Rob Gilbert: The Art of Becoming a Leader and Salesman
This week on The Motivational Intelligence Podcast, Dave Naylor interviews a very special guest. His name is Rob Gilbert and his vast knowledge and wisdom is astounding. Rob is a Virginia native, and has 36 years’ experience in the areas of sales, marketing, leadership, and sales management and process consulting and coaching. Since his start in the office equipment industry in the early 80’s, Rob has spent many years in the field of office automation sales, sales management, managed print methodologies, SFA utilization as a means of pipeline building and management, recruiting, team building and accountability, and leadership training and consulting. Rob currently serves as CMO for ImageNet Consulting LLC, where his primary areas of focus include pipeline oversight and management, training and coaching of sales and sales leadership, some training coordination and recruiting efforts, and enterprise branch assistance where needed. Rob has learned a lot along the way and shares valuable insight about how to forge a strong path, both professionally and personally, while staying self-aware. “I know that what I do isn’t the only way of doing things. I know that what I do works because I do it and it works,” he says. Interested in hearing more? Check out Episode 35: Rob Gilbert: The Art of Becoming a Leader and Salesman and be sure to leave us a review. Follow us on social media!
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Rob Gilbert: The Art of Becoming a Leader and Salesman
David Naylor: [00:13:43] Well, hello everybody. This is David Naylor with 2logical and welcome back to The Motivational Intelligence Podcast. We’ve got a very, very cool guest today. He’s a gentleman I’ve known now for probably close to 15 years.
He is the Chief Marketing Officer for ImageNet Consulting. They are in and of themselves a very wonderful case study of how organizations can shift and adapt to the marketplace to be able to change, given market dynamics and market disruption. So, they’re an organization that went from being a typewriter repair company back in the 1950s, to today where they are a technology firm that counts some of the largest corporations in the world as their clients. As I mentioned, Rob’s their Chief Marketing Officer and one of the things that I’ve always admired about Rob is, Rob has this very unique ability to simplify the complexities of life and to be able to identify the patterns that influence success.
It’s something that he’s done throughout the course of his career and we’ll talk a little bit about his career path. He’s had a very interesting and collected career path that has brought him to where he is today. Rob is also one of those people who, if you’ve ever met somebody who’s an old soul, then you’ll have a sense of who Rob is.
He’s a gentleman who, when you listen to him speak you very quickly realize that the wisdom that he has far exceeds the years that he’s been walking on this planet. So, he’s a very interesting and a very unique guy and I think you’ll very much enjoy the conversation we have today. So, Rob, welcome to the podcast.
Rob Gilbert: [00:15:54] Thanks, Dave. I really appreciate the invitation and I’m looking forward to spending some time and talking with you today.
David Naylor: [00:16:00] Well, Rob, we’re all shaped by the people that we surround ourselves with. We’re shaped by the things that we learn through our journey and we’re also shaped by the various experiences that we have. As I mentioned in the intro, you’ve had a pretty interesting and eclectic career path that’s led you to where you are today. So, if you would, share with us a little bit about how your career started out.
Actually, I find some irony in this in that you started when you were a teenager in the typewriter repair business, and today you work for an organization that also started, so your career has kind of come full circle almost in that sense. But, tell us a little.
Rob Gilbert: [00:16:51] Well, as you said, I started off in Virginia in a rural town, rural city. I had a really great traditional childhood, good upbringing, good home life, a great place to grow up and raise a family and be and exist and live and thrive. At the time that I grew up in I guess our relative age, technology started to take off and go into different ways. I ended up going to work for my father when I was still in high school. He owned an office equipment company, and I went to work for him delivering some supplies and typewriter ribbons and things like that. Then through the end of school, I started doing some other work for him and did some service work and some MSR type sales work and that sort of thing. That was at a time when, initially, it’s almost unbelievable to say out loud now, but at the time then,
type or electronic typewriters were the rage and the fashion and they were selling for $1,500, $1,600 a piece, as fast as you could buy them and sell them. It’s fascinating now though, the way technology is, some people you talk to don’t even know what a typewriter even is anymore.
But, he had a really thriving business doing that and a number of service technicians that worked for him and a pretty nice office downtown here in town and they ended up moving to the progressive area out in the suburbs of town. Anyway, as technology began to change and copy machines and that sort of thing really were exploding and coming into their own, increasing and enhancing technology and that sort of thing. Businesses like his, and not unlike ImageNet and those kinds of companies, were really trying to find what their place was and which model they went into and so on and so forth. Of course, this company selected its direction that it was going to go in and that was kind of stay in the service related vein, which is great and fine. But, as things tend to go and as businesses tend to go, it had its struggles as all small businesses do. So, at the time, I took on some other sales related activity, I was always looking for some way to supplement my income and make a little bit more money here and there.
So, there were other salesy things that I did and really ever since I was a kid, even when I worked for my father part time, I sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners for a period in time. I got involved with Amway when I was really young, as a lot of young kids do and then there was a network marketing venture called A.L. Williams, which is an insurance business, which taught you how to buy term insurance and invest the difference between that and other insurance and mutual funds and that sort of thing. So, a lot of those different types of things and sales ventures. I sold baby shoe bronzing back in the days where mothers like to have their children’s baby shoes bronzed and held onto forever.
So, there were a lot of things like that that gave me really neat interactions with people and with the sales and the sales motion. I worked for car wash for a period of time, selling car waxes. So, did a lot of those kinds of things to supplement what it is that I was doing during the day.
David Naylor: [00:20:34] Rob, tell us, because you had shared a story with me, it’s kind of a neat one actually. I think in a lot of ways, it sort of helps people understand you. Tell us a little bit about that car wash and what you did there and the lesson that you learned from it.
Rob Gilbert: [00:20:58] Well, it really is a neat lesson. A lot of times I tend to think of things in a pretty black and white way. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it becomes a hindrance even to me because a lot of what we do in leadership and management and sales, frankly, can be a little bit gray.
But, I think there are some things that relate to our high pay off activities that are pretty black and white and if you do these things this way for this period of time, some other things happen over here on the other side. When I was working for the car wash, I went in on the first day and I noticed some analytics up on the wall and different labor per hour and sales per car and all this other stuff.
One of the numbers, it was just a big lobby number at the bottom of the page, it was $2,132. I think it was something like that. So, I asked the manager at the time, “I understand these other numbers, but what does this number represent?” She told me that that was the goal for car waxes that the car wash was supposed to sell. The cool thing about that was supposed to be that whoever she named to sell the car waxes, if the store met its goal for car waxes, then the person selling the car wax got 10% of that. Well, that’s pretty easy math, $2,100 times 10% is 210 bucks, which at the time was a whole bunch of money to me.
So, I asked her, “Has the store ever met its goal?” No, we hadn’t. We sure hadn’t. I said, “Well, we’re going to meet it this month.” So, in looking at the other information for the car wash, I sort of cleaned about a hundred cars a day came through this particular car wash.
So, it really wasn’t brain surgery at all. When the cars come in, someone greets the people and asks them what they want, what type of car wash and so on and so forth and it’s at that time you can ask about car waxes. So I just I asked every single car that came in the lot every single day, if they wanted to get their car waxed, and of course a handful of them did each day.
Some of them said they didn’t, but then I found out pretty quickly that if you say, you know, “Are you sure? Your car is pretty dirty? It looks pretty filthy,” some of them would get offended by that, but then they didn’t want to be driving around in a filthy car, so they too would get their cars waxed.
So, it became just a function of pure mathematics. X number of cars come in and you ask every single one, X number buy it and before you know it at the end of the month, I think the number that we ended up doing was $2,700 or $2,800 or something like that. Next month we did a similar thing to the point where the manager ended up having to hire a separate person just to supplement the other person who was doing car waxes because they were getting themselves worked to death. Apparently it was such an interesting thing or an unusual thing for it to have happened like that, that the vice president of the chain of car washes actually came down to the store where I was working and stood beside me for seven hours one day just to make sure I wasn’t doing anything illegal selling car waxes. They just couldn’t believe it. To me, it was pretty simple. It’s just, you ask everybody and if they say no, if they give you a little simple sales resistance, you push back and ask a couple more questions, and maybe yes, maybe no, they go on about their way. So, the lesson to me was, it’s in the ask, it’s just a question. The answer can either be yes or no. If it’s yes. Okay, good. But, from a goal attainment perspective, it’s this is the number, this is how many come, this is how many have to buy out of this number that come this many times a month. There you go. So, it was pretty simple to me.
David Naylor: [00:24:51] Isn’t it amazing? I mean, you just summed up sales in about 10 minutes and yet, there’s so many salespeople out there who, for whatever reason, that simple logic eludes them.
Rob Gilbert: [00:25:02] It really is. I’ve been in sales for 36 years now. I find it to be the case all the time. Even those of us who’ve done it for a while, it doesn’t take that much really to lose your way when you perform the same sales motion over and over and over. But particularly non-tenured sales consultants are the younger ones who are learning their craft and going and trying new things and all of that. I literally cannot go a week without asking the same four or five questions and getting the deer in the headlights look. Again, I think when we talk about things like high payoff activities and what are those things? High pay off activities are just the three or four or five things that I must do every day, every week, every month, repeatedly and diligently so that my sales pipeline an my pipeline of opportunity and my sales and my quota and all that will continue to be met into perpetuity. It’s just astounding how often you can ask the blocking and tackling type questions to the same people and fail to get the answer that you need because they either don’t want to believe it’s true or haven’t gotten to into the correct habit of practicing it long enough to know that it is true.
David Naylor: [00:26:30] Yeah. So, to that point, Rob, it’s one of the things where you’ve really excelled and you’ve done a great job and to no small extent, it’s why ImageNet has grown the way that it has. How do you groom those new sales people as they’re coming in and really get them to buy into those high pay off activities that you’re talking about and how do you keep them focused on those things?
Rob Gilbert: [00:26:57] Thank you, that’s kind of you. I don’t in any way presume to think that anything I have to say really is contributory other than in an ancillary way to our success. There are a lot of people that do a lot of work, a lot of days to make a difference at ImageNet and we’ve had good fortune and really good leadership at the top of the company to make us successful. But what I know, just again from a fundamentals perspective and I said it earlier and I think you alluded to it. If you say enough things, enough ways, to enough people enough times, somebody is going to buy something sometime because that’s just sales. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ImageNet or car washes or baby shoe bronzing or whatever it is.
That’s just the way it is. How do we impart that into new sales consultants? That’s a really interesting question. I’m sure that you deal with it at your level and all of the training and teaching that you do, you see it as well as I do. It’s a different thing now than it used to be, certainly when I was coming in and coming up in sales. When I was coming up in sales, well, first of all, ImageNet has about a five month training program and it’s a total immersion training and we teach consultants everything they need to know from A to Z about the consultative process, the entirety of the offering that ImageNet provides.
It’s a pretty wide offering. I mean, for the first time, I would be pretty excited as a new consultant for ImageNet because in the old days, solutions companies, companies went from ABC copier companies to ABC solutions companies when digital copiers started to come out and they would do things more than just make a copy.
They would print and do some scanning and that kind of thing. So, all of a sudden we were solution providers. But, what solution providing actually meant was I can provide a solution as long as I can tie a solution to a copier because I have to tie a copier to a lease so I can get the lease funded so I can get paid.
That’s what solution provision actually meant. Well, at ImageNet, it doesn’t really mean that because the width of offering is so varied that there are six or seven or eight or nine ways you can affect how to increase efficiency and profitability in an office and it changes the dynamic of the conversation from how do I turn a solution into me being able to sell you a copier into, “Hey, tell me about your business. Tell me what your goals are as a business and what trouble you have in achieving those goals. Where are the failure points?” We have a bunch of things we can throw at that now to actually solve a problem.
So from that perspective, we’re fortunate in that through the training program we provide, we avail the salespeople of all of that knowledge to be able to go in and be consultative and ask questions for the first time that are different than the questions that their competitors might be asking.
How that was different than the way my generation came into sales is vastly different. As we were talking the other day, my training effectively was, “Hey, here’s your territory list. Here’s a key. There’s the door. Have a nice day.” I had to just figure all that out by myself.
There were some really good sales books back in the day. But of course, what you would have to do is read the books and then go apply what you learned in the field and get kicked around and smacked around and get a bloody nose and figure out what stupid things you were saying and how not to say those things and whatever.
So, as a result, y I think you learn, at least I did, the sales motion much quicker. It taught me something, from a money making standpoint, it taught me some skill sets that you needed faster than certainly I think reps learn it today because frankly, the way ImageNet approaches the hiring model is, “We’re going to pay you a salary. We’re going to train you. We’re going to tell you, go do some stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right stuff on the wrong stuff. We’re paying you to learn your craft, but we expect to achieve a return on our investment in about 18 months.” That’s a heck of a good place to be from today’s standpoint. But, to try to answer your question, I’m going the long way around the bar, I feel like, but how really is immersion training, coaching on a repetition of process and doing the same things the same ways over and over and over again, preaching the same message over an extended period of time and again, really just showing them through doing. The managers at the branches will sort of help them in some goal setting and attainment and teach them over a period of time how they get wrapped into their quota and how to do particular things. The first part of the sales process is, “Hey, we need to make some calls. We need to set some appointments, we need to send some emails.” Then from that point, they go and make calls and when they make calls day to day, we’ll get feedback from that, using that feedback where they go to the next part in their sales cycle. We put analytics in place with respect to their pipeline where we ask that they have multiple times their pipeline in different stages of the sales process. Well, why is that? If you have 25 times your quota working in the top of your sales funnel and 10 times your quota working in your 90 day sales cycle, then by the time you get to your 30 day closable, if you have five times your quota working, if you’re only ever good enough to close 20% of the sales you work, you’ll be at your quota.
So, we do a lot of those kinds of things to try to make it a foolproof that if you do these things this way for this period of time, we have a realistic expectation that you will be able to sustain yourself and achieve the goals that we have for you. Again, that’s vastly different than the way things used to be.
But I think it has to be because the way this generation is learning is much different. They work a lot more in teams. I’m finding that they’re much more prone to want to have their talk track 100% down before the ever leave the office because they don’t want to get asked a question that they don’t seem well versed in answering, and so they want to be a whole lot more educated before they’re willing to go out. So, that really tends to be, I think, the biggest thing that we’re having to focus on now internally is go do some stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right stuff in the wrong stuff.
David Naylor: [00:33:51] So, Rob, one of the things, you used the term high payoff activities and that’s one of the things I’ve noticed in talking with you is that you’re very good at figuring out the patterns, even in how you should be building your pipeline like you just shared, but you do the same thing I’ve noticed with people as well, where you can look at a manager or you can look at a sales person and you can figure out, what’s the pattern, what’s the Achilles heel for this individual? So, how do you figure out those patterns and how do you figure out what really are those high pay off activities?
Rob Gilbert: [00:34:37] Well, I think in any type of role that you have, some of them are just innate. I mean, sales just by itself tends to have a handful of things that must happen in order for a sale to happen. We’ve talked about those. I guess most sales people know you have to know your product, you have to talk to some people about your product. You have to understand if, if there’s a need for the product, if there is a need, then you have to sell the product and close it and deliver it. Those sorts of things. That has to happen. But, you also have to know and understand individually and through the product and through the market. A lot of that is just research driven where you have to be willing to knuckle down and do a little bit of homework. In the old days, the measurement was you could almost ask any salesman and I’ve given the answer too, so I know it’s the truth.
“What’s your close rate?” “A lot. About 75%.” That makes us feel good to salespeople because we like to think that we close three quarters of the stuff that we’re working on. But the truth of the matter is that really shouldn’t be the case because if we close 75% of what we’re working on, we’re really not working on enough stuff because again, if my quota is $10,000 a month, one of the things that I’ve run into all the time when I sit in on forecasting meetings and all that kind of stuff today is salespeople either come in with less than or equal to their quota. Which is devastating on its face because that means a couple of things.
You’re not going to be at your quota because that forces you to have to close everything you’re working on all the time and let’s face it, that’s not the way sales works. The other thing that ends up happening is that you become emotionally invested in your own sales process because you have to, because you have to have all of these deals to get to my quota. But again, that’s just a byproduct of knowing yourself and knowing how you work and how you close what you work, to be able to back into, I jokingly tell people all the time, I think this whole world is made up of sales and math and you can back into most any of those numbers by that.
So, in identifying that again, I think if you’re in an industry and work in a type of industry or type of business long enough, and if you lead and work with people long enough, I think you can draw some conclusions about what things, generally speaking, a manager needs to do, what things generally speaking, a salesperson needs to do.
So, those are some generalities in terms of what I or you or whoever might think. I think if we do these things this way, this will work. Within that, then then you just have to spend some time and understand who it is you’re working with because there was a period of time for me that of course I thought the way that I managed and led was the way to be managed and led because that’s the way I was managed and led.
It took me getting some really good training, Dave, to learn that that’s not the way it works. So yes, there are a few key things that all of us probably know need to be the right things, but then within that, it’s up to understanding the individual, and there might be five ways for that individual to still get to the same place and that has to be okay because sometimes we hear things differently and we process differently and we use feedback differently. I was working with a couple of managers one time on a rep that they just had a terrible time getting him in line with the other reps on the team. The kid was an extremely hard worker. His process was just way different. He just approached the sales cycle very differently. They had just thrown their hands up and they were about ready to get rid of him. I said, “Why?” “Well, he just doesn’t get it.” “Well, what do you mean he doesn’t get it?” “He’s just not working like everybody else. We can tell everybody else to go do such and such and they go do it. We tell him and he just goes off on his own deal over here. He’s working, but it’s just a different thing.” I used this statement for the first time then, and I’ve used it a lot since, and I think it really is true for all of us, not just in sales, but really in life.
I reflect on it a lot myself. I said to them, “Maybe it’s not that he’s not hearing what you say. Maybe you’re just not saying what he can hear.” I think that really is true. A lot of times we have to just repackage what it is we think we need to say, whether it’s to a manager or to our sales rep, in order for them to be able to hear it in the proper way.
So again, that’s a lot of the things you talk about with active listening and knowing your client, so to speak, right? Knowing your manager, knowing the sales person, knowing how they work, knowing the sales cycle and process. That’s a lot of work.
That’s a lot of work for a manager to know all that stuff and be thinking about all that stuff. But I think it’s the most important thing you can be doing is understanding that. I hope I’m answering your question?
David Naylor: [00:40:02] Yeah, you absolutely are. I think you’re so right. You’ve talked so often, you do see that you see people point their finger outside of themselves and he or she’s not getting it or he or she’s not listening. But so rarely do people ever point the finger back at themselves and say, “Well, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m not communicating it the right way. Maybe I’m not saying it in a way that they’re able to hear me right now.” That’s really the root of all change right there is being able to turn that mirror around so it’s facing you rather than facing outward and saying, “Well, how can I affect the change that I see needs to be made?”
Rob Gilbert: [00:40:46] Yeah, I think you’re so right. I think it’s probably one of the hardest things to do in the field of sales because in order to attain a measure of success, generally speaking and I wouldn’t put everyone in this category, but I will put a pretty fair number of reasonably to highly successful salespeople in this category. We’re all “Type A” hard drive, hard charge, high energy type people. In order to get there and stay there, you have to have a level of arrogance a little bit and self-assuredness and wherewithal to be able to continue to do that because it’s a hard thing to do day in, day out, week in, week out, year in, year out to sustain that and drive toward bigger and loftier goals, assuming that you have them set. I think that’s probably one of the hardest things as you move from sales into leadership, that dynamic in order for you to truly be successful has to be totally turned on its face because you go from getting all the credit and glory, really, truly, if you’re doing your job well enough to getting none of it anymore because it needs to go someplace else. It’s your ability to see through that and get over yourself and let that be the case. It’s a hard thing to do. I mean, it really is. It’s not a natural thing. When we talked the other day, when you become a new manager, you feel like you have to be managing something all the time, even if there’s nothing to manage, you feel like you have to be doing that. Your ego tends to get in your way a lot, which disallows you to hear what you need to hear sometimes. But I think experience and age ultimately gets you there. I think if you do it long enough and care enough and listen enough, like I said the other day, I know that what I do isn’t the only way of doing things.
I know that what I do works because I do it and it works. But, I also now know there’s lots of other ways to get to the same place and that’s fine. As long as we all get to the finish line, how you get there is not as important. Sometimes it’s probably more important that there are a lot of ways to get there because there’s a whole lot of satisfaction, truly, in coaching someone to the point where they see the finish line and then build a plan to know how to get there and it’s their own way. It didn’t have to be your way or anybody else’s, but it’s their own and when that light bulb goes on, that’s okay. That’s pretty satisfying.
David Naylor: [00:43:42] Yeah. So, Rob, you kind of touched on this a moment ago and I’m curious, as a young salesperson, when you were starting out in your career and you were in sales roles in a lot of different types of industries and things like that.
So, you had a wonderful training ground in that sense. But, by the same token, back in those days as you touched on it was, “Here’s a territory and here’s a telephone and go get ’em killer.” There wasn’t all the support systems and things like that. One of the biggest things that kills promising sales careers is just that negative self-talk that people have in their head. They talk themselves out of being proactive. They talk themselves out of making that extra phone call. They talk themselves out of asking for the deal. They talk themselves out of asking for referrals. So, how did you develop that self-talk that allowed you to succeed in the beginning of your career?
Rob Gilbert: [00:45:02] Well, that’s interesting. First of all, I had a good role model in my own father. While he didn’t specifically say “This is goal setting, this is how you do it,” in lots of areas of life he did show me how to achieve goals through hard work and that kind of thing. Of course, from that generation, that’s pretty much what goals were all about at that point. So, he did show me that. But in terms of how I arrived at that myself, a lot of it, again, is trial and error. A lot of it has to do with partially how I’m wired and I think I’ve talked about this before. I’ve always been just sort of pre-wired to set goals for tasks and stuff that I have to do just in order to keep myself on track to get them done.
If I set a goal and I think I’ve used the example before of if I have a truckload of firewood that I want to unload, I’ll look at it and say, “Okay, I think I can get this unloaded and in the shed in ten armloads.” So, that then becomes my goal. But then I’ll set a stretch goal to make sure that I meet my goal and say, “Well, but really I’d like to do it in eight.”
So, then I’ve now set a stretch goal to make sure that I meet my goal. But then I usually will take it a step further and go, “But I’d really, really like to do it in seven,” which that’s kind of sick and it puts you under a lot of pressure, but you get to the goal either way. That makes me get to my stretch goal.
Sometimes I will delay setting goals because I know I wear myself out so much. When I set them, that that’s what I ended up doing to myself. I’ve always been a pretty heavy reader and I know in your leadership training and in my own walk in life and I probably wear people out, with it at work all the time, but I read quotes from famous people and things like that that have just always kept me on track.
One that I used to live by when I was first starting out, it was in a book that I read when I was 12 or 13, and it said “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” I would always have that around or chant it to myself or whatever.
Not too long after that and I’ve recited this one forever and recited it to my son many times when he was growing up, a quote in an old English book of poetry that I had said, “The whole world will turn aside to let any man pass who knows where he’s going.”
I thought, that’s really interesting. I always tried to carry myself that way. It really is true. I’ve told my son, even if you don’t know where you’re going, look like you know where you’re going, because you’d be absolutely astounded to places you get to get into by standing up, walking and moving with authority and leading your life that way. I tricked myself into believing those kinds of things. I think early on, even when I was a really young kid and I would go around knocking on doors, asking for yard work to do or gutters to clean or something to paint to make money to buy a bike or whatever the case was, I just learned pretty early, if I knock on every door in the neighborhood and three people say yes and I paint one fence and clean one gutter and do this, that’s X number of dollars. To do that, I had to knock on X number of doors. You just come to the realization that everything kind of becomes an “if, then” statement in your life. If I’m willing to do these things, then this over here, which is a great clarifier.
David Naylor: [00:49:10] So Rob, you and I’ve talked about this before and you’ve done a wonderful job in goals. You talked to us about how you set stretch goals to hold yourself accountable. I remember you shared a story one time about early on in your sales careers where you had figured out that you were capable of hitting your quota numbers, so you figured out ways to make it more challenging for yourself to keep yourself kind of motivated, engaged. If you would, share that story? I always loved that one.
Rob Gilbert: [00:49:48] Are you talking about the self-sabotage? Is that what you’re asking me about? Well, as things go in sales, you evolve into different things. So, when I was first in sales with the here’s your territory list, here’s the key, I knew if you pressed the green button, the copy came out and that’s really all I knew.
So, I developed a plan. I knew I had a big fat territory list and I had to say something to some people. So, I developed a talk track and I would try it X number of times and toss it out and whatever. Well then from that, my first six months made a whole bunch of money not knowing what I was doing, which was also a lesson because it allowed me to do is free myself up to be creative enough to try things and not have a fixed position in what it is I wanted to say, which I thought was pretty instructive. Well, so I had some pretty good success early and I carried my first commission check in my portfolio for about six months because it was at the time so big, well as sales go, for those of us who’ve done it a long time.
After a period of time, that doesn’t thrill you anymore like it used to because you’re just used to doing it and you expect to do it. If you set goals for yourself, you set yourself to the next place. So, then you need a bigger take down to do and a bigger deal, on a bigger transaction and after a fashion, that doesn’t work either because you’re used to it, so you can’t get the thrill of the hunt the way you used to get it. The way that I chose to do it, I’m embarrassed to say, but again, it’s instructive. The only way that I found to be able to get that same thrill was to sabotage myself and allow myself to get behind. I don’t mean for this to come across like it probably will. At that point in time, I knew that I was good enough at my craft to be able to catch up by the end of the month because I had a pretty good pipeline. Always did. I always knew how to manage it. I was pretty good at what I did. So, I knew I could kind of fall behind and then rush the gates at the end of the month and that would give me that thrill of catching up because I knew I was good enough to pull the fat out of the fire at the 11th hour. So, I did that for a while. I had a particular month where I came into the office and it was the 22nd of the month and I had been having a pretty great time.
I’d been taking clients out to lunch and I played golf a few times and I was calling on existing customers, letting them tell me how wonderful I was and all of that. It was great. But I came into the office one morning on the 22nd and it was quiet, and I sat down at my desk and I looked around and I had absolutely nothing to close.
Nothing to do, nothing to sell, nothing to close. It was kind of a “holy crap: moment. So, I made a few telephone calls. I ended up selling a $35,000 duplicator deal and getting to my quote and all that. It was good. But, I remember going home and saying that night, “I’m never doing that again.”
Even for me, that’s too close. I need to get a thrill some different kind of way. So, that’s the story on that. That sort of behavior is what led me to figure out, “What is it that makes me happy and excited?” From that point, I moved on to actually cultivating a relationship with a customer and really solving some other deeper level problem in an organization. Then from there, of course, as things tend to go for some of us, I was lucky enough to work with some younger sales people and start to kind of train them and coach them on what it is that salespeople do and found that to be really fascinating. That sort of migrated me into the leadership side of my career.
David Naylor: [00:53:33] So, Rob, we all hear that people should set goals. It’s something that’s preached to us from the time that we’re young. Yet, if you follow the statistics that so often get reported, it’s a tiny fraction of the population that will actually set goals for themselves or commit them to writing.
So, how do you help when you have young people coming into the industry when you’ve got career goals and the goals that they need to set in order to hit their sales numbers and things, but have you figured out a strategy? How do you help them to become more goal directed, just in their life in general so that there’s more of a correlation between, “If I do this, I can achieve that.” That was something you talked about from when you were a young boy. You want a new bike or you wanted this and that and that’s what really drove the activity. We talk about, it’s always in the want to that people discover the how to. So, how do you help people with that?
Rob Gilbert: [00:54:42] Well, again, I think a lot of that comes with time and practice and like a lot of other things, doing some things wrong. It did for me. I know what works for me in terms of setting goals because I know what I respond to, to achieve them.
Therefore, and like a lot of us in sales who, let’s say you become a manager and then you want to have a sales contest to spur your people on. This just happens all the time. Honestly, I never really thought about it until after we had met and I got a little deeper level understanding of some of these kinds of things too. But, you have a sales contest, you have 10 people on your sales team, and five of them are the same five who always compete in the same five who always win. Your take away from that early is, well, these five people are the only people that care. They’re there only for that five good salespeople.
They’re just the only ones that care about that contest, that way that are motivated by that particular criteria you put in place and different people are motivated differently. Same thing. One instructive lesson that I learned was, my son was 14 years old before I understood one of the ways to motivate him. It used to be a total fist fight, “Son, clean your room, clean your room, or you can’t go out. Clean your room or you can’t play Xbox,” or whatever the deal was, the room never got clean. One day when he was 14, I said, “Hey son, it’s 3:25. At 6:30, I want to come upstairs and I want your room clean.” I walked upstairs at 6:31 looked in his room and it was clean. It took me 14 years of his life in order to understand timeline goals for him are important to help him set goals because that’s what he responds to. Now, I felt like a failure as a father.
It took me 14 years to figure it out, but I did figure it out. But what that also taught me is, again, different people respond to different things, different ways. Well, I think we do a pretty poor job a lot of times in sales, we attach a quota to a sales rep and so therefore that’s the money we think they want to make.
We don’t even ask them a lot of times because that’s the quota we need them to have in order for the branch to meet its quota in order for me to make the money that I want to make. So, therefore, that’s your goal. Well, that’s not their goal. In many cases and you’ve talked about this before, there are lots of times where you talk to people about goal setting and they look at you like you have three heads because nobody’s ever talked to them before about setting goals or achieving goals, or how do you even go about setting a goal? So, again, one of the things I’ve found to be the most useful and helpful is really a three pronged attack help them set some sort of short term goal that is really simple and really short and really achievable. Now again, to get that, it’s not really as simple as, what are your goals? I remember that from when my manager used to ask me, because I always felt like my manager never had the right to ask me what my goals were because I knew they really didn’t care about my goals.
They just cared about their goals and I felt that way. I took a grudge about it every time. One of them asked me. So, logic tells me that it’s possible that other people feel that same way. But, a lot of times if you ask people what their goals are, “I don’t know.” Well, it isn’t that they don’t know. It’s just they don’t want to, they don’t want to give you an answer that they might think you think is stupid, so they just won’t answer you. Sadly, in a lot of cases, managers won’t push that. But again, that comes with the territory of management and leadership and trying to get to, what information you really need to get to.
You might have to ask twice. You might have to ask five times. You might have to ask them 10 times and you might have to tell them, “Okay, if you don’t know how or if you’ve never done it, that’s fine. Let’s figure it out together. What do you want? What is it that you want? Let’s talk about it.” It may be something as simple as Joe salesperson saw a hundred dollar pocket knife at the hardware store that they’d like to have, but they really can’t justify an extra hundred bucks for it, so, okay. “What kind of sale do you have to make to make $100?” “I have to do this.” Okay, great. “How many calls do you think have to happen in order for you to get a couple of meetings to sell this knife? When do you want to have your knife, Joe? Today’s January 31st when do you want your knife?” “I’d like to have it by the end of March.” March 31st, 2020. Joe wants a hundred dollar pocket knife. From that point backward, you build what has to happen every day, every week between now and then for Joe to have his knife. Well, at the end of that time, if you do those things, and if what you’ve said is right and true, Joe has a new knife and Joe understands, “Hey, if I do these things,” we get back to the if then statement, if this happens, this happens down here. That’s what I’ve found to be the most useful and effective. But, it’s not easy. A lot of times, sometimes it is easy because you have, again, half of your team who’s going to want to tell you that because that’s how they’re motivated anyway, but it’s the other half who can probably bear the most fruit for you if you can take the time to understand it.
David Naylor: [01:00:15] That’s such a great way of putting it, too. You do see so often, and I love how you said that the managers will ask those questions, what do you want to achieve or how much do you want to earn? Those types of things. But inherently, the rep gets the sense that they’re only asking this of me because somebody told them to, it’s not because they really sincerely care about me achieving that. Then of course, the manager’s actions totally back that up because they take whatever that information is, they stick it in a manila folder and they never talked to the rep about it again. So it just reinforces it.
Rob Gilbert: [01:00:56] They do. The other thing they’ll do is they’ll use it as a bludgeon to have the rep achieve whatever goal. They’ve already determined that the route, that’s the goal the rep needs to have.
David Naylor: [01:01:09] So, Rob, you’ve talked a little bit about sales and, and how you’re helping salespeople both really master their craft and figuring out what it is that motivates them or helping them to become a bit more goal directed. Talk to us a little bit about the leadership side, because so much of a sales rep success is going to come down to the success of the man or woman who’s managing and leading them and that in many cases is a huge weakness in organizations. As we all know, employees quit on managers, not on organizations. So, how do you help those managers, those leaders to build their game? What are some of the pitfalls that you see or mistakes that they commonly make?
Rob Gilbert: [01:02:10] I think probably the biggest thing that I help them battle currently is I think the same thing that we just talked about, applies at the manager level too, because they’re on a macro level to the micro level that the sales rep has to care about.
The sales rep just has to care about their own life, their own quota and their own deal, and that’s it. A sales manager has to care about the sum total of all of that in order to be effective, while at the same time giving these people all the credit and kind of taking none. The GM at the branch level has to care about all of that stuff too and the sales managers health and wellbeing and the service manager and the warehouse and all those, all that other stuff. So, again, I think understanding what it is that drives them, their personality type and their communication style is hugely important and how they process information, how they work and deal with people.
Again, what their goals are for their branch, for their own lives and wellbeing. You have to understand that just in the same way that you understand it from a sales rep level. The biggest pitfalls that I think tend to repeat themselves at that level and I articulate it pretty much the same way that I would at the rep level.
At the rep level we kind of have to look at three things. Do you have the sales? If you don’t have the sales, do you have enough opportunities to be able to make the sales? If you don’t have enough opportunities, are you performing enough activity to have enough opportunities to have enough sales?
Which again, to get back to my high payoffs, those are the things that have to happen all the time. From a leadership standpoint, again, the way that I generally will articulated it is, your pipeline as a manager and a leader is people. The reps pipeline is numbers and deals and gross profit and all that.
Your pipeline is people unfailingly, almost unfailingly, I’m not speaking of just ImageNet, but just companies in general and just the leadership and managers in general. There’s a lot to say grace over every day and a lot to do. Generally, we come in and we fall into the trench and by nine o’clock we’re duking it out.
When my bullpen is full, generally speaking, my bullpen is full and I’ve got good people and I love them and I’m working with them and we’re doing the deal and I’m pushing them really hard and we work together all day and all week and all that. Uh, and I don’ I’m not proactively filling my pipeline with the potential for new people.
So, because I don’t do that, what happens? The same thing that happens at the sales rep level, which is, what am I doing when I don’t do that? I’m becoming too emotionally engaged in my process. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way because it’s unavoidable really, without being a complete creep, to not be emotionally invested in your people.
So, as a manager and a leader, you have to be. But by the same token, we end up being held hostage a lot of times because we are not prepared because we become so emotionally invested, we aren’t prepared to see reality sometimes. We end up creating a little bit of an alternate reality because we’re convinced that everything is great and we fall into some bad habits usually and so I don’t look for people until I have a need. When I have a need, then I have to find somebody yesterday because again, I’ve got a big gap where some prophet used to be and I have to fill it, which means I have to run out and interview a bunch of people and try to find the best of those people and plug them in and still wait six months to get some sort of a return.
If I’m proactively always looking and always have three or four or five people at the ready, not only am I always prepared to plug someone in if I need to. But I’m also really more prepared not for the successful reps that I probably really don’t have to worry about, but what I do need to be prepared for is my rep or two that are at 60% or at 50% or had a really bad quarter. They had a good first quarter and they were at a hundred and they had a bad second, third quarter where they were at 25. It may occasion me to coach them in a different way than I would have to if I didn’t have four or five people to replace them with because I’m not held hostage by, “I really need to pull this person up because I don’t have someone to replace him.” So, that’s the biggest pitfall that I see on a pretty regular basis is with managers, generally speaking, just don’t stay prepared and stay ready. Because of that, we end up to emotionally invested in our people. I’m not trying to give it a negative connotation, but we tend to overcorrect and oversteer that way because we’re not giving ourselves a luxury of being objective and objectively looking at our sales force like we should all the time.
David Naylor: [01:07:23] I remember a manager one time, he had a wonderful saying that he said in a class, he said, “I spent a lot of years in my career trying to figure out what’s worse, bad breath or no breath because I had a lot of reps who had bad breath that I held onto for a long time before I realized that I’m better off letting go of the bad breath and having no breath and finding someone to come in and fill that spot rather than holding onto a bad hire.”
Rob Gilbert: [01:07:55] That is so true.
David Naylor: [01:07:58] So, Rob, one of the things that we see quite a bit, and I’m curious about your perspective and how you help people with this is, obviously as a manager and leader, people, they intuitively know that they need to invest their time and their energy in coaching people and mentoring them and developing folks and doing those types of things.
But invariably, they come back and they use that excuse that, “I know I need to be doing it, but I just don’t have time.” When you kind of peel that back, you find out that they’re spending a lot of time just reactively fighting fires and fixing problems and just getting caught up in the urgent things of the day, but really missing out on the big picture of what is the most important thing they’re doing. So, how do you help those managers to break away from that reactive firefighting and really getting them to invest more of their time and energy in the coaching and mentoring side?
Rob Gilbert: [01:08:58] Well, not unlike the sales rep side, iit’s bringing them back to, again, what are your high pay off activities that that really must happen? Because the truth of the matter is one way or another at the beginning or at the middle or at the end, you’re going to spend the time somewhere. You’re fooling yourself into thinking that you aren’t, and it’s probably going to have to be disproportionate if you don’t go ahead and do it the right way.
Why don’t they do it in most cases? I think truthfully and you tell me what you think, but it’s hard. It’s a lot harder to do that. Why don’t we choose to spend our time with the trouble reps who aren’t selling and jump in the field with them and go on calls with them instead of going and riding with the reps who are at their quota all the time and are selling stuff all the time? Why do we choose, as managers, to go with those people instead of the ones who aren’t successful? It feels better to go ride with people who are successful. It’s hard work to coach and train and pull and it’s just a lot harder. Again, while it’s the right thing to do, it’s totally counterintuitive to always ride with the successful people. It’s demotivating to ride with somebody who’s not learning.
Ultimately, that becomes a reflection on me as a manager, that they’re not picking up what I’m putting down and it’s just kind of a drag and a drain. But I think what’s the best combat for that is, again, from your Mr. Sales Manager or GM or whatever the case is, what is it that you have to say grace over every day that has to happen?
What are your times? I think a lot of times, as we talk about the difference between management, management and leadership, right? The good mix is 30% management, 70% leadership. I think that becomes a rub, a lot of times managers really think they’re doing the right job by either functionally managing, because I’ve been a salesman a mighty long time myself before I became a manager.
It’s easier for me to just go do this deal. In one hour I can go close the deal rather than spending five hours teaching him how to go close the deal. So, I’ll close deals all day and then I’ll sit and do paperwork all the time and I’m disproportionate that way. I find that to be the case a lot of times.
So, the time continuum gets messed up and they’re managing more than they’re leading and they’re a lot more functional because it’s faster and that sort of thing. But, what you just have to do is bring them back to, what’s our ultimate goal here? What really gets accomplished by you doing everything?
The only thing that really gets accomplished is you are buying yourself the luxury of continuing to have to do everything. Guess what? You can’t do everything. If you could, if you can do everything, just fire everybody and do it yourself. You can’t do it. One of the exercises that I typically find at the rep level and also at the manager level is, it really sounds stupid, but it works.
That is “Hey Susan. Whenever you set a meeting with a customer, how many of those meetings do you miss?” Of course, the answer I usually get back is, “Well, I don’t ever miss any.” “Okay, well, do you also know that you are your own customer in the areas of your high payoff activities for what you do as a manager for the company, as a manager for the sales team, you have things that you have to do in order to ensure your success. Do you agree with that?” “Yes.” “Well then that time is just as important for you as time you set with another customer because you are your own customer. So, my suggestion for you is, this period of time, every day or whatever, whatever regimentation you pick. You set an appointment in your calendar for you, and then that way you won’t miss it. This is your time to do this particular high payoff activity. Whether it’s reflection on these three people in your sales team’s goals and where do they stand against that and what’s your next action item there? Make sure you have a next action item or its planning time for, what are my next three things I need to teach in my sales meetings on Monday morning, or whatever it is. Those things that have to happen, you need to schedule time to make sure that they’re done and not push them off till some other point in time.”
So, little exercises like that. Again, just bringing them back to identification of an articulation of, this is where I need to spend my time. I will buy myself more time by teaching this person what to do so that I don’t have to go do it every time. Things like that. Did I answer your question?
David Naylor: [01:13:56] Yeah. It’s interesting. You actually reminded me of something too, I remember one time, this was maybe 15 or 20 years ago, maybe even more. I was having a conversation, with a lady, Jeanie Olsen, who at the time was one of the top realtors in Rochester.
We were trying to set up a next appointment, and I remember she came back and she said, “Oh, I can’t do it that day. That’s my disappear day.” I kind of looked at her and I was like, “A disappear day? What are you talking about?” She goes, “What I started to do years ago, I discovered that I was kind of getting swallowed up in just the craziness of everything that was going on.
I wasn’t spending enough time really focusing on me and focusing on my business and focusing on moving strategically versus moving reactively. What I started to do is I’d block an hour in my calendar, every week. Then I use that time to reflect and to think and ultimately it turned out to be the most valuable hour in my week.”
She said so then she started thinking that, well, if an hour is good, then two hours would be better. She goes, “Ultimately, I got to the point where now what I do is a one day, every month is my disappear day. That’s my planning. It’s my strategizing. It’s my reflection day. It’s the time that I sit down and I really look at what’s working, what’s not working, what adjustments do I need to be making?” I remember I was kind of taken back like, oh well, there’s really some genius in that. She goes, “What I do is I go to the library because no one ever thinks to look for me in the library.” I was impressed by that and then, I don’t know, it was probably six months after that or something, I remember seeing an interview with, Bill Gates and he was talking about how he does a disappear week every month and that would be his time for reading and reflection and all of those things. At the time, I think he was worth about 50 billion or something. I remember thinking myself, “I wonder if it’s being worth 50 billion that buys you a disappear week every month or if that’s what gets you to 50 million?”
Rob Gilbert: [01:16:27] It’s a good question,
David Naylor: [01:16:31] But, I think you’re absolutely right, Rob. Blocking the time out, protecting it, and then really using that to be strategic.
Rob Gilbert: [01:16:40] It really is a one, two punch because you can say that, and again, it’s just like the old saying goes, “After all that’s said and done, there’s a whole lot more said than done.” It’s easy to say that and it’s easy to do it.
But again, that becomes a habit. It’s a goal that you have to set. Again, it becomes, so many of the things, not to make this a commercial necessarily for 2logical or leadership training in general, but it really is true when we talk about how we arrive at the things that we need to do, how your subconscious and your conscious mind work in relation to each other. Again, so many of these things are a force of will or a force of recognition or putting it in a place where it has to be dealt with and it has to be thought about and assigning a timeline to it and a date to it and this will happen at this time. It makes your life or has the potential to make your life so much easier and buy you more time.
I had a friend that I was talking to the other day who’s really having a lot of challenges in a bunch of areas of his life like, so many of us do because there’s just 50 things sitting on a plate, spinning around and nothing gets dealt with. He’s a great friend and he’s a huge procrastinator and he knows that and he knows I love him.
But, one of the things that I talked to him about was, “Could you develop a list management strategy for that?” What I mean is pick the things that are on that plate and sit down and say, “Okay, whatever, pay my house off. I’m going to think about paying my house off Tuesday morning from 9:00 to 9:15.” Then at 9:15 stop thinking about it and at 9:16 it’s going to be college fund for my child or whatever the case might be. 9:15 to 9:30 and then what that allows you to do is spend dedicated time just on that one thing, blocking everything else out because you can do a lot in a short period of time.
If you think about just one item and then when you finish thinking about it, come up with your solutions or whatever they are, move it to the next time that you think you’re going to think about it, and then give yourself permission to not have to think about it because you already know it’s something you’re working on and then you move to the next thing.
I think that’s as much a help as anything else is allowing yourself dedicated time to actually fix problems. But, then I think the second part of that is just as important, which is allowing yourself the permission to not have to think about it anymore. Because, that’s that. I don’t think it’s ever been necessarily addressed in leadership training that I’ve had, but I think it’s true. That then becomes leverage for the sub-conscious, that is okay to be plopping back there because it’s going to come back to the forefront in my conscious mind that next appointment time. I think that’s a great way to leverage both ends of the spectrum on that.
David Naylor: [01:19:52] I love that. I think there’s some real genius in that, Rob, because you’re right. So often people are overwhelmed by the magnitude of everything they have going on in life and they sit in that overwhelmed space and do nothing.
So, just to break it down in a methodical way you come up with, what is the next step that I need to do? Then you have the sense that, I’m making progress on this. Then cycle back with yourself. So you know you’re coming back to it in a period of time and you can see how in short order, what seems very overwhelming, becomes manageable and you’re proactively doing something about it. Thus you feel a whole lot more in control in your life.
Rob Gilbert: [01:20:39] Yeah.
David Naylor: [01:20:40] So, well, Rob, it’s obvious that you’re a wonderful student of life and you’re also an individual who is constantly looking at what you’re doing and is this working? Is it not working? What adjustment do I need to be making? You shared with me a story a while back and I believe that the individual’s name, if I remember right, was Randall Winger, I think it was. I think he was a gentleman who worked on your sales team and had asked you a question or given you some advice at one point, which kind of shifted your career. Can you remember what happened there?
Rob Gilbert: [01:21:23] Sure.
David Naylor: [01:21:24] Did I get the guy’s name right?
Rob Gilbert: [01:21:24] You did. You take good notes. As I said before, we tend to lead as we’re led. It’s interesting, one of my early takeaways as you and I started to work together was how grateful I know you must have been for the mentors that you had in your early career and how gypped really I felt by some of the poor leadership that I got.
In hindsight, I think it was good because you don’t really know what good is until you understand what bad is, in a lot of cases. So, as a result of that, some of it’s a byproduct of the time, some of it’s a byproduct of where the people that I worked for were in their careers and in their lives and in the amalgamation of sales and sales movement and the evolution of that and so on and so forth. But, the people that I worked for just expected me to do the job that they were paying me to do. That was the expectation and where I had come from before I went to work as the Vice President of Sales for the company where I was working with Randall was an icon and I worked for an old Xerox manager there. In the span of a five year period of time, I heard the words, “Good job” twice, because the expectation was this was, “This is your job to do, do your job.” So, therefore that ended up becoming through that experience, my expectation of salespeople that I worked with was, “This is your job, I’m doing my job. I expect you to do your job.” What ended up happening is he had been working there for a while. He was a good guy and a good rep and really likable and really nice. But he came up to me one day and he said, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “It wouldn’t kill you to tell us when we’re doing a good job every once in a while.”
It really stopped me and took me back and I said, “You know what? You’re absolutely right. I apologize for that. I haven’t been good at it.” It made me realize that I wasn’t good at it, and that’s just the expectation that I had. When you come up that way, that’s a hard thing to combat, particularly if you’re 10 years or so or more into that kind of behavior.
I never forgot what he said and I actively have goals for myself now all the time to be making sure every day in some form or fashion, I’m giving some positive feedback to someone that I interact with all the time. It’s just a goal every day, like doing sit ups or push-ups or whatever it is that we do every day.
I make a conscious effort to do that to someone every day, give positive feedback. “Hey, I appreciate what you’re doing. I appreciate your job. You’re doing good stuff. You’re doing good work.” Again, the older we get, that stuff’s free. It doesn’t cost a dime to do it, and it goes so much further than other things that you can do.
Even if it’s not necessarily 100% true all the time, even if what they’ve done is retarded, but it was well intentioned, then I think it bears being said. I talked about quotes that kind of drive us and move us. If you don’t mind, I’ll tell you another one that continues to drive me now as I work with managers in a company, more so than salespeople, but I work with salespeople a lot, but I read a lot of Alexander Pope who was a poet in the 1600’s, early 1700’s. In one of his essays on criticism, he wrote, “Be silent always. When you doubt your sense and speak though sure with seeming diffidence some positive persisting we know who if once wrong will needs always be so, but you with pleasure, own your errors past and make each day a critique on the last. It’s not enough that your counsel still be true. Blunt truths, more mischief than nice falsehoods do. Men must be taught as if you taught them, not in things unknown, proposed as things for God.”
I recite that to myself several times a week and with the folks that I deal with, I’ve mentioned before, I used to tend to see things much more black and white than I do now. I’m still pretty straightforward and pretty blunt a lot of times with information that I give, but it really is true.
Sometimes being bluntly truthful can be a little more mischievous than just going the other way around the barn and “Yeah, that’s pretty good. Have you thought about such and such?” I’m continuing to find and it’s fascinating and working with people and working with leaders because again, with egos and the other things that come along with what it is that we do and people’s own struggle to work with their people, men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things on known, proposed as things for God. It’s just so much easier to work with them in a way that sort of says, it’s not that you didn’t know what we’re talking about. You just forgot that you didn’t know it. It makes it a much more pleasurable coaching session a lot of times.
David Naylor: [01:27:39] There you go. Well, Rob, once again, the wisdom comes out. I have to say my friend, it has been an absolute honor getting to share the time with you today. I thank you so much for all that you’ve shared and the wisdom and I think this is the first time we’ve actually had somebody recite poetry on the podcast, too. So, you achieved a milestone in that one as well.
Rob Gilbert: [01:28:10] Well, great. I guess that’s great.
David Naylor: [01:28:15] So, all right, Rob. Well, thank you so much my friend and you have yourself a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait till we get to share this with the rest of the world. Thanks, Rob.
Rob Gilbert: [01:28:26] Thank you so much, Dave. I really appreciate the invitation.
*Episode transcription edited for clarity
3:05- Rob’s Journey
6:28- Car Wash Competition
12:24- Keeping the Focus on High Payoff Activities
20:05- Figuring Out Patterns
26:56- Looking In The Mirror
29:36- Successful Self-Talk
35:04- Upping the Stakes
39:27- Helping People Become Goal-Oriented
48:37- Helping Managers Build Their Game
54:12- Investing Energy in The Right Things
1:03:03- Taking Action
1:07:18- The Best Feedback
1:13:33- Final thoughts & Conclusion