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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!

Join Us At Our New LinkedIn Group – The Daily Music Sanctuary!

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Music is in my blood, and it is also in the blood of my good friends Paul Castain and Roger Demas.
Paul has given Roger and I the incredible opportunity to lead the charges for a music subgroup on LinkedIn of his very successful “Sales Playbook”.

We have found that many people love to talk music, but there are limited opportunities to do so on LinkedIn. That is the polite way of saying that any other groups discussing music are not very good! We are going to change that starting NOW!

The Daily Music Sanctuary (or DMS as we are already calling it) is up and running, and we could not be more excited. Stop by the group through the link below and join us:

http://linkd.in/10fKf53

As a special bonus for joining, you will receive a free pdf of over 500 songs that people contributed on Sales Playbook when Roger and I posted music related questions! These are songs that should get you motivated, and in the mood to face whatever comes your way each day!

We are looking forward to exciting new content, and providing people a break from the daily rigors of work and personal life whenever they need it!

We will chat about any kind of music that you want. Invite your friends, colleagues, family.. whoever you like. The more the merrier!

See you at the Daily Music Sanctuary!

Tim

Paul Castain says “Screw The Water, Go Brand Yourself!”

For those who have followed me for any length of time, will know how much I admire the work that Paul Castain is doing over at YourSalesPlaybook.com

This quick 3 minute video will get your week off to a great start, I guarantee it! If people have made “zillions of dollars” by branding water, why the heck can’t you brand yourself?

Enjoy and have a fantastic Monday…

Is Sales Management Still Broken? “Hands-On” vs. “Hands-Off”

I recently posted a question on Paul Castain’s Sales Playbook LinkedIn discussion group about the “Ideal Sales Management Style”. The responses varied, with the majority concluding that a combination of  “hands-on” vs. “hands-off” was the best solution. I agreed with that analysis. I am with my 7th company in 16 years of corporate life, so I have a very good idea how I like to be managed, and how I manage now.

I had no intention of discussing this thread on my blog until I saw the comment below. I received this startling entry from Kevin Dankosky about two weeks ago, and it has really stuck with me. I will abstain from my opinion, rather eagerly anticipating your take on his incredible story!

“Funny this question comes up. I went to visit an old childhood friend for lunch last week and we were talking about his career in health care sales. He is about 15 years my junior. Let me predicate this by saying that I’ve always more of hand-off type of sales manager who is very selective about his hires, trains them well and then treats them like gold – 99% of the time they do a great job.

So we are having a nice lunch and he gets a text message from his boss reminding him (and the other regional sales people) of the daily conference call at 1:00 (it was 12:30 at the time). We are having such a good discussion at lunch we run a little late so at 12:58, while taking me back to the airport, he has to put the conference call on in the car through the radio.

I was shocked, the sales manager has everyone check in .. Joe here, Mary here, Larry here, Curly here .. then the meeting begins. Details on all the main target accounts, timelines on closing deals, number of sales calls made today, number of cold calls made, etc. Fortunately I got to the airport (20 minutes later) before the end of the call.

I was shocked. If I were a sales rep and that occurred on a daily basis, I’d go nuts. In addition to having been a sales manager and sales person, I’m also a coach and teacher. I think it’s up to you as a sales manager to know each person on your sales team and find out what makes them “click”. Some will need more hands on attention while others need just a nudge.

Regardless, if you feel the need to “ride” them each day, you either don’t have confidence in them or you have a power obsession. Again, if you hire the right person, train them well, support them and treat them well, the rest will fall into place. I guess that’s a long way of saying I’m more “hands-off”. – Kevin Dankosky

Oh yeah, if you love sales and business and you are not a member of Paul Castain’s Sales Playbook Linkedin Group, what are you waiting for? Here is the link:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sales-Playbook-1832739/about

No spam, no personal promotion, 30,000+ members. It is the best place to hang out that I have found and it has changed the way I sell and manage.

Bruce Zimmerman’s Post From The Heart

Bruce Zimmerman’s post about Paul Castain brought my night to a screeching halt on Monday. I wiped the sweat off my brow in the stifling summer heat, proceeded to the “coolness” of my basement, and read every word.

If you have followed for a while, Paul Castain’s name is brought up quite a bit on this blog. There is good reason for that.

Bruce captures the true essence of who Paul is, and what he stands for. I had already been planning a post for Thursday which references Paul’s website, so this will be the first of two posts, back-to-pack discussing somebody I admire greatly. Enjoy!

Bruce Zimmerman . . .

A while back I had the opportunity to interview an individual who I believe is truly a Sales Rock Star. Actually, I was so excited about the fact that I was able to interview him that I wrote a blog about it shortly after the interview concluded.

It was my intent to review all my notes, bring the whole thing together, and post my thoughts and perspectives within a couple of days.

Wanting to make sure that what I wrote was perfect in every way, I wrote several drafts but nothing seemed right.  I would write something, I would read it, and conclude that it didn’t adequately portray my true thoughts. It had to be perfect! I wanted, no needed, to use the right words to describe how much this individual has meant to me and the thousands of other “aspiring sales rock stars” over the last few years. Somehow…

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Paul Castain’s Important Message About Life and Family

Do you ever read something online that is so inspiring and memorable that you cannot get it out of your head? This happened to me yesterday morning, and I thought about it for the rest of the day.

Since it is the 4th of July for my American readers, I thought this would be a great time to share a recent post by Paul Castain about family and life in general.

This piece comes from the heart, and discusses looking forward (not back) but keeping memories “in a special place” that you can cherish for the rest of your life.

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Happy 4th of July, and have a wonderful day!

Powerful Message From Paul Castain – A Lesson From Your Remote

Paul Castain has been a tremendous influence on everything that I have accomplished online to date, and I wanted to share a recent video of his. Who knew that a remote control could provide so many lessons for us?

Paul is passionate about everything that he does, and is one of the best people that I have had the good fortune of coming in contact with over the past two years via social media. I highly recommend that you follow his body of work if you do not already.

His content can be found over at www.yoursalesplaybook.com and you can connect with him in several different places including Twitter (@PaulCastain ).

Enjoy his message.

The Five Star 5 – Sales Leaders

I love lists. I love countdowns. It started with me listening to the “Top 10 at 10” songs on a local AM radio station as a kid, and eventually a variation was born called the “Top 6 at 6”. From there, countdowns seemed to be all over the place. There were tv shows in the 1980’s that counted down the top music videos of the week, and eventually sports shows counted down the best plays of the day, week and eventually year.

When I started to get involved with social media and conducted research on the internet, I realized that lists were prominent there too. I saw one problem. Many of the lists were 10, 25, 50 or even 100 items long! I had no issue with that until I realized that I always got distracted and never finished the lists.

So I felt the need to chime in on the “list phenomenon”, but with my own twist. It will be called,

“The Five Star 5”

I will include my favourites from a specific category, but each list will only be 5 entries long. The difficult part of course is narrowing down some decisions to 5, but that is the beauty of the short, concise list. I want each list to be impactful, short and sweet.

These were the first five people that I followed in the sales space, and I am sure glad that I did. If you are following them already, fantastic! If not, consider this a solid recommendation and follow them at once!

I will note their Twitter names and websites as points of reference:

Paul Castain – Your Sales Playbook; @PaulCastain

http://yoursalesplaybook.com/

Dan Waldschmidt – Edgy Conversations; @DanWaldo

http://danwaldschmidt.com

S. Anthony Iannarino – The Sales Blog; @Iannarino

http://thesalesblog.com/

Kelley Robertson – Fearless Selling; @FearlessSelling

http://fearless-selling.ca/

Mark Hunter – The Sales Hunter; @TheSalesHunter

http://thesaleshunter.com/

Enjoy this list. These guys are awesome!