#037: SIV Bill Cates – The Referral Coach

Introductions eat referrals for breakfast

Bill Cates picture

A good friend of mine, Eric Silverman recently introduced me to Bill Cates. I had read Bill’s book Don’t Keep Me A Secret several years ago so I was thrilled when Bill agreed to come on the podcast.

Bill has revolutionized the way sales professionals acquire ideal clients by adopting a proven process to generate personal introductions and communicate a more compelling value proposition. Bill is the author of three best-selling books: Get More Referrals Now, Don’t Keep Me a Secret, and Beyond Referrals. His newest book, Radical Relevance, is scheduled for release in late May or early June.

Bill is also somewhat of an adventurer. He has trekked through the Himalayas of Nepal and the Andes of Peru. He has lived on a houseboat in Kashmir, India, climbed Machu Pichu, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, camped on the Arctic Circle… and he has toured the country as the drummer in a rock and roll band.

Things Bill And I Talked About

  • Bill’s first experience in sales was selling furnace filters for Cub Scouts. He learned the importance of:
    • Getting referrals
    • Effective sales contests
    • Visualization
  • Bill’s belief in listening to audio programs
  • Why people don’t ask for referrals
    • They have never been shown
    • Sales manager was never taught so they don’t know how to teach it
    • It is easier to keep doing what they are doing
    • Psychologically people are afraid due to mistaken assumptions and self-limiting beliefs
  • Becoming referrable through outstanding service
  • Rory Vaden’s quote, “It’s hard to be nervous when your heart is in service.”
  • Many people disguise their no’s as a maybe
  • The difference between an introduction and a referral
    • “Call Frank and tell him I gave you his name,” is no longer an effective method
    • Electronic handshake is much stronger (usually done by email)
    • Getting everyone together is stronger still
  • How soon can you ask for a referral? When value has been delivered and when value has been recognized
  • The importance of paying attention to people in your client’s sphere
  • You must have confidence when asking for introductions
  • Bring a list of possible clients to referral meeting
  • Have fun with it. “Who on this list would you avoid if you were me?”
  • How to separate yourself from the competition
    • Go vertical
    • Avoid shotgun approach to marketing
    • Learn about your prospect before reaching out to them
    • Bring innovative strategies to your clients and their business
    • Use education to take your prospect off the market
  • Two Anthony Iannarino quotes:
    • “Most customers are more comfortable with their problem than with your solution.”
    • “It’s no longer good enough to have sales acumen. You must now also have business acumen.
  • Why he hires coaches and why you should too. It takes humility to get better!

Books We Talked About

Spoiler Alert: There are just a few… As always, just click on the book cover to discover more!!!

don't keep me a secretbeyond referrals












How To Reach Bill

Bill is very accessible. You can find out what he is doing and check out his great resources at http://www.referralcoach.com/resources

Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it.

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

Pick A Lane

It will save a lot of damage

I recently met a friend of mine for coffee. Sally (not her real name) wanted to pick my brain as to some ideas for her business.

Pick a lane

The Situation

Sally gave me the following rundown of her many endeavors as she explained her situation.

  • Sally runs a very satisfying small business that fortunately breaks even most months, even after pulling out a small salary.
  • Sally is involved in a network marketing company that she earns o.k. money from every month. She hasn’t started to recruit other reps but she does believe passionately in the product and has several loyal retail customers.
  • Sally helps some friends of hers by working with their customers via the internet. The amount of money from this “job” is fairly negligible and it takes her 10 hours a week to accomplish.

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#036: SIV Paul Freed – The Art of Recruiting

How to differentiate yourself and your opportunity

Paul Freed

Did I Ever Mention That Success Is Voluntary?

That Includes Recruiting Success

I am very excited to introduce you to my friend Paul Freed. I meet Paul 5 years ago at a Michael Hyatt conference titled Launch. We had a lot in common and decided to start a Mastermind group with a couple of other guys we had met. The time we spent working together helped me to clarify exactly what I wanted my podcast and blog to look like. Paul’s insight and passion dramatically impacted my thinking and my business.

Paul is a named partner in Seattle’s premiere executive search firm. In other words he helps companies attract top-level candidates for companies like Starbucks, REI, Zillow and T-Mobile. He travels all over the world speaking about job search, recruiting and employee attraction. He is the only person I know personally who has given a TED talk. To say Paul is a power player is a major understatement. On top of all that, he is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

What We Talked About

  • Most people fall backwards into their career
  • The cyclical nature of business
  • Mixing your identity with your job title
  • How to not allow your job to define you
  •  You have value, meaning and worth regardless of how things are going
  • How his firm went from no revenue for two months and came roaring back to be the largest executive search firm is the Pacific Northwest.
  • The two questions you must nail on your job interview
  • How to benchmark your competition
  • Why most companies job descriptions suck
  • What to do about it
  • Recruiting is a sales and marketing function
  • Putting you best recruiting pitch into a 2-3 paragraph narrative and including it in the job description
  • Looking for candidates that are working and happy vs. job seekers
  • Organizations hire based on competency and fire based on culture
  • The importance of reading your job description out loud
  • Why video emails are so critical and can be your unfair competitive advantage
  • And other duties as assigned

The Four Books We Talked About

As always, just click on the covers below to learn more.

Book cover how to win friends

Platform by Michael Hyatt




Connect With Paul

Pauld would love to connect with you and help any way he can. To find out more go to his website:


Thank You For Listening

I really appreciate you listening to the podcast and would love it if you would be so kind as to rate the podcast on iTunes.  To do that, all you have to do is go to http://successisvoluntary.com/iTunes and follow the instructions.  It will take you less than 30 seconds and would be a huge help to me as it will keep the podcast towards the top of the business charts in iTunes which will help new people discover it.

I look forward to seeing you back here next week, in the meantime, don’t forget that everything you do in this business is voluntary.  Including success!!!

Tame The Beast

Your Cellphone is For Your Convenience

I’m guessing you have a smartphone. In fact you are probably reading this article on said smartphone. Isn’t the technology that you hold in your hand nearly miraculous? In the last three years the lovely Dizzy D and I have traveled to Europe twice. We went to countries we had never traveled to and where we didn’t speak the local language. Because of my iPhone (I’m not an Android infidel) the trips were almost flawless. We visited Italy for 22 days and spent 10 days in Portugal and Spain. I used

Man going crazy on phones.

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#035: Tim Martin – Personal Coaching


I can’t tell you how overwhelming and humbling the response to the re-launch of the Success Is Voluntary blog and podcast has been! Your emails, phone calls, and comments on the website and Facebook have meant more to me than you will ever know.

One of the crazy, unintended, but gratifying side effects of the re-launch has been that several people have asked if I was available for personal coaching. The answer is yes I am, but only for the right person. Before we get into who I accept into my coaching program I want to tell you a story.

Tim’s Story

The year was 2011 and I was stuck. It you are a movie buff I would assume you have seen the classic movie “Groundhog Day.” I was so stuck in my career development that every day seemed like

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We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. 

Jim Rhon

#033: SIV David Mead – Start With Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Action


I don’t know about you, but I have had a handful of epiphanies in my lifetime that dramatically impacted my thinking, my business success, and my life.

Early in 2010, someone introduced me to a TED talk given by Simon Sinek that absolutely changed the way I looked at my life. I have always had a strong vision of why I was doing what I was doing, but I didn’t understand the importance of sharing my why with the people I was leading, including my own family.

The TED talk is titled How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It is the 3rd most watched video in the history of TED.com with over 37 million views. Shortly after the video was released, Simon released his first book titled Start With Why which expanded on the concepts he had laid out in the video. It was a runaway best seller.

I contacted Simon’s organization and they were gracious enough to offer to bring David Mead, one of their top trainers, onto the Success Is Voluntary podcast. David has been with The Start With Why Movement since almost the beginning. In fact he was working with Simon before the TED talk. David travels extensively all over the world speaking and helping organizations instill a Start With Why culture.

The 13 WHYS David And I Talked About

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How Do You Know?

Do you really want to know?

In sales we often are so driven by emotion that we don’t stop and really analyze what is going on in our business. We just bebop through our day doing the activities we think will drive our business forward. We end the day on a high. We have accomplished every thing on our task list. We made two DM presentations that we feel really good about. We even found time to make a bunch of new contacts that we are convinced will turn into new customers. It seems our business is about ready to explode. Well to borrow a phrase from ESPN commentator Lee Corso,

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#031: SIV Tom Hopkins

Tom delivers once again.

Tom Hopkins

When I relaunched the Success Is Voluntary blog and podcast this January, one of the first congratulatory emails I got was from Tom Hopkins. Tom had been a guest on the podcast 4 years ago and his episode still holds the record for the number of downloads of a SIV podcast (just over 4,500.) In his email he asked me if I would like to have him come back on the podcast. I was stunned and incredibly humbled that A) Tom is a subscriber to SIV, B) That he actually reads my emails, and C) That he contacted me with his very generous offer.

If you listened to his first appearance you know what a huge influence Tom has had on my sales career and quite frankly my life. I could not be more thrilled to get to gleen more wisdom from Tom during this interview. The thing I love about the SIV podcast is that I get to ask questions and learn from every guest we have on. The way I look at it is that I get at least 1% better from each and every guest. I thank you for coming along with me on this incredible journey.

In the interest of time, so that you can get to listening to the podcast asap, I have again bullet-pointed the things we talked about on today’s episode.

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