My journey to reclaim my health through Ketosis and Jiu-Jitsu with obligatory pictures

Introduction:

Over the last 10 years, I have been on a journey to reclaim my health. Sadly (or happily) I have only figured my body out in the last six months but it was the whole journey that took me to this point. To be clear, I don’t have the holy grail of diet and exercise programs but I do have a list of false starts, unsuccessful diets and unsuccessful medications to share. In addition, I have some concepts that worked for me and may work for you.  But, please take into consideration that everyone’s body is different and, I’ll just say this once, I am not a doctor. Most of what I do know comes from medical talks, medical studies and nutritional experts. I will share as many links as I can since this post is just a story about what I did and I would hope that my story will inspire anyone who is “sick of being sick” to begin their own journey and do their own research. This post is just a curated group of ideas that worked for me. The reason that I would hope that you would do your own research is that, as most people know, maintaining a diet and exercise routine is hard, but, understanding the “why” of the choices you are making improves your chances of success. Self-control is a limited resource. When people ask me if my diet is hard, my answer is: sometimes. When it’s hard, I cheat a little bit. I think the best thing you can do is cheat a little bit and then hop back on the bandwagon. I think there are a lot of things that you need to enjoy to live a happy, healthy life. Some of those things are food. But, you need to have a healthy relationship with food. I’ll get into my diet in a little bit but first I’ll share my health issues.

My health issues:

So, this gets a little personal. I think I could be friends with someone for years and still never share some of them. But, in the conversations that I have had with a few people recently, I realize that there are a lot of people in a similar situation. I realized that I am ok with oversharing or being a little embarrassed if this helps just one person. Also, I am very thankful for all the information out there that has helped me and I think, in writing this, I am paying it forward to heal others.


Here are some of my issues... I have battled depression my whole life, I have had IBS-D (it stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the D is for diarrhea) since my mid-20’s (I’m 39 now) and I have been fighting a slow weight gain for the last 10 years. Sadly, those are just the obvious problems. The depression, IBS and weight gain come with a lot of baggage in the form of insecurity, low energy, self-isolation, anger, self-medicating, brain fog... the list goes on and on. In addition, I had low testosterone and a non-alcoholic fatty liver but had no idea why. My doctors only wanted to try different medications for different issues. The sad part is, it’s a spiral without a way to turn it around. I took several antidepressants, 5 different medications in total. Instead of getting “happier”, if there was a side effect by taking the anti-depressants, I got it.  I felt like someone else, detached yet angry, and I couldn’t sleep and was gaining more weight. The worse part was the sexual dysfunction. I won't go into details but nothing hurts the male ego as much as the last one. For the IBS, I was scoped from every direction and was told that I’m healthy. What?... Needing to run to the bathroom after every meal and not wanting to leave the house is not healthy, and neither was the bloating, cramping and all around energy drain that comes with it. But, here came my doctors to the rescue again with more medication. I tried antispasmodic medication and anti-anxiety medication, that turned me into a zombie, but nothing actually made me feel better.

During this time, I wasn’t just looking for medication to fix myself. I tried several exercise programs but I was always low on energy and my joints would get inflamed. I tried several diets as well. We went vegan for 4 years. During that time, I gained more weight, lost more muscle and none of my symptoms improved. In fact, I got worse. My memory started getting worse. Conversations with my wife would include me forgetting 2-3 names and 2-3 places. They became a guessing game like “You know, that one place?” and “The guy that married that one girl, you know, what’s his name?” I can already feel the hardcore vegan’s saying “you weren’t managing your diet correctly” but I will say it again; I think everyone’s body is different and you need to find the right diet for you. In addition to vegan, we tried several other diets for varying timeframes. Then I tried going raw, vegetarian, FODMAP and celiac among others. In fact, at one point, I just ate oatmeal for a few days in hopes of eliminating everything and slowly introducing one food at a time to find out what I was reacting to. Some diets worked a little better than others but none of them fixed me. Here is the diet that did work.

Diet:

I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast while on a business trip. He had a guest named Mark Sisson, author of Primal Blueprint. During the interview, Mark went on to explain a diet designed to mimic the diet that our ancestors would have evolved to consume in order to lead long, healthy lives. The diet rejects the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) consisting of sugar, grains and other simple carbohydrates and focuses on unprocessed food with healthy fats. What I learned is that my body was running on sugar (glucose) and shortly after consuming sugar and carbohydrates, my body would dump a bunch of insulin into my system to clear the toxic level of sugar from my system and store that energy and nutrients into my fat cells. Then, once the sugar has been cleared out my blood system, I would soon feel weak and get hungry for another (sweet) snack or meal. So, as long as my body was running on glucose, I was locked into a blood sugar and insulin roller coaster and continue getting fatter and sicker. Our bodies have a second system that runs on fat. In the absence of abundant carbohydrates, our bodies produce ketones. In a Ketogenic state, our bodies are fueled by dietary fats as well as our own bodies fat stores. So your body literally turns into a fat burning machine so instead of constantly being hungry, your body uses it’s own energy reserves. Using this system, you not only lose weight but your endurance will increase since your body can store significantly more fat energy than it can store glucose in your muscles. Also, your muscles and joints do not get as inflamed from training as they do with a high sugar diet. For this reason, many endurance athletes have now transitioned to ketogenic diets.

Here is a link to a Dr explaining how this works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_evJd_iZZzs


So, what do I eat? Here is a small example of what my daily diet might look like.

Breakfast:

  • Scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon.



Because I am no longer on the insulin roller coaster, I am not usually hungry for breakfast. However, many days I will train in the morning, while in a fasting state, and work up an appetite.
Coffee with Half and Half (I may blend with Grassfed Butter as well). Mark Sisson doesn’t recommend dairy but I enjoy diary and have not had any allergy issues with it. Listen to your body.

Lunch:

  • 1-2 hamburgers (No bun) with melted cheese
  • Steamed vegetables


Again, I’m not usually hungry around lunch time so I will typically eat lunch around 1-3pm.

Dinner:

  • Steak with salt, pepper, and garlic
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • All over Quinoa

Snacks:

If I am hungry throughout the day, I will snack on macadamia nuts or almonds. If I want a heartier snack, I usually have leftover steak, chicken or eggs covered in butter and cheese.


The beauty of this diet is that you are leaving behind the foods that your body burns through quickly and craves more. Fatty foods, are very satisfying and, although they are very calorie dense, you tend to eat less throughout the day.


Here is a link to more Keto recipes: https://www.reddit.com/r/ketorecipes/

Exercise

I have never seen a sport, workout routine or athletic club change someone's life like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aka BJJ. If I could shout it from the rooftops I would. It is a sport where you get stronger, learn how to control your body, learn to control other people and learn who you are. It’s hard in ways that you will have to discover for yourself but the friendships and community that you will form keep you coming back. My body feels like it’s mine again and I feel 20 years younger. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling sport and self-defense art. BJJ uses leverage that allows a smaller, weaker person to control and submit a stronger, heavier opponent. The ego is the first thing to fade in BJJ. Your ego will keep you coming back but you will be baptised on mat during every training.


Through BJJ, I have gained back my core strength and solved my lower back pain issues. I can now run for miles at a time without getting winded since my cardio has significantly improved. My confidence has increased considerably since I now know what I am capable of but I am also more humble because I know what other people's bodies are capable of. My depression has lessened and the lows are considerably less low. I attribute this to hormone release by the intense exercise as well as the feeling that I have control over my health.

Morning Practice:

How you spend your mornings really does set the tone for the day. Here are a few things that have significantly helped me.


I like to wake up before anyone else in the house. The silence in the morning gives me time to reflect on what I want to accomplish that day. I spend 10-15 minutes in meditation followed by affirmations. Affirmations don’t have to be cheesy but they are more powerful that you can imagine. If you are not willing to say nice things about yourself out loud, how can you expect anyone else to? Also, they set the tone of positive self-talk before you can begin speaking negatively to yourself. After affirmations, I will repeat the 5 things that are the most important things in my life. This helps me make decisions and set boundaries throughout the day. My five important things are: Husband, Father, Health, Work, Hobbies. If something doesn’t make one or several of these things better or if something negatively impacts these things, I will be very careful what decision I make. Also, the order is important.. Keeping your priorities straight is the secret to happiness. Next, if there is time, I will write in my journal or go over my todo list for the day. After my morning practice, or morning routine, I am ready to take on anything.


A good books on the subject:

Results:

After all of these life changes, here is what has changed. I am a healthier, skinnier, stronger and most importantly, a happier version of myself. My IBS is 100% cured as long as I manage my diet correctly. I went from a high of 210lbs and I am now around 175 lbs and I’m still losing weight at a rate of 2-3 lbs a month. I went from size 36 pants into, a very loose fitting size 32. Most of my joint inflammation is cured. I still have some issues with my elbows but BJJ can be really taxing on the arms until you perfect your technique. My depression is 90% cured. I still have some bad days but the day to day battle of depression is a thing of the past. Cognitively, I feel incredible. I still forget the occasional name or place but I’m no longer frustrated with my own ability to recall facts on demand.


My journey is not done. I feel like I have only begun turning into the person that I want to be. However, I feel like I have solved many of the roadblocks that have been blocking me from realizing many of my goals. I hope this helps you. You are different and your journey is different but perhaps you will see some of the things that I have done and, even if you don’t adopt any of my changes, you are inspired and see hope out there for yourself.

Also, here is the obligatory before and after pictures. I will continue to post after pictures over time as well.


Before pictures are from October 2015 and the after pictures are from April 2016:



Updated picture: Coming soon… I am about 5 pounds lighter than the most recent picture.

10 Daily Habits that will change your life. -seriously

I've been in a slump lately. Stuck. It feels like I'm in mud or as if the air around me is actually thicker.

The easiest thing to do is to sit on the couch and forget about the world. Or, I could just get by. Getting by isn't that bad. A lot of people just get by. But I'm grateful that I am not satisfied with getting by. nor have I ever have been. If that was the case, I would still be working in a factory somewhere or working a manual labor job. There is nothing wrong with either of those jobs but I was not satisfied with that life. I think the devil and angel on each shoulder is a great analogy for the inner voices we have. We all have a voice that abuses us. A voice that tells you all things that you said wrong or reminds you of things you have done poorly in your life. I think that is the loudest voice for most of us. If we had a friend or family member that spoke to us, the way we let that voice speak to us, we would remove them from our lives.

Thank goodness for the other voice. The one that gets you up in the morning. The voice that reminds you of why you do what you do and whom or what you are grateful for. It's the inner voice that reminds you to focus on what is important and forces you to reach outside of yourself for inspiration.

Last month I did this. I searched for video's that would inspire me and books that would motivate me to take action. Something happened. I found a book called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. What Hal goes into great detail describing is something similar to what James Altucher describes in his Blog, and book: Choose Yourself, as a Daily Practice. To put it simply, these two books and their authors blogs set my brain on fire. (in a good way!) I have been waking up at 5 am every morning for the last 3 weeks and I feel like a different person. I am more motivated than I have been in my entire life and I feel more powerful than I ever have. Here's the thing too.. there is no "big secret" to it. Doing the Miracle Morning / Daily Practice has more to do with taking time for yourself to do the things that your Mind and Body need in order to be a healthy and full person.

So, I have decided to "pay it forward" and write up a list of 10 things that I have discovered in my research that can help others. I ask one thing.. I ask that you make one commitment before reading this. Try.. Try doing these things for 1 day.

1. Wake up an hour earlier than you have to. 

When you are going on a holiday, nothing is easier than hopping out of bed early. Do this. Reframe your attitude around being excited. You are changing your life after-all.

2. Quiet your mind for 10 minutes. 

If a word like meditation is to0 "touchy feely" for you, maybe it's prayer. Regardless of how you do it, just sit in silence with yourself and focus on your breathing. In and Out. At first, you will feel that thoughts are endlessly flooding into your consciousness but eventually you will teach your mind to drown out the chatter and focus. You will find that it is easier for you to do this later in the day when you need to focus your attention.

3. An attitude of gratitude. 

Here's some gold. Well, golden wisdom that is. The happiest people are the most grateful. Be a grateful person and be happy. Even when things are bad, there are things to be grateful for. Sometimes we focus on the negative things in our life. Take 5 minutes and write out a list of 10 things you are grateful for. You cannot stop until you reach 10. If you do this everyday, you will be happy and, as an added benefit, you will find that you are focusing your energy toward the people you value most in life. Those people will be grateful for you.

4. Write in a Journal. 

Sometimes, if I am listening to the bad inner voice, I don't realize how much I am growing. Be your own biographer and document your change. A year, month or week from now you will look back on your journal and see a stranger. This is powerful. Besides, you will save a fortune in counseling bills.. what do you think they do anyway? They listen to your deep dark secrets and take notes.  Then tell you when you've made progress.. you can do that yourself.

5. Write a list

What should I write a list of you ask? I don't know.. it's your list. Here is an example of some lists I wrote this week. 10 Things I can do to improve my life, 10 Things I can do to improve my career, 10 new business ideas, (get this) 10 Lists that I should write and of course, this list: 10 Daily habits that will change someones life. Doing this exercise will train your mind to focus on problem resolution instead of focusing on the problem.

6. Exercise

I don't know what this is number 6. It could easily be number 1. Don't have time you say? Well, your up an hour early.. what else are you going to do. Not in shape you say? I didn't say to compete in IronMan.. Stretch, do yoga, take a walk. Your becoming the person you want to be. That person is healthy. After all, if you sick, how can you focus on anything else?

7. Do Affirmations

Uh oh, here we go.. too foofoo. I know, I feel the same way. In fact, if they didn't work so damn good, I wouldn't do it either. The most successful people in the world do them. You just may not find that out until you become as successful as you want to me. You don't have to say them in front of millions of people like Muhammed Ali did ("I am the greatest!"), you can say them in your car or in the shower. The important thing is to be that positive voice that programs your brain. Fun fact: You are not what you think, you are not your brain.. your brain is a tool. You program it like you would program a computer. It's either good programming or bad. Your call. Send me a message and I will send you a list of my personal affirmations to get you started.

8. Do something nice

Make up your mind that you are going to do something nice for one person today.  This can be building a library in Zimbabwe or it can be listening to someone that needs a friend.

9. Take on a big task

Sometimes we have more things to do than time to do them. Make a list of things you need to accomplish and block out time to focus on the biggest item on your list. If you only get that one things done today, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

10. Share these ideas with other people

If you want to apply these ideas and grow into the person that you want to become, share these ideas. Not only does it help you formulate your thoughts on how to apply them but it gives the ideas more power. Also, look back at number 8, maybe it's the nice things you do for someone else. After all, it is for me.

First of all, thank you for reading my list of the 10 habits that will change your life. They are habits that have changed my life and continue to on a daily basis. Ideas are a virus and, like a sneeze, we share them with others. Too often, people put off taking care of themselves and focus on the people they care about. This is a disservice to the people you love. Make yourself the best version of you that you can be. You will be a great example for others and you will have more to offer them.

Comment below. I want to hear what you are doing to change your life. 

VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service - What does it mean to current cloud providers?



          VMware has announced that they will soon launch it's vCloud Hybrid Service. This service will give VMware customers the ability to extend their workloads into a VMware datacenter. This is by no means a new concept, however, it does represent a shift for VMware. Traditionally, VMware has been content with enabling organizations to utilize their virtualization software on-premise  while introducing more and more cloud orchestration software for the enterprise and cloud service providers. 

           This represents a shift in the market to a more flexible and dynamic computing model but does not directly address issues like geo-redundancy or disaster recovery. To address these challenges, organizations have had to do most of the heavy lifting by purchasing expensive storage solutions that allow for storage based replication or rethinking their entire strategy by moving to cloud providers like Amazon or Rackspace. This either represents a large capital expenditure that is only available to the enterprise and leaving the rest of the market scrambling for low cost solutions or, in the case of Amazon, inserting a new level of complexity, risk and vendor lock-in. 

          In response to market trends toward utility computing and the success of the early cloud vendors, many large hosting providers like Savvis and Terramark have adopted VMware's software suite to support the growing demand for a public cloud. Although there are open source options on the market, one can only assume this is due to VMware's position in the market, the maturity of their solutions and the large customer base that can be tapped into just by building a VMware cloud infrastructure. 

           While details are still a little murky on VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service,VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, recently told Wall Street analysts that, "It is an extension of what customers are doing". No doubt, VMware is planning to capitalize on their position as the virtualization marketshare leader by increasing the services available to their nearly 500k customers. In many ways, this is a response to the work being done by opensource projects like Openstack and CloudStack by giving companies the ability to seamlessly move workloads outside of their datacenter into the cloud. Where Openstack and Cloudstack give companies the flexibility to choose their own hypervisor and avoid lockin, there is still a perception problem, very similar to the early days of Linux, that VMware and Microsoft do not have. 

          Similarly, multi-site replication is now available in Microsoft's Windows 2012 Hyper-V platform with new features like Replica and improved network virtualization. Hyper-V Replica is a new service that allows companies to replicate their Virtual Machines off-site. This begs the question of when Microsoft will answer with their own IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) cloud hosting offering? 

        With VMware's entry into the cloud hosting arena, much like hardware and software vendors Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle have done in recent years, this gives pause to what the future will hold for existing hosting providers. What services will they need to provide to stay relevant as their cheese is moved once again? 

Your comments are welcome. In addition, I can be contacted directly at: ben.rodrigue@gmail.com

Note: The views expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views of his employer, colleagues, friends and especially his spouse. 

Key Events of the sales process. Part 2: Positioning your company to win.



Sales Event 2: Positioning Your Company to Win


Once a prospect has “bought” you (meaning that they trust you and you have rapport) you should begin laying the groundwork of positioning your company. By asking more questions, you will learn what is important to the prospect in their vendor search. This information will be of great use to avoid the dreaded “puking up” of all the information on your company.


If you haven’t been able to ask about what they are looking for in a vendor, now is the time. For example, what if you start giving your presentation and driving home how big you are? You may come to find out later in the sales process that they are on the market for a new vendor because their current vendor is “too big” to give great service. You have just put your company in a bad position and would then need to dig out of a hole. If your company is positioned poorly, you may not even know it until it is too late and the prospect has already chosen a different vendor over you. This is something that could have easily been uncovered by asking about their priorities in choosing a vendor and asking what is missing with their current service. Understand the customers priorities before you pitch your company.


I have seen many sales reps fall into this trap. Many times, a prospect will bring a vendor in to do a presentation before disclosing what their priorities are. This puts a sales rep into a position to “shotgun” all information that they think is relevant to a prospect. Then the prospect uses this information to qualify or disqualify your company. As a sales rep, you should never agree to do a presentation on your company without first understanding what their priorities are and why they are looking for a new vendor. Doing so, is a disservice to you and the prospect. If you do, you are rolling the dice and professional sales people don’t do that. Your time is your most valuable asset.  If your professional sales process does get mixed up and you find that you are visiting with a client and being asked to present your company without enough knowledge of the client. This is where good sales reps can differentiate themselves with a professional sales process. Be prepared to pitch your company in multiple ways with multiple stories. As part of your presentation, build in a slide where you gather information with a few strategic questions. Let them know that you need 5 minutes of their time before you begin. 

Task: Write down the priorities that 80% of your prospects have. Be prepared to present your company with an emphasis on addressing each of these priorities. Be prepared, not lucky.

Once you understand what the prospect is looking for in a vendor, you can begin crafting your messaging to align with your prospects needs. I say story because, like any story, it can be told in a number of ways. No, one way, is definitively more true than the other but the message that is taken from the story can vary based on the delivery. With the example above in mind, a sales rep that understands that the size of an organization is not as relevant as the level of service that is provided. The sales rep can focus on how their company delivers support as opposed to putting a lot of focus on the number of locations the company has.


Remember: People love to talk about themselves.


Positioning your company should be a short phase in the customers purchasing process. I view it as a housekeeping item. A company that is positioned correctly will not necessarily make the sale however it can absolutely cost you a sale if it’s not done correctly. Once your company is positioned well, it will springboard you into the third event, positioning your product.

Next: Positioning your Product

Key Events of the sales process. Part 1: Build rapport by asking the right questions.



First, sell yourself.

The first step in any sale is to sell yourself. A prospect will not buy from someone they don’t trust. You need to build rapport. The growth and maturity of this rapport will be a factor every time you ask for a commitment. My personal mantra is “to make a friend on every call”. I know this isn’t realistic but it puts me in the right mindset to be attentive, friendly and trustworthy. These are the qualities that the prospect is looking for from you. If you are selling a $100 product, that’s how much rapport you need to have. If you are selling a $100k product, you need to have a substantially higher level of rapport. Keep this in mind as you grow in your career. Your ability to establish and grow rapport will directly impact your ability to close larger deals.


What does this mean? It means that the best sales people, are the best listeners. The quality of your questions will indicate how well you are listening. I’ll say that again, the quality of your questions will indicate how well you are listening. Your goal is to understand what their needs and priorities are in order to gain the information that you need.

Remember: People buy on emotion but justify with logic.

In the question asking process, you need to start with very high level questions. Then as the information begins flowing you can ask more detailed questions. You need to earn the right to ask harder questions. You can’t just jump right into personal questions.


Here are some tips to prepare you to ask the right questions on the call.



  • Research the Contact and Company; before the call.
  • Establish what your objective of the call is.
  • Have several questions written down in preparation.  

The best questions to ask in order to get as much information possible are open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are simple. They are questions that require a response that requires a statement and not a single word to answer. An example open-ended question is “How does your company make money?” versus a closed-ended question like “Are you profitable?”. To be a professional, you should have several open-ended questions memorized and ready to go in any situation.

Tip: In creating an Open-ended question, try starting it with these words:  When, How, Who, Where, Explain, or Why.

Here are some examples:

Personal Questions:  
“What drew you to this industry in the first place?” or
“What changes have you seen in the industry?”

Company Questions:
“How has your company changed over the years?” or
“How does your company adapt to change?”

Budget Questions:
“What is the budget range for a project like this?” or
“What would the process be like to increase that budgeted amount?”

Competition:
“What are your priorities a vendor must fulfill?” or
“All things being equal, who is your preferred vendor at this point and why?”

Compelling Event:
“What is the primary reason that you are reaching out?” or
“What is driving the movement of this project?”

Timeline:
“What does your internal timeline look like?” or
“What are the ramifications if this timeline is missed?”

Activity: Take 15 minutes to write down some open-ended questions that you will use on your next call. They should cover the needs you have to gather in order to position yourself, your company and your product. 



  • Ask about unique needs instead of commodity needs. Anyone can provide a blue widget. What can you solve that is unique and a reason to only buy from you?
  • Develop high level questions then lower level questions.
  • Develop questions that have an impact on them personally, their company, financial risk, opportunity costs etc.

Once you understand what their needs are you can move to phase 2.  

Positioning your Company.

Stay passionate and maintain a sense of self in your career.

       
          I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review that discussed how recent graduates are more inclined to immediately seek a job after graduation rather than strike out on their own. The analogy used was that they have  a "passionless, eager-to-please attitude of salespeople". I found it both interesting and a little insulting that the perception of salespeople is passionless and eager-to-please. I don't believe that the articles author is alone in this perception since I have encountered this in my sales career as well. I'd like to spend some time discussing where these perceptions come from as well as how to avoid falling into their trap.

How to keep your passion:

          Being in the trenches, it is easy to forget what we love about sales. Sometimes it can feel like we are in an endless loop of filling the pipeline and closing deals. The methods that an inexperienced sales manager can use to motivate a sales rep only encourage this monotonous loop. They can do so by rewarding the outcome (revenue) instead of the behavior the creates the optimal outcome. Once revenue is perceived as the ultimate reward, it is easy for a sales rep to forget about the real work that it takes to successfully on-board a new client. (Note: I said successfully on-board a client and not "close a deal". Big difference!) When I interview the most successful sales reps, one things stands out: a well defined, professional sales process. When a salesperson approaches their job as their own business, there is a paradigm shift. A business runs on more than just sales. It requires elements of vision, strategy and goal setting. It also requires the work of leaders, marketers and customer service reps. When a salesperson begins to bring in all of these components to run their own business the raise their head out of the rat race and begin running a world class sales organization within their area of control. I believe that passion comes from having influence in your own destiny and understanding the direction behind each action. When I see a sales rep that views their job as a business and successfully runs their own business, I see a very successful, passionate salesperson.

A strong sense of self:

          Another perception of salespeople, is that they have a eager-to-please attitude. I don't believe that this is altogether a bad thing but perhaps a bit simplistic. I think that a salesperson should be eager to please a client, however, the differentiation is whether the client deserves that attention and whether the sales rep has the right motives.

          As I've stated in other articles, a sales rep should always-be-qualifying (ABC) a client. The only non-renewable resource that a sales rep has is their time. How they invest their time will dictate their success. I believe it is a noble character trait to want to bring happiness to another. The most successful sales reps care about other people and want to solve problems to bring happiness into their lives. When a sales rep looks beyond their own needs and personal gain to help a client get what they need, they will make a friend and loyal client for life. As one of my personal mentor's Zig Zigler once said "You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."

          If a salesperson is focused on helping  a qualified, deserving client get what they want. They will never be perceived with a negative "eager-to-please" attitude. They will be viewed as an ally, as a strategic partner and as a friend.

Why do salespeople get a bad rap?



Are you a professional salesperson? The reason that many salespeople fail to reach their full potential and burn out is that sales is "just a job" and not their occupation. Think of any example of a cliche salesperson and I’ll show you someone who either received poor training or is just looking to make a quick buck in their “pit-stop” in a sales job. Think of any movie about salespeople and, although there are some great scenes and fun quotes, Boiler Room and Glenngary Glenn Ross for instance, there is very little similarity to a sales professional.

Question: Why do salespeople get a bad rap? Why is the perception of salespeople somewhat negative but the perception of many other trades (lawyers aside) positive?

Answer:  I believe that it is two things: 1. Professional training: an MD spends years in school honing their craft. They serve years as interns learning how to practice their craft and learning what is important. 2. They have a culture of service. They have a simple oath (Hippocratic Oath) that is paramount to their culture and summed up as "Do no harm". It’s their willingness to help us and solve our ailments that makes us think well of them and justifies the trust we place in them.

Do you know any salespeople with these characteristics? Well trained, well educated and skilled at solving problems. You probably do, but they do not fit the stereotype and therefore don’t come to mind immediately.

I’m proud to be in the company of professional salespeople. It is a noble profession. The doctor in the example above does not have a practice without scrubs, medicine, an office or even someone to host his website until a salesperson is involved.  I believe that everyone is a salesperson. Some of us are just fortunate enough to have the title. Have you ever seen a child trying to persuade a parent to buy a toy for them? A child can negotiate, position, and list features and benefits with the best of them. All that, without ever accepting “No!” for an answer.

So what does it take to be a professional salesperson? A person that views their sales career as a profession? I’ll summarize it here:

1. Have a career plan and build goals around that plan.
2. Have a professional sales process.
3. Be professional in appearance and have a professional presentation.
4. Be trustworthy and honest in your dealings.
5. Only sell a product that you are sold on yourself.
6. Understand  that the goal of a salesperson is to Gain Commitment. Do you agree?