It’s a bit presumptuous to claim a book is one of the best books on habits that exist. There are lots of great books on the subject out there, including Charles Duhigg’s seminal work, “The Power of Habit.” But Anthony is not shy about saying that his guest, James Clear has penned exactly that.
James and Anthony share a common story: a debilitating brain injury that forced them to discover a new way of living. For James, his recovery took him to a new understanding of habits and the power of stacking simple, easy habits one on top of the other to create momentum and change. Bear that in mind, these are lessons James learned for himself rather than just information he consumed and regurgitated from the research of others.
Maybe it’s not so presumptuous to say James’ work is one of the best books on habits. After all, he’s lived the story that has made it possible. Listen to hear his story, learn about the aggregation of habits, and how he recommends you apply what he’s learned to your own life.
One Of The Best Books On Habits Was Penned Because of a Tragic Circumstance
As is the case with many of the significant things that are created in this world, James Clear’s book, “Atomic Habits” was birthed in the forge of suffering. A freak baseball accident put James in a desperate place, fighting to recover from brain damage.
His journey out of that debilitating place led him to the realization that small, simple habits can be stacked one on top of the other to bring about incremental but powerful change.
This is not a conversation with a theorist. James knows what he’s talking about – not only because he’s researched the topic, but because he’s lived it. Be sure you listen to hear his incredible story.
Why Systems Trump Goals Every Time
Anthony is the first to say that goals are important. But with the help of James’ book (and other resources) he’s come to see that they are not the most important thing. As James explains, goals are important because we have to know where we are headed but to focus on the destination to the exclusion of the actions that get us there is folly.
James encourages those who are trying to accomplish goals to focus instead on building systems into their lives that naturally lead to the desired outcome or goal. That puts the focus where it rightly belongs – on doing rather than hoping.
This conversation clarifies so many things when it comes to building habits – and it flows directly out of James’ book on the subject. Be sure you listen.
Transform Your Life By Casting Votes For Your Identity Every Day
Habits are not formed by self-discipline or self-control alone. They have to be birthed from a deeper, more fundamental place. James Clear insists that if you don’t have a sense of identity tied to a habit, it will fall by the wayside sooner rather than later.
For example, going to the gym for 5 minutes a day provides the basis for the reality that you are a person who goes to the gym. That’s the first baby step toward being the kind of person who makes use of the gym in productive ways. It’s an identity issue that you can take control of and master.
In this conversation, James shares a handful of other examples to help you get your mind around why identity is foundational to establishing good habits.
Get Rid of the Cues That Prompt Bad Habits and You Get Rid of the Habits
Case in point: If you want to cut back on a habit of stopping into Dairy Queen for a soft-serve cone on your way home from work, you don’t do it through a daily study of the DQ menu so you are clear about what you need to avoid. You do it by avoiding Dairy Queen altogether.
That may mean you establish new driving patterns so you don’t pass by it on your way home from work. It could mean, avoiding looking in the direction of the store as you pass it.
James Clear refers to the circumstances that set us up for indulging in a bad habit as “cues” – and in this conversation, he explains the simple but powerful ways we can be proactive about eliminating the cues for the sake of eventually removing the habits they fuel.
Don’t miss this conversation. If you have habits to build into or remove from your life, James’ practical approach and clear guidance will be helpful.
Outline of this great episode
[2:07] How James Clear got started blogging and where it’s lead him
[6:41] How a traumatic brain injury pushed James to learn habits, the topic of his book
[13:35] The concept of aggregating marginal gains and how James has leveraged it
[19:49] Why you need to know what you want, and the power of systems over goals
[26:04] Who you want to be is the starting point for every step of growth
[35:26] The difference between James’ approach and Charles Duhigg’s approach
[40:55] How expectations fuel life more than reactions
[46:06] Why it’s so hard to start a new habit
[50:33] Removing habits by getting rid of cues that prompt the habit
[54:30] James’ most difficult habits to begin
[56:12] The story of breaking bad habits and how James did it
Seth Godin’s latest book “This is Marketing” is filled with industry truths that you simply can’t afford to miss hearing. On this episode of In The Arena, Anthony and Seth dig into the book’s brand-new insights and talk about the differences between being market-driven and being driven by marketing. You’ll hear how you can make a bigger difference in the world while changing the lives of those around you, and why truly ethical marketing encompasses layers of empathy and compassion. It’s a stellar episode not to be missed – listen now!
Marketing shouldn’t be about one to MANY, but it can be about one to many
Years ago, marketers could succeed if they simply got their message in front of as many people as possible. However, that’s not the case in today’s world. Seth explains that “Marketing shouldn’t be about one to MANY, but it can be about one to many.” By pursuing your smallest viable audience and adding value to their lives, you can avoid hiding behind the masses and actually make a difference in your organization and the world.
Marketing should be done WITH people, not TO them. Seth exclaims, “Modern marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become,” and that cannot happen if you’re simply sharing a message with millions of people.
“This is Marketing” teaches you to approach marketing as a teacher seeking enrollment
In “This is Marketing,” Seth uses the analogy of teachers and students to explain how modern marketers should operate. It’s 100x easier to teach a person if they come to the teacher already interested in the subject. Ethical marketing should be about pursuing new enrollment audiences for your company, not just securing new sales leads. By approaching an interested person as a teaching opportunity and not just a sales statistic, you’ll be able to add value to their life while preserving their dignity.
There’s a difference between being market-driven and being marketing-driven
Seth tells Anthony about one of the greatest pieces of advice he had ever received. As a young professional, Seth exclaimed to a mentor that he was “marketing driven.” His mentor thoughtfully explained that unless Seth was driven by departmental deadlines and to-do lists, Seth was actually “market-driven.” When a marketer is market-driven, their main focus becomes answering the question, “How can I serve my audience better?”
Seth believes, “Our contributions are the only things we leave behind. And if you focus on leaving a better contribution, you earn trust and attention, which gives you the platform to make more change happen.” His insights are best heard straight from the source, so be sure to give this episode your full attention.
Truly great marketing cannot be about differentiation – it must be about positioning
Far too many marketers become caught up in the differentiation game – eliminating competition simply because they’re afraid of losing business. However, Seth and Anthony discuss why truly great marketing is actually focused on honest positioning. If a marketer can outline the key differences between their company and the competition, as well as make the decision easier for the buyer by eliminating confusion, they’ve positioned their company well. Then, they can seek out “enrollment” students that are interested in the company’s culture and products.
Seth’s book “This is Marketing,” is a must-read for all marketers. Not only will you get the full story behind this interview, you’ll also read about how you can actually change your company’s culture and why compassion and marketing go hand-in-hand. You can find it on Amazon and wherever you buy books.
Outline of this great episode
[2:07] The key difference between sales and knowledge that Seth explains in “This is Marketing.”
[8:20] Marketing shouldn’t be about one to MANY, but it can be about one to many
[17:50] Here’s why Seth’s latest book is different from all of his other works
[20:12] The concept of enrollment in marketing, and why you shouldn’t operate without it
[24:22] Organizational culture is simply defined as: People like us do things like this
[35:21] Empathy and compassion go hand in hand in ethical marketing
[36:35] The difference between market-driven and marketing-driven
[41:05] Two teachers don’t compete, they’re just on the same board
[42:57] Information on Seth’s upcoming marketing seminar
[46:03] The story behind the name of “This is Marketing”
Amy Franko is an author, speaker, and expert in modern selling and sales skills. She’s put her most recent observations and lessons-learned as a sales consultant and trainer into print in her new book, “The Modern Seller.” In this conversation, Amy and I discuss the top 5 skills every modern seller needs to have in their arsenal as well as why sales professionals need to think like an entrepreneur these days – and why it’s not always glamorous. In Amy’s words, modern sales skills must be applied holistically – a concept that surprised me in both its simplicity and its impact. This is a conversation you don’t want to miss – listen now!
What has changed that requires that we make the delineation of “modern seller?”
It should be no secret to sales professionals that prospects and clients have changed the way they want to interact with your business. These days they come to you with all the information they need about your service or product. That means we are no longer educating clients on our products, we’re in a position to serve as a consultant to help them discover how our product can be applied best to their situation. In Amy’s new book she takes a look into what she calls the “skills behind the skills” – the things that enable us to effectively handle the needs of the modern buyer. It’s only with these kinds of modern sales skills that we will be able to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. Listen to hear it explained as only Amy can explain it.
Modern sales skills must be applied in a values-based way
We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed. The amount of correspondence and data I personally deal with on a daily basis is only one example of the type of things that contribute to those feelings. Amy points out that all of us have finite resources of time, energy, motivation, and discipline. As modern sellers, we must recognize that fact and identify where we want to spend those finite resources. It’s not your typical decision – it’s a values-based decision that we’ve got to learn how to make. If we can do it successfully, we’ve just learned the most important sales skill we could ever learn – and our effectiveness at serving customers and providing them with the value of an ongoing consultative relationship will only increase over time.
The quality of your relationships will dictate the quality of your sales results
There’s simply no way we can have even elementary level relationships with the 1500 people we are connected with on LinkedIn. We’ve got to be selective, choosing to invest our time in the relationships that will serve our goals and our customers best. It’s knowing how to best use our social capital, which Amy likes to think of this way: Social capital is the collective value people create when they are in a strategic relationship. People who get this understand that the quality of their relationships determines the quality of their sales results. For that reason, they make intentional decisions about the relationships they build and the goals they set for themselves. Amy explains it so much better than this short paragraph can do, so be sure you listen.
Sales ambassadors earn the right to be a trusted advisor to their customers
One of the concepts Amy introduces in her book – which is similar to my phrase “Combative Diplomat,” but much more elegant – is that modern sellers are ambassadors. The concept is simple and once you get it, it changes the way you view your role in your sales and prospecting process. An ambassador is a bridge – a person who brings things and people together. An ambassador is an owner – a person invested in their company and their results. An ambassador is a value creator – a person who works to serve others and enable their success. Listen to hear Amy’s insight into how the ambassador mindset can change the way you approach your next sales appointment for the better.
Outline of this great episode
[3:30 What has changed in the market that required the definition of a modern seller?
[6:40] What it meant for Amy to become more entrepreneurial
[11:10] Salespeople need to learn what it means to be holistic
[17:07] Modern sales skills include managing relationships well
[20:36] The number of people you need to be focusing on is really pretty small
[23:50] What does an ambassador need to do as a modern seller
Making better decisions – in business and in life – is one of the top goals for many people. On this episode of In The Arena, Anthony interviews author and professor Steven E. Landsburg, a global expert in economics, philosophy, and the science behind rational decision making. Steven and Anthony dig into why people make poor decisions and rationalize them afterward, as well as seek out the answer to why people are irrational in predictable ways. You’ll hear insider information behind the thought experiments in Steven’s latest book, “Can You Outsmart an Economist?” and it’s an episode not to be missed. Listen now!
Thought experiments such as this one demonstrate how people make rational, or irrational, decisions
Steven’s newest book is full of logic puzzles that are sure to entertain and educate. He and Anthony walk through one on this episode. Let’s say you have 2 urns, each filled with black and white balls. The first urn is filled with 70% white and 30% black balls. The second is filled with 30% white and 70% black balls. You pick one of the urns at random, pull out 12 balls, and 4 of them are white while 8 are black. Which urn did you select from?
Most people decide that they were 40% likely to pull from the predominately white urn and 60% likely to pull from the predominately black urn. However, the most rational conclusion is that you had a 98% chance of pulling from the predominately black urn. Why? Be sure to listen to this episode for the full explanation.
The key to making better decisions lies in understanding our own biases and downfalls
Steven has learned through decades of research that most people are irrational, but that they’re irrational in predictable ways. People have a habit of simply “going with their gut” and not evaluating all of the options. Steven encourages people to think smarter about their decisions, and by starting with this question, you can be well on your way to becoming a more rational thinker. Ask yourself, “Do I have any reason to trust my own opinion more than the opinion of someone else, who has been thinking about this problem as hard as I have?” This question can shed valuable light on questions you’re asking about real estate, finances, sales, marketing, and more. If you always suspect that people think differently than you do when it comes to big decisions, you can be better prepared to consider the viewpoints you might have otherwise overlooked.
The obvious answer to a problem isn’t always the best answer
So many people revert to the most obvious answer to a statement. They fall into a trap of going with the first explanation that comes to mind, but Steven and Anthony counter this tendency on this episode. Steven outlines an example scenario, based on systems that allow students to rate their professors on their ability to teach well. Studies have shown that good-looking professors almost always score higher than average-looking professors. Many people would conclude that it’s because students are simply shallow and that they only notice looks.
However, Steven offers the idea of good-looking people who choose to be professors are inherently better at teaching than average-looking counterparts. This could be because of the multitude of additional career opportunities for good-looking individuals (acting, modeling, etc.). Thus, great-looking people who choose to teach may be exceptionally interested in the craft of teaching, and therefore do it exceptionally well. This method of deductive reasoning may not be common, but you can hear more about it on this episode of In The Arena.
Your invitation to the very best sales conference you’ve ever attended
The OutBound Conference is like no other sales conference you’ve attended…. and for two days of stellar content that moves your sales success forward, the ticket price is ridiculously low. The conference addresses something no other event does – how to keep your pipeline full of high-value prospects. Four giants in the sales world, Anthony Iannarino, Mark Hunter, Mike Weinberg, and Jeb Blount bring you the sessions and you’ll also be led through your choice of sixteen high-impact training tracks delivered by today’s top speakers, authors, and experts. Join Anthony and his friends in Atlanta, April 23-26, 2019. Get your tickets here: http://outbound.ticketspice.com/outbound-2019
Outline of this great episode
[2:07] Are people rational, and do they make rational decisions?
[10:11] This thought experiment can demonstrate how people make rational, or irrational, decisions
[14:52] Making rational decisions isn’t as easy as people are led to believe
[25:56] This thought experiment explains why certain groups have more political clout than others
[28:40] The obvious answer to a problem isn’t always the best answer
[31:00] Final thoughts from Steven on students, teaching, and college admissions
On Tuesday, November 6th, I am releasing my third book in three years. If you read this newsletter each week (or even most weeks), you know the book is titled “Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition.” It’s a book about competitive displacement, or put more directly, “stealing your dream clients from your competition.”
Eat Their Lunch is a book about living, thriving, and surviving in the red ocean, where there is fierce competition, where clients want to commoditize what you sell, and where you are necessarily a large part of the value proposition (and in many cases, the largest).
When someone writes a book, they have something they absolutely must share, some question they must answer, some problem they need to solve, or some complicated knot they are attempting to unravel.
When you think about sales, there aren’t too many things more difficult than taking your dream client away from a competitor they believe is satisfying their needs. It’s not that they don’t have a compelling reason to change, but rather they don’t think they have a compelling reason to change. Unless and until you help them believe they need to do something different, you are not going to have an opportunity to win your dream client away.
You also can’t wait to win your dream clients. In the past, it was customary to wait patiently for your dream client to become dissatisfied enough to let an RFP or rummage through a box business cards to invite different companies in to present to them. This behavior, waiting passively and being reactive, is how you become a commodity. Here’s the terrible truth about commoditization: If you act like a commodity, your dream client will treat you accordingly.
The right approach for both of these problems is to get on your front foot, to be proactive, to dictate the tempo, to control the narrative.
Is Eat Their Lunch for You?
When you write a book proposal, you are supposed to include a section to describe the audience for your book to the publisher. The wrong answer is “everyone.” The right answer is a small niche that is large enough to publish a book profitably.
It’s Not For You If . . .
If you want to know how to speak poorly about your competitor, this book is not for you. I offer the opposite advice. The best way to “eat their lunch” is to say nice things about your competitor and then differentiate yourself and your approach.
If you want tricks and shortcuts that will provide you with a result without any effort on your part, I am afraid I am going to disappoint you. Eat Their Lunch is practical and tactical, and the frameworks require disciplined effort on your part.
It’s For You, For Sure
However, if you are the kind of person who wants to know how to create so much greater value than their competitors that their dream clients will switch providers, Eat Their Lunch will show you how to do so.
If you want to make ideas like Challenger and selling with insights actionable, the chapter on capturing mind share will provide you with a framework and exercises that will allow you to do so.
Prospecting isn’t an event. Prospecting is now a campaign, where you professional persist and pursue your dream client over time. If you want to know how to professionally persist effectively and use your greater value creation to capture mind share and gain appointments with your dream clients, you’ll find the strategy in Eat Their Lunch.
For me, discovery is now about helping the client discover something about themselves. If you want the newest and sharpest lens for understanding your client’s real challenges, Eat Their Lunch will stretch you, and in doing so, give you a much clearer view, one that opens up opportunities and creates an advantage. It will help you see what is invisible to your competitor.
You know how there seem to be more people involved in every deal and how it is getting more difficult to manage this process? If you want a framework for understanding who these people are, what they want, and how to create a strategy to get the ones you need to “yes” at the same time, you’ll find it in chapters 7 and 8.
We use words like “peer,” “consultative,” and “trusted advisor,” when we talk about how we want to be perceived by our clients. In a section on Intangibles, you will find the recipe from becoming these things for your clients. However, while you are doing so, you also need to retain your clients, protecting yourself from being displaced. You will find the answer to the problem of retaining your clients while you do the work of taking theirs from them.
Word of mouth marketing is essential to the success of any business. Why is it then, that so many marketers don’t have a specific word of mouth marketing strategy? Jay Baer, the author of the new book “Talk Triggers,” joins Anthony on this episode of In The Arena to answer that exact question. He’ll walk you through 4 criteria to keep in mind when creating a talk trigger for your business, as well as share stories of how talk triggers have led to immense success for some of the top businesses in the United States. It’s an episode not to be missed – listen now!
What are talk triggers and why are they important in word of mouth marketing?
Jay explains talk triggers as, “something that you choose to do differently that creates conversation.” They’re not to be confused with marketing tactics. Rather, they’re operational choices that are designed to specifically generate discussions about your business. The single greatest way to grow any business is for your customers to do the growing for you through storytelling. You story arises from your talk trigger – are you giving your audience a story to tell?
There is persuasive power in both online and offline conversations about your organization
Recent studies have shown that verbal marketing occurs equally online and offline. However, the persuasive power of offline word of mouth marketing is 43% higher than stand-alone posts on social media. The conversations that occur online and offline typically remain separate, and they are triggered by different things. Jay explains how a stellar talk trigger can be powerful both online and in person on this episode, and you don’t want to miss his insights.
Follow these 4 criteria to craft a great talk trigger
Creating a great talk trigger to incorporate into your word of mouth marketing strategy isn’t easy. Luckily, Jay shares his top 4 criteria to follow when brainstorming trigger ideas, and they’re all featured on this episode of In The Arena. But don’t miss the full story – be sure to check out his book on Amazon and wherever you buy books.
Remarkable – it needs to be worthy of remarks – people don’t share mediocre stories
Relevant – it cannot simply be about gathering attention, because chatter only lasts for a short period of time
Reasonable – different enough to attract attention, but not so “out there” that people are wary of the offer
Repeatable – a talk trigger isn’t just a one-time stunt
Learn from their success – both The Cheesecake Factory and Doubletree have stellar talk triggers
Two of the best examples of profitable talk triggers come from The Cheesecake Factory and Doubletree. At 5,940 words, the Factory’s menu is impressively long. But the menu is so much more than an expansive offering of entrees – it’s a specific marketing strategy. Their menu has become so infamous that when Jay and his team polled hundreds of Cheesecake Factory customers, they discovered that 38% had told someone else about the menu in the past 30 days, without being asked or prompted. This allows the Factory to spend $276 million less per year on marketing than the Olive Garden or Outback Steakhouse.
Consider also Doubletree’s goal to give hotel guests the warmest welcome in the hotel industry, complete with a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. Their cookies fit within the context of what they do, and they’ve been doing it for over 30 years. They sustainably delight their customers time after time, and that’s the truest sign of a successful talk trigger.
Outline of this great episode
[2:07] Jay Baer, digital marketing guru, on why he wrote a book on word of mouth marketing
[5:52] The persuasive power of online and in-person word of mouth marketing
[15:15] What are talk triggers and why are they important?
[19:30] Your talk triggers don’t have to be huge gestures – follow these 4 criteria to craft a great talk trigger
[27:00] Why is being relevant important in your talk trigger?
[30:40] Reasonability is just as important when designing a talk trigger
[33:00] Talk trigger success comes from repeatable strategies