“Not Taught” | Jim Keenan | Part 4

“Experience Doesn’t Matter – Expertise does”1

To paraphrase Keenan’s definitions of both experience and expertise, I’m going to make it very simple. Experience is based on hours spent doing something. Expertise is based on knowledge, understanding and being able to execute. If you’re still not 100% sure what I’m referring to, check out this YouTube video where Keenan breaks it down.

It’s absolutely insane when you see job posting for entry level jobs that are requiring more than a few years of experience. Experience doesn’t mean crap in most cases! Experience means that you are showing up for work, doing the same thing everyday and expecting that 3% raise at the end of the year because you didn’t burn the building down.

Expertise is showing up to work and asking questions; why, how, when and what happens. The more you know, the more you can offer in return. If you don’t know, ask. You know when you’re new to a company and someone says, “feel free to ask me anything or reach out if you need help”? ASK! Get help. Learn as much as possible from that person and then move onto the next. They’ve already been in you’re shoes. Don’t recreate the wheel… Improve on it and gain expertise faster!

“There is no growth without reading, period.”2

Seems like everybody should know that one… Where do you think I’d be if I didn’t read this book?! I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I wouldn’t be networking with people all over the world. This book, for me, is like spinach to Popeye. My goal each day is to learn something new and have an “Ah-Ha” moment. The mental accomplishment feels so good… you should try it!

Starting on page 97, Keenan goes into something that EVERY boss needs to read. If you’re a boss and you’re reading this, internalize it, think about it and consider changing how you measure your people.

“We glorify busy. We still measure and applaud our success by the time we put into something (the effort) rather than by what we delivered (the output). That’s not OK in the information age.” 3

Mind freaking blown. Sounds simple right?! After reading this, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to remove ‘busy’ from my vocabulary when talking about work. Really, it just sounds like you’re saying, “I’m doing stuff”, so people leave you alone. I’ve worked for companies where you have to work four hours, then you get a 30 minute lunch break and then you have to work another 4 hours. If you show up late because of LA traffic…  you get in trouble, and well, you better leave the house earlier. It only took me six hours to do my job everyday, but I had to stay for eight to get paid. Guess what happened to that company. Poof, they’re gone.

Stop measuring your success by how many hours you’ve done something. Start measuring success by WHAT got done.

“In today’s world, we only want to know one thing – can you get it done?”4

Chapter 12 ends with a section that a lot of people take for granted.

“Being happy and having fun is awesome… Go be awesome”5

I LOVE it! Happiness is contagious. People want to hangout with people that are happy. Ask yourself how many people do you hang around that aren’t happy? I bet it’s a pretty low number. One of my favorite saying from my high school football coach is, “Everyday’s a good day, some are just better than others”. It’s so true. I had a coworker ask me one day, “Are you always this happy?” I had the biggest freaking smile on my face and said, “YES!” Who doesn’t want to be happy?!

Go out there and be a happy, change creator that has an expertise in something you love.

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with Keenan on Twitter @Keenan

 

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Not Taught | Jim Keenan

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“Not Taught” | Jim Keenan | Part 3

The responses, tweets and emails I received from people about my posts really motivated me to write more and more often. THANK YOU for the encouragement and kind words; you know who you are. It’s never easy to leave your comfort zone and start doing something that you’ve never done before… but as Chris Brown puts it, “Look at me now.” Keenan wrote a blog posting on his site… about me… and I am so extremely honored!

“The world has changed

It demands more than doers-it demands thinkers. If you’re not prepared to be a world-class thinker, success will elude you. …You have to create solutions that move you and the organization forward. You have to get comfortable working with new and untested date.” 1

Don’t people always say, “think outside the box”? How about Jillian Michaels, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. That explains it all and reinforces the idea of a change creator! If you’re not leading the charge for change, someone else is going to do it. They’ll be the one that gets the promotion. I can hear you thinking it right now, “But I’m scared. I’m too shy. Nobody will take me seriously. I don’t have the expertise.” So what! Nobody’s perfect. Take the initiative, speak up and get the group excited. You’d be surprised the little things people remember.

While at my last organization, I was in a meeting with 35 other people and a few of them were brand new. The newbies never talk because they didn’t have a good grasp on what we were talking about. About half way through the meeting, one of the new guys, Matt, raises his hand and makes a comment about email subject lines. I was blown away! Right then and there, Matt separated himself from the rest of the class. Be like Matt!

“True selling means understanding the needs, goals, and problems of your prospects, friends, family, bosses, collaborators, and everybody else with your sphere of influence.”2

This is something that is overlooked all the time! Sales people are always after their quota and the next meeting. Always chasing that extra dollar. We don’t often stop and think about the people we’re selling to. “Oh, they’ve got an RFP out… looks like we’ll bid. Our product is better, so we’ll win!” or, “All of our products are the same… so we’ll low ball on price”. NO! That is completely the wrong idea. Just because those ways work sometimes, doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it. You won’t last very long in your industry if that’s how you plan to do it.

“To be good at sales, you need these three related skills: problem finding, problem solving and storytelling.”3

This part of the book is just freaking killer! We’ve all heard things like this or thought them… but the way Keenan writes it, it makes much more sense.

“The best salespeople are badasses at finding problems. They ask a million questions”4

Asking questions gets you to the root of their nightmares. Ask open ended questions so that they can tell you their problems. If you can get a prospect to vent to you about something, you’re doing it correctly. While you ask questions and talk about their business, you’re gaining their trust. People buy from people they trust. Remember: you’re not there to sell them a product. You’re there to help fix their problem and offer a solution.

By problem solving, we’re creating the solution. That part isn’t all that difficult to understand. If the prospect knows we’re meeting to discuss HR software, based on my questions, my software should exceed their expectations. If I can’t fix their problems, then I better suggest something else. The last thing you want to do is sell them something they don’t need… that’ll really piss them off. Negative reviews last longer than positive reviews.

“Better solutions create better outcomes, better outcomes equal greater value, and everyone loves greater value. …Find the problem, solve the problem, and then tell a damn good story.”5

Paint a mental picture for them. “Here’s where you are currently… Here’s where you could be if we partner.” Show them the true value of partnering with you and how that partnership will blossom into something beautiful. If their current provider has bad customer service, give them your cell number and tell them you’ll take their call at any hour of the night. (You better live up to your word!) Show them the value they’re looking for and the pricing conversation won’t be all that difficult. One of my favorite quotes is from Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.

Influence + Engagement + Knowledge + Value = Sales

 

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“Not Taught” | Jim Keenan | Part 2

After getting the stamp of approval from the man himself, Keenan, I am back at it again to give you, the salesperson, that “Ah-Ha” moment. After spending a few days and not writing, I was really excited to get back online to pick back up where I left off. Before we move on to a different quote from “Not Taught”, I want to talk a little more about value. If people can see the value of what you’re selling, it’ll be easier to begin a dialogue with them.

Take into consideration the process of cold calling someone. IF your prospect picks up the phone and you drop the line, “Hi Mr. Prospect, I want to talk to you about your processes to see if we’re a good fit”, you haven’t presented with them any value and the conversation is going to go cold fast. Now, imagine picking up the phone and having some type of value proposition lined up. “Hi Mr. Prospect, I want to talk to you about your processes because I’ve been working with similar organizations like yours and I’ve helped them lower their attrition rate and increase their bottom line.” Boom! You’ve caught their attention. Name drop a local client, reference their LinkedIn profile or mention a recent story in the news about them. Catch their attention and provide some type of value as to why they should take your call.

“In Today’s ever-connected world, people are constantly on the lookout for value. They want to know what they get from you, why engaging with you is worth their time or money, and why they should pick you over someone else. It’s up to you to tell them and then show them. Building and promoting brand you makes that happen.”1

This screams “Ah-Ha” moment. I am connecting and engaging with people on social media whenever I have a chance. Jill Rowley (@jill_rowley) has always said, “Your network is your net worth”. I strongly believe in that statement! People talk… a lot. And when you can show value, your name will spread like wild fire. This also screams “Ah-Ha” because of what I’m doing. I am building and promoting brand me! Keenan has invested time in me by responding to my LinkedIn messages, Tweets and commenting on my last post. Find something you can passionately talk about and give it a go. But remember, you have to show people the value.

I made the comment in my last post about having experienced some out dated sales approaches. To go along with that, having a few years of experience with cold calling, I often come across a prospects response, which is the famous saying, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”. Man, how frustrating that can be! But Mr. Prospect, I’ve got THE product that is going to change your world… still doesn’t matter. They’ll never change, unless they retire, of course. That brings me to another “Ah-Ha” moment because it has to do change.

What are you? A Change Resistor, Change Acceptor, or Change Creator?

Change Resistors: “I like things just the way they are”2

Change Acceptors: “We wait and see what’s happening”3

Change Creators: “Change creators are today’s problem solvers”4

Of those three options, which one are you? Of those three options, which one is your boss? How about your company? I always want to be a change creator! Trying to stay ahead of the game and solve problems before they happen. Go ask Gabe Villamizar (@gabevillamizar), from HireVue about his implementation of Social Selling to his sales team. The numbers are outrageous! Gabe is a change creator and he provides an incredible amount of value to not only his organization but also the Social Selling community. By the way, follow him because he is doing some incredible things for the industry.

Uber, Amazon & AirBnB are great examples of Change Creators. Examples of change Resistors… Blockbuster, Hollywood Video & Blackberry. Change Acceptors… most organizations out there, kinda coasting by.

Try adopting a new software that can help you in your role. Most companies give out free trials, so why not give it a try? What do you have to lose?

The world is going to change whether you like it or not! Instead of sitting on the train and watching change pass you by, get up and go drive the train. It’s more fun that way.

 

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“Not Taught” | Jim Keenan | Part 1


I wanted to start off my new writing adventure with the man, and book,  that gave me the motivation to take the leap; Jim Keenan. He prefers to go by Keenan… So we’ll call him Keenan from here on out! Keenan wrote the book “Not Taught and if you haven’t picked it up yet, you’re missing out. The parts of his book that I chose to write about resonate with me right now. Six months from now, I could re-read the book and have a whole new list of things to talk about. Where he caught my attention and pushed me to get uncomfortable was on page xxi.

 

“It’s not fair that no one is teaching you these keys to success. I wrote this book to change that. It will open your eyes to more than just the changes happening around you; it will show you what it’s going to take to compete in this new era of information and friction less communication”1.

This really resonates with me because I’ve worked for three different organizations in three different industry’s in the past two years. I’ve been able to see and experience different types of training, mentoring and goals. All of which are behind the times in terms of ‘thinking outside the box’. That’s a cliche way of wording it but it’s true. In the age of information, people do their research before looking to buy. They want to look at reviews so they can read the good, the bad and the ugly. If someone calls to buy my product from me, I’m already late to the table. They probably already have a good grasp as what I have to offer compared to the competition. Keenan has helped create a road map for myself so that I can compete and win against the competition!

“We were made to connect with one another!”2     View Jordan Barta's profile on LinkedIn

Before we go any further, send me a connection invite. Maybe there is someway we can work together or refer each other business. I’ve established connections with people all over the world and in many different industries. Who knows!

“The key is to be seen as active, engaged, and generous on social media. Then you will get noticed. With notice comes reach, and with reach comes influence, and I cannot undersell the importance of influence to success in the twenty-first century.”3

BOOM!

Now you can clearly see why I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone to start my writing adventure. I’ve very active on LinkedIn & Twitter…So now it’s time for me to brand myself and start establishing klout. To add gasoline to the fire, I leverage #socialselling. If this is your first time hearing about Social Selling, you need to step your game up! Become an expert or thought leader in your field and share content. When you’re able to provide valuable insight for a certain topic, people will come to you for answers. My goal with this website is to turn books into Ah-Ha moments for sales people.

“If you want to be successful in today’s world, you need to create brand you and promote the shit out of it”4

Keenan asks some very valuable questions through out the first quarter of his book. He wants you to start thinking about YOU. Where do you come in? What value can you bring? How do you differentiate yourself? Who is your target market? If you don’t have the answer to these questions yet… that’s okay! Sit down and start thinking. When I created blogs in the past, I failed. Why? I wanted to make money off the blog and drive traffic to affiliate websites. I wasn’t providing any value to anybody!

“The simple truth is, value drives everything”5

Value is why we do things. What is the value of working out and eating healthy? To live longer, feel good and look good naked. That is my goal! I want to provide as much value as possible while taking this journey to write.

Please leave feedback so that I can learn from you, the reader! What do you want to read about? How long should my posts be? I’ve got thick skin and can take the constructive criticism.

 

Get “Not Taught” on Amazon!

There’s more to come from me about:

Not Taught | Jim Keenan

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