How To Prioritize Your Time And Become Effective

Geoff Woods is the Co-Founder & President of ProduKtive, the training company behind The ONE Thing and the host of The ONE Thing podcast. In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Geoff explains what it means to actually be productive and how we do more of it.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Geoff Woods
Host of The ONE Thing Podcast

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Transcript

Will Barron:

Hi, I'm Will. And welcome to the Salesman Podcast. On today's episode, we're looking at how you can prioritise your time and become effective. Today's guest has been on the show a bunch of times, I've had tremendous value from every time Geoff has been on. Our guest is Geoff Woods. Geoff Woods is the co-founder and president of ProduKtive, the training company behind The ONE Thing and host of The ONE Thing podcast. Geoff, welcome back to the show.

 

Geoff Woods:

Will, great to be here.

 

Will Barron:

I'm glad to have you on, mate. Last time, you gave me, and we don't need to do this again because it was a little bit painful, but you gave me a bit of a pain in the arse. A pain in the arse? You gave me a bit of a kick in the arse, which gave me some pain points that I resolved and the business is doing way better on the back of it. So I thank you for that. And for people who are unfamiliar with that previous episode, I'll link it in the show notes of this one over at salesman.org.

 

The One Thing Preventing Salespeople From Prioritizing Their Time and Becoming Effective Sales Professionals · [00:49] 

 

Will Barron:

And with that Geoff, becoming effective, right? Let me phrase it in The ONE Thing kind of language here, what is the one thing out of everything else, what is the one thing that typically holds sales people back from prioritising their time and becoming effective in the marketplace?

 

Geoff Woods:

Feeling like they have too much to do and not enough time. I remember when my full-time job was as a salesperson in corporate sales. You wake up with big goals, you are naturally an ambitious person who not just sets goals, but you go after them with enthusiasm. And it can be really easy to see all the stuff that's on your plate, knowing the number that you got to hit, telling yourself, all the things you got to do to get there. Along the while, you've got all these administrative things you've got to do, you've got all these customer issues you've got to deal with and you can be really busy and look up at the end of the day and genuinely wonder, “What did I get done?”

 

Are You an Effective Salesperson? Here’s How to Gauge Yourself · [01:55] 

 

Will Barron:

Is there a definition, Geoff, of what effective is? Because I feel like if we were having a leadership conversation or you were coming in and coaching an executive team, “Well effectiveness for executives is this, this, and this.” Is there a broad definition of what being effective in a role is? And how does that then apply to sales people?

 

Geoff Woods:

Well, I think we need to start with, what does it mean to be productive?

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

“There's a difference between being busy and being productive. Being busy is just taking a lot of action. Being productive is taking action on the most important things.” – Geoff Woods · [02:15] 

 

Geoff Woods:

There's a difference between being busy and being productive. Being busy is just taking a lot of action. Being productive is taking action on the most important things. I think first and foremost, Will, people have to get clear on what matters most. Then once you're clear on what matters most, are you being efficient and effective at doing those things?

 

“People have to get clear on what matters most and ask themselves if they’re being efficient and effective at doing those things. A simple question you can ask yourself is, “Am I doing the best that I can do? Or am I doing the best that can be done?” – Geoff Woods · [02:26] 

 

Geoff Woods:

A simple question you can ask yourself, is, “Am I doing the best that I can do? Or am I doing the best that can be done?” I think a lot of us will rely on our natural abilities, we call it being entrepreneurial, and we muscle our way to a result based on our natural abilities. But the truth is, if you really want to be effective, we've got to acknowledge that other people have gone before us.

 

Geoff Woods:

And frankly, the best that you can do today is irrelevant. If that's your focus, you are actually imposing a ceiling over your achievement. The opportunity is to ask the question, “What's the best that can be done?” Study the best of the best, model that behaviour and make it your own. That's a whole new ballgame.

 

Will Barron:

I find this fascinating, right? So when we're training people in our training programme over at salesman.org, part of what we do in the very first workshop is go, “Right, put your sales target to one side for a second.” And everyone's like, “Why? That's what I'm here for.” Well, kind of. But then I explain that a sales target, depending whether it's a small company, big company, comes from just weird random places.

 

Will Barron:

If it's a public company, “Well, we've got to do more than what we did last year. So the shareholders get value and the stock price goes up.” Okay, so what does that mean? Well, forget everything that happened in the past. Forget the market as it currently is. Your sales target across the organisation is this. Then it's broken down your sales leadership divisions, right? Then it goes down to a sales manager who may like you, they may not like you, but they want to get their targets as small as possible for the team so that they've got the most chance of hitting their target. Then it goes down to your territory. Then it goes down to your customers. Then it goes down to what's happened on the territory in the past.

 

Why Targets and Quotas Should Never Be Your Primary Focus in Sales ·  [04:15] 

 

Will Barron:

And by the end of it, and tell me if you disagree here, but in my experience sales targets don't really mean all that much. So we're aiming towards a number that's important because we've got to hit it, we've got to smash it to make some money, right? But there's an opportunity here for self-limiting. And also if there's a number that makes us feel uncomfortable, the opposite of this, of not putting in the effort. Because we feel like we're never going to get there on this, am I right here, sometimes, maybe quite often, an arbitrary number that doesn't mean anything when you look at it as to the actual scope of revenues available in the marketplace for you to collect?

 

Geoff Woods:

Well, I think we can spend a lot of time debating if the number's the right number or how important the number is. But at the end of the day, the thing I learned in sales is you don't get a say. The number's the number. So I think the question we can ask is, how does that serve us? And I think this is where we have to acknowledge what is the purpose of a goal or what is the purpose of that quota? A lot of people think it's to achieve a result.

 

“The purpose of your goal is less about the result and more about informing who you have to become to achieve that goal.” – Geoff Woods · [05:24] 

 

Geoff Woods:

The thing that I've learned being in partnership with my two partners who co-authored The ONE Thing is that the purpose of that goal is less about the result and more about informing who you have to become. So I think a lot of us know what it feels like to have a number and we can break that down into monthly targets. And we wake up today and we go, “I got to close a hundred grand.”

 

“Unfortunately, most people don't know how to turn expected results into an activity.” – Geoff Woods · [05:54] 

 

Geoff Woods:

The problem is, based on that, what should be on your calendar today? And that's where people go, “I have no idea.” We don't know how to turn a result into an activity. And I think that's the opportunity. Whatever the number is, it's been handed to you. Who's the person you have to become that exceeds that number? What do your activities have to look like? What are the type of accounts you are going to focus on? Who are the call points? What's your approach going to be? And how do you make sure that as you go through your day, your time is an investment and not an expense?

 

Will Barron:

So we'll get onto this idea of… Because we've got a training on this and it's an hour-long workshop. And maybe you subconsciously put this into my brain in previous conversations, that you're not going to hit the goals unless you become the person who's capable of hitting the goals, right? And this has gone back into philosophy, there's other people who commented this. We'll come back to it in a second.

 

Will Barron:

But I just want to double down on this idea of, because I think I might have not explained it very well and I want the audience to comprehend this. I'm not saying that we should debate numbers. I'm saying the number is almost irrelevant in our performance, in that there's only so much cash in the marketplace. We are a person that is capable of achieving so much of that cash. And so, as long as the number is appropriate that we're going to make money and it's not 27 million when the marketplace is only going to have the opportunity to, no matter who we are, to provide a certain amount under that. As long as it's appropriate, the number is irrelevant.

 

The Way to Achieving Goals is By Becoming the Person Who’s Capable of Achieving That Goal · [07:40]

 

Will Barron:

So coming onto this idea then of… Because this is quite out there, right? People sometimes take a bit to comprehend this, this idea that you can set a goal that's unachievable until you become the person who can achieve the goal. Do you have a better way of clarifying that because I struggle to get those words out and communicate it? But I know that when this clicks and when it's clicked with me in the past, that I've had to make changes, I have to hire people, we've had to change our coaching to be able to achieve these goals, immediately I feel like a wall has been lifted. I feel like there's been something dragging at my heels, pulling me back in my performance that's suddenly let go.

 

Will Barron:

I can come up with all these metaphors to describe it. But do you have a way of talking about what we touched on there, describing it in a more eloquent way than what I have done?

 

Geoff Woods:

Sure. So for those of you who are listening via audio, I'm now showing my document camera and I'm going to doodle some things. So I'll narrate what I'm doing. So there's three types of goals and I'm drawing an axis where there's an X and a Y axis. On the vertical axis, this represents the size of the question that we ask. The higher up we go vertically, the bigger the question. The bigger the question, the further out to the right, it requires that we search for the answer.

 

Geoff Woods:

Now, most people, when they set their goals, set them based on what they think they can do this year. So they're looking at their current skillset. They're looking at their current comfort zone. It's a relatively small question to ask, which means they don't have to search for that big of an answer. And they set a goal that's doable.

 

Geoff Woods:

Now, if you're listening to this show, that's probably not you because you're investing in your education. So you're probably used to setting stretch goals, going to the outer edge of your comfort zone and skillset and setting a goal that, you know what, I'm not a 100% sure, I'm going to have to stretch to get there. So we've got doable goals, we've got stretch goals.

 

Geoff Woods:

Here's the problem, neither of these are where extraordinary lies. Because we are still shackling ourself to our current skillset and our current comfort zone. But the thing that we also know, that we sometimes forget, is our knowledge, our skillset, our comfort zone, we can change that over time. So the thing that I've learned from my partners is to ask questions that are so big they require that you search for answers that are so far out there. That you set goals that we call impossible possible goals. You're not even sure if it's possible.

 

Geoff Woods:

I think Elon Musk is a great example of this. He said, “You know what? I'm not just out to build an electric car. I'm not even out to build the greatest electric car ever created. I actually want to develop a human colony on Mars.” And he set a goal that's so far out there that people are probably thinking he's crazy. But once he set that goal, it required that he reverse engineer who's the person he has to become today so that when he takes actions, they're on the trajectory that could line up with that future.

 

Geoff Woods:

So I'll give you a real world example of this. When my partners, Gary and Jay, wrote The ONE Thing, Gary looked to Jay and said, “How many books will we need to sell in the first week to hit number one bestseller status?” And Jay did the research and he came back and said, “Gary, I think we need to sell about 40,000 copies in the first week.” Will, do you have any sense how many copies the average business book sells in it's lifetime?

 

Will Barron:

I'll give some context. A guest on the show recently who's had a pretty successful book launch did about 4,000 in the first week.

 

Geoff Woods:

That's amazing.

 

Will Barron:

Yep, exactly. Because the average business book sells 500 in its lifetime because that's all their friends and family will buy. They needed to sell 40,000 in one week. So that's rare air. So Jay comes back with a plan for 40,000 and Gary looks him and says, “You just showed me a plan to fail.” Jay said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Well, no plan ever goes according to plan. So if your plan, if everything goes perfectly on your plan and that gets us to 40,000, I can almost guarantee we're going to miss. You need to show me a plan for a 100,000 copies in one week.” Which after Jay got up from the foetal position, he went and got to work and he came back with a plan for 100,000 copies. Will, guess how many copies they sold in the first week?

 

Will Barron:

I don't know, go on.

 

“It's not about setting the goal, whether or not you hit it. It's about setting a goal that requires you to change your trajectory. It requires you to change who you are. Ask yourself, what knowledge am I missing? What skills or habits do I need to form so that I can take the current trajectory I'm on and increase the slope so that whether I hit the number or miss it, I'm going to end up further ahead than where I was.” – Geoff Woods · [11:53] 

 

Geoff Woods:

44,000. So here's the point, it's not about setting the goal, whether or not you hit it. It's about setting a goal that requires you to change your trajectory. It requires you to change who you are. What knowledge am I missing? What skills or habits do I need to form so that I can take the current trajectory I'm on and increase the slope? Whether I hit the number or miss it, I'm going to end up further ahead than where I was.

 

The Question You Should Ask Yourself if You Want to Get to Where You Want to Be · [12:25] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we know? Because it's one thing to have yourself, so the answer to some of this is get your company to come in and do some corporate training, right? And help leadership trickle this down to sales people. So with that to one side and we'll cover that towards the end of the show, Geoff. Because clearly, that's part of the answer, have a coach like yourself come in and do some of this. And I'm lucky enough to have had you coach me live on the show a few times.

 

Will Barron:

But for people who aren't lucky enough to be in that position, how do we know if we've asked a big enough question that gets us to where we want to be? Because seemingly, the question can always be bigger, right? And at some point it's just obnoxious and undoable as opposed to something that's going to change us as a person and allow us to make big strides in our career.

 

“If when you're asking yourself questions and you immediately know the answer, you're thinking too small.” – Geoff Woods · [13:13] 

 

Geoff Woods:

If when you're asking yourself questions, you immediately know the answer. You're thinking too small. When I think about how much income do I want, I'm putting myself in your shoes. “How much income do I want to make this year?” If you pick a number that you go, “Yeah, I think I can do that.” You're probably thinking too small. And this is just I can speak to this because I've been put in this position and I've been asked to double that number and then double that number again.

 

Geoff Woods:

The moment I hit the point where I'm going, “There's no fricking way I can hit that.” That's when they're saying, “All right now you're thinking big. Now ask the question, fast forward and imagine you hit that increased target, how did you make it happen? All of a sudden you're leveraging a different type of thinking and you can turn those into action.

 

Geoff Woods:

So I'll give you a real example. Last year in our organisation, one of the parts of my job is driving growth for the business. I set a quota for myself as the leader of the company for revenue. About six months into the year, I realised I was on track to hit the number. It was inevitable that the trajectory, it was going to take us there. So I raised the number by 150%. Now we're talking big numbers so that's material. And once I set that goal, I said, “What will my activities have to look like to get us on that trajectory?”

 

Geoff Woods:

Two months later, I realised we were going to hit that number. We were pacing to hit that number. So I doubled that number. So if we're doing math, it was about 500% of the original number. We finished, we just barely missed the elevated number. Yet had you told me at the beginning of the year, “You are going to do X in revenue.” When originally I was only thinking of Y, I would've thought you were fricking nuts. But the moment I realised our actions were in alignment with a trajectory to hit our goals, I raised the goal, which required me to change my actions.

 

Geoff Woods:

The moment our trajectory was putting me on pace to hit that elevated number, I raised the goal, which required us to change our actions. This number, we've tripled that number as a goal.

 

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs and Setting Big, Audacious Goals · [16:45] 

 

Will Barron:

So I love this. I'm on board with it. I'm just, and I put myself in this box, I'm just trying to visualise this for a, and I use this term endearingly and I include myself in this group of people, Geoff, and you in a prior life probably was included this as well. What about the knuckle-dragging salesperson who's driving in the car right now, who's listening to this, who's going, “Right. I can only send so many emails. I can only make so many calls. I can only get so much better at what I'm doing right now. I was aiming towards my sales target, I thought that was logical. So you're saying I need to double my sales target and have my own target that I'm aiming towards and hopefully I'll end up at 150%, 180% of revenue, whatever it is. But I can only do so much of the activity that I'm already doing.” What do you say? I can guess where you're going to go, but what would you say to that person?

 

Geoff Woods:

Well, I'm going to do for you what a mentor did for me when I was back in my sales career. And this is when I knew I wanted to start a company, just had our first child. I'm already working 50 hours-a-week in my full-time job. I'm not sleeping at night because we've got a brand new baby, plus trying to take care of my wife. And I want to start a company. And my mentor looks at me and says, “Geoff, you're asking the wrong questions.” He said, “What would it take for you to double your income from your day job, working half the hours.”

 

Geoff Woods:

And I looked at him and I said, “That's not possible.” He said, “how do you know?” And he said, “That's your homework. I want you to come back and present me with a plan to double your income working half the hours. So you could free up time to start your side business on the side without sacrificing your family.” And I came back with that plan.

 

Geoff Woods:

And what I learned, Will, this is the 80 20 rule. The idea 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. It applies to activities, it also applies to customers. I could focus and had a track record of focusing on the low-hanging fruit, the customers or prospects that were right in front of me that I knew I could get the quick deal. And you know what? A good sales funnel, you've got a percent of them that are quick deals.

 

Geoff Woods:

The thing I wasn't doing that I started doing was asking the question, “Who are the 20% accounts that if I just closed, those would drive 80% of our revenue?” And it didn't even take 20% accounts, it was two to three accounts that by closing those, just those accounts alone, I hit my quota less hours with less stress.

 

Geoff Woods:

Now, most people could think through and identify what those accounts are. The problem is those accounts are not the easy accounts. They're not the ones you just get to walk in and do the quick one call close. It doesn't work that way. You've got to identify the right stakeholders. You've got to build relationships. You've got to build champions. It takes time. But if you are clear that by taking that goal and reverse engineering it to activities, you could get really granular on things that you could do every week that in the short term don't seem to move the needle much, but gradually then suddenly it unleashes a next level of growth.

 

Will Barron:

Some of this is opportunity that's available. And everything has an element of luck to it, right? You've got to be in the right place at the right time. A trigger event happens in the account and just randomly, you can clean up on it. But a lot of this is just playing the right game, isn't it? You've got to be doing the moves that maybe your competitors aren't. And you experiment with some of it and you have to test some of it. But if you don't make the moves, there's no chance of winning.

 

How to Ask Bigger Questions and Demand Better Answers From Yourself · [20:03] 

 

Will Barron:

That's something that I've learned from growing our business and the training that we are doing. And engaging with sales people who some of them are at a point of whupping me at sales, even though they come to us for training and coaching and a bit of polishing up. A lot of them are just playing games that other people in the marketplace aren't. And again, is the first step just to wire your brain you're allowed to play these games?

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

Everyone in the company is doing cold calling, you are allowed to do something else. Because a sales manager doesn't care if you smash quota, right? As long as it's legal and ethical and somewhat moral, they're going to be encouraging you aren't they?

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah. Well this is a journey of asking bigger questions and searching for different answers, which we need to acknowledge most of us were not taught to think this way. Because we were literally graded in school based on our ability to have the answer, not to say, “I don't know, let me figure it out.” If you did that on a test, you'd fail. And we were told that our future relied on our grades. So therefore, the quality of our future depended on the quality of us having the answer.

 

“When we are talking about achieving our goals, when we are talking about actualizing our potential, it is not about having the answer. It is about asking questions that are so big that make us stop and go, “Great question. I have no idea, but let me go search.” – Geoff Woods · [21:04] 

 

Geoff Woods:

But here's the difference, you get into the real world, that's not how it works, not how it works. Especially in this specific scenario, when we are talking about achieving our goals. When we are talking about actualizing our potential, it is not about having the answer. It is about asking questions that are so big that make us stop and go, “Great question. I have no idea, but let me go search.”

 

Geoff Woods:

Fast forward, I want you to imagine, I want you to think whatever you think you might make this year. And I want you to ask yourself the question, “How might I earn double working half the hours?” And if you find yourself saying, “That's not possible,” I'll ask you a different question. Fast forward to the end of the year and you are celebrating because you doubled your income and you worked half the hours. There's no question mark, you did it, it actually happened. Truth.

 

Geoff Woods:

How'd you make it happen? What did you start doing that you weren't currently doing? What did you stop doing that you're currently doing? And what did you focus on that drove the majority of the results. You pause the episode right now, look at the timestamp for where in the episode we are, you go grab a pen and a paper and you sit down, turn your phone off, shut your email down. Sit down for 30 minutes with a pen and paper. Write those questions on the paper and search for those answers. Game on, baby.

 

Why Eliminating Bad Behavior is the Key to Consistent Success · [22:28]

 

Will Barron:

Which is more important, changing the things that we do or eliminating things that we're currently doing?

 

Geoff Woods:

If you do the first, you naturally do the second. If you change what you do, that could encompass eliminating things. Now, if we want to get really granular, if you want to look at it through the lens of start doing additional things versus stop doing current things, I think that's going to be a case-by-case basis. I think the way that we, a lot of people here, are wired is to try to add more. And hey, if you've got a cushy sales job and you're working 30 hours-a-week and you've got lots of free time, I've had one of those jobs before, maybe you can start adding more things.

 

Geoff Woods:

I think a lot of us, if you feel like you already have too much to do and not enough time, you may want to pull out your little gardening shears and start pruning the roses. Start cutting back. That's harder though. That's hard.

 

How to Subtly Nudge Someone Into Becoming the Best Version of Themselves · [23:38] 

 

Will Barron:

How do you, Geoff, if you're coaching someone and Sam of the salesperson's listening to this now, he's going, “Okay, I'm going to ask. I'm going to, I pulled over. Literally I'm the best student ever, pulled over on 22 minutes and 10 seconds or whatever it was. And I've asked a big question and I'm going, Of shit, I have no idea how to hit this.” Okay, so box ticked, box ticked.

 

Will Barron:

And then he's going, “But there is some risk to this, right? I'm in a nice cushy sales job right now. I am driving a nice company, BMW. I am slowly paying off my mortgage and I get to go on one holiday a year and I'm somewhat happy. I'm a high performer. I feel like I could do better, but doesn't everyone?” How would you, and let's say you know Sam, and you know that they're capable of more and there's over people in the organisation who are doing twice as much of what Sam's doing and you want the best for Sam, how do you nudge them past that bit of status quo?

 

Will Barron:

How do you, because I just scream at people on the phone when I'm coaching them and eventually. And I just abuse them and bully them and eventually they come around to it, but that's clearly not the best way to go about it. How do you subtly nudge someone so they can be the best that they can be?

 

Geoff Woods:

The short answer is, we don't. We're not for everyone. The subtitle of The ONE Thing is, “The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.” We are not for people who want to good results. We are not for people who want great results. We are for the small percentage of the population that wants to taste extraordinary. And by definition, it's beyond the ordinary, which means this is not for all of you.

 

Geoff Woods:

I don't know that we are for the people that need the nudging. We're for the people that their current circumstance, the gap between where they are versus where they want to be is so painful for them that it's like their leg just got broken. We're for them because we are not here to motivate anybody. We can motivaid someone, we can aid them on their journey. We can't motivate anybody.

 

“If somebody needs to be pushed, to be motivated, then their current circumstance is not painful enough to justify them making a change.” – Geoff Woods · [25:56]

 

Geoff Woods:

So if somebody needs that push, then their current circumstance is not painful enough to justify them making a change. Now let me say, Will, you know my story, I've been there. What kept me in medical device sales was I was comfortable. I did not have enough pain. But when a colleague of mine had a stroke at 35-years-old and all of a sudden I've got a stay-at-home mom with our first child and a big fat mortgage in Orange County, California. And I'm watching our bank account go almost to zero because oh yeah, by the way, my company changed my comp structure and I lost 40% of my income.

 

Geoff Woods:

All of a sudden, I didn't need anybody to motivate me to make a change. I had my own internal motivation. I was unwilling to accept the current state. I had to make a change. There was no ifs, no ands, no buts. That's who we're for.

 

Can a Salesperson Do Extraordinary Things in a Typical Sales Role? · [26:55] 

 

Will Barron:

I might be at risk of just losing my entire audience here, Geoff, and you might bankrupt my business. Can you do extraordinary things in a sales role or is this reserved to company founders, startup founders, people who want to partner with organisations?

 

Geoff Woods:

Of course.

 

Will Barron:

Is this open to salespeople?

 

Geoff Woods:

Absolutely. I mean, I think back to my medical sales day. There was one guy, I mean his entire career, we're talking 30 years as a professional salesperson. He's at the top of the stack ranks, president's club everywhere he's been. And the gap between him and everybody else wasn't even close. And I trained with him. He's the greatest salesperson I've ever come across and he didn't do anything extraordinary on a day-to-day basis. He did simple things consistently that unleashed extraordinary results.

 

Geoff Woods:

I'll share a story that's an example of this. We've all lined up dominoes before. And if you stood them up and lined them up correctly, well, how many did you have to knock down with the flick of a finger to actually knock them all down?

 

Will Barron:

Isn't this an illustration in the book? I feel like I can visualise it, right?

 

Geoff Woods:

It is.

 

Will Barron:

Obviously the first one, right?

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah, the first one. So back in 2009, there was a group out of the Netherlands that broke the world record for domino falls. They lined up almost 4.5 million dominoes. So you and I, most we've probably lined up is 28 because that's how many comes in a box. 4.5 million.

 

Geoff Woods:

Now, what I want you to do is I want you to imagine that you are the leader of that group and you are walking up to 4.5 million dominoes lined up in dazzling display. Imagine what that even looks like. Now on the count of three, I'm going to ask you to just lift your hand because on the count of three, I'm going to ask you just to imagine you're flicking the first domino down on the count of three. Let's do it together, one, two, three. Will. How much effort did that take?

 

Will Barron:

Very little in the moment.

 

Geoff Woods:

Very little.

 

Will Barron:

Probably six months of stress and near heart attack and strokes before I get to that point though.

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah. I mean it's almost effortless, the flick of the finger. Now what's amazing is you actually just unleashed 94,000 joules of energy. Which to put that into context, I want you to imagine how much energy it would take to do 545 consecutive pushups, that's how much energy you just unleashed with the flick of a finger.

 

Geoff Woods:

So the flick is an ordinary thing. It's a small action. But if it's the right action, if you stood your dominoes up correctly, done consistently, unleashes a massive reaction. So for any salesperson, you have the opportunity to do the small actions that unleash the massive reactions

 

The Little Sales Activities That Drive the Biggest Results · [30:02]

 

Will Barron:

And the small actions to make the analogy, to make the metaphor… Well, I guess it's not a metaphor, analogy.

 

Geoff Woods:

I can give you a bunch of ideas off the cuff. Step one.

 

Will Barron:

Well, it's your prospecting, right? It's the calls. It's the emails. It's the cadences.

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

It's all the small steps you make over and over that lead to that one or two large deals that… I've experienced this as well. We're doing it right now. We've got one deal on the books that I'm waiting for the invoice to come in, that is going to be as much as what we did in three or four months last year, a training contract. But it all comes from this content. It comes from the calls. It comes from the emails. It comes from being in bullshit that you don't want to be in. And maybe I need to think bigger of how I can engineer myself out of these meetings. Maybe that's a question I need to start asking. But it's all these little things build up to that big dominoes getting knocked over at the end, right?

 

Geoff Woods:

That's right. I mean, simple, time block and protect the time for lead generation. Actually set a goal for lead generation, whether it's an hour a day, three hours a day, four hours a day, depending on the type of sale that you're in. Where you are not just following-up, you are generating leads. Then there's lead follow up, follow up on your leads every week. Really simple.

 

Geoff Woods:

Here's another one, ask more questions than you do telling. It literally took me until I started studying coaching, professional coaching, to understand what my sales leaders had been saying my entire career, “Do not sell features and benefits. Only ask questions until you truly understand the customer's problem. And if, and only if, you think you can solve their problem, do you start talking about what you do.” That's super simple. Most people don't do that.

 

The Journey to Extraordinary Results Begins With This One Simple Step · [31:45] 

 

Will Barron:

Is the goal here, or let me phrase this another way, should we picture this that we're in this journey, we are the hero of our own story and we need to ask these big questions ourselves, maybe via the help of a coach, mentor or people have been there and done what we want to achieve. Should we picture it as we are the hero in our own journey, in our story? Or really, is this formulaic? Can you copy? Can you go through a step-by-step training plan and it promises X and achieve X? Or is all of this, when we start to get to these extraordinary results, a personal thing that's very difficult to systematise for someone to give you a way of doing it?

 

Geoff Woods:

I actually think they can be the same. If you actually study the hero's journey, if you look up, Google, formula to the hero's journey, meet hero, hero has problem. Because hero has problem, hero's life gets worse. When hero is almost at his lowest, introduce mentor, introduce guide, introduce the coach who starts teaching hero certain things. Hero starts implementing what mentor shares, life gets worse for hero. But at true rock,-bottom, hero learns something. Hero changes. Hero starts doing different activities. Hero makes progress. And here's what hero actually learns by reflecting on his journey.

 

“We can all be the hero of our own story, but you can't actually be the hero without the guide or without the mentor.” – Geoff Woods · [33:16]

 

Geoff Woods:

So we can all be the hero of our own story, but you can't actually be the hero without the guide or without the mentor. And that mentor is oftentimes sharing the model, the system, the approach to a better way of doing things. We cover this in The ONE Thing, it's one of the three commitments to achieve extraordinary success.

 

Geoff Woods:

The first is, you must follow the path of mastery. It means committing yourself to a lifelong journey of mastery. The third is living the accountability cycle. When things go well, celebrate, raise the goal. When things go wrong, look in the mirror, ask what can I do differently? In between mastery and accountability is moving from E to P, from being entrepreneurial to purposeful. From doing what comes naturally based on our current circumstances, our current comfort zones, our current skill sets, which are irrelevant because they impose a ceiling over what's possible.

 

Geoff Woods:

And instead, looking for what's the best that can be done. And modelling that behaviour and following its systematically so you shatter that ceiling of achievement. And all of a sudden, the ceiling just goes to a new level. Which means you're missing the next level of models and systems to get to the next level. And it's a lifelong journey.

 

Parting Thoughts · [34:36] 

 

Will Barron:

Love it. I love it. I've got nothing else to add, Geoff. I want to end on that high. Tell us with that where we can find out more about you, ProduKtive, The ONE Thing, the podcast, what you're up to, mate. Tell us where we can find out more about all this good stuff.

 

Geoff Woods:

Yeah. So if you're listening to a podcast, just on your podcast player search for The ONE Thing, The O-N-E T-H-I-N-G. The podcast is in the top five percent of all podcasts in the world. Every week we share stories of people or give guidance just to help you get a little bit more focused. So you invest more of your time and spend less of it.

 

Geoff Woods:

If you'd like to learn more about what we do as a training and consulting organisation, the website's the1thing.com and that's with the number 1 in the URL. So the, then the number 1, thing.com. As an individual, you can learn about our training programmes, our goal setting retreats. If you're a leader in a company, we have a very simple system that helps leaders take their teams from being busy to being productive. You can request a consultation, we'll hop on Zoom and walk through what it looks like.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I'll link to all that and everything else that we talked about, the hero's journey, the book behind that, in the show notes to this episode, over at salesman.org. And with that, Geoff, I want to thank you for your time, your expertise. It's always a pleasure interviewing. No bullshit, mate, it's genuinely a pleasure to interview you on this show when we catch up. And I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Geoff Woods:

Thanks, Will. Appreciate you, man.

 

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