriever at the moment. So what I'm doing now is trying to cram in as much work as possible so I can have a bunch of time off with this dog when it's a puppy later on.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Awesome.

 

Will Barron:

That's the higher part of my brain. It's going, “Hey, get your finger out. Do some work. Because you get to hang out with this dog.”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Let's look at that for a moment. You said, “I'm doing this right now so that I can have time with the puppy later.” You have identified what is the effect that I want. Even implicit in that is some engineering that you haven't named, which is that you need to have a certain amount of stuff done, and/or you need to have a certain amount of revenue in place, in order to feel as though you can have that time and devote that time to the puppy. So you're doing a bunch of engineering in advance to end up with the result that you want.

 

Will Barron:

I guess the question then is, because again, I appreciate that I'm in a great place, that I'm concerned about taking two weeks off, three weeks off to hang out with a dog and not let it piss all over me house. That's clearly a nice place to be.

 

What To Do When Your Environment Is Preventing You From Being Effective · [10:09] 

 

Will Barron:

Let's reframe the conversation slightly, Aaron, then of, if we put all that in the context of what do we do when we know what we want to do, we know the steps, but it's seemingly our environment is holding us back. Our customers suddenly are not picking up the phone. Perhaps our customers' businesses have just been completely wiped out. Does what we've just described change in those circumstances, or is it just a case of experimentation?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I think this is going to answer your question. It's not going to be a straight line. So bear with me.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I think about a story … If we go back in time in my life many years now, 15 years maybe …

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I'm a theatre director by training. That's what my passion has been, and that's where I've dedicated an awful lot of time, training … Talk about a thing that's hard to get a job doing. There are just so many shows going on, and only a tiny fraction of them pay. It's like being a film star or something like that. There are a few more jobs for theatre directors perhaps. But it was a mystery to me how to get work doing what I wanted to do.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I went and saw a friend's show. After the show, it was the closing night, so we went out and we had some drinks. She was an actor. She turned to me at one point in the evening and said, “How great it must be to be a director. You can do whatever work you want to do whenever you want to do it.”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I wanted to hit her. Not really, but I was just like, “Are you kidding me?” How many … Every time there's a show, there's one director. There are, depending on the number of roles that there are in the show, there are that many actors. You can go and audition. I don't even get to audition. I have to figure out how to create relationships and apply. You can just go and … There are auditions everywhere all the time.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

That's what my defensive brain wanted to say. I took a long drink and I said, “All right,” to myself. First, I said, “All right. That is true. I could pick up a script right now, and go find some actors, and put on a show in the park if I wanted to.”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I reached out and I said, “All right. Let's do a show in three months. What show do you want to do?” She said, “I want to do Patrick Shanley's Doubt.” I said, “I love that play. Three months.” And we shook hands.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Out of that, a theatre company was born. I started a theatre company. I went and found a space. I had to push off our deadline by two months, but we made it happen. Five months later, there was a show. We were selling tickets, and I was getting income by selling tickets to this show.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

All that is to say, I was thinking about directing, and my ability to ply my craft, as something that I had to go ask other people for permission to do, until she said what she said. Then I was like, “Okay. What can I do in order to make this dream happen?”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Can I go and force some theatre to hire me? No. Can I go and direct a show tomorrow without doing the legwork to create relationships, and maybe put in my time as an assistant director, and really build this network and trust over time? Can I collapse that, and make all that happen in an instant? No.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Can I go find an empty storefront that's going to turn into a great black box theatre? Yeah, I can. Can I afford to rent that space? No, I can't. Well, what can I do? Well, it's an empty storefront, so I can reach out to the owner and say, “Hey, what can we do to make this work?”

 

“What Can I Do to Make This Work” Is The First Step To Solving All Your Problems · [14:45] 

 

Will Barron:

Is that the question we need to ask then? “What can I do?”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Indeed. I'm not a sales expert really. At the core of it, I'm a communication guy. People hire us to do communication and collaboration training. I think sales is communication and collaboration really at the heart of it. That's how come you and I have such great conversations about sales.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Communication is an interior game first. We all know people. We can look at two sales people on the same team selling the same product to the same market, and we can listen into their calls, or we can read a transcript of their calls, and they may look very similar, at least for starters.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

The longer they go, the more they diverge, because person A is delivering the content differently. There are different inflexions in their voice. There are different amounts of pause. There's a different flavour to it.

 

“If you do think this prospect doesn't get it, it's not because this prospect is stupid, it's because you’re failing.” – Aaron Schmookler · [16:14] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

That flavour comes from the interior communication. They're not thinking, “This prospect is stupid. This prospect doesn't get it.” If they do think this prospect doesn't get it, it's not because this prospect is stupid, it's because I'm failing. What can I do in order to help this prospect get it? What can I do in order to connect to this other human being?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

The other person is thinking, “This is never going to work. Yesterday was a bomb. Today is probably going to be a bomb too.” All of that comes through in the exterior communication.

 

Will Barron:

If we consider that this might be a metaphor that will lead us to have a seven hour conversation … I'm wary of that.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I'll make the time.

 

The Difference Between Being Optimistic, Pessimistic, and Realistic in Sales · [16:58]  

 

Will Barron:

If we consider the brain to be some kind of computer, and there's different programmes being ran on it, and there's different levels of programmes, there's an operating system, there's your outside environment imprints on you, your parents imprint on you, there's all these different things going on, and the fighting over resources, and perhaps there's only one exoskeleton or one system that they're all trying to manipulate it and influence … If we think of the brain somewhat like that … Again, we get quite philosophical about all this, I'm sure.

 

Will Barron:

What you described there, seemingly is someone who is programmed at a deep level, whether it's their parents, whether it's DNA, whatever it is, to be an optimist versus a pessimist. So as well as asking these questions that lead to better answers, is there a deeper level of this, of some people are wired to just assume that good things are coming around the corner, and some people are wired to have pessimistic thoughts about potential opportunities as well?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Yes. There is absolutely wiring. I think I've heard people talking on your show about biases. There is a universal human bias called the negativity bias. We all have it. We are all pessimists at one level.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Our conscious brain really does not like paradox. If you tell me that thing is green, and I look at it, and I can see that it's red, I go “Uh-uh.” But our subconscious brains do not mind paradox at all.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I don't have the data to back this up exactly, but what I think the difference is between optimists and pessimists is not that optimist don't go, “Oh man. I'm likely to fail today.” It's just that they go, “Oh man. I'm likely to fail today,” and they go, “Okay, and also, I'm likely to succeed.” Those two things are completely diametrically opposed.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Notice the okay, Will. “I'm going to fail today. Okay,” is really different from, “No, I'm not.” Because if you say, “No, I'm not,” then you're just going to argue with yourself.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I wrote down earlier, when you said conserve energy, because you want to conserve energy, so you lie in bed … Well, our brains are incredibly expensive. When I say expensive, I mean if you think back to the earliest evolution of human beings, why don't more animals have giant brains like we do is because they're very expensive in terms of calories. I think it's something like 20% of our calories are consumed by this eight pounds of gook in our heads, this eight pounds of jelly. That is hugely expensive. So one of the things that our evolution has done is that we don't waste cognitive energy because it's so expensive.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You can think of your brain like a hybrid car. This is an analogy that I use with our clients when we're training teams to innovate and problem solve effectively. If you think about a hybrid car, when you pull up to a stoplight and you stop the car, the engine shuts off. That's it. It's programmed to do that to conserve fuel.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Your brain is the same. If you pull up to a problem that is a red light, you tell yourself, “This is an unsolvable problem,” your brain goes, “All right. Thanks,” and it shuts off, and you stop working on the problem.

 

“One of the things that our evolution has done is that we don't waste cognitive energy because it's so expensive. So if you pull up to a problem and you tell yourself, “This is an unsolvable problem,” your brain goes, “All right. Thanks,” and it shuts off, and you stop working on the problem. But if you pull up to a problem and you say, “Okay. It's unsolvable but it's also totally solvable,” your brain will go, “All right. Well, let's find it.” Your unconscious mind does not mind the paradox. It does not care. So embrace the paradox.” Aaron Schmookler · [19:50] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

If you pull up to a problem and you say, “Okay. This is an unsolvable problem,” and you say, “Okay. It's unsolvable, and also it's totally solvable,” your brain will go, “All right. Well, let's find it.” Your unconscious mind does not mind the paradox. It does not care. So embrace the paradox.

 

Will Barron:

I love this. I totally agree on it as well. I feel like there's multiple levels to this, Aaron.

 

Will Barron:

One, I feel like we've almost got this chimp parts of our brain, where there's cognitive biases and other biases on top of that. It's where influence comes from. You give me something, and immediately I'm going, “I need to give Aaron something back to relieve this debt.” There's Cialdini's book, The Laws of Influence, whatever it's called, I think it's might just be called Influence, that runs through all of this.

 

Will Barron:

So I feel like when I'm in a situation where … My partner is a doctor. She's [inaudible 00:21:38] medicine doctor. So she's been in the middle of this whole COVID thing. So when she has a problem that needs solving with a real patient, this is more serious than what I'm considering and what I'm doing. Just to give context for the audience, because you have tens of thousands of people that are listening to this, right? I'm not putting my problems on a pedestal like that.

 

Will Barron:

But when I come up with a problem, I have to consciously tell my brain that there is a solution. My default … I'm a massive optimist, so my optimism would be, “There's a problem. We can't solve it. F it. It'll be fine.” But then there's another part of my brain that, again, I think it's been programmed over the years to say, “Well, that's not good enough.”

 

Will Barron:

I use this line, and I've talked about this on the show before. I always ask myself, “What would a champion do?” It's the end of the day. You can do one more call. What would a champion do? A champion would do that one more call. “Sod it. I'll do it.” We need to move to online training. Maybe a champion's not the best example there, but what would a pro do is perhaps another way framing it up.

 

Will Barron:

That's a hack that I use to programme myself to go that extra step when my default state is to perhaps not go that extra step. It's why I was a terrible student, because I would go, “There's a problem. Great. Let someone else solve it. We'll come back to that in the future maybe, if we need to.” Whereas now, I proactively push it forward.

 

A Simple Way To Get More Out of Life and Be More Effective · [23:03] 

 

Will Barron:

Practically, other than that hack I've just outlined there, Aaron, for someone who's listening to the show right now, who's going, “Okay. Being an optimistic makes sense. Asking these questions makes sense,” what else can they do if they are looking … They're looking at a CRM full of no data today, or they're going to the office and this afternoon, they're going to be looking at CRM with no data. What can they do to give themselves that kick in the ass to take that step forward, to change their paradigm, and to change the way that they're perhaps looking at the potential outcomes that they have?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Okay. First I'm going to say, make sure that I answer that question.

 

Will Barron:

Okay.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Then I'm also going to say, I love, “What would a champion do?” I'm not a religious guy. I just created an online communication course, wherein a whole section of the course is dedicated to the bumper sticker, “What would Jesus do?” because it's so valuable, because we have so much perspective available in our brains.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Another thing that we teach when we're training teams to innovate and problem solve is to look at the problem from all kinds of different perspectives. Ask yourself, “How would my grandmother approach this? How would a poet approach this? How would a surgeon approach this?” Even if it's a problem that's completely unrelated to poetry, how would a poet, how would an actor handle this?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You just keep shifting your perspective, because your brain has habits. We asked about wiring earlier. Your brain has habits. That's just the easiest path for it to go. But if you dam up that path, and require your brain to go other directions, it will. You require your brain …

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You are requiring your brain to go other directions when you ask yourself, “What would a champion do?” Because then you've damned up what would Will do. You're a champion, but you don't think of yourself as a champion in that moment. So you dam up what would Will do, and the water of your thoughts have to take a different path.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Then, according to neuroscience, the neurons that wire together … Let me back up. The neurons that fire together, wire together. So the more times you ask yourself, “What would a champion do?” the less you have to ask yourself, because the more likely your thoughts are going to follow that path.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Then you asked, “What can people do?” I'm going to take us out of sales again for a moment. I've got all kinds of different people on my Facebook friend list. I remember a couple years ago, somebody who works at Starbucks, complaining on my Facebook feed about all of the customers who were pouring coffee into the trash can.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

They were saying, “We always ask you, ‘Do you want room for cream?'” and then you say no, and then you go to the trash can and you pour coffee out so that you can put cream in it. It just makes all this mess, and when we carry the bags, it leaks all over the place.”

 

Aaron Schmookler:

They're railing against the people who pay their salary. They're railing against the customer. How many salespeople, Will, have you heard rail against the client, rail against the prospect?

 

“If you do not have empathy and compassion for your client, no matter how ignorant they seem, no matter how frustrating they are, you will not succeed at the level at which you want to succeed.” – Aaron Schmookler · [26:23] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

These are the people that, instead of railing against them, you really must have empathy for. If you do not have empathy and compassion for your client, no matter how ignorant they seem, no matter how frustrating they are, you will not succeed at the level at which you want to succeed. You will not be effective if you rail against that which you must serve.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Now, I don't know exactly how things are in Britain right now, Will, but you probably have seen the news about how people are in denial over COVID over here in the US.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You can deny reality all you want. You look at all the folks, the politicians who have denied the power of COVID, and then they die from COVID. You can rail against reality all you want. That will ensure that you are not effective. If I rail against and deny gravity, and climb to the top of a cliff and jump off, because I insist that gravity will not have power over me, I'm a die. We need to embrace reality, and then look at what can I change.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

With this person on Facebook, who was complaining about all the customers pouring coffee into the trash can, I wrote a little comment, “Hey, why don't you just set a basin next to the trash can? Just embrace the reality that people are not thinking ahead, and they're not saying yes, and/or perhaps you're not giving them as much room for cream as some of them want.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

“If you were to lower the coffee still further, then some people would complain that they weren't getting enough coffee. So you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't, as far as the customer is concerned. If you give everybody enough coffee, and then also give them a place that you're happy to have them pour it, everybody wins.” This person tore me a new one.

 

Will Barron:

That was not the ending that I was expecting then.

 

“Some people are happier in misery than they are in effectiveness, because there's a certain comfort in, “It's the other person's problem.” Because if it's the other person's problem, what do I need to do? I can just be comfortable making them an asshole.” – Aaron Schmookler · [28:51]

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You and I know that it would've worked. Some people are happier in misery than they are in effectiveness, because there's a certain comfort in, “It's the other person's problem.” Because if it's the other person's problem, what do I need to do? I can just be comfortable making them an asshole.

 

Will Barron:

Well, look-

 

Aaron Schmookler:

So one of the things, Will-

 

Will Barron:

Let me interject here, because I feel like you're being very polite in saying that … I'm not talking about your contact, your friend, specifically. Some people are just thick. That plays into this a lot. That is disempowering, if you're dealing with someone who is a bit thick, for whatever reason. They're denying COVID. They're incapable of …

 

Will Barron:

Using that example. Let's use an example of someone else working at Starbucks, as opposed to that individual. Perhaps they're on minimum wage. Perhaps they don't really care. Perhaps they're just waiting for a break, and they're being a little bit, “Woe is me.”

 

Will Barron:

They don't realise that an innovation like that could get you a promotion. There could be 50,000 basins that go out and be shipped across. It could be called the Becky basin because Becky invented it. It could have your name stuck on the side of it. You could be known as a legend within Starbucks. There's a bunch of-

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Absolutely. And the basin is there.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

They have the basin. One of those dish totes that's in every kitchen in America. Probably every commercial kitchen in the world has basins. I'm not asking them to do anything that would take more than about 45 seconds.

 

The First Step To Solving Problems is Asking Yourself, “What Can I Change?” · [30:15] 

 

Will Barron:

So is the framework then, Aaron, for this … We'll wrap up the show with this, mate. Is the framework then, if there's a problem, ask ourselves if we can solve it. If we can't with our own skillset, is it then to look at other people's perspectives of how other people, other methods, other experts, mentors, whoever would potentially solve it. If we can't figure that out, then it's to have empathy for what's causing the problem, and perhaps go a few steps deeper and look at the root of the situation and if that is changeable.

 

Will Barron:

I feel like 99% of things, if you go through those three or four steps, you're going to give your brain enough ammunition to come up with some form of solution.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

What can I change? 100%. You're really right on. What can I change? What if I insist that this problem is solvable? If I insist that this problem is solvable, then maybe I change the problem.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Again, you can change perspective. Walk up to the trash can with a full cup of coffee and decide, “I'm going to put cream in this.” What do you want to do? Nobody wants to pour coffee in a trash can. It goes against every fibre of our being. But if that's the option, then I'm going to do it. But if there's a basin, that's what I'm going to do. So put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. Put yourself into empathy with the prospect. Go through your prospect's day.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I am prospecting CEOs. Well, I talk to my clients. What does the day look like? Where are your hangups? What's happening? Why don't you have time to respond to my email? If my email comes through your inbox and it's appealing, why are you not responding? I want to know all these things, because I have decided that it's my problem.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

This coffee issue. My problem. How can I solve it? What can I do? I can't change human nature. I can't make the CEO feel like they have more time. I can't make the CEO get it before I even enter into the situation.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

What can your listeners do? I don't know. You have to decide what does effective look like.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

In this time of COVID, I haven't done nearly as much business as we did last year. I have more and more valuable relationships now than I did 10 months ago. I have just decided I am going to make the best relationships with the most people who might eventually be clients for me that I possibly can. That's been the measure of my success.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

So I've been offering CEOs round tables. I've had CEOs that I never could have talked to before saying, “Yeah. I want to learn from you about that for free with a bunch of my peers.” I'm giving my time away. A history of six years in this company tells me that that's going to lead to business. I changed the problem.

 

Will Barron:

That makes total sense.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

All of us can change a problem.

 

Will Barron:

Let me just interrupt you there, because you said something, and I'm going to call you out on it, because I would expect you to call me out the same thing. You've not spent your time there. You've invested your time, right? You're paying it forward.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Correct. Correct. That's the same thing that we want our prospects to do, right?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

“You want your prospects to stop thinking about this as an expense, and start thinking about it as an investment. If you can't think that way, then you will never influence other people to think that way.” Aaron Schmookler · [34:00] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

We want them to stop thinking about this as an expense, and start thinking about it as an investment. If you can't think that way, then you will never influence other people to think that way.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Perfect.

 

“If you're not capable of something, you will never influence others to be capable of that. If you are not capable of expressing compassion for your prospects, your prospects will not treat you with compassion.” Aaron Schmookler · [34:28] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

I'm going to repeat that message, because it goes back to what I said earlier on about the interior communication goes first. The interior communication leads. If you're not capable of something, you will never influence others to be capable of that.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

If you are not capable of expressing compassion for your prospects, your prospects will not treat you with compassion. How many people get FU things and stuff like that? They complain about being abused by their prospects. I don't always succeed in my sales efforts. I am almost never abused by prospects, because I'm not somebody that you abuse. A, I have compassion. B, I don't stand for it. So it doesn't happen to me.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

If you are not capable of something, like in the instance, I'm going to repeat it. If you are not capable of thinking of spending your time as an investment, then you will never influence other people to think of spending their money as an investment.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Or the bigger hurdle for me in my business is not convincing people to part with their money. It's convincing people to part with their time and their team's time away from their desks. “You mean we're not going to be pushing this engine. We got to push the engine. We got to push the engine.” Hey, man. I get it. You got to push the engine. What if I can help you push the engine better? Is it worth pulling in for a pit stop?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You think about the people who have to go fastest in the world, like NASCAR racers. If they don't pull over into the pit stop, they're going to burn out. Can we invest a little time in a pit stop? If I can't think that way, I cannot influence others to do the same.

 

Will Barron:

Cause and effect, right?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

That's right.

 

What To Do When You Find Yourself Whining A Little Too Much · [36:24] 

 

Aaron Schmookler:

One more thing. One more thing, Will, and then if you want to, we can wrap it up. Some people say, “No whining.” There's no whining in sales or whatever. I think there is place for whining. Once. Whine about a problem once. Use it as a marker of here's a place that requires my attention.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

If you're finding yourself whining, awesome. That's such valuable information. I'm tempted to or I am actually whining right now. Great. What are you going to do about it? What can you do about it? So no whining? Forget it. Yes. Whining. Once. Then take action.

 

Will Barron:

What I do, Aaron, if I find myself, not necessarily whining, but being a wuss for whatever reason, not doing this, not doing that, not taking that leap forward, I write it down. I write a journal every day. I write it down. If it comes up two or three times in a few weeks, then I know it needs to be solved. That thing needs to change. It's not something that I'm comfortable putting up with, but I think …

 

Will Barron:

Again, it might just be me, but when I fall asleep at night, I tend to have a blank slate. Then I make the same mistakes that I did the same day prior, over and over again. That idea, and this process of …

 

Will Barron:

You don't have to be writing lovely dovey stuff in a journal. I don't treat it as a diary. I don't open with, “Dear diary, today was,” yada, yada, I just write down stuff that's pertinent, that's gone well, that's annoying. Then I look back over it over a couple of weeks. Again, anything that crops up a couple of times, that's equivalent of your whining analogy there, and I deal with it.

 

Will Barron:

With that, Aaron, mate, we will wrap up, because if we get onto another topic, we'll be talking for another 45 minutes, which I enjoy and the audience enjoy as well. But we'll have you back on to get into more of this in the future.

 

Parting Thoughts · [38:15] 

 

Will Barron:

With that, mate, tell us more about you, and then you're doing some new online training as well, so tell us all about that as well.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Right now, teams are not together. They're trying to figure out how do we remain effective, how do we stay focused on work. Because now that we're at home, where it seems like it should be easier to focus on work, we've got people Slacking us all the time, and people wanting conferences. It's even harder. And we've got kids out in the other room. They come in and they interrupt our meetings. It seems even harder to focus than it was before, not to mention all of the taxes that are happening now on our resilience, which also makes it harder to focus.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

At the same time, teams are trying to figure out how do we stay connected. How do we actually collaborate? So we've got a whole bunch of connecting that doesn't really connect, and we've got a whole bunch of focusing that isn't really focused.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

What we're doing is we are actually getting on Zoom and other video conferencing, and we're training teams to communicate, collaborate and focus effectively during this time. There are a lot of conventional wisdoms, like everybody be on mute except when you're talking, that are just death to effectiveness. So we're training teams to communicate, collaborate and focus effectively during this time. That's what we're up to.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Where can we find that?

 

Aaron Schmookler:

You can find us at theyesworks.com.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, I'll link to that and anything else that we talked about in the show. I think I mentioned a couple books earlier on. The Cialdini book, I'll mention that in the show notes to this episode as well over at salesman-

 

Aaron Schmookler:

It's a really good one.

 

Will Barron:

It's great book, and his Pre-suasion book as well. I don't think that was quite as valuable, but still a great book. I link to all that in the show notes to this episode over at salesman.org.

 

Will Barron:

With that, Aaron, again, as always, mate, I appreciate your time, your insights on this. I want to thank you again for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Aaron Schmookler:

Always a great pleasure, Will. Thank you so much for the work that you do. I get value every time I listen to your show.

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