Blog Archives

Social Media Changed My Life!

It was April of 2011, and I had been writing for some time. As I reflect back now, it was well over a year that I was carrying around a notebook and writing about sales, sales management and leadership. But I was feeling lost. It felt like I was stranded on an island, wondering if my message would have meaning to anyone else. I was quickly coming to the realization that Google was “letting me down” when I needed it the most.

What I mean by that was I was having trouble finding out what I really wanted to know about sales and who the key players were. I wanted to connect with influential people in the industry, but just did not know how. Then I saw a commercial from the website www.ancestry.com and it inspired me greatly. Their tagline was,

“You don’t have to know what you are looking for, you just have to start looking.”

I was pumped up! I was going to dig deep online and search for influential people who were doing similar things do what I wanted to be doing.

Shortly after I started my search, I came across a website called:

www.salesandmanagementblog.com

Paul McCord’s fantastic website and blog not only provided great value for me, but he also had a “Blogroll”. For those who do not know, a Blogroll is a listing of favourite blogs that the author follows. It was like I had won the lottery! Many of the influential sales leaders that I follow today are on that list, and I have thanked Paul personally for enabling me to connect with a great group of people. I immediately started to follow their blogs, but it was time-consuming.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was visiting an account for work. One of the employees was on Twitter and enjoying it a lot. I made fun of her a bit, and stated that I did not need to know every little update of celebrities and regular people. She said that I had it all wrong, and gave me a quick tutorial. I was very impressed and kicked myself that I had not joined sooner!

After work that day, I rushed home and feverishly started searching for people who I had recently discovered in the sales space. Many or them were actually on Twitter! I started to follow them. The first thing that I noticed was the time savings for following blog posts and other valuable content. As an example, if I was following ten blogs and had to go to each of their pages on a regular basis, it would take a long time. But if I was following them on Twitter, they were all updating their profiles with new tweets and I could see what was new in a fraction of the time. That was awesome!

As I progressed and became a daily Twitter user, I realized that the social interaction was becoming very beneficial to me as well. I was having a blast, and contributing daily! I must admit, trying to get my point across in less than 140 characters was a challenge, but I learned to adapt. As the list of people I followed quickly grew, I proceeded to group them in to sub lists, to keep each list of people to follow a manageable size.

LinkedIn was a website that I had previously used for job searches. I soon realized that it was much more than an HR platform. I started to connect with people in the sales space, fellow entrepreneurs, and old friends! I have now connected with close to 900 people, and am looking to add to my network daily.

Starting a Facebook fan page and joining Google+ a few months ago has provided me with other platforms to share my message on. Internet marketing leader Gary Vaynerchuk put his spin on social media during an interview with Tony Robbins once. He was posed the question about where people should be connecting with social media. His answer was a very emphatic “ALL OF THEM”. His explained the point with this analogy….

“If you were invited to several important business mixers, would you attend all of them, or just one?”

If you are attempting to spread your message to as many people as possible, the correct answer is all of them of course!

Social media has changed my life. I now know others are interested in what I have to say (which is an incredible feeling). I post my content in all the social media outlets mentioned above!

If you are looking to connect with people in your areas of interest, social media is certainly an incredible venue to do so. If you are looking to take things a step further and start, sustain and eventually grow a business, it is a must!

Most of you reading this are already connecting on social media, so congratulations! But please consider your connections that are on the fence, and send them the link of this blog post! It changed my life, and will hopefully change theirs too.

One last thing… if we are not connected on social media, I would love if you joined me at:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed

(Don’t forget to like to stay connected!) 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/TimMushey73

Google+

http://bit.ly/XvkjRr

YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/TimMushey

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My Two Cents – LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts!

bigstock-Businessmen-s-Hands-167414

I have spent a lot of time on LinkedIn lately, and have made many valuable new connections!

Weather you want to improve your LinkedIn presence, draw more attention for your business and brand, or draw “eyeballs” for potential job opportunities, this post is a must for you 🙂

Think of your LinkedIn profile as being in a tall stack of resumes. What makes you stand out, and why should somebody click and have a look!

I will expand on these points in future posts; but for today, here is a checklist to keep near!

Do…

  • Post a picture
  • Complete your profile
  • Keep your headline simple, and eye-catching
  • Personalize your intro when requesting to connect, and say thank you when people accept
  • Ask for recommendations

Don’t…

  • Post a picture with other people in it, or if your face is not clearly visible
  • Cram too much in to your headline (this includes no email addresses, websites or credentials that have as many letters as the alphabet)
  • Connect and run! Get to know people and engage with them
  • Just post your current job title in the headline – get creative
  • Have grammar errors or bad sentence structure in your profile 

In LinkedIn, go under “People You May Know” and scroll through.

  • What stands out on profiles? What made you click to see more?
  • What made you bypass people and keep scrolling?

This should give you the good, the bad and the ugly of what is happening on LinkedIn!

Have fun learning.

Engaging People Is Not Only A “Work Thing”

Apple And Orange Happily Shaking Hands

The only way that you are going to get better at something is through practice. I read a quote in a hockey book once that really caught my attention:

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” – Vince Lombardi

Even those with raw talent have to practice regularly. Engaging others in sales and other professional roles should not be limited to work relationships. You should practice engaging others when possible.

My dad was a teacher, and is still very engaging to this day – partially because of his personality, but it was also a necessity for his career. Could you imagine being in front of a class of kids and not holding their attention? Teachers who could captivate the crowd were always the ones that remained memorable to me.  This also meant that my dad and I could never quickly go to a mall because he was always running into people. Conversations would start, and time would pass by. My mom would always comment upon our return, “Where were you? I just sent you for a couple of things!”

There are so many opportunities to engage people outside of work:

  • In line at a store
  • At a social events with friends
  • Business or community events
  • Sporting events
  • On a walk or a run
  • Groups, associations or teams that you and/or your children are part of

I was thinking about this one day after a run, and I reflected on how many people I acknowledge in that 45 minute period. It was about twelve!

  • Some greetings were a simple hello or good morning as I passed by
    • With others I would make a quick comment on the weather, or about the degree of difficulty of a hill that I (or they) had just ran up
  • Some were a quick stop so our dogs could greet each other
    • It was common that I ask for information about their dog, and how the person’s day was going
  • I even complimented one guy who was actually attempting to train his new puppy

When I engage people in this setting, most people are pleasant back. It is common for people to jog with an iPod or Mp3 player, but I will still turn mine down to say something, or at least wave. I have done this for so long it is second nature now.

If I never practiced this skill, and instead just went through the day keeping to myself, it would be unreasonable to expect that I’d be very good at it in a short time period. Skills would develop eventually, but carrying that philosophy over to your personal life just means that you have more opportunity to practice. Then before you know it, the skill improves.

This was not always easy for me; because I was quite shy growing up due to my stutter. Speaking up and meeting people was very difficult well in to my teenage years. But with practice and patience, I consider myself very engaging now, and will always take time to speak with others.

  • Do you only engage new people in work situations?
  • Where can you begin to converse with people starting right away in your personal life?

The most practical business skill that has come out of this for me is keeping conversations going when there is a lot of dead air. I think most of us have experienced conversations that were very one-sided, and it was a struggle to keep it going, and interesting for the other person.

Good luck, and remember to always be in “engagement mode”!

To Give Or Not To Give…

Playing Cards In Hand

That is the question 🙂

Ever see people handing out business cards like they are dealing a deck of cards?

“Come one, come all, everyone gets a card!”

The important question is…

 

did you get a card from the prospect, or the networking event connection?

 

When you get a card, you are in control. You control your own destiny.

When all you do is hand out cards, and often forget to get their card, you wait – hoping one day that they reach out to you.

Uh-oh! Your card may end up in the garbage but you still can connect if you have theirs!

Real Connections Matter!

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I have known the one-of-a-kind Paul Castain for over three years, and had the pleasure to speak with him on several occasions.

Long ago when I started writing, did not have a blog yet, and was “stuck”, I started to research the sales profession and stumbled across a website. They had a blogroll (list of blogs that they followed) and Paul’s blog – “Your Sales Playbook” was one of them.

I had clicked on many of the other blogs and moved on shortly after, but something made me dive deeper in to Paul’s content. He even had a link to a music playlist to help pump everyone up! Any sales website that has content on music (one of my passions) is going to get more of a look than the others.

From that moment, I made a point of supporting him on my “regular run” of the social media circles. I commented on his posts, listened to podcasts, shared content and interacted with him on a more personal level. I really connected with him, and at any moment felt like we could go grab a drink and shoot the breeze.

Over a year and a half passed and I was finally ready to launch my blog in January of 2012. It was a honour early on to have Paul stop by and comment to wish me well. Like many bloggers, my first two or three posts had limited traffic beyond family and friends. I did not totally understand “the blogging thing” yet, and was not driving traffic to my content.

Then came February 13, 2012 –  the day I will never forget.

I walked in to my office like any other morning to check email. I was stunned to see so many new emails related to my blog. My first thought was “What did Castain do”?

http://yoursalesplaybook.com/2-newnewer-sales-blogs-worthy-of-your-attention/

I share this not to be cocky or arrogant, it was just the first thought that came to my mind. I had a feeling that Paul was responsible.

I still remember my heart racing as I realized what had happened.

To this day, no matter how hard I try, I cannot surpass the number of daily page views that I received when Paul gave Bruce Zimmerman and I a “shout out” on his blog. I am forever grateful for the gesture, and what he has done for me and my business.

I never expected anything in return from Paul. I just wanted to help because of his incredibly content, passion to make others be better and his love for life.

Our relationship has now developed to where I help run his music group on LinkedIn (a subgroup of the highly successful Sales Playbook) called the Daily Music Sanctuary http://linkd.in/1g45rW0 .We try to talk at least 2-3 times per year. I was invited to attend one of his webinars free of charge, and had the distinct pleasure of doing a testimonial for his awesome Ebook “Paul Castain’s Social Networking Playbook” http://bit.ly/Mw7YOI 

If you reach out to others and build relationships you never know what might happen. If your intentions are not self-fulfilling, you might get an incredible surprise like I did that day!

Paul has become my mentor and motivates me to move my consulting business forward every day! As great as the mention was on Paul’s blog, the best part is I now have an incredible friend who will be there when I need him, and that means the world to me!

My Favourite 5 Posts Of 2013 – #5 “Confidence”

bigstock-A-door-opening-and-the-words-C-49254416

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky, ex National Hockey League Super Star.

My sales spin is,

“If you don’t ask, there is no chance that you will get the answer you want”.

Confidence in the sales profession is paramount to success, but does not happen over night. If you are not in sales, please keep reading. This post has merit for whatever you may be “selling” in your personal or professional life. We have all been selling and negotiating from the moment that we could speak as toddlers!

Confidence allows people opportunities in life that they may not experience if they are tentative and uncertain. When people feel good about themselves, are not afraid to ask questions and involve themselves in potentially challenging situations, they will generally like the outcomes.

Do not mistake confidence for arrogance though. I have seen both, and one is very appealing in business and personal interactions. The other… well not so much!

When you combine confidence with most (or all) of the characteristics below in sales and/or life, very cool things can happen!

  • Driven to succeed
  • Persistent
  • Diligent
  • Independent worker and thinker

How did I know if somebody would make it in sales?

I have seen a lot of outside sales reps (retail reps too) come and go during my career. It took me a few years to really get a sense of what the signs were if they would succeed. I was quite certain most of the time, after our first couple of meetings.

What typically tipped me off?

  • How they carried themselves (do they have a bounce in their step?)
  • Dressed neatly (not necessarily the most expensive clothes) and cared about how they looked
  • Solid handshake
  • Maintained good eye contact
  • Engaged well in conversation
  • Wanted to learn / Inquisitive
  • Enthusiastic / Excitable
  • Personable / Outgoing

If you take a moment to digest that list, many of those attributes can be directly related to being confident. Imagine how different that list would be if you did not feel good about yourself and your abilities?

I urge you to start networking with people who are working towards similar goals if you are not already. It has become common knowledge that you start to portray similar characteristics to the 5 people who you are the closest with. Work on feeling more confident in areas of your personal and professional life that you don’t feel as comfortable in as soon as possible.

For me, getting up in front of crowds to speak was frightening for many years due to my stutter, and now there is nothing I would rather do. It was a long road, but I am glad that I am getting closer to where I need to be thanks to a strong support group of family, friends and Toastmasters.

Confidence does not happen over night, and you cannot push a “magic button” to change how you feel about yourself and your abilities. If you don’t try, you will never know what the outcome could have been. Once you “flip the switch” to knowing you will succeed, and not being afraid to fail, you will see positive changes in your life. 

Would love if you “liked” my Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed

My Blogging Story – The 1st 100 Readers!

Stanford Smith from PushingSocial.com recently put out a request to his readers to share a story. He wanted people to write about how they gained the first 100 readers on their blog. I was very excited to take part. You can see my submission here:

http://www.first100readers.com/

I was :

  • scared
  • apprehensive
  • skeptical
  • overwhelmed
  • nervous

… as I embarked on the first part of my blogging journey! But in January 2012 I stopped thinking about it and finally TOOK ACTION!

I did not think anyone would care what I would have to say. I did not think I would get any comments. I closed my eyes and hoped for at least a few views of my first post.

From the moment that I got my first comment (from somebody other than a family member or close friend) I WAS HOOKED!

I still remember the feeling that came over me when I received an email from a reader thanking me for writing a post. It had affected them in a positive way.

Once again, you can check out my story at:

http://www.first100readers.com/

There is a method to the madness though. Please read my story, others, and what the heck, take 10 minutes and share your story for Stanford too. If you are just starting out, there should be great ideas to implement ASAP!

  • If you have any helpful blogging resources that got the ball rolling, or keep you motivated on a regular basis, would love if you commented below!

Pushing Social is one of my favourites, but I would love to hear what else is out there.

Have an incredible day!

Robert Kiyosaki Says ….

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”

I found this quote as I was preparing to give a speech recently and I can’t get it out of my head. Really take a moment to think about it.

Very powerful words!

Have a great day!

But I Just Don’t Like….

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We all have a least favourite social media platform that we are building relationships on.

What is it for you?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • or maybe a newer one like Pinterest or Stumble Upon

Take my “Social Media 7 Day Challenge!”

Put the most energy in to your least favourite social media platform for the next 7 days, and send me an email at TimMushey@gmail.com to let me know how it goes.

If you customers and/or prospects are congregating there, you still need to be visible.

Internet sensation Gary Vaynerchuk said it best several years ago,

“If you get invited to several after work mixers over time, which ones do you go to?” (paraphrased)

“ALL OF THEM”!

You don’t want to miss out, especially if you are avoiding one of the “Big 3” of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

No Confidence Equals No Success – Simple!

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky, ex National Hockey League Super Star.

My sales spin is,

“If you don’t ask, there is no chance that you will get the answer you want”.

Confidence in the sales profession is paramount to success, but does not happen over night. If you are not in sales, please keep reading. This post has merit for whatever you may be “selling” in your personal or professional life. We have all been selling and negotiating from the moment that we could speak as toddlers!

Confidence allows people opportunities in life that they may not experience if they are tentative and uncertain. When people feel good about themselves, are not afraid to ask questions and involve themselves in potentially challenging situations, they will generally like the outcomes.

Do not mistake confidence for arrogance though. I have seen both, and one is very appealing in business and personal interactions. The other… well not so much!

When you combine confidence with most (or all) of the characteristics below in sales and/or life, very cool things can happen!

  • Driven to succeed
  • Persistent
  • Diligent
  • Independent worker and thinker

How did I know if somebody would make it in sales?

I have seen a lot of outside sales reps (retail reps too) come and go during my career. It took me a few years to really get a sense of what the signs were if they would succeed. I was quite certain most of the time, after our first couple of meetings.

What typically tipped me off?

  • How they carried themselves (do they have a bounce in their step?)
  • Dressed neatly (not necessarily the most expensive clothes) and cared about how they looked
  • Solid handshake
  • Maintained good eye contact
  • Engaged well in conversation
  • Wanted to learn / Inquisitive
  • Enthusiastic / Excitable
  • Personable / Outgoing

If you take a moment to digest that list, many of those attributes can be directly related to being confident. Imagine how different that list would be if you did not feel good about yourself and your abilities?

I urge you to start networking with people who are working towards similar goals if you are not already. It has become common knowledge that you start to portray similar characteristics to the 5 people who you are the closest with. Work on feeling more confident in areas of your personal and professional life that you don’t feel as comfortable in as soon as possible.

For me, getting up in front of crowds to speak was frightening for many years due to my stutter, and now there is nothing I would rather do. It was a long road, but I am glad that I am getting closer to where I need to be thanks to a strong support group of family, friends and Toastmasters.

Confidence does not happen over night, and you cannot push a “magic button” to change how you feel about yourself and your abilities. If you don’t try, you will never know what the outcome could have been. Once you “flip the switch” to knowing you will succeed, and not being afraid to fail, you will see positive changes in your life.