The 3 Priorities Top Producers Understand (There isn’t a 4th…)

I had a great blog article for you today about the lessons I learned from my Tom Hopkins interview (listen here), but my friend Joe Buzzello put the following out over the weekend and I felt it was too important not to share TODAY!!!  I believe that if you truly prioritize your sales career around the three things that Joe lays out below, you will see your checking account swell immediately!!!  Don’t worry, I’ll still publish the lessons I learned from Tom Hopkins this Wednesday.  Have a great Monday!!!


Guest Post From Joe Buzzello

This blog article will explore one of those unwritten rules that will ensure a successful sales career. (IF you understand and practice it) The antithesis of this law is also exact. It’s one of those laws that, if not applied regularly will absolutely kill your career in short order.

Short-Term Urgency: The Other Half Of The Battle To Sales Success

I have zero patience. If you know me, you know that statement to be true. In fact, if anything, it is an understatement. I hate lines, slow drivers, idiots, laziness, waiting, looking for things, and the list goes on and on….. Now is almost too late.

urgent running

Last week I wrote that half the battle of success in sales is having long-term focus. (Read it here.) I put forth the idea that without big goals and a clear vision of why you are doing what you are doing, the little annoyances and setbacks would drive you out of the business. That concept was hard for me to learn. I don’t always think way ahead. If some people are checkers players and others are better at chess, I lean more towards Candy Land.

Who's Feeding You?

When this question was posed to “David” (not his real name), I could see pure panic in his eyes.  (Full disclosure: We were sitting in Joe Buzzello’s hot tub and I must admit there was beer involved.)  At first David hemmed and hawed a little before saying he really didn’t have anyone who was feeding him and helping him grow.  Even though David is a very successful executive that has reached a high level position, he is stuck in a rut.  He admitted that his business wasn’t growing at near the rate he had expected.  Worse yet, he didn’t really have anyone to ask how to fix it.

banquet server

I’ve been there. I understand how alone David feels in his journey.  A few years ago I had outgrown my leader. I’m not casting any aspersions on him.  He really is a good guy, but his leadership skills weren’t helping me.  In fact I felt he was holding me back.  I also felt trapped. It seemed that my only two choices were live with it or leave the organization.  Neither choice seemed tenable. After several weeks of sleepless nights I stumbled upon a third choice.  I found a mentor outside of my organization that was willing to work with me.  This relationship literally changed my life.

Long-Term Focus (Half The Battle Of Success)

I almost ignored the best advice I ever received about success.  It was delivered by a cranky, old curmudgeon that taught my sales school nearly 17 years ago. The day it was delivered, I thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard.


It was nearly the end of the day and the class was tired.  The instructor asked us to raise our hand if we wanted to be successful in the insurance business 10 years from now.  Everyone’s hand went up.  He asked us to raise our hand again if we wanted to know how to be successful in the insurance business 10 years from now.  Again, every hand quickly sprang up.  He paused, let the suspense grow, and then said in a conspiratorial tone,

Tom Hopkins is Coming on the Podcast: Exciting Announcement and I Need Your Help

Be careful what you wish for!  I wrote a blog article a couple weeks ago about how Tom Hopkins had ruined my life.  (Read it here)  Obviously it was very tongue-in-cheek. Early in my career I was a huge Tom Hopkins disciple and attended his Building Sales Champions boot camp.  I learned numerous career changing things that weekend. The one that has stuck with me the most has been his statement, “I must do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.” 

Tom Hopkins

Well apparently someone forwarded the article  to Tom.  He reached out to me through LinkedIn and said some very nice things. I thanked him for his encouragement and asked him if he would be willing to come on the podcast. Imagine my delight when he agreed!!!

My delight quickly turned into angst. Tom Hopkins is one of my heroes and I am somewhat intimidated to have him on. I want to make sure that I get the most out of the interview for you, the faithful listener. I also don’t want to waste his time.

That’s where you come in. The interview is in less than two weeks and I am stressing!!! Could you do me a huge favor?  Could you please help me develop some questions to ask Tom?  If you are willing to help me you have three options:

  1. Leave your question as a comment by clicking on the “Comment” button in the top left corner of this article. (Assuming you are reading this on the SIV website.)
  2. Leave your question by voicemail. Just click on the blue button on the right side that says, “Send Voicemail.” (Assuming you are reading this on the SIV website.)
  3. Hit the reply button on your email program right now. (Assuming you are reading this through the email I sent you.)

If I use your question, I will give you credit for it in the podcast and I will also send you the Audio version of my latest eBook Disturbing Questions, Making the Decision Maker Uncomfortable. (A $12 value)

Conclusion: Be careful what you wish for!

Question: Would you help me with the questions to ask Tom?

Eight Signs You Have Turned Pro In Sales – Borrowed From Steven Pressfield

I have been under the spell of Author, Steven Pressfield for the last several months.  Pressfield wrote one of my favorite golf movies of all time, “The Legend Of Bagger Vance.” (Watch Here)

war of art

If you knew of Pressfield for his fiction, you may not know that he is also a non-fiction author.  Most of his his non-fiction writing is geared more towards artists and writers than it is to sales people.  Having said that, if you don’t read his books The War of Art and Turning Pro I worry about you.  They are both that important. Just about everyone, from every walk of life, can benefit from these two books. Those that are artists, writers, entrepreneurs and sales people will be profoundly changed.