The Most Dangerous Threat To Your Sales Success

Len Herstein is a Keynote Speaker, Author, Marketing Strategist and a Reserve Sheriff's Deputy. In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Len taps into his brand marketing and law enforcement experience to reveal the most dangerous threat to your sales success. He also shares strategies to help you achieve, cherish, and protect success in both life and business

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest -
Business Strategy Expert

Resources:

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Hi, my name is Will, and welcome to today's episode of the Salesman Podcast. On today's episode, we're looking at the most dangerous threat to your sales success, and today's guest is Len Herstein. Len's 30 plus years in business, brand marketing and law enforcement led to his book, Be Vigilant!, where he provides a roadmap for individuals to stop complacency, improve performance, and safeguard the success that they've worked so hard to achieve. We want to touch on all this in today's episode. And with that, Len, welcome to the show.

 

Len Herstein:

Thanks, Will. Good to be here. Thanks for having me.

 

The Most Dangerous Threat to Highly Successful Salespeople · [00:50] 

 

Will Barron:

You are more than welcome, sir. We were just talking football before we clicked record. Don't say who you support, mate, because you might get a load of hate after this episode, and maybe a few polite emails on the back of that as well, but I appreciate you, mate. So with that said, I know the answer to this question because we've done a bit of prep for the interview, but the audience probably don't, and I'm in so much agreement with you here. I think this is a really exciting topic. With that said, Len, what is the most dangerous threat, not just to salespeople, but to perhaps highly successful salespeople?

 

“Success is not the end goal, keeping it is.” – Len Herstein · [01:38] 

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. The thing that I think is one of the most dangerous threats is complacency, is the idea that as we get more successful, we develop an overconfidence, a self-satisfaction, even potentially a smugness that makes us unaware of potential threats. And when we become unaware of potential threats, when we fail to see the warning signs, when we fail to see the things that we're doing that make us vulnerable, that is when our success becomes at risk. What I always tell people is success is not the end goal, keeping it is.

 

Understanding the Risk of Complacency in Sales · [01:43]

 

Will Barron:

And is this something that all successful fo people fall into, or is this a trap that can be averted? Do we have to learn this lesson via the school of hard knocks or is keynote speaking, the events that you do, reading the book, and the coaching that you do, is that capable of getting us through this?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah, so that's exactly… The book is set up to give a us strategies that we can employ today that will help us identify complacency and fight it. And so one of the things, when we talk about complacency, that people get confused about is kind of what complacency is, first of all. And I think a lot of people would equate it with laziness. And really complacency is not laziness, it's what I talked about, is that unawareness of threats because of our overconfidence.

 

Len Herstein:

And then the next step is people start worrying well, what's the opposite of complacency, isn't it like paranoia? Because that doesn't sound fun. I don't want to be paranoid. But the actual answer is that the opposite and the antidote to complacency is vigilance. And the difference is that paranoia is based in fear and vigilance is based in awareness. And so this is what the book is. And when I go talk to people and when I consult with people, it's all about helping them develop the strategies that enable them to become more aware, to become more intentional, to become more in a moment so that they don't get caught by surprise due to their complacency.

 

Complacency and Why It’s a Threat to All Types of Salespeople · [03:14]

 

Will Barron:

Is this just for, obviously our audience are mainly salespeople, there's entrepreneurs, marketers [inaudible 00:03:14] of people listen to the show, but we'll focus on the B2B salesperson. Is this only for successful salespeople or can salespeople who are, if you're consuming this podcast and this content you're probably, even if you, even just be blunt, even if you suck, you're probably on the path to success at some point, right? Because the average salesperson who's just never going to do anything in their career is not going to tune into content like this, so we can make that assumption. But is this just, is complacency just something that successful people fall into, or is it like an inverse of this where you can suck at sales and be complacent in how much you suck and you're just managing to hold on, does the same process that we're going to talk about still apply to those individuals?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So complacency applies to everybody. What I do say though, is that you're less likely to find complacency in a bootstrapping startup that's maxing out their credit cards and working out of their parents' garage than you are with someone who's experienced success. But success is a sliding scale. I mean, success is not just this one pinnacle. We have successes along the way. And as we build those successes, whatever we enjoy that success in, we become vulnerable to complacency. This is applicable to everybody, no matter where they are in their game, no matter where they are in their business, no matter where they are in their life, because it also applies to your personal life, as much as your professional life. Complacency kills businesses, it kills brands, it kills teams, it kills relationships, both professional and personal.

 

Tell-tale Signs You Might be Complacent · [04:50] 

 

Will Barron:

So how do we know if we're in a position of being complacent and we need to up our levels of vigilance? We'll get practical about this as well of how we implement some of this. But how do we know if this is… Because some of this is self-reflection right of, I guess it's almost a paradox, because if you knew that you were being complacent, you would probably not be complacent. Right?

 

Len Herstein:

Right.

 

Will Barron:

So how do we, other than someone stumbling into a show like this, how do we kind of implement this as perhaps a practise that we've got to check in with ourselves over time?

 

“The first question is, do you feel successful in any way, shape or form with your relationships, business, sales teams, with whatever you’re doing? And if the answer is yes, then more than likely you should get a little bit more introspective and understand that there's probably complacency somewhere.” – Len Herstein · [06:05] 

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So there there's lots of warning signs, and in the book we go through, each strategy is kind of built around something that you're not doing or potentially not doing. The reality is you need to take a step back and kind of first question is, have I experienced some success? Do I feel successful in some element of my life, whether it be at home or at work? And the reality is based on our human nature. If you have experience of some success, if you can say that you are successful in some way, shape or form, it is most likely a good assumption that you have complacency somewhere because it is a natural state of being for us. We want to feel comfortable. We don't want to be questioning things all the time. So the first question is, do I feel successful in any way, shape or form with my relationships, with my business, with my sales teams, with whatever I'm doing? And if the answer is yes, then more than likely you should get a little bit more introspective and understand that there's probably complacency somewhere.

 

Len Herstein:

But some red flags that you can definitely look for right away. Number one is who do you think your competition is? So if you have settled in on, here's my one or two major competitors, everything I do all my plan, I'm going to talk about this from a sales perspective, all my planning, all my scenarios, all my pricing and my offerings and my features and my benefits are all built around my competition with these one or two major competitors that I know really well. That is a sign that perhaps you're losing sight of what else is out there. I call that the road runner effect. People of a certain age are familiar with the Road Runner cartoon with the road runner and Wiley Coyote. And Wiley coyote is always trying to get the road runner and is a 100 percent focused on that road runner.

 

“If you're so focused on one or two or three competitors and you feel really confident there, that's a good sign that you might be complacent.” – Len Herstein · [07:48] 

 

Len Herstein:

The reality is that all the dangers in all of the, and all of the downsides that come across Wiley Coyote are never due to the road runner. They're always due to something else that Wiley Coyote didn't see. And that's the problem that we fall into. We get into this thing where we get so comfortable. If we're Coke, our competition is Pepsi. If we're Microsoft, our competition is Apple. If we're a solar company, our competition is the other solar company down the street, and we lose sight of Tesla coming in and changing the game for solar, or Red Bull coming in and changing the game for soft drinks, or whatever it is. If you're so focused on one or two or three competitors and you feel really confident there, that's a good sign that you might be complacent. So that's number one.

 

Len Herstein:

A second one that's really easy to do is your to articulate your why. So this is something that gets back to kind of our purpose. This comes from my law enforcement background. All of this comes from my law enforcement background. These are things that I learned when I got into law enforcement that I was able to apply back to business and life. But this thing about being able to articulate your why gets to power and power dynamics. And a lot of times when we gain power, when we're successful, that allows us to be complacent because we're not getting pushback from people because we hold the power in relationship. And so if our why, if we're really being honest for ourselves as to what we're doing, is because we can or because we said so, those are really good signs that we're being complacent, because those whys should be rooted in our customers and our vendors and our partners and our employees. They shouldn't be because we can.

 

Will Barron:

Is there any value… Because as you were saying that, Len, I'm getting this, and maybe I've probably been there myself in the past, right, I'm getting this vision of, I'm just going to paint a picture, and so whether this is sexist or whatever, I don't know. But it's me as a masculine fellow, well, so a masculine fella riding around in my red BMW, seeing customers, knowing that I'm the one with the right product for them, they sell medical devices, they've got to buy it from me because they want to work with that brand and there's only always another competitor. No one else can really get in that space, obviously because medical devices costs so much to develop and there's so much lead time from product to it being implemented in the marketplace.

 

Will Barron:

So I'm this dude 23 year old dude, hair slicked back, driving around in his red BMW, seeing these surgeons, they have to buy from me. Overconfident to a point of I'm not faking it till I make it anymore, I'm now just coming across like a bit of a dick sometimes. And my why is because I want to buy a bigger, faster, more red stupid car. Right?

 

Len Herstein:

Right.

 

The Difference Between Complacency and Being Comfortable · [10:10] 

 

Will Barron:

I feel like there'll be a bunch of the audience who, whether they acknowledge that or not, will be fitting into that kind of broad demographic of young salesperson making lots of money. How, other than some of them are driving around in a red BMW right now, listening to the show and they're going, oh crap, that's me, how else can they be introspective on this? And really, how can we hit them over the head in this episode, Len, and let them know that is you. Is there any other characteristics that we need to look out for?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. What you want to understand is why… So getting to this articulating the why, it gets to your purpose, and your purpose has to be something beyond just making money. You have to have a purpose in this world, whether it's… and you can define your world as big or as small as you want, but you have to really understand your purpose. And you have to understand the fact that when you hold power, the way that you wield that power has implications short term and long term. You might be in a position, like you're saying, you're selling this medical device. There's no other medical device out there, they have to buy from you. That is a position where you hold a lot of power. The way you treat people in that short term will affect what happens in the long term.

 

Len Herstein:

So you have to get this more macro view as to what's going on because the reality is that can work for a while, but eventually there's another solution that's going to come around. There's another… They're going to figure out a way, whether someone comes in to compete with you or your customers figure out a way to do without you, they're going to figure it out before long. And then all of a sudden you're going to turn and all of a sudden your customers are gone and you're going to be like, wow, they were unloyal. I can't believe they jumped. Well, the reality is that you sowed those seeds a long time ago.

 

“Ask yourself, are people working with me because they want to, are people buying from me because they want to, because I add value to their lives that they can't do without, or are they working with me because they have to? And if it's because they have to, and you’re taking advantage of that, that's going to come back and haunt you.” Len Herstein · [11:52] 

 

Len Herstein:

So it really requires taking this kind of macro view in terms of what's going on. And really, really being honest with yourself as to, are people working with me because they want to, are people buying for me because they want to, because I add value to their lives that they can't do without, or are they working with me because they have to? And if it's because they have to, and I'm taking advantage of that, that's going to come back and haunt you.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay. So I think that's super clear. I really appreciate that, Len. So that being said, it's not going to be all the audience who are going to be… who are, I was going to say feeling, but you're not really feeling this, you're being it, you're proactively being complacent. Right? There's going to be a good chunk of the audience who are in that state though.

 

Len Herstein:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

How to Stop Being Complacent and Start Being Vigilant · [12:27] 

 

Will Barron:

What's the next step for them? Is this something where they've got to sit down and is this an strategy? Is this an exercise in their mindsets? Is this finding the why? Is this strategic or is this kind of mindset based, the idea of being complacent?

 

Len Herstein:

Yes, it is. It is all the above. First and foremost is strategic. Right? And it's mindset based. It's really understanding this is, it's kind of like being having a substance abuse problem, right? I mean, the first thing you have to do is admit that you have a problem. And that's part of the problem with complacency. Like you said upfront, is that we don't understand that we have that problem because we're not thinking that way. If we were, we wouldn't be complacent. So number one is just building that awareness that this exists, complacency is always in the background and we have to constantly figure out ways to fight it. But what we can do is we can institutionalise it within our lives, within our business, within our home life so that this doesn't become a chore. All these strategies are based in building awareness so that we understand what's going on.

 

Len Herstein:

There's 10 things in the book, you can start with any which one of them, it doesn't matter. You can choose which ones make sense to you. One of the things that I think is the easiest thing that people can do right off the bat, and it's actually a really good signal that you're being complacent, is think about what you do after projects or missions or events are over. And one of the things that I talk about is the importance of debriefing. And you had talked about before this, that we're going to debrief afterwards. I love it. Because the thing that happens is most people, if you ask them if they do debriefs today, they would say yes, but the reality is they do the them when things go wrong and they do it mostly to find out who's to blame and how to figure out how do we not let this happen again.

 

Len Herstein:

And if you're being truly honest with yourself, when you're experiencing success with your customers, how often are you actually debriefing things, as opposed to like patting each other on the back and going out for drinks and celebrating successes, which is important, it's important to celebrate success. But when we don't question things because we've had success, that's when we become complacent. And so it's really important to start debriefing things, whether they go right or wrong. There's eight ways that I talk about in the book, in that chapter, as to how to do successful debriefs. One of them is do them regardless of the outcome of the event. So whether it's positive, negative, debrief. Talk about what went right. Talk about what went right by accident. Talk about where you might have had success only because your competition did worse than you or because you got lucky.

 

“Once you start resting on your laurels, once you start feeling comfortable in your success and stop questioning things, that's where you miss all those micro failures that turn into macro failures.” – Len Herstein · [15:36] 

 

Len Herstein:

There are always ways… We were talking sports, there are people in sports, here in American football, we would talk about Peyton Manning or Tom Brady in terms of these are people who, regardless of the level of success they have, they're the first one in a room watching films the next day, trying to figure out where could we have done better. Right? Where do we… Because once you start resting on your laurels, once you start feeling comfortable in your success and stop questioning things, that's where you miss all those micro failures that turn into macro failures. So your question was where can we start? You can start with mindset, you can start with strategies, you can start with whatever you want to start with. The real step is becoming aware that this is an issue and making a decision that we're going to do things in our life, both professionally and personally, to help address it.

 

What’s Your Definition of Success and Do You Really Need to Pursue More of It? · [16:29] 

 

Will Barron:

What if we are, we're a salesperson, so we're not an entrepreneur. We don't have the whole… we inadvertently have the company on our back, right? We're we are bringing in the [crosstalk 00:16:12] right. But we are not… our quota is based on sales activity as opposed to customer service or anything like that. And so let's say we've hit our quota the past three or four years in a row. We're having a decent year this year. Is pushing for a feeling of being comfortable or even just being a little bit complacent in the role because we know we've had success in the past, is that always unhealthy or do we always need to be striving for more and more revenue and bigger bonuses and more targets? Because I know this kind of, hopefully this is an interesting question of, is it unhealthy to always be pushing for more, and is a little bit of complacency okay in certain situations or is complacency like, is it binary, is it always a bad idea?

 

“Everybody's definition of success is different, and you don't always have to be striving for more, but it's important to understand what success is to you so that you can protect it once you gain it.” – Len Herstein · [17:44] 

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So what I don't want to do is I don't want to convey the idea that it's not okay to feel comfortable. That's not what this is about. So it's not about… Complacency, fighting complacency doesn't mean that we always have to be uncomfortable. And the other key point is that success is how we define it. Some people's success is like, I need to be CEO of the company or I need to be a billionaire or I need to be whatever. Other people's success is, I want to have a good paycheck and I want to enjoy my family and I want to see my kids grow up and go to school functions and all that stuff. So everybody's definition of success is different, and you don't always have to be striving for more, but it's important to understand what success is to you so that you can protect it once you gain it. Right?

 

Len Herstein:

And so that's a problem. Maybe success for you is earning enough money so that you can go to the pub with your mates and take care of your family. And that's totally cool, there's nothing wrong with that. But the reality is that once you get too comfortable in that, you might take… maybe success for you is your relationships, but if you start taking those relationships for granted, if you stop paying attention to the health of those relationships, if you stop asking questions of your spouse or your partner or whatever, to stay in the moment to understand what's going on, both good and bad, you run the risk of jeopardising that success that you've set up for yourself. So it's all about different levels. It's all about self-awareness. It's all about intentionality and understanding where you are. And it could be any level, whatever level you're at, understanding what success is to you and how do I protect it.

 

Will Barron:

Len, that is so smart, mate. I really appreciate that answer because I don't think sales people, and I never did this, stop to think about what they actually want. Now, obviously we're in a role, we've got to hit a quota or at least give, in a decent company, at least give a real good account of yourself and a good effort to get close to it. You're not going to get sacked if you hit quota for three years and then you miss it, but you're close to the next, right? Because obviously the market changes, the product changes, the customer changes. We go through a global pandemic. Who knows what else is going on in the world, right?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

So I think that's fair enough to say, but there's so… the people I speak with and coach with our training programme, there's so few salespeople who come into the programme who know what they actually want other than this robotic must hit quota. I think what you just said is really valuable to them.

 

How to Protect Your Success in This Highly Competitive Sales Environment · [19:40] 

 

Will Barron:

And then it leads onto this idea, which I really want to double down on, this idea of protecting your success. Because sales is a zero sum game, right? There's someone else that out there trying to poach your customers, there's only… If there's a deal going to happen, that it's likely most industries, they're only going to buy one product or service at that moment in time, and maybe you've got a chance later on, but again, someone else is out trying to eat your lunch, aren't they? So how do we, say that we're having success, how do we go about complacency and avoiding it from the perspective of there's someone out there? It's not like other spaces where you might be your own downfall. There's someone proactively trying to take your customers from you. How do we mitigate those kind of risks?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So, it's a great point. And it all comes together, and this is also in everything that I wrote about in this book. Real briefly, I spent 25 years in business before I ever got involved in law enforcement. I decided I wanted to become a volunteer. I went through a full academy and field training. I became a reserve peace officer, Sheriff's deputy, where I do everything a Sheriff's deputy does, but I do it for free. And I did it because I wanted to give back. But I started learning things that surprised me, that I was able to bring back to business and to life. And that's where this book came from. Be Vigilant. It's all based in things that I learned and this idea that complacency kills.

 

Len Herstein:

One of the things that is directly translatable from that is this idea that as we become complacent, and we become more vulnerable, we send signals out to our competition. People are watching. Right? You were talking about it. People are always looking to eat our lunch, right, and take our lunch from us. And the reality is, one of the things that we learn in the academy is looking buttoned up, right, keeping your shoes shined, keeping your uniform looking good, all those things. And that's not because of pomp and circumstance or anything like that. The reality is that there's data out there that says that criminals are out there looking and they will react to you based on the image that you present to them. And if you look vulnerable, they will try to exploit that vulnerability. But if you look buttoned up, they are likely to fight, they're less likely to run, they're less likely to do all the things that get people hurt or get me hurt or whatever it is.

 

“When you have people out there that are looking to take business from you, when they look at you, do they see easy pickings or do they see someone who's buttoned up and is prepared to protect what they have? If they see that you are prepared to protect what you have, they're more likely to go try and take someone else's lunch.” – Len Herstein · [21:55] 

 

Len Herstein:

It's the same thing in business. When you have people out there that are looking to take, when they look at you, do they see easy pickings or do they see someone who's buttoned up and is prepared to protect what they have? And if they see that you are prepared to protect what you have, they're more likely to go try and take someone else's lunch. So the first thing is making sure that as you build that awareness, as you start fighting that complacency, as you build defences against those vulnerabilities, you will automatically invite less competition because you are unattractive as a competitor.

 

Len Herstein:

There are many more people, I don't know what it's like in the UK, but here we have a lot of what we call vehicle trespassers, people breaking into people's cars. It used to be that this was a real complicated thing or they would try and jimmy locks or break windows. Now they just walk down the street and try door handles until they find one that's open because there's enough people that leave their doors open that the thieves don't have to work that hard. And you know what? If you're a salesperson, be the one who locks your door and let them move on to the next one who is letting themselves become more vulnerable.

 

Will Barron:

So I guess that practically two things come to mind. One, being known as an expert in your industry. Even if, for me, medical devices, you get attack… I'm not becoming an expert in all keyhole or endoscopic surgery, but perhaps I'm becoming an expert in my specific product, in a specific place, whether that is, hopefully, speaking events, industry conferences, being a go-to person to answer questions on your product, but other people's products in the space itself. That seems like the medium to long term goal with some of this. Because if I was competing… If I was competing for a sales training contract against me now, I'd be slightly panicked because our programme is established, but it's so different from everyone else out there that if someone was to Google me and what we were up to, I would probably go for and go and attack one of these kind of traditionally held sales training accounts instead of what we do. So maybe that's an example.

 

Len Herstein:

Absolutely.

 

Will Barron:

Just because we are differentiated and we're so entrenched. So that's, I'm an expert and public in the space, I guess was the point. So becoming known as an expert in your space is a medium to long term goal. But it seems like a short term goal then is just if you can physically be in the accounts regularly. Like when I was in medical device sales, I'd always pop into, Bradford is a local hospital to us here, every Friday I'd be in there from like two o'clock till five o'clock, I would just be sat in the… there's a bunch of… some of the world's top colorectal surgeons work at one particular theatre, I'd just be sat in the staff room with the surgeons, just chilling, hanging, doing emails, just physically be there. And I've saw competitors come to the door, and a lot of times it was just so awkward that I was there, that the surgeons would tell them to go away, come back another time. Right?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

 

The Benefits of Having Regular, Insightful Debriefs with Your Buyers · [24:48] 

 

Will Barron:

So being physically in an account is value, but then even less so, or even easier than that, what you mentioned earlier on doing debriefs, maybe we check in with our customers every quarter. We see if there's any issues ahead of time and we try and deal with them and stay in touch so that when a competitor rings up one of our accounts and they go, hey, well, when's the last time you spoke to will with sales trading over at whatever company, the buyer goes, well, last week he was doing some more training and he was doing this or doing that. Again, that's got to put competitors off, right?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah, no. That's so smart. That's exactly what happens. And that's one of the biggest vulnerabilities for salespeople, is because we're always trying to get new business. Right? And so as we get more successful and we start putting more attention towards new business, who suffers? Potentially our existing business. And just like you said, what's the first thing, if you're trying to steal someone's business from them, especially in your industry or medical sales, whatever sales you're doing, if you're trying to steal someone's business and you get a meeting with that customer, the first thing you're going to ask them is, hey, how much attention are you getting from your current sales person? How much are they really investing themselves in your success? How much of a partner are they?

 

“The more that you make your buyers feel like a true partner, the more that you make them understand that it's not just about a sale to you, it's about their success and making sure that they are successful, that's how you fight complacency.” – Len Herstein · [26:18] 

 

Len Herstein:

And that's the question that you're going to ask, right? Because when people get successful, they start taking what they have for granted. They spend less time with their existing customers. The customers may not even understand it until someone in comes in and starts raising that thing, and then they're like, you know what? It has been a while since Will's come to visit me, he's starting to take me for granted. The more that you're there, the more that you make them feel like a true partner, the more that you make them understand that it's not just about a sale to you, it's about their success and making sure that they are successful, they're successful, you're successful and the sales will come, that's how you fight that complacency.

 

Fighting Complacency in Life and Personal Relationships · [26:44]

 

Will Barron:

For sure. Okay. We'll wrap up with this line. And I say that this might be a four hour conversation in it's own right. But how does this translate outside of business? Because it seems like, anecdotally, a lot of my friends, well, the few of my friends who have been in long term relationships and it's fell apart, it's because they were both complacent, didn't work on the relationship, didn't work on themselves, both got fat and disgusting and then hated each other, and then it fell apart violently, right?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

So it seems like relationships with spouses, partners, whatever it is, whoever it is, this applies to that as well. But how else does this idea of complacency relate to out of work activities, relationships, and even hobbies or whatever it is?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah, it applies 100 percent outside or especially to our relationships, whether they're our friends or our spouses or our partners or our kids, we have a tendency to start taking that for granted. They're always there, they're there at the house. And so we we stop asking questions. We start focusing only on problems, right? We don't debrief things that go well, our conversations become always about pain points as opposed to successes. And so our relationship takes a hit because everything that we start associating with that other person is negative. The only time that we actually talk and have meaningful conversations is when stuff's going bad. Right?

 

Len Herstein:

We might lose sight of the threats. One of the things I talk about in the book is this idea of threat awareness, of understanding where those threats can come from. How in tune are you with your children's lives in terms of where those threats are coming from? Social media, bullying, substance abuse, whatever it is, are you just focused on the fact that they have good grades and they say hi to you in the morning, is that enough? Or are you really questioning what's going on in their lives so that you're remaining in touch with them? Because the more success they have, the more that they seem to be successful on the surface, the more you're likely to kind of pull back and say, hey, what's working is working. And that's where you start missing those kind of micro failures.

 

Len Herstein:

One of the things that happens in romantic relationships a lot of times is you have an erosion of trust. And this is something that happens in business, it happens in government, law enforcement, you have this erosion of trust. And so if you step back and you start seeing that in your relationship, you have lost the benefit of the doubt. This is something I'm talking about is when you lose that benefit of the doubt. When you are really… When you have a lot of trust in someone and something happens, the first place you might go to, if whatever happened was negative, is that person didn't mean it that way, that wasn't what they meant to do, they are good people at heart, they trust me, they value me.

 

Len Herstein:

When you lose that benefit of the doubt, everything, it could be like, hey, good morning. What'd you mean by that? What are you trying to say? Good morning, huh? When you start reacting that way, or when your people in your life start reacting, you've had that erosion of trust. That erosion of trust comes from neglect of that relationship, which is a sign of complacency.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. So now I'm really focused on with my misses at the moment is celebrating more wins. Because she's a doctor, she's having tremendous success in her career. Our business is growing. And it seems like it's, I don't do it instinctively. I will get on to the next milestone and the next milestone and keep on the way. And then you look back, we've been running sales into org in the [inaudible 00:30:09] academy now for like seven years. And I look back at all the milestones and I've not celebrated maybe like three out of the hundreds that we've been through of customer milestones and revenue milestones and product development milestones, all these kind of things, podcast download numbers and milestones. So this is when I'm consciously being aware of.

 

Practical Structure of an Effective Debrief · [30:34] 

 

Will Barron:

But I've got one final question for you, Len, and that is, is there a structure? It seems like debriefing is incredibly important here, whether it's with your customer, whether it's with your partner, whether it's with your kids, scheduling that into, hey, we did something, debrief afterwards or even just quarterly debrief, whatever it is. It seems like we almost want to do like a SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Is there any, or do you recommend any structure to a debrief or any questions that we should ask within a debrief that can drive kind of tremendous value?

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. And so, in a professional setting, there's very specific things that I recommend people do as it relates to debrief. And like I said, there's eight in the book. There's there's do it regardless of outcome, positive or negative, make sure you leave titles and stature at the door so that everybody has a say, make sure that they're regularly scheduled so everybody knows they're going to happen so that they pay more attention. Like I said, there's eight things that you can do that will help structure those debriefs. The thing to be careful of at home is it's not fun to say we're going to schedule a debrief. It doesn't need… That's the terminology you don't have to use.

 

Len Herstein:

A debrief at home could be as simple as a family dinner that we always have. And when we sit down to a family dinner or family breakfast or a walk that we go along on the weekends, just to talk, just to catch up to just say, hey, I saw… Hey daughter. I have two daughters. I saw you got an A on that test, tell me about that. How'd that happen? What went right? Did you change your studying? Did you do something? What went right? Do you think maybe like there was things that went wrong that you could have done better?

 

Len Herstein:

These conversations, they can be scheduled without making them like… it's not like you have to create a conference room in the house and sit down and have a PowerPoint presentation. It could be whatever it is, just making sure that you have something built into your life. Hey, every morning I'm going to have breakfast with the family, or two times a week we're going to have whatever you can do. I mean, it's not always possible, but figuring in those touch points that are specifically built around talking about things that went right and not just the things that went wrong.

 

Parting thoughts · [33:23]

 

Will Barron:

For sure. The reason I asked you about the outside of work thing as well is just to emphasise the points that we tend to think of our business and sales relationships as one entity and then our friends and family as another, but if you doing a good job and you're adding a lot of value and you're supporting people and you're debriefing and you're improving consist consistently, a lot of it's very similar. If you're just a terrible person, you're probably a terrible person at home as well as a terrible person to your customers. Right? So I think a lot of this translates. And so I think that was important to bring it up. And we'll wrap up with that, Len. With that, mate, tell us a bit more about the book, where we can find it. And then tell us about the keynotes and the speeches and that that you're doing as well.

 

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. So the book is called Be Vigilant!: Strategies to Stop Complacency, Improve Performance and Safeguard Success. I've got green screen so you won't be able to see it, but it's available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Apple Books, wherever you buy your books or eBooks. You can get more information at Len Herstein, L-E-N H-E-R-S-T-E-I-N.com or bevigilantbook.com. Or you can just look me up on LinkedIn and I'm always happy to connect.

 

Len Herstein:

And one of the… You mentioned the speaking and the consulting. I mean, the whole reason I wrote this book is to help spread this message, looking to get in front of as many organisations or teams or associations as possible. We spend a lot of time in meetings and conferences and stuff, talking about the nitty gritty, the tactics to achieve success. We don't spend a lot of time talking about how to keep that success. And so that's kind of the role I'm looking to play these days, is to come in and work with teams and organisations or companies or associations to help them understand how do we protect that success we've worked so hard to achieved.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. I'll link to all that in the show notes to this episode over at salesman.org. And with that, Len, I appreciate your insights, mate. I appreciate you bringing this to us on the podcast. I say this straight up, I appreciate your ability to translate this from business to home as well. I think that's incredibly valuable for the audience. And with that one, thank you for joining us again on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Len Herstein:

Thanks, Will, I really appreciate it. I had a great time. Thanks.

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