#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!!!

#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!!!

#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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#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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#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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#032: Jackie Kohorst-Payne: Grit + Professionalism Always Wins

Where is VB headed?

Are You Stubborn Enough

Have you ever meet someone that you instantly knew was a true professional and that you were really going to enjoy collaborating with? Someone you knew was going to make you better? I first meet Jackie in early 2016. Her story of grit, determination and triumph inspired me then, and it continues to inspire me today!

Not only is Jackie inspiring, she is a world class professional and leader. In today’s episode Jackie breaks down where they VB industry started, how it got to where it is now, and where it is headed. I know I have never heard

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#030: Ron Jones – Let’s Go Fishing

Go to where the fish are biting!

Ron Jones Fishing

I actually meet Ron on a fly fishing trip in New Mexico. The trip was an award for a contest we had won from our carrier at the time. We would soon become fast friends and peer mentors.

This is also one of the “lost SIV episodes” that I recorded but was unable to release during my hiatus from SIV.

In this episode Ron talked about one of our favorite subjects…. (no, not fishing)

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#029: Les Heinsen – Optimism Isn’t Enough

Time Doesn't Always Equal Improvement

Les and Sharon Heinsen

Les Heinsen is one of my heroes. I don’t use that term loosely. I won’t take time to explain that statement here. I covered that 4 years ago the last time Les came on the SIV Podcast. During his time with us then, he gave an absolute Masters Class on leadership. Listen to it HERE

I asked Les to appear again today to dig in to the concept he taught me 15+ years ago, “Just because time passes doesn’t mean that things are going to get better.”

One of the things I admire most about Les is his optimism and ability to encourage others. He is someone that believes in his people and helps them to see the future as it could be. As optimistic as Les is, he fully understands that optimism isn’t

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Brian Hicks – Astound Yourself Today

It's supposed to suck revival...

This is a repeat of the podcast I originally published on April 5th of 2014. I ran it again today to hammer home the message of Monday’s blog article, It’s Supposed To Suck. 

Astounded Woman Blown Away

If you haven’t guessed, the theme for SIV this January is new beginnings. I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know exactly how hard it is to attempt something new. It would also be unconscionable to not remind you that the hard work is worth it. Brian reminded us how important it is to keep our focus on what we want.  LISTEN HERE

Please do every salesperson you know a favor and forward them this podcast. I promise they will thank you for it!

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I have had the great privilege of seeing Brian speak four times, including the two times I have paid him to come speak to my team. His message Astound Yourself Today resounds with audiences deeply.  In this episode Brian and I talk about many things including:

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#028: “Genius” Joe Buzzello Interview

Are you doing your genius work?

Genius Work Diagram

On Monday I introduced you to the idea of doing your “Genius Work.” I learned this concept from my friend and mentor Joe Buzzello. We have talked about it often and I felt it was time to bring it to you, my faithful subscriber. As a reminder your “Genius Work” occurs when:

  1. You love doing the work.
  2. You are talented and do the work with excellence.
  3. You can monetize the work.

To further explain this concept I invited Joe to join us on today’s Podcast.

But before you click on the play button, I want you to remember back to second grade when we were first introduced to the Venn Diagram. If you will remember, a Venn Diagram shows where two or more things overlap. For our example the chart above illustrates that sweet spot where all three components (enjoyment, talent, and monetization) of “Genius Work” all intersect.


Joe Buzzello


As a reminder Joe has authored two Amazon best selling books: The CAP Equation and Drawing Circles. Both are excellent and I heartily recommend them!  You can click on the covers below to get more information or to purchase them from Amazon.

I have also read an advanced copy of his new book: A Life In Sales. I promise you will not want to miss it when it comes out!



#027: Business Acumen – With Anthony Iannarino


This is my first podcast in 4 years! I can’t think of a better guest to kick off 2018 than with one of the smartest sales trainers on the planet, Anthony Innarino. I was so bummed when I had recorded this interview in 2014 and then wasn’t able to publish it. The good news is that Anthony absolutely crushed it and I can’t wait to share it with you!

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#026: Success Doesn’t Leave Tracks – With Tim Martin [Podcast]

Success Leaves Tracks.  I know this isn’t an original idea.  I first heard Brian Tracy say that exact phrase in in 1999.  I believed him then.  Today I think he was dead wrong!  I’ll explain that in a moment…..

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Super Highway

But before we get going, I have a quick reminder for you.  The SIV podcast is brought to you by the good folks over at ReadItFor.me.  Your excuse of not having enough time to read just went out the window.  What Steve and his team do at ReadItFor.me is take the absolute best-of-the-best business, sales, leadership and self improvement books and turn them into 12 minute videos.  They already have an extensive library there at your finger tips and it continues to grow each week.  They also hold weekly tele-seminars where they take a book and do a deep dive for an hour into how to best apply the lessons from that book.  If you were only able to make one of these tele-seminars a month it would be worth your entire subscription cost, trust me!  I never miss a week!!!  The best part? As a SIV subscriber you can get a 30-day free trail!  All you have to do is go to HERE.  It will automatically take you to the free 30 day trial.  If you decided to subscribe (and honestly why wouldn’t you?) you will get a 10% discount off their already ridiculously low price.  Just use SIV as your coupon code when you check out. It does need to be in all capital letters.

In today’s episode I talk about how Brian Tracy was wrong.  He said that success leaves tracks. I believe that is such an understatement that it is wrong.  Success doesn’t leave tracks… Success leaves a super highway.  To get from where you are today to the pinnacle of success all you have to do is find out what the top people did and then just go do it too!!!  It really is that simple!

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